Past GCWA Events

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Charmaine Clancy

Charmaine Clancy is an Australian author, publisher and presenter. Her works include children’s novels and crime short stories. Some even win awards.

Charmaine is the founder of the annual Rainforest Writing Retreat, Australia’s favourite writing retreat. Together with her RWR team, she mentors new and established writers on the craft, publishing and marketing. Each year, the Retreaters, as the attendees of the RWR are known, produce a themed anthology of short stories and poetry. In her presentation, Charmaine will detail the process for producing a quality anthology from accepting submissions, right through to marketing the finished product.

Jacquelin Melilli (
Jacquelin Melilli

Writing Your Memoir
Nobody has experienced life in the same way you have. Writing a memoir is a valuable legacy to leave behind. It’s your chance to share years of accumulated wisdom, mistakes, triumphs and your expertise in something you were passionate about. Not only will recording your experiences be historically important in years to come, sharing your expertise will benefit others. In this workshop, Jacqx will cover how to get started and keep motivated to finish this important project. Topics will include using photographs and music to refresh memories, researching facts, avoiding conflicts when it comes to sensitive material, and how to write with your reader in mind using creative writing techniques.

Jacquelin Melilli (Jacqx) has a Master of Arts degree in Writing and Literature. Her specialisations include editing, creative non-fiction and fiction writing, publishing, scriptwriting, playwriting, and research.

Jacqx worked in film, television and theatre for many years and taught youth drama. In 2002, she founded her business offering professional editing, copywriting, and writing coach services. She has always been passionate about telling stories and wanted to leave these behind as her legacy. She proudly accomplished that goal in 2002 with her first publications of award-winning plays, Can Anybody Hear Me? Little Red Meets the Dingo, Goldisocks and the Three Koalas, Foreigners in Oztralia, Lost Child.

She has since published a series of educational books published by Ready-Ed Publications titled the Lights, Camera, Action series, multiple articles and the short story, Secrets That Define Us.

Jacqx has recently completed her debut historical novel titled Rogues and Vagabonds about vaudeville performers who toured regional Victoria during the Great Depression. For more information about Jacqx work, please visit

16 October 2021

Geneve Flynn

Speculative fiction is a hugely popular category on Amazon. Bram Stoker Award-winning author and editor, Geneve Flynn, will explore the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and offer insights on industry directions and how to succeed in this field. 

Some of the most memorable heroes and villains have sprung from the speculative fiction world. Think of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, Harry Potter and Voldemort, Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter. The second half of the presentation will expand on what makes these characters so resonant, and offer tips and tricks to make sure your heroes and villains are just as unforgettable. 

Geneve Flynn is an award-winning speculative fiction editor and author. She has two psychology degrees and only uses them for nefarious purposes.

She co-edited Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women with celebrated New Zealand author and editor Lee Murray. The anthology is a 2020 Bram Stoker Award® winner and is shortlisted for the 2020 Shirley Jackson Award, Aurealis Award, and Australian Shadows Award. Black Cranes is listed on Tor Nightfire’s Works of Feminist Horror and Locus magazine’s 2020 Recommended Reading List

Geneve was assistant editor for Relics, Wrecks, and Ruins, a speculative fiction anthology which features authors such as Neil Gaiman, Ken Liu, Robert Silverberg, James (SA) Corey, Lee Murray, Mark Lawrence, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Angela Slatter. The anthology is the legacy of Australian fantasy author Aiki Flinthart, and is in support of the Flinthart Writing Residency with the Queensland Writers Centre

Geneve’s short stories have been published in various markets, including Flame Tree PublishingThings in the Well, and PseudoPod. Her latest short story, “They Call Me Mother,” will appear in Classic Monsters Unleashed with some of the biggest names in horror, including Joe Lansdale, Jonathan Maberry, and Ramsey Campbell.

Geneve loves tales that unsettle, all things writerly, and B-grade action movies. If that sounds like you, check out her website at

Gail Tagarro

Gail Tagarro is a book writing coach and Accredited Editor (AE). She currently runs four different book coaching programs, helping many aspiring writers go from zero to finished draft, including the 12-week program Get Your Book to the Finish Line™ running again in October.

Gail has been working with writers since the early 2000s. She is an AE, has an MA in linguistics, a journalism degree, years of experience in the corporate world, and 32 years running her own business. Through her book coaching programs and professional editing services, she helps authors and aspiring writers bring their fiction and nonfiction books into the world.

Gail has published an historical novel about the relationship between Chopin & the French writer George Sand during their stay in Mallorca, and a self-help nonfiction book on writing technique. As a documentation consultant in a previous life, she wrote countless corporate procedures and IT documentation.

