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, May 30, 2011


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Writing is easy. You only need to stare at a piece of blank paper until a drop of blood forms on your forehead. - Douglas Adams.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011



Next Meetings

    28th of May 2011
  Novel/Short Group-10.30am

11th of June
Anthology Group-9.30am
Exercise Group-10.30am

  25th of June
 Anthology Group-9.30am
    Novel/Short Group-10.30am
                                                              TEMPORARY VENUE:
                  Yeronga Services Club Inc
                   Cnr Fairfield Rd & Kadumba St,
                 Yeronga QLD 4104


Animated image of multiple fireworks

Writers Festivals and Events 2011
- Australia

6 & 7 June 2011 - Voices on the Coast: A Youth Literature Festival - Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

17 to 20 June 2011 - Watermark Literary Muster - Biennial festival bringing together national and international writers whose writing focuses on nature. Camden Haven, New South Wales.

14 to 17 July 2011 - Mildura Writers Festival

22-24 July 2011- Whitsunday Writers Festival

5 to 7 August 2011 - Byron Bay Writers Festival
11 to 14 August 2011 - Romance Writers of Australia National Conference - Melbourne.
20 to 26 August 2011 - Australian Children's Book Week - The theme for 2011 is One World, Many Stories. For information on the winning books and costumes that celebrate characters from children's books see our BCL Book Week page.
26 August to 4 September 2011 - Melbourne Writers' Festival
7 to 11 September 2011 - Brisbane Writers Festival

7 to Sunday 11 September 2011 - Write Around the Murray Festival - in Albury, New South Wales.
2nd to 5th October 2011 - Australian School Library Association XXII Biennial Conference



ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize


Entry to the Australian Book Review short story prize – renamed the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, in memory of the late Australian writer – is now open.


First prize: $5000

Three shortlisted stories: $1000 plus publication

Closing date: 30 June 2011

Prose and Poetry Prizes 2011
from The New Writer magazine

Closing date 30 November

Established in 1997, one of the major annual international competitions for short stories, microfiction, single poems, poetry collections, essays and articles; offers cash prizes as well as publication for the prize-winning writers in The Collection, special edition of The New Writer magazine. 

Further information on the annual Prose & Poetry Prizes including guidelines and entry fees at:

Writers can enter online at our secure credit card server at:

Or, the entry form can also be downloaded from that page on the website and sent in the post with your entry.
The winners of the 2010 Prose & Poetry Prizes are listed on this webpage:



11th of June 2011
ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize 

This month’s exercise is based on the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize competition.
First prize: $5000
Three shortlisted stories: $1000 plus publication
Closing date: 30 June 2011

1.      If you don’t want to enter the competition:
Write a short story of no more than 1000 words on anything you want.
2.      If you do want to enter the competition:
      Write a short story between 2000 – 5000 words on anything you want.

For competition information


Fairfield Writers Group Minutes-Exercise meeting        9 April 2011

Present: Anna, Carol, Helga, Jennifer, Lorraine, Lou, Wendy, Anne, and Maarten
Meeting chaired: by Anna 
Minutes: by Wendy

Ø  Fairfield Library reopening
Anna advised that an event is planned for Fairfield Library at the end of May to celebrate the reopening of the library after its closure due to flood damage. It was agreed that FWG should contribute to the occasion.
 Suggestions for involvement included:
·         sale of FWG anthology ‘Beginnings ‘
·         display of posters promoting FWG
·         assistance with invitations to the event
·         readings from members of the group
Anna to discuss these suggestions with Fairfield Library staff.
Ø Writing exercises
Jennifer advised that the May exercise is to be a humorous poem of three or more stanzas.
The poem may be rhyming or non-rhyming, but not a limerick.
Lorraine and Jennifer to distribute articles / links on poetry writing.
Anna to post a list of possible exercise themes for future meetings on blog.

Ø June Exercise
Maarten to choose exercise for June.
Ø Guest speaker

Lou reported that Caz Osborne, the project manager of One Book Many Brisbanes, is willing to speak to FWG on the
art of project managing an anthology-sticking to the milestones.  It was suggested that a thank you gift might be
It was agreed the proposed date should be 25 June 2011 from 10.30-11.30 at the Fairfield Library
Minutes of Novel/Short Story meeting
9 April 2011
No meeting was held
Next meetings:

  14 May – Set Exercise
       28 May– Novel/short story

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Anthology Newsletter 9th of April 2011

9th of April 2011

Present: Anna, Helga, Jennifer, Lorraine, Lou, Maarten


Chairing this meeting: Anna
Taking minutes this meeting:Lorraine

The following key points were discussed in this meeting:

1.       Book Cover Design
The group agreed on a front cover design, thanked Helga for her hard work, and complimented her talent.  Lorraine advised that her husband would calculate the spine width and complete the side panel design and full cover print file.
Helga showed her idea for the back cover, featuring short log lines. Lorraine offered to complete the back cover design and the group authorised her to edit/abbreviate log lines as necessary to fit the available space.
The group complimented Helga on her well-written short log lines and thanked her for investing the time to write these.

