Saturday, December 31, 2011

The most popular articles about writing in 2011

writers digest is a wealth of information. It is a good idea to begin by consulting the experts. And just now they have a download that will give you 101 best websites for writers.
Are you a writer.

If you are waiting for inspiration you're not a writer you're a waiter!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

posts with attitude.

The Wits blog will now have links within its posts. so look out for more reading, more searching and more learning.
check out this post from Writing Spirit on how to maximize your potential.
have a read of this article Cross Marketing about marketing. Whether it be your work, your book or yourself as an author.

if you want to have an edifying read go here to the London Review of Books
  listening is just the beginning of what you can find. 
it's not snobbery or frippery just good writing, good essays and a great read.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

advice to writers

You can get what you need to write (as opposed to what you need to make a big nuisance of yourself at cocktail parties) by shutting yourself in a room by yourself for twenty minutes a day and reading aloud from E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web,
 and going on from that to other works of skill, until you begin to see, by hearing, how much the choice and arrangement of the words contribute to the impact of the story, even when no sound is uttered in its reading. And you will begin to see, very quickly—guaranteed.
take a look at the Publishing talk daily for all things to do with the art of writing.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Poetry for Poets by M Fitzgerald-Clarke

this is an opportunity to get to know how poetry works, why it works and how to do it yourself. Michael F-Clarke has a black belt in poetry and this is a must for those wishing to rub shoulders with the master.... wax on ...wax off...
(apologies to the Kung fu kid)

This workshop will be in two, complementary, parts. Before lunch, we will discuss
several poems, with a view to learning some poetical techniques. After lunch,
everyone will be helped to write, then edit, their own poem, so that by the workshop’s
end, all present will have a finished poem.

Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Date: Sunday, February 26, 2012
Venue: Meeting room, Aitkenvale library

Cost: Free, bring a plate to share for lunch

RSVP to Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke on 0400330914
Bookings essential, enquiries welcome

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Short Story competition

Since Dr. Hurley laid the first foundation for his Snake-Oil Cure in March 2011, our little journal has come a long way, featuring poetry and art, tonics and photography, music, memoir and fiction. Although our editors are fans of many kinds of artistic endeavour, the good Doctor loves a rip-roaring yarn that includes passion, adventure, character study, and a minor note of melancholy.
To that end, he has requested that we announce Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure‘s First Ever Short Story Contest, the winners of which will be announced to coincide with our first anniversary in March 2012.
You may have some questions, such as:
What can I submit?
Short fiction only, please. No flash fiction.
Is there a word limit?
Not strictly, but we prefer pieces that are at least 1000 words, and not more than, oh, 7000. Great stuff that is a little shorter or longer will still be considered.
Is there a genre the Doctor really doesn’t like?
He’s never been partial to westerns or bodice-rippers, but other than that, you can submit anything in any genre. If it is good writing, it will be considered.
Can I submit previously published work?
No, unless it is a piece you have previously published with Snake-Oil Cure. If you are already a contributor, and wish to nominate a previously published piece, please email us to let us know, at snakeoilcure[at]gmail[dot]com.
What is the deadline?All contest submissions must be received at the above-mentioned email address by February 29th, 2012. Please indicate in your subject line that you are submitting for the contest.
What do I win?You, dear winner, will be the inaugural short story in Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure‘s First Print Edition. Also, you win the hearts and minds of our editors.
So get writing and submitting your best short stories now! Our first print edition will be published next year (before the Mayan calendar ends, do not worry), and we want great fiction!
The Editors

Sunday, December 11, 2011

publishing opportunity

Morris Publishing Australia is a new publishing house. And they are looking for novels for their 2012 list via a competition. They also want books for their new ebook publishing venture. Do you have a manuscript that is ready to go. Then follow this link for the opportunity to get published.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Legend Press Advent Calendar snippets

this is the link to legend press who are giving away a story a day as an advent calendar. It's a grand idea and you can download and enjoy some snippets. dip in, dive in, or just wallow what ever takes your fancy.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Josephine Ulrick short story competition

Josephine Ulrick short story competition this is the link

This competition is the Uber one to enter. With a huge audience and a grand prize of $20 big ones we all should have an entry in this one.
$20k for 3000 words. Thats a cool $6.66 a word. Not bad. But it's not all about the it.

The Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize 2012

For a 1000 - 3000 word short story
  • First Prize: $20,000
Closing date 31 January 2012

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Opportunity to make a movie

click here to go to the details 
This is one hell of an opportunity if you have a hell of an idea for a movie.
Script Pipeline’s Great Movie Idea Contest gives you the chance to pitch ANY concept you think is film-worthy. All genres and subject matter welcome. Repeat: ALL subject matter. So finally time to dust off that random story your grandfather told you 20 years ago. It might be the next big movie.  

And absolutely no writing experience necessary. Just get creative—really, way-beyond-outside-of-the-box creative. Because we pick one amazing idea and set up the winner with exclusive industry meetings to discuss their pitch. 

Script Pipeline has always been about access, linking talented screenwriters with the proper channels in the hopes of selling their work. Now, all you need is a single, awesome concept.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pan Mcmillian digital imprint in Australia

This article is about the new trend in Australian publishing houses
Digital Publishing 

Joel Naoum, newly appointed publisher of Pan Macmillan Australia’s digital-only imprint Momentum, author of The Smell of Books blog and best thing to come out of Australia since Vegemite (that’s a compliment) recently arrived in London as winner of the Unwin Fellowship.
Felice Howden interviews him about his experience with digital publishing and what the future might hold for Momentum Books.

Thanks Book Machine.

call out to Townsville writers

Our writing friends  at  TWPC. The Towsnville Publishers Centre is asking local writers to get out there and write.

Write CafÉ
Celebrate the National Year of Reading.
writers will emerge from their home offices
to take up residence in cafÉs across the city.
Are you a writer? Or have you ever
wanted to give it a go? Use your most
loved genre to record some of the colour
and energy of Townsville. There will be
opportunities to publish your contributions.
The period of residence may be from one month
to three months, two to three days per week.
Get to know the cafÉs that make
great coffee and are arts-friendly.
Expressions of interest are sought from writers and cafÉs. Please
email and writers include two samples of writing
with a brief outline of what you hope to do while in residence.

Are you aged
8 to 18?
Do you write, doodle or take photos?
Ever dreamed of seeing your
work in print, in a book or online? 2012 is your year!
Get creative. Our theme is
‘In an Ideal World’
Free workshops will help you prepare.
Get cracking by checking out www
or for further information

Monday, November 14, 2011

Short story competition Stringy Bark.

Stringy Bark short story award 2011 is open
The Stringybark Short Story Award 2011 is open.  Unlike our other competitions, this competition has an open theme.  That is, we accept every genre — the only catch is that your story must have some link to Australia.  
This is a great opportunity to try your luck or talent. click the link and follow the easy instructions.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Print on Demand in America

print on demand 
WASHINGTON -- The on-demand book machine unveiled at Politics & Prose Wednesday evening serves as more than just a vehicle for publishing independent volumes, the staff says. It's a way for local writers to realize their dream.
If it happens in the USA then it will happen here. Just give it time. Read the whole article on the link.

Harlequin Seeks New Authors

Harlequin      is looking for new authors. Check out the link. This article was from Publishers Weekly. A good opportunity for those romance writers out there.

"Even though it is one of the world’s largest romance publishers, with about 1,300 active published writers, Harlequin is still looking for new writers. And it is hosting an online conference and manuscript contest with a publishing contract as a prize to help draw them in."
“Last year, we just asked for submissions, and this year we said, ‘Let’s kick it up to a contest to get the word out there even more but also to let people know we’re serious, we actually want to publish somebody out of this, “ said Davis-Todd. The manuscript contest runs from Nov. 11 to Dec. 15, and Harlequin plans to announce the winner on March 1. The prize is a standard publishing contract with “a fair advance against royalties.” David-Todd couldn’t divulge an exact figure, saying that it would depend on which of Harlequin’s lines the book fit into, but that the book would be published in Harlequin’s international markets beyond North America.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Overland Literary Journal

The Overland Journal  takes Unsolicited submissions. click the link for an opportunity to be part of a dynamic, forward thinking, political magazine. They take fiction, non fiction, poetry in the bucket loads and articles.

Overland accepts unsolicited manuscripts from Australian and overseas writers, although we are only able to pay those from Australia.
Overland relies on its subscribers for survival. For that reason, the editors prioritise submissions by subscribers. While all work will be read, we cannot guarantee response times to submissions by non-subscribers.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke

Poet in Residence M. F-C was in the Townsville Bulletin a few days ago.
He certainly is putting poetry in North Queensland on the map. Mary Vernon wrote a piece on Michael.

