Tag Archives: writing groups

For the Goth Girl I met on the Train

Saw you reading Robin Hobb and we both looked quizzical at something the train driver said. So I said, Hi.

So glad I did.Turns out you’re doing Creative Writing at UQ.

I mentioned the Vision Writers Group. Here’s the link. And there’s a list of useful writing craft posts here.

Best of luck with your writing!



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Filed under creativity, Writing craft, Writing Groups

Friends doing well!

Over on the ROR blog I’ve done a post about the Aurealis Awards. These are the Australian equivalent to the Nebulas or the Hugos (I forget which one is judged by a panel of peers).  Several members of my writing group are on the short list in different sections.

This is us at the Maleny ROR. Dirk, Richard, Maxine, Me, Tansy, Trent (Marianne was sick and Margo had deadlines).

Why join a writing group? Here’s why Marianne and I started ROR. I can honestly say, the RORees have been like an extended family. Publishing is a tough business. We authors write because we love it, but there are times when you just need to talk to someone else who knows where you’re coming from.

We meet every year or so to critique our works-in-progress (WIPs). Having a group of people all look over your manuscript is great. If four out of five people say X needs changing, then you can be sure it does. Our crits are never destructive, always constructive because we want our friends’ books to be the best they can possibly be. And the ROR team have had some success. (See here).

If you’ve like to start your own critique group like ROR I’ve done a couple of posts on the topic. ROR 101 and Critiquing 101.

So there we are. Kuds to to my fellow RORees for making it into the final lists of the Aurealis Awards and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for them on Saturday night!

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Filed under Australian Writers, Awards, creativity, Fun Stuff, Genre, Mentoring, Promoting Friend's Books, Publishing Industry, The Writing Fraternity, Writing Groups

For all those Aspiring Writers I met at Supanova

One of the things I was asked most often by aspiring writers at the last two Supanovas was how to find out about writing groups. Here is a link through to a ROR post I did on Writing Groups.

And while I’m at it, I promised the Gorgeous Goth Girl to do a post on the Writing Process. Here it is.

And remember, as they say in Galaxy Quest, Never Give Up, Never Surrender!


Filed under Nourish the Writer, Writing craft

Lovers of Dark Urban Fantasy …

For those of you who like Dark Urban Fantasy, here is a review of Trent Jamieson’s book. Death Most Definite. They say:

‘The fascinating central premise of Death as a corporate interest is handled in a serious and frighteningly credible manner, allowing for some engrossing and inventive world-building on the author’s part; the twist-laden plot belts along at breathtaking pace from page one (‘unputdownable’ is a fair description)’

Naturally, I’m delighted with this. I got to read Trent’s book in the final draft at ROR in March 2009 when we stayed in Maleny. Lots of delicious cooking, thanks to Dirk Flinthart, lots of wine and lots of talk about the craft of writing, while analysing my friends’ wonderful books. What could be better?

And here is the bookplate I designed for Trent. Look out for book one of his Death Works trilogy in the bookstores in August.

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Filed under Australian Writers, creativity, Dark Urban Fantasy, Promoting Friend's Books, The Writing Fraternity, Writing craft, Writing Groups

Help for writers …

Writing is a lonely business, just you and the characters in your head.

But you don’t have to be alone, looking out at the big world of publishing, wishing you were swimming in those waves. (OK, I’ll stop the analogy now).

There are writing groups out there specifically for Speculative Fiction writers (spec fic – fantasy, science fiction and horror). I’ve done a post over at the ROR blog which attempts to be a round-up of Australian Spec Fic writing groups.

I learnt so much from the Vision writing group and made friends many of whom have gone on to be published writers. It is great to be able to share the ups and downs of completing a book, sending it off, getting rejections and ploughing on.

Only another writer will really understand the thrill of that phone call, when an editor rings you up to make an offer on your book. (They ring you up because they like to hear you go ‘Squeeee’ when you realise what they are saying).

So consider joining a writing group. If meeting in person feels a bit daunting, there are the online groups. Vision has an e-group where you can dip your toes in the water, as it were. (Okay, now I really will stop with the analogy).

Do you belong to a writing group? Maybe you belong to a reading group.

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Filed under Australian Writers, Nourish the Writer, The Writing Fraternity, Writing craft, Writing Groups

This one’s for Fletcher

If you are a young writer who is looking for feedback on your work, showing your parents and friends is all very well but, unless they are writers,  they won’t be able to give you the feedback you need to help you develop as a writer.

If you are serious about your writing craft, then join a local writing group. Look for one that specialises in your genre. If you’re writing speculative fiction (fantasy, SF and horror) then Visions Writers is great. They have an on-line group for everyone and meet in person in Brisbane city, so that’s handy if you live in South East Queensland. Grace Dugan joined the Vision group when she was 15 and went on to be published by Penguin.

The Queensland Writers Centre run a Young Adult Master Class series, specifically aimed at high school students who want to develop their writing skills.

It is also great to have goals and submitting to a competition is a good way to get motivated to finish the story. Who knows you might win or get noticed by the judges who are often editors. So there is the Somerset College novella competition. On the Ipswich Literary Festival site there is a list of writing competitions for people under 18. There is also the Voices on the Coast Literary Festival, which has competitions, although theirs is closed for this year.

And there are markets in Australia for spec Fic short stories. ASIM is a regular magazine which has a good turn around time for submissions. Here’s the guidelines. And here is the Specusphere web zine. And here is Inspillers which lists current markets, competitions, magazines

Here’s an Australian Spec Fic site with lots of news  and reviews. If you want to know what’s doing well in Australia by Australian authors in this genre, take a look at the Aurealis Awards page.

And if you are interested in the craft of writing the ROR site run a writing craft post every Sunday, just put in requests. The latest one was on agents.

Lastly, if you are keen to write, talk to your school or local library about bringing a published author in to run workshops. The Redlands libraries have had me run three workshops in the last month, How to write a Book Proposal, Writing Dark Urban Fantasy and Pitching your Book.

Writers are a friendly supportive bunch. We are all united by a passion for writing and our love of the genre.  Feel free to ask questions.


Filed under Nourish the Writer, Publishing Industry, The Writing Fraternity, Workshop/s, Writing craft