Short story workshop an amazing day!

Trent Jamieson

Through a series of well-structured exercises, Trent Jamieson taught us some great techniques to help us develop interesting and intriguing characters to populate our short stories. We wrote and learnt in a fun and informative atmosphere, and everyone came away with new writing tools. Thanks, Trent!

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Short Story Writing Workshop with Trent Jamieson

Trent Jamieson

Serious Play – The Joy of Short Fiction – Trent Jamieson


Topic: Serious Play – The Joy of Short Fiction

Time: 9.15 am to 4.00 pm

Date: Saturday 12 April 2014

Place: Fradgley Hall, above Burleigh Heads Library, cnr Park Avenue and Connor Street, Burleigh Heads

Cost: $95 which will include morning and afternoon tea


About the course:

An exercise-intensive exploration of the elements of short fiction focusing on beginnings, endings, and characterisation. Writing is play, and in this workshop you’ll explore various entry points to stories in a fun, gentle, and playful environment. Expect to come away with a bunch of useful exercises and tools, an interesting reading list, and a better sense of the delights of writing short stories.


Trent Jamieson has sold five novels to international publishers in the last four years, had a novella ‘The Memory of Death’ recently published by Momentum in 2014, and a sixth novel due to be published by Text Publishing in 2015.

His short fiction has been translated into numerous languages, and he has taught at Clarion South, QUT, and the QWC. He was also fiction editor of Redsine Magazine. His specialty is Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy, and he has won two Aurealis Awards for Short Fiction. Trent also works at Avid Reader Bookshop in West End, so is aware of the nature of the writing business at the other end, as well.

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Memoir Workshop a great success!

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Gold Coast Writers’ Workshops memoir-writing workshop, Fiction or Memoir, held on 15 March with Alan Close was a huge success. Eighteen people attended and the feedback we received was very complimentary. Through a range of writing exercises, Alan taught us the principles of finding our essential ‘truth’ in our writing. All in all an inspiring day of learning and writing.

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Alan Close – Fiction or Memoir, Writing a Story from Your Own Life

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Alan’s lifewriting workshop, Fiction or Memoir? Writing A Story From Your Own Life, is on 15 March 2014.

Presenter: ALAN CLOSE

Topic: Fiction or Memoir? Writing A Story From Your Own Life

Time: 9.15 am to 4.00 pm

Date: Saturday 15 March 2014

Place: St John’s Anglican Church Hall, 14 Park Avenue, Burleigh Heads

Cost: $95 which will include morning and afternoon tea


‘Art is a lie with which we tell the truth.’ Picasso Finding the best way to tell stories from our own lives can be the hardest part of writing them – ‘the truth’ of our lives is inevitably elusive and contradictory. Many questions confront us. How can we write honestly about our lives without hurting those closest to us? Can we get around this by writing the story as ‘fiction’? Is it really ‘the truth’ if we call it ‘fiction’? What is ‘truth’ anyway? How do I know my version of events is ‘true’? (‘No-one lies like an eye-witness’, the Russians will tell you.) What is the difference between the ‘truth’ and the ‘facts’? Will ‘what really happened’ make a good enough story? Or, for that matter, what’s the point of letting ‘the facts’ get in the way of a perfectly good story?

Such questions are at the heart of every life-writer’s journey. Based around practical writing exercises and constructive feedback in a supportive environment, this workshop will help you find the story you really need to tell and the best way to tell it.

What we will do in the workshop:

  • Discuss the difference between fiction and memoir, with examples.
  • Explore the nature of ‘truth’ and the difference between ‘facts’ and ‘truth’.
  • Learn the principles of freewriting, with writing exercises.
  • Discuss point of view, with writing exercises.
  • Explore the concepts of ‘the story I really need to tell’ and ‘the questions I’m trying to answer’, with writing exercises.
  • Share pieces of writing in small groups.
  • Explore the concept of a ‘story map’, with each participant to do their own.
  • Discuss writing scenes and action, with participants completing exercises from their own story.

Intended participants Writers of all levels interested in life writing.

Over a thirty-year career, Alan Close has published poetry, fiction, memoir and creative non-fiction. He has also been widely published in the national print media, particularly in the field of men and relationships. He was a columnist on men’s issues in Good Weekend magazine and edited the anthology Men Love Sex, a collection of stories by men about love, sex and relationships. His most recent book is Before You Met Me: A Memoir Of One Man’s Troubled Search For Love.

Alan has a MA in in Creative Non-Fiction from QUT and has taught Creative Writing at QUT and SCU. He is a mentor with both the Australian Society of Authors and the Northern Rivers Writers Centre and has worked as an editor and manuscript assessor for many years. With his partner Sarah Armstrong he now runs an online service editing and assessing manuscripts and teaching and mentoring writers both face to face and online.

His website is


Kathy at or 0415536546

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A fantastic new manuscript feedback program – 10 to 1

Improve Your Acceptance Chances:

Have your first ten pages assessed twice by a professional

You only get one chance to make an impression on an agent or publisher and get their interest. If you haven’t done this by the first ten pages they won’t read further. Don’t waste your first chance. Our professional agents or editors can help you improve your acceptance chances by working with you on the first ten pages of your manuscript. Work with a professional to give you specific feedback on what keeps someone reading your work and what common mistakes turn them off.

