Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events. www.weekendnotes.com/profile/121822
Published August 5th 2012
Which writers' group best meets your needs?
You sit down to write. You have an idea for a story, a character, you can picture it in your mind, or a sense of how and where it begins. Now all you have to do is write it.
You get started or you may even finish a first draft, but you have so many unanswered questions, such as; "Is it any good?" "Who do you call?"
One solution to demystifying the writing process is to seek out other people like yourself, of a kindred spirit, that also have that urge to write. To get down on the page that completed story we are told we all have in us. But, even more than that, there is that other unanswered question, "How do I get published?"
That's where writing groups can provide the answers to the myriad of questions you may have.
South Australia is blessed with having more than 50 writing groups that are spread throughout metropolitan and country districts. Some groups are small, while others have many members, but like many things in life, size isn't everything, because one of the smallest groups has one member who has over 80 books published. That's right, that's not a misprint, over 80 books. Another writer, a senior writer, has produced his fourth book at ninety one years of age. So age is not an issue when it comes to being a writer.
So, if you feel you have what some people describe as that one book you have to write, that story that must be told, but are unsure how to go about telling it? Well, the good news is, there are plenty of writers' groups willing to assist you with your writing.
These are only some of the writers' groups available. If you know of others, please let me know their details in the comments space below.
Foremost, is The SA Writers' Centre, which is virtually an umbrella and central meeting point providing information, training courses, newsletter, support and meeting facilities for the various writing groups in the community.
The SAWC is a non-profit organisation, with more than 1,200 members who include new and established writers. It provides a vast library collection of more than 1,600 books, which includes many useful reference books, many donated by writers.
Crime Writers SA (CWSA) commenced in 2008 and has approximately 12 active members with 35 on the email list. The aims of the group is to provide a safe haven where those who love crime fiction and understand how it works can help, inspire and support each other through the entire writing process.
The meetings are relaxed, friendly and informal with members who know how to get down to business when they have to.
Meetings provide opportunities for gathering quick updates from everyone about how their work is progressing, what they've achieved over the last month and what their goal is for the next month. This is not intended to pressure anyone, only motivate, encourage and offer help where needed.
The members support each other in person, on-line through exchange of short and long form (via their Novel Assistance Sub-group ) critiques, information, writing and publishing advice and specialist knowledge of fields from a variety of guests including editors, publishers, published authors, police and legal professionals.
New members don't need to qualify to join the group. However, various members have had short stories printed in anthologies and one member secured a contract with an e-publisher in Canada.
In 2010 CWSA self-published, The Killing Words an anthology of seventeen short stories, which sold out its print run and is available from several SA public libraries. A second anthology is in the planning stages.
Competitions: Reece Pocock won the Burnside Library's Inaugural Short Story Competition in 2008 with The Girl in the Red Beret. Mark Gamtcheff was the runner-up with The Collector.
Nigel Ford won the Geeburg Murder Short Story Competition with his story The Hitch.
Membership fee: The annual $25.00 membership fee covers most of the group's expenses. The group's anthology was funded by the entry fees and underwritten with the contributions from members.
Meeting details: Meet first Sunday of every month (except December) in the SA Writers' Centrre Boardroom from 10.30am - 12.30pm.
Marion Writers' Inc (MW Inc.) was established in 2007 after several local members met during a writing workshop with Sue Fleming, Course Coordinator, Professional Writing, Adelaide College of Arts. MW Inc currently has 12 members.
MW Inc, a non-profit organisation, has the generous support of the Marion Cultural Centre Library where meetings occur 10:00 am - 12.30pm the first Thursday of every month from February to December.
Members are invited to email pieces written on set themes to all members a week prior to meetings, or alternatively email extracts (maximum 1,500 words) from their current work. Written and verbal constructive criticism is given in the spirit of honesty and candidness to promote the development and enjoyment of creative writing, concepts and techniques. Members make every endeavour to ensure the accuracy of their comments, but as meeting time is limited discussions and debates often continue over lunch in Signatures' Cafe.
Meetings have formal agenda; the business mainly relates to the group's anthology Relay, which is produced by MW Inc. Some current members did not contribute to Relay, as they joined after the book was written. The group is currently concentrating on marketing Relay.
The anthology is to be launched at the Marion Cultural Centre on 25 August
Computer access and email essential for members as MW Inc Google site provides excellent online forum for members to discuss ideas relating to grammar, literature, writing events, publishing and competitions.
Membership fee: $24:00 per annum, due February and July. This non-refundable fee is paid by all members, including those on leave.
