2013 WriteFest Review by Kez (Kerrie) Salaün

This was my first attendance at WriteFest in Bundaberg. I was excited before I arrived, and doubly so after the evening with author Sulari Gentill on the Thursday night at the (recently refurbished) Bundaberg Library.

Sulari’s talk was both intimate and instructive and we laughed along with her reflections on a writer’s life. To capture an audience personally and professionally is not a skill all speakers achieve easily. I noted the well-coordinated nods of most attendees’ heads agreeing with Sulari. All of us appeared to have experienced similar frustration and joy as writers, or even as family of a writer.

Sulari convinced us that if we dare, if we have the desire, we will certainly achieve. Writing is not just a passion; it is life for most of us. So it is fantastic to find people who live to help writers.

… I was fortunate to be part of Deonie Fiford’s Masterclass on the Saturday.  Having only ever sat anonymously amongst two hundred or more people at one other festival, this expected interaction excited and frightened me. How wrong I was to be afraid.

People in my class had published their writing, some more than once. Others had entered and won contests or, like myself, had little experience as writers. Every single person offered their wisdom with valid personal points of view, sharing the bond of writing.

Deonie Fiford is a woman of many talents. As an editor and publisher she presented her workshops professionally and with humour by affirming and constituting what we all hope to achieve.  In easy terms and with great examples, Deonie showed us how to make our work more dynamic. She used informative written and group exercises that were fun to do. Class sizes were such that everyone’s questions were answered because she spent enough time with each person.

… For me these were four days of communication, connection and learning. The passion for writing IS a drug. My passion for WriteFest is now an addiction.

… Thank you to all the people involved in producing such a brilliant one-day writers extravaganza, that became so much more. I will be there next year, with more ‘bells on’ and less shoes and clothes – so there is more room in my bag for books!

– Kez Salaün


Masterclass with Louise Cusack

Give your story the best possible chance of standing out from the rest with guidance from author Louise Cusack.

From character to plot: creating page-turning novels from the characters up

In this hands-on masterclass Louise will lead fiction novelists through the vital steps of developing strong, believable characterisation and tight plots that test a character’s virtues and highlight their flaws. You will need to bring a draft plot outline of your (completed or planned) novel as well as rough notes on your characters. Exercises during the day will clarify and strengthen characterisation and help you construct a plot that draws the most emotion and conflict from your characters, while ensuring all subplots mesh together seamlessly to create a cohesive, page-turning novel. Visit the Masterclass page for more info.

Louise Cusack

International award-winning fantasy author Louise Cusack is a favourite writing workshop presenter and mentor amongst Queensland writers. Her best-selling Shadow through Time trilogy, selected as ‘Editor’s Choice’ by the Doubleday Book Club, will be released Internationally by Pan Macmillan’s Momentum Books as ebooks in 2012. Louise has been a QWC Writer in Residence and key regional tutor, and has a reputation for inspiring, constructive residencies and retreats teaching all genres of fiction to both adult writers and school students. Check out her website at louisecusack.com