August 2014 Newsletter

Exciting events for writers continue to roll
into our area like the waves on our
beautiful beaches. As a prelude to the
Byron Bay Writers Festival a road show of
five writers (Five Writers, Five Towns, Five
Days) hosted a number of events in Coffs.
It was great to see so many of our
members taking advantage of a workshop,
an evening with five yarn spinning writers
at the Coast Hotel and a public lecture at
Southern Cross University. Our members
will have some good stories to share at
the next meeting. If you’d like to attend a
writers’ event and don’t have transport,
give one of the committee members a
ring (numbers above) and I’m sure we can
organize a lift. We want everyone to
benefit. We’re now in full swing for
organising the Grassroots Writers
Weekend 24 – 26 April 2015 to be hosted
by our club. It will have something for
everyone so get your suggestions in now!

What’s on in August and coming soon?
7 August 2014 Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group Monthly Meeting 10.30 am – 12.30 pm Coffs Harbour Ex Services Club.
15 August 2014 ETC Social Media Essentials for Writers’ Workshop. See details below.
21 August 2014 Social Morning at Ron and Danni’s home in Bellingen. Please contact Ron at the next meeting or E-mail: to confirm attendance and gain address details.
4 September 2014 1.30 – 3.30 pm Structuring Your Plot Writers’ Workshop with Leonie Henschke Coffs Harbour Ex Services Club. Register early.

From the President
Reminder: Last chance to RSVP for Social Media Essentials for Writers’ Workshop
We currently have eleven members who have responded as attending the above free workshop at
ETC, 80 Grafton Street, on 15th August, from 10am to 12noon.This is an excellent opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of social media which can help you promote yourself and obviously your works.
As the numbers are limited, please RSVP directly to Karolyn Gibson.

Social Morning with a Twist
July’s social coffee morning had a little twist, it was changed to accommodate our first ever ‘Christmas in July’ lunch event at my home. The day’s proceedings commenced with a drop into the house of special guest ‘Gertrude’. She not only surprised our members with her antics, some of the members started to think she may have been a long lost relative of mine! I still believe James thinks she is for real.

Gertrude, alias our very talented member Sally Ross, entertained us with her poems,
stories and jokes. She managed to kick off what was a very delightful day of eating and more eating, but most of all enjoying one another’s company. Thanks again, Sally, you are truly an amazing entertainer. (See Gertrude’s (aka Sally Ross) poems below.)
Real Time Examples in the Pitching Your Synopsis Workshop
How fortunate were our members and guests to hear Lisa Reily, who had just arrived back from pitching her play to more than 100 agents in Los Angeles. She shared her invaluable knowledge on the research required, including how she planned and presented her pitch to the various agents. Our very capable Leonie Henschke, who facilitated the evening at the library to more than 20 participants, organised Lisa’s participation to add extra value to the workshop.

Leonie led us through what publishers are accepting in the form of manuscripts with conditions, including excellent handouts on publishers various requirements and guides on preparing your synopsis.

All attendees were given the opportunity to do write-ups of their works taking into consideration what we had learnt during the evening. At the end of the workshop those who felt they were ready to present their works, were given an opportunity to participate in a ‘one on one’ pitch to a volunteer panel and the audience.

This type of exposure was invaluable experience for everyone.
Thanks, Leonie and Lisa for the sharing of your knowledge and skills it was greatly appreciated.

Suggestions for Next Year’s Workshops
I can’t believe we are now into August, which means planning time for 2015 workshops. We welcome your ideas/comments on the type of guest speakers, workshops for next year. One of the major events will be the hosting of the Grassroots Writers’ Weekend in April 2015. A sub-committee has met to plan the event.

Social Media Essentials for Writers
ETC (Enterprise & Training Company Ltd) will be holding a free members-only ‘Social Media Essentials for Writers’ Workshop’ at their Coffs Harbour office, 80 Grafton Street, Friday, 15 August, time: 10 am to 12 noon.
The workshop will include, for example: brief history of social media, how it’s used today, why it is a great way to promote your writing, best practice in social media, reaching existing and new audiences, overview of most popular social media channels, including choosing the right channels to reach your audience, setting up a Facebook page and a blog. Numbers are limited for this workshop;
please RSVP directly to Karolyn.

