Quick, A Portal Opened! Expressions of Interest

As part of the Riverland’s upcoming workshop weekend Portal: Fantasy Workshop Festival (September 9th – 11th), Writers SA is asking regional writers to show their expressions of interest in participating in the event remotely!

We’re commissioning fantasy writers all over regional South Australia to develop a fantasy creature inspired by their region’s native animals, and during Portal: Fantasy Workshop Festival the writer will have an allocated two-hour segment of time to write a story about encountering that animal live in a Google doc.

Enter here


Blindingly bright, blue portals have started appearing all over South Australia. Creatures of all sizes, colours, and powers, creatures that are loud, terrifying and beautiful begin shifting through them from a magical land…

You watch wide-eyed as a swirl of colour and light blooms in the middle of your town. An animal – much like one you know and love, but yet different – appears before you. What is it?

artwork by Kirste Vandergiessen


Selected writers will:

  • be paid a total fee of $760 to:
    • develop a fantasy creature inspired by a native animal in their region 
    • write live for an allocated two-hour segment in a Google Doc accessible to the public for reading during Portal: Fantasy Workshop Festival (September 9th-11th)
    • submit a 900-1200 word, finished version of the story after Portal: Fantasy Workshop Festival (due date to be confirmed).
  • receive a limited print run, softcover zine with compiled works from Quick, A Portal Opened!
  • have access to a closed virtual group to share their work in progress and connect with other Quick, A Portal Opened! writers

Writers SA will:

  • pay selected writers the agreed commission fee on completion of their written piece
  • showcase the final pieces online using Writers SA website and social media
  • develop and produce a limited run, softcover zine

Selection Criteria:

  1. Writers must currently live in regional South Australia.
  2. Writers must be aged 12-29, of various experience levels and backgrounds.
  3. This is a commission for a new piece of writing to be developed, which clearly responds to the brief.
  4. Must be available to write for a 2 hour period during the weekend September 9th-11th.
  5. The final piece post must be 900-1200 words (note: the final piece does not need to be completed during the September allocated writing time).

If you have any questions or need help completing this form, please contact Riverland Coordinator Kirste Vandergiessen [email protected]


What are we asking?

While Portal: Fantasy Workshop Festival is underway with events and workshops, each chosen writer will have a scheduled section of time to write live in a Google doc. People will be able to read the document while you’re tapping away.

This is an experimental project. We don’t expect the words you write during your live-writing to be shiny and perfect; it is expected to be of first draft quality. This is to give a behind-the-scenes look into the writing process.

Additionally, the piece does not need to be finished in the time you’re allocated for live-writing. Writers will then take these drafts/ideas to write a polished 900-1200 word version. The finished piece will be showcased by Writers SA via their website and social media, and printed in a softcover zine.   

What is live writing?

Google docs is a wonderful online tool that allows you, as the writer, to work on your story and, with a specific link, others can join you in the document as viewers and watch the world you create. The viewers will not be able to make changes to the piece you write or make comments.

Do I have to live in regional South Australia to submit?

Yes. This is a project for SA’s regional writers aged 12-29.

Do I need to be an experienced or published writer? 

Absolutely not. Quick, A Portal Opened! is an experimental collaborative project and we aim to support writers of all experiences, whether they’ve never written before or have published works.

What will happen to my written piece after it’s finished?

Your live-writing Google document link will expire after Portal: Fantasy Workshop Festival. Writers will take their ideas from this session and spend some time editing and polishing the piece. Your finished piece will be printed into a softcover zine to showcase everyone involved in this commission. The zine will be a limited print run.

The No Limits team (Alysha, Eliza and Kirste) will work with you to find the best ways to showcase you and your work at future events and opportunities.

I still have questions or I’m feeling a bit unsure about my ideas, who can I talk to?You can contact Kirste ([email protected]) ask more questions or get some feedback on your ideas before you submit an expression of interest. More about the Regional Team and their contact details can be found here.

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