Discounts on Convention Fees are offered to Early Bird Registrations received before 31st July 2017

and members of Rockingham Writers Centre or supporting organisations.


Standard Registration: $95 members $115 non-members

Convention Fees include morning and afternoon tea and lunch. Please ensure that you inform us of any dietary requirements on your registration form.


Standard Registration –  8th September 2017









Mary Davies Library and Community Centre, 17 Settlers Avenue, Baldivis WA

8.30am – Registration

9.00am – 10.30am Session 1

A Character and Plot – Loretta Hill

B Overcoming Obstacles to Writing – Annabel Smith

C Marketing Self-Published Titles – Rosanne Dingli

 10.30am Morning Tea

11.00am – 12.30pm Session 2

A Twelve Ingredients All Page Turners Have in Common – Tess Woods

B How to Write Compelling Heroines – Natasha Lester

C Writer Meet Publisher – Terri-ann White

D Critique / Pitch Session – Serenity Press

 12.30pm Lunch is included in your registration fees, please ensure that you inform us of any dietary requirements on your registration form. 

Keynote Address – 20 Years of Working with Books & Writers

Meredith Curnow (Penguin Random House)

 1.30pm – 3.00pm Session 3

 A Writing the Dream Author Panel

Teena Raffa-Mulligan,  Tess Woods,  Natasha Lester,  Karen McDermott,  Monique Mulligan and  Guy Salvidge

B Critique / Pitch Session – Fremantle Press

C Critique / Pitch Session – Alex Adsett

D Critique / Pitch Session – UWA Publishing

 3.00pm Afternoon tea

3.30pm – 5.00pm Session 4

 A What Does a Literary Agent Do and Do You Need One? – Alex Adsett 

B Committing Crime to Paper – Georgia Richter

C Juicy Lives – On Life Writing – Brigid Lowry

D The Myth and Magic of Writing for Children – Teena Raffa-Mulligan

E Critique / Pitch Session – Penguin Random House





The building blocks of great fiction is good characters and good plot. It seems completely obvious. However, a common mistake made by new writers is slightly favouring one over the other.

You can have a smashing plot but a character that lacks depth will have the reader losing interest almost immediately. In turn a multi-faceted very likeable character who wins the day too easily will make for a rather flat story.

This workshop is about how to develop strong, believable characters that readers can connect with. How to create plots with at least three significant turning points. And how to intertwine character with plot so much that it is impossible to separate the two. In this way, the perfect balance for a great story is created.

Loretta Hill is a women’s fiction writer currently working on her next novel for Penguin Random House.

Prior to publication, Loretta was a FIFO worker and travelled to remote locations around Australia. Some of this experience formed the backdrop for her first book with Random House, The Girl in the Steel-Capped Boots. It was a national bestseller along with its sequels, The Girl in the Hard Hat and The Girl in the Yellow Vest (which was No. 1 on iTunes upon release.)

In 2014, Loretta started a new series set in the Margaret Wine Region, a pocket of Western Australia close to her heart. Her novel, The Maxwell Sisters met with national success, as did The Grass is Greener, which came out in Jan 2016. Loretta is currently working on the final book in this series.


This interactive workshop will delve deep into the thoughts and feelings that hold us back from achieving our potential as writers, such as self-doubt, fear of rejection/criticism , procrastination, perfectionism and lack or resilience/staying power

This workshop will enable you to understand the beliefs which hold you back from achieving your potential as a writer, become familiar with strategies and frameworks for overcoming self-limiting beliefs and behaviours around writing, and practice with tools which will empower you to continue to build confidence and proactivity on an ongoing basis.

Annabel Smith is the author of The Ark, Whisky Charlie Foxtrot, and A New Map of the Universe, which was chosen as the flagship novel to launch UWA Publishing’s ‘New Writing Series’ and shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Book Awards.

In April 2015, Whiskey Charlie Foxtrot was published in the USA (as Whiskey & Charlie) where it has sold in excess of 60,000 copies.

