March Meeting Round-Up

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Our group enjoyed another interesting and entertaining meeting last week.

First up, FAWWA’s current writer-in-residence, Ally Scales, spoke to us about her writing, and also about applying for grants. Alli has a Masters of Writing and Literature from Deakin University. Her personal website is worth checking out, along with the website she kept during her stay in Iceland, 150 Days in Iceland, which has stunning photos from her time there.

photo-on-9-05-14-at-6-41-pm-2Ally’s currently working on a book of microfiction. Microfiction means stories of less than 500 words, and seems to becoming increasingly popular, particularly in online journals—maybe because it’s something we can click on and read in a minute or two.

Ally said applying for grants and being rejected can be demoralising, but it all helps in the learning process. It is time-consuming to prepare an application, she said, and it may take three or four tries until you’re successful, but don’t give up.

On Saturday 28th March, Ally will be facilitating a workshop on ‘Literary Places’, which will:

‘… take you through some examples of famous literary settings to show how these settings reinforce character, add texture and resonate on many levels. Think of the moors of Wuthering Heights or the defining worlds of the ‘West Egg’ and ‘East Egg’ in The Great Gatsby – both settings etch into the minds of the reader and linger long after the reading is finished.’

The workshop will be at Mattie’s House next Saturday, 28th March, 1:30-4:30. Cost $30. Click here for more details.

We welcomed a new member to the group, Nicole McAlinden. Nicole is nearing completion of her second manuscript, which is a work of speculative fiction. Her first novel, ‘Hold On Life‘, was self-published towards the end of last year. Hold On Life tells the story of a young Perth woman, Kate, whose normally ordered, work-oriented life descends into a whirlwind following her sister Sam’s shock diagnosis with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. Sam and Kate’s fierce struggle to hold on to life is a work of fiction inspired by true events. 

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Hold On Life‘ is available as an ebook on Amazon for $9.85.

We also caught up with David who is currently submitting his novel to agents and publishers. You can read about the ups and downs of David’s novel-writing journey on his blog, Shunned House.

Lynne and I read excerpts from our novels. Even though I’ve revised and edited my work I’ve-lost-count-of-how-many times, I still picked up errors as I read, and I appreciated the feedback. In fact, I deleted a couple of lines as soon as I got home!

People seemed to like the idea of choosing a topic for discussion at each monthly meeting, so at our next meeting, we thought we’d talk about the difficulty of telling the truth when writing memoir and autobiography. It’s a highly contentious area, not just legally but in terms of alienating family and friends, and every writer has to decide how much they will reveal.

Emily Paull has sent a link to the following article by Ceridwen Dovey, called ‘The Pencil and the Damage Done‘, which might be a good place to start our discussion. If you know of other interesting articles on the subject, please send me a link, and come along if you can.

If there’s a topic you’d like discussed at future meetings, let me know—you can even lead the discussion if you like!

Our next meeting will be at Mattie’s House, on Sunday, April 19th, 10am-12:30pm. Everyone is welcome, of course.

Until then, happy writing!

Louise

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2 thoughts on “March Meeting Round-Up

  1. Thanks for the roundup, Louise. I really like the idea of having a topic for discussion at meetings, especially when there is no guest speaker. By the way, the article from The Monthly which is suggested reading for next month is about autobiographical fiction – that’s an entirely different genre from memoir.

    • Yes, it is Maureen. That had escaped me and thanks for pointing it out—I’ll look for an article related directly to memoir writing. I guess the principle is similar in both memoir writing and autobiographical fiction because you’re writing about people you know. I should imagine it is even more problematic when writing memoir because everyone knows who the character is. At least in fiction, the person isn’t named and can be disguised.

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