POETRY has not been, to date, a popular spectator sport in Townsville. We are much more inclined to spend an evening at the footy, the basketball or the pub than at a poetry slam.
But that may well be about to change, compliments of our poet-in-residence Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Short story submissions

Have you a yearning to publish your short stories. Wits is now calling all paid members to submit.

just go to this link  Submishmash to view the guidelines.  Worthy entries will be included in an annual anthology.
Now is your chance to be published. This submission process will run until the AGM in April 2011.

Friday, October 28, 2011

poetry workshop in Townsville

On the 17th November, our member, Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke will be giving a workshop at the local Townsville Library. click the link to take you to the library calender and all the booking details.
This is an opportunity to find out what poetry is all about, how to write it, appreciate it, and get involved in what might be described as the other 50% of writing.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

WiTS in NQ Life

OK, I'm guest blogging here. So just a quick word that WiTS appeared in the nq Life magazine from the Townsville Bulletin dated October 15th. There is a photo of WiTS member Shaun Allen (me) who couldn't stop cracking up laughing when the photos were being taken, and just a short blurb on WiTS and what we get up to. It's all good fun and a great learning experience if you’re just starting out as a writer or have completed your book and don't know what to do next. So call or e-mail or just walk in one night. We hope to see new faces every week.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dr. Hurley's snake oil cure magazine

here is the link to the magazine. Our member Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke was the guest editor of this literary magazine and as such he asked five of our members to submit.
Hettie Ashwin, Lori Hurst, Stephen Ryan, Shaun Allen, Martha Landman all put their best foot forward, or should that be pen and for the whole week of the 17th to the 21st Townsville will be the focus of the magazine.
Well done Michael and all the participants.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Queensland Writers Week

This is a great opportunity to find out about writing and enjoy some free nights entertainment and maybe learn something along the way.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Statistics for the blog.

We are getting on average 223 visits to the blog per month since our beginning in May 09.
Now we have to try harder. If you like what you read
follow us
tweet about us
facebook friend us
and let us know we are part of your writing world.

Monday, September 26, 2011

ABC OPEN Project

link  The moment behind the photo.
This is an Open project and worth a visit via the link
Open until the 4th December you are required to grab a photo and tell the ABC via audio/text what it is all about or what happened next or what went before.

I'm sure we all have a picture that tells a thousand words!
So dig out your snaps and get creative.


Breaking news: WITS poet Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke's manuscript A Quadraphonic Whisper has been accepted by the small American publishing house Virgogray Press (  "It's been several years since I've had a collection published," Michael says, "but I feel this new chapbook of mostly very recent poems shows that my work continues to develop, my creativity still is vibrantly alive."  The volume is scheduled to appear some time in 2012, and is dedicated to all Michael's friends at Writers In Townsville Society.  Stay tuned for updates.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Queensland Writers Centre, opportunity.


Want to write and then write about writing? Of course you do!

Thinking about writing a novel? Love blogging?
Want to write a novel and blog about your experience? QWC is offering an exclusive opportunity to a writer keen to blog about their favourite topic . writing!
What do I get?
Our lucky resident blogger will get access to the Year of the Novel Online with Alison Goodman - our year-long program that guides you through the process of putting together your novel. Valued at $445, this is our most popular and rewarding course and features lessons from Dr Kim Wilkins.
A great platform on the QWC blog - your posts will be promoted through our website and social media and read by thousands of writers and industry professionals!
Heaps of motivation and support.
What will I have to do?
All you need to do is commit to posting on the QWC blog once a fortnight, for one year (the duration of the course), about your experience in Year of the Novel Online, your writing practice, your hopes and dreams, and everything in between!
What do I have to do to apply?
Send us 100-200 words telling us about your writing and why we should choose you to be our resident blogger, as well as a short bio of about 100 words, before Friday 23 September. Email

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Writers digest : Wits Web help

Thanks to Writers digest and Jeff Gerke.

