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Fiction Manuscript Development Group

2023 Sessions

The group will meet on the 4th Saturday of the month from 10AM to 1PM from April to November 2023.

Please see the schedule below for session dates, themes and Convenor details.

Group Overview

Are you working on a novel, novella, or a collection of short stories?

Would you like to receive group verbal feedback and encouragement in a supportive

environment to help you progress the work?

Each month, the session will have a set theme to direct feedback on your work. When

choosing a 500-1000 word extract to read at the session, please select a relevant piece

that relates to the theme for that session. For example, for Creating Narrative Tension,

bring an extract where you are unsure of the pacing, or if the scene is creating tension.

The Convenor will lead discussion on the theme, and/or share hints and tips or an


Target Audience:

Writers already working on a full fiction manuscript – novel, novella, or a collection of short stories.

Word Count Guide^:

  • Novels: 80,000 to 120,000 words
  • Novella: up to 40,000 words
  • Collection of short stories: Minimum of 40,000 words

^ Different Publishers and manuscript prizes may require different word counts depending on genre and their requirements


Cost: $5 Members $10 Non-members – payable (cash or bank transfer) at the session

Includes light refreshments (tea, coffee, biscuits). Participants are welcome to bring a

light lunch, or their own snacks if they have special dietary requirements.


Convenors: The convenors are current/past participants in the Four Centres’ Emerging

Writers Program, and/or published writers. They cover a wide variety of genres including

literary, contemporary, dystopian, fantasy, gothic, historical, thriller, and short story



2023 Session Dates, Themes and Convenors*:

22 April Getting to Know You & Your Manuscript (Susan Braghieri)

27 May Creating Narrative Tension (Carolyn Parker)

24 June Preparing your Manuscript for Submission/Writing a Synopsis:

the topic will be covered over the whole 3-hr session (David Allan-Petale)

22 July Headings & Other Tricks: Taking Control of Your Long-Form Project

(Ivy Bazley)

26 August Developing Character (Karen Taylor)

23 September Worldbuilding (Trine Larsen)

28 October Dialogue that Gets to the Point (Hannah van Didden)

25 November Endings (Ivy Bazley & Susan Braghieri)

NB*: If a convenor is ill on the day, a backup convenor may choose to cover a different topic.


What to Bring:

  • A printed 500-1000 word extract from your manuscript to read to the group. If possible, bring a couple of extra printed copies – these will be returned to you at the end of the session.
  • A 100-word summary of your manuscript indicating the genre, setting, timeline/era, main characters, and themes, or the main source of conflict to read to the group.
  • Writing materials or your laptop.


Group Organisers: Jon Catling and Susan Braghieri


Venue: Edith Cowan House, Building 20, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup

Entry via carpark 14. Parking is free on weekends. See the map HERE:


Health/Covid-19: Please do not attend the group if you are unwell, have tested positive

to Covid-19, are awaiting a test result, or are still recovering from infection.