Always quirky, sometimes sweet speculative fiction

Gold Coast Writer’s Festival 2012

As you probably already know I attended the Gold Coast Writer’s Festival the last two days (Friday and Saturday).  Since the first writer’s festival I attended (Brisbane’s) I only went to one seminar I didn’t have the chance to really get a taste for them, so I was determined to bite off more this time around.

Friday was quite interesting seminar-wise. The self-editing for fiction writers with Louise Cusack was amazing. I took so many notes and while a few things were already known to me there were points I had never actively considered. She also managed to explain some of the bigger concepts in ways that made them feel much more manageable. I’m definitely planning to look into her manuscript assessment services. (No she did not pay me to say that!) At one point during the lecture she said the word ‘squee’, so the nerd in me instantly bonded with her ;p Louise also made a statement witch is marvellous and oh-so true: “If your book is well written enough then no one will care if it is on paper or in e-reader.”

The only downside on the Friday was my inability to connect with other authors attending. I couldn’t seem to easily join in any conversations. I did make a few attempts with the women sitting next to me, but they seemed uninterested in replying to my questions. There were a few guys I wouldn’t minded chatting with but I have difficulty approaching men my age when I’m not in a group. Why? Because I worry they may think I’m trying to pick them up. It sounds silly I know. If there’s a decent age gap, or if I or the guys are in a group I have no qualms. Is that arrogant or paranoid?

Saturday was much better in regards to making connections. While buying some of Rowena Cory Daniells’ books (for a bargain price!) I ended up talking to her (somehow failing to realise who she was at first) and she introduced me to a guy considering joining the writer’s group I’m a member of. We had a fabulous chat and he introduced me to another guy who had some amazing cover art for his books – seriously fabulous, all I’ve been thinking about since is how I might layout the covers for Storybook Perfect and its sequels. I enjoyed another chat with Rowena and Anita Bell later in the day too.

The seminars were very informative. I learned about ‘Writers’ Web’, a website for Australian emerging authors that I will definitely join as a reviewer and if I do go down the indie path also as an author. The fantasy and sci-fi panel was great fun. I wish I could have attended even more, but I was walking between the community centre and the shops where Xander and T-J were hanging out waiting for me.

All-in-all, two very entertaining and inspiring days.


  1. Kath Lockett

    Actually, I’m not surprised to hear that you found it difficult to talk to other writers/attendees.

    It’s a sad fact of life, but other writers see you as their enemy. You’re competing against them for information that could see you get published ahead of them. I’ve found out – the hard way – that it’s a very, very competitive industry and there’s only so much ‘help’ you’ll get…..

    • Kirstie

      I was surprised because at the Brisbane Writer’s festival I met a wonderful writer who showed me a few open submission sites (she wrote in historical romance though, so I doubt a high fantasy writer could bump her off any lists), so in my head this was a great place to meet other writers, so that first day was a shock. The Saturday was better at least.
      It is interesting though, to see into people’s minds like that. It makes me even more grateful for all the good writer friends I have.

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