Category: writing (Page 1 of 7)

Members Listing Page: information

Current members of the Ballarat Writers Inc (BWI) who have an author page, small press or offer editorial and similar literary services, can have an entry in the BWI listings page.


  • One entry per current member.
  • The listing allows for approximately 50 words, plus one thumbnail image of the author or a book cover to which you own copyright.
  • In your bio, please include your author name, genre/s, and any relevant information you want to advertise.
  • Make sure all wording and links are correct as we cannot guarantee to proof or edit your copy.
  • Allow 1-2 weeks for your listing to appear, although we will make best effort to post it as soon as possible.
  • It is your responsibility to notify us of any changes; please keep your listing up-to-date and relevant (ie: not full of dead links and old info).
  • Available to all current members.
  • If you publish under a different name to your membership name, please tell us when you apply.
  • The words in italics at the end of each listing are for readers’ benefit, and are not counted in your word limit 🙂
  • Submit or refresh your profile by email, with the subject of ‘Members Listings <your name>’ Click here to send your listing by email

The small print

  • Inclusion in the BWI Listing does not mean any endorsement of authors or content. BWI maintains the right to reject content that we feel is unsuitable or might damage the BWI reputation. BWI has no responsibility for the content, access, or use of sites linked from the listing page, our responsibility is solely restricted to the domain.
  • If a member’s subscription lapses, their listing will be taken down. 
  • The BWI accept no responsibility for any transactions initiated through these listings; we’ll  maintain the page as accurately as possible based solely on the information you send us, the rest is up to you.

Pamela Miller Prize 2023 Winning Story

The Artist

by Nicole Kelly

Her hands are assured and confident. A skilled professional. 

“An artist for the modern world—truly exceptional” – The Age 

His skin is soft and doughy in her hands. He is a monster of a man, but his bulk seems less imposing now he lays prostrate on the studio floor, leaking into every corner of her tiny room. This is the place where she feels capable—not scared and cowering.  

The stark white of his nakedness catches the golden glow of the moonlight from outside, which streams through the window, lighting her work.  

 “What Mallard can do with a piece of lino is astounding. Her cuts are sharp and clean; the resulting pieces have both imagination and darkness. – The Art Review 

The small scalpel resting in her hand is her favourite, handle smooth from use. She uses the familiar blade to create the distinct, intricate patterns in hard linoleum squares. Swift, sure cuts to make thick, intersecting lines.  

“Mallard’s designs are sharp, witty and astute. Just when you think you know her work, she turns it, and you, on your head.” – H. Golding (Reviewer) 

Her artist’s mind opens her to the exquisite beauty around her. A dawn sky greeting her after a night of frenetic creation. The same shades of pink and purple which he patterned across the tops of her arms when she said she would leave.  

He had stolen her voice. Left her to only speak through her work. So now he is her canvas. 

“Mallard is an expert in making us feel. Feel something. Feel anything. Feel everything.” – National Gallery 

She reaches her hands deep into his chest cavity. The space she has opened in her husband, expecting to find only emptiness. She cradles the lump of muscle which had once drummed the rhythm of life in his chest. Each beat of his heart marking time, as his fists slammed into her in a syncopated tempo.  

‘There is both fragility and strength in Mallard’s pieces. When you see the strength of her lines contrasting with the whimsical nature of her prints.’ – Art Links Magazine 

They were the inverse of each other. Her and him. She had loved his strength and he her fragility. Until her own strength emerged, growing more potent with every success. His fear drove him to hold on tighter. Until his hands became a noose around her neck.  

 “In her hands, everything is art.” – Art Monthly 

She dips her finger in the sticky liquid, thick as honey. Scrawls her initials across the bare wall above where he lay. She smiles. No matter their reviews, the world will be sure that she is the artist. 

The quest for the exquisite sentence

Image shows a drawing of the type known as 'exquisite corpse'

You know one when you read it. The moment when you are forced to stop scanning words in order to just sit and digest the beauty of the sentence you have just read. Not long ago, I attended Emily Bitto’s course ‘Exquisite Sentences’ at Writers Victoria. Emily Bitto is an acclaimed author, and I love the fact that through Writers Victoria you can be one of only a handful of people sitting with, and learning from, authors of such a calibre!

