Upcoming workshops and events

All workshops require payment at time of booking. Bookings can be made by phone on 6262 9191 (Tuesday-Saturday), online or in person at the ACT Writers Centre office—Gorman House, Ainslie Avenue, Braddon. The Writers Centre has credit card facilities and EFTPOS. If paying by cheque, make payable to ACT Writers Centre. Enrolment will not be confirmed until payment is received.


Worldbuilding Workshop with Gillian Polack

10am–4pm Sunday 3 August

All the best fantasy and science fiction writing begins with awesome worldbuilding. Good fantasy and science fiction writing often requires world creation. This course takes you through key issues that must be considered to build that world. For instance, there will be discussions on the enormous
differences between the world the reader sees and the one the writer knows and what sources you can use to access that past or to create a world. It will also look at writing techniques you
can use to bridge that gap.

Gillian Polack is an Australian writer and editor working mainly in the field of speculative fiction. She has published two novels, numerous short stories and nonfiction articles, and is the creator of
the New Ceres universe. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Western Australia.

Venue: ACT Writers Centre workshop room
Code: All
Cost: $110 members, $95 concessional members, $170 non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Bookings: You can book by phone on 6262 9191, online or at the office. Payment is required at time of booking.


Re/Word: A poetry workshop with Lizz Murphy

10am–4pm Saturday 16 August

A mentoring style workshop for poets, with Lizz Murphy, an award winning poet with many years workshopping and mentoring experience. Includes critical feedback, guidance and discussion of issues and challenges.

For participants who book before 9 August, Lizz invites you to provide up to two poems (two pages maximum) in advance, for her feedback on the day. Participants will be asked to bring one or more of these poems for group discussion on the day (multiple copies will be required).

There will be workshopping of emerging challenges, and exercises for the pleasure of writing and to help address some of the concerns raised.

Lizz Murphy was Highly Commended in the 2013 Blake Poetry Prize and a finalist in the UK's Aesthetica Poetry Competition. Her awards include: 2011 Rosemary Dobson Poetry Prize (co-winner), CAPO Singapore Airlines Travel Award, 1998 ACT Creative Arts Fellowship for Literature, 1994 Anutech Poetry Prize.

She has published 12 books. Her seven poetry titles include Portraits and Six Hundred Dollars (PressPress), Walk the Wildly (Picaro), Stop Your Cryin (Island) and Two Lips Went Shopping (Spinifex – print and e-book). She is widely published in Australian and overseas journals and anthologies. She is coordinating a poetry as public art project titled Poetry: The Indelible Stencil.

Lizz has facilitated a great many workshops in the Canberra Region and beyond and has been involved in large writing projects and poetry tours. She has worked in publishing, regional arts development and poetry development.

She blogs at http://lizzmurphypoet.blogspot.com.au/

Venue: ACT Writers Centre workshop room
Code: All
Cost: $110 members, $95 concessional members, $170 non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Bookings: You can book by phone on 6262 9191, online or at the office. Payment is required at time of booking.


Seminar: Putting the Science in Science Fiction with Scott Baker

11am–1pm Saturday 23 August

In this talk and workshop, Scott will look at the role of science in the works of science fiction. How accurate does it have to be? How much is too much? And what impact does sci-fi have on the development of real-world science? Scott will look at some of the amazing scientific breakthroughs that you won’t believe currently exist, and will examine how to weave fantastical ideas in to a workable, interesting story—from time-travel to robots and genetics. For anyone who has an interest in how the world works, this is a wonderful trip into the fantastic.

Scott Baker is a writer and film-maker who has recently returned from middle earth, working with Peter Jackson on his epic trilogy, ‘The Hobbit’. Scott grew up learning martial arts, reading fantasy novels and watching movies at every opportunity. Scott studied TV and film production at university, and worked as a consultant in the film industry before lecturing at the Australian National University in digital video. The Rule of Knowledge is Scott’s first novel. He is currently working on the development of two feature films and his second novel. Scott can be found online at www.ruleofknowledge.com and his book trailer can be viewed at www.vimeo.com/73524836.

Venue: ACT Writers Centre workshop room
Code: All
Cost: $10 members, $20 non-members
Bookings: You can book by phone on 6262 9191, online or at the office. Payment is required at time of booking.


