Archive for the ‘Skill Building’ Category

New sponsor for our group – offering free stuff too :)

25 June 2013 1 comment

Free six 1 hour sessions to help you achieve your goals.

Break Down The Walls is just that: removing the obstacles stopping you from being the best you can be.

Whether you’re trying to find the time to write, overcome a creative block or want to explore how you can take your career to the next level, Tegan can help you get there. With a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and a background in education, she uses language as a vehicle to help clients achieve their goals and change their habits.

She is currently studying the Diploma of Life Coaching with The Coaching Institute in Melbourne.

Break Down The Walls

Contact Tegan: – mention this group.

Offer also available via Skype anywhere in the world!


Writers Bloc – critiquing

5 December 2011 Leave a comment

Are you looking for constructive criticism for your work? 

If so perhaps a Writers Bloc group may be what you are looking for!

Writers Bloc are a community of writers that get together across Australia to discuss writing they have been working on.

Essentially, groups are made up of 6-8 people and each month 2 people send writing a week in advance so it can be discussed.

Each writer gets about 45-60 minutes of constructive feedback.

All writing styles are welcome.

Groups are currently being run in Sydney and Melbourne.

Novel Manuscript Development Program

16 November 2011 2 comments

This program is well worth considering expressing an interest for, due to it’s length (20 weeks) and its cost ($1,000)

A lot of Australian fiction writers want professional feedback on their writing.

A lot of Australian fiction writers aspire to be a commercially published novelist.


The Australian Literature Review is seeking expressions of interest for a 20 week novel manuscript development program beginning mid Feb 2012. (If there is enough demand for the program by mid Jan the program will go ahead in one or several Australian locations.)

There will be a 3.5 hour class each week, in a quality CBD boardroom or meeting room, with editor/publisher Steve Rossiter.

Each class will have the primary goal of helping each writer progress their novel manuscript and have a clear plan of action for the coming week’s writing. Every writer should leave every class with a detailed plan of action for the week ahead, plus the confidence that they know how to skilfully carry out that plan.

The program will have a practical, results based focus:

– The first 3 weeks will be dedicated to each writer developing a compelling and commercially viable story idea, outline and narrative style.

– The next 17 weeks will be dedicated to guiding each writer to complete a compelling and commercially viable novel manuscript.

Class size will be limited to 10-15 writers.

The program will have a flexible curriculum, adapting each week to meet the needs of the writers and their stories. The content will likely be drawn widely from the history of storytelling (from theatre and playwrighting to film/TV and screenwriting, graphic novels, classic novels, short stories, novellas and contemporary novels, including new releases) but always with a firm focus on what is directly relevant to the novel manuscripts being written and what appeals to the writers. Various aspects of the craft of writing may be touched upon, from grammar and stylistics, to narratology and the pragmatics of written fiction, psychology of characters and of readers, crafting scenes and chapters, interweaving plotlines, and so on.

Each class will be a combination of lecture/discussion content, individual activities designed to develop the next section of each writer’s novel manuscript, group activities also designed to develop the next section of each writer’s manuscript, professional feedback on the manuscripts, and analysis of other novels and stories.

The purpose of the classes is not present the writers with a new category of speculative theories and philosophical opinions to consider each week, as is standard in many university courses. Nor is the purpose to rehash an old framework and advice the writers could just get from reading a few books. The purpose of the classes is to focus each writer on their task ahead for the week and to help each writer refine how they choose to carry out that task to achieve the results they want for their manuscript.

The emphasis will always be on writing well-crafted and commercially viable novel manuscripts, while making the process fun.

While the focus of this program will be on writing a novel manuscript and the craft of writing fiction as it pertains to writing these manuscripts, writers will no doubt also learn about the publishing process and the business of publishing in a global context, as this will be relevant to writing a commercially viable story.

Published novelists with major publishers will be invited to at least several of the 20 classes to workshop story ideas, outlines and chapters (and maybe some international novelists will workshop via video conference). These could quite probably include New York Times bestselling novelists.

The recommended workload will be 68,000 words (4,000 words/week for 17 weeks), or 51,000 words (3,000/week), or 85,000 words (5,000/week), depending on the most appropriate length for each writer and their novel.

Every participant will share the goal of completing their novel manuscript during the 20 weeks of the program, ready for editing.

Participants will be encouraged to meet outside class in pairs or small groups for writing sessions, to help maintain motivation and so each participant has other writers to bounce ideas off.

The 20 week program will cost $1,000, payable by mid Jan 2012 (or half by mid Jan and half up to 8 weeks later, if finances are an issue).

