Friday, January 30, 2009

Fantasy Writing Workshop with Sylvia Kelso

WITS members and non-members alike are invited to attend a fantasy writing workshop with north Queensland author Sylvia Kelso. Sylvia has written several books including Riversend and The Red Country. Her books Amberlight and The Moving Water have both been shortlisted in the Aurealis Awards for Best Fantasy Novel.

Please contact Peter Hurst on 4780 4731 or at to make a booking.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Alan Marshall Short Story Award

The Alan Marshall Short Story Award is given in memory of the great Australian writer Alan Marshall AM. OBE. HON LL.D (1902-1984).

The competition consists of three sections, two of which north Queensland writers are eligible to enter:
  • the Open Section with a $2000 first prize and $1000 second prize for stories up to 2500 words
  • the Young Writers' Section with a $400 prize for a story up to 1000 words by a writer aged between 15 and 19 years
Submissions close 20th February 2009. More information.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

dictionary - noun (pl. dictionaries)

One Look is an online dictionary with a difference. It allows you to type in a word and find not just one definition, but multiple definitions. In other words, it shows you the definition in a number of different dictionaries.

For example, a search for the word 'baroque' returns a list of 41 different definitions from both general dictionaries such as the Oxford, Websters etc and specialised art, business, computing and technology dictionaries.

One Look also has a Reverse Dictionary which allows you to search for a concept using a single word, a sentence or a question and receive a list of words and phrases related to that concept.

Powerful and useful stuff.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dealing with distractions

Novelist Cory Doctorow wrote a great article about how to deal with distractions (family, internet, research) when writing. It's full of great ideas that are both practical and do-able.

Cory talks about keeping a short (20 min) regular work schedule; leaving a 'rough edge'; suggests that you don't research when you should be writing (and includes a great idea for replacing 'the facts' with a marker in your text that's easy to find and replace later); advises not to be 'ceremonious'; not to use a word processor and to to turn off your real-time communication tools (emails, instant messaging etc) during your writing time.

Well worth a read!

Sound familiar? Nikesh talked about this article at the knowledge sharing night on January 14th; find it and many other useful articles at The Shack.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Writers up north

The QWC communications and publicity officer Lisette Ogg recently wrote a post about literature in north Queensland and how climate and country can affect the way a person writes. Very relevant to those of us scribbling away with pen and paper or typing madly at our keyboards while the mosquitoes buzz past and the rain pelts down on the roof! This is a really interesting post and for those of you who don't already read the Queensland Writers Centre blog The Empty Page, I recommend you take a look. It's a great way to keep up to date with what's going on in the QLD writers community while also giving you the opportunity to participate in discussions about a variety of issues.

North Queensland has a rich, diverse history full of stories of hardship and triumph, beauty and tragedy. Imagine if you will, an English gentleman and his family packing their bags and taking the long journey to Australia in the mid 1800's. They settle in north Queensland and spend their lives trying to wrest a living from a harsh land. In a memoir written many years later that same gentleman writes a dedication:

To the women who forsook the pleasures of city life to follow their husbands out to a life of ineffable loneliness in the the women to whom a debt is owed that could never be assessed or compared with the trials that attended the efforts of their husbands to win a living from the soil, I dedicate this book.

Why not take the time to research your favourite historical figure or event and be inspired to write something wonderful.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Extract - Seagulls visiting the picnic of life

Riding abiding by your thoughts
your actions, your progress
through every breath.

Walking, stalking your doubts
your fears, your anxieties
through every death.

Standing demanding your joys,
your smiles, your victories
through every win.

Lying, reclining your loves
your passion, your loving
through every grin.

Travelling tropical philosophical writings of Andy King.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Our First meeting for 2009!

What a night! We hit the road running so to speak with Nikesh Murali leaving us with some serious questions to ponder about our craft. Hit the spot for me and I am all fired up. The answers to the questions are within you and you'll know what to do with your findings. See below.
Kerry Ashwin filled us in on how to get our foot in the door with editors and publishers with regards to getting our work published. It all takes time and creative effort which Kerry demonstrates admirably with her go get 'em attitude. So...I ask you to get that journal out and clear those blocks.
It was a great night to start the year. The room was buzzing; almost bursting at the seams. That may have been the apple pie, the caramel tart or the choccie biscuits. It was NOT the ham sandwiches that Lori left home!
If you check out Kerry's and Nikesh's sites you will find links to all sorts of wonderful places to play and learn. See the links in members links list to the right of this......
Those questions to ponder....
  • Are you serious about writing? Conviction, interest .
  • Are you willing to learn? Read heaps of everything to broaden your scope.
  • Are you ready to commit? 300 words a day.
  • Are you willing to share and show your work? Get it out there.
  • Are you ready to self promote? Sell your work. Can't expect anyone else to sell it as convincingly as you. Which means having confidence!
  • Are you willing to embrace the future? Go for it...what else have you got planned?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Next Big Writer

I recently joined and entered the Times are Tough Drabble/Droubble writing competition. The challenge was to look at this photo and write an extremely short work of fiction as either a Drabble (exactly 100 words) or a Droubble (exactly 200 words). This is my Drabble entry:

Her shadow brushed his boots as she walked closer, but he didn't look up. He didn't want pity from this woman with her high heels and fancy clothes.

He hunched his shoulders and pushed his cold hands deeper into his pockets. He wished she'd go away. Soon enough she did; heels clicking as she crossed the street.

Startled at the sound of a gunshot so close, she turned back. Her brows rose in surprise as she watched an old man slump slowly to the ground, a revolver falling to the pavement beside him.

She hadn't even known he was there.

Why not have a go yourself and let us know what you came up with?

By A'Mhara Russell

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What to where

So you want to say something.
You have something to say.

Well just follow the prompts for comments. You can comment on anything that has been posted, & after we look at the content, these will be published .
If you want to submit.
Easy... just email your masterpiece to and we will publish it( so long as it conforms to normal tastes, and standards.)
Whatever you submit will be for the world to see, so follow a few simple rules,
Edit and check then,
make it the best you can. You never know; you may be discovered!.