 Emily was a warm and approachable speaker, who provided nuggets of wisdom throughout the whole afternoon. She provided unique writing activities and drills to encourage playfulness in our writing. Creating exquisite sentences is often a role of editing; for example, reading carefully for clichés which she stated are the enemy of original, exquisite sentences. When I got home and reflected on cliché, I found my writing was overflowing with them, they were a dime-a-dozen, in fact they were packed like sardines into the manuscript (clearly, I have a penchant for clichés and puns!) But it was a useful discussion to have in mind as I embarked on the editing of my latest work.

Emily also focused heavily on the importance of verbs in our writing. Often overlooked, an interesting verb can bring a spark to your sentence and elevate it to exquisite. We practised strange combinations of verbs and nouns. I had a crow which slaughtered the quiet of the morning and a river which hauled itself through the land. Approaching writing with a sense of fun and experimentation was part of the appeal, as often I find myself getting bogged down with ‘serious’ writing. It was also an easy pick-up, as I edited, to find verbs which I could strengthen throughout each of the chapters.

I encourage you to look through the wide range of courses on offer with Writers Victoria. Some are offered online, which is convenient for regional and rural writers, but the experience of sitting in a room with other writers is almost as valuable as the course itself! I’ve always been a strong reader, but since working with Emily, I’ve taken to reading and enjoying more poetry, which allows me to feel the rhythm of words more clearly. I’m revelling in their pleasure once again.

Things to do to encourage more exquisite sentences:

  • Expand your vocabulary and collect words
  • Read constantly and widely
  • Read poetry
  • Write more (every day!)
  • Spend time writing to experiment and play, rather than for completing a ‘project’.
  • Recognise and cultivate your own unique way of looking at the world—your most valuable tool as a writer.

by Nicole Kelly, BWI member

Image: Exquisite Corpse (1938) André Breton, Jacqueline Lamba, Yves Tanguy 

100 Rejections – April update

Rebecca Fletcher shares her progress on her plan to garner 100 rejections in 2021.

I wrote this blog at the end of April, figuring it was time to check in on how the 100 rejection project is going.

The most important thing to report is that I’m miles behind. There are a few reasons for this, which I’ll discuss here, but also, I’ve had two failed rejections (that is, two stories have been accepted, yay!).

1. Rejections take a while to come back.

The joke when I started this project was that you could just get one piece of writing rejected 100 times. But honestly, I think you’d struggle to find 100 publications that could get back to you within a week.

When you submit a piece of writing for consideration, you usually only submit it to one place at a time. If you’ve ever looked at submission criteria, you may have seen ‘no simultaneous submissions’ on the page — that means that they want you to submit to them and no one else.

The problem is that, if you’re following the rules, that piece is then tied up awaiting assessment. And it could be months before they get back to you (I’ve waited seven months for a rejection before). So even if you have three or four pieces that you’re submitting, and you send them all off in one day, it might be a month before you can do anything with them again.

You could scout for publications with nicer submission criteria (i.e. quick responses or that allow simultaneous submissions), but you’re probably compromising on the publication. Consider this: if you’re waiting four months for a rejection, wouldn’t you rather be rejected by Overland than the Online Potato Enthusiast?

My advice? Swing big upfront and practise patience (but read the rest of this blog first).

2. You need to know what you’re really writing

Don’t panic – I mean in terms of your writing! Let me contextualise: I’ve just come out of six years of tertiary study in writing. Both of my universities had a heavy focus on Australian literature, which I don’t write. The problem is that when you go looking for publications in Australia, most of them are literary, and even the ones that don’t look like they’d be quite as literary (Scum Mag comes to mind) still are.

I’ve had to learn to stop attempting to justify the literary elements in my writing and instead ask myself what the story is and how it works. Looking critically at the work that I was happiest with, I’ve decided to stop trying to write anything too serious and just stick to humour/satire. This changes the publications I’m looking at completely. You also get better results from googling ‘humour publications’ rather than ‘kind of literary but with a few jokes and a dumb take on something important’, which helps.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, go and do some searching on different genres of writing, then search for some publications that print only that kind of work. You’ll get an idea of what kinds of places are printing the kinds of things that you’re writing, which brings me to my next point.

