Thursday, 18 October 2012


With Jo Wanmer and
Anne Hamilton
Writers do enjoy spending time together. Well, at least this writer always does and I love weekend conferences with more time for one on one fellowship.

Ruth Bonetti with George
and Rita Galieh

My husband, Ray, and I arrived home from Queensland to cool Tasmania only last night from The Word Writers Getaway. This was organised by Rochelle Manners, the publisher of Wombat and Even Before Publishing books. Omega Writers is a major sponsor. The Omega CALEB book awards were announced this weekend.

All except one cabin bag has been unpacked, our clothes are washed and on the clothes-line but I am still sorting out books, workshop notes and all that has to be thought through after an event like this. I hardly know where to start sharing with you this wonderful time with other Christian writers, so am just going to mention just a few thoughts this time.
The original Alpha2Omega seminar in 1999 was the first time I met some of my favourite Aussie Christian authors from around Australia. This year is now the fourth opportunity to share together in Queensland and so there were many hugs with friends made at these events. It was exciting to meet new folk for the first time, including writers from New Zealand and especially those who have until now only been “internet friends” like Skye Wieland.

My two hour workshop on the structure of the novel went quite well except, as usual, Mary did not finish all her notes, talked too much and so no time for a second writing exercise as I’d planned! I have to confess that during the last fifteen or so minutes I was beginning to feel very weary – a left-over from my recent ill-health.

We talked about how important it is to choose an interesting,  intriguing plot with believable characters and conflict that takes more than a letter or conversation to resolve. Hopefully the writers will study in more depth some of the techniques I only had time to touch.  

Unfortunately time ran out before spending as much time as I would like to about including the spiritual elements when plotting a novel. Hopefully I did mention how important it is to show the reality of characters’ faith by how it is shown by their actions and not just having them pray and go to church meetings, etc. Of course, even if briefly, the GMC of novel writing had to be mentioned: Goal, Motivation and Conflict. I believe this is particularly so in the lives of characters’ spiritual lives.

There were sessions about book trailers and how they help promotion, eBooks, online presence, writing irresistible book proposals getting and writing reviews. I spent two sessions in the “Editing Room” talking to writers about their current manuscripts and look forward to future contact with them.

So much more to share about that weekend: the great book stall, the launch of several new book, the Sunday morning church service. However, I may share more another time but do check out other blogs about the Word Writers Getaway at Alexander Park Conference Centre on the Qld Sunshine Coast.

It was a busy time. I talked so much, enjoyed listening so much that only thought to get out my camera a couple of times! Dah!!

There were a few changes mentioned for future events like this. But more of that next time – perhaps.

Speakers and presenters of workshops and panel sessions.


  1. It was so great to catch up with you again, Mary. :) What a wonderful weekend we had. XXOO

  2. Mary. I liked your review of the getaway.

  3. I'm glad about that, Ray! LOL. And your own photo came with your comment this time. (Grinning here)