Working with other writers doesn’t leave her much time for working on her next novel, but she plans to follow her own advice in 2022 and get stuck in.

Gail will present her workshop – ‘I’m a Good Writer: I Don’t Need An Editor’: A full disclosure workshop on how writing and editing are different skills, and how you can prepare your manuscript for your chosen editor.

18 September 2021

The Annual General Meeting was held on 18 September, 2021. The new committee was elected. Members were invited to pitch their books to the audience.

21 August, 2021

Candice Lemon Scott

Candice Lemon-Scott is an award-winning and internationally published Australian author, editor and presenter. She has published fourteen books with New Frontier Publishing, Penguin, Pearson Education and Odyssey Books and has a new children’s book series coming out in 2022 with Storytorch Press. Her children’s books are fast-paced adventures that appeal to reluctant readers in particular.

Candice has won several awards recognitions including the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, Educational Publishing Australia Award, Wilderness Society’s Environmental Awards for Children’s Literature, Green Earth Book Award in the US and PPA Awards. Her titles have also been listed in the Premier’s Reading Challenge across Australia, and as best new releases with Lamont Books.

Candice has a Bachelor of Communication / Diploma of Arts (Professional Writing & Editing). She conducts numerous author talks and workshops and is a presenter for Speakers’ Ink speaking agency.

She is passionate about literacy and is a Books in Homes role model. She also owns new and used book exchange Big B Books in Burleigh Heads.

In this presentation Gold Coast author, editor and bookstore owner Candice Lemon-Scott will share her top tips on the business of authorship, from becoming an author to publishing and marketing your books. There will also be a focus on tapping into the children’s chapter book market in which Candice specialises.

Judy Wollin

Judy Wollin writes realistic action adventure for children. She plays an integral role in addressing barriers to literacy by inspiring her young readers with characters overcoming personal challenges.

Having completed courses with the Australian Writers’ Centre including Write Your Novel, she has published non-fiction books and academic papers. Her rich work history has seen Judy working across universities and training organisations, including an adventurous four years in Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Judy’s studies have culminated in a PHD in Disability and Multiple Sclerosis.

Judy is affiliated with the Australian Society of Authors, Queensland Writers Centre, and the Gold Coast Writers Association where she serves on the committee whilst enjoying her life on the beautiful Gold Coast.

With a growing social media presence, you can contact Judy at or on Twitter as @judywollin1, Instagram as judywollinauthor and Facebook and Goodreads as Judy Wollin Writer.

In her presentation, Judy Wollin will encourage members and guests to face their fears around submitting their work and entering competitions. Judy believes the way to attract publishers’ attention is through success in writing competitions. Judy will share ideas for assessment, synopsis writing and connecting with courses and competitions.

17 July, 2021

Roxanne Paynter

Roxanne Paynter, a qualified and experienced Counsellor, began writing her first book, Small Souls, after spending time in hospital with her new born son. She sought to publish it and share her meditations with other parents. She shared her journey of self publishing, both in print and with Ebooks. After a successful beginning and the book initially selling well, the original publisher informed her that due to ill-health, they were scaling back their business. Fast forward 10 years, Roxanne discovered her book was still being sold by the publisher. After resolving that issue, she has again printed the book with new publishers, and it continues to sell in a very niche market.

Roxanne’s books of guided meditations, Soul Safari Meditations for all Ages, and  Small Souls Meditations for Children, are available direct from the author’s website or from 

Kate Kelsen

GCWA’s own Social Media Manager presented her workshop “Your Online Author Presence.” During this talk, the GCWA’s resident Social Media Manager Kate shared tips and information about establishing and maintaining your online presence as an author. From Instagram accounts, Facebook pages and groups, to websites and blogs, Kate walked us through these platforms to help us decide which are most appropriate for our audience, along with productivity tools to simplify the process and save time.

20 March 2021

Guest Speaker: Josh Hale

Josh Hale was born in San Leandro, California to an Australian mother and American father. His family relocated to Queensland in 1992 when he was 14 years old. This move proved instrumental in his development as a writer. As an only child in a foreign country, Josh was left with a lot of time to spend with his imagination and a pen in hand.

Josh began his career in film at the turn of the century. To date he has been blessed to work with many great minds within the film industry. This has created quite a diverse range of skills.

Josh is an Alumnus from the New York Film Academy, where he studied on both the Gold Coast and Los Angeles campuses.

