October Meeting Round Up


It was a small, intimate meeting today, as the unseasonable weather kept many of our regular writers at home today.  Luckily there was no storm damage to either Mattie Furphy or Tom Collins Houses, though the surrounding grounds were somewhat muddy.

We began our group discussion by reflecting on what we had learned at the September meeting, when Blogger Extraordinaire, Amanda Kendle, came in to talk to us about creating our author platforms.  A few members had been inspired to begin using a blog, or Twitter, and others had decided that while they saw the reasoning behind it, the world of social media was not right for them.  As Lyn so beautifully put it, there was a feeling of being like one of the “natives of Borneo”, standing back and watching, rather than letting Social Media outlets gobble up all her ideas and substance.  Some of our members wanted to know how hashtags work, and I would encourage people who want to practice using these to put #BLPG at the end of their tweets about their book length projects (or Facebook posts) if they want to see this in action, and keep in touch with other members of the group.

Pat joined us for the first time in a few months (welcome back, Pat!) and read us a thoroughly enthralling segment of her novel, “Tamsin and the Devil”, co-authored with Lisa Litjens.  We were all mightily impressed, and a discussion of form led to an impromptu, and enlightening, discussion about short forms of fiction.  Shorter fictions, such as short stories or novellas, do not always have to follow a linear progression, and as Elizabeth  rightly brought up, they do not always require a logical conclusion.  Shorter fictions also require a very tight control of language.

EXERCISE: Anyone who is interested might like to use their Twitter account to post VERY short fictions (140 characters or less) and use the hashtag #BLPG to share them with us.

After the break, Matt read us the ending scenes from his novel “The Spy”, a historical fiction starring little known explorer and polyglot Pero da Covilho.  This action adventure story is the second in a four part series, and shows off the adage ‘always leave them wanting more’ with its beautifully timed endpoint.

Matt also read us the opening page from his non fiction book in progress, “The Bloody Stairway to Paradise.”

Ros then showed us all her beautiful picture book, just recently published through Book Baby, “Awesome Aunt Dolly in Action”.  This heartwarming, rhyming book about a rather buxom aunty had us all gushing over its beautiful production and I think a few members will be looking to purchase this for loved ones for Christmas.  You can do that here….

Iris read us the opening scenes from her work in progress, a quiet but wry and insightful story about a woman named Evie.  She had us spellbound and ready for more.  It was lovely to see Iris again; for those who don’t know, the entire BLPG was Iris’s brainchild and we are incredibly grateful for her continuing support.

Finally, I read a few scenes from a story in Island Issue 136 that had taken my breath away, but I realised it was longer than I remembered and left off after two segments, encouraging all there to read the end.  Here’s the rest of the story for those who are interested.

Thanks to those who attended today.  The next meeting will take place on the 16th of November at 10am and will possibly be our last meeting for 2014.  All welcome, participation will cost you a mere $5 donation for the Fellowship.

A reminder also that the Fellowship of Australian Writers WA is having their busy bee at Tom Collins/ Mattie Furphy Houses and grounds next Sunday the 26th of October from 9am and volunteers are appreciated.  See http://www.fawwa.org for more details.


September Meeting Round-Up


Today’s meeting went so fast. I welcome Robin to the group, whose name I’ve just googled and found his already-published books through Pantera Press. And I see they’ve had some excellent reviews … I hope everyone found Amanda Kendle’s talk on social media useful. Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and the rest, are part and parcel of the 21st century publishing experience. It’s expected of authors these days, whether we like it or not. Done well, it can be a great tool for promoting our work.

Amanda looking serious during the meeting ...

Amanda and Emily looking serious during the meeting …

Amanda runs courses through UWA Extension and also privately at her home. Starting at UWA within the next few weeks are Travel WritingPinterest, and Becoming a Blogger. I did Amanda’s Becoming a Blogger course about eighteen months ago and found it really useful. It helped get me started and took a lot of my cyber-fears away. Amanda’s own blogs can be found at: Not a Ballerina (But a Traveller and a Thinker) and Amanda Kendle Consulting if you want to see examples of good, informative blogs.


More serious looks …

One of our members, Helen Trengrove has started her own blog, Books in Wild Places. I’ve just visited Helen’s website and it’s beautiful—well worth a read. I’d also like to feature members of the BLPG on this blog.

Emily Paull has kindly volunteered to be our first ‘Member of the Month’ (MOTM). My mind is thinking up devious interview questions for her, so watch this space!

Also, if any member of the BLPG would like to write a guest post for the blog, please send it on. It could be about anything—things like how you got started writing, what your current WIP is about, why you chose that project. Or it could be a ‘How-To’—how to find a publisher, for example, or how to self-publish.

Finally, congratulations to Glen Hunting whose script will be performed at the Fremantle Festival over the weekend of 8-9th November. He’ll keep us posted with times and how to book tickets closer to the date.

More seriousness ...

Still more. We do actually laugh a lot …

Before I go, please send me the address of your website if you have one, and I’ll list it on this site.

I’m looking forward to next month’s meeting. We don’t have a guest speaker, but we seem to have some of our best sessions when we sit around the table discussing our WIP’S.

See you in a month!

Next Meeting: October 19th, 10am, Mattie Furphy’s house.

August 2014 Meeting Round-up


Thanks to everyone who came to yesterday’s meeting, and a warm welcome to Tracie who came for the first time.

First up, we heard Dawn Barker speak about her journeys: from Aberdeen, Scotland, to Perth, Western Australia; from Medicine and Psychiatry, to creative writing; and from unpublished writer to bestselling author. Of particular interest was her disciplined writing practice (Dawn, I hope you wrote your 500 words today!) and her first draft practice of ‘not reading back’.

After the break, Glen read his monologue, which enthralled us all. Best of luck to Glen for the competition in which it is entered, and I hope many more voices perform it in the future.

Now, onto next month: we have Amanda Kendle coming to talk to us about Social Media and why we should be using it.

Amanda Kendle

Amanda is an experienced traveller and travel blogger, who presents courses on blogging, social media, and online promotion for UWA’s Extension Programme. As authors, we know the benefits of having a social media profile, and that’s not just for self-publishers but commercial publishers also expect it these days. Amanda will talk to us on blogging, Facebooking and Tweeting, and hopefully Pinterest and Instagram, too. When she’s not blogging or face booking or tweeting, Amanda’s also a passionate reader of modern Australian literature and harbours a not-so-secret desire to become a published novelist. You can find out more about Amanda on her websites: Not a Ballerina (but a traveller and a thinker) and Amanda Kendle Consulting.

I’m about to make up a list of good websites for writers and post the links here on the website. Please let me know (via email or the contact page here) if there are any you particularly like and want to let others know about. I’ve already noted yesterday’s recommendations.

Hoping to see you all next month, 21st September, at 10am. Until then, happy writing!