Prep for Workshops

How to Get the best out of your workshop.Writingdownthebones

1. Make sure the workshop will suit you. Many workshops are aimed at beginner writers but some are more advanced. If you’re at all concerned about your skill level, contact the course organiser.

2. Arrive on time. If you can’t help but be late, enter the room as quietly as possible.
3. Come equipped with your favourite writing tool.
4. If you wish to record the session make sure you ask the presenter.
5. If you have any specific needs let your tutor know. If you have hearing problems, forgot your glasses, have a sore throat and can’t speak up – whatever it is – let your tutor know.
6. Remember, everybody’s nervous. Don’t be afraid to join in.
7. Expect anything. Writing exercises can sometimes seem unusual. Nobody expects perfection.
8. Remember you’re there to learn what tutor have learned from their own writing experiences. Ask questions, but try to avoid arguing points of philosophy. Each writer is different.
9. Make sure you understand when is the best time to ask questions.
10. Even if notes are given out, remember to take your own.
11. If you’re popping out for a one on one with an agent or an editor, make sure your tutor knows in advance.
12. Be prepared to make friends, be tested and have fun.
13. A couple of days after the workshop go through your notes and flesh them out a little. This gives time for you to fully absorb the experience, and ensures you deal with your notes while you remember the workshop clearly.

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10 qualities of successful authors

      1. WritingdownthebonesAmbition – Many of the best writers choose not to publish.
      2. Technical skills – this goes way beyond the basics of punctuation and grammar. Good basics equip a writer for report writing, not authorship.
      3. An eye for detail – writers look beyond the superficial.
      4. Their stories illuminate what isn’t spoken about. [Tweet this!]

      5. Creativity – making is craft. Making something out of nothing is creating. The first story in a successful series is creation, the stories that go with it are examples of craft driven by that first creative pulse.
      6. Tenacity – for the blue days, to get you through the days when creativity has flown, the grammar checker makes more sense than you do, and the people in your house want you back in their lives.
      7. Legal knowledge – enough to know the difference between libel and defamation, to realise that the law doesn’t give a fig about what a writer wants (relative to everybody else’s needs). And enough knowledge to understand what it is the law thinks the people need, just so you know which mark is their line in the sand.
      8. Networking skills – a writer cannot easily do it alone. Pick a network that suits you – offline and online – and make friends.
      9. Digital skills – technology is becoming simpler and simpler. A free iPad app can create a movie trailer using camera stills.
      10. Professional skills – authors have a career to grow and to manage. If you don’t have professional skills, they can be learned. Your creativity makes it an easy task.
      11. Marketing skills – see above. Authors are in charge of growing their career.

Bully on the Bus

Kat with Ally Howard as the Wolf

Kat Apel with Ally Howard as the Wolf

Kat Apel, past BWC member and current WriteFest tragic, was in town to launch her best-selling verse novel, Bully on the Bus, published by UQP, at the library, July 8.

Why Best Selling?  Because on the very day Kat came to the library, she received news the book had gone to another print run, and the only books for sale in the whole world were in the boxes she carried with her.

Way to go, Kat.

a beautifully crafted verse novel that will surprise and empower, Bully on the Bus’ is the ‘secret weapon’ that every bus-riding school kid should carry with them.

The launches continue at Gladstone, July 29, at the Curtis Coast Literary Carnivale, and at Bargara, August 2, at the Strawberry Fair.

Kat thanked her  writer’s support network, and mentioned an editor/writer interview at WriteFest in 2010, with Jo Butler, as being pivotal in the development of her story.

Wolf, Ally Howard, with WriteFest organiser, Sandy Curtis, who'd attended in her capacity as grandma.

Wolf, Ally Howard, with WriteFest organiser, Sandy Curtis, who’d attended in her capacity as grandma.

Fun activities

Fun activities

Children's librarian, Sue Gammon, Cr. Vince Habbermann and Cr. Lynne Forgan

Children’s librarian, Sue Gammon, Cr. Vince Habbermann and Cr. Lynne Forgan