Since then, Josh has seen a number of productions – commercials, music videos, short and feature-length films – come to light, including Digital Athletes: The Road to Seat League which won many prestigious international awards.

Josh spends his down time on the Gold Coast with his wife and cats.

Although Josh has many projects on the go and in various stages of development at the one time, he is excited that his second feature film, House of Inequity,is an official selection at the Gold Coast Film Festival 2021 and will have its World Premiere in April this year.

Josh’s credits

Workshop: Kellie Cox

Whether you have a current Work-In-Progress (WIP) or not, this workshop is designed to help you delve deeper into your fictional characters to discover their learning style, their values and their love language.

If you don’t have a character to apply the day’s insights to, then try them on yourself.

Using the assessment tools provided at the workshop, you may feel like a child peering through a slit in a broken fence, spying on someone who is doing something so unlike their usual persona presented to the external world. You will be able to access different perspectives of your characters to make them more complex, more relatable and more believable than before.

Your readers will be impatient for more!

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Our guest speaker is the enthralling John Thompson-Gray, who will speak on ‘Making Non-Fiction as Enticing as Fiction’. John has a wealth of experience bringing to life historical events as if you actually witnessed them. You will learn how to use the established techniques of: suspense, mystery, structure; (lonely) voice(s) telling the story (marginalised, (person, case, tense)); cultural factors; calling on imagination; pacing; reader fixation of belief, scepticism; research; and mindshare examples.

It’s just wonderful! John’s book Japanese Blitz on Darwin is a bestseller and, if you don’t have it already, John will donate 42 copies as a fundraiser at $5 each! I’m sure if you ask nicely, John will be happy to sign your copy during the break. Other books by John include: Love, Luck and Larceny – Memoirs from Broome 1942, How Great Thine Aunt (for sale and discounted to $10), de Kat Met de Elf Levens (translated into Dutch), and The First Australian Missionary to Korea – Henry Davies and his Nieces (translated into Korean).

John Thompson-Gray – Biography

John Thompson-Gray (yes, the American way of spelling) is a classically educated person. John graduated in Science (UQ, St Lucia); Education (Monash); Administration and Philosophy (post-grad Monash); Masters in Engineering (Royal Melbourne); and Hons in The Short Story as an Art Form, Life and Travel Writing, Macroeconomics and Public Policy (University of Cambridge, England).

John has spoken at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne; at the Churchill Address at the English Speaking Union; is a member of the judging panel for the Roly Sussex National Short Story competitions; and has a book marketing and distribution business.

John is the author of numerous books:

  • Japanese Blitz on Darwin (bestseller)
  • Love, Luck and Larceny – Memoirs from Broome 1942
  • How Great Thine Aunt
  • De kat met de elf levens (translated into Dutch by Marianne Hallemons)
  • The First Australian Missionary to Korea – Henry Davies and his Nieces (translated into Korean by Myong-duk Yang)

And, to top it off, his current projects include: Navy essay competitions, volumes of short stories, a private engagement, Korean stories, and an autobiography.

John’s wealth of experience has come from his days as Master at Scotch College, Melbourne (3yrs); at Swinburne University as an Academic (7yrs); Applied Research and Development (4yrs); Superintendent at BHP Ltd (24yrs); and as an author (11yrs).

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Workshop 1
Our President, Andy McDermott, will help you with the fundamental essence of your next writing project – ‘Creating Characters and Plots from Scratch.’

Workshop 2
Our Treasurer and resident songbird-cum-comedienne, Jen Swensen, will get your mind and schedule in focus – ‘Achieving Your 2021 Writing Goals.’

Saturday, 21 November 2020



Dr Candice Michelle Goodwin juggles living in two worlds: She’s a scientist & engineer, as well as a science fiction author and TV & film producer. These worlds overlap and Candice keeps science (such as the genetic revolution and superabilities) grounded, authentic and entertaining in a science fiction context.

Candice is the Founder & Principal of Rebel with Cause (RWC) Productions. Her current passion project is the genre TV series concept, “Enter Entropy”, based on her books of the same name, available on Amazon. She is also a producer on Canadian projects that are positively disrupting industry trends, and is the host of a fresh new podcast inspiring girls and women to pursue STEM careers.

Candice’s various projects include the feature film “Code 8”, and TV series “Deep Six”, “Kat Loves LA”, and “Amortal”, as well as new book, “Enter Entropy: Volume 3” where the deception of magic and the science of fight choreography, as well as ghost-hunting were explored, hands-on. Candice has also worked with world-renowned storyboard artists and illustrators on the art for her book covers.