Regards. Lorraine

Members write…

I’m not much of a cook by Roger Harris
I’m not much of a cook, I’ve been a bachelor for twenty five years now and whilst I have still failed to give myself food poisoning I don’t flatter myself either. I’m not much of a cook.
True I do a reasonable dinner party, not too bad with the barbecue, no one has refused to come back and to my knowledge no one has died, so it can’t be that bad, but the truth is I’m not much of a cook.
My mother was a domestic science lecturer so one would have thought I would have learnt more, but as a boy I made a career decision to stay out of the kitchen. The garage was my space and, besides, I had two sisters who my mother could recruit if she wanted help. Life is full of choices like ‘get married or learn to cook’. I tried the former and found it was cheaper and more peaceful to learn to cook. So I did. Twenty years on I have collected some wonderful gadgets and an enviable set of knives. I bake my own bread and cakes as well as my own pizzas, including the base.
I have all the flash utensils. I like the Zyliss stuff best: unbreakable and high quality. It makes me at least feel good about being in the kitchen, but it doesn’t flatter me beyond the realisation that I’m not much of a cook.
Now my dear old Mum, yes, the one who failed me miserably as a boy, forcing me into marriage because she failed to teach me to cook, well she’s in her eighties now. Once a year, I get on a plane and fly to the other side of the world and go and cook for her for a month. Oh, the irony of it all.
The real surprise is the kitchen, nasty cheap aluminium saucepans, not a sharp knife in the place, and not a decent gadget to be seen, with the exception of the Zyliss can opener I had bought her the year before.
Now I’m not as young as I was so I need to take notice of what I eat: very little meat, lots of fish, plenty of fresh vegetables. As an Englishman I’m not big on fruit, but I do enjoy melon.

Now one would think that an ex domestic science lecturer now in her late eighties might have come to a similar conclusion. Well, you’d be wrong, meat and two veg, usually a pork chop.
I’ve come to like Fettuccine Cabanarra, I do a mean Marinara, I believe that pasta was invented by an Italian bachelor because it’s so easy. I like to experiment; it keeps me interested. Not my Mum, meat and two veg, usually a pork chop.
Now there was a time, some forty years ago when Mum was doing lots of courses, when inquiring one evening, “What’s for dinner?” I was famously reported to say, “When are we going to get some bloody English food in this house?”

If back then someone had told me that fifty years on my Mum would be eating meat and two veg, usually a pork chop, followed by a yogurt out of a plastic carton, it would have been totally unbelievable.

Yet here she is, “oh no, not fettuccine again”, all of once a year, oh how the myths of one’s youth have been eroded.
The Old Boiler by Sally Ross
Me eggs are past their use by date,
Me eggs are out of luck,
Me eggs would be better in a soufflé,
Or whipped up in a cup,
Mine are no longer fertile,
But oh! My mind, it is still so,
So now I’m just a free range,
An old chook on the go…
Sandy’s Pockets
She lost her mobile phone, somewhere down
She couldn’t keep looking for it, as people
were starting to stare,
It had disappeared between her heart and her
She had nowhere else to put it she didn’t have
a pocket,
She kept her lip gloss out of sight in the other
So she could reapply it, if her lips got cracked
and dried,
She didn’t really care; she never gave a
For she could carry all the goods like no other
There were other things that she kept in
there, some for which they were designed,
But who needs pockets, when she’s got her
boulder holder, which suited her just fine…
Copyright © Sally Ross

For the diary!
Join in the fun of the Grassroots Writers’ Weekend,
Coffs Harbour, 24 – 26 April, 2015
Hosted by the Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group
A hands-on, practical weekend of workshops. For the
beginning, the aspiring and the published
writer…something for everyone. Only $25
(accommodation and optional dinners extra).
More information at
or Karolyn on 042353850

That’s all for now. Don’t forget, contributions
please. Reviews, writing exercises…whatever
takes your fancy. Leonie

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