Previous GCWA Meetings

Saturday, 15 August



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



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

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 for doing it.

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.

Instead of collecting toys, Petar loved collecting books, and after a while, he turned his room into his own, mini-library, which he continues to adds books to even today.
In Grade One, he was lucky to have a teacher, Mr. K, who inspired him to write short stories on his computer, once Petar was finished with all his work.

One day, after a family trip to Gold Coast, Petar wanted to share his great experience and so set to writing. Petar received lots of support from his teachers, who not only taught him persistence and resilience but one, Miss Issa even helped read an early draft of the book he couldn’t stop writing. They were all very supportive.

Aside from writing, Petar likes to surf, and do a handful of other sports like tennis and hockey; he is also very passionate about not littering and cleaning the ocean of rubbish.

Saturday, 16 May

  • 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.

Are Science Fiction writers prophets? TDD was released in 2017, it describes a worldwide pandemic and the social, political and economic chaos that ensues. Spoiler alert: The book also reveals that a charismatic leader uses the crisis to build political power in his quest to establish a single world government. He uses an alien culture with different values and language as a scapegoat. This new world order is called “The New Era”. I’m not the first content creator who’s predicted the future, so much of our technology and aspects of our lives come from author’s ideas from years in the past.

Saturday, 21 March

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

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.


I was born, educated and spent the first chapter of my working life in Queensland. My education was cut short – by me, due to the sheer boredom of it – and at the age of 15, I left to work on a milk run. I went on to work as a window cleaner, cocktail barman, wine waiter, clerk, car salesman and a guitarist/backing singer in a rather hopeless rock band. Eventually, I studied Law and at 28, I owned my own law firm; but, after nine years in the tropics, I sold up and moved with my family to London. I practised there for many years, specialising in commercial litigation. In 2004, I returned to Queensland and now live with my daughter in the Gold Coast hinterland.

In 2009, I self-published my first novel, The Election. My second novel, Calvus was originally published by the now-defunct Morris Publishing Australia and a new edition has since been self-published. Next came three novels published by Custom Book Publications in Hong Kong: Agnus Dei, Sleeping with Angels and A Dragon In The Snow. Disheartened by my experience with publishers, I have returned to self-publishing for my latest novel, Bounty.

Saturday 15 February

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:

-At 15 was raped in Adelaide, later moved to New Zealand.
-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

GCWA Committee Members and Authors, Beverley Streater and Kerri Yarsely 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

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

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 international 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

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.

A limited number of “Breaking the Silence” books will be available for $20 (cash only) at the GCWA meeting (RRP $29.95). For the first 20 “Breaking the Silence” books sold, a copy of “Regular Joe vs. Mr Invincible” will be given as a gift.

Saturday 17 August

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

$5 from every book sold goes to veteran charity PTSD Resurrected Inc, supporting veterans and their families suffering from trauma as a result of service.

Saturday 20 July Theme – Children’s Books


The management of illustrations and overseas illustrators for self and indie authors. What to know, what to expect, what it costs!


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


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

AUDIOBOOKS – Ocean Reeve

Our very own GCWA President will be giving a brief outline into the process of recording your audiobook and why it is important to consider within your publishing journey.


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.

AUDIOBOOKS – Ocean Reeve

Our very own GCWA President will be giving a brief outline into the process of recording your audiobook and why it is important to consider within your publishing journey.

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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