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.

It’s a book!

It’s always a thrill when a book you’ve worked on makes it to the publication phase, so it was with great pleasure that I attended the launch of Graham Wilson’s Little Girl Lost in Balmain last week. You could describe Graham as a Renaissance man. A vet by trade, he is currently the Manager of Biosecurity and Emergency Services at Greater Sydney Local Land Services. He is also a natural story teller and prolific author. He has published nine books, including a memoir about growing up in Arnhem Land, and two series of racy novels set in outback Australia. I first met Graham at the NSW Writers’ Centre, and following the traditional business card exchange ritual, Graham commissioned me to prepare an editorial assessment for Little Lost Girl (at that time titled Old Balmain House). He must be very brave because he went on to commission me to prepare reports on the follow-up books in the series, Lizzie’s Tale and Devil’s Choice. If you’re interested in reading a slice of Sydney’s ‘imagined’ early history check out Graham’s books. They are available on Amazon and Smashwords.


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