2.       Book Format
The group agreed to keep the format the same as the 2009 Anthology, using similar layouts for the Title Page, Contents, Acknowledgements, page numbering, and first pages of stories.  It was agreed that the Bios should be in the back as before.
Time breaks in stories are to be marked with three asterisks centred and a blank line above and below.

3.       Mentoring
Members swapped mentors to achieve the benefit of a fresh perspective on their writing.  Mentors are listed on the top line of the table below and the writer they are to assist is shown on the second row:


Members are asked to locate their name on the bottom row and send their story to the person whose name appears above theirs.
If you do not receive a story in your email soon, please locate your name in the top row and send a request email to the person whose name appears below yours, reminding them that you are their mentor and are waiting to receive their story for comment.
4.       ISBN
The group agreed Lorraine should purchase the ISBN and Bar Code through her publishing company and Rainbow Works Pty Ltd would again be listed as the publisher of the Anthology.  Estimated cost: $90.  Lorraine will provide an invoice for Carol to reimburse once the transaction is complete.
5.       Ebook
Lorraine advised some options for ebook publishing.  No cost to publish a version that can be freely copied and distributed.  A protected version may cost approx. $100 to publish.  Lorraine advised that she can arrange eStore distribution and if the group sets a price on the ebook, other distributors such as Amazon may stock it in their stores also.  A price of $5 was discussed favourably.  No decision was made on this but the matter was referred for more detailed discussion at the next project group meeting.
6.         Copyright ownership
Lou asked about copyright ownership and possible publication of stories separately, noting that some readers of electronic publications may want to buy/read specific stories, but not the entire book. Lorraine advised that the Anthology copyright is held jointly by FWG and all authors, with each author owning the copyright to their story. Therefore, in theory each author may use their story however they choose.  It was noted, however, that stories that have been published generally cannot be entered into competitions and are often precluded from submission to other publishers. Further, it was noted that publishing stories individually may have a negative impact on marketing of the Anthology.
The group agreed to come to an informal agreement on the use of individual stories by their authors
7.         Story Sequence
Discussion of the sequencing of stories in the book was deferred until the next meeting.
8.         Marketing
It was decided that due to time restrictions, discussion of marketing should be deferred until next meeting.  Lou expressed concern that the discussion is repeatedly being deferred and there is a need to finalise marketing plans and commence marketing.
9.         Next meeting
It was noted that the Project Plan contained a date error with respect to the next meeting.  Lou advised that she was not available on the second Saturday in May, and as Lou is the marketing manager and because there appeared to be lengthy discussion needed on marketing, it was decided to convene a special Anthology Project Group Meeting commencing at 10 am on May 7.  This will enable members to engage in lengthy discussions without the time restrictions imposed by meeting before regular FWG meetings.
10.       Agenda items for next meeting:
Story sequencing
eBook creation and distribution
Marketing and promotion
Library launch (see note below)
Copy for Acknowledgements page
            Agreement on copyright and story usage

DATE:  MAY 7,M 2011     
TIME:    10 AM  
Note:  At the FWG meeting following this meeting, Anna advised that the library will be re-opening in May and is holding a gala launch event.  Anna will discuss with library staff the possibility of using this event to publicize FWG and the Anthologies; sell the 2009 Anthology, promote and pre-sell the 2011 Anthology, and hand out invitations to the 2011 Anthology launch.  Launch date will therefore need to be set in time to print posters and invitations before the library event.


by Anne

Cat and bird by tree

Friendship is a priceless gift
That can't be bought or sold,
But its value is far greater
Than a mountain made of gold.

For gold is cold and lifeless,
It cannot see nor hear,
And in your times of trouble,
It is powerless to cheer.

It has no ears to listen,
No heart to understand.
It cannot bring you comfort
Or reach out a helping hand.

So when you ask God for a gift,
Be thankful that he sends,
Not diamonds, pearls, or riches,
But the love of a real, true friend



14th of May 2011

·         Write a humorous poem on anything you want.
       Information and examples are below.

Seven Centuries of Poetry in English, edited by John Leonard.
''We value poetry for many reasons.  It involves philosophy and feeling, it is a cultural record, it both concentrates and extends language.  It is also, like singing, an art which centres langugage in our bodies.  Rhythm is of prime importance in the speaking of poetry - even in the speaking of a silent reading.

Compared with the immediate pleasure of reading poetry, the study of rhythm and metre is technical.  Yet the enjoyment of any art is generally enhanced by an understanding of some of its techniques.  Poets themselves, who may have begun by writing well with an internalised understanding but only a hazy formal knowledge of rhythm and metre, often turn in mid-career to a study of the principles, to sharpen their perception of what they do.

