About Us

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Fairfield, Queensland, Australia
Fairfield Writers Group is a mix of beginner and experienced writers who meet the second and fourth Saturdays of the month at the Brisbane City Council Library in Fairfield Gardens Shopping Centre, Fairfield road, Fairfield, Queensland. Our passion is writing and we work hard at our craft. Our aim is to encourage, support and help each other to reach new heights in our writing. New members are always made welcome and usually whisked off to the local coffee shop at the end of meetings for sustenance and socialisation with the rest of the crew.

Welcome to Fairfield Writers Group

We hope you will stop for a while and browse our site and if you like what you see, please visit us again soon.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Poem: Advice from the Mirror by Lorraine

Mirror, mirror, help me please
I’ll not complain if there are fees
To look again as I once did
To be again a pretty kid

Can you smooth the wrinkles; tint the grey?
Can you trim the fat, so that I may
Charm him again in that same way
As when I sought to win him.

Alas, my friend, the glass replied
I cannot alter what you spy
But do not fear, for can’t you see
This image isn’t you…it’s me!

I can’t reflect a loving heart
And that’s your most important part
Your beauty shines from deep within
And that’s what’s seen by kith and kin.

Author: Lorraine

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Quote for the Week

There is no royal path to good writing; and such paths as exist do not lead through neat critical gardens, various as they are, but through the jungles of self, the world, and of craft.     Jessamyn West

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shanghai Literary Festival - Report 19th March 2010

Fifty one authors from twenty countries presented at the eighth annual Shanghai Literary Festival that closed today (March 19).

The Festival, held over three weeks from March 5 attracted novelists, would be novelists, poets, journalists, intellectuals, historians and travel writers from many parts of the world and from throughout China.

There were four or more sessions held each day over the three week period and these included literary lunches, panel discussions, workshops, sessions for children - and more.

Some of the authors featured included Robert Dessaix (Australian writer, broadcaster, essayist and translator), Junot Diaz ( Pulitzer Prize winner ), Tash Aw (Whitbread Young Novelist), Les Murray (Australian poet) and Linda Jaivin.

Findlay McKechnie, one of our Fairfield Writers Group members, attended several of the fifty-seven Festival events.

Findlay, who is still in Asia reported today that he was amazed at the emphasis in some of the sessions on the need for today's authors to self-promote as publishing houses reserved almost all of their marketing and publicity funds for perhaps two or three of the big name authors like Dan Brown or J K Rowling.

One author Kristin Bair O"Keefe, an American living in Shanghai, was particularly forceful on the question of marketing and promotion, Kristin (author of "Thirsty" about a Croatian woman in an abusive marriage) gave an excellent presentation entitled "The Art of Shameless Self Promotion". She told how she used her own money for a seven week book tour of the US East Coast, hired a publicist at her own expense, and went to extraordinary lengths to sell her book and get herself know to the publishing world.

She reckons she spends up to two hours a day now chatting on Twitter, Facebook and other websites in her bid to get herself known to the reading public, She also places great store on networking with other authors and those involved in the literary world.

Findlay will provide further details at one of the FWG's meetings in May when he returns to Australia.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Quote for the Week

Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.
Melinda Haynes

Friday, March 12, 2010

Short Story: Another Entrapment - Conclusion (Rated Mature) by Carol

A man’s voice whispers, ‘I saw you tonight. You and that son of yours down by the creek. He was digging. Why was he doing that? We both know why, don’t we? He’s gone back to get your ute hasn’t he and you’re there all by yourself.'

Frantic, Jessie shouts,’ Who is this?’

‘Never you mind, Jessie. You’ll be hearing from me again soon.’

She slams the receiver down into its cradle. Terrified, she rushes as fast as she can manage to bolt the back door and check the front door and windows. Her ankle throbs and she glances at it to find it’s swollen and a nasty bruise has formed.

Someone is banging on the back door.

‘Go away,’ she yells. ‘Go away and leave me alone.’

‘It’s me Ma. Will. Let me in!’

Jessie unbolts the door and clings to Will.

‘What in the hell has been going on?’

‘Someone saw us, Will!’


‘He phoned just now! He saw us at the creek. He saw you digging!’

‘Who in the hell could it be?’ Will wonders out loud.

‘Maybe it was whoever was driving past in that car.’

