Workshops 2022

Please note: due to COVID restrictions still applying to Western Australian border restrictions this program is subject to change.

Esplanade Floorplan

Strengths For Writers: A One-Day Intensive

Presented by Becca Syme

Anyone can tell you what worked for them, and they can say, “this might not work for you,” but they can’t tell you why. Becca Syme can tell you why. In this day-long intensive, we will cover the individual Strengths and what they mean, and talk about how writers can utilize them for better-faster writing and marketing. If you haven’t taken the Strengths test, there will be a time to do that during the day, and codes will be provided. Please come if you are interested in learning more about how you, as a writer, can be aligned for better success.

From First Draft to First Contract

Presented by Lisa Ireland and Kelly Rimmer

Do you dream of seeing your book on a bookstore shelf? Let Kelly Rimmer and Lisa Ireland take you through the process of writing a book to publication standard. This workshop will guide you through each step; from your first idea, to submitting to agents and publishers. Topics covered include: Kelly’s and Lisa’s journeys to publication; goal setting; organising your time; devising a killer premise; structuring your story (for plotters and pantsers!); preparing your manuscript for publication; and submitting to an agent or publisher.

Driven by Character – Maisey Yates

Romance is a genre dependent on character. We all know how a romance ends, so an author must make the reader invest in the character journey. To do that, well rounded characters are important. They don’t have even have to be like-able, but readers must be invested in them getting their happy ending! In this workshop Maisey talks about how she approaches character and the way she uses the essence of the character to ratchet up tension, and make sure goal, motivation and conflict are integral to who the characters are. Attendees should leave the workshop with a better understanding how to create vibrant characters readers are rooting for.

Embrace Your Inner Panster! – Rachael Johns

Tried to outline but don’t get further than the first three chapters? Do you feel pantser shame or secretly think planning MUST be easier? Are you a newbie still finding your way? Yes? Then this workshop is for you. We’ll take a glimpse into the writing processes of superstar pantsers; explore the myths, the pros (and cons) of this process, and learn practical tips to help you embrace your inner pantser without losing your mind.

Rejection: Making “NO” Work For You – Susan Carlisle

Rejection is part of the writing process.  A writer must learn to accept rejection to make it helpful in their writing life. Rejections can improve and encourage a writer once she learns positive ways to manage her reaction to rejection. This class will help a writer to do just that.

TikTok, It’s Romance O’Clock! – Anna Boatman

BookTok has changed the landscape of traditional publishing in the last year, delivering massive sales for romance paperbacks and waking up retailers in Australia and the UK to the huge power of our very favourite genre. Join me to discuss the exciting opportunities we’re seeing for romance authors in our post-BookTok world, get to know the new generation of readers gobbling up romance and learn how to give your books the best chance of taking off on TikTok!

Killer Conflict – Lauren Clarke

Conflict is the lifeblood of any good story. Join presenter Lauren Clarke in this workshop that looks at the best location for conflict, how to raise the stakes without just pulling out a bigger knife, and what sort of conflict makes the romance world go ’round.

Romance Your Career: Five Ways to Level Up as a Genre Fiction Author – Zoe York

Sustained success in commercial genre fiction doesn’t come from one power move, but from learning to push and pull different levers at different times, over and over again. Thirteen-time USA Today bestselling author Zoe York outlines five ways to level up as a genre fiction author: free content that converts readers to fans; using series and settings for progressive growth; collaboration and co-writing for catalogue expansion; backlist marketing routines that work; and how to do a side pen name project for a bit of fun (and why a bit of fun can be a secret game changer). This is a rapid-fire workshop with 10 minutes spent on each topic. Come with an open mind and be surprised at what sparks your imagination!

So You Want to Write Gay Romance… – Daniel de Lorne

What is gay (or mm) romance? Who’s writing it?  Who’s reading it? And is it for you? Join Daniel de Lorne as he runs the  alphabet of gay romance from LGBTQIA+ to MPREG to MM and PrEP. You’ll  leave with an understanding of the genre, insight into the diverse community  you’re writing about, and tips on writing all-male sex scenes. Participants can  also ask those burning questions they’ve always wanted an answer to.

Bring Your Story to Life with Deep Point of View – Pamela Cook

Deep Point of View is a craft choice we hear a lot about in writing and publishing circles and although the concept seems simple, it can be a difficult technique to implement. In this 60-minute workshop, women’s fiction author, writing teacher and podcaster Pamela Cook provides an overview of Deep Point of View. Join Pamela for this workshop to discover:

  • What deep point of view really is
  • How it differs from third person limited pov
  • How you can use it to strengthen your characterisation
  • How to heighten emotion and more fully engage your readers
  • Simple techniques for incorporating deep pov into your writing repertoire
  • When to use it to greatest effect
  • Examples of books that use deep pov

This workshop is appropriate for all level of writers across all genres.

