Standard Registration: $95 members $115 non-members

Early Bird Registration: $75 members $95 non-members

Pitch/Critique sessions: $45 (if booked for full convention) $65 (if not attending convention)

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

Discounts on Convention Fees are offered to Early Bird Registrations received before 31st July 2018

from members of Rockingham Writers Centre or supporting organisations.


Standard Registration –  7th September 2018








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


8.30am – Registration


9.00am – 10.30am Session 1

     A       How Does Publishing Work & What do Publishers Want? – Jane Novak 

B       Presentation Skills for Authors – Glenn Swift  

C       Capturing Chloe – Researching Historical Fiction  – Katy Kell

     D     Goal, Motivation & Conflict – Georgia Richter


10.30am Morning Tea


11.00am – 12.30pm Session 2

A       Place in Fiction – Deb Fitzpatrick 

     B       Marketing & Promotion – Tess Woods

     C       How to Actually Show & Not Tell – Natasha Lester

     D      Group Pitch  – Kate Cuthbert 


12.30pm Lunch

1.30pm – 3.00pm Session 3

A       Independent V’s Traditional Publishing

                     Teena Raffa Mulligan – MC

                     Claire Boston

                     Shona Husk

                     Tess Woods

                     Deb Fitzpatrick

                     Natasha Lester

B       Critique / Pitch Session – Fremantle Press 

     C       Critique / Pitch Session – Literary Agent Jane Novak 

     D      Critique Session – Escape Publishing

     E       Pitch Session – Wild Eyed Press


3.00pm Afternoon tea


3.30pm – 5.00pm Session 4


     A      Shona Husk – World Building in Fantasy

     B      David Wish-Wilson – Crime Writing

     C      Julia Lawrinson  – Writing YA Fiction





The business of publishing can be mysterious to those who don’t work within it. In many ways, it is a somewhat old-fashioned, labour intensive industry. It takes a large number of employees to get a manuscript ready for market, many of whom’s job description you have probably never heard of.

Jane Novak will guide you through, step-by-step, what it takes to get a book from a publisher’s desk to a bookshop shelf and more importantly how to make sure your work ends up on the publisher’s desk to begin with.

She will give advice on how best to prepare your work for submission, what to expect if your book is accepted. And answer the single most burning question most authors have – why does it take so long for publishers to get back to you?!

Jane Novak is a literary professional with over twenty years’ experience in bookselling and publishing. She is passionate about Australia’s local industry and the creation and promotion of Australian books and writers. Jane grew up in a family of booksellers eventually working for independent bookstores in Sydney before taking her first publishing job with Pan Macmillan in Sydney in 1997. Later she worked for Text Publishing in Melbourne as the publicity director.

The Jane Novak Literary Agency represents writers across many genres as well as a number of literary estates including the Patrick White, Norman Lindsay and Joan Lindsay estates. Her clients include Helen Garner, Gail Jones, Kate Grenville, Liz Byrski, David Malouf and Tim Flannery.



Kate Cuthbert is managing editor of Escape Publishing. She has written about romance for almost as long as she’s read them. Starting with a Master’s thesis for her MA in Writing, Editing, and Publishing, Kate has written book reviews and romance-focused features for the Brisbane Courier-Mail, All About Romance, Bookseller and Publisher Magazine, the New York Journal of Books, the Australian Romance Reader’s Association, and Booktopia. She is one of Australia’s foremost experts on the romance genre and its place in the publishing world.




Deb will discuss her interest in writing about place in fiction, exploring her approach to this in her own work as well as in that of others.

Then delve into the journey yourself with a series of writing exercises designed to get you thinking and writing about place in your own fiction!

Deb Fitzpatrick lives and works in Fremantle, and has published six novels for adults, young adults and children. Her two YA novels (90 packets of instant noodles and Have you seen Ally Queen?) were named Notable Books by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, and her middle grade book The amazing Spencer Grey has been published in the US. Deb loves using stories from real life in her novels, and tries to include her kids’ names in her books wherever possible. Deb has a Master of Arts (creative writing) from UWA, and regularly teaches creative writing, professional writing, and editing to children, teenagers and adults.