Before submitting your manuscript to an agent or editor, it’s important to make sure your submission package is in the best possible shape it can be. Here’s a checklist that can help you troubleshoot your manuscript and improve your chances of success:

How strong is your first line? Make sure you lead off with something that will catch an agent or editor from the very beginning.
Do you start with a dream scenario? Because that’s a quick path to rejection.
Does your story have an engaging hook?
Are you telling instead of showing? Remember the old writing adage “show don’t tell.”
Double check your point-of-view. Make sure you don’t have any errors or shifts in POV.
Make sure your characters have depth.
Is there a lack of beats for pacing and description?
Check for stilted dialogue.
Are there inadequate descriptions of characters and settings (or details that are introduced to the reader too late)?
Are you starting the main action too soon?
Are you going into flashbacks too early in the story?
Do you jump to a new viewpoint character too early?
Is there enough conflict?
Is there something at stake for your hero?
** Based on The First 50 Pages: Engage Agents, Editors, and Readers, and Set Your Novel Up For Success by Jeff Gerke.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Monologues and humour

This is a very very funny monologue. The writing is wonderful and the execution superb.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Age short story competition Free to enter!

The Age newspaper has a brilliant competition every year.
to go to the web page with all the information
Send entries to:
The Age Short Story Competition
The Age
Level 2
655 Collins Street
or email
Closing date September 23, 2011 - 5pm (late entries will not be accepted)
Winners will be announced in December.
The 1st, 2nd, 3rd winning stories will be published in Life & Style. They will also be published at
First prize winner will receive $3000; 2nd prize, $2000; 3rd prize, $1000.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Poet in Residence in Townsville.


On Thursday morning, 1 September 2011, WITS member and respected poet Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke had his first morning as Poet In Residence at the Aitkenvale library. Michael had barely sat down when he was approached by a library customer, and he spent the next seventy minutes or so in sometimes animated conversation with an inexperienced poet who was keen to discuss a draft of his first, to be self-published, book. Michael offered him advice and counselling on a variety of poetry-related matters, and at the end of it had a satisfied customer. A member of the library staff approached Michael after the man had gone, and thanked him for spending the time with him, as the regular staff didn't have that time available.

Poetry Tip: When drafting a poem, examine what Michael terms "potentially empty" words such as "that", "so", and "the" carefully, to see if they can be omitted without affecting the sense of the poem.


Michael's lighthearted poem "Helen Marie Gunz; and Me" has recently appeared in the 1 September 2011 post of the American e-journal Dr. Hurley's Snake-Oil Cure ( The poem was in response to the journal's call for submissions on photos that appear in the Smithsonian Institution's public archive. The pic of Helen Marie Gunz (displayed with the poem) convinced Michael she might be the Ideal Woman...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011



WITS poet Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke occasionally turns his hand to prose, if his arm is twisted, and he has been contributing lighthearted articles on things Australian for American novelist Dawn DeAnna Wilson's blog, The Year of Writing Dangerously ( The series, titled "Aussie August", began at the beginning of August, and has been extended into September because of Dawn posting on Hurricane Irene (which affected her). To win a book by one of Dawn's peers, or $40 AUD of WITS merchandising from the excellent WITS shop (see the link on the LHS of this blog), all you need to do is leave a comment on one of Michael's posts before Dawn draws the prizes on 12 September 2011. There is no catch. You won't go on any mailing lists, or be subject to any marketing campaign spam e-mails. Be in it to win it!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cairns conference of Book Creators Circle

this is a free event
click here to take you to their site and go to announcements.



RYDGES TRADEWINDS Cairns - opposite
St Monica's Cathedral - Trinity Room


Approx 30 exhibitors in book industry.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


At the WITS meeting on Wednesday evening, 31 August 2011, our widely published author and experienced blogger Kerry Ashwin gave us the lowdown on how to start and maintain a free blog. Kerry began with first principles: what is your objective in starting a blog? do you want it to raise your web profile? She showed how you can make your blog stand out in the crowded cyber-space by inventive titles and keywords (tags); and how to compose an effective biography for your blog. The presentation focussed on Google blog -- -- rather than WordPress, given that both are free options.

Designing your blog was covered in a lot of detail, from templates; to headers; to posting; and editing, once you have begun the process. Kerry's message stressed experimenting with the various settings, and she went through a number of experiments during the evening, prompted in part by enthusiastic questions from the audience. A strength of the presentation was Kerry's use of the technology available, including having the internet live on the big screen, so that she could show us, among other things, several of her personal blogs to illustrate points.

All told, the presentation was excellent. There was so much to take in, it was very information-rich, but Kerry very kindly offered to send those present her power point presentation, which contained her session notes as well as graphics of the various screens she spoke on, and much else besides. A totally worthwhile evening!

