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.
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.”
After the mentorship, the four writers will submit their manuscripts to Allen & Unwin for consultation during the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival in August.
Tuesday 11 June 6pm, Byron Community Centre Theatre
Social researcher and psychologist Hugh Mackay has spent 40 years asking Australians about their lives, loves, hopes, ambitions, fears and passions. In his fourteenth book, The Good Life, he asks and answers the ultimate question: what makes a life worth living? His conclusion is provocative and passionately argued. A good life is not measured by security, wealth, status, achievement or levels of happiness. A good life is determined by our capacity for selflessness and our willingness to connect with those around us in a meaningful and useful way.
Meet Hugh in an intimate conversation that might well ignite arguments and possibly change the way we live our lives. This event is a partnership between the NRWC and Southern Cross University. Tickets available HERE or call 6685 5115 $20, $15 NRWC members and SCU students. The Good Life may be purchased for signing at the theatre.
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 Nette Hilton
When: Saturday 15 June 10am-4pm
Where: SCU room
Cost: $75 members, $95 non-members
This intensive one day work-shop will produce the backbone of a manuscript which could be the next Booker. Words are like lovely, great big bouncy balls. You can play with them, bounce them, roll them, toss them, catch them, share them – they’re brilliant. And fun. But... after you tossed and caught and shared and bounced and, in desperation, sat upon them, where to from here?
What if someone shows you a few rules? What if someone shows you some skills? What if someone gives you a purpose for playing with that ball? Does the fun stop? No... it’s only the beginning. So, like a soccer coach who brings rhyme and reason to ball play, Nette share ways writers can use their words with intention.
Participants will explore narrative structure, dialogue, characters and building tension. The workshop will also include writing essentials such as setting, conflict, storyboarding and revealing backstory. Nette will help you to identify the purpose of your chosen writing and to develop new skills and understanding about the way words work.
Come and see how it’s done. If you’ve got a book in you Nette Hilton’s Little School of Righting Words will release it! This workshop is suitable for both beginner and emerging writers of fiction for children, young adults and adults.
Nette Hilton is one of Australia’s leading authors of literature for children and young adults. Her work includes classics such as Proper Little Lady published in 1989 and The Web in 1992 all the way to The Innocents, long listed for the Prime-Ministers awards in 2011. www.nettehilton.com.au