‘I don’t think so. It was too far away from us.’

‘Well I don’t know, but he said I’d be hearing from him again soon.

‘Now Ma, are you sure you didn’t dream all this? You know how you always fall asleep in the chair.’

‘I’m sure,’ answers Jessie. ‘At least I think I am.’

‘She sits down and wraps the blanket around herself.

‘Come on, lets forget about it for tonight,’ says Will. ‘We’ll have that talk and then you can go to bed. Things will look better in the morning.’

Will sits down beside her.

‘We’ll keep what happened tonight between you and me. When people ask where Dad is we’ll just say he left us and said he’s never coming back and that we reckon he’s probably headed for Queensland.’

Jessie sits there slowly turning the wedding ring on her finger.

‘Ma, are you listening to me?’

‘Yes,’ she answers in a faraway voice and keeps turning the ring.

Will continues, ‘We’ll tell Mick and Lizzie the same story when they come home from boarding school in the holidays. There’s no sense in upsetting them while they’re still at school.’

‘No, that’s quite right, dear.’

‘How does all that sound?’ asks Will.

‘How does what sound, Will?’

Will is exasperated. ‘Have you listened to a word I’ve said? We’ll tell Mick and Lizzie the same story when they come home from boarding school in the holidays. There’s no sense in upsetting them while they’re still at school,’ he repeats. 'Now, lets make a pact never to mention this night to each other again. It will be easier that way and as if it’s never happened. I’ll burn the blankets in the morning and then we’ll be ready to start our lives afresh. I’m sure we can make a go of it and manage this place on our own.’

‘Whatever you say, Son.’ Jessie smiles at him and pats his hand. ‘You were such a dear little boy.’

Will frowns but says nothing; instead he tells her, ‘don’t worry, Ma. It’ll be all right!’ He puts his arm around Jessie’s shoulders and kisses her on the cheek. ‘You’ll see!’

It’s morning and Jessie wakes to noises in the kitchen.’ Who’s clattering around making such a din at this hour?’ Her head is aching as she drags herself out of bed. There’s food to prepare in readiness for the breakfast that she always cooks when milking is finished. There are plenty of chores to done as well. Jessie doesn’t know how she’ll finish them today. Her face is sore and she’s tired even though last night she had fallen into a sleep of exhaustion not stirring once throughout the night. Jessie wonders why she can’t remember a single thing from yesterday. She wonders how her ankle got to be so swollen and painful. It’s hard to walk as she makes her way to the kitchen.

The voices start softly at first and Jessie turns around to see where they’re coming from but no one is there. They laugh, mocking her, or so Jessie thinks and she shakes her head to make them go away. She limps along the hallway as fast as she can and bursts into the kitchen. Everything seems so normal and like how it always is, but still the voices persist; even louder now.

The cause of the clatter in the kitchen is Will. He’s made coffee in the percolator and points to it as he drinks a cup. Alarmed, he notices that Jessie has put her blouse on back to front and is wearing odd shoes.

‘Morning, Will,’ she greets him. ‘No thanks. I won’t have one. Shouldn’t you be down milking the cows?’

‘I’m just about to leave. Had a job to do first.’

Jessie can smell something burning. ‘Have you been burning rubbish?’

‘Yeah, I have.’

‘Smells awful this early in the morning doesn’t it?’

She rummages around in the cutlery drawer. ‘That’s funny Will, have you seen my carving knife? I need it to get breakfast. It seems to have disappeared.’ The laughter is unbearable and struggling for normality Jessie asks, ‘what would you like for your breakfast this morning, Son?’

‘I'm not hungry thanks, Ma.’

Will’s answer is distant. The laughter drowns out all other sounds; everything is a blur through Jessie’s eyes; bile rises up in her throat and it feels like her head is about to explode. Breathing heavily, she sits down on a chair and looks with vacant eyes at her son.

‘Where’s your father? Must have gone down early to milk the cows I suppose. I didn’t stir when he got out of bed this morning. He’ll be hungry when he’s finished.’

The telephone rings on the big old sideboard next to where she sits. Jessie picks up the receiver.

‘Hello,’ she says, ‘who’s calling? Speak up please, I can’t hear you.’

Author: Carol

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Interesting Links

1. http://writersdigest.com/article/enrich-your-descriptions
This is a great article on description.