She has a PhD in Creative Writing, teaches Creative Writing at the Australian Writers Centre and is a former member of the editorial board at Margaret River Press.

In 2012 she was selected by the Australia Council as one of five inaugural recipients of a Creative Australia Fellowship for Emerging Artists, for her interactive digital novel/app The Ark.


All new books are invisible unless they are promoted. No one can read, review, or recommend a book they do not know exists.

To raise awareness of the existence of a title by an independent author, who cannot rely on a publishing house for publicity, is incredibly difficult. It can also be prohibitively expensive. Which books are visible and can be bought, and which ones languish and fall to the dark impenetrable depths is a matter of knowing about publicity and promotions.

Understanding what the word “marketing” means is a good start. What this word must come to mean for independent authors is vital. Awareness of what is entailed when one publishes a book and wants it to sell is the difference between satisfaction and gross disappointment, irrespective of the book’s quality.

Rosanne has produced, published, and promoted more than 25 titles for herself and other Australian authors. Gain access to her experience, knowledge, and little tricks that make sure her titles are visible to readers eager to buy books.

Rosanne Dingli was born and raised in Malta and received her education and her most significant youthful experiences in the Mediterranean. Emigrating to Australia in 1982 confounded a number of long-held presumptions about culture, freedom, what it means to be a woman, and the whole business of becoming an author.  Her first published piece, in 1985, when she was living in Narrandera, NSW, set her on a one-way journey towards life as a writer, which she has tried several times to give up, without success. Her first novel, Death in Malta, was written quickly, but took years to edit to its present form. Now an award-winning novelist Rosanne Dingli has authored four novels,  six collections of short stories, and a book of collected poems.


What is it that makes a book a page turner? Regardless of genre, they all have twelve common ingredients. Using three books as examples – The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins), Coonardoo (Katharine Susannah Prichard) and Love at First Flight (Tess Woods), Tess will show you the key elements all page turners have whether it’s a dystopian young adult, a literary historical fiction, contemporary commercial fiction or any other genre.

Tess’s twelve step process to creating a page turner will include specific examples from each text and include audience participation.

Headings for each step:

  • Creating a powerful opening.
  • Orientating readers to the scene.
  • Bringing characters to life.
  • Narrative traction – how to keep it strong.
  • When to reveal information about characters and plot to the reader.
  • Goals and stakes.
  • Creating exciting obstacles.
  • The importance of backstory in character motivation and how much needs to be added in.
  • Making sure each scene works to propel the story.
  • When to show and when to tell.
  • The importance of tone and language in making characters believable.
  • Whether choosing first or third person for pace is better.

All 12 steps will be discussed with practical examples and the do’s and don’ts of each step to help you create a thrilling read that people won’t be able to put down.

Tess Woods is an award winning Perth author, whose best-selling debut Love at First Flight was the first and only HarperCollins eBook to be given a print release. Her follow up novel Beautiful Messy Love is due for release on 24th July. Tess also works as a physiotherapist, owning and managing two clinics in Perth. She officially has two children but the reality is actually five when she counts her husband, dog and cat. In the spare time she wishes she had, Tess would be knitting or binge watching Netflix.


Readers connect with a story through the heroine, who should live on in the reader’s mind long after they close the covers. This workshop will show you how to write a heroine who is the heart and soul of your book. We can do this by making sure your heroine’s motivations are clear, by getting the reader firmly on her side so they root for her, writing heroines who cause the reader to think about how they would act in your heroine’s situation, and crafting heroines who tap into the readers’ wish to be different or better. Using practical examples of amazing fictional heroines, as well as drawing on Natasha’s experience in creating much-loved heroines,this workshop will show you how to do all this and more. It will help you transform your heroine from ho-hum to heroic!

Natasha Lester’s latest book, A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, was published by Hachette Australia in 2016 with another historical novel, Her Mother’s Secret, to follow in 2017. Prior to becoming a writer, Natasha worked as a marketing executive for ten years, including stints at cosmetic company L’Oreal, managing the Maybelline brand, before returning to university to study creative writing. She completed a Master of Creative Arts as well as her first novel, What Is Left Over, After, which won the T.A.G. Hungerford Award for Fiction. Her second novel, If I Should Lose You, was published by Fremantle Press. The Age newspaper has described Natasha as “a remarkable Australian talent”. Natasha regularly teaches sold-out writing workshops in Perth and around Australia.


