Thinking of joining a writers’ group?

Becoming a member of a writers’ group means being willing to give as much as you take. When critiquing your colleagues’ work, focus on the positive first and then lightly touch on what isn’t working. Above all, be gentle. If possible, join a group of writers born in the same decade or two as you, with a roughly similar level of writing skills. A bonus of this approach is that you’re more likely to make new friends. And, when your new friends get published, maybe they’ll give you an introduction to their editor or publisher. Don’t count on this though! The number one reason most budding authors join a writers’ group is for motivation. Knowing you have to read something at the next meeting will keep you glued to your computer screen and writing. Even when you’d rather be reading someone else’s work or updating your Twitter/FB/Instagram feed. Finding a group near you might be as easy as using Google, or if you’re in a major city contact the leading Writers’ Centre and ask for advice. Or start your own group. You’ll find writers popping out of the woodwork in places you’d least expect.

Get ready to be Starstruck

A shout out to movie buffs, portrait photographers, and anyone interested in Australian cinema. The Starstruck exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra ends on 4 March, 2018. Featuring images drawn primarily from the archives of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, Starstruck was developed jointly by NFSA and National Portrait Gallery curators. I had a role in it, too. I was Editor of the exhibition labels and the book of the exhibition. I love the portrait of Abbie Cornish on the front cover of the book (pictured below) shot by Matt Nettheim. If you make it to the exhibition you’ll see images that shed light on over 100 years of Australian cinema history. From 1930s casting books, to portraits from the talkies, to iconic images of actors taken during the filming of classics such as Breaker Morant, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Puberty Blues and Strictly Ballroom, to name just a few.

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