2. If you have an interest in trying your hand at writing short articles, check out the website http://www.helium.com There’s a huge range of topics to choose from and you can have the pleasure of seeing your work published on the web. The articles are rated by readers using a point-scoring system. Helium says their best writers are paid for their work. It may be worth participating to improve your skills and at the same time have the possibility of getting paid.

3. http://www.fictionwritersplatform.net
This is a website where you can publish your short stories. If you enjoy seeing your stories in print check it out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How to Inspire Yourself to Write by Rob Parnell

Hi! Readers - I thought this was a really good article and for this reason was moved to post it Fairfield Writing Group's blog. Rob is happy for it to be copied and pasted into newsletters, emails, websites etc. His website is Easy Way to Write and the URL is http://www.easywaytowrite.com/ Click on the Articles tab to find lots of helpful information...Carol

How to Inspire Yourself to Write
Author:  Rob Parnell

A student contacted me the other day to say that she'd been reading some best selling books to inspire her - but that unfortunately it was having the opposite effect!

She said she was feeling very intimidated by the way these best selling authors spun words, described everything so beautifully and really got her involved in the story.

She came away from reading feeling depressed that she could never compete, that she would never be as good as these other writers.

She asked if I might read one of these authors, dissect their style and tell her how she might emulate these great writers.

I flinched inwardly. I couldn't help myself.

Because I make it a rule NOT to read great authors when I'm writing a novel - for exactly the same reasons as my student!

A long time ago I discovered that reading writers like Stephen King, Robert Harris, Michael Chrichton and James Patterson stopped my writing in its tracks. These guys write with such flair - they make it seem so easy that yes, I found it hard to write my own material without either unconsciously emulating their styles or making me feel as though I couldn't write my way out of paper bag.

It was then I made the rule: "Don't get distracted by other writers when you're writing your own stuff."

It's partly for practical reasons too. Writing a long work is time consuming - and so is reading a novel. There has to be a trade off somewhere - and surely the focus should be on your own writing.

I have a pile of comics I read for distraction when I'm writing - because I know I won't get too involved and looking at the pictures is something I can enjoy without compromising my own sense of artistic integrity.

Besides which, it's completely artificial to read a best selling book and believe the text on page is the author's 'first go' at his novel. Writing that looks easy is the end result of furious editing, and ruthless self discipline AFTER the first draft is completed.

To compare your own writing to a best selling novelist's book is a bit like getting up in the morning and wondering why you don't look like Nicole Kidman or George Clooney on the Oscar's runway.

The fact is, movie stars don't look like their image before they put on the fairy gloss! And so it is with modern fiction - the end result is slick and impressive - but the first drafts are probably very similar to your own work.

So my advice is that if you want to inspire yourself to write, deliberately read something bad. This age old practice has worked since the dawn of time, from Plato to Patterson, from Flaubert to Frey.

Writers everywhere have all read a truly shoddy piece of writing, felt good about themselves and pronounced those immortal words, "Tuh! I can do better than that!"

Haven't you ever done that? And then felt emboldened to get on with your own writing, secure in the knowledge there's always someone worse than yourself?

It works for me. I won't mention the name of the author's book I read before I began my own current novel but it was bad - shocking, appalling. Misplaced qualifiers, serious POV issues, stylistic inconsistencies, the lot - even though I did actually quite enjoy the story.

But when I put the book down, I felt a rush - a certainty my next book could be really special, my best yet. And I'm going to hold on to that feeling for as long as I can, for as long as it takes to finish Kindred's first draft!

And then, and only then, will I read a good book - for pleasure!

It's not a good idea to read for inspiration. Reading is about studying other writers but emulating them, or even feeling the need to, is bad for your creativity.

When it comes to your own writing, trust your instincts, trust your own sense of what is the best writing YOU can create - and stop comparing yourself with others - at least until you've completed the first draft.

Best regards and keep writing!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Read, read, read. Read everything - trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.

William Faulkner

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Short Story: Another Entrapment - Part one (Rated Mature) by Carol

Jessie plunges the knife deep into her husband’s back. He groans and slumps forward in the chair; his head hits the tabletop with a dull thud. Perspiration forms in beads on her forehead; trickles down her back. Jessie shakes as she pulls it from his back; then pushes strands of damp hair away from her eyes before examining the bloodied blade. She traces her fingers over it and licks the blood from them. She is repulsed by its metallic taste, as repulsed as she was by Frank for what he had become over the last thirty plus years. She touches the cut on her bottom lip and the bruise below her eye. They’re both painful; he had hit her hard last night.