“Enter Entropy” is the story of Dr Lana Senate, an accomplished scientist who consults with the police. A lab accident leads to her being infected with genetically manipulated bacteria that alter her cells, resulting in enhanced senses. While struggling to keep her abilities a secret from the people she loves, Lana realizes that she needs to trust others to help her understand this gift and use her advanced sensory awareness as an advantage in solving crime. Right before your eyes she is changing…


The journey of writing is a discovery of one’s own self. Learning to reflect and process our own life helps us to see ourselves more clearly; only then can we begin to see others and the broadness of the world around us in more unfiltered ways. The bigger the pictures become, the words begin to flow to give adequate expression to what we are seeing and experiencing.

This is where I discovered I could write like me!


Deborah Candler

Deborah is a mentor, lecturer, trainer, tutor, author and ordained minister. She has twenty years’ experience in the fields of children’s dentistry and community oral health education within Victoria and Queensland Health sectors. Currently, Deb contracts to mentor women staff at Kings School, lectures leadership units at various institutions and is a facilitator and deliverer of the MATE program in partnership with Griffith University to bring solution to violence against women.

Deb is married to Philip who manages Maritimo luxury boats on the Gold Coast. Together they have been on the board of Effective Aid International educating and improving the lives of a marginalized people group with Thailand and Burma. They have four married children and 8 grand-children.

Deb self-published her first book: A Fascination With Forward in 2009 and is finishing her second. She also has children’s short stories and poems ready to publish.

Saturday, 15 August 2020



During this talk, Kate will share with you the productivity tools that have been integral to her success, helping her write and publish four books. From 30 & 90 Day Plans to tracking achievements, Kate will share tips to help you harness your 2020 goals, no matter what stage of the writing process you are.


Discovering a passion for storytelling early in life, Kate has received recognition from writing awards and competitions around Australia. The Hunter Writers Centre in consecutively selected Kate’s entries to the Grieve Writing Competition two years in a row, for publication in the competition’s annual anthology. One of these entries was also chosen for the inaugural Hunter Writers Centre Award. Kate has also been a finalist in the Reader’s Digest 100 Word Short Story Competition.



Never in history has there been a better time to be a writer. In this short presentation, Kellie will share her journey as an independent author and demonstrate how this popular avenue of storytelling has allowed for traditional rules of fiction writing to be turned on their head. Giving us some helpful hints but most importantly encouraging us to the be the creative voice that we all are, Kellie will disclose some of the secret techniques and tips that have made her books so unique.


Kellie Cox is a local Gold Coast writer and the author of Murderous Intent; The List; The Reef and The Last First Kiss. A multi-genre author with qualifications in psychology she enjoys exploring the vulnerabilities of the human psyche in fiction. Kellie created the publishing enterprise, Strong Female Protagonists with the goal to challenge the narrative of gender in storytelling. When not writing she is supporting artists across the globe in her role of creative coach and therapist. In her free time, Kellie can be found at the beach and posting endless photos of her adorable dogs.

Saturday, 18 July 2020



This is a fifteen (15) minute workshop. Beverley will share some tips and hints for making dialogue work for you and your characters.


So you’ve finished your manuscript—congratulations. This is your work, your baby. You have nurtured and moulded the words. You have shifted the chapters, added some dialogue, checked your sources. You are ready to seek feedback from an editor.

You’re feeling a mixture of anticipation and fear; perhaps you’re a bit self-conscious. You are fiercely proud of your achievement but a bit scared of what people will say. Perhaps you’ve heard some horror stories.

Tune in to this session with qualified, experienced, and sensitive editor, Beverley Streater.

Beverley, also a writer, will discuss types of editing, and provide you some tips on how to find and work with an editor. She will give you an insight about what to expect when you share your project with an editor—your rights and your responsibilities. Finally, she will share some industry resources, and tell you about some simple steps you can take to carry out some self-editing.



Jen Swenson is an enthusiastic Accountant and the Treasurer of the Gold Coast Writers’ Association.

In this session, Jen will detail the journey of writing and publishing her first children’s book “Goldie the Unchicken” from its initial conception to its release. Her story is both an inspirational and practical look at how an idea can be developed into a published piece of literature.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

The Life of Brian

Brian Falkner International writing coach presenting at Gold Coast Writers' June 2020 Online Monthly Meeting

Brian Falkner is an internationally acclaimed writing coach. Brian will share with us information on:

  • My books and my career as an author
  • Schools visits
  • Workshops
  • Tips on how to write for children.

