NewsWriting for Children
November 25, 2019

Writing for Children Part 1

Writing for children is easy—right? Wrong! by Katrina McKelvey Writing for children is complex. After all, the readership is complex. To put it simply: kids are smart! Children deserve stories that are compelling, breathtaking, and authentic that will make them think, empathise and wonder. Childhood is about learning, exploring and…
NewsWriting for Children
November 18, 2019

Writing for Children Part 2

What are the different ways I can write for children? by Katrina McKelvey Becoming a children’s author can happen in many ways. I’ve heard loads of unique stories which included a combination of hard work, strategic moves, and luck. And just like any journey, some who start make it, and…
NewsWriting for Children
November 11, 2019

Writing for Children Part 3

I’ve just written a picture book.  What do I do next?  How can I learn more about writing for children? by Katrina McKelvey Inspiration can hit anyone at any time. But getting an idea down and crafting it into a polished manuscript takes work and time. No one gets it…
NewsWriting for Children
November 1, 2019

Writing for Children Part 4

How do I find an illustrator? How do I find a publisher? How do I submit my manuscript to a publisher? by Katrina McKelvey I get asked these questions all the time. Usually the person asking doesn’t realise there are whole courses and workshops written to answer them. They are…
book cover of Seven Little Australians Australian LiteratureNews
October 15, 2019

Australian Literature Part 1

Pages of Us - Introduction  - blog article by Susan Francis Australian Literature. Does such a thing exist? That was the response from my Head Teacher at the UK school where I taught English. 'Christina Stead . . .' , I began to respond but, in the face of her…
for love alone Christina Stead Australian LiteratureNews
October 10, 2019

Australian Literature Part 2

Something Novel - Australian Novelists - blog by Susan Francis In my mid-twenties I formed an attachment to an extremely astute young man: a poet who would invite me ice skating in Prince Alfred Park on Friday nights. Skating in the dark, beneath strings of fairy lights hung from the…
Ronald McCuaig poet Australian LiteratureNews
October 5, 2019

Australian Literature Part 3

Reality Rhymes - blog by Susan Francis Who’s your favourite Australian poet? This one’s easy! Because I think the ideas explored in Australian poetry, post colonisation, are more unconventional than some of the broader subject matter written about in our fiction. Since settlement, there’s been a long tradition of poets…
Susan Francis , blogger, member of HWC Australian LiteratureNews
October 1, 2019

Australian Literature Part 4

Different Voices: new and emerging writers – blog by Susan Francis My relationship with Newcastle, the city of my birth, was always problematic. Years were spent away from the place. And now? Well, I have to admit, hand over my heart, I’m in love with it. I discover myself residing in…
spaceship NewsSpeculative Fiction
September 30, 2019

Spec Fic Writing Pt 1

Take Us To Your Reader by Michael Tippett Let’s address the oliphaunt in the room, shall we? Speculative fiction is finally getting the respect it deserves. Not too long ago there was a stigma attached to being a genre writer—more so if you huddled under the ‘spec-fic’ umbrella of horror,…
Book cover 'Fire In the Veins' NewsSpeculative Fiction
September 24, 2019

Spec Fic Writing Pt 2

Putting the characters in the driver's seat by Graham Davidson Why be a control freak when you can let your characters drive the story for you?  Put a group of Spec fiction writers together and they’ll often get caught up in the Pantsers versus Plotters debate. For those unfamiliar with…
picture of dragon NewsSpeculative Fiction
September 17, 2019

Spec Fic Writing Pt 3

Writing mythic spec fic: 6 tips You’re setting off on an epic quest. You plan to slash through jungles, slay monsters, summon storms, and conquer civilisations. But how do you get your readers to follow you? With a powerful story to capture and sustain their interest, they’ll happily share your journey.…
person's hand holding an iphone showing rows of books NewsSpeculative Fiction
September 10, 2019

Spec Fic Writing Pt 4

SpecFic for Fun and Profit I’ve never bought into the genre writing vs. literary writing argument, because it doesn’t take too much research to find out which side makes most of the money. You can’t eat accolades after all. If you want to make a living from your writing, you…
train at station NewsWriting History
August 30, 2019

Writing History Part 1

Carriage 'B' of the northbound CountryLink at 1.50pm Writing Historical Non-Fiction with Christine Bramble I’ve spent most of my working life writing – but for someone else!  Study notes, exhibition guides, newsletters, council reports, strategic plans, you name it: schools, a museum and the planning departments of local government.  It…
NewsWriting History
August 27, 2019

Writing History Part 2

'You can’t change the date of the Battle of Waterloo' Writing Historical Non-Fiction with Christine Bramble Some years ago I attended a workshop on Creative Non-Fiction.  When I mentioned this to a friend who, like me, was working on a biography, she looked puzzled.  How can nonfiction be creative? Doesn’t…
Red Cross nurses WW1 NewsWriting History
August 24, 2019

Writing History Part 3

Thomas Keaneally's Error In my last post I referred to the writerly error of “changing the date of the Battle of Waterloo”, i.e., getting the facts wrong in relation to a topic that’s easy to check.  I was disappointed when I read Thomas Keneally’s Daughters of Mars, a novel of…
NewsTrue Crime
August 20, 2019

True Crime Writing Part 1

True Crime by Ted Bassingthwaighte See It, Touch It, Smell It, Taste It True crime was my passion and occupation for 22 years. I joined the NSW Police Force on May 18th 1987. In the first 12 months of my probationary period at Wyong police station on the NSW Central…
picture of a footprint in the sand NewsTrue Crime
August 17, 2019

