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.


Booklength Project Group


Hello and welcome to the new website for the Booklength Project Group. As most of you are already aware, Iris Lavell, who has warmly and ably co-ordinated the group since it began in early 2012, is stepping down to return to full-time employment and to continue work on her second novel.

We thank Iris for her initiative in starting the group and facilitating it so competently over the past few years. We hope she can continue to come to the sessions, not just because we value her experience and input, but we also want to hear how her next project is going!

The Booklength Project Group now enters a new era with myself, Louise Allan, and Emily Paull as facilitators. Let me tell you about us:

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Louise Allan is a doctor, writer, and mother-of-four. She began writing in 2010, after a long career as a GP and breast physician.

She has had a few short stories published and is currently revising the final drafts of her novel, ‘Ida’s Children’. She was lucky enough to be granted a Varuna Fellowship in April this year and she blogs at louise-allan.com.

Louise has been a member of the Booklength Project Group since its inception in early 2012.


oct 005Emily Paull is a writer, blogger and bookseller. One day the piles of books stacked up in various places in her bedroom just may fall over and bury her alive.

She has a Bachelor of English and History with Honours from Murdoch University, and was the recipient of the 2012 Geoff and Lyn Field award for the best Honours thesis on an Australian topic.

In her spare time, when she has any, she is working on a historical novel set in Perth before and during the Second World War. She also writes short stories. Her favourite authors are Craig Silvey, Philippa Gregory and Kate Morton.

Emily’s blog can be found here.


Emily and I are looking forward to continuing the welcoming feel of the group and facilitating fruitful discussion around our works-in-progress. We also have a few ideas for visiting speakers …

Come along to our next meeting on 20th July, 10am. See you there!