Sharing Writing Skills: a collaborative work by Randwick Writers’ Group, published by Ginninderra Press, March 2020. I am proud to introduce you to our new publication, Sharing Writing Skills. As the title implies, this book is the result of six members of the Randwick Writers Group sharing their thoughts, ideas, feedback and above all, their Writing, from early drafts to the finished product. Read how working with the group has changed each author’s work, polishing and revising draft after draft. Share with us the strategies, methods and skills that have brought our writing to publishable standards. Buy now from the publisher (see below) or as an e-book from most online bookshops. Endorsement by Thomas Keneally: ‘ We are social animals, but our creativity sometimes demands we withdraw into loneliness to write the work that only as individuals we can do. This tension between necessary solitude and our social and communal creative needs is the trigger for a Writers’ Group, like this one, one in which we confront our common problems and share our work so that we can go into the cockpit of writing with greater courage and greater certainty. Book info Title: Sharing Writing Skills ISBN: Paperback 978 1 76041 891 5 Authors: Dina Davis, Garth Alperstein, Susan Beinart, Helene Grover, Anne Skyvington, Geraldine Star Editors: Dina Davis, Susan Beinart Publisher: Ginninderra Press Publish Date: 03/26/2020 Switch to E-Book
Is it only our greatest writers who are allowed to break the rules of writing? And what exactly are these rules? Mantras such as ‘Show not Tell’ ‘Point of View’ ‘Omniscient Narrator’ or ‘Close Third Person’ seem to abound in 21st century writing guides. I doubt whether the great Virginia Woolf, George Eliot, Jane Austen, or Ernest Hemingway had ever heard […]
The Joys and Perils of the Writing Life So here I am, as Abraham said to the Lord when offering up his son for sacrifice. “Here I Am” is the title of a wonderful new book by Jonathan Safran Foer, a monumental work close to 1000 pages, exploring themes of cultural identity, fidelity and betrayal, the ephemeral nature of love, families functional and dysfunctional, and what makes them so. As for me myself and I, this post is in the nature of an apology to you, my readers, for my untoward absence. SInce I last posted back in April, life has overtaken me. There’s been illness, convalescence, slow recovery, as well as the joys of grandchildrens’ birthdays. and celebrations of their achievements, some sojourns in beautiful Darwin, home of my daughters and grandsons, and the minutiae of everyday life. On the writing side, I’ve been hard at work on my new novel, ‘A Difficult Daughter’, and preparing my first novel. ‘Capriccio’, for publication. This entailed a major rewrite, mostly in appeasement to Faber and Faber, publishers of the works of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, and the Hughes Estate. Like Jonathan Bate, I fell foul of the Estate when requesting permission to quote thirteen lines of Hughes’s poetry, fully expecting dispensation for such a small amount of material. The lines I quoted were used to introduce chapters, each of which was given the title of one of the ‘Capriccio’ poems […]
These tips from a New York based writer could equally apply to my Randwick Writers’ Group. Reblogged from Lee Kofman at leekofman.com.au Guest post by Tracy Sayre Over the years I’ve learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work in writers’ groups. Here’s a list of my top ten tips. 1.Find the group. Facebook is a great place to start. Post a message that you want to begin a writers’ group and you’ll be amazed by how many of your friends harbor a desire to write. Alternatively, you can contact bookstores, colleges, and libraries to ask if they know of a group you can join. There are also websites like Meetup.com that have information on local writers’ groups. 2.Keep it small. I think the best size for a group is 4 people. If it’s smaller, you won’t get varied feedback, if it’s larger, you spend too much time reading other people’s work. I’ve also found with larger groups people tend to cancel last minute because they don’t feel like their attendance matters that much. 3.Plan ahead. One of the worst things you can do is leave the schedule vague. We all dread that never-ending email chain where everyone’s rescheduling. From the beginning, decide when you’re going to meet, for instance every other Tuesday at 7 pm, and stick to it. youa 4.Set the format. Determine if you want to read the pieces out loud at the meeting, or if everyone […]
Why Join a Writers’ Group? Many creative people are just not suited to locking themselves away in a room for a year with only a computer and their thoughts for company. Others just don’t have the confidence or endurance to keep on writing in a vacuum. In a group, you will always have someone to encourage you when you start […]
10 HINTS FOR SELF-EDITING (re-blogged from ‘Write to Done’) The old cliché “practice makes perfect” applies to the editing process. Many best- selling authors note that the art of writing is really the art of re-writing! Polishing what you write can make all the difference. Take diamonds. In the raw, only experts can spot them. But once they are cut and polished, they sparkle and shine.This is what good editing can do to your writing.But there is a problem. The old cliché “practice makes perfect” applies to the editing process. Many best- selling authors note that the art of writing is really the art of re-writing! The good news is that self-editing is a skill that can be developed. Sound good? Let’s get to it. 1.Get Some Distance from Your Writing In many cases, the reason you find it hard to go back over your work is that it makes you feel bad. It may be that you don’t feel satisfied with your work and worry about how it will be received. You may also been just plain bored with it! Whatever the negative emotion, a way to face it is to imagine that you are sitting down to edit someone else’s work. That can help give you the distance to see your writing from a fresh perspective. And take comfort from the fact that many successful authors hate their first drafts too! “For me and most of the […]
GIVING FEEDBACK The Sandwich Analogy: Say something positive before something negative, then finish on the positive or how to make it better. Give the positives first and say what works for you. Give the negatives next, and say what doesn’t work for you, and lastly, how you think it could be made better. Take on the task of critiquing with a positive and helpful intention; read carefully, trying to understand the writer’s point of view and creative goal. Consider the basic issues of narrative structure, characterisation, evocative and atmospheric language, vivid setting and believable dialogue. Be honest in your feedback; the writer needs guidance, not niceties! RECEIVING FEEDBACK Be prepared to receive negative, as well as positive, feedback. Separate the personal from the product, and see feedback as a valuable opportunity to improve your writing. While receiving verbal feedback, try not to interrupt the speaker. Be ready to respond to negative feedback, after speaker has finished. Give your reasons for your opinion. Rewrite your work in accordance with the feedback received, and see if it is better. If not, stick to your guns! A sure sign that you can write is that you keep going after knockbacks.
Last Wednesday our group met for a celebratory lunch near beautiful Coogee Beach, to acknowledge the success of one of our writers. Congratulations, Garth, on your memoir being accepted for publication by Ginninderra Press. We are all striving towards publication, and are thrilled that one of us has reached that goal. Can’t wait for the book launch!