Writing for Children (Postponed)

The proposed workshop has been postponed until further notice.


Astrid Lindgren said:

“I don’t want to write for adults. I want to write for readers who can perform miracles. Only children perform miracles when they read.”

Two days only
Saturday May 23 & Sunday May 24
Bundaberg Writers’ Club, Impact Community Services, 108 Bargara Road, Bundaberg East.

Saturday May 23 (10am – 2.45pm)
$65 includes morning & afternoon tea.

Creating Picture Books

‘Hands on’ how to build and shape that idea workshop. Language and structuring a picture book. Creating characters. Pacing and paging. Crafting and drafting.

Industry Overview

A session focussing on the nuts and bolts of getting your children’s story published. Manuscript presentation. Writing cover letters. How to approach publishers and Editors. The Pros and Cons of agents and multiple submissions. Various formats and their differences. Genres and themes. Covering from Picture Books to Young Adult stories.

Sunday May 24 (10am – 4pm)
$85 includes morning & afternoon tea.

Writing Chapter Books & Junior Fiction Series

Should you be considering the newly independent readers. How about writing a chapter book, or creating a series? How do you create a storyline and characters that keeps readers wanting more. This workshop looks at popular themes for older age groups, using language, pacing and the role of illustration.

How to be a hooker: Creating hooks that keep readers turning pages.

Analysing the different types of hooks, from killer opening lines to captivating chapter endings, find why they work and which is best for your type of story.

How to write the perfect pitch and the One Most Likely

Learn the secrets of writing a great pitch and have a go yourself in a supportive environment.

Book Now.

Meredith Costain’s work ranges from picture books through to novels and chapter books, poetry and non-fiction.

Her books include Musical Harriet  (adapted for television by the ABC), CBCA Honour Book Doodledum Dancing  and tween series A Year in Girl Hell. Her latest series is the best-selling, quirky Ella Diaries, which has been shortlisted for both environmental and children’s choice awards and published around the world.

Meredith has worked as an editor for children’s magazines and as the managing editor of several literacy schemes. She regularly presents writing workshops for adults and children in libraries, tertiary institutions and schools both around Australia and overseas and has taught Writing for Children and Young Adults in the Professional Writing and Editing course at RMIT and at the Victorian Writers’ Centre. Find out more at www.meredithcostain.com



Poetry’s Gift to Prose

Simon Kindt – Cool

Every now and then a book arrives full to bursting with an idea so thought provoking, or titillating, that nobody cares how well it’s written. Despite the novel’s faults, people who’ve hardly read books (let alone buy one) will see it for sale in a service station, or games emporium, or stacked in a toy store, and buy it just because they’ve heard the buzz this little slab of paper created.

Even while you shake your writerly head over them, you can’t deny the power of the ideas that gave us Fifty Shades, Ready Player One, Da Vinci Code or even those Potter books.

The rest of us can’t rely on coming up with a world defining idea.

We’re going to have to haul ourselves out of the ordinary with our word skills, and that’s where the gift that is poetry enters the mix. While prose is all about sentences and what comes next, it’s the poetic eye (or is that ear) that adds the colour and feeling to the prosaic. When your writing is too flat, too ordinary, too bolted down to reality, it’s poetry that helps writers add sensory detail, playfulness, and a rich imagery deftly drawn.

Poetry is about nuance, about showing and suggesting connections. Story should be about nuance too, but it’s so easy to forget all that when your main aim is to achieve a word count.

And, of course, poetry is about language and how it fits together to create an effect as well as create a story.

Simon Kindt – in action

On Saturday, May 19, Queensland Writers’ Centre is bringing Brisbane poet, arts worker and teacher Simon Kindt, to Bundaberg, to our rooms at 80A Woongarra Street.

The morning session, The Spaces Between: An Introduction to Poetic Writing   is an exploration of metaphor, imagery and writing for sound, designed for writers who want to test the notion that poetry can lift there words out of the doldrums.

The afternoon session focusses on bringing poetry off the page. Beyond the Page: Exploring Movement, Sound and Music  is for beginner and intermediate writers, and explores the power of sound and music intrinsic to poetry.

To book, click on the links above. Costs per session range from $30 QWC members’ concession to $55 non-member non-concession.

The Art of Story

Arnold Zable


Writer, storyteller, educator, best selling novelist and human rights advocate, Arnold Zable, brings his passion for story to WriteFest.

A compelling storyteller, he draws from memory and history to uncover the trauma of displacement, and the strengths of community in his Masterclass: The Art of Story.

The line between fiction and non-fiction is not as distinct as it once was. At the heart of any story, whatever the genre, is imagination, constructed scenes, setting and characterisation.

The question is, how to best tell your story? How to use craft to bring an idea to its full potential.

The Masterclass is full-day, October 8 from 9am-4.30pm at CQUniversity. Breaks are included for morning and afternoon tea (provided), and lunch. BYO lunch, or take the opportunity to book lunch for delivery on the booking page.


Workshop – How Many Pages Make a Novel?

ShortStoryGraphicIf the short story is back, so is the novella.

Defining a story as a novella was once the equivalent of scratching the author behind the ears while muttering, “Good lad”.

And while it can be quite easy to tell the difference between a short story and a novel,  exactly what is a novella. It sounds like it should be a short novel. But could it be a long short story.

So how do writers work out the scope of a story before they start writing it.

Dr Kim Wilkins will be dropping by BWC at 80A Woongarra Street , March 21, from 10-30am to explore this very question. “You might find as you write that the story is pulling up too short, or going on far too long.”

