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Congratulations to PCWC member Susan Braghieri.

Congratulations to PCWC member Susan Braghieri. Susan has been awarded a two-week KSP Fellowship in 2018 to continue developing her first novel. The Fellowships are awarded via an application and merit selection process. To find out more about KSP Fellowships, go to:   http://www.kspwriterscentre.com/fellowship-program (applications for 2019 will open later in the year).

KSP Residency applications are, however, open NOW for Established, Emerging and Next Gen Residencies. Details are on the KSP website at: http://www.kspwriterscentre.com/residency-program


Kickstart your writing with Maureen Helen

On Sunday, 29th May (1:30-4:30 pm) Maureen Helen is back to host her popular workshop “Kickstart Your Writing”.

This workshop will help new writers as well as old hands to energise their writing and get it back on track. This workshop has been run many times at PCWC as it is a great way for writers to feel great about their writing style and to find their groove again. If you register for this workshop expect to be taught a number of techniques and tools to help you on your way.

Dr Maureen Helen is an experienced writer, teacher and published author. Her memoir, Other People’s Country (ABC Books, 2008) was long-listed for a Walkley Award and short-listed for the WA Premier’s history prize.

Cost is $38 for members and $48 for non members

Please remember to bring a pen and some paper!

If you would like to go to the registration page or see the flyer you can click on this link.

Read what applicants have said about past Maureen Helen’s workshops

Dr Maureen-Helen is a superlative facilitator and source of inspiration” (Kickstart Your Writing 2015)

“Very much enjoyed this session. Maureen obviously knows her stuff and is very supportive of us” (Memoirs/Biography – How to Research 2015)

“As a first timer, the experience was great” (Memoirs/Biography – How to Research 2015)

“This has been a very useful, clear and pleasant workshop that has given me direction and motivation to keep pen to paper in a short story project. Thank you!” (Memoirs/Biography: Writing Short Life Stories – 2000 Words 2015)

“It has been relaxed and friendly, not intimidating or scary in any way” (Memoirs/Biography: Writing Short Life Stories – 2000 Words 2015)

Places still available for Ken Spillman’s Writing Fiction for Children workshop!

This Saturday, 14th May 2014 Writer-in-Residence Ken Spillman will be returning to PCWC to facilitate a workshop titled “Writing Fiction for Children”.

If you have an interest in writing for children Ken is the perfect facilitator. 2/3 of the 60+ books he has written are aimed at children with many of them translated into several different languages.

This workshop is specifically for emerging writers who are interested in writing children’s fiction. Ken will provide with a practical introduction as well as motivation for turning ideas in books. He will do this by providing you with a series of writing exercises designed not only to build you understanding of the writing process but your confidence, abilities and ideas as well.

Discussions led by Ken will lead to greater clarity about structures, character and plot, editing, and the various market sectors. Above all, participants will be inspired to develop their stories and encouraged to keep the process simple.

You are welcome to bring a story you’re working on or an idea you’ve had suitable for young adults.

The workshop will taking place at 1:30-4:30pm on Saturday, 14th May at the Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre.

A link to the online registration form can be found HERE. You may also email any enquiries to cowan05@bigpond.com. To see the flyer you can click HERE.

There are a few places still available so you must apply soon to make sure you reserve your place.

Watch out for further notices on whether we will start accepting walk-ins.

For those already attending, good luck and have fun!

Pitching and submitting your work for publication

This weekend on the 30th of April at 1:30pm – 4:30pm Laurie Steed will be facilitating another workshop here at the Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre. This workshop is another installment into Laurie’s “Writing Short Stories”series and it will be focusing on the final stage of writing: preparing and pitching your work for publication. Having been down this often difficult and laborious road himself, Laurie will provide you with real life advice and helpful tips. Expect to work on grammar, formatting, spelling and professional presentation as well as the benefits and pitfalls of submission, common mistakes and how to send your writing out into the public eye.

Laurie says “the road to publication is a long and unforgiving one. While it’s always difficult to send one’s work out for submission, it’s vital that certain things are done before doing so”.

If you are looking to make a career out of your writing or just want your works to be seen by the public then this workshop will help you reach perfection in the final installment of “Writing Short Stories”.