3. Finding the right publication is hard.

Finding publications to submit to was probably the biggest problem I had. I knew the big ones in Australia, and I knew some of the more interesting smaller publications (and I’d seen plenty on the comps and opps page on the BWI website).

But realising that those publications weren’t right for me, I needed new options. Enter Submission Grinder. What’s that, you ask? Submission Grinder is a free website that has a searchable database of publications and websites that are taking submissions. You can filter by genre and submission type (poetry, fiction, non-fiction) of various lengths and use it to keep track of your submissions. It counts up how long it has been since you submitted and compares it to the average rejection/acceptance time for that publication. I’ve found some great new opportunities through Submission Grinder, including both of the places that are publishing my stories. If you follow the link above you’ll be able to sign up for an account for free and see if it works for you.

In the next few months I’ll probably look more closely at Submittable, which is a platform that makes it easier for publications to manage submissions. It also makes it easier for you to manage your submissions to these publications. After that, I’ll have a closer look at Duotrope (another platform) and report back.

4. On finding inspiration in rejection

This project was meant to encourage me to write more, and so far I’ve been feeling a little lost. I had a slow start, and rejections were slow to come back.

In March I hit some kind of stride though, and in the process of looking for places to submit, I found some really great online publications that I now follow. Not only do I now have a stream of the kinds of things I like to read coming to me, but I feel inspired reading the different things that people are doing. Sometimes you get so caught up in details and making things bigger that you forget how simple a piece of writing can be. It makes me think about writing different things than I would have written in isolation.

I’ve said before that I believe the best thing for a writer is a community of like-minded, sympathetic people, and sometimes that means going out and looking for it in the places where you need it. These new publications have reinvigorated me, and in the last few weeks I’ve dug through my ‘works in progress’ folder and uncovered some writing that I’m finally happy to go back to. I expect May to be a busy month!

Stats as of 30 April

If you’re just scrolling down and looking for numbers, here they are:

16 submissions total, made up of:

8 rejections

5 pending

2 failed rejections (i.e. accepted (+1 pending revisions))

So that’s where it’s at. I’ll write again at the end of June (March was a bit of a mess), and say if I managed to catch up to where I need to be (at least 50 submissions) and see if I’ve managed to get any more failed rejections. I’m posting monthly updates at my website if you want to keep up, and I’ll link my published work when it goes up. 

Until then, keep writing, and keep submitting!

Rebecca Fletchers is chair of BWI

Karen Turner to be guest speaker at April meeting

Karen Turner, author of the Torn series

For the April meeting, we are thrilled to welcome Karen Turner as our guest presenter. She will be talking about the role of research in historical fiction as well as general writing tips, and will be available to answer questions.

Karen, born in Australia to an English mother and Italian father, discovered a passion for historical fiction after twenty years in the financial services industry.
As an escape from corporate writing, Karen began writing short stories and, in 2009, published her first collection All That and Everything. Many of the short stories won awards, including the Society of Women Writers Victoria, Biennial Literary Award and the Free XpresSion Literary Award.
Her first novel, Torn, was followed by its sequel, Inviolate.
Karen’s latest, Stormbird, was written as the final instalment in the Torn series, but can also be read independently. Shortlisted for a national award, Stormbird was published by FisherKing Publishing, UK.
Karen is currently working on her next book, Fever, set in the Victorian goldfields.
Additionally, Karen writes for several financial magazines, speaks at public events and facilitates writing workshops.
She lives in Victoria’s Riverina region with husband Stuart and rescue cats Katie and Panda.
In her spare time, Karen volunteers at an animal shelter, enjoys running and drinks too much coffee.

Meeting details

Where: Bunch of Grapes, 401 Pleasant St South, Ballarat

When: 7pm, 28 April, 2021

Cost: Free

Please feel free to arrive from 6.30pm for a meal and general socialising before the meeting.

Introducing Writers Corner

Writers Corner is an afternoon get-together of writers to chew the fat, kick the can down the road, or just an opportunity to put in your 2 cents’ worth on the topic of the day.

Held at the Bunch of Grapes Hotel on the first Tuesday of the month, making the first meeting on 6 April.  The session will start at 2pm and finish no later than 4pm. While there is no cost to attend, supporting Bunch of Grapes by purchasing drinks or nibbles would be appreciated.

Open to members and prospective members of Ballarat Writers.

