Category: local event

Changes to our regular programming

Late Night Lines will NOT be running on Friday night, 30 July. Rather, this monthly critique gathering is now planned for Thursday 19 August, still at 7pm at the North Britain Hotel, 502 Doveton St Nth, Green Room – to be confirmed closer to the time and dependent on restrictions. It will shift to the third Thursday of the month from then on.


Writers Corner, to have been held on Tuesday 3 August, has been postponed to Tuesday 7 September due to coronavirus restrictions. The subject remains family history!

Be it a memoir or a story of adventure and mayhem, Family History is a popular topic, bringing a lot of people to the activity of writing.

Motivation can include simple curiosity, a desire to document notable events or the opportunity to tell your side of the story. Many people simply want to preserve their story for future generations.

And there are as many approaches to telling a family history as there are motivations – memoir and narrative, story form, and historical fiction, to name a few.

The hows and whys, the joys and pitfalls, of writing family history will be on the table for Writers Corner on Tuesday 7 September, a casual, loosely moderated discussion that is open to members and prospective members of Ballarat Writers. It runs at the Bunch of Grapes hotel, Pleasant St, Ballarat, from 2pm to 4pm.

Please register your interest at the Facebook event, or feel free to turn up on the day.

June Writers Corner – social media

Gutenberg and his moveable type printing made it possible to spread ideas
and stories on a large scale. The written word became a commodity. Internet platforms such as blogs and social media are an amplification of the Gutenberg effect. In the 21st century everyone can be a writer, putting their ideas and stories on the internet.

What does social media/ the internet mean for you the writer? For a start,
you are reading this on a social media platform. Is the internet and writing a match made in heaven? Or is social media a trivialisation of a noble art?

Writing is communication, and communication is at the heart of the internet.
Anybody with a Facebook account can write down their ideas, tell a story and post them to Facebook, making them available to a potential audience of millions. But that’s the rub – it’s a potential audience. As someone once remarked, “it’s all about eyeballs on the screen”. Just because it is written and “published” doesn’t mean it will be read – you need ‘presence’.

Certainly, social media is where you establish presence. You know you have presence when you have followers, the more the better; if you have enough you become an influencer.

If you write to be read then you should put it out there – Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, blogging, commenting – just press send. If you don’t tweet, blog, snap and chat, if you don’t put it out there, what’s the point of writing! Hmm … maybe not!

Agree or disagree, come along on Tuesday 1 June at 2pm at the Bunch of Grapes and join the Writers Corner discussion about social media and putting yourself out there in the digital universe.

Writers Corner – the tools we use

May’s Writers Corner saw a relaxed group of six engage in an afternoon of discussion about favourite writing tools and techniques. Some of us brought along tangible examples of the things we use in our quest to get words onto the page: dictionaries – rhyming or otherwise – style guides, the trusty thesaurus (not just shift F7), even favourite CDs for wooing the inner muse.

Surprisingly (or not) there was little discussion on word processing.  Most of the techn discussion was around the use of search and research; techniques and sources occupied a goodly amount of time.

The topic of Pantser Vs Plotter also got a reasonable airing.

An Australian Writers Centre survey suggests that the PANTSERS have delivered the writing world a clear victory – winning a decisive 64% of the vote. In doing so, they have established a clear mandate for writers to continue to “make it up as they go along” with true creative abandon.

PANTSERS: 64%        PLOTTERS: 36%

Hmmm….. What do you think?

Any way here are some Links and references.

Tools other than mainstream word processors list from Reedsy link above:

1. Reedsy Book Editor

2. Draft

3. LibreOffice

4. Mellel

5. Milanote

6. Evernote

7. Ulysses

8. Scrivener

9. Ommwriter

10. To Doist

11. Marinara Timer

12. Cold Turkey

13. Freedom

14. Noisli

15. Hemingway

16. Cliché Finder

The Most Dangerous Writing App

Even its creators call this app sadistic. If you stop typing for more than about three seconds it deletes everything you have written up to that point. It could force you into completing your work before that looming deadline, or it might just make you destroy your laptop in a fit of rage.

Next Month

Social media: love it or hate it – Is presence all that matters? Let’s invade the Twittersphere, freshen up Faces, Snap up a chat and talk about leveraging social media. Writers Corner is 1 June, 2-4pm, at the Bunch of Grapes hotel, Pleasant Street, Ballarat

Writers Corner – looking back at travel writing

Thank you to all those who came along to our Writers Corner session on 6 April to discuss the intricacies of the various forms of travel writing. In general, we concluded that travel writing is a more complex and richer genre than one might think. 

We easily filled to the time between 2pm and 4pm with relaxed conversation and a brief writing exercise. 

The discussion was reasonably diverse, touching on the ethical issues in travel writing, cultural appropriation, outlets for writing and social media.

We also explored the role of travel writing as a means of improving the understanding of diverse human culture.  Even the simplest forms of writing such as letters to family and friends can be valuable, enabling others to share experiences of new places.

While travel writing has many specific features it also shares many common features with other genres – good writing is good writing.  The ability to enliven a reader’s senses with the aroma of the coffee, the bustle of the marketplace or the tranquillity of a meadow pond is important in all sorts of writing.

Outlets for writing are not confined to books and maps; the hip world of social media and the common practice of video logging or vlogging benefit from those same skills of storytelling, assembling the information, setting out the scene context for the reader or viewer and taking them on that journey.  There is an evolving world of communication and travel documentaries that can be at the street level of detail.

It was also noted that there are opportunities to submit articles to a wide range of publications that use travel writing of some form or other (e.g., see 

There is even a travel writing association

So, whether it is a letter (or email) to the grandchildren, or the script for a documentary on the cultural imperatives of a lost Amazonian tribe, good writing about one’s travels, especially when done in creative and engaging styles, helps make the world a better understood place.

Image by Pixabay

Next month’s Writers Corner topic is tools of the trade. Everything from dictionaries to word processors to research resources will be on the table; processes and practices, tips and tricks … what are your favourites?  Come along to Writers Corner with a view to share or a question ask on 4 May, 2pm at the Bunch of Grapes, 401 Pleasant St, Ballarat.

May Words Out Loud

Words Out Loud is “ticking the boxes” for our May edition.

Wordsmiths are invited to warm up for the federal election, go left field or simply ignore the theme altogether.

This is a great opportunity to road test new material, celebrate a success or share some inspiration, or simply enjoy a diverse range of spoken word — poetry, prose or storytelling; read or recited; your own work or someone else’s. Performances are limited to 5 minutes each. Sign up on the night.

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March Words Out Loud

Words Out Loud is looking for balance at its March edition, drawing on the grand confluence of the equinox, Harmony Day and World Poetry Day!

Wordsmiths are invited to respond to the theme of “all things in balance” — or ignore it altogether.

This is a great opportunity to road test new material, celebrate a success or share some inspiration, or simply enjoy a diverse range of spoken word — poetry, prose or storytelling; read or recited; your own work or someone else’s. Performances are limited to 5 minutes each. Sign up on the night.

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