This workshop is suitable for almost any area of interest … memoir, biography, personal essay, local history, travel diary, feature article – wherever your creative non-fiction takes you. Bring an idea to work on or an empty space and see what unfolds.
Exercises and discussions progressively build upon each other. These start with starting – often the hardest part – but it doesn’t have to be, especially when the right side of the brain comes into play.
The writer’s voice, finding an opening hook, sensory language and dialogue get attention. Turning facts into a compelling story is at the heart of the workshop which explores writing a scene and the writer’s maxim, Show, Don’t Tell. The workshop finishes with polishing and a look at self-editing, drawing on the left side of the brain.
The approach taken in this highly participatory workshop is that participants learn not just from the presenter, but from and with each other. For this reason, both more and less experienced writers find the workshop satisfying.
When: 23 November, 10am – 4pm Where: Byron Writers Festival Office, Level 1 – 28 Jonson St, Byron Bay Tickets: $85 Members / $105 General
Limited to 10 places. Book early to avoid missing out.
Graeme Gibson has a background in adult learning, principally in the environmental and community services sectors. His approach to learning is that people learn from and with each other, not just from a teacher. He also works as a group facilitator and mediator, getting close to people’s core concerns. Graeme has been presenting writing workshops, including life story & writing about place, since 2013. These have been mostly in regional areas – he likes to get around.
Most of his writing is non-fiction with a focus on nature, community, politics & their intersection. He has published essays, contributed to and edited a number of short story collections and self-published Beyond Fear and Loathing: Local politics at work. This account of local politics and community activism is based on personal experience. He is currently working on a memoir and a social and environmental history of the Richmond River.
Structural Editing for Writers with Dr Laurel Cohn
Most writers know their manuscript will require a structural edit, but have little understanding of what this means. This three-day course explains structural editing, what role it plays in manuscript development, how to go about it, and how to survive it. Breaking the process into stages, participants will learn strategies and tools to apply to their own work, with the course format guiding writers as they work on their current draft.
The course is for writers of fiction and narrative non-fiction with a complete draft of their manuscript who are willing to explore the challenging inner terrain that underlies critical engagement with one’s own work. Each participant will have a one-on-one session with Laurel through the course.
When: Three Saturdays 19 October, 9 and 30 November, 10am – 4pm each day Where: Byron Writers Festival Office, Level 1 – 28 Jonson St, Byron Bay Tickets: $265 Members / $295 General
Limited to 10 places. Book early to avoid missing out.
Laurel Cohn is a developmental book editor passionate about communication and the power of stories in our lives. She has been helping writers prepare their work for publication since the mid 1980s, and is a popular workshop presenter. Laurel has a PhD in literary and cultural studies. www.laurelcohn.com.au
‘Laurel is a passionate and engaging teacher, a consummate professional with a depth of experience across genres. I am indebted to her for her significant contribution, seminal really, to my growth as a writer!’ Lynton Berger (Lynton’s manuscript has since been picked up by Penguin Random House)
‘I have always been overwhelmed trying to edit my work but Laurel’s Structural Editing course provided me with the ‘fresh eyes’ I needed to be able to help my story.’ Amie Browning
Do you have a finished manuscript that you want professional feedback on? Are you not sure if your manuscript has commercial potential, or what more needs to be done before you submit to agents or publisher? Are you looking for professional editorial advice on how to improve your writing? Are you wondering if you should pitch to USA or UK agents, or look within Australia? This is a rare opportunity for a dual face-to-face consultation with two industry professionals – literary agent Alex Adsett and editor Shel Sweeney. Together, Shel can provide editorial advice on your manuscript, and Alex can provide publishing strategies and market insights.
Only one assessment per author. Assessment will include the first 30 pages of your manuscript or up to 3 picture books, one page synopsis, one page cover letter including author bio (Note: cover letter is not to Alex and Shel, but to your eventual publisher or agent). Pages are to be submitted electronically at least 10 days in advance in a single word document, Times font 12, double spaced. Please include a sentence describing the kind of feedback you would like to receive.
Please email the pages to [email protected]
For the avoidance of doubt, this is a 20 minute manuscript consultation, and is not a submission for agency representation. As an agent, Alex is seeking works of full length fiction or narrative non-fiction for adults, young adults and children, with a focus on crime, romance and science fiction fantasy. The agency does not represent memoir, spiritual/new age, poetry, plays or short stories.
Alex Adsett is a literary agent and publishing consultant offering commercial contract advice to authors and publishers. She has more than twenty years’ experience working in the publishing and bookselling industry and has managed Alex Adsett Publishing Services since 2008. As a consultant, Alex helps authors and publishers negotiate publishing contracts in line with industry standards. As a literary agent, she is focused on finding exceptional manuscripts for adults, young adults and children, including romance, commercial, science fiction, fantasy, crime, mystery, picture books and narrative non-fiction. Alex represents a select stable of authors including Jodi McAlister, Marlee Jane Ward, Sasha Wasley, and Catherine Pelosi. She is often to be found on twitter at @alexadsett or via her website www.alexadsett.com.au.
Shel Sweeney is a freelance editor and writer with almost fifteen years publishing industry experience. She has worked in trade, educational and academic book publishing with Penguin Books, McGraw-Hill Book Company and Heinemann. Shel has been a freelance editor and writer for the past five years, working with writers, publishers and businesses from around the world as well as presenting a variety of writing and editing workshops. Shel has a Master of Arts in Professional Writing and Literature.
Details When: Saturday 22 February, sessions running between 10.30am – 4pm Where: Byron Writers Festival (NEW) Office, 2/58 Centennial Cct, Byron Bay Arts and Industry Estate Tickets: $135 / $120 Members or students