This hands-on nature writing workshop, taught by award-winning author, Dr Inga Simpson, explores a range of techniques for writing more ecologically. Not just conveying an environmental message, but breaking down the barriers between the human and more-than-human worlds and the limitations of an anthropocentric viewpoint. Through discussion of key examples and a range of practical exercises, we’ll explore ways of engaging readers’ emotions and discover the creative potential of research. We’ll also examine the notion of authenticity and the intersection of inner and outer landscapes to immerse the reader (and writer) in the natural world. Participants will be provided with a short reading beforehand for discussion on the day. Suitable for writers of fiction and non-fiction at all levels.
Date: Thursday 25 August Time: 10am — 4pm Where: Habitat, Meeting Room 1, 1 Porter Street, Byron Bay Cost: $145 General / $110 Members & Students
About the Facilitator
Inga Simpson is the author of The Last Woman in the World (Hachette, Nov 2021), Mr Wigg, Nest, Where the Trees Were, Understory: my life with trees and, for children, The Book of Australian Trees, illustrated by Alicia Rogerson. Inga’s novels have been short and longlisted for numerous awards, including the Miles Franklin and Stella Prize, while Understory was shortlisted for the Adelaide Writers Week award for nonfiction. Inga was also the winner of the Eric Rolls nature writing prize for her essay “Triangulation.”
Inga has PhDs in creative writing and English literature, with her most recent thesis exploring the history of Australian nature writing. Her short stories and essays have been published in Wonderground, Chicago Quarterly Review, Review of Australian Fiction, Griffith Review, Clues, Writing Queensland, and The Dictionary of Literary Biography.
Her first career was as a professional writer and researcher, including for federal Parliament and the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
Inga grew up in central west NSW, and has lived in Canberra, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast hinterland. She has now settled on the far south coast of NSW.
Her next novel, Willowman, will be published in early November 2022.
2020 Australian Poetry Slam events are going virtual. Byron Writers Festival, together with Australian Poetry Slam and Word Travels, is proud to bring you the Byron heat, live on Zoom, straight to your living room.
Register in advance of the event to participate or cheer along!
The first 18 poets to register will have two minutes to perform their original work; no props, no costumes, no music.
Two wildcard poets will be chosen from the audience.
Judges are randomly chosen from the online audience.
The two highest scoring poets will go on to represent Byron Bay in the APS NSW Final.
In the interests of maintaining fairness, poets must perform in their local heat to be eligible. To be eligible to perform in the Byron Heat you must reside in the Northern Rivers Catchment area from Grafton in the south, west to Kyogle and North to Tweed Heads. Poets who read at the Byron heat are not eligible to read at the Murwillumbah heat.
Every story starts with a moment of inspiration — and a great opening sentence.
W. Somerset Maugham — also a pretty nifty short story writer — once quipped that “there are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, nobody seems to know what they are.”
But what if there were rules for writing the kind of short story you love reading, and others might too? What if these rules were distilled from the writings and teachings of some of the world’s best writers? And what if they’d been tested to see if they could result in publishable work?
In this entertaining, engaging and enlightening workshop, writer, broadcaster and academic Sunil Badami will reveal his Golden Rules for Writing a Short Story, which he gleaned from some of the world’s best writers and tested by writing six short stories in six weeks — all of which were published in some of Australia’s most prestigious literary journals and anthologies.
You’ll not only learn these practical and applicable rules to write better short stories, but read some great examples of brilliant short story writing and get some insider tips on how to get your work published.
Date: Wednesday 24 August Time: 10am — 4pm Where: Habitat, Meeting Room 1, 1 Porter Street, Byron Bay Cost: $145/110 Members & Students
About the Facilitator
Sunil Badami is a writer and broadcaster. He’s written for publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, Good Weekend, The Australian, The Monthly, The New Daily, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Art and Australia, Southerly, Island, Westerly and Meanjin. His work has been published in Australia and overseas, including in Best Australian Stories and Best Australian Essays. He presented the national ABC Local Radio show Sunday Takeaway as well as writing, producing and presenting a number of documentaries for Radio National, and continues to appear regularly on ABC radio and TV. He teaches at the University of Technology, Sydney and is currently editing his once-lost first novel for publication. Find out more at www.sunilbadami.com
Join author Sarah Armstrong for three terms of writing classes spread over the year. The small group will meet once a week for four-week blocks, and a total of 28 face-to-face hours. Each week, you’ll also receive a short video (or two) from Sarah that includes discussion of each week’s topic with practical tools and tips, and guided writing exercises. The face-to-face classes will include opportunities for feedback and discussion.
When: 12 x Tuesdays at 6pm – 8pm:
Term 1: 7, 14, 21, 28 March 2023
Term 2: 6, 13, 20, 27 June 2023
Term 3: 5, 12, 19, 26 September 2023
Where: Hybrid format: In-person at the Byron Writers Festival office with remote attendance option available Cost: $950 (member) / $1050 (non-member) – payment plans are available.
Group size: 10 particpants max. Please note all BWF workshops require a minimum 80% enrolment to cover costs.
First term will explore how to come up with ideas, planning, how to build a first draft, and some fundamentals of fiction: character, plot, point of view, scene and summary. Sarah will also talk about how to tackle procrastination and writer’s block.
Second term will drill down into narrative tension, character development, how character drives plot, secondary characters and structure. This is the term were you’ll get individual, written feedback from Sarah on 3000 words of your first draft.
Third term is all about how to tackle rewriting and editing: beginnings and endings, structure and themes, and a discussion about where to go from here. Come to this course with a story in progress or an idea.
Sarah Armstrong has written three adult novels, including Salt Rain which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Big Magic, published in May 2022, is her first children’s novel and the sequel will be out in 2023. Sarah is an experienced writing teacher, mentor and manuscript assessor. She teaches creative writing at university, in schools, for writers festivals and on retreats. In a previous life she was a journalist at the ABC where she won a Walkley Award. She’s passionate about giving writers the practical tools to find and tell stories.
I couldn’t recommend this workshop highly enough. Sarah is one of the best teachers (of anything) I know. Her capacity to give very specific, targetted, positive and encouraging feedback makes it possible for all who attend her workshops to understand what strengths they have and how they can improve, without ever feeling despondent about their capacity to do this hard thing we call writing. She has an experienced writerly eye, combined with genuine care for her students. I mean, what more could you ask for?– 2020 Year of the Novel participant