Members writing achievements:
Some members have a presence on the web from Facebook, to Blogs and websites which feature their art work.
Jennie Cumming - is President of MW Inc; she writes flash fiction and short stories - Jennie is on Facebook. jenswrite@hotmail.
Arianne Coad - writes short stories, poems and a wordpress blog. Arianne Coad .
John Malone writes poems and short stories and has published some poetry books. He has a wordpress blog.
If you click the 'about' button on this page John Malone. you can see his his publications.
Marilyn Linn - belongs to several writing groups - find Marilyn L on Facebook.
Marilyn Pearson writes short stories - find Marilyn P on Facebook.
Michael Dwyer - is a touring cyclist and an advocate of community eco-gardens.
Michael McMeekan - A profession artist, who joined MWInc in April 2012 and writes fast-paced action-driven fiction.
See Michael mcMeekan.
Trisha Helbers - a freelance writer and editor who now writes fiction too. See Blue Razoo.
Kidlits has 12 members interested in writing children's books, 3 members have had books published.
Meeting details - are held at SA Writers' Centre on the first Monday each month at 7.30 pm.
Membership fee - $20.00 per member per annum.
Members have an interest in writing children's books. They attend meetings to provide and receive support and feedback on written work by members. The aims of the group is to share information concerning writing workshops, publishing and competitions. Members share their written work to receive critiquing and editing. Sometimes if time is available to brainstorm ideas showing, not telling supportive advice.
Members writing achievements:
Robyn Opie Parnell -
Robyn has 86 books titles published over approximately 13 years. 53 of these have been published in UK and US, while 23 published in foreign translations.
In 1999, 3 books published Jen stays inside, My Bike, and People Need Trucks (non-fiction photo book for 5 - 8 year olds.) She has successfully published on-line 7 children's fiction books and 4 non-fiction. her most recent book Maya and the Crystal Skull a new age action/adventure for children and young adults. One of the characters is a boy from the spirit world, who introduces spiritual concepts to Maya, the main character, and to readers.
Maya now available as E Book from rnrbooksfilmmusic.com.au
Robyn has published several non-fiction books - You're Amazing, The Law of Attraction for Young People, How to Write a Great Children's Book, How to Write a Great Picture Book, and Show Don't Tell, Study Pack.
Her writing achievements: Mum's Blue Pumas, Finalist, CYA Conference 2007. Witch Wicked Witch, Australian Women Online magazine October, 2011.
Lily Rose -
Has had one book and poems published.
Seaside Writers' Inc. (SW Inc.) This friendly and creative writing group was incorporated in 1989. It is a member of the South Australia Writers' Centre and is open to all types of writers.
Current number of members is about 20 with a regular 14 attending meetings on the coldest of nights. Visitors are welcome, but there is a waiting list to join
The aim of the group is to promote and encourage the writing of its members and others.
Meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of the month from 7.00 - 9.30pm at The Holdfast Bay Community Centre, 561 King George Avenue, Hove, (opposite Townsend House.)
For more details: phone Jill 8298 2903 or John 8296 3511.
Meetings take the form of a brief report from office bearers. Any discussion on General Business Minutes are circulated on-line so are generally taken as read. This followed with readings of members' writings for constructive criticism and friendly sincere encouragement.
The Seaside Writers' Magazine
Congratulations is given to any competition winners or publication of writing by members.
SW Inc. has published 5 anthologies and are available in the SA Writers' Centre Library. The most recent anthology to be published was The Bag Lumper. Occasionally, SW Inc. has published its own magazine. All publications have been sold out
Robert Richardson - at 91 years, has published 4 books:
The Way It Was, (1st & 2nd Editions. Robert's life and experiences in the RAAF from 1940 - 1946. In particular his encounters at Port Moresby, New Guinea.
Copies are available at The War Museum Library, Canberra; RAAF Museum Library, Point Cook. Vic; RAAF Association, Mitcham Branch.
PTSD, The Legacy of War Service, Robert has written of his own experiences of seeking help, treatment and new coping skills to overcome Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to enable him to be able to move on with his life.
Copies placed in Veterans' Mental Health Dept. Repatriation Hospital, Daws Road,
The Monkey Puzzle, Copy to be placed in SA Public Library.
Koppio Revisited Early memories of Robert's growing-up on Koppio Station on the west coast from 1923 - 1976. Copy available from SA Public Library.
Marilyn Linn also member of Marion Writers' Inc. During 2011, Marilyn has either an item published and / or won something every month.