Discussion will be loosely moderated to manage the time and to ensure we stay roughly on topic. The Ballarat Writers website and Facebook page will have posts with ideas, questions, and links for related material. This will be available for reading prior to the event. Please register your interest at the Facebook event or by replying to this email. Questions: hit us up on Facebook or

Our first topic will be Travel Writing. Travel writing has been around since the early times and comes in numerous styles, from straight itineraries to full-blown adventure thrillers. Travel has been a driver in shaping our modern world, and writing about your experiences can be a great use of self- expression. Come along and share your experiences, ideas and questions about Travel Writing.

The Rejection Connection: a writing project for 2021

By Rebecca Fletcher

In 2021, I’m aiming for 100 rejections. You read that right. Not submissions, not publications: rejections. Telling people this has earned me some strange looks, so I want to discuss why I’m doing it, and why I think you should as well.

The big question is: why aren’t you going for publication? And basically I am, but I can’t force anyone to publish me, so all I can do is give it a good hockey try by writing, polishing and submitting. If they actually publish the thing, then that’s a ‘failed rejection’ and I’ll have to find somewhere else to be rejected.

So first and foremost, this isn’t my idea. The blog post I read it on was shared with me by a fellow Ballarat Writer who thought I should go for it. And after thinking about it for a few years, I’m going for it, and I want you to join in. Here’s why:

1. It forces you to write

There are lots of ways to go for 100 rejections. You can write one thing and submit it 100 places. You might write 25 things (around one every two weeks over the year) and submit them to four places each. Now you could be lazy and write one thing, send it to 100 places at once and call it done, but ask yourself what that proved?

The only real downside is that if you get a failed rejection and they publish the darn thing, you’ll have to write something else. What a problem to have.

2. It makes rejection into a positive thing

Even if you don’t care that much about something you write, rejection hurts. Because it feels like what you’ve written isn’t good enough, or that they didn’t like it. You know what? That might even be the case. But after being part of the creative editorial team for Antithesis in 2020, it’s not always that simple. Sometimes your piece was good enough but there was another piece on the same thing that they liked more. Sometimes you were the one extra poem they couldn’t fit in. Sometimes your piece just needed a little more work than the others. That’s okay.

The point is, stop thinking about it as a negative thing. Now, instead of stomping around the house ranting about how they wouldn’t know good work if it jumped up and bit them on the turnip, you can say ‘Great. Ninety-nine left to go’.

3. It encourages you to put yourself out there

You might still be at a stage where you’re writing for yourself and don’t want to share your writing with the world. That’s okay as well! But for those who are starting to feel a little braver, it can be a good way to start sharing your ideas and work with the world. It’s easy to get stuck in a bit of a rut with a local writers group (even if they are amazing!) and your critique group/writer friends. Spread your wings a little and see what’s out there.

4. You’ll read different things

Lots of people want to write but they don’t want to read things that other people have written. However, if you want to get a good idea of whether a journal or a publication is a good fit for you, you’re going to need to read the kinds of things that they publish (or don’t, but you’ll probably rack up those rejections a little sooner than you wanted). Maybe Vampire Trains is your favourite magazine, but they’re not going to publish your poem on turnips, no matter how good it is (unless the turnip is on a vampire train, maybe).

And, of course, reading different things fuels your imagination and will make you be a little more adventurous. Not to mention that by seeing the kinds of work that are being published, you’ll get a better feel for what might or might not be working in your writing as well.

5. You have a SMART goal

I’m not going to bore you all with the particulars of SMART goals, but 100 rejections is definitely one of those. It’s a concrete goal where you can measure your progress quantitatively and there’s a deadline to have it done by. Goals like ‘work more on my novel’ or ‘get better at writing’ feel good to say but don’t really give you anywhere to aim. One hundred rejections, on the other hand, is something that you can keep track of in a journal. You’ll be able to update anyone who asks in no time at all.

6. It doesn’t have to be about writing

Maybe writing is a fun thing for you and you don’t want to stress yourself out with rejections. That’s okay! But there are lots of ways you can still put yourself out there. You could write out job applications, you could submit applications for writing residencies, or, as one friend suggested, reject 100 people on the dating app of your choice. The point is to give yourself a reason to try something that you might usually talk yourself out of doing.

