Programme Dates for 2024

July  27th: Landscape and setting with specific reference to our own writing

August 24th: Developing character with emphasis on depth

September 28th: Multiple character viewpoints

October 26th: Drafts– with special reference to the difference between 1st, 2nd and final

November 23rd: Playwriting and Scriptwriting

December –Party time, no meeting tba

Meetings held in 2024

January 20th  This was the 3rd Saturday of the month not the usual 4th because of Australia day the following week. Val talked about editing with regard to appropriate language for the genre.

February 24th: Inspiration –each person talked about where he/she draws inspiration from, and the way in which is is useful to his/her writing. Maureen hosted an exercise using the “show not tell” principle.


April 27th: Art and music influencing writing + Prose competitions were due in + AGM.

May 25th: The language used in emotive writing.

June 22nd: An in depth look at critiquing groups, making them work, fundamental principles and the mechanics of critiquing



Programme for 2023

Meetings held in 2023

January 21st ( this was the 3rd Saturday because of Australia Day being so near the 4th Saturday)

Discussion re murder mystery tropes in both writing and television with reference to our up-coming competition. Various presenters.

February 25th

Character: A variety of members talked about and explained the methods they use when creating a character.

March 25th

HISTORICAL Fiction – with reference to getting stuff right – fashion, architecture, transport, food, technology and other details

Presenters: mixed  + AGM   (+ Murder mystery competition stories were due in)

April 22nd

Playwriting and scriptwriting – using examples of finished plays and scripts presented by Mandy. (+ presentation to competition winner and new competition theme/title  set)

May 27th

Critiquing – not line editing. We looked at and discussed what we are looking at/for when we critique. What we as writers want from a critique. Different methods used by different groups.

June 24th

More on the WW project for 2024 print or publication.  People not able to be at the May meeting, brought up to date and new roles chosen for 2024 project. Also looked at Lorraine’s draft story and talked about ways of moving it into the format which we’ll all be using.

July 22nd

Surprise package presented by Pat.  Also presentation to Mavis.

August 26th

The Literary Tradition: Various members brought in examples of literary writing which in their opinion is very good writing. We discussed why it works, what is so wonderful about it? Is it inspirational? How much can we learn from the masters? Even those of us who don’t write in this fashion, gain insight and use small literary brushstrokes to enhance our writing …..etc. Checklist of literary devices that we particularly like (examples of own writing.)

September 23rd

Story beginnings and endings were presented by Jan

October 28th

Caravan stories by Jonn and Carolyn were critiqued by the group.

100 word story—presenter Mandy then we all wrote one

November 25th

Focus on cutting. What to cut. How to make the decisions. Examples of how different writers go about this process were given by  by Jan, Mei-Ling,\ and  Pat.  Val’s will be slightly different and given next year.

December  No meeting. PARTY date 4h December at 12.00 . Venue known to all members.

************************************************************* 2022 ************************************************************

January 22nd: Last of Zoom meetings.  Focus of meeting was the ballad.
February 26th: 1st face-to-face for many months  — 4 senses (5 minus sight – )
March 26th: Showing the critiquing process (sort of workshop style — small groups- also AGM )
April 23rd: The difference between what one can put in with very short writing ( 500 words, 100 words, 50 words, 6 words)
May 28th : POV (Putting it right — workshop style on a piece of writing with mixed POV)
June 25th: Cate Plink from Lake Macquarie FAW talked to us about writing outside the comfort zone.
July 23rd: Bronwyn MacRichie from Lake Macquarie FAW talked to us about her audio journey — recording and preparing her memoir Pixie Dust for the audio market.
August 27th: Similes, metaphors and other figures of speech and how to avoid the cliches & come up with fresh ones. (mixed people presenting + workshop style) This was the final date for the Wyong Writers in-house competition to be emailed to our convenor, Anne Nielson. Genre: speculative fiction. Max 1500 words — usual competition rules apply.
September 24th: Tenses — workshop style.
October 22nd: This was a successful critiquing session for our First Fleet stories — in groups of four people. Four copies of work, all double spaced, line numbered and in a size 12 font with a serif.
November 26th : Time and Place. Short excerpts, with specific reference to time and place from different authors were read out. We discussed the importance of the reader being able to deduce and sense these elements. We did some short exercises to hone our sense of time and place.
December 9th:  (Friday) Christmas Party 12.30. No December meeting.



