Critique, elevator pitch and deep POV workshop by Lisa Chaplin


This past weekend I had the privilege of attending a writing workshop hosted by author Lisa Chaplin. It was an all-day program that covered topics ranging from plot and learning the Triple Arc in the morning, to an entire afternoon on Deep POV for your characters.

Prior to the workshop, Lisa had each of us send her a sample of our manuscripts or works-in-progress. From there, she took the time to, not only assess our writing, but also tailored the workshop around aiding us in our individual writing journeys.

We started the day learning how to write a professional elevator pitch for our manuscripts, as well as how to capture readers with an irresistible first line. After morning tea, it was an intensive session on learning how to plot using the Three Arc structure, a story board and a very cool visual synopsis, all the while applying what we learnt to our own manuscripts.

In the afternoon, we worked on developing deep point of view for our characters, where were surprised with all kinds of sensory aids in helping us to tap into the inner workings of our character’s minds. Then finally, at the end of the day, we were granted our, line-by-line, critiqued ten pages that we had handed in to Lisa before the workshop.

Needless to say, we came out of the workshop with our minds full, and our writing fires burning hot. It was a fantastic day, a definite must do for anyone and everyone interested in developing their writing skills and taking those fist steps into the publishing world.



A little about Lisa:

Lisa has written over 20 titles worldwide for publishers ranging from Harlequin to Harper Collins. Not only does she have an extensive resume in writing, but Lisa has had the opportunity to mentor other writers, many who have even gone on to sell their own books. Her latest book, The Tide Watchers was published by William Morrow Books (a division of Harper Collins, NY) and can be found on shelf in one of the Blue Mountains libraries.

For anyone interested in attending one of her workshops, more information can be found on her facebook page:


Mountains of Stories 2016

Creative Writing Workshops are Back for 2016….

‘This year I will write my novel….’
Don’t postpone it any longer, make this year the year to get that story on paper…with a little help. Blue Mountains City Library is very pleased to announce the 2016 series of all-day creative writing workshops facilitated by professional writers. These are designed to help you with the creative writing process, to stimulate discussion and to give aspiring writers access to professionals from within the writing field.

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We have six sessions at both Katoomba and Springwood Libraries with three different facilitators offering separate workshops on different approaches to the writing process – more information is available at all Library branches or call 4780 5750 or 4723 5040. Consider going to one or more of the sessions to gain different tips and techniques each time. Check out our dates here.

Places in all workshops are limited and bookings for all are open now, so do please get in early to book your space. Cost is $25 including light refreshments. All sessions 10am to 3pm. Book and pay at any library branch. Minimum age 16 years+.

  • March 5 – Keith Whelan, Writing Romance at Springwood Library
  • April 16 – Carla Billinghurst and Cymbeline Buhler, Start Writing, Keep Writing, Finish Things!, at Katoomba Library
  • June 4 – Ingle Knight, Creative Approaches to Storytelling at Springwood Library
  • August 6 – Keith Whelan, Screenwriting at Katoomba Library
  • October 8 – Carla Billinghurst  and Cymbeline Buhler, Start Writing, Keep Writing, Finish Things!, at Springwood Library
  • December 3 – Ingle Knight, Creative Approaches to Storytelling at Katoomba Library

Fiction that comes alive

Ted ed
The point of fiction is to cast a spell, a momentary illusion that you are living in the world of the story. But as a writer, how do you suck your readers into your stories in this way? Nalo Hopkinson shares some tips for how to use language to make your fiction really come alive.
How to write fiction that comes alive – Nalo Hopkinson | TED-Ed


St Albans Writers’ Festival, 18-20 September 2015



St Albans Writers’ Festival is a new Australian literary festival celebrating writers, books and writing of all styles, genres and forms, based in the small and picturesque village of St Albans. The landscape of the Hawkesbury with its diverse population of farmers, artists, writers, tree-changers and weekenders provides a unique and stimulating setting to meet writers, discuss books and debate ideas. This intimate festival – places are limited to about 350 – happens over two days and two evenings, starting on Friday 18th September with drinks and nibbles at the Festival Centre.

Writers include Kate Grenville, Hugh Mackay, Jane Caro, Michael Robotham and many other established and emerging writers.

The program and other details are available here:

Please contact contact the Festival via this email if you have any queries:

Mountains of Stories: Creative Writing Workshops at Blue Mountains Libraries

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The Library is very pleased to announce a brand new series of all-day workshops facilitated by professional writers and designed to help aspiring writers with the creative writing process.

We have four sessions (dates below) at both Katoomba and Springwood Libraries with two separate workshops offering different approaches to the writing process – those who are really keen would certainly benefit from giving both workshops a try as they are guaranteed to learn different tips, tricks and techniques from each session.

Carla Billinghurst and Cymbeline Buhler whose comprehensive expertise ranges from theatre, to poetry and narrative, will offer a hands-on experience entitled A Big Stone Rolls Inside – Let Your Pen Lead You into Temptation. This workshop is designed to encourage story creating and the generation of narrative directions through engagement with exciting ideas that can be grabbed and written down as they emerge. It will have a more theatrical element including some participation activities. These workshops will be offered to larger groups – up to 20 people.

Ingle Knight will lead a workshop entitled Telling Stories: A One Day Workshop for Narrative Fiction Writers. His lengthy and prestigious experience has been in theatre, narrative fiction and script writing. He has worked as a professional actor and been a lecturer and tutor in scriptwriting, creative writing, drama studies and film studies with numerous universities and colleges. In 2010 he was Visiting Scholar at John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. These workshops are smaller and only open to 10 people.

Places in all workshops are limited and bookings for all are open now, so get in early to book your space. Ages 16+. Cost is $25 including light refreshments. All sessions on Saturdays, 10am to 3pm. Book through any library branch or call 4780 5750 for more information.



1 August, Carla and Cymbeline at Katoomba Library

29 August, Ingle Knight at Katoomba Library

19 September, Carla and Cymbeline at Springwood Library

17 October, Ingle Knight at Springwood Library

Courses on the Horizon

Courses @ the Australian Writers Centre (AWC).

Creative Writing Stage 1: online course, 5 weeks, $395. Starts Mon 2 Feb, enrolments open until Wednesday 4 Feb (unless booked out prior). Further details here.

Blogging for beginners: online whenever you want or a one evening seminar in Sydney on Thu 5 Feb. $85. Further details here.

Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1: online course, 5 weeks, $395. Starts Mon 9 Feb, enrolments open until Wed 11 Feb (unless booked out prior), Further details here.

View all writing courses from the AWC here.