Laurie has taught writing, publishing and editing (he is on the Editorial Board for Margaret River Press) as well as being the author of a story collection called “You Belong Here”. He is currently working on a novel-in-stories called “The Bear”. He specializes in short-fiction and is very interested in helping emerging writers develop and, eventually, publish their work.

Feedback from past Laurie Steed workshops:

LLaurie Steedaurie is a great teacher and facilitator. Very good at keeping us on track and letting the discussion flow.” – Writing Short Stories: Plot and Theme

Laurie is clearly passionate and knowledgeable, learned loads, thank you!” – Writing Short Stories: Plot and Theme

Loved it all!” – Writing Short Stories: Plot and Theme

While the information presented was very helpful, the most inspiring thing was hearing Laurie’s own personal experience and passion” – Writing Short Stories: Creating Memorable Fictional Characters

More workshops!” – Writing Short Stories: Creating Memorable Characters in Fiction

It was great to learn about Laurie’s personal processes for getting to know his characters.” – Writing Short Stories: Creating Memorable Characters in Fiction

If you would like to apply for this workshop you may click on this link. You will also find the flyer detailing the time, date, and location of the workshop as well as information on how to attend via Skype. Call us on (08) 9301 2282 if you have any questions.

Writers Retreat Revisted

As last year’s writers’ retreat went so well with many participants and enjoyable activities we will be revisiting 2015’s retreat in 2016! We will be hosting the 9am – 1pm workshop on Saturday 23rd April 2016 and as we will be returning to the same style as the 2015 retreat, we have Susan Midalia facilitating this popular workshop.

For those unfamiliar with Susan’s work she is a well-qualified author and facilitator. She’s recently published her third anthology, “Feet to the Stars” through University Press. She is a very generous and friendly facilitator and her workshops fill up quickly, so make sure you sign up as soon as you can to reserve a place. For more detailed information about Susan and for 2015’s post promoting the workshop – click here.

The theme for this retreat is: setting

Susan says that settings in a story can be man-made; a political space; a site of memory or desire. It can serve many purposes: to make a place seem ‘real’; to create atmosphere; to symbolize something beyond itself. It can be used to develop a particular idea or contribute to our understanding of the characters in the story.

You will be using short writing exercises and a discussion of examples so that you can really understand the concept of setting.  This workshop will show you how to create a subtle and engaging sense of setting to enhance your writerly intentions.

Price: $50 for members and $65 for non-members

Venue: Peter Cowan Writers Centre

When: 9am -1pm Sat, 23rd April 2016

Don’t forget some writing materials!

To register please click here.

In the meantime check out these photos of last year’s event!

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Monthly Writers Group with Martin Chambers will re-commence on Thursday 2nd February 2017

This Thursday is the next session of the Monthly Writers Group so if you’re interested in attending this group, where members focus on a different aspect of creative writing each month, then please contact us at cowan05@bigpond.com or phone us on (08) 9301 2282. Participants also have the opportunity to share their writing for feedback from the rest of the group. Please bring writing materials to the session.

Cost: $5 Members and $10 Non-members.
People of all writing abilities welcome. Enjoy a complimentary tea, coffee, biscuits and cake in a relaxed atmosphere.

We hope to welcome some new faces and welcome back some familiar ones!

Session starts at 12:30 and runs to 2:30. Sessions occur at the Peter Cowan Writers Centre on the Joondalup ECU campus. (Maps and directions can be sent to you on request by email but can also be found on our website). We hope you have a great session!

Writing and editing your poetry with Jackson – registrations will remain open until the workshop

It’s all over our Facebook page – Jackson will be facilitating a poetry writing and poetry editing workshop at the Centre on Sunday 10th April (1:30-4:30).

This workshop will not only help you write poetry, access new ways of writing poetry, and push you to write outside your comfort zone but Jackson will also provide you with skills on the right way to edit your poetry and bring it up to a publishable level. This workshop is a great way of bringing the two elements of poetry together in one three hour session, and you will be able to work creatively in a kind, safe environment. An afternoon of fun with words for beginners and old hands.

If you’re interested in this workshop don’t forget to register and when the workshop comes around please bring some pens and paper. 

