22 April 2017

Shoalhaven Literary Award 2017 - including Geoff Bolton award

Shoalhaven Literary Award 2017 for Short Stories

Closing date: Friday 27 May 2017

The Shoalhaven Branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers is excited to announce an increase in prize money for its prestigious Shoalhaven Literary Award, launched on 20 February 2017.

With the ongoing and valued support of the Shoalhaven Arts Board and Bundanon Trust, this year the writer of the winning story will receive $1500, together with a two-week artist residency at Bundanon, Arthur & Yvonne Boyd’s Gift to Australia, on the Shoalhaven River near Nowra, NSW.

Second prize is $250, third $150 and the Geoff Bolton Award for an entry from a Shoalhaven resident will receive $200.

Geoff & writing group May 2013

19 April 2017

Record of meeting 19 April 2017

The writers

Cath, Pat, Helene, Terry, Lynn, Elizabeth

The words of the day

Quasar – energy

Enmity – hostility, animosity

Immutable – not susceptible to change

Risible – inclined to laugh or ludicrous

Meme – Image video spread by the Internet

Noble – dignified, gracious, righteous, self sacrificing

Writing from words of the day

The writers took the words and created a range of stories: Elizabeth – A few situations, Pat - Standing at the gravesite, Lynne – Unrealistic, Terry – Delirious, Helene – Moving to another planet and Cath – failing company.

Reading of homework

Three writers read out homework - Helene – FOMO, Pat – Goldilocks parts 2 and Lynn – Darcy continued.

Exercise – choose a colour

We selected a colour and five items in that colour and wrote the following stories

Helene – Silver stars, Cath – The greenery, Elizabeth – The dress covered in yellow, Pat – Fainted next to the fridge, Lynne – I looked at the art work and Terry – In a blue police box.


Travelling on the train I sat next to a woman writing her diary on a tablet/Ipad. I saw the words “I fear somebody will discover the body soon”. Write a story around the diary entry or continue your previous story and include the diary entry if possible.

12 April 2017

Meeting 12 April 2017

Two dedicated writers Helene and Pat attended today. They chatted in peace and quiet and enjoyed a pleasant cup of tea.

Hope to see more people attend next week after the consumption of Easter goodies and chocolate.

Enjoy a peaceful Easter weekend.

05 April 2017

Record of meeting 5 April 2017

The writers

Terry, Cath, Elizabeth, Juan, Helene, Pauline and welcome to new member Pat

The words of the day
Passive – submissive

Buxom – plump or comely
Intensify – more intense

Obtuse – dull, slow of perception
Heaven – a place of superfine bliss

Lamington – a cake covered with chocolate icing and coconut
Bitchcraft – the art of annoying people while telling the truth

Writing from words of the day
The writers went to heaven and cooked up a range of stories - Pauline - A breast enlargement, Pat – Writing a blog, Elizabeth – no one would care, Cath – A taste of heaven, Helene – Her pleasure, Terry – A magic wand and Juan – In the mirror.

Reading of homework
Three writers read out their homework: Helene – Bright lights, Pauline – On a cruise and Juan – Original innocence – a twist on original sin.


The writers re-wrote the Goldilocks story with Goldie on trial for trashing the Bear house.  Helene – My foot hurt, Cath – Hungry, cold and thirsty, Elizabeth – Living with Bears, Pat – The courtroom was packed, Pauline – Bears on a boat, Juan – Lost and Terry – A B & B.

Write the first part of a story on a topic of your choice ending with a cliff hanger. This will be the start of a longer work.

29 March 2017

Record of meeting 29 March 2017

The writers

Cath, Helene, Terry, Juan, Diane and welcome back to Garry our Foreign correspondent from SE Asia on a flying visit

The words of the day
Frail – morally week, unchaste

Foray – to make a raid, to forage
Mendacious – not telling the truth

Incipient – develop or beginning to happen
Lexicon – vocabulary of a person, dictionary

Perspicacious – strong insight and understanding

Writing from words of the day
The writers made a foray into the words using their lexicon to develop the stories: Helene – Harry and Donald, Garry – Stephen Hawking, Cath – No interpreter, Lynn – His documentary, Juan – I can’t remember her name and Terry – I’ve got it wrong.

Reading of homework
Terry – the first murder is the hardest, Helene – Blinded by the light parts 1 and 2, Garry – She sauntered to the red door, Cath – The circus, Lynn – Run, Darcy run part 2 and Juan – Missing Millionaire.