Find out everything you need to know about marketing and promoting yourself as an author in this comprehensive workshop.

  • how to start and build a platform as a writer who is unknown
  • the importance of having a website and social media presence before becoming published
  • what not to do when building your platform
  • how to make the most of FB and grow your followers
  • how to market and promote yourself if you aren’t signed with a major publishing house in print and you plan to release a book.
  • what I did to make my new release books stand out in the market place

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 was followed, also with HarperCollins and her third novel, Love and Other Battles, is due for release in 2018. 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.




Writers are so often told to “show, not tell.” But what does this really mean and how do you do it? In this workshop, bestselling, internationally published author Natasha Lester will explain the concepts of showing and telling in a way that’s easily understandable so you can identify the difference between the two strategies in your own writing. She will discuss when to show and when to tell and why you actually need to do both. As part of this, she’ll walk you through the 4 key ways of presenting character to the reader, the difference between scene and narrative summary, and when and how to use each of these aspects of writing craft to make sure your novel has pace, narrative tension and a strong connection between the main character and the reader

Natasha Lester worked as a marketing executive for L’Oreal, managing the Maybelline brand, before returning to university to study creative writing. She completed a Master of Creative Arts at Curtin University as well as her first novel, What is Left Over, After, which won the TAG Hungerford Award for fiction. Her second novel, If I Should Lose You was published in 2012 and her first historical novel, the bestselling A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, was published in 2016. This was followed by Her Mother’s Secret in 2017 and The Paris Seamstress in 2018. She is also published in the US and Europe. The Age newspaper has described her as “a remarkable Australian talent.”





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 Univeristy, Curtin and UWA.




Creating memorable and convincing characters, characters that breathe life into a story, is one of the many challenges faced by writers of historical fiction. Using the example of the classical nude painting Chloe by nineteenth-century French artist Jules Joseph Lefebvre, Katy will share the dream which inspired her novel, and the archival and on-site research that informed the characters and settings in ‘Capturing Chloe.’ During the second half of the workshop, writers will create their own character sketch by drawing inspiration from a selection of portraits supplied by Katy. They can also write a short piece showing their character in an authentic or imagined setting. Before the conclusion of her presentation, Katy will discuss the archives and on-line databases available to fiction writers, as well as the role of intuition during the creation of an historical novel.

Katy Kell is the award-winning author of two novels for young adults, Juice and Mama’s Trippin’.  Her latest work is an adult novel inspired by Melbourne’s iconic nude painting Chloe, written as part of her PhD thesis in English and Creative Writing. A passion for history inspires much of Katy’s work and she loves unlocking the secrets of the past through her research and creative writing.




The workshop will cover increasing suspense in your narrative by using multiple first person narrators – a staple in crime fiction.

David Whish-Wilson is the author of five novels and several works of non-fiction, including the Perth book in the NewSouth city series. His Frank Swann series of crime novels set in in 1970s/80s Perth have been widely acclaimed, and are published in Germany by Suhrkamp Verlag. His most recent release is the historical crime novel, The Coves, set in 1849 San Francisco, out with Fremantle Press.




World building is more than fancy names, cool technology and humans with wings or tails, and it should never be an info dump. Come and discover some tips and tricks for creating believable worlds that readers won’t want to leave.

Shona Husk is the author of more than 40 books that range from sensual to scorching, and cover the contemporary, paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi romance genres. Her most recent series are Face the Music, Blood and Silver, and Annwyn. As well as writing romance she also writes sci-fi for the Takamo Universe game and urban fantasy under anther pen name.

She lives in Western Australia and when she isn’t writing or reading she loves to cook, cross stitch and research places she’d one day like to travel.




We can all improve our presentation and communication skills, allowing us to do a better job, greater enjoyment of the process, and increased bookings in schools and libraries.

For some of us, it will be where to go from initially staring into the headlights, for others, how to sustain our enthusiasm over three or four periods in a day, or a whole week in a remote location.

I have been teaching performance skills for more than 30 years to actors, singers, musicians, storytellers and public speakers, since qualifying in the Alexander Technique in 1987 and then teaching for many years at WAAPA.

