Category Archives: writing success and motivation

Writer in Residence

st pat's hands up!

Last week I had the honour of being Writer in Residence at St Patrick’s College  for the school’s Men of Words week. In the most beautiful teaching room imaginable, overlooking the Shorncliffe Pier and Moreton Bay, I shared my love of writing with all of the young men in years 7, 8 and 9.

We started each session with a general chat about the importance of reading, and the magic of reading and writing – the unique creation that is formed every time a different person interacts with a text. Then we got down to the fun stuff – RELAXING and WRITING!

st pat's relax!!

I love this shot because it’s such a joy to help everybody let go of their busy days and enter their imaginations. Love the boy in the jacket with the levitating arms!

Once everybody was calm, I led them into a creative writing exercise, entering a story world of their own, populated by characters of their own invention. Once they had a story in mind, I got them to roll over and write it – as fast as they could – with a time limit!

st pat's boys writing

Though I did end up with a few Fort Knight (a poplar game with teenage boys I’ve discovered!) stories, most of the writing that emerged was fresh and original, and some pieces were extraordinary. The bravest of boys read their stories aloud to the group. It’s amazing how many volunteers I had once I bribed them with a mint!

It was an absolute joy working with the young gentlemen, and hard-working staff, of St. Pat’s. I hope that my visit has helped to inspire a love of writing and reading that will last all their lives.

Shorncliffe pier

To have me come along and do writing workshops with your school or writing group please contact Speakers Ink. In the meantime – I’m off to the second ever RELAX and WRITE RETREAT for women. Three full days of yoga and writing 🙂 YAY!!


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writing at beach

YAY! Tomorrow I’m off on writing retreat – just me this time. I’m heading five hours south to a beautiful secluded beach and an air-conditioned cabin where I can focus exclusively on my screenplay. My office here at home is a corner of the living room which these days at least has a screen around it. Through most of summer it’s almost impossible to work here though because it’s so hot that my brain turns into some sort of south east Asian hot pot stew, even with a fan blowing straight on me and all of my papers.

Time away on retreat – this time I have a full glorious two weeks (thank you Screen Queensland!) – makes all the difference when you have a big project to tackle. Time alone with just you and the work enables you to immerse yourself in the world of the story you are creating without distractions and everyday responsibilities. Everything else slides away and you become just a conduit for the work you are creating – a little crazed perhaps-  but focused and productive. Well, I hope so anyway.

My days will go something like this – an early morning walk, swim and yoga on the beach, then home for breakfast and writing.  More writing. Lunch then a break for breathing and sivasana (or maybe just a nap!). Another beach trip for extra swimming and an explore, then home for more writing. Writing. Writing. Dinner. Then some relax and wind down time so I’ll be able to sleep without my head buzzing with the story – though my dreams will most probably be filled with it.

Four years ago around this time of year, I spent a wonderful two weeks at Varuna the Writers House in the Blue Mountains writing the first draft of the novel that this screenplay is now so very loosely based upon. In two weeks I wrote over 60 000 words, so I’m hopeful that my fortnight at the beach now will result in the same frenzied output and I’ll be bringing back a completed screenplay.

It’s going to be a grand adventure!Edwina beach writing

Wish me luck!!

See you when I get home 🙂 xx

Interested in a writing retreat of your own? There are still a few place left in the next Relax and Write Retreat – click HERE for more details.


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