These can be tricky to write – especially with the strict word limit of 100 words. They’re different from a synopsis where you need to tell the whole story and reveal secrets. A blurb sets up all the questions and leaves them unanswered.
You don’t need to have written the book to enter this competition but if you come up with a great idea trying to think of a captivating blurb then I highly recommend you get writing it!
Have a go! Fascinating characters in an untenable situation that just keeps on getting worse. Go on, you can do it 🙂
I’m thrilled to announce my first Avid Reader workshop. Avid Reader is my fabulous local bookstore that is the beating heart of West End where I live. The wonderful Fiona Stager and her team of writer-booksellers have created a lively writing community and a bookstore full of the very best of Australian and International writing.
Not only that, they do a great job supporting local writers as well, with a number of us launching our books in store. Or through them virtually now Covid has made things tricky.
Get into the heart and body of your characters and learn how to shape plot from character goals, traits and failings. Filled with all my best hints and tips, this is a workshop you’ll leave inspired with the beginnings of a story, if not a full first draft.
I’d love to see you! Let me help you get rid of that critical voice. Get all your writing questions together and ask away.
Is your creative spirit crying out for a little TLC? Always wanted to write but don’t know where to start? Need to reboot your writing mojo and be inspired to tackle that project you’ve been thinking about forever? Come along and regain your love of writing and life at the next Relax and Write Retreat
From 2pm FRIDAY 23 OCTOBER – 2 pm 25 OCTOBER 2020
Join like-minded women in a fun and supportive environment discovering just how much some deep relaxation can ignite your imagination and get you writing again. Relax and unwind with gentle morning yoga sessions and get writing with innovative workshops to help move those stories out of your head and onto the page.
“I feel transformed, as a writer and as a human being.”
The program includes two yoga sessions, four inspiring writing workshops covering the basics, plus advice on editing and submitting your work. Two nights basic dorm accommodation plus delicious vegetarian meals, morning and afternoon teas and a special dance night are included.
“The fully-catered retreat environment was comfortable and stress-free. Edwina and her team create an atmosphere that encourages, motivates and inspires.”
Connect with other creative women in a beautiful, peaceful location, be inspired by practical, informative workshops, stretch and relax with yoga and release your inner-goddess dancing under the stars. No more putting your dreams on hold. Treat yourself to this special weekend nurturing your writing spirit. You deserve it!
RETREAT PROGRAM All activities are optional
FRIDAY 23 OCTOBER 2020
ARRIVAL from 3 pm
5 pm – Meet and Greet
6:00 – DINNER
6:45 – 8:30 WORKSHOP 1– Your Stories
SATURDAY 24 OCTOBER
7:15am – 8:30 – Gentle morning yoga and breathing
8:30 – BREAKFAST
10:00am – 12:30 pm – WORKSHOP 2 – Writing from start to finish – developing a plot and a plan
12.30 pm – LUNCH
1 – 4:00 – FREETIME and FEEDBACK SESSIONS
4 – 6:00 pm – WORKSHOP 3 – Character and Dialogue
6:00 pm – DINNER
7:00– 8:30 pm – DANCING and chatting around the bonfire
SUNDAY 25 OCTOBER
7:15 – 8:30am – Gentle morning yoga and breathing
8:30 – BREAKFAST
10:00 – 12:30 – WORKSHOP 4 – Where and how to submit work, goal setting, questions and collage
12:30 – LUNCH
1:30- 2pm DEPARTURES
Editorial feedback sessions with Edwina available on request $50 extra for those needing advice on a project.
FEEDBACK DETAILS – email Edwina your first 10 pages plus your synopsis at least 2 weeks prior to retreat for full edit/advice plus 20 minutes meeting time. Massages will also be available at extra cost.
COST for the weekend of writing, fun and feasting, including accommodation, all meals, 2 yoga sessions, 4 creative writing workshops and a dance night. Transport not included.
$400 all inclusive!
EARLY BIRD $360 -Pay $200 deposit before 31 AUGUST 2020
These are the important questions, writer and teacher of writing, Robin Hemley gets writers of memoir and non-fiction to ask themselves. Seven times. Each.
So, what is your story about? What is it really about? Write your way down to find the hidden depths and themes of your work. It’s not just for non-fiction writers either, fiction writers benefit from exactly the same process. If you ever get the editorial comment, “Go deeper”, you need to ask yourself these questions and delve into the emotional and spiritual heart of your story.
You can try doing this before you’ve written a first draft but for me it always works best once that crappy first draft is on the page.
Amanda Lohrey, esteemed Australian author, who I was lucky enough to have as an advisor for my Masters Degree in Creative Writing at the University of Queensland, calls this initial stage of writing, that shitty but all important first draft, EXCAVATING. And that’s just what we’re doing, digging around, digging deeper and wider, throwing everything in until somewhere along the line, maybe two or three drafts later, we strike gold. But we can’t find that gold until we do the messy work of delving deep.
For me this process works best if I sit and focus first, clear my mind and send that troublesome inner-critic from the room. See my guided meditation on how to do this. Once you’re centred and settled, tune into your body and the emotions that are stirring and wanting to be expressed in your story. Sit with that story or scene or section, FEEL it, then plunge into a big free write around it. Throw in everything that floats to the top of your consciousness. Anything. Everything. Write fast and furiously until you have exhausted the topic.
Usually I’m a big believer in less is more, but in this case more and more and more is better. Sometimes there’s a whole mountain of scrap metal, rocks and dirt that has to be cleared away before you strike that shining vein of gold.
Write your way deeper and deeper, right around it and through it and you’ll eventually find your gems. Then you extract your precious jewels from all the detritus and insert only the very best, polished stones into your story.
Don’t worry about all those wasted words. I keep files of offcuts, just to soothe my anxious self, and though most of the time all that trash stays in the trash, sometimes I fossick out another hidden gem to use in a different story.
Are you shying away from the emotional heart of your story? Don’t. Dig deep. Mine your body and life for feelings and meaning and allow them space in your writing.
After all, what are we writing for? I don’t know about you, but I write to move people. To make them feel something. To give them a chance to walk in someone else’s shoes. As writers we have the greatest tool for spreading compassion at our fingertips. Through story we get as close as is humanly possible to the world experience, life, and heart of another human.
That is a great gift.
Don’t be afraid to write your heart onto the page. It is what creates connection. And in these challenging times, we need connection more than ever.
So, what is your story about? What is it really about?