Brian Falkner wanted to be an author ever since he was a child. It only took him thirty years to realise that dream. Along the way he worked as a reporter; advertising copywriter; radio announcer; graphic designer; and Internet developer. Brian has had nineteen books published internationally. He is also an internationally acclaimed writing coach, running workshops and writing camps around Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

Writing as a child writer

Petar Kocic Child Author Presenter for Gold Coast Writers' Association Online Monthly Meeting

The Process of Writing my First Book

Petar Kocić will cover WHY he started writing the book and his process. He’ll also explain the details of how he found the illustrator and how he learned the importance of an editor.

He will go over what he enjoyed the most, and the difficulties of Marketing and Sales.

Petar Kocić was born in a beautiful European country called Slovenia. When he was five, he moved to Melbourne with his family, and after only a few weeks, it was time for him to start going to school. But the biggest problem was that he didn’t know a word of English!

As he learnt the English language, he became interested in reading, spending every afternoon with his favorite books, like Geronimo Stilton, and Weirdo.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

  • Brief Introduction by GCWA President Marisa Parker
  • Creative Writing Skills: Stylesheets – Kerri Yarsley
  • Writing for Fiction and Fantasy – David Kay
  • The Dragon’s Den Trilogy – Jason Boggs
  • ‘Live’ chatting with your speakers – Ask questions through the chat function and your speakers will answer in-person (online)  

Kerri Yarsley

Kerri Yarsley is a valued GCWA Committee member and has been the GCWA Editor for a number of years. 

Read Kerri Yarsley’s bio here.

Creative Writing Skills – Stylesheets: You’ll learn some essential information on formatting so as to  “Schmick” Up Your Microsoft Word Manuscript and get it ready for you to let your creativity flow. 

David Kay is another valued GCWA Committee member.

Read David Kay’s bio.

Writing for Fiction and Fantasy: This genre, like any, has its specific requirements, one of which is ensuring your character development is up to scratch. David will discuss how he has written The Circles of Time series.

Jason F Boggs has spent his entire life reading as many novels and graphic novels as possible in this sub-genre, as well as movies to understand “what works & what doesn’t”. In 2016, he finally decided to commit to a series called, The Dragon Trilogy. His goal: to make the greatest sci-fi/fantasy series of all time.
The Devil’s Dragon (TDD) was released in 2017 and the follow-up, The Dragon’s Harvest was released in 2018. Both to 5-star reviews. The final book of the series, The Dragon’s Zenith, will be out by Christmas 2020.

Jason currently lives on the Gold Coast, Australia, with his wife, SueEllen who endures his imagination and their two cats, who do not.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

You too can Write a Book Using The Notebook Habit

Dominique Liongson - presenter at the Gold Coast Writers' Fair Free Online Meeting April 2020

Dominique Liongson, author presenter of The Notebook Habit used this technique (TNH) to compile her book PUN-TASTIC WAYS FOR BRIGHTER DAYS. She also explains more about the importance of the five senses for our writing styles. You too can collect more ideas to write a book using TNH approach.

This is an 8-minute video that also uses some cool examples taken from none other than George Lucas.

Dominique Liongson is a clever creator of three dimensional (3D) craft projects, 2D visual arts, and 1D written words. All that in one word– artist! In the field of authorship, she has created poetry, prose, puns, riddles, essays, blogs, and illustrations.

Follow Dominique on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as @dominicreative. Or visit her home on the web at

Tapping into Inspiration – the Powerhouse for Creative Writing

Bronwen Cribb guest speaker for Gold Coast Writers' Association Free Online Event April 18 2020

Bronwen will introduce her story of writing and challenge you to think about inspiration in a different way. The key here is intuition. Many of us think about this as a vague gut-based feeling or a knowing about something before the evidence appears, but there is much more to the topic. It is the ability to tune in to environments, to plumb the depths of a situation, and to know when an idea will fly or is best left aside. Whether we admit it or not, it is the doorway through which every successful creative writer walks before and during the process of producing their masterpiece. Have you heard of body sensing (enteroception) and the technique of using ambience to tap into environments for inspiration? Do you know what edging and retreating are and how these two components work together to reveal hidden details in everyday life, details easily missed, and to overwrite the usual ways of seeing a situation? Do you know what socio-affective processing is and how to use it to gain relevance in your writing? It is considered to be the basis of all great breakthroughs in science, art and literature. Then, to top off the presentation, you may like a couple of free resources: tools available on the internet that you may not yet have discovered.