Terri-ann White, Director of UWA Publishing, takes us through the publishing process, from start to finish. How do you most effectively approach a publisher? How do you choose the most appropriate publisher? What should you expect after you submit your proposal?

What actually happens to your precious work? Who looks at it? Who selects an editor and what changes will be made, and why? How is a cover selected? Who decides the format (hardback/paperback)? Who sets the price? How much will you (the author) actually get in your pocket?

I’ll endeavour to answer all of these questions, and take the ones you stored up and carried into our session. They involve the responsibilities of both parties in this remarkable adventure.

Terri-ann White has been published since the late 1980s, taught writing in the community and universities, and previously been an independent bookseller.  Her books include a collection of short stories, one novel, three anthologies, and she has been published widely in journals and anthologies. She has an abiding interest in expression and takes great pleasure in collaborative work with other thinkers and artists, especially in the forms of the visual arts and performance. She is currently Director of UWA Publishing.


Alex Adsett is a consultant and literary agent offering publishing contract and negotiating advice to authors and publishers.  She has more than eighteen years’ experience working in the publishing and bookselling industry in London and Australia, and has managed Alex Adsett Publishing Services since 2008. As a literary agent, she concentrates on fiction manuscripts including Science Fiction-Fantasy, crime, and romance, for all ages from picture books to adults.  She regularly delivers seminars on copyright and publishing contracts  and serves on various Not-For-Profit literary boards including Small Press Network and Queensland Writers Centre. She is often to be found on twitter at @alexadsett.





Exploring elements of the crime fiction genre and how to get the mix just right. A workshop for writers interested in writing crime. We will examine;

  • the role of the investigator · the role of the criminal character
  • the role of the reader · creating tension
  • managing the dark side · restoring order
  • research, point of view and plotting

Participants should bring along a recent or favourite crime novel they have read, which will form part of our discussion.

Georgia Richter is the Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry Publisher at Fremantle Press. She is an Institute of Professional Editors accredited editor who in the past has also taught creative writing, professional writing and editing at Melbourne University, Curtin and UWA. She was a shortlist judge of the 2016 T.A.G. Hungerford Award, and is currently enjoying building the crime fiction list at Fremantle Press


JUICY LIVES –  On Life Writing

Creative autobiography, memoir and life writing are genres which Brigid Lowry is passionate about. In this hands-on workshop you will be guided through a variety of exercises in a playful yet meaningful way, and given practical information about how to bring your stories to life on the page . Come prepared to play, listen, learn, share, experiment and most of all to write.

Brigid Lowry has an  MA in Creative Writing, and has taught writing at every level, including Curtin University and UWA Extension. She has published both poetry and short fiction for adults, as well as 8 books for teenagers. Guitar Highway Rose and Juicy Writing: Inspiration and Techniques for Young Writers are two of her prize-winning YA titles.  Her latest book is  Still Life With Teapot: On Zen, Memoir and Creativity, Fremantle Press, 2016. Brigid believes in op shops, coloured pencils, vegetables, oceans, cake, floral frocks and postcards.



Abandon your misconceptions and explore the wonderful world of writing for children.

What is the Myth? Writing for children is easier than writing for adults.

What is the reality? Writing for children requires the same skills as writing for adults – and more. It also poses the challenge of using the minimum of words to achieve maximum impact for a highly competitive market. Writers still need to create exciting stories about interesting characters and become familiar with the market requirements for the various genres.

This session looks at the different areas of writing for children and covers the process of developing a manuscript from idea to submission. Participants will come away with a clearer sense of what is involved in writing for young readers.

Teena Raffa-Mulligan writes across genres and her publications include picture books, chapter books, novels and many short stories and poems for children and adults. She presents workshops to encourage people of all ages to write their own stories. Teena has also had a long career as a journalist and editor.




