Out of the Shadows – Save the date for the launch 1 April 2023!

Exciting news! Our new anthology is coming “out of the shadow” on the 28th of March followed by its launch at the Newcastle Writers’ Festival 2023 on the 1st of April (it’s not a joke!).

Books will be on sale from the bookshop over the three-day event.

Please save the date for this presentation to support the group:

Watt Space Gallery

20 Auckland Street, Newcastle

Saturday 1 April

1:30 – 2:30pm

More information about the festival can be found online.

LMFAW Christmas Party 2022

This year’s Christmas Party will be held on Saturday 10 December, from 12:30pm to 3:30pm at Toronto Multipurpose Centre (9 Thorne Street, Toronto).

Enjoy good food and company, entertainment and lucky door prizes.

Bring a pre-loved book wrapped as a Christmas present and receive one in exchange.

Celebrate the end of another successful year with the LMFAW writers (who will all have their books available for purchasing and signing).

RSVP sandi.kani@gmail.com

Alice Sinclair Writing Competition Award Ceremony: 12 November 2022

Our Award Ceremony for the ASWC will be held during the general meeting on Saturday, 12 November, from 2:30pm to 4:30pm at Toronto Multipurpose Centre (9 Thorne Street, Toronto).

The winners of this year’s competition will be announced, and we will hear from those in attendance about the inspiration for their pieces. 

You will meet the judges, Maggie Ball and Jenny Blackford, and hear their overall feedback about submissions.

Then we will celebrate with afternoon tea!

As a bonus, you will see the unveiling of the cover for the anthology of selected stories and poems from the competition.

Everyone is invited!

RSVP alicesinclairprize@gmail.com 

On the Rocks Launch 22nd September 2022

Photo by Irina Frolova, the LMFAW president

Don’t miss the event that resumes the collaboration between the Lake Macquarie Branch of the FAW and the artists’ community of Lake Mac on September 22nd. 

Our very own Linda Visman won the competition for a poem to inspire the artists. It will be launched at Toronto Library at 5.00 pm.

Our former president, Pam Garfgoot, is also represented at the function with her artwork.

We thank our member, Joan McCarthy, for initiating and organising this event. 

More details are available here.

Building Confidence in Your Writing

LMFAW prides itself on building confidence in our members about their writing skills

There are several steps in this process. This is what you need to do:

1.     Bring a short piece of writing to critique. There, the members will, in a friendly manner point out the best things about your writing. They will also help you identify areas of weakness and suggest ways you can build up these areas.

2.     The next step is to submit a piece of your writing to MacMuse, our in-house newsletter. Linda wants to publish, for our group readership only, as wide a range of pieces as possible. She doesn’t want to keep publishing stuff from those of us who have confidence to enter competitions or publish our work to the wider community. It really helps to build confidence when you see your work in print alongside other writing.

3.     The third step is to enter a competition for a short story or poem. Your piece of prose writing could be a true short story from memoir or something from your imagination. Just going through the process makes you feel more like a real writer. Don’t expect to win first time. There has to be lots of entries to make a competition worthwhile.

4.     LMFAW has a group affiliation with Hunter Professional Arts. Our member, Elizabeth Horwitz, is president of HPA and editor of its magazine. She is always looking for written pieces to publish. She likes poems, memoir pieces, short stories, items of historical interest, items about art of any kind, book and film reviews etc. Whilst this means putting yourself out into the community, it is still a smaller audience than all of NSW or Australia. There are only a couple of hundred people on the mailing list, so this is another baby step.

5.     You might have an ambition to write a family history or a memoir for your extended family, or a novel. When you have reached this stage, you bring to critique those parts where you are struggling. There’s always some aspect of the whole that just doesn’t seem to sit right. Around the table, we brainstorm ideas for you that will usually end up breaking the ideas’ blockage. We also have members who are willing to proof-read or be beta readers before you get to the publication stage.

6.     Yay! In six baby steps, you have reached the stage of pitching your book to a regular publisher or you have decided to go it alone and self-publish. We can help you all along this pathway, because a few of us have already been there.


Lake Macquarie Writers on Self-Publishing @ NWF – 6th April 2019

A panel of Lake Macquarie writers will be presenting a session at the 2019 Newcastle Writers Festival. They will talk about self-publishing: the basics of turning your own manuscript into a book – the tips, the pitfalls, and how to navigate some of the hard stuff – from local writers who have been through the process.

Our session, called ‘Making a Book’, is scheduled for 10.00 am Saturday April 6th. This free session is in the Mulubinba Room, Newcastle City Hall.

For more information see the Newcastle Writers Festival website.



Seniors Card Short Story competition



Writing competitions provide a great way to develop and share your stories. The NSW Government’s Seniors Card is running their short story competition again in 2018.  Selected stories get published in a compilation called ‘Seniors’ Stories’ which makes for highly entertaining reading. This year they are collaborating with the FAWNSW to run and judge the competition, so head to the FAWNSW website for details and entry form.  You need to be a holder of a NSW Seniors Card to enter. The theme is ‘Positive Ageing’ and the word limit is 1,000 words.  The closing date is midnight on Friday 1st June 2018.


FAWNSW has been running two-hour workshops throughout NSW to support people who are thinking about entering a story. We have one coming up locally on Saturday 14th April at 1pm in the Toronto Community Centenary Hub and there’s another in Sydney in the Macquarie Room of the NSW State Library on Monday 16th April at 10.30am. To book your place at a workshop, please send an email to Maureen Kelly (FAWNSW Communications Manager) at honsecretary@fawnsw.org.au  or phone her on 0417 403 720.

March 2018 Guest speaker


Continuing the theme of life writing, our upcoming guest speaker is Debbie Robson on Sat 10th March 2018.

10th March 2018 – Guest presenter

Debbie Robson

Presented by: Debbie Robson

Debbie is a local published author. Her novel, Tomaree, is a World War II love story set in the Port Stephens area of New South Wales. She has also written a novel, Crossing Paths, which is set in the virtual world of BookCrossing, a real online book club.

Looking forward to learning more about the HOW of it all!


Writing about your life

At the February meeting of our Lake Macquarie branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers NSW (FAWNSW) one of our members, Pam Garfoot, introduced us to the work of Patti Miller. Patti is a well-recognised writer of non-fiction (The Mind of a Thief published by UQP in 2012) and memoir (Ransacking Paris published in 2015). Patti has also published books designed to uncover some of the writing processes behind life writing (e.g., Writing True Stories published by Allen & Unwin in 2017).

Autobiography and memoir share are a common interest in the writer’s own stories but, broadly speaking, autobiography aspires toward being comprehensive while memoir seeks distillation of themes. One of the reasons so many of us are drawn to writing our memoirs is that the very process of writing itself provides a way through the quagmires and mazes of our experiences. Through successive drafts, we start to find the threads that run through our lives.