True Crime Writing Part 2

Why Do We Love True Crime? Mark Lawson in this article in The Guardian  said, "Humans are fascinated by evil,” says bestselling crime writer Ian Rankin. “We wonder where it comes from and whether we ourselves could ever carry out such an act. Some readers turn to crime fiction for…
NewsTrue Crime
August 12, 2019

True Crime Writing Part 3

True Crime by Ted Bassingthwaighte The whole crime scene! So, you are ‘standing at the shoulder of monsters’ and what do you expect to see or hear or feel? Are you just a curious observer? Do you feel slightly voyeuristic? Or do you want to ride that imagination train into…
NewsTrue Crime
August 10, 2019

True Crime Writing Part 4

True Crime by Ted Bassingthwaighte The best . . . Now that you are prepared for it let’s talk about what’s good. I am passionate about stories in book form in particular. I don’t deride digital versions of true crime. True crime podcasts are arguably the fastest growing medium in…
Norway, where member blogger Kit Kelen is residing NewsPoetry
July 25, 2019

Poetry Writing Part 1

Professor Christopher (Kit) Kelen is a resident of Bulahdelah and he has travelled extensively around the world. He is a poet, painter and academic who has published a dozen full length poetry collections and translated books of poetry in several languages. Kit is Emeritus Professor at the University of Macau.…
July 20, 2019

Poetry Writing Part 2

a cheerio call from inside of the poem in its making here I am back again happening to be in a Norway summer high above the Arctic Circle no chance of sunset at all (see pictures, stay tuned for midnight sun) …. and right now I am making an example…
July 16, 2019

Poetry Writing Part 3

Poetry process by Professor Christopher (Kit) Kelen    and what a week it’s been, poetry process enthusiasts… there we were, up above the Arctic Circle, experiencing the midnight sun … first on land (over the water) … so mainly I was inspired to draft just from where I was, just…
July 12, 2019

Poetry Writing Part 4

Poetry Process by Professor Christopher (Kit) Kelen I want to write a poem about the different modes of process I encounter in drafting poems. I started these posts with what I call the peripatetic mode; that is, drafting while walking. This is something I do all the time (almost daily),…
July 9, 2019

Poetry Writing Part 5

the last post   in my last blog entry I listed a number of ‘modes’ for the composition of a poem the peripatetic, the here-and-now view, the political – the bearing witness mode (was where I got stuck) it seems like a hundred years ago I was in Hong Kong,…
hand against a window - crime fiction image Crime FictionNews
June 26, 2019

Dark and Loving It – Crime Writing Part 1

Dark and Loving it Crime Writing with Megan Buxton   I love a good murder. Don’t be alarmed. I’ve never actually killed anyone; nor am I likely to (though my partner might debate that). I am also, I hope, unlikely to be the victim of a violent crime. But, according…
female lying on oversized book for women and crime article Crime FictionNews
June 20, 2019

Dark and Loving It – Crime Writing Part 2

Women and Crime Crime Writing with Megan Buxton Crime, mystery and thriller are the most popular genres in Australia - a large percentage of book sales come from this category and I’ve made a substantial contribution to that statistic. There’s an ever-increasing TBR pile on my bedside table and I…
drawing of a house for crime writing blog post Crime FictionNews
June 18, 2019

Dark and Loving It – Crime Writing Part 3

Home Sweet Home . . . or is it? Crime Writing with Megan Buxton   Carly scrambled from bed, stumbling and snatching at the darkness, caught between fight and flight. Where? Where was he? Listening, straining for sounds, she heard the thump of her heart, the dry gasp of her…
hands reaching out of the swamp - picture for crime fiction article Crime FictionNews
March 15, 2019

Dark and Loving It – Crime Writing Part 4

The Comfort of Horror Fiction Crime Writing with Megan Buxton I find horror very comforting. I can just see the raised eyebrows as I write that. The modern world is terrifying enough – war and terrorism, senseless crimes on a daily basis. Why subject yourself to more? Stephen King, probably…
cover of To End All Wars News
November 29, 2018

Our members – 2018 achievements

Susan Francis began writing her memoir in 2015. It progressed well and she and her husband decided to move to Spain for a year so she could complete it. How wonderful is that? However, six months in, tragedy struck when her husband died. Susan returned to Mayfield and found writing…
Sad girl sitting on bench - Grieve writing GrieveNews
August 7, 2018

Grieve Live Reading – video

August is Grief Awareness month in Australia. Hunter Writers Centre holds an annual writing competition in honour of this month. The print and e-anthology (click to purchase) features over 100 works but here are the 22 prizewinning pieces read with captions. Choose to watch individual pieces read with captions here…
Shaynah Andrews Ryan O'Neill Newcastle Short Story AwardNewsUncategorized
April 7, 2018

2018 Newcastle Short Story Award prizewinners

The 2018 anthology is now on sale Congratulations to all the prizewinners: First Prize – sponsored by the University of Newcastle, awarded to Shaynah Andrews (pictured R with Prof Darrell Evans and Ryan O'Neill, judge) Here is an excerpt from her winning story 'Not for Me to Understand': My blood…
close up of an elderly person's hand GrieveNews
March 29, 2018

Writing About Significant Loss

Sometimes writing about the loss of a close family member can feel too hard because the enormity of all you have lost might stop you even starting. You may feel that in trying to describe it all you lose the sense of the person. What about writing about one aspect…