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.