Sometimes when you hit writer's block you just need someone to talk to. Illustration courtesy of Shawn Kearney.
The Queensland Writers Centre (QWC)
Writers Centre is a non-profit cultural enterprise with over 2400 members. It occupies custom-built premises on Level 2 in the State Library of Queensland at Southbank, Brisbane, and provides development and support to beginner writers through to established
The QWC has a strong commitment to supporting regional writers and communities, and with the cooperation of an enthusiastic network of partnerships,
which includes local councils, regional universities and community organisations, has delivered programs for writers across our vast state of Queensland
QWC also publishes The Australian Writers’ Marketplace. It gives detailed information on who publishes what in Australia and New Zealand and how to contact them. There are also sections on literary agents, publishing services, writers’
services, industry organisations, script markets, literary awards, competitions, fellowships, grants, literary events, indigenous content, specific markets according to genre, and some excellent articles and advice written by experienced writers, publishers
The Australian Writer’s Marketplace is a must-have reference for Australian and New Zealand writers. If you don’t have one
you need one. If your current edition is any older than two years, it is important to update it because things change; publishing houses are taken over by others, websites are taken down and reinvented, businesses move premises and contacts move like a revolving
door in the publishing industry. This reference is fairly expensive at $49.95 but it's worth its weight in gold for a writer who wants a serious crack at being published,
In 2010 the QWC established if:book Australia, a think-tank to foster discussion between Australian writers, readers and publishers about the digital future. A sharp increase in eBook sales and new readers to meet the eBook phenomenon
is something that writers and readers need to keep up with.
In collaboration with the BWF, the Queensland Writers Centre held some great events for festival
attendees this year.
All events were held at the QWC premises on Level 2, Reference Library, State Library of Queensland – obviously at
different times during the day. There were three kinds of session to attend: ‘The Writers Lounge’, the ‘Writing Race’, and the ‘Digital
Playground’. All sessions were free.
In ‘The Writers Lounge’ there was a very pleasant interlude as an intimate group of people
spent an hour or so chatting informally to a Queensland writer. It’s often the authors you’ve never heard of who are the most fun and informative. Some of the writers who put their hands up for the lounge were: Anna Campbell, Susan
Johnson, Belinda Jeffrey, Katherine Howell, Katherine Battersby, and Kim Wilkins. Unfortunately Kim wasn't well and couldn't attend but former journalist Ben Robertson stood in for her and discussed his frank and funny book Hear Me
Roar: The Story of a Stay-at-Home Dad.
A large crowd (too many to be accommodated) who were plagued by writer’s block, or who just wanted to have a go, descended on the QWC for the ‘Writing Race’ and, with a QWC Race Captain to lead them, joined fellow writers in a creative
sprint to see how much they could write in one hour. It was all about getting words on the page – they may not have necessarily been good words, but the fun of it helped people overcome the horror of facing a blank page.
Many people who felt overwhelmed by the digital world, attended the ‘Digital Playground’ and explored the digital reading experience with the help
of expert volunteers from if:book Australia. They fiddled and played with a range of different e-readers – Kindles, iPads and other eBook readers. The if:book people were really patient and everyone was a lot wiser by the time they left. The QWC
and if:book provided the readers and Q & A session free of charge.
The Queensland Writers Centre (QWC)
The aim of the Queensland Writers Centre is to make it possible for more Australian writers
to have sustainable careers and for their works to be read and enjoyed around the world. The QWC is a non-profit organisation with custom-built premises on Level 2 in the State Library of Queensland at Southbank, Brisbane, and provides development and support
to beginner writers through to established professionals. Head for their website for helpful information at http://www.qwc.asn.au.
the QWC link on http://www.qwc.asn.au/help-for-writers, you will find free downloads of Writers’ Guides which provide essential information about writing and publishing and also details of the QWC’s
nationally acclaimed Manuscript Development Program for Australian writers, which is partnered by Hachette Australia. There is also a list of writers’ groups throughout Queensland that you might like to join.
The QWC also publishes The Australian Writer's Marketplace, a detailed, must-have reference for Australian and New Zealand writers and Australia’s leading resource for finding out who publishes what. For more, go to http://www.awmonline.com.au.
In 2010 the QWC established if:book Australia, a think-tank which fosters discussion between Australian writers, readers and publishers about the digital future. Find out more at http://www.futureofthebook.org.au.
State Writers’ Centres across Australia
Western Australia Writing WA,
Katherine Susannah Pritchard Writers Centre
South Australia http://www.sawc.org.au
New South Wales Sydney Writers' Centre, Booranga Writers Centre, Central
West Writers Centre, New England Writers Centre, NSW Writers Centre, Northern Rivers Writers Centre, http://southcoastwriters.org.au,
Northern Territory http://www.ntwriters.com.au