Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Coffs Harbour Grassroots Writers’ Weekend 17 – 19 May: a fantastic success!

The 2019 Grassroots Writers’ Weekend hosted by the Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group was held from the 17 to 19 May 2019 and attracted more than 90 participants from far and wide. All were inspired, excited and enhanced their writing skills with more than 20 workshops to choose from over two and a half days. Numbers were limited to ensure that class sizes provided a practical,  hands-on experience.

Held at the centrally-located Coffs Harbour Community Village where workshop rooms surround a peaceful, grassed courtyard (complete with two Tawny Frogmouths perched in the shady Poinciana tree), it provided a comfortable environment for mingling, networking and just contemplation over a cup of tea and the morning and afternoon teas cooked by the Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group helpers (and creative cooks from the Nambucca Valley Writers’ Group).

An opening barbecue was held on the Friday night generously provided by the Bonville Sawtell Lions Club. The candle-lit formal dinner on Saturday night (complete with numerous raffle prizes) was held at the Park Beach Surf Club with a full moon dramatically illuminating the sea.

There were sessions on memoir and life writing; writing for children and young adults; murder mystery and historical fiction; flash fiction, short stories, blogs and competitions; writing craft such as perfecting your dialogue, structure and setting; using humour and imagery; making your characters and their relationships real; and techniques for effectively starting and finishing your manuscript (plans of actions and review).

Presenters included Roby Aiken, Wendy Haynes, Desley Polmear, Greg Barron, Graeme Gibson, Penelope Pratley, Gill Goater, Rosalie Skinner, Carrolline Rhodes, Laurel Cohn, Michael Burlace, Leonie Harrison, Wendy Laharnar, Elizabeth Bond, Yvonne Kachel, Leonie Henschke, Lisa Milner, and Fiona McDonald. Links to the bios.

Interesting conversation groups on everything from writing about sex to defamation and travel writing were moderated by Kim Hodges, Lorraine Penn, Yvonne Kachel and Rosalie Skinner.

We will be passing on information gathered from our appraisal sheets. Thank you to all for the positive feedback. We look forward to seeing you all next year. With suggestions for workshops and ideas shared with 2020 host, Port Macquarie.

Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group would like to acknowledge the fantastic work of our organising committee project managed by Lorraine Penn with Juliana Garaty, Roger Harris, Rosalie Skinner, Leonie Henschke, Yvonne Kachel, Julie Trachtenberg, Suzanne Tainsh, Rhonda Rand and Danielle Babb. Help was also greatly appreciated at the venue given by John Skinner, Michael Trachtenberg, Darrell Garaty and Michael Burlace.

We also thank our generous sponsors:
Port Macquarie Writers Inc. have very generously taken on the mantle to host the 2020 Grassroots Writers’ Weekend so follow us on Facebook sites…..

And check  this website for details.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Saturday Night Dinner Event Grassroots weekend

Coffs Harbour Writer’s Group is delighted to be hosting the annual 2019 Grassroots Writer’s Weekend Event from 17th to 19th May.
As part of the activities we host the annual Saturday night dinner event.
We would like to invite you and your partner/friend to attend the evening meal to be held at Park Beach Surf Club, 23 Surf Club Road, Coffs Harbour.
When:     Saturday night 18th May at 6.30pm to 11pm
Cost:       $35 per head includes two-course meal prepared by Chef Matt Donovan overlooking the stunning Park Beach with its panoramic views.
               This is a perfect opportunity to relax and mix with other writers and their guests, whilst enjoying a delicious meal and some general trivia.
How to book your ticket: 
Contact Juliana Garaty on 0404236762 or Email:

Welcome to Grassroots 2019

We would like to invite you to the 2019 Grassroots Writers’ Weekend hosted by Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group at the Coffs Harbour Community Village from the 17 to 19 May 2019. It is a fabulous weekend of hands-on, practical workshops held each year in our region. Starting on Friday afternoon and finishing on Sunday afternoon, the ‘doing’ sessions and conversations are available to everyone from school students to seniors, everyone who loves storytelling. Places are limited so please make your bookings early.