Exercise – on the beach
Using two common nouns, two proper nouns, two adverbs, two verbs and two adjectives we created stories in the theme on the beach and read out the following stories: Terry – A small dog, Helene – soft sand, Garry – George found a lamp, Cath – at the beach, Lynn – She yapped back, Diane – Noisy waves and Juan – Relaxing on the beach.

Write part three around 500 words of the story you started previously. Or write a descriptive story using the principle “show not tell”.

The Australian writers centre explains Show, don’t tell

Show, don’t tell. This age-old adage is a well deployed technique of creative literature. Wikipedia explains it well:

When applying “show, don’t tell”, the writer does more than just tell the reader something about a character; he unveils the character by what that character says and does. Showing can be done by:
·         writing scenes
·         describing the actions of the characters
·         revealing character through dialogue
·         using the five senses when possible

Here is an example

Instead of telling:
Mrs Parker was nosy. She gossiped about her neighbours.

The writer could show:
By turning the blinds ever so slightly, Mrs Parker could just peek through the window and see the Ford explorer parked in the driveway. She squinted to get a better view of the tall, muscular man getting out of the vehicle and walking up to Mrs Jones’ front door. He rang the doorbell. When Mrs Jones opened the door and welcomed the stranger into her home with a hug, Mrs Parker gasped and ran to her phone.

“Charlotte, you are not going to believe what I just saw!” Mrs Parker peeked out the window again.

Why authors use this technique
The example illustrates the power of ‘showing.’ It allows the reader to follow you as a writer, into the moment you have created. By being more specific it helps to make your writing come alive. Showing dramatises a scene in a story to help the reader forget he is reading, to help the reader get to know the characters, to make the writing more interesting.

Other examples and information are available from https://www.writerscentre.com.au/blog/why-you-need-to-show-dont-tell/

22 March 2017

Record of meeting 22 March 2017

The writers

Terry, Cath, Helene, Lynn, Trevor, Elizabeth

The words of the day

Laud – to praise highly

Succour – to assist and support

Cicerone – guide to sight seers

Infer – deduce, suppose, conclude

Pragmatic – practical, realistic, sensible

Comportment – personal demeanour or conduct

Writing from words of the day

Helene – At morning tea, Cath – His own opinion, Terry – Altitude sickness, Lynn – What she really wanted, Elizabeth – For himself and Terry – a rare breed (very entertaining).

Reading of homework

The writers enjoyed the start of the follow on homework and read out the following stories; Helene – Crystal, Trevor – Anton, Lynn – Her escape, Elizabeth – I did not want to go and Terry – Pieces.

Exercise – show don’t tell

We took the sentence “She quickly walked to the red door and nervously took the key from her purse” and rewrote and expanded it to show rather than tell by removing the “ly” words and not using adverbs.

The exercise stimulated discussion on writing and the use of show don’t tell method of writing.


1.    Write the next part of your story or the first and second parts if you haven’t started yet

2.   Bring in two common nouns, proper nouns, adverbs, verbs and adjectives.

15 March 2017

Record of meeting 15 March 2017

The writers

Terry, Lynn, Trevor, Helene, Pauline, Amanda, Elizabeth, Diane

Words of the day

Irrational – not reasonable

Neophyte – beginner or novice

Timbre – quality of the sound

Prospopagnosia - face blindness

Nonsensical – doesn’t make sense

Quasar – an energetic celestial object

Kaolin – fine white clay to make porcelain

Predictable – unsurprising, expected, banal

Writing from words of the day

Trevor – The witness,  Lynn – Into the dam, Helene – Blurred vision,  Elizabeth – A sunset, Amanda – A telescope,  Terry – Have a go, Diane – The alien being and Pauline – Too bad.

Reading of homework

Helene – Larry the Laptop, Lynn – Invisibility, Trevor – Eves drop on pollies, Pauline – The electric jug, Diane – A fly on the wall, Terry – Musings of a chair – very entertaining and Amanda read Juan’s homework – The humble broom.


Amanda read her lovely story – My friendly neighbourhood possum


The writers created stories on the theme of evil; Elizabeth – Two small children, Helene - Parents produce evil, Lynn – Evil lives, Trevor - The Anita Cobby case, Diane – What is evil, Terry – Pools of blood and Amanda - The Amy Boots man.


Write approximately 500 words the beginning of a story finishing with a cliff hanger. We hope to use this as the start of the longer story.