Friday, September 2, 2011

$10,000 prize for unpublished manuscript.

Inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award

$10,000 + $2,000 for a mentor of your choice

The Award, to aid in the development of the next stage of an unpublished manuscript, is for a work of adult literary or genre fiction. It will be granted to the work that shows the greatest promise and likely to benefit most from this opportunity.

The winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000 and, in consultation with organisers, will be offered a suitable mentor selected from some of Australia’s best authors.

The Judges

Valerie Parv, international best-selling author, is a successful writer of romance and non-fiction. Valerie’s books have sold more than twenty-six million copies internationally, and been translated into over twenty languages from Russian to Japanese and Icelandic.

Mark Macleod is a Senior Lecturer in English at Charles Sturt University and well known as a Television and Radio Presenter. Mark was Project Manager of ‘My Favourite Book’ for ABCTV. He published books for young readers and for adults under his own name imprint at Hodder Headline.

Peter Bishop is one of Australia’s most effective writing teachers and mentors. Working with Australia’s leading authors he has enjoyed outstanding success as the Creative Director of Varuna -The Writers’ House in the Blue Mountains - from 1994 to 2010.

Applications close: Thursday 13 October 2011

Entry form:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blogging for beginners workshop


Don't forget the workshop is on the 31st August 2011 at 7pm at the Aitkenvale library room.Ten dollar fee.
there is still time if you would like to come.
Learn about blogging and get yourself on the world wide web.
Non members are also welcome.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Michael Fitzgerald Clarke published.

Michael our resident poet has done it again with another poem being published. Obviously he is working hard.

Under a Bridge in Gloucestershire has just appeared in the August 22, 2011 post of the e-journal Dr. Hurley's Snake-oil Cure click on the Snake oil link to take you there.

Queensland Writers Centre

Hi Writers in Townsville

We’ve got exciting, free workshops aimed at writers curious about crime writing coming up in Townsville and Cairns on 17 and 18 September respectively. I hope you can make it, They’re free for Queensland Writers Centre members and $115 for non-members. Details below:

Crime fiction writer PM Newton is coming to North Queensland (Townsville - 17 Sept, Cairns - 18 Sept) to take you into the dark and suspenseful world of crime fiction.

PM Newton will introduce you to the seething underbelly of crime writing and arm you with the ammo that will give you the confidence to get started with a life of crime.

This workshop is designed for beginners interested in learning the basics of beginnings, plot, structure, setting, and suspense. This workshop is FREE to QWC members so book soon to avoid disappointment..

Bookings essential: phone (07)3842 9922 or visit the QWC website.

Just to reiterate: Wits is a member of QWC so anyone who is a paid up member of Wits for this year (2011) is FREE

Also: Writers should support these regional events. The more bums on seats the more workshops etc we will have up here.

Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Shortlist

2011 Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist announced

The shortlist for the 2011 Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards has been announced.

The Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards is one of the richest and most diverse literary awards programs in Australia, with a proud history of recognising, celebrating and supporting outstanding Australian writers on a national scale.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 6 September.


Click this link or cut and paste

Writers Digest is a comprehensive site for all your writing needs.
Not only do they have a shop where you can purchase cheap books on the craft but they have a wonderful array of help. From Dictionaries, to composing your first query letter and more.
check out the site and you might want to subscribe.
You are never too old to learn. You can only get better with Writers Digest help.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Shaun's mini workshop

10 minutes turned into a very informative half an hour. Shaun took us through his process of researching his Sci-Fi novel and how history can still be relevant today.

It was fascinating to learn his main character is based on the the Duke of Wellington. A stalwart character who never lost a battle. The topography of some of Shaun's battles are from real locations, ie. the hills, the sea, the battle lines etc.

Why not borrow from history?

We quizzed him on the need for foreign languages in Sci-fi, and Shaun explained that he uses Nouns in this way, but the day to day language is English. Also a fact that he has created a whole new world so why use the word earth for dirt. He has refrained from 'earth' and used soil, sods, dirt etc. Makes sense!

Thanks Shaun for an interesting insight into your thought processes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wits web help: writing meter

If you are looking for a gadget/widget to show the world how your writing is coming along then check this out.

gadget link It is a good way to keep track and quite easy to install. Just follow the instructions from the link and best of all it can be personalised ie. 80000 words, 10000 words or just 500 what ever you want.
check it out.

