May Meeting Round-Up


#blpg-3Today’s meeting was just the right antidote to the wild and wet weather wreaking havoc outside. The planned discussion on Memoir Writing, for which some of us had even prepared, didn’t eventuate because we ran out of time, as usual!

We welcomed May, new to Australia via New Zealand and originally from China. May has already published one novel with Penguin, ‘Tears of the Moon‘, under the name Guo Shen.


Lyn also brought a copy of the short story collection that features three of her stories. It’s called ‘Feast!’ and is published by Pure Slush. It’s available in print for $19.95 or as an ebook for $5. The Pure Slush website also features a Q&A with Lyn about her favourite colour—I won’t spoil it and tell you the answer, but we might have seen her wearing it …


Here are a few other highlights of the meeting that might be of interest to members:

  • Pinterest is a great site for research, with loads of historical photos and links to website. It’s also a good site to set up to showcase your novel and characters.
  • Two photography websites, Bigstock and istock, have free photos we can use on Pinterest and our websites. Pixabay is another site, and this blog post has a long list of other good sites with free photos. In the two years since I started blogging, the number of free photos and free photo sites has risen exponentially!
  • We talked briefly about how necessary it is these days for authors to have an online presence—a Facebook page and a website with blog would be a minimum. Social media is quite daunting at first, especially for introverted writerly types, but you soon get used to it!
  • Margaret told us about an online course being run through the Australian Society of Authors on e-book publishing. The cost is $130 for ASA members and starts May 26th.
  • We also discussed sharing email addresses so we can contact each other, share our writing, and give feedback. Feel free to arrange this privately at meetings, or ask if you’d like to form a reading-writing-critiquing partnership and I can email a request out.


FAWWA have started a new initiative this year, Creative Conversations. The next one is Richard Rossiter in conversation with Susan Midalia, on Sunday, 7th June, 3:00-5:00pm. Richard will talk about ‘Becoming who we are – How do we become the people that we are? How do society’s narratives and our own experiences provide shape and meaning to our lives?’

Richard is a writer, editor, and part-time supervisor of postgraduate writing students at Edith Cowan University. He is a member of the editorial board of Margaret River Press, a judge of the Margaret River Short Story competition—and has edited collections from that competition, a judge of the Hungerford Award, and the author of Arrhythmia: Stories of Desire (2009) and Thicker than Water: a novella (2014).


The following month, on 5th JulyAmanda Curtin will be in conversation with Geraldine Blake, discussing re-creating the past, and the creation of time, place and character in Elemental. The following week, 12th July, Amanda will hold a workshop on Writing the past, which will focus on research for historical fiction, fictional techniques that bring the past to life, and a few common problem areas to watch out for. Exercises will be designed to have participants exploring and applying research materials, brainstorming, writing, and analysing how other writers have created convincing past worlds.


Whilst browsing the ASA website, I also noticed this Novel-Writing Masterclass which is being held in Perth and run by Kathryn Heyman on Saturday 5th September. The cost for ASA members is $250, which is a lot, but would be a great opportunity as Kathryn is a multi-published author and highly respected as a writing mentor. 


Our next meeting will be on Sunday, 21st June. We’ll discuss pitching our books to agents and publishers, and we thought we might even bring our pitches and practice—surely practising in front of each other is less scary than doing it for real! I’ll let you know more closer to the date.

We also thought we’d stay afterwards and have lunch, so bring a plate of something to share if you’d like to join us. There are cooking facilities, not that I know how to use them—my kids would say I don’t even know how to use the ones in my own home—but some reheating might be possible.

Hope to see you then and in the meantime, happy writing!



Member News: Review of ‘A Different Shade of Seeing’


As you know, Elizabeth Brennan (a long term member of the BLPG) published her memoir, ‘A Different Shade of Seeing’, in July this year. Elaine Fry has written a glowing review of Elizabeth’s book in today’s West Australian:

Review of book

Elaine writes that ‘A Different Shade of Seeing’ is:

‘A combination of memoir, philosophical reflections and historical background with travelogue, WA author Brennan documents her visit to Ireland to see her old friend and former Girrawheen parish priest, Tom. Well-written and interesting, this memoir beautifully showcases Ireland, evoking a yearning to explore all this country has to offer with its wealth of history, landscapes and towns, people and pubs. Brennan has done the Irish proud, paying tribute to her ancestral roots, and linking past and present in an attempt to better understand her heritage. Her biography serves as an excellent introduction to Ireland with a very personal touch.’

Couldn’t ask for better than that! (I still have this book sitting on my bedside table—I promise I’ll read it in 2015, Elizabeth!)

You can find ‘A Different Shade of Seeing’ at Equilibrium Books, $25.95 or ebook $3.99.