BiographyDr B. W. Cribb is a scientist, academic and author with over 30 years of experience. Bronwen began her career in neurobiology, studying how insects and other animals sense the world around them. At the same time, she began running community talks and workshops on positive self-development and unusual mind skills. This community approach was left behind though, to pursue research and teaching at university, where Bronwen found a fascination in the use of sensory systems to create pictures of reality that affect survival, and explored behaviour at the interface between life forms. Dr Cribb has worked in Australia, the UK, and Singapore, has experience as an international speaker, and is the author of over a hundred publications and multiple book chapters. Her current mission brings her back to the community, to unveil the science of the mind in ways that helps with everyday life, and challenge many core beliefs about consciousness, aging, and what the mind can do for us. Bronwen’s book – Design Your Mind: Everyday tools to make every day better – is available through her website at and on the Amazon platform.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

How to Book Publish in the 20’s 

Ocean Reeve of Ocean Reeve Publishing will present at Gold Coast Writers' Association March 2020 Meeting
  • Understanding the new age of book publishing 
  • Understanding printing – print-on-demand, digital, offset
  • Understanding Amazon  
  • Understanding publishing contracts 
  • Understanding establishing a career as an author.

Award-winning publishing consultant and international publisher, Ocean Reeve, presents an informative 90-minute presentation on the new processes and challenges facing authors in 2020 and beyond. Including an opportunity to put questions forward, Ocean will leave you with greater clarity on your options in the book publishing and marketing space.

Daryl Greer – A Writer’s Journey

Darryl Greer A Writer's Journey Presentation Gold Coast Writers' Association March 2020 Meeting

Darryl Greer’s talk today will tell you how he came to be a writer in the first place, starting out when he was a lawyer in London, writing and getting paid for magazine articles; how, in the early nineties he decided to write a novel, which, although a flop, lured him into the world of fiction. He will cover a topic that will be familiar to most of you – his dejection when all those rejection slips start flowing in. Then, he was suddenly signed up by three literary agents; two in London, and one in Australia, none of whom were able to secure him a publishing deal, of his eventually self-published first novel, The Election. Darryl will also talk about his latest novel, Bounty, and he will give an account of why he chose to write a story about a young Muslim boy from a small, poverty-stricken corner of Lebanon.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Creative Writing Skills Workshop

Social Media for Writers

Join Rebecca Torti, GCWA Committee member who will facilitate a 30-minute workshop on social media tools. With Rebecca’s experience in marketing, she will share the techniques and approaches recommended for sharing your information as a creative with the writing and reading community. This will focus on using FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter.


A Journey Towards a Healthy 100

Health and wellbeing are essential for this day and age. Come and listen to Deborah Peden, BA/BEd, Life Coach and Trained Demartini Method© Facilitator, who has provided a depth of understanding and appreciation for wellness across all areas of life.

Deborah has been researching on and supporting others with their health and wellbeing for over a decade. Her experience as a life coach and facilitator has provided a depth of understanding and appreciation for wellness across all areas of life. Deborah has supported many people to realise vibrant, balanced wellness through workshops, seminars and face-to-face client consultations. Coalescing with her health focus, Deborah has a degree in English and History, fostering her passion for literature, literacy and research. Since 2009, she has coordinated and judged in the literary competition for the English Teachers Association of Queensland (ETAQ) supporting young people and teachers to showcase their literary talents. Her writing has been awarded literary prizes in 2009 and 2014, this creative bent extending to writing magazine articles and online profiles. 100 Ways to a Healthy 100 is the result of a combination of her passions: balanced wellness, educating & writing, distilling ancient and contemporary wisdom into a readable and relatable almanac.


Take A Step Into The Unknown It Can Change Your Life. It Did Mine! ©  

Diana Todd-Banks shares her advice on health and wellbeing from a different perspective. Diana has had an incredibly varied life and with 58 moves says the best way to get a glimpse of Diana is to look at her life in numbers:

-Lived and worked in a Maori shearing gang.
-Picked tobacco in all-male tobacco picking team.
-Back to Adelaide then Chicago but
-$1 a day was all Di had to live on.
-Gained a degree in Classical Guitar in Chicago.
-21 different occupations.
-8 different companies.
-3 different countries.
-2 ½ husbands.
-1st Australian female wine importer in the US.
-1st director of an international chamber of commerce in Los Angeles.
-Had a small US company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
-18 years was a syndicated feature columnist.
-5 people who died, Di packed up their possessions.
-In the ’90s those experiences blurred – Diana lost her voice and was unable to walk for 6 months or function for 3 years.

During that time Diana vowed if she recovered she would help others … somehow. She did and continues to do so today.

