Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Meet the President - January/February 2009

A bi-monthly report from WITS President Lori Hurst

Some dedicated souls no doubt wrote on regardless during the Christmas break, but for the rest of us mere mortals our first WITS meeting for the year was an oasis, after the barren weeks of non-writing. Kerry Ashwin & Nikesh Muralli gave us a kick start with a mini workshop on the nuts & bolts of writing, editing & publishing. Writer’s groups offer a good dose of reinforcement, motivation, encouragement & inspiration but then each of us as individuals has to provide the dedication.

Our thanks to Justine Wilkinson from Townsville City Council, for making the time to come along to a meeting on the 21st January, to explain the nitty gritty of the Strategic Planning workshop. Though we only had a small roll up for the actual workshop on the 7th February thanks to Justine’s organisation and presentation an enormous amount was accomplished. Peter is putting together the action plan which resulted and that will be discussed with all members at a meeting at a date TBA.

One of the aims of WITS is to encourage involvement by members in planning upcoming events and workshops. This is not only a sharing of ideas but it also brings so many more people to the table. Tess McCarthy’s suggestion for a month of dedicated writing when participants WILL WRITE 50,000 WORDS has sparked a lot of interest. March to be research month and April writing month. I haven’t figured out the punishment to be meted out to those who commit and then bail out. (I will write till my fingers bleed just to get my 50k in. No guarantee that it’ll be literary excellence.) For those of you who would like to come aboard, check out the details on the blogsite in February and fill out the form that is your personal commitment to the project.

And for those of us who took advantage of Sylvia Kelso’s Fabulous February Fantasy workshop, I think it is unanimous, that never has $50 purchased so much value in the respect of what we took away from 12 hours of full-on participation.
Sylvia was inspirational. I have pages of ideas to explore for research for my next novel. These workshops are also a great way of getting to know your fellow members and getting a better slant on where they are going with their writing.

On the 25th February WITS had a visit from Iain Mcdougall and Jacinta Ryan who are involved with Townsville Little Theatre, Iain is also the presenter of Kulture Vulture on 4TTT. Iain spoke to the group on the possibility of using writers from WITS to put together radio plays which would be aired on 4TTT and performed by TLT actors.
The following week Kerry Ashwin did a knowledge sharing session on the correct procedures for writing for radio. It’s not as easy as it may seem, but we all came away with a much better concept on how to go about it. Have a bit of a rummage through your short story collections and think about how they might be adapted to a different form. Quite a challenge.

For those of us (all WITS members) who proudly put our names to The Chronicles of T’ville, a fantasy anthology loosely based on Townsville, February has seen its successful publication as an e-book. While it has been a lengthy project I personally believe it was worth every bit of effort. As the anthologist, thank you Nikesh for persevering, when I know there were occasions when you wanted to throw your hands in the air and walk (run!!) away. Those who haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit the Chronicles blogsite, take the time to do so, the anthology showcases five completely diverse stories which express the individual author’s particular style. It’s easy to download and is a good read.

Mini workshops coming up will include Shaun Allen’s briefing on Military Fiction (11th March) & A’Mhara’s presentation on blogging, date TBA. Through the sharing of ideas, knowledge and aspirations we work together to make up a pretty good team. Thanks Witties.

I cannot finish up without congratulating A’Mhara on her brilliant efforts with regards to maintaining the WITS blogsite. Indulge me in the use of a cliché, ‘there is something for everyone.’ The quality and quantity of the presentation has raised WITS profile to a new level. Thank you A’Mhara, for your time and dedication.

The art of writing has entered a new age, the modern tools of the trade are at your fingertips, it’s up to you whether or not you take them up.

Yours in writing,

Lori

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