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Making the Most out of Microsoft Word

A hands-on practical workshop using Microsoft Word and your own laptop or tablet as a tool for preparing your written works.

In this workshop you will learn the basics of formatting, working with ‘track changes’ and finding answers to the most common problems associated with Word documents.

Presenter: Rosalie Skinner

When: Monday 3rd September​

Time: 1.30 to 3.30pm

Where: Cex Club, Vernon Street, Coffs Harbour

Cost: Member free, non-members $7.50

Presentation on the Research Facilities of Trove at Coffs Harbour Library

When: 7th March


1st November 2017 ‘Editing Your Story’

A hands-on practical workshop for writers of memoir, family history, fiction, fantasy, and all types of writing. Learn how to edit for structure (storyline​) and copy editing for grammar, spelling​, ​ and punctuation, and any ‘stand out’ inconsistencies of time, place or word usage. You will hone your techniques on your own or provided material and learn essential critical skills to gain a polished manuscript. A must for everyone who wants their work to be read and enjoyed!

Presenter:          Leonie Henschke

When:                1.15 pm – 3.30 pm Wednesday 1 November 2017

Where:               Cavanbah Centre, Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour

Cost:                  Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group members $7.50. Non-members: $15

More information and registration: 0412668315


Embracing the Magical World

In this workshop,​ you will look at creating all things magical: worlds, creatures, characters and more.  Learn how to weave a story where the only limitation is your imagination.

It will be a hands-on workshop for all ages and abilities where your pen is as powerful as a wand.  Writers of every genre will find this very useful and informative.

Facilitator:         Roby Aiken

When:                 Wednesday 6th September

Time:                  1.30 to 3.30pm

Where:               Cavanbah Centre, Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour

Cost:                   $7.50 for members and $15 for non-members


Practical Tools of Effective Characterisation

In this workshop you will learn and practice the tools of effective characterisation, how to draw characters from a range​ of sources, make them real people, and work them into your writing realistically and successfully.

Facilitator:         Dr Lisa Milner

When:                Tuesday 11th July

Time:                 6.00 – 8.00pm

Where:               Coffs Harbour Library

Cost:                  $7.50 for members and $15 for non-members (inc light refreshments)

Bookings Essential:


The Barefoot Editor 

Another exciting workshop is planned for May 3rd.  Participants will learn how to turn your pasture into the ​lawn.

The workshop will cover identifying and culling weeds like; words to avoid (and discuss why), repetition, redundancies, time stream, cliche’s, passive and active voice, showing versus telling, and much more.  We will not worry about spelling and simple grammar.  Hopefully, those prickles have already been dealt with.  If you can present your work to an editor (or discerning reader) as an inviting, painless ‘walk’ your​ story is more likely to be considered.

Facilitator:         Rosalie Skinner

When:                Wednesday 3rd May

Time:                 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Where:               Cavanbah Centre, Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour

Cost:                   $7.50 for members and $15 for non-members

Bookings:           0457989875



Industry or Indie?

It’s never too early or late for aspiring writers to consider how to get their work out there.

This workshop will explore the promise and perils of different publishing pathways; traditional publishing, vanity press, ​and self-publishing or “indie publishing”.

We’ll answer such questions as:

  • Who are the major publishers and are they interested in me?
  • What is an Agent and do I need one?
  • How do I present my manuscript?
  • I’ve got my advance, I’m going on a cruise. Right?
  • Is “vanity press” always the villain?
  • Self-publishing an e-book: how hard can it be?
  • Self-publishing a paperback: how costly will it be?
  • I’m published: can I quit the day job?

Facilitator:   Margaret Penhall-Jones a local writer and editor.

When:           Wednesday 1st March

Time:            1.30pm – 3.30pm

Where:          Cavanbah Centre, Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour

Bookings:      0457989875

Cost:             $7.50 for members and $15 for non-members





Calling all travel junkies! Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group is putting on a Travel Writing workshop which is sure to get your taste buds twittering, your feet itching and your fingers poised on the keyboard…and the credit card out to book that next ticket!

Facilitator:    Leonie Henschke.

When:          Wednesday 2 November

Time:            1.30 pm – 3.30 pm

Where:         Cavanbah Centre, Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour

Bookings: 0412668315

Cost:             $7.50 for members and $15 for non-members

Everybody likes to travel – to get away from day to day routines – whether it is too​ exotic locations or to a B&B up in the hills. In every one of those settings there is a story. It is up to the writer to capture the sights, smells, sounds, and, most particularly, personal stories to make that special place come alive for the reader. In this relaxed session, journalist and writer (and adventure traveler​, Leonie Henschke, facilitates group conversation to share, inspire, amuse and challenge other travel junkie writers! Bring along your memories! Leonie will ensure a practical, hands-on workshop with take-home​ messages and inspiration for new scribblers and experienced writers alike!


