This one’s for Nat…

For much of Supanova it was really busy and the crowds were so thick you couldn’t hear what people were saying. But there were a couple of quiet patches where I managed to chat to people and several were aspiring writers. I promised Nat I would do a post about writing groups and resources for writers, so here it is.

If you’re based in Queensland, it is well worthwhile joining the Queensland Writers Centre. They offer a broad range of workshops including Year of the Novel (where you write a book in a year under the guidance of a published author who mentors you) and Year of the Edit (where you edit the book you wrote the previous year, again with the guidance of a published author).

QWC have paired with Hachette for the QWC/Hachette manuscript Development Program (closed for this year, but it is good to have a goal for next year).  ‘Now in its fifth year, The QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program aims to uncover and develop new emerging Australian writers. This is a fantastic opportunity for emerging fiction and non-fiction writers to work with editors from Hachette Australia and develop high-quality manuscripts. Up to ten emerging writers will work with editors from Hachette Australia, and other industry professionals, to develop their manuscript and learn about the industry over the course of four intensive days.’

If you are writing Spec Fic, I’d recommend joining a writing group who love the genre as much as you do. There is the Vision Writers Group, which meets in Brisbane on the first of the month at the State Library. They also have an on-line discussion list.

There is my own writing group, ROR, where I post about opportunities for aspiring writers like this one: Pitching your book at Conflux (the national Sf convention).

There are also non-genre specific opportunities like the Text Fiction Prize. This is for writers of Children’s books and Young Adult books.

And there is a whole list of useful posts on the craft of writing and the writing industry here.

If you persevere long enough, you’ll learn the craft and write some wonderful stories. Writing is one of those rare past times, which are their own reward.





Filed under Australian Writers, Children's Books, Conventions, Pitching your book, Publishing Industry, The Writing Fraternity, Tips for Developing Writers, Writing Groups, Young Adult Books

6 Responses to This one’s for Nat…

  1. Nat

    thank you so much!!! (I’m sorry I haven’t had time to jump onto the computer before but school… gah!) this will help so much and I can not thank you enough for all your kindness!! I’m having a loot though them all now! I wish you all the best of luck and (now that I’m back to saving money after supernova) I’m finally able to buy more of your books instead of having to return to the wonderful library :3
    thank you again, you made my week

    • admin

      Hi Nat,

      You can always order the books through the library, then they will buy them in, which is good for me and for you!

      If you get your school to join the QLD Writers Centre they will keep you informed of the competitions that open up for young writers and the Young Adult QWC Master Classes.

      Best of luck with your writing!

      • Nat

        hello again! I have just recently ordered a few of your books from the library and they should be getting them in soon! I’m so excited!
        on another note my writing has been going very well and I am enjoying it very much, yet I have a question for you. do you know on average how many words your books are? as a beginning writer I tend to worry about this as my own novel has just hit over 60,000! I know when I finish there shall be a lot of editing so it will be reduced yet I still worry a bit. I was just wondering how many words perhaps do you think an average book is and does it matter for beginner writers? what was it like for your first novel?

        • admin

          Hi Nat,

          If you are laying your book out double spaced, using Courier New 12 point font, then 200 pages equals 50,000 words, 400 equals 100,000 words.

          A YA book can be anywhere from 50 – 85,000 words, A mystery or SF might be 75 – 100,000 words. Fantasy books tend to be longer. Minimum is around 100,000 words, but many fantasy books are 150 – 200,000 words.

          Basically, a book is as long as it needs to be to tell the story. Write the book first, then edit it. Write what you love, write what you want to read. Then work out where it fits in the market and who to approach with it.

          And best of luck with your writing. Writing is its own reward. I don’t play computer games because I can do much more exciting things in my head with story and character!

          • Nat

            thank you again for all your help, this has put me back in a good mind set again! I have just finished what I call part one and am bursting to write part two.
            I can’t thank you enough for all the help you have given me about writing, it really helps due to there is no writers or book clubs around my area.
            thank you again and I shall use this as reference, and why would you want to play games when you have a mind to work with? haha

        • admin

          You should try catching up with the vision people. They share stories on line and critique each other’s work. You might feel more comfortable coming down to a meeting the first time so you get to meet them face to face.

          The other alternative is to ask the QWC if they can put out a call to writers in your area, who write in your genre and would like to form a writing group.

          That was how we started the vision group.

          Cheers, R

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