Diana has written 7 books plus 3 int’l best selling books, ghostwrites, & mentors people about managing life changes.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

GCWA Committee Members and Authors, Beverley Streater and Kerri Yarsley will provide insight into creative writing skills that address ‘Punctuating Dialogue’ and ‘Stylesheets’.

English and the written word was not originally a strength, especially coming from a Science background as a computer programmer, but it became so after two decades of technical writing.

Kerri’s first book, “The Instruction Manual for Kids – Parent’s Edition”, took twenty-five years to research and twelve months to write. After that, Kerri chose to format and edit the work herself, feeling that she was up to the task, having done it for corporations and governments for years. The book was self-published in 2012 and received wide acclaim.

As a career public servant, Beverley developed a strong appreciation for effective communication and designed technical communications (media releases, briefs, speeches) for a range of stakeholders.

As a writer, Beverley currently contributes via her blog Classic Women, social media, book reviews, and has been published in the online magazine, Broad. As a freelance editor, she offers encouragement, support, guidance, and editing to local writers.

Three authors

Are you confused by the terms Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing? Don’t worry, it is something many people struggle with and is the cause of numerous discussions! In fact, Self-Publishing is sometimes considered an overarching term for Independent and Assisted Publishing … so that can just add another confusing dimension!

A trio of authors who have taken three very different approaches:

Christine Betts is a business owner and published writer.

Her first novel Hotel Déjà vu (independently published through her imprint Time Step Press, 2018) combines her passion for Paris with her interest (obsession?) for artists, writers and their lives.

You can find her on Facebook by searching @ParisTimeTravel or at her website

Ron Thomas is a lover of writing, a storyteller, a searcher for tales as yet unwritten. For more than 20 years, Ron was Managing Director of a successful Australian technology company. It was a big decision to leave a job he loved to indulge in his passion for writing and a long bucket list.

Ron is a believer in the power of words and considers that wordsmithing skills are the most empowering tools in his armoury. His first effort was a musical, Ballaarat; then, he turned to historical novels and so began, the Solly Trilogy. Unsurprisingly, its key character is a story-telling swagman. Ron has traditionally published several books.

James Culverhouse has been a pizzaiolo, business owner, projectionist and teacher. He currently works as an IT professional in the higher education sector. He has dived with sharks off the Queensland Coast, survived being a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman, and lived in a mud-brick house in Tasmania.

James and his wife share their home in Moreton Shire, Australia, with their black cat, Shadow, and their loveable dog, Chad. He has published his first book, “Wolf and the Crow”, the first book in the Ebonsheare Chronicles trilogy.

When you’ve heard from our trio of authors, it’s time for a Self-Publishing company to provide their perspective and also respond to comments made before Afternoon Tea.

Join Andy McDermott from Publicious, as he provides his insights –

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Tammy Richie is a remarkable woman whose story is a powerful reminder about what we’re truly capable of as human beings.

She is one of the lucky ones who had First Aid training – she saved her own son’s life when he drowned in their backyard pool at just 16 months of age.
Her passion for protecting lives and helping others avoid the pain she has been through is what inspired her to start her Business, First Aid YUCAN2. And today, she is an inspirational mentor and life-coach to many people around Australia and the globe.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Latest Publishing News – the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ to Becoming a Published Author, with Andy McDermott.

Last month, Andy McDermott was invited to be a presenter at the inaugural ‘Fiona McIntosh National Masterclass Conference’ in South Australia.

As a representative of self-publishing, he appeared alongside the major publishers including Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Shuster, Allen & Unwin and Harlequin, as well as the CEO of QBD and representatives from Dymocks and James Bennet.

Andy’s returned to Queensland bursting with all the latest information about the publishing industry, especially the ever-changing ‘Dos and Don’ts’ for the author aiming to become a published author; and, he can’t wait to share this information with you.

Josh Clifton, author of ‘The Hospitality Guide’.

Joshua is an experienced customer service coach who provides clients with promotional and marketing knowledge to propel their businesses. His expertise includes business improvement, maximising staff potential, productivity, formulating successful client outcomes, client relationship development, in-house training/staff development, strategic promotion and client marketing.

Joshua will discuss the fundamentals of customer engagement and what it really takes to build a powerful tribe and deliver a product that makes you stand out from the rest.

As a first time publisher, Joshua will discuss with you step by step this process that enabled him to become an author, featured in multiple newspapers and magazines in Australia and around the world, and partner with organizations such as Tafe Queensland and International software companies Tanda all within a few months of being published.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Can your book become a platform for building a community and influence social change?

