Eurobodalla Writers’ 2016 reflection

Writing is supposed to be about letters on a page, but sometimes it’s about numbers. The number of words needed for a story or an article. The number of days to make the deadline. The number of writing accomplishments. The number of sleeps until the end of the year.

As 2016 gears down and the bells toll for 2017, the Eurobodalla writers will be able to look back on their achievements with happiness and pride. Cat Sheely and Marisol Dunham, committee members of the Canberra based speculative fiction convention Conflux, helped orchestrate an event that gets bigger and better each year. Anke Ziergiebel and Debbie Richardson were successful in their pitching sessions to Harper Collins at Conflux 2016 and Cat Sheely successfully pitched to literary agent Alex Adsett. Suzanne Newnham will publish an article based on her family history in the BORAL News, and she’s being interviewed for a Masters in Investigative Journalism thesis based on her psychic reading ethics. She also writes a monthly health column on chronic pain in an international e-magazine. Five of our writers – Cassandra Webb, Debbie Richardson, Stafford Ray, Rhonda Casey, Rosie Toth – held court at the Batemans Bay Writers Festival in September to a room of local and visiting readers. Stafford Ray toured libraries up and down the coast with his novels in tow and the conviction of Charles Dickens. The Moruya Library co-hosted two literary salons where our authors read from published and unpublished works to a full capacity turnout of local literary lovers. We even had a successful fiction author from New York in the audience! The members of the night group wrote, edited, designed, and published a speculative fiction short story.

So as we raise our glasses to toast to our successes past, present, and future, let us take one last look at our To Do list and pat ourselves on the back for all we have achieved and all we are yet to achieve.

Words churned, pages turned. Poets delighted, authors ignited. Literature ruled, authors schooled. Writers met, deadlines set. 2016 was a great year. And it won’t be the last of its kind.

The ‘writers’ live on the Eurobodalla coast of NSW. They meet at the Mackay Centre in Moruya. The day group meets the first and third Wednesday of each month from 10.30am to 2.30pm and new members are welcome. Please contact Rosie on 0437 627 756 or you may show up on the day. The night group meets the third Tuesday of each month from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and new members are welcome. Please contact Louise on 4474 5771. Check the website for any changes to dates or meeting venue

Our last meetings for 2016 will be Christmas celebrations in early December. Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas, and joyous religious, spiritual and holiday celebrations. Safe travelling and see you in 2017 with pens and typing fingers at the ready.


Rockin’ the Edits workshop 7th Sept

Do you write? Wish to write? Do you wonder how to turn ordinary words, a sentence, a paragraph into an exciting visual story leaving your readers wanting more?

Multi-published author Debbie Richardson is running her highly informative and creative workshop Rockin’ the Edits Wednesday 7th September.

This workshop is open to members of the public.

Venue: Moruya Golf Club, Evans Street, Moruya

Time:  10.00am (registration/tea & coffee), 10.30am – 2.30pm

Cost: $15 or  $10 members (member concessions available);

Lunch: the Golf Club offers a $10 lunch special menu; sandwiches etc available from the bar.

Bring paper, pen or laptop, a sense of fun and adventure as we explore the wonder of words.

I attended Rockin’ the Edits with Debbie earlier in the year and am really looking forward to next Wednesday’s workshop.

More info on the presenter:

Literary events in the Eurobodalla

September is offering up a smorgasbord of literary events in the Eurobodalla that involve many of our writers.

“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”   Oscar Wilde

Moruya Library, as part of its Library Links program, is holding two Literary Salons after the fashion of Oscar Wilde. Wearing their Sunday best, writers, readers and audience will come together to share their love of style and the written word. An elegant supper and a literary quiz will also be part of this twilight soiree.

Debbie Richardson, one of our prolific published authors, is running her popular ‘Rockin’ the Edits’ workshop again. This is the one in which she uses song lyrics to analyse/imagine character motivations as drivers for narrative arc. Debbie is available to run workshops for other branches (check out her website: Writers of the Far South Coast have enjoyed a couple of her workshops to date.

The biggest event this year is the Batemans Bay Writers Festival, 9-11 September. In a session titled ‘Local Authors Let Loose on Literature’, four of our published authors (Debbie Richardson, Stafford Ray, Cassie Webb and Rhonda Casey) will talk about what’s inspired them, the road to publishing, and will give brief readings from their latest works. A wonderful initiative by our local Festival committee; we hope you have similar support from your local events organisers.

As in previous years two of our members, Mavis Hayes and Louise Falcioni, joined two others in judging the annual Mayor’s Writing Competition, open to all school children in the Shire. Hundreds of entries are received and EuroFAW provides 3rd prize Encouragement Awards for each age category. The presentation, suitably, occurs in the Council meeting room. It is an interesting and rewarding experience to also chat with the prize-getters and their parents at the morning tea that follows.

Our group has also been allocated a bi-monthly report in our local newspapers – a handy opportunity for free advertising! Thank you to Debbie Richardson for arranging this).

You can also find and Like us on

Batemans Bay Writers Festival – Local Authors

Session 13: Local Authors Let Loose On Literature

Sunday 11th September 2016  9.15 am to 10.15 am

Clyde Room, Coachhouse Marina Resort, 49 Beach Road Batemans Bay

The Eurobodalla Shire is rich with writing talent. Join five authors as they talk about, and read from, their latest works with Eurobodalla Fellowship of Australian Writers President, Rosie Toth.

Rhonda Casey began life in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, but has been a resident of the South Coast for over thirty years. Her first manuscript, Hessian, traces the life stories of two women as they travel the turbulent years at the turn of the Twentieth Century. Seemingly worlds apart, they are irrevocably connected. What is joy for one brings only fear to the other. From war torn Greece to the outback of New South Wales, their journey of discovery is a heartfelt story of hope and new beginnings.

Timothy S Collins has been a writer for more than 40 years, though only a select few have ever read his works, as his career has always been focused on technical writing. He has always had a desire to write a fictional novel but ‘life got in the way’. Tim is now a semi-retired consulting engineer. With time enough to revisit some of his non-published earlier works, Tim is now concentrating on developing fictional novels.

Stafford Ray’s concern for the environment and social issues has always driven his writing — from poetry, plays to fiction. His first novel, Cull, reads as a page turner but beneath this a deeper tension is revealed. His latest novel, Australian Gulag – A Love Story, deals with the issues surrounding offshore detention and the personal tragedies of those caught up in the system.

Debbie Richardson is a bestselling writer of speculative fiction for Young Adults. The book trailer for her young adult paranormal romance novel, Little Red Gem, was featured on USA Today website. She is a member of the Eurobodalla Writers Group and she regularly conducts writers’ workshops.

Cassandra Webb is a chocaholic from Narooma who writes children’s and young adult fiction, fantasy and picture books. Cassandra’s picture book, Take Ted Instead, has recently been accepted at Bologna Children’s Bookfair and she is looking at contracts in Vietnam, USA, China, Poland and others. But she also has several YA fantasy novels out this year, as well as another picture book The Bigger Digger.