Local poet Oriel Parker talked about some of the poetry making processes for different poetry forms including haiku, which is is the set form for the Wyong Writers in-house competition, due in March. We also welcomed four visitors and three new members.


Mandy Byrne talked about the stuff we all shy away from–that tricky subject of writing sex in such away that it doesn’t become pornography. Everyone also had the opportunity to have a go at writing a sex scene with the choice to share or not.

MARCH 27th 

Deadline for poetry competition. New prose competition subject set–due in September 2022. Main thrust of meeting to discuss the 2022 anthology which is to be of ONE event with many different characters giving their version of the events. Many decisions were made.

APRIL 24th

Visitor, Tracy Sorensen, gave an interesting and insightful talk  about the dos and don’ts of pitching to an agent or a publisher. We also hammered out some more ground rules for our 2022 anthology. Absolute conditions are laid out on the anthology tab on this site.

MAY 22nd

Visiting speaker, Heather Yates talked to us about writing family and local  history.

The following are our meeting dates but the speakers have not yet been confirmed. In no particular order we are hoping to arrange speakers for Romance, Crime, Editing, and Copyright.

JUNE 26th 

Pat Webb talked about and showed us her photo books. We also spent time on the “housebuilding” homework, and talking about the next month’s homework assignment.

JULY 24th

This was a ZOOM meeting — same day, same time as real-space & time meeting would have been. It was primarily a “catch up” with special reference to writing projects and their progress.


Gabrielle McIntosh talked about writing comedy, with special reference to plot creation.


Gabrielle McIntosh gave another excellent  2nd workshop on writing comedy. This time Comedy characters. This was via Zoom. Hope you didn’t  miss it.


Gabrielle McIntosh gave a 2nd workshop on writing comedy. This time Comedy characters. Please note this will definitely be via Zoom. Don’t miss it. Part 1 was excellent.

Prose competition entries were due.


We looked at writing and honing a short memoir piece, including what is and what isn’t memoir — what needs to be included and what doesn’t– how to make it so that it is not just an extract but a tiny slice of your life which is relevant to making you the person who you are. The poetry competition was set — see New tab.


Pat Webb talked about research — using the internet meaningfully — using libraries to find information you cannot find any other way — searching for live information, (places, people, institutes)

DECEMBER 2021  Party instead of meeting, took place 11th December.

~.~.~.~.~.~.  MEETINGS IN 2020  ~.~.~.~.~.~.

Jan Mitchell, from Lake Macquarie FAW, talked to us about the judging process and how to improve stories submitted for competitions.


Marketing. We looked at the marketing plan which was put together for us by Nicole Gibson for our 2019 Anthology. Those members who have had a marketing plan for their own books, also brought in, present salient points and discussed. We also allocated jobs arising and discussed the sonnet form.

MARCH 28th   

This meeting was cancelled due to Covid 19

STOP PRESS — CHANGE OF PLAN!  Jason Foster was due to have talked to us about the publishing process from his perspective ( 10 books and 4 different traditional publishers)

Also this meeting is the deadline for entries to in in-house poetry competition. No theme but the poem must be a sonnet. Since closing date for this competition is 28th March, you may now email your sonnets to Mavis if you were intending to bring them to the meeting.

APRIL 18th

This Face to Face meeting was cancelled due to Covid 19 This was a Zoom meeting

Different perspectives: This suggestion came out of a follow on activity the group undertook after a talk by Johan in 2019  on point of view. The activity was enjoyed so much that people decided they would like to do it again, maybe continuing form the last “episode”. 

MAY 23rd This was a Zoom meeting

Each participating member  talked for a maximum of  5 minutes about his/her favourite author. We told the group why this  person is our favourite. We read short extracts from his/her work.  Winner of the poetry competition was announced — see the news page!

JUNE 27th

This took place on Zoom. Eight members and two visitors took part. The focus was Point of View — with reference to the ways in which different well known authors use this.

JULY 25th This was a Zoom meeting

We had hoped to meet at the Mardi Hall, but the Covid-19 situation in both Victoria and NSW led to the decision to cancel meeting face to face. Therefore the meeting took place on Zoom. The focus was research for writing. Each member gave a brief overview of his/her research methods for either past writing or for WIPs.