In a series of individual and group exercises, I will teach you the fine art of Self Editing in the moment of speaking, how to be your own audience before you worry about any other, and how to track yourself in real time to monitor basic keys to performance. This will naturally include the best breathing you can manage, and with that, the ability to focus and sustain your own interest, while considering the needs of your audience.

Glenn B Swift is a Western Australian storyteller and more recently has published the first in a series of WA ghost stories.  He qualified as a Teacher of Alexander Technique with assistance from the Department for the Arts 1985-87 and taught for many years in the performance streams at WAAPA. He has been performing professionally in schools and libraries since 1988.  His repertoire includes stories themed to the environment, social and natural history, but it’s all pure entertainment with lots of opportunity for individual and group participation. Glenn enjoys creating new storytellers. Ask any public librarian from Esperance to Kununurra. His new book, The Ghost in the Bell Tower, is the stranger than fiction tale of how a ghost came to Perth from England with the bells now ringing in our Bell Tower.



Julia’s workshop will cover:

1) Introduction to YA – what are the markers of YA fiction?

2) Some examples of contemporary YA

3) Writing exercise: first page/chapter of a YA

4) Sharing work

Julia Lawrinson has written more than a dozen books for children and young adults, many of them award-winning. She writes about friendship, family and the occasional Jack Russell. She loves the ocean, reading, and the word serendipity.






Deb Fitzpatrick (see bio above), Tess Woods (see bio above), Natasha Lester (see bio above), Shona Husk (see bio above)

Claire Boston is a contemporary romance author who enjoys exploring real life issues on her way to the happily-ever-after. She writes heart-warming stories, with resilient heroines and heroes you’ll love. In 2014 she was nominated for an Australian Romance Readers Award for Favourite New Romance Author.

When Claire’s not writing she can be found creating her own handmade journals, swinging on a sidecar, or in the garden attempting to grow something other than weeds.

Claire lives in Western Australia with her husband, who loves even her most annoying quirks, and her grubby, but adorable Australian bulldog.


Rebecca Laffar-Smith launched the children’s publishing imprint Aulexic in 2015. As a mother and teacher, Rebecca knew the challenge of trying to find engaging books for struggling readers that were fun and interest-driven rather than age- or ability-focused. As part of the homeschooling journey with her son, a child diagnosed with acute dyslexia, specific language impairment, and autism spectrum disorder, Rebecca created a learning program that involved collaborative story telling. From that, Bec J. Smith was born and the P.I. Penguin series was developed. This series was the start of an imprint, and an idea, one that would crystalise into a mission to bring a growing range of dyslexia- and disability-friendly books to children around the world. Rebecca is also a fantasy and romance author.


Teena Raffa-Mulligan writes across genres and her publications include picture books, chapter books, novels, romances 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.





Authors will be invited to submit material to by 31st July 2018 and participate in a 15-minute critique/pitch session with the publisher or agent of their choice.

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.


The Jane Novak Literary Agency represents writers across many genres as well as a number of literary estates including the Patrick White, Norman Lindsay and Joan Lindsay estates. Her clients include Helen Garner, Gail Jones, Kate Grenville, Liz Byrski, David Malouf and Tim Flannery.


Escape Publishing is the digital-first imprint of Harlequin Enterprises Australia, and publishes of a wide range of romance genre fiction in e-book format. They want fresh, involving stories about exciting people simply meant to be together, no matter what.


Group critique session with managing editor Kate Cuthbert. Writers will be invited to anonymously submit parts of their work, have it read out, and critiqued during the session. It does require bravery on the part of the writers, but it means that everyone can benefit from the critiques, with concrete examples of what can be quite esoteric concepts: showing, not telling, pacing, moments of transitions, etc.


Wild Eyed Press is an Art Publishing Company based in Nannup, Western Australia with a focus on Australian wildlife and the natural environment. Wild Eyed Press was established in 2007 and Australian Authors and Illustrators provide the stories and artworks for their growing range of children’s books. The press produces four titles per year, preferring to release small numbers and concentrating on producing a high quality product.





Contact Bec or Teena at or on 0424 473 880 for further enquiries.