The Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre is a full-time centre that provides resources, information and literary activities for writers and readers. The Centre offers a year-round program of workshops, seminars and events as well as the annual Byron Bay Writers' Festival. Find out more.
New writers benefit enormously from the opportunity to have an experienced writer and editor read over their work and provide them with constructive feedback and advice. This year’s consultant, Sarah Armstrong, is an experienced writer and mentor, whose first novel, Salt Rain, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, the Queensland Premier’s Award and the Dobbie Award. Participants submit up to 30 (preferably consecutive) pages of their manuscript, together with their application form, synopsis and writers’ statement (detailing what they hope to gain from the consultation). They then meet with Sarah Armstrong for an hour to discuss their work. Consultations will take place on Thursday 1 August and Friday 2 August at the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival site. Due to funding from the Litlink program we are able to offer these consultations at a subsidised rate of $100 for NRWC members/$130 for non-members. Applications close: Tuesday 23 July.
Four manuscripts set on four different continents were selected this year for the Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre’s prestigious residential mentorship program.
Mirandi Riwoe, Sharon Dean, Bronwyn Birdsall and Russell Eldridge spent last week at Byron Bay Farmstay, working with award-winning author Marele Day.
“My thrill in doing this is to see the progress, and these writers have really run with it,” Marele said. “Maybe the most distinguishing thing about this group is the diversity. Each manuscript creates such a vivid sense of place.”
Mirandi Riwoe of Pottsville workshopped Fragrance of Night, a murder mystery set in Java, Indonesia. “What a wonderful opportunity to spend a week with Marele and three emerging writers who helped me to improve my manuscript.”
Bronwyn Birdsall has distilled her five years in Bosnia into Sweet Trouble, a non-fiction book covering a day in the life of an Australian in Sarajevo. “The mentorship has enabled me to see my highly personal project through the reader’s eyes. It has been a wonderful week in the company of exceptional writers.”
North Ocean Shores resident Russell Eldridge’s book Shame is set in the dark days of apartheid and told through the eyes of a child carrying a deadly secret. “This is the novel I have been burning to write for years and Marele’s insights and instincts were just what I needed to move it along.”
Alstonville’s Sharon Dean is writing the story of Janice Bostok, the Murwillumbah banana farmer who became one of the world’s leading haiku poets. “Taking part in the mentorship has been an enormous privilege and I’m grateful to the NRWC. I came to the mentorship with a PhD dissertation and thanks to Marele and the other writers, I feel like I’ve found the heart of the story.”
The four writers will submit their manuscripts to Allen & Unwin for consultation during the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival in August.
The Heading North Short Story competition for our local young writers aged between 16 and 25 years is now open. The competition is generously sponsored by Byron and Districts ADFAS and the Bangalow Lions, and is open to all residents of the Northern Rivers area (from Tweed Heads in the north, to Taree in the south, and west to Kyogle).
The first prize is $1,000 to go towards skills development and furthering the winner's writing career, as well as a 3 day BBWF pass, inclusion in the BBWF program, and publication of the winning story in northerly, the bi-monthly magazine of the NRWC. Stories must be up to 1,000 words long and the competition closes on Tuesday, 2 July.
Download an application form
If you have a completed manuscript that is ready to go and a publishing idea you think will appeal to publishers, then this year’s BBWF Pitch Perfect Competition could be just the break you’re looking for!
The top six submissions will be selected and those winners will be invited to pitch their book idea LIVE to a panel of publishers on Saturday 3 August at the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival. Each pitch will be limited to 5 minutes. A short pitching workshop to prepare successful applicants for this event will be arranged prior to the Festival.
Deadline for submissions is 2pm on Wednesday 3 July, 2013.
Download an application form
With Barbara Sweeney
When: Saturday 22 June, 10am-4pm
Where: SCU room
Cost: $75 members, $95 non-members. Please call 02 6685 5115 to book in
If you want to write food stories for magazines, newspapers or online, write a cookbook, raise the steaks on your blog, or write fictional food scenes with as much sizzle as a sex scene then this workshop is for you.
It’s a day of discourse, tasting, and writing for those who relish food and words in equal measure.
Food writing, an offspring of creative and professional writing forms, appears in many places and guises: recipe books and cookbooks, restaurant reviews, memoir, social history, travel stories, poetry and fiction.
Like all good writing, food writing is about observing the details, creating a sense of place and telling the story. The best food writing engages the reader and keeps them enthralled to the very last lick.
Some of the topics to be covered include: finding the story; avoiding food clichés; the craft of writing; different types and styles of food writing; food issues; and the food writing industry.
You’ll participate in a sensory taste experience, have the opportunity to interview a food producer and carve out a meaty chunk of writing time. We plan for you to leave feeling excited and inspired about your own writing and food writing potential.
Suggested reading: Toast, Nigel Slater; Plenty: Digressions on Food, Gay Bilson; How To Eat, Nigella Lawson; Food and Drink, The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/food-and-drink); Lucky Peach (http://lky.ph); The Art of Eating (www.artofeating.com).
Barbara Sweeney writes about food for The Sydney Morning Herald's Good Food and Country Style and is regional editor of The Good Food Guide. Last year she staged the inaugural Food & Words food writers' festival in Sydney. She loves food and words in equal measure.