Boonah Writers Festival

30 April - 1 May 2022

Presented by the Boonah and District Cultural Foundation Inc.

Put 30 April & 1 May 2022 in your diary now.  Download registration prices
We look forward to seeing you there!   Register now


Taking the Me out of Memoir: How to Make the Memorable Readable

Benjamin Allmon

Memoir Workshop

Taking the Me out of Memoir: How to Make the Memorable Readable

Everyone has a story…but not everyone can make the memorable readable (let alone publishable). Benjamin Allmon will take you through every step of writing a memoir/non-fiction book; from preparation (knowing what story to tell), through the writing process – incorporating dialogue, juggling the elements of good storytelling, getting the balance of backstory and research right, managing story and character arc – to navigating the tricky topography of the editing process.

Ben will talk about getting the fear, killing your darlings, getting the book market-ready, and most importantly getting outside yourself in the toughest genre to be objective…in other words, how to take the “me” out your memoir.

Visit Ben’s website

Using the Tools of Realism and the Fantastic

Isobelle Carmody

Using the Tools of Realism and the Fantastic

Many who teach and or write speculative fiction understand it as genre but not as a tool. This distinction is vital to writers who can learn to use the tools of the fantastic and of frealism, in writing that will be regarded and read as realism, as well as in writing that will be read and regarded as speculative fiction. A failure to understand realism and the Fantastic as tools means a writer cannot use them with knowledge or apply them with effect. To write ‘to genre’ is in effect to write to a list of requirements. No writer can wish that. Moreover the failture to distinguish between gentre and the tools of writing is what leads to bad speculative fiction and fantasy.

In this workshop, Isobelle will analyse her use of these tools in her own books and stories, and teach participants how to use and/or teach the use of the tools of realism and the Fantastic in writing fantasy. The class will involve readings and some practical exercises, designed to help participants understand this both theoretically and practically.

Isobelle Carmody (b. Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia, 1958) is an Australian writer of science fiction, fantasy, children’s and juvenile literature. She divides her time between a home on the Great Ocean Road in Australia and her travels abroad.

Isobelle began work on the highly acclaimed Obernewtyn Chronicles when she was just fourteen years old. The first two books in the Obernewtyn series were short listed for the CBC Children’s Book of the Year in the Older Readers category; Scatterlings won Talking book of the Year. The Gathering was a joint winner of the 1993 CBC Book of the Year Award and the 1994 Children’s Literature Peace Prize. The Red Wind which she wrote and illustrated, won Book of the Year in the CBC awards, in the Younger readers category.

Earlier this year she completed her PhD at the University of Queensland and her most recent novel is the final book in the Kingdom of the Lost series, The Velvet City.

Visit Isobelle’s website

History of Food in Australia: Researching Popular Culture

Toni Risson

History of Food in Australia – Researching Popular Culture

Have you considered the opportunities food poses for writers of all genres? As a dominant feature of popular culture, food offers a smorgasbord of non-fiction subjects. In a novel, it can be a character in the same way landscape is a character in novels like Kate Grenville’s The Secret River.

Food also enriches stories and memoirs with the tastes and smells of places and eras. If you’re a writer, you can’t ignore food. In this workshop participants will explore the possibilities of food-writing, find research techniques for historical texts, and experiment with food images and the use of food as metaphor.

Dr Toni Risson has penned everything from a children’s picture book about mermaids to a PhD on lollies.

She has published two books about Australia’s Greek café phenomenon and curated an exhibition for the State Library of Queensland. Her second book, Brisbane’s Greek Cafes: A Million Malted Milks, was a finalist in the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards. Between writing short stories, she continues to document our lost café culture.

An art teacher in another life, Toni is an active member of her local arts community. In January of this year, she won the Ipswich City Council Australia Day Cultural Award. Toni is a regular public speaker and workshop presenter sharing her knowledge of researching food history.

Visit Toni’s website

My Novel is Ready to be Published…or is it?

Lynne Stringer

My Novel is Ready to be Published … Or is it?

This workshop provides an overview of the basics of writing a novel with which many first-time novelists may not be familiar. It also details the following:

  • make a submissions editor more likely to read your pitch
  • how to write a good query letter
  • the pros and cons of self-publishing and traditional publishing and the pitfalls of vanity publishing
  • the benefits of a professional edit

Lynne Stringer has been passionate about writing all her life, beginning with short stories in her primary school days. She began writing professionally as a journalist and was the editor of a small newspaper (later magazine) for seven years, before turning her hand to screenplay writing and novels.

Lynne is the author of the Verindon trilogy, a young adult science fiction romance series released through Wombat Books, and Once Confronted, released through Rhiza Press. Lynne’s most recent book, The Verindon Alliance, is a new stand alone in the Verindon world and was published in May 2020. She has a fifth book in the Verindon series, The Verindon Conspiracy, scheduled for release in April 2022.

Visit Lynne’s website

Marketing for Authors and Writers

Kylie Fennell

Creating Your Writer Marketing Plan

Learn the basics of marketing yourself and get expert tips to help you connect and engage with your target audience and readers.

In this session you will:

  • Learn the range of traditional and digital marketing options available.
  • Discover free and low-cost marketing tools
  • Identify the best marketing tools and tactics for you.

Kylie Fennell is a Brisbane-based Speculative Fiction Author, Accredited Trainer and Fellow Certified Practising Marketer (Australian Marketing Institute) with 25 years’ experience.

Kylie loves helping writers create and manage their brand, as well as navigate the publishing world. Her work experience spans journalism, editing, marketing and training across many sectors.

Visit Kylie’s website

Police Procedural – Information for Writers

Senior Sergeant Sean Baxendell

Police Procedural Demonstration – Information for Writers

Crime fiction and true crime books are becoming increasingly popular, with police procedurals among the favourites. Senior Sergeant Sean Baxendell will give an insight into the actual methods used by The Police Dog Squad.

He and his dog will provide a demonstration and discuss real-life situations and procedures that will be useful to writers wanting to insert some crime or mystery into their writing. It promises to be a fascinating, entertaining and informative session for all.

Senior Sergeant Sean Baxendell commenced his career with the QPS in 1997. He was posted to Townsville after graduation where he served as a General Duties Officer. He then worked for four years at Collinsville, before undertaking training to become a Dog Squad Officer and commenced duties as a Dog Handler in 2001.

In that role he responded to priority calls for assistance working with other frontline police officers in tracking and locating offenders. He has since continued his service in this field developing handlers and handling methods, focusing on animal welfare and undertaking mentoring and community work. He is currently the Officer in Charge of the Brisbane Dog Squad. Senior Sergeant Baxendell has provided dedicated and committed service to the QPS, and to the wider Queensland community for over 23 years.

Visit the Police Dog Squad page