Writing Retreat Rambles From a Cabin in the Woods

Last weekend I, along with five other horror / dark fantasy writer buddies, brought the ultimate horror trope to life when our three day writing retreat took us to … a cabin in the woods!

Ok, so perhaps it wasn’t quite a cabin (we were spoiled in deluxe spa lodge accommodation), but it was definitely in the woods. The towering Mountain Ash and lush tree ferns of Mount Dandenong made for a very dramatic setting, and added the perfect misty veil of atmosphere to our winter write-in.

 

 

 

We kick started the retreat with a Friday night ‘Christmas in July’ dinner at the Pig and Whistle Tavern at Olinda, complete with Santa hats. Terrifying looking bunch, aren’t we? 🙂  xmas in july

On Saturday morning, the ever-fabulous Deb Sheldon joined us for coffee and cake (and wine) and added value to our group with her fabulous industry insights and writerly advice. It’s easy to see why Deb’s award-winning career has enjoyed such longevity and acclaim: she’s a total professional.

The rest of the weekend was a wonderful fusion of personal writing time, work shopping, wining, dining, woodland wandering, and reflecting on our writing goals and objectives. I made plotting progress on ‘Tawn’, the first book in my sci fi trilogy, The Hypatia Chronicles, and got some healthy words down on the first draft.

 

For me, there is no greater inspiration and motivation than spending time with like minded people who share my passion for writing and celebrate and support each others work and ambitions. A huge thank you to Isabelle, who presented everyone with a gorgeous horror-themed retreat gift bag (below), Dominique, Kate, Noel, and a special high five to Louise, who single-handedly oversaw every aspect of the retreat – from go to whoa – like a boss.

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Oh, and we also had two retreat cats! This is ‘Citroen’, who alternated between judgemental glares, demands for cuddles, and aloof disdain.

 

If you’re a writer who needs time away from life to get some words down or to reconnect with your community, I heartily recommend a writing retreat to inspire, invigorate, and refresh your creative spirit.

Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days x

Rebecca

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Book Launch Photos and Frivolity – Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean

On Saturday 16th June, my junior teen fantasy adventure ‘Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean’ was officially launched to a full house at Mornington Library.

It was wonderful to have so many family, friends, StoryCraft Creative Writing Workshop folk, and the general public turn up in droves to celebrate #curtiscreed   including two of my Gold Coast besties.   I was completely overwhelmed with the appearance of some surprise guests (I’m looking at you, Karl, Kerry and Bridget), who had travelled Secret Squirrel style from Queensland to share the day. #myheart

Here’s some pics of the Launch. How about that cake?!

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Special thanks to Rosebud Book Barn who facilitated sales on the day, and completely sold out of stock. Thank you to Andrea Rowe for being such a stellar MC. Thank you to my beloved minions: Mum, Dad, Steve, Thomas, Karl and Jo for your help and support, and for keeping me from turning into Bookzilla pre-launch 🙂

And, thanks again to Gerry from IFWG Publishing Australia, it was lovely to have you and Erin there on the day.

‘Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean’ is available through all good bookstores, or via Amazon in paperback or eBook.

Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days 🙂

Beck

#curtiscreed

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‘Hermit 2.0’ Highly Commended in the Somers Paper Nautilus 2018 Short Story Competition

Today I was pleased to learn that my story, Hermit 2.0, received a ‘Highly Commended’ in the fiction category of the Somers Paper Nautilus 2018 short story competition.

The theme for this year’s competition was ‘Shell’. I love using themes as a springboard to really think outside the square, so Hermit 2.0 evolved into a dark little slice of dystopian disturbia highlighting a shell of a very different kind.

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The judge for the fiction category this year was best-selling crime writer, Garry Disher (eeeep!) and more than anything I’m rapt he really liked my writing.  I was also pleased to see several friends included among the winners and honourable mentions (I’m looking at you Louise Zedda-Sampson, Liz Hicklin, and Clementine Rowe)!

