Home > My Writing > Writerly tasks I’ve been undertaking recently in conjunction with KSP

Writerly tasks I’ve been undertaking recently in conjunction with KSP

The Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre in the Perth foothills has had an important place in my writing life ever since I was lucky enough to win the Young Writers category of the Short Fiction award way back in 1999, when I was but a callow youth. More recently, I was even luckier to be awarded a four-week Emerging Writer residency (on the fourth try), a role I undertook in April/May 2013. I  served on KSP’s Board of Management from 2012-14, and transferred over to their Literary Committee in late 2014. My main task in 2015 has been working with KSP stalwart and poet Mardi May and acclaimed WA author and editor Amanda Curtin in helping to select next year’s Emerging Writers in Residence. I don’t think the winners have been formally announced as yet, but rest assured that the three chosen authors will represent KSP with distinction in 2016.

Write-a-Book-in-a-Day

Another task I’ve had the pleasure of performing is judging the Secondary WA category of this year’s Write-a-Book-in-a-Day competition. This is a very worthy cause, raising money for the Kids’ Cancer Project, and it sees teams of writers from across the country frantically writing, illustrating and presenting picture books in a single day.  There are more than a dozen entries in this category this year, and I’m just about to get cracking on finishing my part of the judging process this weekend. It’s humbling to be a part of this program in my own small way, but the real credit must go to the teams of writers themselves, who’ve crafted some stunning work and, in doing so, given me a headache in trying to decide which entry ought to be the winner.

Finally, I’ve been invited to present a writing workshop, ‘The Narrative Engine’, at this year’s Avon Valley Writers Festival, at the Northam library on Sunday 20th September. This is the third iteration of the festival after similar events in 2012 and 2013. The festival was on hiatus in 2014, but it’s back bigger and better than ever this year, and it boasts a strong line up of authors, including the likes of Ian Reid, Amanda Curtin, James Foley and Sami Shah. Here’s the blurb for my workshop: What makes stories tick? How do you create suspense? This workshop will consider the finer points of narrative fiction with reference to some of the great artists of short fiction: Flannery O’Connor, Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver and others. We’ll zero in on thorny topics such as point of view, narration and interior monologue, and discuss how inciting incidents and rising tension make for great short stories, no matter what time or place they’re written in. 

When I reflect on my writing career, such as it is circa 2015, it strikes me that the bulk of my modest achievements have been realised in conjunction with KSP. Writing is and remains a lonely business, but you could do much worse than joining the local writers’ centre in your area.

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