So, are you writing a short story? A novella? A novel? A series?

This half-day workshop will help you judge the scope of your story and give you tools to help tighten it up or flesh it out.

Three dollar entry fee to cover morning tea.


If you can’t make it, let us know any questions relevant to the workshop topic and we’ll try to find answers for you.

Dr Kim WilkinsKimberley-Freeman was born in London, and grew up at the seaside north of Brisbane, Australia. She has degrees in literature and creative writing, and teaches at the University of Queensland and in the community. Her first novel, The Infernal, a supernatural thriller was published in 1997. Since then, she has published across many genres and for many different age groups. Her latest books, contemporary epic women’s fiction, are published under the pseudonym Kimberley Freeman. Kim has won many awards and is published in 17 languages. She writes regular writing tips columns for the Queensland Writers Centre.

Karen Foxlee Workshop, 19 October

As part of the 2013 CRUSH festival, the Brisbane Writers Festival’s Write Across Queensland program would like to invite any interested writers to the following workshop:

 “Darkness and Light” – Writing YA with author Karen Foxlee

 Ever wanted to write for young adults?  This 3 hour workshop will show you how to develop compelling and complex teen characters, how to find a voice for them and how to keep your readers hooked through plot and structure.

After a brief overview of what Young Adult Fiction is, workshop attendees will get practical and hands-on, focussing on the following three important components of writing YA.

1.    Creating believable and compelling young adult characters:  Character basics / what matters to your character / embracing your inner teen / using emotion in your writing (writing activity)

2.    Finding your voice:  Matters of POV/ voice /dialogue (writing activity)

3.    Keeping  them keen: Conflict, plotting and structure.  How to keep your story/novel moving and how to ensure your YA reader stays with you.  (writing activity)

This 3 hour workshop explores some basics of writing for Young Adults

Expected Learning Outcomes:

The workshop attendee will gain a basic knowledge of YA fiction and the YA fiction market, as well as practical writing tools for character development, finding a voice and story structuring.

Karen Foxlee is the author of The Anatomy of Wings (UQP 2007) and The Midnight Dress (UQP 2013). The Anatomy of Wings won the Queensland Premiers Literary Award for Emerging Queensland author in 2006, the Commonwealth Writers Prize Best First Book 2008 (South Asia/Pacific) and the Dobbie Award 2008. Both novels are published internationally. Her first children’s book, Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, is set to be published in the US/UK in 2014. Karen lives and writes in Gympie, Queensland.

The workshop will be held in the ground floor, front room of the U3A building, on Saturday 19 October at 10.30am from 2.00pm. as part of the Bundaberg Writers’ Club monthly meeting activities. This is a free event, morning tea will be provided but please bring your own lunch.

Karen Foxlee

Karen Foxlee

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

Can you tell if someone is lying?

With over 20 years of criminology experience, Dr David Craig will share his knowledge at WriteFest when he presents his workshop Can you tell if someone is lying? What if your life depended on it?

As part of David Craig’s doctoral research, he interviewed covert operatives and those who led prosecutions against criminals caught by undercover tactics in undercover programs in Australia, the United States, Canada, the UK and the Netherlands. He now runs a consultancy for Australian and overseas agencies on covert operations, which include surveillance, informant and undercover operations.

Knowing the difference between the truth and lies can be a matter of life and death in undercover operations, and this led David to write Lie Catcher; Become a Human Lie Detector in Under 60 Minutes (Big Sky Publishing).

His workshop has two parts:
Dirty Tricks – the Nature of Undercover Operations provides a gritty insight into undercover operations; the risks, the reality and how they net criminals. It also provides an insight into the mind of covert operatives and the criminals caught by undercover tricks.

The Truth About Lying discusses the role and nature of lies in society from little white lies to outright deceit. Importantly the session will focus upon how to detect when people tell you a porky, why they did, perhaps why sometimes you necessarily do too.

This workshop may assist writers in developing deceitful characters with relevant emotional tell-tale signs of lying and deceit, and the development of shady characters, truth seekers and investigators. The session should also assist writers to formulate story lines involving the murky world of undercover police and criminals.

Booking forms for WriteFest 2012 will soon be available so keep Saturday 19th May free to catch Dr David Craig’s workshop. Check out our WriteFest 2012 pages for information on our growing program.

Workshop with Marianne de Pierres

It’s been confirmed – Marianne de Pierres is on board to present two workshops at next years WriteFest. We’re excited, we know you’re excited, so keep Saturday 19th May 2012 free for WriteFest.

Stranger in a Strange World – Writing Sci Fi and Fantasy

Award-wining SF author Marianne de Pierres has been described by reviewers as “an utterly convincing world-builder” whose “descriptions are lush and evocative but never bogged down in superfluous detail.” In this workshop Marianne shares her keys to creating convincing, compact world-building. Learn how to cut the waffle.

Nothing Sweet About Me – Writing Crime

Davitt award winning author Marianne Delacourt shares her insights on writing humorous crime set in Australia. Plotting backwards, making your setting one of your characters, creating a likeable protagonist and knowing when to shed blood are just some of the things covered in this lively, fun workshop.

Marianne de Pierres

Marianne de Pierres is an award-winning author who publishes novels in the science fiction, fantasy, crime and young adult genres. Her stories have been translated into other languages, adapted into a role playing game and an animation. Visit her websites at http://www.mariannedepierres.com, http://www.tarasharp.com and http://www.burnbright.com