Young writers

When I was at the Sisters-in-Crime convention, SheKilda, in early October, I was pleased to see several young writers in the audience, and noticed that they attended as many sessions as they could and took notes, and also perused the bookstore offerings with grave discernment. No quick flicks through the odd book, but a sound, though short, assessment of a book’s reading potential before they purchased.

It was great to see this because going to writing conventions and workshops and analysing published books to see what works is what all aspiring writers should be doing. And even published authors go to workshops, because you can always learn something new. Good luck, Tennille and Daniel, and may you stay determined and true to your dreams.

With Tennille Chase and Daniel Kennedy at SheKilda
With Tennille Chase and Daniel Kennedy at SheKilda

There is a group of young writers in Bundaberg called the What If group and it’s fantastic to see them so dedicated to their writing and so supportive of each other.As they all write speculative fiction I felt quite honoured that they came to my book signing. I hope they always follow their dreams.

Sandy with the What If writers group after the Fatal Flaw book signing
Sandy with the What If writers group after the Fatal Flaw book signing

Off to Mackay

Only a couple of days to go before I fly to Mackay in central Queensland to present three workshops at the Mackay Writers Silver Jubilee Weekend festival.

I’ve been to Mackay several times, and always enjoyed it. The Mackay writers are a great bunch, very warm and friendly, and it will be great to meet up with them again. They chose the topics of my workshops, and I had to smile as one of them came from when I was on a panel entitled “The Science of Lust” at the Science Writers Festival some years ago. So this workshop is called “Getting it on – the Science of Lust”. It sure is going to be interesting 🙂

My other two workshops are on crime writing and short stories, and the whole program offers something for every writer. Other presenters are authors Peter Watt and Simon Higgins and CEO of the Queensland Writers Centre, Kate Eltham.

When I organise WriteFest, the Bundaberg writers festival, I try to get presenters who can offer a diversity of topics so the program will appeal to as many writers as possible, but I really appreciate it when writers let me know what they want to learn about. All suggestions gratefully accepted.

What a wonderful day!

If the happy faces and comments in the Questionnaire were an indication, WriteFest was a great success. Approximately 100 attendees crowded Building 5 of the CQUniversity to attend the workshops and masterclass and take advantage of the day to learn and network.

The editors from Harper Collins interviewed 10 writers and asked eight of them for their full manuscripts. There were some very happy faces coming out of the interview rooms.

Editor Ali Lavau, authors Richard Harland, JJ Cooper and Frances Watts and dramaturg Peter Matheson revealed the secrets of their success while editor Deonie Fiford up-skilled ten writers in her masterclass. CEO of the Queensland Writers Centre presented a very informative workshop on the latest in digital strategies for writers.

It was a great day and worth all the effort. But now it’s back to what I absolutely love – writing! So watch out MM&M, I have the end in my sights and will work like mad to achieve this. But I will also be working on the workshops I will be presenting at the Mackay Writers Silver Jubilee Festival at the end of the month. And thinking about next year’s WriteFest. So if you have any suggestions as to what topics you think would be great covered in a workshop, just let me know.