MAGICAL MAGNETIC ISLAND MERMAIDS 2023 – Magnetic Island Retreat June 2- 4

What a magical time we had on Magnetic Island at the latest Relax and Write Retreat. This one is called Relax and Write in Paradise for a reason! The water is crystal clear and turquoise and warm enough to swim and the island is 75% national park so the quiet is deep and soul restoring.

Once again a wonderful wise group of writing women turned up to restore their love of writing and life itself. Once again I witnessed the magic of women coming together to write, relax and support each other. As usual our days consisted of gentle yoga, relaxation exercises and lots of writing and lessons on the craft of creating stories – all in the very best of company!

This year we went out to Barefoot restaurant at Horseshoe Bay for dinner and had amazing seafood platters that may have been the highlight of the weekend for me 🙂 Apart from my lovely mermaids of course.

As is customary we finished up our workshops with some goal setting and hopes and dreams collages which were lots of fun – and very creative! Let’s hope all our dreams come true.

Here’s what some participants had to say about the retreat.

“I attended the Magnetic Island Writers Retreat hosted by Edwina. 

I cannot say enough about just how worthwhile these retreats are. The workshops are informative, supportive and provide a positive learning space. There were writers of all levels and yet as someone less experienced I felt comfortable. Also, I have made some new friends! I have already booked to attend two more. Thanks Edwina 🌸”Yvonne 🙂

“Just wanted to thank you for such a fantastic retreat. Feel emotionally unblocked and have my writing mojo back. Great content and sense of community.”

Karina 🙂

And here are a few more gleaned from my feedback sheets – anonymously 🙂

“An amazing retreat! So enjoyable and I learnt so much!”

“Good value for money.”


“Thoroughly enjoyed the Relax and Write Retreat. Edwina’s knowledge and the way she takes us through visual exercises was incredibly powerful. A beautiful collective of authors.”

We finished up our retreat with a picnic and a swim at beautiful Alma Bay and a little bit of fortune telling for fun 🙂

THANK YOU to the wonderful women who make these retreats so very special. Women writers are a special breed of compassionate, creative souls and it is my pleasure to help guide them in their writing.

So what are you waiting for? SEE HERE for all the information on upcoming retreats – two in Springbrook – Gold Coast hinterland (August and October) and Heavenly Hoi An in Vietnam in early February 2024 in collaboration with Kerstin Pilz of Write Your Journey.

And on Monday I’m off to Bali for our first Blissful Bali retreat. One coming again next year!! WOOHOO!

These retreats are so inspiring and so much fun! Isn’t it time you rebooted your writing mojo and gave yourself a treat?

lots of love

Edwina xxx


Happy New Year! May it rain blessings and kindness upon us all.

The lead up to Christmas is all hustle and bustle and busyness and shopping and family and ARGH! It can feel overwhelming, but then we hit that post-Christmas slump where we finally get to have that little lie down we’ve been craving. I LOVE this time to relax and be quiet, away from all the noise of the world, to review the year that’s been and dream about the year ahead.

woman sprinkling inspiration from the moon
Like magic!

My word for this year is FUN! I know I’m going to be busy again, but this year I want to make sure I’m enjoying the ride more – finding the joy in even the most mundane of tasks. Doing the dishes is fun if I blow bubbles. Driving my car can be fun if I’m singing and admiring the view. Teaching for me is always fun, but writing, well sometimes over the past few years, writing has felt torturous. I want it to be fun again. 

Do you feel this way too? Has the sparkle dulled on your writing dreams? Have rejections tarnished the shine on those stories you loved to write? How can we reclaim our joy in our creative writing practice?

Liz Gilbert wrote about this in her wonderful book Big Magic. From her I learnt that I needed to take the pressure off my writing. To stop expecting it to pay the bills. To stop blaming it for getting rejected. Once I allowed my creativity more playtime to just muck around and try new things, experiment with new forms, and write small pieces just for fun, I felt much better. I remembered the fun I had as a kid making up stories and the thrill of seeing where the story took me, seemingly of its own will. Don’t expect your writing to pay your bills, instead expect it to give you thrills! Write for fun to a few prompts or write a quick piece of flash in an unfamiliar genre. Anything to give you that spark of newness.


For many years now I’ve been struggling with the accumulated mountain of rejections that had been building up over two decades of writing and submitting. I know we have to submit a lot in order to get published (SUBMIT SUBMIT SUBMIT) but submitting a lot also means a mountain of rejections. And rejection is never fun. A dark cloud hung over everything I wrote, every story I submitted was cloaked in a dreary gloom of fear and hopelessness. I knew this wasn’t helping my chances of publication but no matter how I tried to feel differently about the realities of this profession, those feelings persisted.

However, during my period of reviewing and renewing after Christmas, I realised that I could change this feeling and help myself feel more positive and excited about my writing again. I took a feeling of great joy from another activity – for me that’s bodysurfing, catching the perfect wave, – and saw myself catching that wave with a new publisher beside me, both of us holding my book out before us, grinning like fools! And like magic, I felt better. It felt silly and fun and light-hearted and joyful, the way I’d felt about writing and getting published when I first started back in 2002. I enlarged the vision to include readers of my book, all catching that wave with me and my publisher, laughing as we rode that wave together, my book held out in front. It still makes me smile.

What makes you laugh? What brings a smile to your face? Maybe it’s climbing a mountain, or singing a song, or holding a baby, or baking a cake or ferris wheels or Mickey Mouse or having a bath. Whatever it is, see if you can transfer that feeling to your writing dreams and shift some of those stubborn old disappointments and beliefs that aren’t bringing you any joy.

A new beginning is arising, and we are here to run with it, to create and express and share our stories with the world, with joy and the knowledge that our voices deserve to be heard.

What are your writing dreams for 2023? How can you fill them with a feeling of fun? Let’s enjoy this year and help each other as much as we can.

I’ve created a new ONLINE CRASH COURSE IN CREATIVE WRITING to help my new writing friends that covers all the elements essential to writing good stories, be they fiction or memoir or a mix of both. I’ve taken everything I’ve learnt over my two decades in the writing and publishing industry and created this fun, interactive, LIVE online course starting on January 21. See more and join up HERE.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Wishing you a wonderful year full of inspiration, glowing sentences, waves to catch, and most of all, readers and publishers who pick up your story and see it glow!

Lots of love,

Edwina xx