Sandra Oldman has had travel articles published in the Advertiser and recently won $200 Quantas Travel Voucher. The winning article was also published in Sunday Herald Sun (Vic) , Telegraph (NSW) and Sunday Mail (Qld.) She is a contender for the Big One $1,000 Travel Voucher.
She wrote The History of St Philip's Anglican Church, Somerton Park pub 1993.
David Griffiths has published a book set about the American Civil War and is currently working on another.
Steve Davey is hoping to have a collection of his short stories published; several of his stories have been published in other anthologies in SA and interstate.
Sue Hazeal has published a book of poems.
Rowena Holloway has had short stories published and is hopeful of having a book published.
Sandra O'Grady has written 3 novels and has her own web page.
Jill Govan writing as Gillian Macrae has had several humorous articles published by Womens' Weekly when it was The Weekly.
The SWW is possibly the longest running writers' group in Australia as it was formed in 1925 when a group of women writers met at the Old Feminist Club in King Street, Sydney, to organise entertainment for women delegates to a World Press Union Conference. In those days women were not allowed in the Press Club. The Society became affiliated with the Society of Women Writers and Journalists UK, and the Society of Writers of New Zealand.
The Society draws together women who are engaged in the professions of journalism, play writing, authorship, illustration of books, papers, periodicals, writing for radio and television. It aims to encourage, promote, publish and help aspiring writers by conducting regular workshops and seminars and by holding literary competitions.
The Society welcomes guests, men and women to attend meetings. Membership is available to women only.
There are no age limits. Members have varied backgrounds, life experiences, qualifications and have assorted interests in different forms of writing.
A postal workshop is popular with members who are unable to attend meetings.
Formed in 1990 the group meets at the Senior Citizen's Room, Main Street, Minlaton on the third Thursday of every month at 12.30pm for lunch or a cuppa. The meeting follows at 1.00pm.
The number of members varies between 12 - 16 members.
Members support each other by listening to one another's writings and then discuss the work, providing a critique. Homework subjects are set each month for the members, if they wish to do it and are not busy with a project of their own, with the word to be included.
New members are welcome and they just need to have an interest in writing.
Members writing achievements:
Yorke Peninsula Writers' Group self-published in 1991 Top to Toe which is about places on Yorke Peninsula.
In 1995, the group published Humour, History & Hearsay, which is about people on Yorke Peninsula.
Individual writing achievements:
Helen Croser: 2010 Poetry Competition - First Prize. Raymond Braithwaite: 2010 Short Story Competition - Honourable Mention. Sheila Manning: First Prize Poetry. Gwenda Quinn: has had several short stories published in Woman's Day and won six poetry competitions.
2006 - Kernewek Louender Competition - First Prize.
2008 - Short Story & Poem Competitions - First Prize.
2010 - Ericcson Award - Peninsula - 2nd. Prize.
is a group of poets who write Japanese genre poetry in English. The group meets at The Box Factory, 59 Regent Street South, Adelaide at 11.00am - 1.00pm on the first Saturday of each month.
The group does presentations about specific genres of Japanese poetry and periodically conducts workshops dealing with haiku, tanka, haibun, haiga, rengay and renku.
The meetings provide opportunities to workshop members' poetry
Bindii Japanese Genre Poetry Group .launched on 3rd December, 2011 the first edition of their journal Haiku Bindii Vol. 1, Journeys 2011. This 60 page saddle-stiched book with colour cover and black and white illustrations contains various forms of Japanese poetry written by members of the Bindii Group.
The book is for sale in Australia for $8.00 per copy (posted) for $13.00 for two copies (posted).
Middleton Writers' Inc.
Originally began as the Middleton Writers' Group in mid 2007. Meetings are held on Tuesdays each week between 12.00pm - 3.00pm on a rotation system at members' homes.
The group is open to all genres and new members do not need to qualify to join the group. Currently poetry, memoirs and short stories are favoured by the members. The aims of the group is to promote writing, self expression, skill development, and to share and enjoy each other's company.
The members support each other by commenting on their own and other members' work in a non-judgemental manner. Members ask for comments and critiques and seek help from each other to clarify issues and queries.
The group consists of 6 - 8 members who take it in turns on a rotational basis to set topics/tasks and homework assignments for each week. At each meeting there are opportunities to read aloud our work and to write to set topics. These topics serve as prompts and members adapt them in whatever way they like.
Members writing achievements:
vary from self-publishing to publishing on-line, print journals and magazines.