Seminar: Book Trailers that Buzz with Scott Baker

11am–1pm Saturday 30 August

So you have a book that you want the world to know about? You’ve heard of book trailers, or maybe you’ve even seen one or two. You think it might be a good idea, but haven’t got a clue where to start. Considering that YouTube is currently the world’s second most popular search engine, book trailers are becoming more and more important for gaining a reader’s attention. In this talk, Scott Baker will look at what book trailers are and the different ways in which authors use them. He’ll talk you through the basic theories and concepts of creating a book trailer.

Scott Baker is a writer and film-maker who has recently returned from middle earth, working with Peter Jackson on his epic trilogy, ‘The Hobbit’. Scott grew up learning martial arts, reading fantasy novels and watching movies at every opportunity. Scott studied TV and film production at university, and worked as a consultant in the film industry before lecturing at the Australian National University in digital video. The Rule of Knowledge is Scott’s first novel. He is currently working on the development of two feature films and his second novel. Scott can be found online at www.ruleofknowledge.com and his book trailer can be viewed at www.vimeo.com/73524836.

Venue: ACT Writers Centre workshop room
Code: All
Cost: $10 members, $20 non-members
Bookings: You can book by phone on 6262 9191, online or at the office. Payment is required at time of booking.


Writing Memoir with Goldie Alexander

10am–4pm Saturday 13 September

In this workshop, Goldie will guide participants through the process of writing a memoir. She will demonstrate and discuss writing techniques as they apply to memoirs, including research, characters, plotting, shaping your story, dialogue, endings, and editing. This workshop is ideal for the writer who has an idea for a memoir, has done a bit of research, but isn't sure how to get started.

Goldie Alexander's 80 books are published both here and overseas. Her novels for adults include The Grevillea Murder Mystery Trilogy, and Penelope's Ghost plus many prize-winning short stories and articles. For children, she is best known for My Australian Story: Surviving Sydney Cove, which is now in its 11th edition. Her latest works for young readers include the A_ZPI Mysery series, plus three collections of short stories; for Young Adult readers— That Stranger Next Door, In Hades, Dessi's Romance and The Youngest Cameleer; for middle grade readers—eSide: A Journey into Cyberspace, Neptunia and Cybertricks; and for young readers—Galipolli Medals. Her nonfiction includes Mentoring Your Memoir which she uses to facilitate creative writing workshops. She also mentors many emerging authors.

Venue: ACT Writers Centre workshop room
Code: All
Cost: $110 members, $95 concessional members, $170 non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Bookings: You can book by phone on 6262 9191, online or at the office. Payment is required at time of booking.


Weaving Taut Plots with Jack Heath

10am–4pm Saturday 20 September 

This workshop will show you how to set up and execute a shocking twist, how to develop character and setting without slowing down the story and how to build tension without straining credibility. By the end of the session, you should have completed three thrilling works of flash fiction, with at least one approaching publishable standard.

Jack Heath is the author of seven action-packed thrillers. He started writing his first book at age 13, found a publisher for it at 18 and now has fans all over the world. He's been shortlisted for Young Australian of the Year, the Nottinghamshire Brilliant Book Award, two Aurealis Awards and the National Year of Reading 'Our Story' Collection.

Venue: ACT Writers Centre workshop room
Code: All
Cost: $110 members, $95 concessional members, $170 non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Bookings: You can book by phone on 6262 9191, online or at the office. Payment is required at time of booking.


Unlocking Short Stories Workshop with Susanne Gervay

10am–4pm Saturday October 11

The short story is a unique form of writing that crosses all genres from children’s, literary, commercial. It is not a novel or novella, although it has all the elements of the novel.  For a short story to resonate, it needs to have a strong idea driving it, strong characters and be structurally and thematically sound. This workshop unravels the elements of good short story writing – the ethos, themes, sub themes characters, language, structure, plots, sub plots, tone, style. It also tackles the road blocks to good short story writing from building tension, characterisation, language consistency, the space between the words, over writing, finding that ending.

Bring a story you are writing or have written to discover its strengths and work on its weaknesses to workshop and develop your skills.

Short stories are a pathway into the writing world through anthologies, journals, magazines, many types of competitions, online blogs, niche publications. They are also in and of themselves an extremely satisfying form of writing as evident from some of the world’s greatest short story writers such as Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, F Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Dickens.

