The Stanthorpe Writers Group hosted its ‘Craft of Writing’ workshop on Saturday 27th October 2012 and I am proud to say that it was a success.
The grant was made possible through a Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grant, which is an initiative of the Queensland State Government and the Southern Downs Regional Council.
Here’s Councillor Jo McNally from the Southern Downs Regional Council launching the event:-
Jo had an enormous day ahead in Warwick for the rodeo so we consider ourselves very lucky that she made a supreme effort to fit us into her busy schedule.
Our tutor Lee McGowan brought his gorgeous Scottish accent, together with his writing and teaching expertise, to the table. His workshop was inspirational and entertaining.
We had 26 attendees (the aim was to cap it at 24…ah, the plans of mice and [wo]men) ranging in age from 13 up to…well, lets just say over seventy. It was a good mix and I’m sure we all gained much from the experience.
The workshop started with ‘Conquering the Blank Page’ before moving on to ‘Being Mean and Keeping them Keen’ (plot and structure). After lunch (superbly catered by the Stanthorpe CWA), we delved into those murky and sometimes dangerous waters of dialogue, an area that many had flagged as being a difficult one.
The Arcadia Theatre is a terrific venue for movie-themed parties and for corporate events. What a treat for us to hold our workshop there, with its lovely plush leather seats and big screen. Unfortunately, my camera played up (or was it the operator?) and I can’t show the Theatre off in its full glory. Hopefully, other workshop participants will have some good shots to send through.
On behalf of the Stanthorpe Writers Group, I’d like to thank Vince Catanzaro (owner of the Arcadia Theatre) who continues to provide a fabulous room for the monthly Stanthorpe Writers Group meetings. We also thank Vincenzo’s at the Big Apple and Pyramids Road Wines for their generous donations which helped us in presenting a welcoming antipasto platter and wine to our tutor and his wife upon arrival, and also a ‘Thank You’ basket with predominantly local produce.
As I have mentioned in the press in the lead up to this event, we country writers and aspiring writers don’t have the opportunities that are on the doorstep of our metropolitan counterparts (I might also add that there are many benefits to living in the country, not least of which is the tranquillity to write). Workshops of this calibre can be an expensive exercise in themselves and when you add travel expenses and sometimes accommodation, they can be out of reach for many. Let’s hope the RADF continue to offer this type of funding and that we’ll always find a tireless band of committee members to pull it all together.