So why do you all care about my goal for 2021? You probably don’t, but I care about yours and I want to invite you to join me. I want you to aim for 100 rejections, with whatever focus you’d like. And I think that if there are enough of us (there are few of us at Write Club doing it already), we should find a way to keep in touch, share our progress, share opportunities and keep each other motivated.  I’ll be posting updates throughout the year with rejections and failed rejections, if people want to follow along. If you’re keen, drop me a line at chairperson AT and we’ll work it out. And hey, if no one emails me, then I guess that can be rejection one of 100 — just 99 to go!

Ballarat Writers Inc. chairperson Rebecca Fletcher is a Ballarat-based writer who has recently escaped the tertiary education system. Wondering about her odds of getting published? You’re not alone. You can read more of her writing (well, her blogs and her failed rejections, anyway) at

Kiran Bhat’s advice for writers

Why is it that we choose to write? For almost all of us, there would be a different answer to this question, though I would say for most of us, it stems from this almost unquenchable and indefatigable urge to have something deep inside of us heard. What does that even mean? Just because we believe we have something to say doesn’t mean that someone else will feel the same way. And are we writing things that are truly, earth-shatteringly important? Is it important because we are tapping into something that goes beyond us, or is it important only because the walls in our ego-chamber lead us to believe so?

I don’t want to say that I write important things. I know that I write, and I know that I write with a certain belief as to what I want my work to do. I’ve lived a life of travel for over a decade now, because I really wanted to connect to the various cultures of  the world which weren’t mine, to the fullest extent a foreigner or  a no-nothing could. And from that life, and from the books I wrote from that space, I will say this:

Learn to humble yourself. It’s the hardest thing to do. Life is hard on the artist. We’re born with a different way of seeing the world, and society isn’t kind to such people. So, rather than developing a thick skin, we develop a lot of excuses in our head as to why the world has damned us, and we grow rancorous, and easily triggered. You need not be the victim all the time. And when people are telling us something, it’s for a reason. For thousands of years, artists on all corners of the Earth have been creating works of timeless art. While we believe in the deepest parts of our hearts that we have what it takes to rival them, there’s a more likely chance than not that your writing isn’t going to be that good.

And that’s okay. It’s okay to be a work in progress. It’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay not to write well, and it’s okay to do the best you can do. You only live in your head, you only live the life you have been given, so do your best with that, whatever that means.

Listen as well as you can. This is on the harder side. Our egos train us to listen to some things and not to others. The truth is that we can learn from anyone and everyone, and we should be willing to take things into ourselves that might hurt us, but also help our minds improve.

Yet, learn what you should listen to, and what you shouldn’t. There are a lot of things that people say that will just lead you further down the rabbit hole of negativity and wear at your self-esteem or sense of self. Learn how to learn from others, but also learn what is worth learning.

Finally, read widely, but experience wildly. There is a reason why in my mother tongue we have the adage ‘desha nodu kosha odu’ (or, ‘see the world, read dictionaries’). As much as it is important to be in conversation with the greatest of artists and their work, it’s also important that you are connected to the events that are happening in the world, and that you are responding to things people can relate to. The more that you learn to connect yourself to others, the more likely you are able to create characters that are outside of yourself and have tendencies and mentalities of their own.

And the more that you connect with others, the more likely that you will find yourself belonging a little bit more than you believed you could, and from that will come peace, stability, and self-discovery.

Kiran Bhat is an Indian-American polyglot, traveller and writer. He has been to 132 countries, has lived in 19 pockets of the planet and picked up 12 languages.  He is the author of the Spanish-language poetry collection Autobiografia (Letrame Editorial, 2019) and the Mandarin-language poetry collection Kiran Speaks (White Elephant Press, 2019), as well as the Portuguese-language story collection Afora, Adentro (Editorial Labrador, 2020) and the  Kannada-language travelogue Tirugaatha (Chiranthana Media Solutions, 2019). In 2020 he published the English-language story cycle we of the forsaken world… (Iguana Books). Find him online at

February Words Out Loud

February WOL flyer

February’s theme at Words Out Loud is “Tainted Love”. Wordsmiths are invited to explore the theme or simply 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.

Date: Thursday February 20

Time: Doors open about 6.30pm, words from 7pm

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