June Writing Workshops: interviewing and journaling


I am thrilled to be back at the WillyLitFest with two of my favourite workshops:

  • Interviewing Techniques for Memoir and Family History
  • The Writer’s Journal

Interviewing Techniques for Memoir and Family History

Saturday 16 June, 2.00pm-3.00pm

“Everyone has a story to tell, we just need to ask the right question.”

This workshop will show you how to plan, prepare and conduct an interview; gather your facts, and create the story.

Participants will be able to:

  • Research, prepare and plan an interview
  • Create question portfolio
  • Practice skills through role play
  • Write a brief narrative based on class activity
  • Confidence to conduct interviews
  • Book direct with venue: Willy Lit Fest

The Writer’s Journal Sunday

Sunday 17 June, 12.00pm-1.00pm

From the blank page to inspiration — get tips on how to nurture your creative seeds in this mini workshop on how to keep a writer’s journal.

This workshop will give you handy tips and ideas on how to use a writer’s notebook.

Participants will explore their imagination and create an inspiration list to assist their writing aspirations.


Family stories

“But there are those stories that I have only heard whispered close, mouth to ear, …”

I’ve always wanted to delve into my family’s past and uncover the stories I know lie in wait. Some stories come to mind easily; they are alive in my heart and mind.

But there are those stories that I have only heard whispered close, mouth to ear, when I was young — they are the stories I want to uncover.

These are the stories many of us want to uncover.

In my Interviewing Techniques for Memoir and Family History workshop, these are the stories that tug at the participants’ heart strings.

Here is a sample of some of the questions the group from Sunday’s Willy Lit Fest wanted to ask.

Family history questions

What do you remember about your last night before leaving?

I love watching you and Dad alone, tell me about how it makes you feel.

What was your first job when you left school?

What were your first impressions when you arrived?

What was life like before you left England?

Did you play sport during your teenage years?

Tell me about my cousins, aunties and uncles.

Why did you come to Australia?

Willy Lit Fest 2016

I’m so looking forward to presenting my two workshops at this year’s Willy Lit Fest! 

Although, my workshops have sold out, you may like these other writing events.

Now in its thirteenth year the Willy Lit Fest, aimed at both readers and writers, is the biggest literary festival in the West. This year’s theme is ‘Stay Curious’. The weekend explores ideas on happiness, lifelong learning, discovering our suburbs, ourselves, our industrial past, as well as writing on politics, footy, positive ageing, science, innovation and fascinating works from new novelists.

Willy Lit Fest 18 & 19 June

Willy Lit Fest 18 & 19 June

The program is jam packed with over 80 authors in 50 sessions including lively panel discussions, in-depth interviews, inspiring author talks, creative workshops and readings. Festival guests include Andy Griffiths, Leigh Hobbs, Sofie Laguna, George Megalogenis, Steve Bracks, Rosalie Ham, Stuart Coupe, Alice Pung, Leah Kaminsky, Arnold Zable, Renata Singer, Dmetri Kakmi, Claire Saxby, Olga Lorenzo and Frank Bongiorno, Sally Rippin, Morris Gleitzman, David Astle, Styg Wemyss, Jeff Maynard, Lucia Nardo, Enza Gandolfo and Vin Maskell.



Wooden printing blocks; free image, Pixabay.com

Wooden printing blocks; free image, Pixabay.com

There is a definite buzz in the Melbourne air as the last weeks of August and winter slip by. But it isn’t the thought of sunshine and footy finals that has the town in a fluster — late August means only one thing: the Melbourne Writers Festival.

Victoria University has teamed up with MWF15 to give emerging writers and editors the chance to be reviewers/editors for a day.

I was lucky enough to edit reviews for Georgia Buck, Maria Dunne, Marcelle Liemant and Amanda Pearson.

Check out this great blog to keep up with all the literary action.