Self-published a collection of poetry and short stories, Random Ramblings in 2009 with a second edition in 2011. He is currently compiling a follow-up book of poems and short stories.
Denis has had several poems published in Freexpression, The Art to Write, The Gawler Bunyip and The Senior.
He won the Victor Harbor heat of the 2010 Australian poetry Slam and was placed 3rd with his poem Libido.
Denis reads poetry on local Radio 90.1 FM (Victor Harbor) each Thursday morning.
haunting poem Eyes of Reason was published in Sorcerers & Soothsayers, FSP, 35,2011. She has several poems and stories in Spectrum, including Remembrance, Sarah, Eye of Mystery and Awakening.
poem Hindmarsh River was published in Sorcerer's & SoothsayersFSP, 35,2011.His prose poem Blue Veined Hand was published by Mascara Literary Review on 10th October 2011.
Keith has had other poems and essays appear in The Antagonish Review, Rainbow Concerns, Touchstone, Southern Echoes: An anthology of Druid Writing from the Southern Hemisphere, The Whole Person and other publications.
Her poems Grandson, Autumn Day, Beach Walk and Wattle Bird were published in the Goolwa Sand Writers' Anthology of 2008.
2006 - Poetry Competition, Sunshine Coast Writers' group - 2nd Prize for her poem Wasting..
Irene has been a finalist in a number of writing competitions and
has received commendations for her poetry from the Gawler Poetry Competition in 2001, Yellow Moon in 2005 and 2006, and Scribblers in 2009.
In 2007, the Middleton Writers' Inc. published Spectrum: a collection of short stories and poetry. Currently, another anthology is being produced.
Spectrum - anthology produced by Middleton Writers' Inc.
Benefits to members:
MW Inc is a very supportive group to its members. It raises funds from poetry and short story competitions that are put towards small grants and community donations. Each week gold coin donations go towards a writing retreat away together.
Each third Tuesday of the month members read their work on Alex FM at Goolwa.
is an emerging writers' group for 30 years and under, providing a socializing opportunity for those engaged in the (often solitary) craft of writing. The group offers the opportunity for networking and building relationships between emerging South Australian writers and the broader writing and youth arts communities.
Paperback Fold offers opportunities for workshopping pieces,starting conversations and sharing opportunities. Members share and discuss writing and projects in progress, and doing the odd facilitated writing exercise, as well as, developing critical reflection and discussion skills. The group shares ideas about writing and funding opportunities.
Members support each other with constructive feedback and share experiences in the writing field and from courses they have taken that may interest others. Occasionally, Carlcew organises workshops with visiting writers.
Paperback Fold meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 6.30pm at Carclew Youth Arts, North Adelaide.
The Group Facilitator conducts short story events at the Wheatsheaf Hotel every 3 months called Spineless Wonders Presents.
The group caters for all types of writers and new members are welcome with no need to qualify to join the group.
Members focus on creating substantive works of short fiction and long fiction that are enhanced by the quality of their style. They are primarily focused on works that show humanity, insight and imagination. These qualities can be found in works of any genre. These qualities can be found in works of any genre, that concentrate on speculative fiction, magic realism, science fiction, fantasy and horror.
Members can be of any age. However, the group is seeking writers with intermediate to professional skills. Adastra is a private group with limited members. Membership is by invitation only and there is currently a waiting list. New members need to qualify to join Astra. There is a review panel whose task it is to view potential new member submissions. For further information and guidelines please refer to: Ad Astra.
Membership fee: $20.00 per annum.
Meetings take the form of beginning with a writing exercise set by the meeting's moderator before moving on to a group critique of two or three members' work, be they novel chapters or short stories.
The business section of the meeting - news, goals, inspiring media, treasurer's report etc. is conducted during lunch. After lunch there is often a guest speaker or a member will share in their field of expertise, or the group will pursue a specific path with a writing development exercise.
Members' writing achievements:
Margaret Visciglio - Blue Roses of Orroroo, 2011.
Margaret won the Write a Novel in 3 days at the Salisbury Writers' Week.
Steven Gepp - Relick, 2012.
Brandon Roberts - One book published: "Three Agendas and One Slim Hope" in 2006.
Adastra is currently working on releasing an anthology in 2013.
Contact: Brandon Roberts: firstname.lastname@example.org or Adastra.
We would be grateful if you could pass on the details of 'The Examiner' Literature Awards' ($1100 in prize money) which are now open for entry for short stories up to 2000 words.
SA writers' groups can get all the details from our web site on tilligerry.com by clicking on 'Literature Award' in the green left hand column.