Also here are two web sites that one our members found helpful
Bad Language click the link or cut and paste.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Shaun's mini workwhop 17th August

Shaun is a writer of war/fantasy/SF. His novel is complete and is in the dreaded editing stage.

This is Shaun's second workshop. The last one on weapons was amazing. Guns, spears, ammo, bombs,swords and bows and arrows. It just makes you want to go and write a fight scene.

Here is a run down of his up and coming mini workshop.

For WiTs; Mini workshop on researching for Zicastor.

A brief rundown of how I prepared for the writing of my novel Zicastor:

A quick overview on:-

What inspired me to write.

How I created my characters

What tools I used to get my story started and flowing.

How I researched weapons and tactics

And what I’ve done since finishing the novel.

Very happy to answer questions throughout

Friday, August 5, 2011

New writing Festival.

Check this out plus one more web site for indie authors

The Australasian Association of Independent Writers is pleased to announce the inaugural Festival of Independent Writers and Publishers to be held on the Gold Coast at the Robina Community Centre near the Robina library on 29 October 2011.

As part of this celebration of independent writers and publishers we also announce the inaugural open Short Story Writing Competition.

Entry fee: $7.50 for single entries, $18 for three.

1st prize: $200 voucher off your printing costs plus $100; 2nd prize: $200 voucher off your printing costs; highly commended certificates.

Word limit: 1500 words

Theme: open

Closing date: 30 September 2011

Enter by post or online

See website for details of the festival, how you can be involved and the writing competition:


Are you an independent writer or publisher? If so, why not combine a wonderful trip to the sunny Gold Coast with the chance to meet your fellow indie writers, publishers, printers and READERS?

The Australasian Association of Independent Writers is seeking sponsors and independent writers or publishers to take part in the inaugural Festival of Independent Writers and Publishers to be held on 29 October 2011 on the Gold Coast at Robina Community Centre next to the Robina library.

There are numerous ways you can become involved, so if you’d like to be part of this great initiative, please contact us at

For further information, check out our website:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Blogging for beginners.

The blogging workshop on the 31st August is filling up fast.

so...if you want a place, just email

witsnq {at} gmail {dot}com

and let us know. There is a small fee of ten dollars to cover handouts etc.

Our member gets published

Michael Fitzgerald-clarke has been appointed the Townsville Library Systems
Poet in Residence. An accolade and well deserved. Not content to sit on his laurels he has had a couple of publishing success of late.

"A Morning on Our Earth" in Bolts of Silk:

"A Highly Political Poem; To Rally the GOP Minority in Asheville" in Dr. Hurley's Snake-Oil Cure (July 7 post):

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New merchandise to buy

Wits now has a Cafepress store. Just the thing to let people know you belong.
click here to buy some awesome stuff.

visit the link on the left any ol' time.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Blogging 101 workshop

Ever wanted to know how to make your own blog. This workshop by Kerry Ashwin on 31st August will get you started on the road to Blogging.
There will, (in the two hours) be hand-outs, questions answered and hands on experience.

Kerry has been blogging for 5 years and has three successful blogs. Her knowledge of the practicalities of the blog site and the "tricks of the trade" is extensive.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wits Web Help: Sites to check out

These are just two of the writing sites that might be of interest.
You can subscribe to their posts and receive the latest in your in box.
Guide to Literary Agents. This site offers just about every type of advice to getting an agent. Plus they have webnars ~ like seminars~ that you can access for a small fee. It is invaluable if you want to land an agent or want to know how to write the definitive query letter.
Writer Unboxed This is a wordpress blog that has heaps of author interviews, helpful advice and general information on the art of fiction writing. Started by two writers it has become a must read for anyone serious enough to call themselves a writer.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pesky Grammar made easy,

Watch out for this new section called Wits Web help. We will be posting helpful links to writing conundrums.

Grammar made easy
check out this web page Grammar check for free

they have questions, answers and all kinds of things. Get the edge in your writing by doing it right!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


High on the list of benefits of belonging to a Writer’s Group is the opportunity to link up with other
writers. Regardless of their level of writing experience or genre, people come along prepared to
share their work & their knowledge with other members. The generosity among writers never fails
to amaze me. Sharing your successes or rejections with friends’ results in a bond of fellowship.