Inspiration — 4 members and one visitor who have published novels, memoirs, histories or travel books talked about the inspirations behind their books.

SEPTEMBER 26th This was a Zoom meeting

Direction — a follow on from August’s meeting — how did people to decide which direction to take their work in and why.

OCTOBER 24th This was a Zoom meeting

Play writing. We were very excited to have a visitor Margaret McGowan from Gosford Uniting Productions. Margaret talked to us about some of the processes involved in play writing.

NOVEMBER 28th This was a Zoom meeting

Pat Webb talked to us about mind-mapping.

DECEMBER 2020 No meeting. Christmas lunch was enjoyed at the Wyong Milk Factory on December 7th.

******************PREVIOUS MEETINGS IN 2019*************************

JANUARY 19th (This was the 3rd Saturday not the 4th. All other meetings this year are on the 4th Saturday).

Focus of meeting was social media and was presented by Pat.


Focus of meeting was poetic form in prose writing . This was presented by Jan. Work by Pat was critiqued.

MARCH 23rd

Poetry competition entries were given to Mavis. Theme “Spring”. Focus of meeting was character and was presented by Mavis. Story for anthology by Ray was critiqued.

APRIL 27th

Focus of meeting will be writing for children and was presented by Pat. A story for the anthology by Elizabeth was  critiqued.

MAY 25th

Focus of meeting was publishing, marketing and the author platform and was presented by Mei-Ling. Work by Mavis was critiqued.

JUNE 22nd

Focus of meeting was show don’t tell and will be presented by Shari. Shari’s story for the anthology was also critiqued.

JULY 27th

Kathryn Coughran facilitated a workshop for the group — subject Mindfulness in Writing. We requested $10.00 from both members and from visitors on this occasion.  Reminder All submissions for the 2019 anthology were due.


Focus of meeting was point of view presented by Johan. This was also the deadline for the prose competition entries. Fiction or non-fiction with the themes of Fire, Flood or Drought (or any combination) within Australia.


Focus of meeting was the five senses and was presented by Margaret Young. We also introduced a 10 minute “Computer clinic” with reference to Word, and a 5 minute “Grammar Gripe”.


AGM + discussions regarding the 2019 Anthology, and consideration of a handout by Jan Mitchell on the critique process.


Focus of meeting was memoir and was presented by Mandy.

DECEMBER 2019    No meeting. Members’ Christmas lunch 3rd December.


DECEMBER 2018 no meeting — party Thursday 6th December 12.00

Previous meetings in 2018


Focus for the meeting was creating a ‘character arc’. The group looked at the way a character grows and changes at various stages of a short story, novel, play or film. Using ideas from the whole group, a character arc was created. A fifteen minute writing exercise about a character at one specific part of his/her journey, was completed. We welcomed four visitors.


*Programme was changed*  In order to support the FAW/SENIOR CARD joint Memoir Writing Competition, a  Memoir Writing Workshop was facilitated by:

Cate Plink: vice-president of FAWNSW

Mavis Gunter: published Memoir Writer

Yvonne Sorensen: in the process of writing her own Memoirs

Pat Webb: has undertaken a university course on Memoir Writing

MARCH 24th

Focus for the meeting was creating a ‘meaty’ antagonist. This was facilitated by member, Lynda Ryan.

APRIL 28th

Focus for the meeting was critiquing AND brainstorming.  Anne brought a travel article and Elizabeth brought a short story. We used the “sandwich” method for critiquing. Mei-Ling brought a terrible story, by an unknown author, which members were invited to tear apart. After that we re-wrote the story. Mei-Ling also brought a plot problem for brainstorming.

MAY 26th

Focus for the meeting was speculative fiction.

JUNE 23th

Outside speaker, Kathryn Coughran facilitated a workshop on use of photographs to make writing powerful.  An excellent afternoon, atended by many members and four visitors.

JULY 28th

Focus for the meeting was poetry. This was facilitated by Jan and Margaret.


Focus for the meeting was critiquing. Work was brought by Shari and visitor Caroline.


Focus for the meeting was publishing & the author platform.


Focus for the meeting was critiquing + AGM


Focus of meeting was in three parts: (1) unveiling the anthology, (2) a discussion of next year’s programme and (3) the newspaper article the newspaper or magazine article.