Dr Elizabeth Celi will discuss how your books can become a positive leverage tool for social progress in your local community and beyond, if you so choose. Once the creative journey to publish your book is done, what avenues can you consider in developing the profile and positioning of your book for the readership you intended to serve? Considerations on engaging the media, media training and the power of words deliberately spoken and deliberately not spoken will be discussed.

Lastly, how can video and film entice your readers to get your book on their bookshelf? Elizabeth will share examples of activities she worked on to position her books and how screenwriting and short films have become the next step to enhance her social health messages.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Dion Jensen – PTSD – How Creative Expression takes a soldier through PTSD and into a career

Author and international speaker and trainer, Dion Jensen is the Confidence Coach. However, it came from a journey of heartache as Dion learned how he could claim VICTORY over PTSD, by training those who have suffered trauma, in a SOLUTION based program, delivered in a language and manner that matches the background of The Warrior.

Now a two time published author, Dion’s book and concepts throughout have saved lives, including his own as he proved that PTSD was not a disorder.

Today we have an online interview to screen with Dion as he currently works in the South Pacific providing mental health and welfare solutions to foreign governments. We will find out how through writing Dion took on re-framing, externalising and challenging the status quo, providing an alternative perspective and solution. Dion talks about how exposing himself and writing this book was challenging, but also provided him peace; peace through serving and the impact it had on others.

Andy Cullen – Writing to Heal

Zoe and Andy Cullen

An Australian soldiers journey home through writing!

Andy is a veteran of 17 years service in the Australian Army. Retiring as a Major in 2012 having served 6 years as a soldier in the Royal Australian Infantry (RAINF) and later as an Officer in the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) focusing much of his career in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). He was awarded the COMMENDATION FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE for operations in Afghanistan. Zoe grew up in the tranquil hills of Byron Bay living in a mud brick home built by her parents. She has a passion for life, family and travel and after university married into the Army, her own career taking a back seat to Andy’s life as a Military Officer.

Andy was diagnosed with PTSD following multiple deployments to Afghanistan. Zoe was forced into the position of sole parent of their four young children. Andy’s condition worsened while he battled with a loss of identity and purpose following his retirement from the Army. He eventually ended up in a mental hospital falling into a dark depression that very nearly cost him his life leaving Zoe to pick up the pieces of the broken family.

Together they fought their way through the many challenges living with PTSD brings. Resurrected gives a unique insight into the realities of war and its effects on marriage and family. Told from the perspectives of both veteran and wife.

Andy and Zoe are Ambassadors for Mates4Mates, proudly supporting Defence Force injured and their families. They now facilitate the REBOOT Combat Recovery Course in Australia, It’s a course that provides practical help for service members, first responders and their families, addressing the moral and spiritual wounds of combat for both the veteran and the family that were fighting a battle of a different kind at home

Saturday, 20 July 2019 Theme – Children’s Books


Everyone has a story and wife/mother/police officer/debut author…Debz Pokai is no different. Debz will introduce the concept of her published work ‘The Rainbow Zoo’ and what it took to transition her mindset into authorship and the ‘why’ behind her creative expression.

Trade Published author and illustrator, Susy Boyer has worked as a freelance illustrator and painter for 30yrs. She works from her home studio beside the beach in the Byron Shire. Susy also runs a studio & gallery called “The Art Room” on the Gold Coast where she lived for many years while raising her three sons.

Here she regularly steps away from her own work to teach drawing to some wonderfully talented children, and to mentor young teenage artists.
Susy majored in Illustration and Design at The Qld College of Art, and after graduating spent five years working as a graphic designer for magazine publishers in Sydney and London. After some wonderful years as the Assistant Art Director of The Australian Women’s Weekly, a yearning for more drawing time led her to change to a full-time career in illustration. Susy loves working in publishing, especially children’s books and has illustrated more than 80 titles, from Picture Books to Readers for the educational market.

Saturday, 15th June 2019


The synopsis, the blurb and the logline, what’s the difference?


Award Winning author of ‘The Art of Self Love’, professional speaker, entrepreneur, and podcaster will be joining us to share the concepts behind her book. Constantly in demand nationally for speaking, Kim never fails to captivate, entertain and inspire.

Saturday, May 18th 2019

WRITING WORKSHOP – Clive Johnson Author

Award-winning non-fiction published author Clive Johnson, is back to further enhance our creative thinking with this 1-hour workshop on profiling.

PODCASTING – Brett McCallum

Published author of ‘Embrace The Fail’, professional speaker, storyteller, and podcaster will be joining us to share why it is important as creatives we embrace podcasting and some steps to consider if you plan on establishing a podcast.

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