Workshop a hand up for new writers

THE first ever regional bootcamp for aspiring writers is to be held at Bargara in October.

The three-day Mentoring the Muse bootcamp retreat – to be held as part of the CRUSH Festival of Regional Arts during Queensland Writers Week – will enable up to 21 aspiring authors and playwrights from across Australia to polish their fledgling work.

Co-ordinator Sandy Curtis said the stand-out attraction for the Bundaberg bootcamp was that each participant would have the opportunity to work one-on-one with their chosen mentor.

That could be Mrs Curtis for novels, Diane Esmond for short stories or Rod Ainsworth for plays.

“Very few writers festivals or workshops allow the writer to spend a lot of one-on-one time with their teacher, which can hold them back on their path to publication,” Mrs Curtis said.

“It's one thing to learn writing techniques. It's quite another to gain feedback on where one's strengths and weaknesses lie, and knowing what to do to take your writing to a new level.”

Mrs Curtis said that during the Mentoring the Muse retreat the teachers would work one-on-one with writers over three days to polish the work ready for submission to publishers, producers, competitions or magazines.

“This is a great opportunity for writers with a manuscript ready to go or an idea well on the way,” she said.

The bootcamp will be held at Kelly's Beach Resort from October 15 to 17.

The event is supported by the Bundaberg Regional Council and the Queensland Government through the Regional Arts Development Fund.

Queensland Writers Centre chief executive officer Kate Eltham said the bootcamp was an Australian first.

“Bundaberg would be the only regional city in Australia to host a locally developed program of this structure and calibre,” she said.

“It is only possible because of the depth of professional writing expertise that exists in Bundaberg because of writers like Sandy, Diane and Rod.”

Applications are due on Friday, August 20, and each writer will choose seven people to work with from the submissions received.

Applications have already been received from across the state.

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