After studying literature and travelling I knew I wanted to work in the creative arts, but had little idea of what I meant by that. Serendipity was my friend and my first ‘career’ role was with the Australian Publishers Association where I received a thorough education in books from the perspective of publishing companies. Next came the Sydney Writers’ Festival where life was very much about the writers. And now, after 14 years with Random House Books, it is all about the reader. I very much sit in the middle trying to ensure the collaboration between publishing company and writer is fruitful for both parties and results in happy readers.

Meredith Curnow has been a publisher at Penguin Random House for fourteen years where she publishes fiction and non-fiction from a stellar array of writers including Tom Keneally, Gail Jones, David Malouf, Julia Gillard, Don Watson, Kate Forsyth, Tegan Bennett Daylight, Yassmin Abdel-Magied and Frank Moorhouse. Prior to joining PRH, Meredith ran the Sydney Writers’ Festival. Meredith is a board member of youth arts organisation Express Media and chairs the Australian Publishers Association/Australia Council Residential Editorial Program for developing editorial skills.


Teena Raffa-Mulligan, Tess Woods, Natasha Lester (see bio’s above)

Karen McDermott lives in Waikiki, Western Australia. She has two great loves:, her six children, and books. Karen’s first fiction novel The Visitor (published in 2010) was a finalist in the 2012 Readers Favourite book awards. She has since gone on to write two more novels in the series and is currently working on her fourth novel. She is founder of Serenity Press, where she publishes books with heart, inspiring stories and children’s books. She is also collaborates with Australian artists to make her children’s stories come to life.

Monique Mulligan is the co-director of Serenity Press. She joined Serenity Press in 2015 to work on the Serenity Romance imprint, and in mid-2016 came on board as a partner. A former newspaper editor, journalist, children’s curriculum writer and magazine editor, Monique has had a varied career in writing and editing. Monique also writes fiction. Her short romance story, The Point of Love, has been published by Serenity Press in the Rocky Romance anthology and as a standalone novelette. Her children’s picture book, My Silly Mum, was published in May. She is now working on a full-length contemporary novel.

Guy Salvidge is the author of the dystopian novels Yellowcake Springs and Yellowcake Summer. He has twice been Emerging Writer-in-Residence at Perth Writers’ Centres and his story ‘Frank’ won the 2015 City of Rockingham Short Fiction Award. His short fiction has appeared in Award Winning Australian Writing, Westerly: New Creative, Tincture Journal and The Great Unknown. A non-fiction piece about his writing journey, ‘Hard Travelin’, appeared in Writing the Dream in 2016. Guy is currently working on a crime novel, City of Rubber Stamps.


Authors will be invited to submit material to by 11th August 2017 and participate in a 15 minute critique / pitch session with the publisher or agent of their choice.

You are encouraged to visit the publishers / agents websites listed below for general information, but please do not attempt to contact them directly.


Serenity Press is looking for love-swept romance manuscripts of 10,000 to 25,000 words for their Serenity Novelette Collection.

Submit – a synopsis and the first 1000 words.


Fremantle Press is looking for fiction or narrative non-fiction – memoir, true crime, travel writing etc. and poetry.

Submit – a synopsis and 1500 words of prose or 4 poems and a statement about context.


Alex Adsett Publishing Services represents almost all genres from adult fiction and non-fiction to Young Adult and picture books. Her focus is on quality genre fiction – romance, crime, science fiction/fantasy. No memoirs or spiritual manuscripts.

Submit – a 1 page synopsis, 1 page pitch letter and maximum 20 pages of manuscript.


UWA Publishing will look at literary fiction, creative non-fiction, general and narrative non-fiction. No art portfolios unless they are art or natural history proposals.

Submit – the first 2 chapters for fiction and non-fiction or 20 pages of poems.


Penguin Random House  is open to receiving fiction and non-fiction across all genres except science fiction / fantasy.

Submit – a maximum of 20 pages including synopsis.


or contact Bec at or on 0424 473 880 for further enquiries.