Kirstyn McDermott hosts Words Out Loud
at the Printers Room monthly, teaches at Federation University, has been
writing for upwards of 15 years and attends a Melbourne critique group meeting
once a month. She’s a regular presence at our members’ nights, and was kind
enough to share her experience and expertise this May.
She opened by saying that writers are not sole geniuses and they do not work alone. She shared a quote from Terry Tempest Williams — “I write in a solitude born out of community.”
I was humbled to be asked to make a presentation on writing dialogue for the Ballarat Writers Member’s Night this month. I hoped to give some advice on how a fiction or creative non-fiction writer might absorb some of those methods into their own to make their dialogue pop.
Robert A. Heinlein was so famous and well-respected in science fiction circles that he became like Albert Einstein or Noam Chomsky and was asked for his opinion on everything. Some of those opinions were about writing, which is why I’ve brought the subject up here. He said, ‘Never revise, except to editorial demand’. Jack Kerouac was also famous for saying, ‘First thought, best thought’, but while he might have famously written everything out on one spool of paper without interruptions, he was a planning maniac. His notebooks are crammed with very detailed information about what he was going to write once he sat down in front of the typewriter and paper roll and began to pound on the keys.
I first sat down to write this month’s blog post at 1:16pm on the 28th of April. I don’t know when you’re reading it, but if you look at the top of this webpage, you can see the date that it was posted.
In 2015 I joined Ballarat Writers, convinced I was on the path to writing success. I was in the first year of my degree and I felt like I was finally following my heart. That year I entered two competitions, the Southern Cross Short Story Competition (BWI’s very own competition) and the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Hope Prize. I paid my money and I took my chances.
Needless to say, I didn’t win.
I’ve just finished writing a play. Bells and whistles notwithstanding, the overwhelming feeling is one of apprehension. And that’s because the completion of a playscript is more of an abandonment than anything else.
For the Ballarat Writers October members’ night on October 24, 2018, we were lucky enough to have local author (and BWI celebrity) Heather Roche (HR) interview local booksellers Dianne Woodhouse from Ballarat Books (DW), and Tracey Willersdorf from Collins Booksellers on Lydiard (TW).
The topic of the night was how to approach booksellers with your finished, self-published book, which means books all printed and ready to be sold.
In my last blog post, I wrote about the importance of community and sharing. This time I thought I’d discuss what happened when I opened up with my writing and started showing it to other people. Continue reading
I did something last month I said I would never do — I didn’t enter the Ballarat Writers Flash Fiction competition. I let life get in the way.
After winning so many of the monthly challenges last year, you might have thought a lack of wins this year might have made me give up. However, it was the month after I finally had a win that I failed to write an entry in time. Continue reading
I recently attempted the National Poetry Writing Month challenge. NaPoWriMo is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April. The http://napowrimo.net/ website is owned and operated by Maureen Thorson, a poet living in Washington DC, but the challenge is now undertaken by poets from across the globe. Continue reading