How to Present Your Story and the Art of Story Telling to Capture Your Audience:

This workshop will include breathing exercises to loosen up presentation nerves, joint storytelling​ exercises using emotions and music to capture the passion of your story and interactive presentations.

Facilitator:   Yvonne Kachel

When:         7th September

Time:          1.30pm to 3.30pm

Where:        Cavanbah Hall, Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour

Cost:           $7.50 for members and $15.00 for non-members



Creating Compelling Characters Workshop

Make Your Readers Care!

Characters drive your story. Creating real characters makes your reader turn the page.

This interactive workshop, for the aspiring or emerging writer of fiction or memoir, looks at techniques for creating characters that will live on in your readers’ minds after they close the book.

We use some basic psychological insights to discover how you can create memorable characters that leap off the page and hook your readers from the beginning.

We draw on examples from modern fiction, memoir and film to see how the experts did it!

When:        1st June, 2016        Time:         1.30pm to 3.30pm

Where:       Cavanbah Hall, Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour

Cost:           $7.50 for members and $15.00 for non-members

Facilitator:  Margaret Penhall-Jones is a local writer and freelance editor, who is passionate about creating opportunities for people to develop their skills in writing craft, enabling creative ideas to come to life. She enjoys writing herself, especially romances and memoirs. Margaret is also an active member in the community with critique and memoir writing groups.

Margaret is a member of Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group, Romance Writers of Australia and Romance Writers of America and a contest judge for Romance Writers of Australia.

She recently released her first novel Keeping His Enemy Close, available on Amazon in May, 2016

Creating Compelling Characters Workshop


WORKSHOPS SCHEDULED FOR 2015: (scroll down for all the workshops listed for the year)


Effective Use of Dialogue – a workshop facilitated by Dr Mhoira Lauer-Patterson

When: Wednesday 3rd March, 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Where: Coffs CeX, Vernon Street, Coffs Harbour

Cost: CHWG Members $7.50, non-members $15.00

As a writer, if you ignore dialogue, or what you have written does not gel with a publisher who thinks about sales, then an edict, a small slip of paper, will flow from hallowed publishing halls: Rejected!

In this ‘hands-on​’ workshop you will learn how ‘effective use of dialogue’ can be used as a powerful tool.

The workshop will cover areas relating to:

Setting the scene

What makes dialogue effective?

Keys to effective dialogue


Research for Writers – workshop facilitated by Robyn Veugen (writer, teacher & librarian) –

When: Thursday 12th March, 5.30pm for 6pm start to 7.30pm.

Where: Coffs Harbour Library​, Duke Street, Coffs Harbour

Cost: CHWG Members $7.50, non-members $15.00

This practical workshop will cover the following:

Why do you need to conduct research for your writing?
Research for both fiction & non-fiction writers
How to go about your research
Where to find information – both online & offline
Using experts
Research tools
Research tips & tricks
Practical online research activities

Note: Bring your wifi capable laptop if you have one. Access to the internet will also be provided for those without their own device.

Registrations for this event go to:


Grassroots Writers’ Weekend – writing workshops open to all writers, from the beginner to published authors.

When: Friday 8th to Sunday 10th May

Where: Coffs Harbour Community Village, 22 Earl Street, Coffs Harbour

Cost: $25.00 all participants, optional dinners are extra.  (Note: thanks for our supportive sponsors Coffs Harbour Council Arts & Cultural Development Small Grants Program)

For more comprehensive information about this exciting weekend, go to​


Presenting Your Story – workshop facilitated by Yvonne Kachel

When:   Wednesday 5th August, 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Where:  Coffs Harbour CeX Club, Vernon Street

Cost:      $7.50  members and $15.00 non members

The workshop will provide interactive presentations on:

Identification with your story: the use of emotion and words that express emotion.
Techniques of presentation to an audience: properties of sound and movement in your voice.
Painting vivid pictures with the use of words and speech.
Building creative confidence in presenting your story.
The power of storytelling​.

