Magda in Mona Vale

by Amanda on August 14, 2015

9781925240436I’m thrilled to have been invited by the lovely Gillian May, Manager of Berkelouw Books Mona Vale, to engage Magda Szubanski ‘In Conversation’ to promote her soon to be released book ‘Reckoning’ in early October 2015 . Sounds very intriguing – look forward to reading it!

We have also scheduled the final 2015 Memoir Made Simple workshop which will run Monday evenings in the store from October 12th to November 16th – bookings can be made directly to Berkelouws on 9979 2112



Can creative writing be taught?

by Amanda on July 19, 2015


Excellent article in The Australian by Tegan Bennett Daylight about creative writing workshops. It really encapsulates my own teaching philosophy of opening up the craft of the subject – without getting bogged down in technicalities – to help each aspiring author to improve and grow in their own way. When it comes to completing a first, second – tenth! draft, it’s down to each individual to find the tenacity and self-belief to keep on learning and writing.

Fighting Words…



Jane King – Book Launch

by Amanda on July 16, 2015


I was very thrilled last night to attend the launch of Jane King’s beautiful memoir ‘Is it Tomorrow Today?’

Jane attended my memoir workshop at the NSW Writers’ Centre more than three years ago and was absolutely determined to embark on and complete this book. She joined my 12in12 mentoring programme and completed the first draft and then there was a long period of gathering all the photographs together and editing the draft.

[click to continue…]



Extreme Writing! Workshop

by Amanda on July 2, 2015

IMG_3309Just finished a two-day ‘Extreme Writing!’ school holiday workshop for budding young writers – always a heap of fun – and have another running in Avalon next week.

I’m always blown away by the imagination and enthusiasm of young writers, although it saddens me how often they ask if they are ‘allowed’ to do something a different way. Unfortunately our school system is geared towards assessments – not creativity. It’s very special to be able to help them break out and write from the heart.

It’s pretty intense keeping everyone engaged and on task without overwhelming them.

I’ve managed to fine-tune the workshop so ideas are delivered in snappy bites with lots of hands-on tasks. They’re kept very busy and are usually shocked to find four hours have passed.

Love seeing them all with their heads down, silently writing.


I was really delighted with the feedback from the students – here’s a sampling:

Did the workshop meet your expectations?

Definitely! I thought that because there was less children it might not be that advanced but boy was I wrong!

Yes – over my expectations.

Yes it was so good!!! It was way better than my expectations – it was soooo much fun!!!

It went above and beyond my expectations.

Yes and more – it was great :)

YES! It was great! x3





School Holiday Workshops

by Amanda on June 8, 2015

1785651_thumbnailEXTREME WRITING!

No workshops currently scheduled.




Evernote – The Writer’s Besty

May 19, 2015

I never thought I’d be the one to say that a mere app has dramatically changed my life – but it’s true. When it comes to writing, I lean towards old school, not exactly back to the quill but inclined to be dismissive about specialist writing software programmes that purport to make it easier to […]

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Berkelouw Autumn Fiction Workshop

May 18, 2015

We had a great six week workshop series at Berkelouw Books in Mona Vale culminating in writerly drinks in Edison’s bar next-door. During workshop time we’re on task so finishing up with social drinks is a wonderful opportunity for people to get better acquainted beyond the shared writing aspirations. It’s generally quite an eye-opener, always […]

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Best gift for aspiring authors!

December 21, 2014

50 years on and ‘The Elements of Style ‘ –  more often referred to as ‘Strunk and White’ – is still the bible of good writing. It’s straight-forward, definite and endlessly entertaining. Read it once, read it ten times and be a better writer for it.    

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Productivity Tips

December 10, 2014

Writing that first word, first sentence is the hardest part – but once you push through and have 500 words, even if your genius has failed to shine through, at least you have something to work with. Some good ideas here.

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We made the papers!

December 1, 2014
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Berkelouw Workshops

November 16, 2014

It’s always a little sad when a workshop finishes, as this one did last week. Because these workshops are small and take place around a table (rather than classroom style) people always seem to bond and as a result writing groups and friendships are forged. Really such a privilege to be in the business of […]

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On the romance of writing

September 12, 2014

Don’t romanticise your ‘vocation’. You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no ‘writer’s lifestyle’. All that matters is what you leave on the page. Zadie Smith

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