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Pen & Pixel - 17 January 2023

Queensland Writers Centre's weekly newsletter filled with news, events, competitions and opportunities for writers.

The countdown is on - Adaptable 2022/23 closes for applications tonight! If you're an especially prompt reader of Pen & Pixel, there's just under 8 hours to go now to submit and be in with a chance of receiving a place in one of our favourite programs of the year. Will you be joining us at Gold Coast Film Festival? Read the application guidelines and prepare your entry!

If you're an unpublished author, there's even more reasons to bite the bullet and submit - you can choose to receive feedback on your submission with an add-on Feedback Session, plus all applicants get the chance to participate in an online development workshop, tailored to be of most benefit to the year's cohort of applications, regardless of whether you make it through to the shortlist.

Elsewhere at the Centre on our Program of Events, we're delighted to announce that thanks to overwhelming demand, a second class has been added to Year Of The Novel 2023, to be hosted by returning tutor Venero Armanno. This five-part course kicks off Sunday 19 March and bookings are now open at Early Bird prices - get in quick, and set yourself up with the tools and support you need to complete the first draft of your novel in 2023!

What's On at Queensland Writers Centre

Featured events...
Hybrid full-day craft workshop (in-person & online)
Great Characters and Dialogue with R.W.R. McDonald

When: 10:30am, Friday 17 February

Learn the secrets of great dialogue and characters that come to life with author of The Nancys, R.W.R. McDonald.

Online half-day craft workshop
Lush Language with Gretchen Shirm

When: 10:30am, Saturday 25 March

How much style is too much? Know when to use lush language, and when to keep things simple. Presented by Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist Gretchen Shirm.

Hybrid seminar
Writing The Novella with Nick Earls

When: 1:30pm, Sunday 2 April

Returning by popular demand (this course sold out twice over in 2019!) - beloved Brisbane author Nick Earls presents an overview of novella writing and publishing past and present.

2-part hybrid course
Picture Book Masterclass with Zanni Louise

When: Saturday 22 April & Saturday 20 May

Learn the art of picture book creation, get feedback and enhance your story with author and mentor Zanni Louise. Small class event - limited places available.

Community events

Wynnum Library - Writer's Plan with Queensland Writers Centre

When: 10:00am, Saturday 28 January
Where: Wynnum Library, Florence St, Wynnum

Plan your writer's life for the next 12 months. During this workshop, you'll set writing goals and walk away with a concise and exciting roadmap for you and your writing for the next year.

Brisbane Powerhouse -
An Evening with David Sedaris

When: 7:30pm, Wednesday 8 February
Where: Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, Lamington St, New Farm

Following the release of Happy-Go-Lucky, join critically acclaimed author and humourist David Sedaris' 2023 for an evening of storytelling, observations, unpublished tales, audience Q&A’s and book signings.

Cairns Tropical Writers Festival

When: 24-26 February
Where: Pullman Cairns International, Abbott St, Cairns City

The Cairns Tropical Writers' Festival brings together stories and storytellers from across the region, the country and the world, against a rich tropical backdrop.

Words Out West: Western Downs Readers & Writers Fest

When: 1-29 March
Where: Dalby Events Centre, Nicholson St, Dalby

Words Out West takes a novel approach to storytelling, with a host of events for all ages and interests - readers, writers, and word-lovers alike. Program includes special events, a full festival weekend, day-long writers retreats and a youth workshop.

Writing Friday update

Writing Friday is a free, volunteer-led program that connects Queenslanders in their local communities, and provides a space where writers can cultivate their habit of writing. Now with 23 active locations across the state in 2023, and more coming soon, you can find your nearest group here on our website - or get in touch to discuss starting your own.

Sessions at Queensland Writers Centre begin for 2023 this Friday, 20 January - book here.

Member Milestones

Robyn Knibb is the winner of the Fellowship of Australian Writers NSW's Alan Russell Award for Memoir 2022, and the winner of Women Writers Queensland's Marj Wilke Short Story Award 2022.

Samantha Valentine's contemporary sapphic romance novel has placed in the top fifteen of the Romance Writers of Australia Sapphire Award.

Kate Kelsen was selected as a finalist in the Wild Atlantic Writing Awards (Ireland) in the Flash Fiction category for her entry Reflections.

Elizabeth Rimmington has published the third book in her Shadows Trilogy - and her fifth historical fiction-adventure novel - Shadows Across Cape York.