For the past four years we have had the pleasure & privilege of having Nikesh Muralli as a member
of WITS. Nikesh is a very accomplished writer & has run several workshops for us. Writing, like all
art forms needs to be nurtured, and so we continually strive to improve our understanding of the

Sadly, now it is time for Nikesh to move on. We will miss his particular brand of humour, his ability
to offer honest criticism & encouragement & his willingness to always listen to & help out a fellow
writer. For the time being (maybe a year or so!!!) Nikesh will continue to manage our blogsite.

From tropical Townsville to the frozen depths of Canberra , Nikesh, surely you could have picked a
better time of the year to move. We’ll miss our late night coffee sessions, but since you are only an
email away your good friends in the north will no doubt still be running their work by you. We wish
you every success & remember the eyes & the ears of WITS will be upon you.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Last Wednesday night we said a sad farewell to Gemma who is heading back to the UK. Their
gain our loss. Still social media makes it so easy to keep in touch. Not quite the same I know. But
hopefully once Gemma finds herself a new writer’s group (& now that she realizes the benefits to be
gained ) we may be able to establish WITS as a sister group.

Heritage Day

Every year WITS has a stand at Heritage Day. Townsville provided us with the perfect day. I swear
you could not get better weather anywhere. Thousands of local people came out to enjoy the
community displays.

The park where this annual event is held is located at the front of the old West End Cemetery.
What better place to commemorate our heritage & to celebrate life in general; past & present

With banners in place & a heap of brochures we four who had volunteered to man (person) the
stand munched on chips, drank coffee & enjoyed the carnival atmosphere. Sadly due to stuffy
restrictions we were not allowed to play on the jumping castle. Maybe next year.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Writing Workshop with Nikesh Murali

Making A Scene

Have you struggled with writing individual scenes that constitute your novel/short story/memoir?

Have you ever wondered if there was an effective way to structure your scenes to create maximum dramatic effect?

Would you like to learn the formula for creating an opening scene that will hook your readers?

To understand the way a scene works and how it relates to the overall structure of a story, it is important to analyse the basic mechanisms that drive dramatic conflict, such as scene and sequel and motivation reaction units. It is also essential to outline your scene in advance, to seek out the ‘heart’ or the ‘heat point’ and ensure that you are not writing fluff that will be trashed during the revision phase.

Under the expert guidance of critically acclaimed author Nikesh Murali, who specialises in researching micro and macro structures in fiction, unravel the hidden structure of scenes using techniques from legendary writing teachers like Dwight Swain, Jack Bickham and many others.

Cost: $50.00
Date: 10 April 2011
Time: 10:00 am to 04:00 pm
Venue: Aitkenvale City Council library Workshop Room

Due the hands-on nature of the workshop we have limited seats. Book before the 5th of April 2011 to avoid disappointment.

For bookings please contact nikeshmurali(at)nikeshmurali(dot)net


Trainer Bio:

Nikesh Murali's poems and short stories have appeared in more than 70 publications around the world. His works have been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2007 and won the Tom Paine Award in Non-Fiction Writing in the same year.

He has completed his Masters in Journalism from Griffith University for which he was awarded the Griffith University Award for Academic Excellence in 2005, and his Masters in Teaching from James Cook University in and a Bachelors degree in English Literature and World History from University of Kerala. He is a tutor and researcher at James Cook University and is working towards his Doctorate in Creative Writing.

For workshop testimonials please visit

Amanda Hocking is the best-selling “indie” novelist on the Kindle store with around 100,000 copies of her 10 e-books selling each month. Unlike traditional book deals, however, Hocking keeps a whopping 70 percent of revenue earned from her books, which sell for $0.99 to $2.99 apiece. (Amazon keeps the other 30 percent.)

If you do the math, this means Hocking is earning somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 million per year — a staggering amount. In fact, according to Novelr, “there is no traditional publisher in the world right now that can offer Amanda Hocking terms that are better than what she’s currently getting, right now on the Kindle store, all on her own.”

Monday, February 14, 2011

From this coming Wed 16th February WITS is back in full swing, a bit late due to Yasi's unscheduled visit. Let's hope that anyone suffering from writer's block is now back in action after having the cobwebs blown away.
Townsvillians who have not yet experienced the benefits to be gained from being a member of a Writer's group now is the perfect time to pick up the phone or send an email for more details.
Writing like any art form is a craft & WITS offers you the opportunity to develop your skills, share your knowledge & experience, in a friendly motivating atmosphere.