Rhythm in poetry formalises and tightens ordinary speech rhythm, and like the rhythm of all spoken language, it is learned by hearing.  As children, we imitated speech rhythms even before we learned words, and in learning to speak we adapted rhythm as well as vocabulary and syntax to the purpose of communication.  At the same time, most of us internalised the four-beat line of poetry from hearing children's rhymes.  Later, if we learned to appreciate the more subtle five-beat line (the pentameter) and the variable line of free verse, this also would have been influenced by hearing others.  The analysis of rhythm, whether of conversation or of poetry, therefore draws upon reflection;  it brings to light knowledge which we implicitly possess.  In a way, it might follow that analysis is superfluous; a thorough enjoyment of poetry is possible without it.

Yet it is the very entrenchment of rhythm and metre in our intimate experience of language that makes them worth studying.

RHYTHM: a perceived pattern of repetition in time.  The term has wide reference, from the cycles of the seasons to the pulse of an atomic clock.  As applied to language, 'rhythm' refers to a timing which is not exact, but rather fluent, like that of the heartbeat, breathing and walking.  The BEAT of a rhythm in English is normally carried by stressed syllables.

METRE :  (from the Greek, metron, measure)    a regular and recurring pattern that can be abstracted from the rhythmical organisation of lines of poetry.''

FREE VERSE: where the lines have no regular count of beats or offbeats.  They are therefore of irregular length.  Free verse is free of metre.

When the voices of children, are heard on the the green
And whisperings are in the dale:
The days of my youth rise fresh in my mind,
My face turns green and pale.                 Blake

beginning poetry

For Starters

 (The poem I should have written aged 11 3/4 but somehow never got around to ...)

'Write a poem,' our teacher keeps yellin'
But us boys take the pee and say 'shove it!'
Only girlies and wimps can do poems
That's what I think. Oh bugger, I've done it!

For twelve hours a day I've bin slavin'
Maintaining a decent street cred
But the court's just adjourned in the bike-shed
The verdict? 'Big softy - You're dead!'

Life's full of surprises though, innit?
Here I sit, pen in hand, chewing gum
And compared to graffitiing lampposts
What the hell, I confess, this is fun!

Copyright Peter Fairbrother

Handy Information on Novel Writing

Lorraine has provided some invaluable information on how to write a novel which are:

1. Write a log line

2. Write a brief precise

3. Answer these questions about character and conflict:
  • Describe the main character, focusing on exposing the conflict that is central to the story
  • What does the main character want? (Describe the over-arching want that drives the story. There will be less important shorter term goals throughout the story.)
  • What stands in the way of the main character achieving his objective? Who is the villain and how do they obstruct him?
  • By the end of the story, does the main character achieve his goal, change his goal, or accept defeat?
  • How is the main character changed by the end of the story?

Now draw up a spreadsheet or table with the following columns:

 Scene name; Scene style (narrative, dialog or live action); Purpose or theme of scene; Character motivation or goal; Beginning style (narrative, dialog or live action); Beginning hook; Ending style (narrative, dialog or live action); Ending hook.

 For each scene in the story, determine whether the scene is primarily a live action scene (things happening in real time), narrative (the narrator telling what happened); or dialog. Also determine whether the scene opens and closes with narrative, dialog, or live action.

For each scene, describe the purpose or theme of the scene and the main character's motivation or goal in that scene.

For each scene, describe the opening and how it hopefully 'hooks' the reader and drives them to continue reading. What questions will the opening generate in the reader's mind?

For each scene, describe the ending and how it hopefully 'hooks' the reader to turn over and read the next scene.

Now divide the book into chapters by highlighting the cell containing the beginning hook of each scene that starts a new chapter, and the cell containing the ending hook of each scene that ends a chapter.

 By looking down this table, you should be able to instantly see the following possible flaws in your novel:
  • Too much narrative. Does the 'scene style' column have too few 'live action' entries?
  • Too many narrative beginnings or endings to scenes. Do the beginning and ending style columns have too few 'live action' entries. Focus particularly on chapter starts and ends. Are most of these 'live action', or at least dialog?
  • Weak hooks. Not every chapter should end with a cliff hanger. Readers will get very tired and bored if they end every chapter hanging by their fingernails, but endings should be powerful enough to drive readers to read on. Beginnings should grab reader interest quickly.
  • Irrelevant scenes. Are there scenes with a theme that doesn't really fit or isn't important to the story. Are there scenes you can delete without taking away from the story?
  • Scenes that don't move the story forward. Are there scenes where the character goal or motivation isn't in line with the over-arching motivation described above? Every scene should move the story logically forward toward the conclusion of the character ultimately achieving his goal, changing it, or acknowledging defeat.
  • Do the chapters start and end in the most appropriate places? Would the start and end hooks be more effective if you moved a scene or two up into the previous chapter or forward to the next?
  • Does every scene fit with the overall theme and message of the book?

You can then add columns to record tension levels in each scene/chapter. Does the tension level rise and fall in the right places?

If your story is told from multiple points of view, record whose POV each scene is told from. An 'at a glance' view of where points of view change can be helpful in identifying possible problems.


Here is the link to what I think is a very useful article for would-be poets kindly provided by Lorraine and The Pottsville Writers Group.