Our professional literary agent, Alex Adsett, has extensive publishing experience and is willing to help you attain your goals. See Alex’s bio:

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Alex Adsett is a literary agent and publishing consultant with more than sixteen years experience working in the publishing and bookselling industry and has managed Alex Adsett Publishing Services since 2008. As an agent, Alex represents a select group of genre authors – an exciting mix of crime, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, horror and romance.  With a growing stable of authors, she is always on the lookout for amazing works of genre fiction for adults or young adults. As a publishing consultant, Alex offers publishing contract and negotiating advice to authors, publishers and booksellers.  She has worked for or with many different publishers and authors, serves on the boards of the Queensland Writers’ Centre, Queensland Literary Awards and the Small Press Network, and is often to be found on twitter at @alexadsett or via her website

The cost of AU$199 includes:

GCWW: Sends you a list showing the professional’s foremost ideas to improve your work – the latest ‘do and don’t’ guidelines utilised by today’s fast-moving industry. Discover what you should be showing in your work to keep them reading.

YOU: With this list, revise your first ten pages and submit them to us.

GCWW: Forward your work to one of the publishing experts.

A professional editor or agent reviews your first ten pages to provide specific feedback to ensure your opening pages grab attention.

YOU: Receive detailed individual advice on the first ten pages of your manuscript. You revise based on the specific suggestions and re-submit.

GCWW: Forwards your work back to the publishing expert.

Your professional gives further feedback by providing a final few sentences.

YOU: Receive the feedback (and possibly a request to read more of your manuscript, or a suggestion for a suitable agent or publisher). Now you can feel confident about contacting an agent or editor. No more wasted chances!

* Write a cover sheet with the details below

* Make your payment by Direct Deposit to:

NAME: KM Stewart

BSB: 633000


REF: Your name

*Forward your cover sheet, with two attachments:

(1) A 500-word synopsis of your story

(2) First 10 pages of your story   to

* Expect an email by listing the professional’s foremost ideas to improve your work

* YOU: Check and re-work your manuscript where necessary

* YOU: Forward your first ten pages to

* Within a few weeks, expect a response from the agent/editor – an individual assessment with specific suggestions

* YOU: Re-work your manuscript

* YOU: Forward your updated 10 pages to

* Within a few weeks, expect further feedback and perhaps even suggestions for an agent or a publisher.


Your COVER SHEET should contain:








Should you have further questions call Terry Spring 0412 618 088 to discuss them.

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Michael Jacobson Workshop a Huge Success

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Michael Jacobson’s ‘Principles of Editing’ workshop held in Burleigh Heads on 19 October was another great success with over 30 people in attendance. Michael told us about his journey to the publication of his first novel, Windmill Hill, and the valuable lessons he learnt from working with an experienced editor. Later in the day he focused on writing exercises to help us with the specifics of editing our work.

Our next workshop will be on writing memoir, particularly with regard to that thorny issue of whether to write real events as fact or fiction. It will led by Alan Close, author and experienced life-writing teacher from northern New South Wales, and will be held at St John’s Anglican Church hall, 14 Park Avenue, Burleigh Heads from 9.15am to 4pm on 15 March 2014.

The Novel Development Program (NDP-1), led by international award-winning author Louise Cusack, will begin on 8 and 9 February in the same venue. Submissions are open now and places are limited, so if you’d like to take part please book your place now.

Below are some photos from Michael Jacobson’s workshop:





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Michael Jacobson – The Principles of Editing – 19 October 2013

Michael Jacobson

Our next workshop will be ‘The Principles of Editing’ led by best-selling author Michael Jacobson, who will conduct a masterclass in editing to assist writers in the readability, consistency and accuracy of text. His experience as a book reviewer, magazine editor and, for many years, chief feature writer for the Gold Coast Bulletin enables him to lead writers through the vital steps of producing clear, concise and compelling content.  In this hands-on masterclass, Michael will show how to crystallise your message without compromising its meaning.

MICHAEL JACOBSON was born in Launceston, Tasmania, in 1961. A journalist for more than 30 years, he was the Gold Coast Bulletin’s senior feature writer, columnist and books editor until leaving the newspaper in July 2012 after 23 years of service. His first novel, Windmill Hill, was published by Hodder in 2002, with Always East following in 2004. Both were national best-sellers. After an eight-year break, he is currently finishing his third novel. Away from writing, Michael enjoys The Who, merlot and the Sydney Swans. He detests flying and the music of Neil Diamond.


Topic: The Principles of Editing – how to apply them for compelling prose

Time: 9.15 am to 4.00 pm

Date: Saturday 19 October 2013

Place: St John’s Anglican Church hall, 14 Park Avenue, Burleigh Heads

Cost: $95 which will include morning and afternoon tea

To book go to:

Contact: Kathy Stewart at or 0415536546

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