Garry Disher made the following comments, “Good stories evoke a sense of place and character, hint at meanings below the surface (Ernest Hemingway’s iceberg analogy), and trace a shift, however subtle, in how the main characters live or understand their lives. That the winning and commended stories achieved this in only 500 words is a considerable achievement.”

The winning stories and highly commended stories will be published in coming editions of Somers Paper Nautilus, so I’ll share the link when it’s available.

You can check all the Winners, Highly Commended and Runners-Up here.

Big congratulations to everyone, and well done to all who entered. Big thanks to the judges, and of course Somers Paper Nautilus for running the competition. I’m looking forward to next year already!

Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days.

Rebecca

 

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Book Launch – Saturday 16th June

It’s here and it’s happening!  It’s almost time to launch this book baby into the literary world…

Surf on in to celebrate the launch of ‘Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean’ in the Moorooduc Function Room at Mornington Library on Saturday, 16th June from 2:00pm – 3:30pm.there_will_be_cake_funny_party_invitation_postcard-r2fee66646a1a436cb9c139a44cbf920c_vgbaq_8byvr_325

You’re invited to join me and IFWG Publishing Australia for nibbles, cake, and a raised glass. ‘Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean’ will be available to purchase on the day with special thanks to Rosebud Bookbarn, so make sure you get your copy signed 🙂

For more information, and to RSVP, click here.

‘Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean’ is a middle grade/junior teen fantasy adventure released through IFWG Publishing Australia.  If you’re unable to make it to the launch and don’t want to wait until it hits your bookstore or library, you can pre-order a copy right up until the 25th May by clicking here.

Cover Wrap_Curtis Creed

Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean: Wraparound cover

‘Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean’ is a middle grade/junior teen fantasy adventure released through IFWG Publishing Australia.

BLURB: In the coastal Queensland town of Midnight Cove, thirteen-year-old Curtis Creed’s world is falling apart. Once a talented upcoming surfer, he cannot bring himself to return to the ocean. His inability to overcome his fear earns him the ridicule of his older brother, Dylan. Worse, his family is struggling to cope with the loss of their father in a rock fishing accident.

The summer holiday looks long and lonely for Curtis until he meets Navaya, a mysterious sea dweller he rescues from fishing line in a rock pool.

When Curtis agrees to help Navaya find the Moami, the key to an undersea cavern hiding her people’s most precious secrets, he embarks on a dangerous quest that sees him join forces with awkward but brilliant new girl in town, Morgan.

Will Curtis be able to overcome his fears to return the Moami to its rightful owners before Navaya’s enemies succeed in their deadly mission? Was his father’s death really an accident? And what exactly is the lore of the ocean?

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I look forward to seeing you!
Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days! 🙂
Rebecca

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Cover Reveal for ‘Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean’

Last week I was thrilled to receive the cover art and design from IFWG Publishing Australia for my new novel ‘Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean’.

The illustration and design is by talented UK artist Catherine Archer-Wills. It’s quite a nail-biting time waiting for cover art to come through. While you have input in the process, you never know quite what to expect, or how your story is going to be distilled and interpreted into a design that captures the action and essence of your story.  Catherine has done an amazing job, and I literally bounced in my chair when I first saw the artwork!

Below is the front cover, and the wraparound. I love the motion of the waves! What is that menacing creature looming from the depths behind Curtis? You’ll just have to read the story to find out …

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Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean: Front Cover

Cover Wrap_Curtis Creed

Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean: Wraparound cover

 

So, what’s this junior teen fantasy adventure all about?

In the coastal Queensland town of Midnight Cove, thirteen-year-old Curtis Creed’s world is falling apart.  Once a talented upcoming surfer, he cannot bring himself to return to the ocean.  His inability to overcome his fear earns him the ridicule of his older brother, Dylan. Worse, his family is struggling to cope with the loss of their father in a rock fishing accident.

The summer holiday looks long and lonely for Curtis until he meets Navaya, a mysterious sea dweller he rescues from fishing line in a rock pool.

When Curtis agrees to help Navaya find the Moami, the key to an undersea cavern hiding her people’s most precious secrets, he embarks on a dangerous quest that sees him join forces with awkward but brilliant new girl in town, Morgan.

