Writing Groups and Social Media – Interview with Nick Hudson

It is no secret to regular visitors of my website that taking part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) was both one of the hardest and best things I have ever done. (You can read more about that incredible journey, including excerpts from my novel, here and here).

Part of what made it possible was regular social media contact with other writers who had also been mad enough to try and write 50,000 words in 30 days. As the month progressed I realised I wasn’t alone going through periods of joy and doubt as our chosen projects threw up surprises and barriers along the way. The key to that discovery was my decision to connect with fellow Wrimos on social media. Whether it was a Twitter guided writing sprint or simply sharing experiences in the Facebook group – these strangers kept me going.

When I decided to write a story about the importance of writing groups for the literary magazine Writer’s Edit (for the full article click here), I decided to speak with one of the people responsible for bringing NaNoWriMo participants together in my region. His name is Nick Hudson and in this interview he explains just how important these connections have been for him as well. Enjoy! Continue reading

A Literary Boost – NaNoWriMo and More!

Writing can be a very lonely process and even the most successful authors often describe periods of self-doubt. I am learning quickly it is the people around you that can keep you going when you begin to question your path.

Me with our WABIAD 2013 awards!

Me with our WABIAD 2013 awards!

I am exceptionally lucky to say I have great support and it feels as if it grows every day! As well as my patient husband and family fan club (particularly my 5 year old daughter), I am also a member of the Northern Beaches Writers’ Group led by the wondeful Zena Shapter. Sharing my journey (and drafts) with other writers is such an eye opening experience and one I treasure at every meeting, every month. I highly recommend it! It was a book co-authored by members of this group Scribbles in the Dark that won me my first major award, National Best Book 2013 in the Write-a-Book-in-a-Day Competition. We even made the news!

NBWG WABIAD team featured in the Daily Telegraph

NBWG WABIAD team featured in the Daily Telegraph

To keep me moving forward I also signed up to NaNoWriMo (read more about that decision here). I am thrilled to say, the literary magazine Writer’s Edit has been following my journey and asked me to share it with their readers. They have shown me such incredible support so of course I was happy to do so. You can find that article here.

The first 33,000 words of NaNoWriMo have brought me to the end of the first draft of a children’s fantasy novel and I am starting on the second book of the series as I keep working towards the goal of 50,000 words this November. I know I will make it largely because of all the wonderful people around me.

Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot if difference. They don’t have to makes speeches. Just believing is usually enough.” – Stephen King, On Writing

I couldn’t agree more with Mr King! For anyone out there beginning your writing journey, surround yourself with great people who support you and you can succeed!

Happy writing everyone!




Despite my commitment to National Novel Writing Month, I took a day off yesterday to attend the Society of Women Writers NSW literary lunch. I was joined by my friend, the lovely author and writing guru, Zena Shapter (find out more about Zena here).

Pamela giving her presentation

Pamela giving her presentation

Speaking at the event was the award winning (and delightful) children’s author, Pamela Freeman(she has some fabulous adult books out there now as well – so check her out!)

Pamela is one of Australia’s most loved writers for children (and one of my favourites too)with titles such as Victor’s Quest and the Princess Betony series.

My kids with their Pamela Freeman favourites!

My kids with their Pamela Freeman favourites!

I am in awe of her ability to make the eyes of children shine, Continue reading

The next chapter – NaNoWriMo

Giving up my day/night job to throw myself into writing, was equally a conscious choice and the result of a very particular set of circumstances. It felt a great deal as if the wheel of life had spat me out into a completely foreign and unmapped world. In that bleak and vacant landscape I could see so many opportunities, but also unknown monsters and danger.

Like in any journey, the first few days were filled with a sense of energy and excitement and the feeling of a living dream just added fuel to that fire. Unfortunately, that initial burst of adrenalin did eventually fade and it is what is left that I now feel compelled to write about.

Continue reading

Why it’s ok to dream

After being given permission to throw myself into writing, I was faced with a frustrating period of literary paralysis. There I was, with no obstacles apart from the demands of two small children, but less able to put pen to paper than I have been for years.


As I sat staring at the blank pages of my notebook I finally had to admit – I was terrified. Hidden inside those blank sheets of paper I could almost see the characters smirking at me, daring me to let my ink bring them to life. What would I unleash?


A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.

- George R.R. Martin

I think this also applies to writing. As a child, teenager and adult, I have loved fantasy. I couldn’t wait to join the characters on their adventures, imagining myself discovering a secret which would allow me to cast spells or meet magical creatures of unimaginable beauty. I began to realise the blank page before me could be the door to doing just that. My fear started to transform into butterflies of excitement, but I still didn’t know how to begin. Continue reading

The Journey Begins

I have had the privilege of discussing my first picture book manuscript with the very experienced editor and publisher, Leonie Tyle at the NSW Writers Centre.

It’s no understatement to say I was terrified. Not because I didn’t think there was something valuable in my precious literary baby, instead this was the first opportunity to discover where I am on my writing journey.

I came away from that 30 minutes transformed. Continue reading