Boonah Writers Festival

1 - 2 May 2021

Presented by the Boonah and District Cultural Foundation Inc.

We are happy to announce the return of the friendliest little writers festival around.
Put 1 & 2 May 2021 in your diary now.
We look forward to seeing you there!


Introduction to Scrivener

Ann Earle

Introduction to Scrivener

Ann Earle

Introduction to Scrivener: A Better Way to Organise Your Writing

Ann’s knowledge of Word is extensive, but when she discovered Scrivener she realised that here was software that would make the world of difference for authors or anyone who had long and complicated texts. Once Ann has shown people how to unravel the mysteries of Scrivener, they discard Word in favour of Scrivener. Ann currently tutors members of U3A Redcliffe, an older group of people who, once they have that “aha” moment, can’t wait to transfer their family history, or the story they have been waiting for years to write, into Scrivener.

A writer herself, she understands how important it is to have all the text, images, research, and character studies in once place.

Writing for Action

Colin Handley

Writing for Action

Colin Handley

Ever read a book or watched a movie and thought the stunts were “way over the top”? Not possible for the “ordinary” characters to perform, survive and carry on as though nothing had happened? When you know that you would be injured for life if you had performed the same antics?

The Stunt Workshop, by Colin Handley, will include some of the more important skills relating to film fighting and general action. Theory of stunts, Stunt tumbling, fight skills, camera work and acting…All of which will create a realistic fight scene on film and in books. The end result will be filmed and the video reviewed for evaluation.

Colin Handley, a veteran of film and television, has performed stunts and acted on many Films and Television shows in Australia, England and USA. He has trained with Chuck Norris, and worked with Schwarznegger, Van Damme, Stallone, Hasselhoff, Bruce Willis and Johnny Depp.

Building Your Writing Career

Edwina Shaw

Edwina Shaw

Edwina Shaw is a Brisbane writer of fiction, memoir and screenplays. Her novel, Thrill Seekers, based on her brother’s battle with adolescent onset schizophrenia, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award for New Writing and was recently released as a new imprint by Raven Books UK. In the Dark of Night (Ransom UK), her chapter book for young readers, was selected for the 2016/17 National Library Summer Reading Club. Since 2002, her short pieces have been published in Australian and international journals, including Best Australian Stories, Griffith Review and Asia Literary Review. Her feature film screenplay M was awarded 2018 Talent Development funding from Screen Queensland and is currently under development. She is the contributing editor of Bjelke Blues- Stories of Resistance and Repression in Bjelke-Petersen’s QLD1960s – 1980s (AndAlso Books 2019) an anthology of stories about life in QLD during the Bjelke-Petersen regime. When she’s not writing, she teaches creative writing at the University of QLD, for the QLD Writers Centre and in the community. Edwina also runs Relax and Write Retreats for women that combine yoga, dance and writing.

Finding Your Poem

Madeleine Dale

Finding Your Poem

Madeleine Dale

From nursery rhymes to Banjo Patterson on banknotes, we are constantly surrounded by poetry. Yet many of us still feel intimated by the thought of sitting down to write a poem of our own!

This session will provide participants with the knowledge and confidence they need to start writing great poetry. We will explore the basic elements of a poem, looking at word choice, metaphor, image and form, in order to build a toolkit of poetic skills and practical exercises.

Whether you’re new to poetry or simply seeking to sharpen your poetic voice, this session will help you find and shape your poem.

Madeleine Dale is a Brisbane-based poet and researcher.

Her poetry has been published in Meanjin, Voiceworks, Cordite, and Stilts Journal, among many others. Madeleine tutors in poetry at the University of Queensland, where she is also completing a Masters degree focusing on poetry and the environment.

Queensland Poetry is delighted to extend an exclusive 10% discount code on its 2021 online poetry workshop series to attendees of the Boonah Writers Festival. This year’s workshops will be announced (and open for bookings) in March, and will be delivered via Zoom – the discount code will be made avaiable when you register.

Writing and Publishing a Children’s Book

Vicki Bennett

Writing a Childrens Book

Vicki Bennet

In this presentation, Ms Bennett will share her experience in writing and the ground rules of building a powerful story, exploring some of the fundamentals, the importance of a story arc, storyline and plot. How to develop a point of difference in the story and making every word count, Ms Bennett will offer valuable suggestions for working with an illustrator to create a page turner.

The workshop will cover:

    • Getting started.
    • Structure.
    • Character and backstory.
    • Finding your unique voice.
    • Eight defining elements in writing a children’s book.
    • Unblocking and freeing creativity.
    • Accessing the flow of effective writing.
    • Understanding your audience and writing for your market.
    • The importance of synopsis.
    • Uncovering any self-limiting thought patterns.

Ms Bennett is the author of 28 books over three decades and brings considerable experience to the table. As a corporate trainer, she is also an accomplished presenter.

She has worked with dozens of different publishers and editors, including self-publishing, so understands how different each is and can offer strategies to help writers communicate and develop great relationships with publishers and editors.

Flash Fiction – Maximum Impact

Virginia Miranda

Flash Fiction – Maximum Impact

Virginia Miranda

More than just super short stories, flash focuses on brevity, word economy, and making maximum impact in as few words as possible, encouraging the writer to create better short stories, novellas and novels.

There are three main ways to produce good flash fiction: start from an existing story and cut it down; start from a free written ramble and sharpen it up; or start from scratch and write with the mindset of a poet.

Writers who are keen to bring more verve, wit and action to their Flash Fiction will find plenty of practical tools and writing exercises in this workshop. Writers of all skill levels are welcome.

Virginia Miranda is the author of three flash fiction collections. Flash Fiction Volume One and Two and Valentine and other stories. Virginia is also working on her first collection of Short Stories plus her Novella, Isabella’s Bouquet.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Sam Cutler – Guest Speaker – Festival Dinner on Saturday Night

Your Can’t Always Get What You Want


Sam Cutler is commonly credited with first uttering The Rolling Stones’ famous intro line, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World…The Rolling Stones!”

Throughout his rock and roll career, Cutler was agent for some of the largest rock and roll shows in history outside of Woodstock including The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park, the Grateful Dead‘s Europe ’72 tour and the Dead’s participation in the Festival Express train tour across Canada.

Sam organized the Grateful Dead’s appearances at a number of memorable events including: the 1970 Festival Express Tour of Canada, The Summer Jam at Watkins Glen at seven hundred plus paid admissions it was the largest single paid admission event in rock n roll history.

Sam toured around Australia and Asia promoting his book, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want: My Life with the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and Other Wonderful Reprobates.”

As an Honours graduate and teacher from the University of Cambridge Education Institute, Sam Cutler was undoubtedly highly qualified to guide the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, The Grateful Dead and Alexis Korner through their trials and tribulations.