The 2019 Grassroots Writers’ Weekend hosted by the Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group was held from the 17 to 19 May 2019 and attracted more than 90 participants from far and wide. All were inspired, excited and enhanced their writing skills with more than 20 workshops to choose from over two and a half days. Numbers were limited to ensure that class sizes provided a practical,  hands-on experience.

Held at the centrally-located Coffs Harbour Community Village where workshop rooms surround a peaceful, grassed courtyard (complete with two Tawny Frogmouths perched in the shady Poinciana tree), it provided a comfortable environment for mingling, networking and just contemplation over a cup of tea and the morning and afternoon teas cooked by the Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group helpers (and creative cooks from the Nambucca Valley Writers’ Group). An opening barbecue was held on the Friday night generously provided by the Bonville Sawtell Lions Club. The candle-lit formal dinner on Saturday night (complete with numerous raffle prizes) was held at the Park Beach Surf Club with a full moon dramatically illuminating the sea.

There were sessions on memoir and life writing; writing for children and young adults; murder mystery and historical fiction; flash fiction, short stories, blogs and competitions; writing craft such as perfecting your dialogue, structure and setting; using humour and imagery; making your characters and their relationships real; and techniques for effectively starting and finishing your manuscript (plans of actions and review).

Presenters included Roby Aiken, Wendy Haynes, Desley Polmear, Greg Barron, Graeme Gibson, Penelope Pratley, Gill Goater, Rosalie Skinner, Carrolline Rhodes, Laurel Cohn, Michael Burlace, Leonie Harrison, Wendy Laharnar, Elizabeth Bond, Yvonne Kachel, Leonie Henschke, Lisa Milner, and Fiona McDonald. Links to the bios.

Interesting conversation groups on everything from writing about sex to defamation and travel writing were moderated by Kim Hodges, Lorraine Penn, Yvonne Kachel and Rosalie Skinner.

We will be passing on information gathered from our appraisal sheets. Thank you to all for the positive feedback. We look forward to seeing you all next year. With suggestions for workshops and ideas shared with 2020 host, Port Macquarie.

Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group would like to acknowledge the fantastic work of our organising committee project managed by Lorraine Penn with Juliana Garaty, Roger Harris, Rosalie Skinner, Leonie Henschke, Yvonne Kachel, Julie Trachtenberg, Suzanne Tainsh, Rhonda Rand and Danielle Babb. Help was also greatly appreciated at the venue given by John Skinner, Michael Trachtenberg, Darrell Garaty and Michael Burlace.

We also thank our generous sponsors:

Port Macquarie Writers Inc. have very generously taken on the mantle to host the 2020 Grassroots Writers’ Weekend so follow us on Facebook sites…..

And check  this website for details.

A few shots from the weekend.