Someone is standing in the doorway framed against the setting sun. It is nearly dark. Paralysed she stares silently at the figure. But it’s only Will, her oldest son, who’s come in from mending fences on their property.

‘It’s me, Ma.’

He sees the knife Jessie is holding.

‘WHAT have you done?’

‘I’ve killed him!’

‘Killed who?’

‘I’ve killed your father, Will.’

‘Fuck!’ he bellows as he switches on the light and sees his father slumped forward in a chair, head face down on the table, blood spread over his back. ‘Fuck, Ma! ‘How in the hell did this happen?‘

Jessie looks straight ahead stony-faced. ‘I don’t know,’ she whispers, ‘you’d better call the police.’


‘But what else can we do?’ she cries and agitated now, grips his arm. With his free hand he prises her fingers open and lets her hand drop.

‘Let me think, damn it!’

‘But, Will!’

‘No!’ I won’t call the police. You’ve put up with that monster for years and you’re entitled to a life now the bastard’s dead. As far as I’m concerned it’s bloody good riddance. If you hadn’t done it, one day I would have. Now, just let me think.’

Jessie watches Will, his young face pale and strained, pace the floor. At last he turns and faces her.

‘We can bury him down by the creek in the back paddock. No one will ever know.’

‘I don’t know, Will. It’s not a good idea. What if we’re caught?’

‘We’ll deal with that if it happens; just do as I say. Go and get a couple of old blankets and I’ll bring the Ute around to the side of the house.’

Will drags his father’s body outside. He hauls it up into the back of the old utility, which battered, worn and full of rust has seen better days. He lays the body on top of the blankets that Jessie has spread out ready. He throws a spade in and then moves to the front of the vehicle where he opens the door on the passenger’s side and puts a hurricane lamp on the front seat.

‘Go back inside and get the knife, Ma, put on a pair of gloves and wipe the knife clean just in case it’s found by someone, wrap it in a tea towel and then bring it out to me.’

Jessie returns to the house and enters the kitchen where she goes to the sink and picks up a pair of rubber gloves. Disorientated and shaking she does as Will has told her, brings out the knife and hands it to him.

‘We’ll bury it with him. We can burn the blankets later.’ Will says.

Jessie doesn’t answer but climbs into the front seat and holds the hurricane lamp on her lap.The old utility bumps along, shuddering and sometimes faltering on the gravel road that winds its way through dense scrub and trees to the creek. She hopes it doesn’t die on them. Frank had done some mechanical work on its motor recently but it needed more. On occasion they run over a pothole in the road and bounce up and down in their seats. Frank’s body thumps around in the back. The sound of it is barely audible against the whine of the motor and the crunch of tyres on gravel. Jessie hears it though and feels sick. She sticks her head out the window and vomits…

She sits on a log and rests the hurricane lamp on the ground beside her. It gives off just enough light for Will to see what he’s doing. She hugs her knees rocking back and forth while she watches him dig his father’s grave.

Jessie has told him to dig it good and deep, as there are wild pigs around this part of the countryside, or so she’s heard. She’s read stories in the newspaper about wild pigs digging up bodies and eating them. Even though she has hated Frank for a long time she wouldn’t want that to happen to his remains.

Vivid images pass before her eyes in a technicolour slideshow of Frank as she remembers: him sitting on the very chair where she stabbed him smiling at her as he eats breakfast; him working in the milking shed, the cows milling around as they wait to be milked; the two of them making love.

‘God help me! What have I done?’ she mutters to herself and cries quietly.

