RELAX AND WRITE IN PARADISE: Magnetic Island Retreat June 2- 4 2023

Magical Magnetic Island! You can’t get much better than this beautiful tropical island off the coast of Townsville in North Queensland.

Escape the winter blues and reboot your writing mojo at RELAX AND WRITE IN PARADISE 2023. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the island’s many secluded beaches, reignite your creative self, indulge your inner writer and learn from one of Australia’s most experienced writing teachers (yes, that’s me 🙂 )

Connect with other writing women and write up a storm!

Is your creative spirit crying out for a little TLC? Come along and regain your love of writing and life at the next Relax and Write Retreat on Magnetic Island in tropical Far North Queensland at Amaroo on Mandalay


Join like-minded women in a fun and supportive environment discovering just how much some deep relaxation can ignite your imagination and get you writing again. Relax and unwind with gentle morning yoga sessions and get writing with innovative workshops that use yoga, and drama techniques to help move those stories out of your head and onto the page. 

The program includes two yoga sessions, feast night and four informative and inspiring creative writing workshops. Whether you’re writing memoir, fiction or screenplays, these sessions cover the basics of character, dialogue and story development, as well as a special introduction to screenwriting and advice on editing and submitting your work.

Two nights comfortable, airconditioned accommodation plus delicious breakfasts and dinners are all included in the cost.

PRICES START at only $580 twin share but only if you’re an early bird or repeat retreater!

Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on

INCLUDED is the whole three day, two night weekend of writing, fun and feasting, including comfortable accommodation, breakfasts and dinners, 2 yoga  sessions, 4 creative writing workshops and a feast night. Transport not included.

AFTER EARLY BIRD PRICES END: Twin Share $620 Single $750

Or pay your $200 deposit here before 31 March 2023 for

EARLY BIRD $580/$700


Come along and join the fun, make new writing buddies and renew your love of writing. Contact me before you book to make sure places are still available. PLACES ARE STRICTLY LIMITED TO ONLY 15 WOMEN with half of those places already taken. BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW



ARRIVAL from 2 pm 

4:30 pm – Meet and Greet with drinks and nibbles 


Great stories spring from great characters.



7:15 am – 8:30 –YOGA  


10 – 12:30 pm – WORKSHOP 2 – DIALOGUE AND PLOT

Developing your story from start to finish

12:30 – LUNCH and FREE TIME 


6:30 pm –FEAST at Barefoot restaurant

7:15– 8:15 pm – Night beach walk 


7:15 am – 8:30 –YOGA


9:30 – 12:00 – WORKSHOP 4 – WHERE TO FROM HERE? Publishing pathways, building your writing CV,

creating space for creativity in your life. Collage


3 pm DEPARTURES with option to stay on for sunset

Come and join me for a weekend of warmth, sunshine, inspiration and writing fun with wonderful women who share your love of story. CONTACT ME for more info or BOOK HERE.

MASSAGES will also be available with a handpicked masseuse at an affordable price for those after some extra TLC.

See you there!

Lots of love

Edwina xx


View from Springbrook retreat

Every writer knows the first draft is only a small part of the work involved in bringing a story to publishable standard. As Ernest Hemingway once famously said, “All first drafts are crap!” (I may be paraphrasing a little :)).

So how do we take a crappy first draft to something publishers are going to fight over? Rewriting! Or if we’re lucky just redrafting – though let’s face it if you’re a pantster like I was, you may have to write whole new sections. Twice I’ve cut back first drafts of 100 000+ words to 30 000 then rewrote the rest!

Ernest Hemingway – redrafting?

How do you self-edit?

The first step of any rewrite is the structural edit.

This looks at how the main elements of our story are working: characters, setting, voice, genre-expectations and plot. Mainly plot! 

The best place to start is with a scene list – not just chapter headings but a list of every scene within every chapter. Include which characters are involved, where it’s set, what’s happening (clue – if nothing’s happening – cut now!) and the main focus of the scene, plus whether the scene is moving us towards Hope or Fear. Go through the whole manuscript and you’ll come up with a list of potentially hundreds of scenes.

Photo by on

Once you have this list it’s much easier to see any repetition, or worst of all, completely unnecessary scenes that are neither developing or illustrating character or moving the plot forward. This is when we press DELETE. Or, for chickens like me, this is when we cut these scenes and paste them into another document called “Good bits I may use later.” I have a few of these documents now for various projects and mostly they remain unused, but occasionally I’ll go back in and pull out a section that has become relevant again.

Your scene list will show you where your story starts to sink in the middle or if a character who was pivotal in the first half fades away in the second. You’ll be able to tell if a character is suddenly acting completely differently to who they were earlier, of if they have taken up too much page space – this often happens when we just go with the flow and let bossy or forceful characters have their way. 

Oh yes, those bossy characters may kick up a stink.

A scene list makes it easier to find any plot holes or if you’re building enough suspense or just having characters repeat themselves over and over without growth or change.

What tricks do you have up your sleeve to help you tackle the dreaded, but actually fun, second draft?

Have you got a project nearing the stage when it needs a proper evaluation and an objective rethink?

Writers hard at work on their redrafts at the last Second Draft retreat!

If so, come along and join us at Springbrook in the rainforest covered mountains behind the Gold Coast in Queensland for a cosy winter SECOND DRAFT RETREAT – AUGUST 12 – 14.

Come and join the fun!

This special retreat, for women and non-binary writers with a project needing attention, has workshops to help you tackle the second draft, focusing on finding the heart of your story, distilling the themes, the structural edit, and plenty of tips to help with line editing and pitch documents too.

All in a stunning location with cosy single rooms with desks, beauty and peace, like-minded folk to share your story with in feedback groups, fantastic food and lots of fun. 

For only $440 if you book before June 30 2022. See more information about the retreat and other retreats coming up HERE.

Or drop me a line for more information.

The second draft needn’t be a scary or lonely experience. Come along on retreat, connect with other writers, and get a head start on the next stage of your project.

What tips do you have for tackling the second draft (or third fourth or hundredth for that matter!).

Hope you can make it to retreat – we always have a wonderful time 🙂

More lovely retreaters 🙂

Lots of love,

Edwina xx