Social Media for Authors – Eloise Plant (Harlequin)

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or TikTok? The social media landscape can be a daunting place for new and established authors, with ever-changing trends, formats, platforms and even ways of speaking. How do you best connect with your readers? How do you create engaging content? Which platform(s) should you even use? In 2022 social media platforms are one of the most valuable ways an author can engage directly with their readers, and find new audiences for their work, so it is important to understand how they work, and which platform is right for you. In this workshop we’ll take a tour of the major social media platforms, demographics, types of content, and ways to engage audiences, so you can make decisions about how you use social media to best represent your brand and interact with readers. Social media doesn’t have to be a burden, let’s chat about how it can be fun!

Personal/Virtual Assistants: How They Can Help Your Author Business – Grace Cook

Your author business is expanding. You’d rather spend more time writing instead of handling administrative and marketing tasks required to be successful. Time is money and you are ready to take things to the next level. You’ve considered hiring a personal/virtual assistant (or maybe you haven’t, but are curious), but you have no idea what tasks they could, or should take over, or how to find one. This panel is for you.

Deck the Halls: An Exploratory Look At The Tropes And Rise of The Christmas Romance Novel – Kathleen Stanley

This workshop will explore the rise in popularity of the Christmas romance novel, as well as discuss the various tropes and elements that make up this subgenre of fiction. Attendees will get to observe key differences in novels situated between the US and Australia, as well as exploring the ideologies and escapist qualities most commonly associated with Christmas romance novels.

The A to Z of Fan Fiction – Nicole Flockton

You’ve heard and seen the chatter – authors writing fan fiction in highly popular author worlds .You might wonder why they’re doing it, if it actually works to gain readers, how to pick which author’s world to write in…along with many other questions. In this workshop USA Today Bestselling Author Nicole Flockton will let you in on the A-Z of writing fan fiction and lift the veil on the hows and whys to make it work for you.

The Rules of Writing* (*There Are No Rules) – Panel

Hands up – do you handwrite your first drafts or laptop all the way? Plot or pants? Chronological or out of order?

Under the guidance of moderator Alison Stuart, panellists – multi-published authors Amy Andrews, Ally Blake, Clare Connelly and Elizabeth Rolls – give up the inside goss on which way is the right way write!

Go Global with Kobo Writing Life

Kobo is an eReading company built by booklovers whose mission is to make the best digital reading experience possible. Kobo Writing Life is a global DIY publishing platform that empowers authors to take their publishing career into their own hands. Learn how Kobo Writing Life makes it simple for indie authors to publish and promote their books in over 190 countries. Going wide has never been easier!

Indie Survival Kit – Davina Stone

How do we survive Indie publishing without burning out? With a clear plan and direction, that’s how.  And a whole heap of common-sense survival strategies.

In this one-hour workshop we will explore how to streamline our Indie publishing business, set clear goals for ourselves, and pay attention to that important, often neglected aspect – making sure we take time to self-care. Particularly useful for new Indies or those thinking about Indie-publishing.

Let’s Talk About Sex – Kristine Charles

Let’s talk about sex, baby! Birds do it, bees do it, even your parents did it once… (or twice). But taking such a personal experience and putting your characters into the gooey, messy, middle of it, combining sizzle with intimacy, and avoiding extra limbs, can be hard.

<snortlaughing> (see what I did there?!) In this session, Kristine Charles takes workshop participants on a fun, practical exploration of sex in romance and provides a tool kit (or toy box?) of tips to write better sex.

TikTok for Authors – Fiona Lowe

With BookTok catapulting older releases to the top of the NYT best seller list, TikTok is the new social media place to be for authors. TikTok differs from other SM platforms and has its own language and skills. This hands-on workshop introduces TikTok, the language, the trends and the Booktok community. By the end of the session all participants will have created a video and explored the app, which is an incredible piece of video-making software. Attendees need a smartphone with the TikTok app already loaded.

Day in The Life – Panel

A police officer, pilot, journalist and a nurse walk into a conference… This panel gives you the chance to pick the brains (not literally!) of real-life professionals.

Free Time

Creating an Audiobook – Heidi Wessman Kneale and Catherine Bilson

More readers are choosing audiobooks as their preferred reading format. How do you get your book into audio form? Catherine Bilson and Heidi Wessman Kneale show you what is involved in the production of an audiobook from go to whoa. Come learn about narrators, hardware, software, distribution options, marketing options and more, plus room for your questions. DIY or outsource? This workshop is ideal for every author wanting to gain a greater understanding of how audiobooks are created, whether they choose DIY or outsourcing the process.

Getting Unstuck: How to Untangle your Narrative Knots – Sasha Wasley

Get ready for a writing epiphany! In this 90-minute workshop, Sasha works with writers to unpack the reasons why we get stuck when we write. Explore plot and character troubleshooting and strategies for finding your ‘flow’.