This is a rare opportunity to workshop with Jackson, who is a much-published poet and editor with training in mentoring and group facilitation. In 2014 Jackson won the Ethel Webb Bundell Poetry Award. In 2013 Mulla Mulla Press published her second collection ‘lemon oil’. She is currently undertaking a PhD in Writing at Edith Cowan University. Visit Jackson at proximitypoetry.com.

ATTENTION: Bring one or two poems to the workshop if you want some feedback from other participants and from Jackson herself. 

Click here to register and click here for more information.


$38 for Members $48 for Non-Members

Walk-ins now available for Saturday’s workshop

Hello everyone, just letting you know that for Laurie Steed’s workshop Creating Memorable Characters on Saturday 19th March 2016 we are now removing the closing date for registrations and will be allowing last minute applicants to register for this workshop. Price is $38 for Members and $48 for Non Members. We hope to see you there. See our website for more information on the workshop. Call us on 9301 2282 for questions.

Plot and Theme with Laurie Steed

Dr Laurie Steed says the plot of a story is the “sequence of events that affects other events through the principal of cause and effect.” This is a fairly simple concept to understand and most of you probably knew this already but you may also feel that writing a seamless and capturing plot is easier said than done. Plot is obviously very important in story writing because, well, the very definition of story, according to dictionary.com, is a “narration of the events in the life of a person or the existence of thing, or such events as a subject for narration”. If you want to know the secrets of writing a well thought out and intriguing plot, Laurie will teach you how to skillfully manage the events that make up your plot in his “Writing Short Stories: Plot and Theme” workshop, taking place on Saturday, March 12th 2016. In this workshop, Dr Laurie Steed explains the basics of plot and theme, and how to work with each in pursuit of engaging, innovative, and exciting fiction. If this is what you’re looking for when it comes to writing your own short story or even your own novel then Laurie can help you.

Participants of all ages and levels are welcome, so don’t feel like you need to be an established writer or even a habitual writer to enjoy the benefits of this workshop.  Plots may seem like they stroll into writer’s heads fully formed (maybe this has even happened to you), but there may always be room for strengthening and refining finer points and details in a story, even if its just for your own personal contentment.

To register for this workshop and to learn more about prices you can follow this link.

Creating memorable fictional characters with Laurie Steed

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, Sherlock Holmes, Jay Gatsby and Daisy, Pip, Ebenezer Scrooge, Harry Potter, Holly Golightly, Winnie-the-poo, Katniss Everdeen, Phillip Marlowe, The Grinch, Nancy Drew, Alice, James Bond, Voldemort and even Edward Cullen. You would never think these characters have one underlying characteristic in common- with the genesis of a few going back as far as the 19th Century, and the most recent exploding into being a mere 8 years ago- but they are incredibly memorable. If you’re not convinced then ask yourself why, in 2016, are we still talking about them, reading about them, adapting them and drawing inspiration from them?


Creating memorable characters in writing is not the only key to unlocking the door to a beloved, popular and eternally relevant story but if you mentally visualize your favorite characters being air lifted out of their fictional habitats to be replaced with boring, old John Smith from Snoozeville, Nowhereland would the story still have the same effect on you? Maybe (any work by Charles Dickens is probably evidence to this), but also, maybe not.

If you think your novel or short story could benefit from the existence of an intriguing character maybe you would like to apply for the second “Writing Short Stories” workshop that will focus on how to create memorable characters in fiction, facilitated by Editor-in-Residence Laurie Steed .

Laurie will help you to explore both established character types as well as ways to play against type, his workshop will lead writers of any age and stage towards creating the types of characters that will stay with the reader long after reading the final page.

When: Saturday, 19th March 2016
1:30 pm – 4:30pm
Where: Peter Cowan Writers Centre, Edith Cowan House, Building 20, ECU Joondalup Campus.
Cost: $38 for Members $48 for Non-Members

Please call 9301 2282, email cowan05@bigpond.com, or visit www.pcwc.org.au to apply for this workshop.
Registrations close on Tuesday 15 March 2016, so there is plenty of time to read through your work or mull it over but spaces are limited so if you decide to register then make sure you do it as soon as you are able.

Please click here if you want to know more and to find the flyer.