This program is best suited to writers starting a new novel manuscript in Feb 2012, so all storytelling options are open for the story. However, it can also cater to writers with a work already in progress.


You can express your interest by emailing with Manuscript Development in the subject line.

Please express your interest only if you have taken the cost and time commitment into account and would be happy with both.

The most likely locations are big cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, but other locations will be considered if there is demand.

Writers need exercise too!

11 November 2011 Leave a comment

The American journalist, Gene Fowler, once wrote ‘Writing is easy:  All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead’.

In the battle between finding inspiration and keeping up motivation, our writing can suffer.  Life gets in the way, we don’t have enough time, the project we are working on is at a stand still…..oh, there are a thousand excuses for why we are not writing regularly (and I should know because I’ve used every single one of them).

Recently, I’ve been participating in a weekly writing exercise called Write on Wednesdays, which is run by Gil, a Western Australian writer, from Ink Paper Pen.

The aim of Write of Wednesdays is to motivate, inspire and create regular writing work habits.  Each week a new writing exercise or prompt is posted on the Ink Paper Pen blog.  The exercises are not time consuming, – you can set a timer and write for 5 minutes or write a short piece around 200 words.

Some of the more recent prompts have included –

  • Songbird: Take a favorite or random song and write the story behind the lyrics in 50 to 200 words.
  • Bring me sunshine in a cup: Write Emily Browning’s famous first line at the top of the page, set a timer for 5 minutes and write the first words that come into your head.

The weekly exercises are great for keeping ‘the writing mind’ refreshed and active, and the various prompts encourage us to write about different subjects or genres than we would normally work on.  It’s a great way to stretch our (sometimes self imposed) boundaries and hone our craft.

If you have a blog, you can link your writing exercise to the Ink Paper Pen blog each week and receive feedback from other participants.

Another great exercise is 5 Sentence Fiction, from Lillie McFerrin Writes.  Each week, Lillie provides a one word prompt or theme e.g. Shenanigans.  Your task is to create a nano-story in only 5 sentences around this theme.  This task, although not time consuming, requires focused story telling and editing skills.

Well, I’m off to work on this week’s exercise – a short piece inspired by Margaret Atwood’s line “We are learning to make fire”… can read my take on it here.

Article submitted by Eloise Verlaque from The True Adventures of Eloise

New publisher wants you!

10 November 2011 2 comments

Hey, if you would like to get to know a publisher while she is starting up, then see this note directly from her:

“If you are not yet a member of The Story Mint go to

and register. This is an ‘invite only’ as The Story Mint is still in its early developmental stage.”

There is an area you can submit a full length manuscript (novel) for her to consider.

A serial story that you can add to (although all chapters are taken for this current story – so maybe just give feedback on chapters already written, for now).

A place you can receive computer generated feedback on 250 words or so.

She is also looking for feedback on her site since it is only in its BETA stage and will need a lot of work before it is up and running correctly and is more appealing to the eye.

I hear the best way to getting published is to get involved with publishers that are just starting up. So now here’s your chance!!

P.S. The about page is not accessible currently for people without a username, therefore you have only what I wrote above as information to what you will find on the site. I’ll contact Suraya (the publisher in NZ) to see if she is willing to change this. You can also find here on LinkedIn if you want to chat to her first: or email at

Mentorships at the Victorian Writers’ Centre

8 November 2011 Leave a comment

The Victorian Writers’ Centre is offering mentorships for paying applicants.

The purpose of the mentorship is to “offer writers the opportunity to work with an experienced industry professional on a one-to-one basis over an extended period of time. Writers are able to seek advice and guidance in a broad range of areas related to writing. All aspects of the craft can be addressed as well as assistance in setting goals, using time effectively, keeping motivated, retaining focus, building confidence and developing strengths.

For more information about the mentorships, visit their website at

Writers at the Convent Festival

27 October 2011 1 comment

Save the date! The Readers Feast Bookstore is holding its 5th annual Writers at the Convent festival on 10-12 February 2012 at the Abbotsford Convent. This event is considered Melbourne’s “premier summer celebration of reading, writing, books and ideas.

From the website:

Patrons, authors, publishers, and booksellers appreciate the natural beauty, the historical setting, the vibrant convent community and the facilities and food providers. The Abbotsford Convent has that rare quality of being able to accommodate an enormous number of people whilst at the same time giving the feeling of being an intimate setting where readers and writers can interact.

There are volunteer opportunities for those who want to get more involved with the festival, meet fellow writers and readers, and contribute.

To view the 2011 programme and learn more about volunteering, visit their website for more details at

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