The aim of this weekend is to provide affordable, practical workshops for the beginning, the aspiring, and the published writer. It’s only $25 for the whole weekend with a barbecue and dinner optional paid extras.

Participants will also have the opportunity to have manuscripts and story pitches assessed for an additional fee by well-known editor and manuscript development consultant, Laurel Cohn.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Workshops filling up!

Workshops for the Grassroots Weekend are filling up fast. 
'Not Just Poetry' is already fully booked. 
Please give second and third preferences when booking. Registrations close 8 May. 
And don't forget to register now for the fabulous Grassroots Writers' Dinner on Saturday night 18 May at the Park Beach Surf Club. 
A great opportunity to mix with other writers, enjoy some general trivia and have a delicious meal. All for just $35 a ticket. 
Partners/friends welcome. 
Book here.

How to book your ticket: Contact Julianna Garaty on 0404236762 or

Paying for the weekend of workshops and optional barbecue and dinner: Indicate your preferred method of payment in your email or phone contact with Julianna.

Direct credit can be made to our bank account:
Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group Inc
BSB: 533000
Account no: 46423
Note: Make sure your name is in the required field

Gill Goater

Gill Goater
Gill’s been involved in writing for many years. She’s especially interested in modern poetry and the breadth of human experiences poets write about. She facilitates a poetry group in Port Macquarie and is a member of a writers group where she presents occasional workshops. Gill’s work has been published in anthologies, magazines, on ABC regional radio and in her book Occupied by Gods.

Not Just Poetry  Facilitator  Gill Goater

The techniques poets use will be helpful for anyone who’d like 
to lift their poetry or prose to a higher level. In this workshop
we’ll look first at how to create lively imagery followed by a written
 exercise using a template to write a poem or evocative prose piece.

Roby Aiken

Roby Aiken
Roby Aiken is the author of The Traders Series, an epic fantasy trilogy. She has written many short stories, and is currently working on a suspense thriller set in the Australian Outback. She has been a member of the Nambucca Valley Writers’ Group for twenty years, and is proudly their current President. 

Kick Start your Writing:
Facilitator: Roby Aiken
Roby Aiken takes you through a practical guide to make sure your writing resolutions for 2019 stick! Roby has a number of published works and speaks from the experience of knowing what works!
Where do you begin? How do you start? Do you schedule your writing time? Are you a plotter or a ‘pantser’? How many words do you write each day? How many do you need for your WIP? 
This discussion will look at these questions and more, and will help both experienced writers and new writers find out how others write and what works for them. 

Greg Barron

Greg Barron
Crime, terrorism, history, international politics and the wide open spaces of outback Australia are all passionate interests of author Greg Barron. He has lived in North America, New South Wales and the Northern Territory. His books, published by HarperCollins Australia and Stories of Oz Publishing, are gutsy page turners that tell the truth about the world, then and now. Rotten Gods was long listed for the prestigious Ned Kelly awards, and has been lauded as "one of the most sophisticated geopolitical thrillers ever written." Savage Tide was described by ABC Radio reviewer Rob Minshull as: "Both supremely intelligent and written at breathtaking pace."

Camp Leichhardt is the first of his Australian Stories , and was serialised in 2016 to wide acclaim. Rotten Gods, Savage Tide, Voodoo Dawn and Lethal Sky all feature Marika Hartmann, the Australian intelligence agent who won the hearts of readers all over the world.

Writing Historical Fiction

Facilitator: Greg Barron
Make your historical fiction ring true with tips from widely published author, Greg Barron. The authenticity of historical fiction depends on your knowledge and use of historical detail but also your characterisation, your creation of setting and use of language. You must build the world of your characters and make the period and the characters come alive