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Meet authors, win books during Mary Poppins Festival

CALLING all budding scribes who aspire to having their written words published!

Whether its children’s books, thrillers, memoirs, blogs or learning how to get novels published, University of Southern Queensland’s Creative Writing on Country workshop is a great place to start.

Details of the workshop will be revealed at USQ Fraser Coast’s study centre in Maryborough as the Heritage City celebrates the birth of famous author, Pamela L. Travers, who penned the classic Mary Poppins books.

Walt Disney adapted her books for the big screen and last year her biography captured a world-wide audience in the movie Saving Mr Banks.

USQ Vice Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas said it was certainly possible that another Queensland writer could become the next Pamela L. Travers.

“This exciting creative writing workshop and competition is aimed at helping local writers build their literary skills and to inspire them to have their stories published,” Professor Thomas said.

To honour Maryborough’s link with the Mary Poppins author, Creative Writing on Country will be launched at USQHub@Maryborough, 38 Sussex Street, at 11am during this year’s festival on Sunday July 6.

USQ Fraser Coast Executive Manager Brett Langabeer said launch visitors could mingle with local authors, have books signed, win books, and hear about the authors’ writing journeys such as what inspired them to get started and how they found publishers. Visitors will also hear about the three-day workshop in October and learn how they can win a competition prize valued at $550.

Local authors attending the launch include children’s book writers Lincoln Bertoli and Lynda Downing, former military man turned paramedic Keith McArdle, Australian print and broadcast journalist Toni McRae, and T.J. Hamilton, a former Sydney police officer who turned her experiences into sexy stories of mystery and intrigue.

USQ Creative Writing lecturer Dr Nike Sulway believes everyone has a story to tell.

“Teaching at USQ is a great opportunity for me to hear the stories of regional students – your surroundings play such an important part in identity,” she said.

“This workshop will be a wonderful opportunity to meet other writers, grow your writing skills and experiment with a range of writing techniques while experiencing areas of cultural significance in Maryborough.

“Participants will also have an opportunity to get feedback on their story ideas and extracts from their writing.”

Dr Sulway has been shortlisted for an Aurealis Award for excellence in Australian science fiction writing and has won a James Tiptree Junior Award, an international award that recognises the best works of science fiction and fantasy that explore the concept of gender.

She received her accolades for her novel Rupetta, which follows the 400-year life span of a mechanical woman.

“The idea for Rupetta came during a short-story workshop and eventually evolved into an entire novel,” Dr Sulway said.


PHOTO: USQ Creative Writing lecturer Nike Sulway will run the Creative Writing on Country workshop at USQHub@Maryborough in October.
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