Susanne Gervay is an award winning short story writer, young adult and children’s author. She is widely published in literary journals and anthologies from children’s to literary, including Quadrant, Southerly, Westerly, Mattoid. Her acclaimed story ‘Days of Thailand’ is in the twenty story Picador Indian-Australian anthology Fear Factor, Terror Incognito alongside Sir Salman Rushdie and David Malouf and Thomas Keneally. She represented Australia with her story ‘To Timor Leste’ in the UNICEF anthology Peace Story that included works from 22 countries by 22 authors and 22 illustrators.
Susanne is an international and national speaker addressing audiences from New York, Delhi, Ubud Bali, Byron Bay to Beijing Literature Festival. She is head of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Australia East & New Zealand, former chair of the NSW Writers Centre, Australia Day Ambassador, Role Model for Books in Homes, writer ambassador for Room to Read, awarded an Order of Australia, the Lady Cutler Award and the UTS Award for her writing. www.sgervay.com

Venue: ACT Writers Centre workshop room
Code: All
Cost: $110 members, $95 concessional members, $170 non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Bookings: You can book by phone on 6262 9191, online or at the office. Payment is required at time of booking.


Book Marketing and Self-Promotion Workshop with Tania McCartney

10am–4pm Saturday October 18

The expected learning outcomes for this workshop are a deeper understanding of how vital effective self-promotion can be for authors and illustrators. It has been said that the difference between a ‘successful’ author and a not-so-successful one may soon well be in their ability to market themselves effectively.

Participants will learn about marketing both their work and themselves as an author or illustrator. They will learn how to compete in the market, how to make themselves and their work stand out in a saturated book world and how to do things with excellence and savvy.

They will learn about hosting readings and other events, as well as the phenomenal marketing opportunities available online, brand development and how to maximise their output for positive results.

Tania McCartney is an author, publisher, magazine editor and book reviewer. She runs well-respected literary site Kids Book Review [www.kids-bookreview.com], writes for several online sites and is a senior editor for Australian Women Online where she edits Bedtime Stories, a literacy initiative in support of National Year of Reading. Her current books include the latest in the Riley the Little Aviator series – Riley and the Grumpy Wombat: A journey around Melbourne (Ford Street Publishing, 2011), Australian Story: An Illustrated Timeline (National Library of Australia 2012) and Beijing Tai Tai: Life, laughter and motherhood in China’s Capital (Exisle Publishing, 2012). www.taniamccartney.com

Venue: ACT Writers Centre workshop room
Code: All
Cost: $110 members, $95 concessional members, $170 non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Bookings: You can book by phone on 6262 9191, online or at the office. Payment is required at time of booking.


Writing Narrative: The Art of Story with Aleesah Darlison

10am–4pm Saturday October 25

Do you have a great idea for a story but don’t know how to write it? Learn the key components of narrative writing in this fast-paced workshop to get you started.

Popular children’s author and short story writer, Aleesah Darlison, teaches participants the basic concepts of story/narrative writing. She leads them through a series of brainstorming exercises to develop ideas for new stories. Participants are given time to start several stories and read them out to the group. Handouts provided.

Participants will learn:

•          Key components of story
•          Planning and pacing your story
•          Where do ideas come from?
•          Creating tension, drama, comedy and cliff-hangers
•          Great opening hooks
•          Satisfying endings

Aleesah Darlison writes picture books and novels for children, both in the contemporary fiction and fantasy genres. She also reviews books for The Sun Herald. Aleesah is an experienced workshop presenter. She is a founding director of Literature Live! an organisation delivering literary content to classrooms across Australia and internationally through video conferencing technology.

Venue: ACT Writers Centre workshop room
Code: All
Cost: $110 members, $95 concessional members, $170 non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Bookings: You can book by phone on 6262 9191, online or at the office. Payment is required at time of booking.

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Workshop codes

The Centre's workshops and seminars now carry a code to help you choose the right workshops to match your abilities. Adherence to the codes is not mandatory, but should be used as a guide as to whether a workshop is suitable.

1 = Established writer with at least one published book.
2 = Developing writers who may have been published in journals etc.
3 = Emerging writers with little or no published work yet.
4 = Writing for enjoyment/basic improvement.