Will Curtis be able to overcome his fears to return the Moami to its rightful owners before Navaya’s enemies succeed in their deadly mission? Was his father’s death really an accident? And what exactly is the lore of the ocean?

Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean will be released in Australia on 7th June 2018, with US distribution to follow. I hope you have as much fun reading it, as I had writing it.

Once again, a huge thank you to IFWG Publishing Australia for taking on ‘Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean’.

I’ll keep you posted of Book Launch details (Save the date – Saturday, 16th June), so watch this space!

Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days.
Rebecca

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StoryCraft a finalist in two categories in the 2018 Peninsula Business Awards!

This week, I received the very exciting news that my little business, StoryCraft Creative Writing Workshops, has been named a finalist in two categories in the Peninsula Business Awards.

The Peninsula Business Awards supports and recognises small businesses across the Mornington Peninsula Shire and the Frankston Region. They celebrate the hard work business owners put in, and their contributions to the local community and the local economy.

StoryCraft Creative Writing Workshops is a finalist in two categories:  Best Education / Training Service and ‘Rising Star’ – Best New Business. I couldn’t be happier!

My little business was born from a dream to combine my passion for storytelling with my passion for inspiring and supporting writers of every age and ability, and it’s both satisfying and humbling to see it honoured in this way.PBAFINALIST

Believe in the beauty of your dreams, everyone. Woo Hoo! And thank you all from the bottom of my heart for supporting StoryCraft over the past twelve months. It’s been a heck of a journey 💞💞💞

Winners are announced at a Gala Dinner at the Mornington Racecourse on 2nd May, so keep your fingers crossed for me!  Congratulations to all the finalists in the Peninsula Business Awards. You can read the shortlisted businesses in their respective categories here.

 

Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days,
Rebecca

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My story ‘The Pedlar’ included in CSFG’s new anthology, A Hand of Knaves

I’m really pleased my first story sale of the year is to the CSFG for their upcoming anthology, A Hand of Knaves.  The theme is so much fun!

The central premise, as explained by CSFG in their submission call is:  “Rogues, thieves, pirates and ne’er-do-wells abound in speculative fiction. Sometimes heroic, sometimes villainous, often somewhere in between, rogues are as likely to steal one’s heart as one’s purse, and show little remorse while helping themselves to either.

So why do we love them? Because they’re imperfect, fallible, and even vulnerable under that carefully-maintained, world-weary exterior.

Rogues represent something we rarely see in our daily lives: ordinary people prepared to take on the “powers that be” by way of guile and subterfuge. But are they only in it for the loot, or are they – deep down – romantic at heart?”

The beautiful artwork for the anthology is by Shauna O’Meara.

My story, ‘The Pedlar’ is sharing the Table of Contents with some fabulous Aussie talent, and I can’t wait to read everyone’s stories. Below is the lineup for A Hand of Knaves:

  • Eugen Bacon, Ace Zone
  • Amy Brown, A Tale Of The Marriage Of Gawain
  • David Coleman, Immortal, Coiled
  • Tom Dullemond, The Killblaine Legacy
  • Maureen Flynn, Gardening Through the Danse Macabre
  • Rebecca Fraser, The Pedlar
  • Isobel Johnstone, The Apothecary’s Apprentice
  • Grace Maslin, A Question Of Identity
  • Chris McGrane, Trojan Thoughts
  • Claire McKenna, The One Who Walks The Permanent Way
  • Cassandra Page, The Best Heist Yet
  • CH Pearce, The Last Magicians of Sad Hill
  • Simon Petrie & Edwina Harvey, On the Consequences of Clinically-Inhibited Maturation in the Common Sydney Octopus
  • Louise Pieper, A Widow’s Worth
  • Robert Porteous, A Fair Wind Off Baracoa
  • Charlotte Sophia, Stardust
  • HK Stubbs, Lost Property
  • David Versace, A Moment’s Peace
  • Angus Yeates, Anchor Point

    For more information about CSFG and their publications click here.


 

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