  • Understanding why we get stuck
  • Identifying plot problems
  • Triaging character arcs
  • How to find flow
  • Strategies to fix a broken narrative

From Book to Film: Creating Concepts that Sell for Streaming/Movies – Nicole Resciniti

Do you dream of your book becoming a series or feature? Do you wonder what it takes to devise a logline, pitch and concept that can take your book to the screen? Learn tips and techniques for structuring your novel to enhance your chances of crossover success.

Withstanding the Big Bad Wolf Test – Panel

There are many ways to build a world, but the consequence of getting it wrong is reader disengagement. Join three authors who write in various spec fic genres as they talk about the elements needed to build worlds that stand up to scrutiny. Anna Hackett, Michelle Diener and Lana Pecherczyk are all bestselling authors in the science fiction romance, fantasy romance and paranormal romance genres who will take attendees through the intricacies and pitfalls of worldbuilding for long series, standalone novels and even novellas, and the joy and satisfaction of getting it right.

Free Time

The Perfect Date – Jodi McAlister

What makes a romantic date? Join author and romance scholar Jodi McAlister as she discusses the history of dating, how it’s developed, modern dating, dating apps, and the research behind what makes a date good (or bad!). Learn what kind of situations you can put your protagonists in to build their connection – and what situations you can put them in to test their connection! – as we talk all about how to put dates on the page.

Self-Editing for Aspiring Authors – Claire Boston

You’ve written your first draft and now it’s time to make it shine. Not sure if the beginning will hook the reader? Think your pacing might be off? Is something not quite right, but you don’t know what? Learn how to analyse your manuscript and how to fix it. Participants will be taught about common mistakes aspiring writers make, how to find them in their own work and also get tips on copyediting and proofreading.

Writing the Other in Romance: Diversity and Representation – Renée Otmar

Romantic fiction may set out to capture our hearts but first it must engage our minds. How do we ensure that diverse communities are depicted sensitively and respectfully? We explore concepts such as cultural appropriation, respectful representations of culture, neurodiversity and disability, and the effects of the #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo movements on readers’ perceptions of sensitivity and inclusivity. Participants will gain an understanding of when and how to engage sensitivity/authenticity readers and editors.

Bestsellers Spill the Tea! – Panel

Rachael Johns will interview superstar authors, Maisey Yates, Zoe York and Kelly Rimmer about their careers – discussing their biggest regrets, major decisions, turning points and the moments that have made their careers. The focus will be on writing life, longevity and business and there’ll be a Q&A from the audience at the end.

Romancing Your History – Alison Stuart and Elizabeth Rolls

Award-winning authors Alison Stuart & Elizabeth Rolls give their take on blending romance, fiction and history in your writing. Instead of letting the truth get in the way of a good story, find out how to use real places, real people, and real historical events to inspire your story and ground it in reality. Delve into the realms of historical romance and historical fiction and bring your historical world to life.

Nailing Author Interviews – Claudine Tinellis

‘Nailing Author Interviews’ is an interactive, dynamic workshop that will help you put your best foot forward – offering an array of tips and tricks for authors wanting to ensure they are well-prepared for the publicity and promotional trail.

Whether you’re an aspiring author or your debut is about to hit shelves, whether you’re traditionally published or going it alone, being able to nail your author interviews is essential to your book’s success.

Walls, Welcome Mats, and Wind-Up Toys: The Elements of Cosy Mysteries – Becca Syme

One of the largest genres available to writers today is the “cozy/cosy” mystery genre. Many of us know the Poirot-model one-room-all-suspect reveal conversation, but is that still the norm in cosy mystery today? Cosy author and coach, Becca Syme, will discuss her experience writing in this genre, and talk about the important elements of a cosy and a mystery, for those who are interested in writing whodunit books in the future or the present.

Pain-Free Self-Publishing: We’ve Made the Mistakes So You Don’t Have To – Panel

Join three experienced self-publishing authors with years of experience as indie and hybrid authors as they share the mistakes they’ve learned from on their path to success in the indie market. Presented by Michelle Diener, Anna Hackett, Lana Percherczyk.

Polishing And Strategising Your Online Presence – Amanda Kendle

Social media is a key tool for authors promoting their work. But have you stopped to consider which platforms work best for you, and what strategy will get you the biggest promotional bang for your precious time? This workshop will help you examine your online presence, learn about current best practice, and leave with a strategy for the future to make sure you are promoting yourself effectively but still have time to write.

Launching A Write To Market Pen Name – Monique McDonell

Ever wondered why indie authors use multiple pen names? This workshop will take you behind the scenes of Launching a Write to Market Pen Name. We’ll cover:

  • What writing to market is
  • The “why” of launching a pen name
  • Researching a subgenre
  • Getting ready to launch
  • How to launch – some basics you need to cover and what you can probably skip
  • Do’s and don’t from successful authors across a range of genres

Free Time