When telling a story one author stated: ” I have learned​ that people may forget what you said; people may forget what you di,​; but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


Planning Your Plot – workshop facilitated by Rosalie Skinner

When:    Wednesday 7th October, 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Where:   Coffs Harbour CeX Club, Vernon Street

Cost:       $7.50 members and $15.00 non members

This workshop will discuss and share ideas on how to ensure your story contains a plot that will keep your readers turning pages.

It will include the elements of plotting, avoiding distractions, character growth and development will be covered. Every genre has guidelines. Following them will ensure your story follows the rules. Recognising each element will simplify your writing process and help create clear, compulsive storytelling.



Workshops Scheduled for 2014:

During the year our writers’ group assists our members and guests with relevant skills learning workshops held during the day at CeX Club or evenings at Coffs Harbour Library.

Below is a list of the workshops being held during 2014.

To register for these workshops please contact Lorraine Mouafi E-mail: or phone 6653 3256, mobile: 0404163136.

6/3/2014    Getting Started on Your Story, CeX Club 1.30pm to 3.30pm

10/4/2014  E-Publishing Your Works for the 21st Century Reader, Coffs Harbour Library, 6.00pm to 8.00pm

Members and guests had a wonderful opportunity on the evening of 10th April at Coffs Harbour Library, where they experienced a presentation and hands-on session about getting started, including the pitfalls of eBook Publishing.

After the facilitated PowerPoint presentation the attendees experienced an interactive ‘hands-on​’ navigating session through E-Book Publishing organisations, for example​,​ Lulu, Amazon and Smashworks. These companies were used as an example and set up on Rosalie’s homepage of her blog

This enable all attendees, using either the Libraries computers or their own laptops or iPads to experience what each company offered in the way of e-publishing, including the areas covered in the workshop; copyright, cover, editing, formatting, distribution and marketing.

Establishing the interactive session using Rosalie’s blog was an excellent way of demonstrating how to get started, including the necessary research required before authors take the next step into publishing their own works using today’s ‘digital age tools’ of e-publishing.

Thanks, Rosalie for sharing your knowledge and experience.


10/7/2014  Pitching Your Synopsis, Coffs Harbour Library, 6.00pm to 8.00pm

More than 20 members and guests were given a wonderfully​ interactive and real-time​ examples on ‘Pitching Your Synopsis’ workshop, facilitated by Leonie Henschke on Thursday evening 10th July, at Coffs Harbour Library.

Participants were taken through what publishers are accepting in the form of manuscripts with conditions, including handouts on publishers various requirements and guides on preparing your synopsis.

We were guided through the development of short and long write-ups of our own works, taking into consideration what sets your works apart from others and how and where it is going to fit into the marketplace.

One of Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group members who recently returned from pitching her works in Los Angles shared her invaluable knowledge on the type of research required, including how she planned and presented her pitch to more than 100 agents. Great take away examples of what to do and what not to do, thanks, ​Lisa Riley.

At the end of the workshop attendees 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 an ​invaluable experience for everyone.


15/8/2014 Social Media for Writers’, ETC, Coffs Harbour

Fourteen members had the opportunity of attending a specifically planned ‘Social Media for Writers’ Workshop’ at Enterprise & Training Company Ltd (ETC) office in Coffs Harbour 15th August​ 2014.

At the beginning of the workshop,​ most members had various levels of understanding on how to apply the benefits of social media.

We were given an overview on the history of the Internet and when Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Printerest came into existence, including where they are positioned in the social media sphere.

Having​ ​an affinity with users of Facebook enables your news feeds to come up first. Being authentic with how you deal with the public and always post positive content, not negative. This is what engages your audience.

Twitter is basically well used around media organisations, however,​ it can be used effectively to promote your blog.

The younger audience predominantly uses Instagram and since it commenced four years ago, it has become second to Facebook and was purchased by them 2012. It is also now fast becoming the chosen social media outlet. People are engaging more now on Instagram than FB.

It was obvious that whatever social media space you choose, make sure you post relevant information to determine what shows up in your news feed to increase your followers and liking ​what you post.

Engage well with you fans, limit your ‘ self-promote​’, and create value, interesting information, which is entertaining. Give people the behind the scene information as this helps with your audience engagement.

Thanks,​ Matt Angel for facilitating this worthwhile social media workshop and thanks ETC for accommodating our request.


4/9/2014    Structuring Your Plot, CeX Club 1.30pm to 3.30pm

23/10/2014 The Road to Publication, Self-publishing versus Traditional Publishing, Coffs Harbour Library, 6.00pm to 8.00pm

6/11/2014   Editing and Preparing for Publication, CeX Club, 1.30pm to 3.30pm​​

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