The soft thuds of soil piling up as Will digs, fills her with a sense of foreboding. There’s a slight breeze and the leaves rustle. A branch snaps; there is a thump as a possum bounds past making its distinctive mating call. It stops for a few seconds to look at her. The water is running fast in the creek. It gurgles and swishes as it rushes by on its long journey to the river and eventually out to sea. The night has turned cold and she hears the lonely cry of a mopoke calling in the distance. Jessie shivers as she pulls her cardigan tight to her body. The incessant hum of mosquitoes drives her mad. She loathes them and they are in plague proportions this summer. She stops rocking for a moment to slap at her legs. Jessie wonders vaguely how she could have done what she did and fights to stop the howl that threatens to rise up like a stricken animal out of her throat. Her thoughts stray back to last night when he hit her and she fell to the floor; then to tonight when she picked up the knife and…

She’s tired and doesn’t want to think anymore. She wishes she could lie down on the ground, go to sleep and block out the pain and horror of this night from her mind.

A light moves along the top road that runs a small distance from the creek and they both hear the sound of a car engine.

‘Just turn the lamp off for a minute,’ calls Will in a low voice, as he continues to dig.

Jessie snaps out of her stupor and does as Will says. She can barely see him as he digs in the darkness of shadows and holds her breath too frightened to breathe as the car passes by.

Will pauses digging.

’It’s probably just travellers passing through. It wouldn’t be anyone from around here,’ he adds. ‘Not at this time of night.’

They watch as the light trails away in the distance. She breathes a sigh of relief.

Jessie looks up at the black night sky dotted with stars. The moon is full and its pale light casting eerie shadows heightens her anxiety. When is Will going to be finished? There in the moonlight memories stir again from deep within the recesses of her mind and she remembers with clarity when Frank and her were first married and how different things were then. She remembers the births of their children and how proud he was of each tiny bundle, nursing every baby as if it would break…

Jessie jumps as Will touches her arm. ‘Come on,’ he says gently taking her by the hand. ‘It’s time to go home. I’ve finished the job. Mind your step now so you don’t trip over.’

‘Yes, Will. I’ll mind my step.’ she answers.

‘When we get home we’ll decide on a plan,’ he says.

Will turns the key in the ignition. There is nothing but the burr of a sick motor. He tries again but it refuses to turn over. He gets out and puts up the bonnet. His voice is muffled as he bends over to examine the engine.

‘I think it’s a flat battery, we’ll have to walk.’

She climbs wearily out of the utility, and steps onto the road.

‘We must hurry, Ma. I’ll get the battery out of the Holden and come back,’ Will says in an urgent tone and he strides off in the direction of the farmhouse.

Jessie has trouble keeping up with him and trails several metres behind. Clouds scud across the sky and hide the moonlight most of the time making it hard to see where she’s going. The wind springs up and heavy rain starts to tumble down as they hurry toward home. She falls as her foot slips down a pothole and she twists her ankle; the pain is excruciating. Will doesn’t seem to notice. She hobbles along the road as fast as she can. Something crosses the road between her and Will. She stops, her heart thuds loud in her chest. It disappears into the scrub and relieved, Jessie realises it was a kangaroo. They’re near home and Will is a long way in front. She doesn’t care. She doesn’t want to go inside the house anymore. Not in there, not where she killed Frank.

Panting from exertion and dripping wet, Jessie meets Will who is waiting for her at the back door. Jessie collapses onto an old rocking chair and gazes at Will not speaking a word.

‘What have you done to your foot?’

‘It’s nothing,’ she gasps.

Will returns to the house and comes back with a towel and blanket.

‘I’m leaving to get the Ute now. Will you be all right?’

‘I don’t know!’

‘You’d better go inside now, and if you can, please clean up the blood.’

‘I can’t Will, I can’t go in there. Not without you, not after…you know… what happened.

It’ll be all right, honest! Just take a deep breath and go inside. I shouldn’t be too long and then we’ll talk.’

Will helps Jessie to her feet and guides her to the door.

‘Here, dry yourself off with this,’ he says giving her the towel, ‘and use this blanket to keep warm.’

He opens the door and she walks into the kitchen like a child doing what it’s told.

Sobbing Jessie cleans up the blood as Will told her to do, first she scrubs the kitchen chair and then down on her hands and knees, she scrubs the floor until no trace of her husband’s blood is left. After Jessie has finished, she sits, wrapped in the blanket too scared and exhausted to do anything else and waits for Will to arrive back with the utility.

The telephone rings, a rude intrusion that jarrs her already raw nerves. Jessie answers it with a tentative ‘Hello.’

She hears someone breathing, then there’s silence.

‘Hello,’ she says again. ‘Is anyone there?

Author: Carol

To be continued next Friday 12th March 2010