Bianca Millroy's creative nonfiction essay, Caput Nebula has been published in the Australian science writing journal Science Write Now's latest edition, Disability and the Body.

Share your writing achievements with our community! Submit your Member Milestone using the submissions form.

GenreCon 2023
Short Story Competition

Closing Tuesday, 24 January! In place of Queensland Writers Centre's regular Right Left Write competitions for December/January - our annual GenreCon Short Story Competition accepts submissions of your best genre fiction, up to 1,000 words, on the conference theme Forbidden Doors

The winning story will be announced with a special presentation and reading at the GenreCon Launch Night event. Submit now.

Competitions & opportunities

GenreCon 2023 - pitch sessions

Closes: 24 January

Pitch to Australian agents and publishers including Hachette Australia, Zeitgeist Agency, and Riveted Press at the 2023 conference. Apply with a short bio, 200 word synopsis and 5,000 word writing sample.

FAWWA - Tom Collins Poetry Prize

Closes: 30 January

Open theme poetry prize for poems up to 60 lines. Entries will be judged by Rose Van Son. First prize $1,000, second $300, and third $100.

ASA/CA Award Mentorships

Closes: 31 January

12 recipients each receive 20 hours of mentoring with an ASA mentor, ASA membership, and entry to Literary Speed dating. Completed draft manuscripts of fiction, narrative non-fiction & memoir, journalism, poetry, lifestyle, YA & children’s writing accepted.

Australia Council for the Arts - Awards for Literature

Closes: 7 February

The Kathleen Mitchell Award is presented to an under-30 author of an outstanding published (or publication-accepted) novel or novella, to encourage advancement in their literary career. Recipient receives $15,000. The Dal Stivens Award is presented to an under-30 author for a published (or publication-accepted) short story or essay between 3,000-10,000 words. Professionally edited self-published works are also eligible. Recipient receives $15,000.

Sorrento Writers Festival Creative Writing Prize

Closes: 1 March

Welcomes original creative writing between 2,000-3,000 words. Open to unpublished Australian residents. Winner receives $5,000 and their writing will be featured at the 2023 Sorrento Writers Festival.

Peter Carey Short Story Award

Closes: 16 March

Award for short stories between 2,000-3,000 words, open to all Australian residents. Winning entry receives $2,000, runner-up $1,000. First and second prized stories will also be published in the spring 2023 issue of Meanjin.

Daisy Utemorrah Award

Closes: 30 March

Award for an unpublished manuscript of junior or YA fiction by a First Nations author. Winner receives $15,000 and a publishing contract with Magabala Books.

Call for papers - eTropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics

Closes: 30 March

eTropic's issue theme for June 2023 is Decolonizing the Tropics; the journal is now accepting writings in disciplinary genres (both scholarly and creative). Research article submissions should be about 6000-8000 words; literary, creative works and photographic essays about 4000 words.

Looking for support developing your work or submissions package for these competitions and opportunities? Check out Queensland Writers Centre's various Writer's Services on our website. Bookings are now open for Services to take place in early 2023.
GenreCon 2023 - Volunteer at GenreCon

Contact us by: 23 January

We're looking for some enthusiastic, keen genre-lovers to come help us out at GenreCon 2023 this year!
Assist with the set-up and day-to-day activities at GenreCon, and even have the chance to catch a couple of your favourite authors on panels, as well as attend our highly anticipated opening night and lunches. Email us at to learn more.

This week's giveaway

This week's giveaway is one of our stylish and practical Queensland Writers Centre #Writer tote bags - perfect for your next trip to your local bookstore. Fill in the entry form for your chance to win. 

Have you checked out our merch store recently? There's some great gifts for the writer in your life (maybe that's you!), including bags, t-shirts, tea towels, and GenreCon goodies.


Queensland Writers Centre membership



Queensland Writers Centre

Level 2, State Library of Queensland, Stanley Pl, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Contact us:

Phone: (07) 3842 9922

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Writers Centre is based at the State Library of Queensland on Kurilpa Point in South Brisbane. Named after the native water rat (kuril), Kurilpa Point has a significant history as an important meeting place, and we acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we reside. As we operate across the entire state of Queensland, we respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of all the Nations on which we meet and come together from.

Advertising contained in Pen & Pixel is not intended to be a source of advice or an endorsement by the Queensland Writers Centre. Always seek legal advice on any contract. We recommend people contact Arts Law Centre of Australia or the Australian Society of Authors for more details.

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