Tools to help develop your writing skills.
Workshops and events.
- Spring Program
Writers SA offers a year-round program of literary workshops, events, and courses, both in person and online.
For information about our cancellation and refund policy, please read our terms and conditions before you register for a workshop.
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- All Events
- Online Events
- Youth Workshops
Writers SA believes in fostering writers of all ages, and encouraging young writers to express their creativity and build their skills in a supportive, safe, fun and engaging environment.
We hold kids writing workshops and writing clubs for young people regularly throughout the year and in the school holidays.
If you are from a school or organisation we can also develop young people’s writing workshops, one-off talks and events, and other programs with and for you, please contact us at [email protected] or call on 08 8223 7662 to find out more.
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- Regional Program
Looking for a writing workshop, community event, performance or literary showcase in regional South Australia?
Our No Limits: Young Regional Writers program offers a diverse range of online and in-person writing workshops and events in three regional SA locations: Riverland, Eyre Peninsula and Limestone Coast.
This project is supported by Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative, and Arts South Australia.
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- Events Calendar[ux_event_fullcalendar]
- Spring Program
Professional resources for writers.
- Manuscript assessment
- Mentorship Program
SA Writers Centre Mentorship ProgramThe mentorship program is designed to connect our members with a suitable mentor, at any stage of their writing careers. From writing craft, editing, pre publication, to marketing and publicity mentorships – and encompassing a wide range of genres – SA Writers Centre will assist you to identify the most appropriate mentor for your needs.
Selection of MentorThere are a number of mentors listed on our website. Please familiarise yourself with them and prepare a shortlist of preferred mentors. Karen Wyld Ruth Starke Rebekah Clarkson Cassandra Dean Anne Bartlett Carla Caruso Bernard Whimpress Anna Solding Scott Zarcinas Ben Stubbs Cameron Raynes Lauren Foley Jane Turner Goldsmith Tony Shillitoe Ray Tyndale
Mentorship Application FormYou will also need to identify at least one (maximum of three) goals for your mentorship and agree to the full terms and conditions.
ProcessSA Writers Centre will connect you with a mentor with four weeks of application. Mentorship fees must be paid in advance in full to the Centre.
What to expectMentorship hours are billed for actual time spent, in 15 minute (minimum) increments. This includes all contact with the mentee including phone/Skype/IM conversations, emails, reading and feedback time and face to face meetings. Note this means that if you send four emails to your mentor, that will equate to one hour of mentorship time. The mentor and mentee will develop a shared timetable and plan, including identified goals, and will keep a weekly record that tracks progress towards goals and time spent by the mentor. Any questions or difficulties will be resolved by the SA Writers Centre.
RatesMentorships are offered in five hour blocks. 5 hours $550 10 hours $880 20 hours $1650 You can add additional blocks upon completion of initial blocks if you and your mentor agree that this would be beneficial for your work. [gravityform id="15" title="true" description="true"]
- Pre-submission AssessmentAre you ready to send your book out to agents or publishers? Once your manuscript is ready for submission, you need to spend time perfecting your pitch—and it’s important to get it right. While all publishers and agents have their own submission guidelines, we can give you a general assessment of your synopsis, cover letter, biography and first chapter (or chapter outline if your manuscript is nonfiction) to ensure your pitch is in the best possible shape.
- A written report with personal feedback
- Advice and next steps from a publishing expert
- For fiction, nonfiction, short stories.
- First FeedbackAre you just starting out as a writer and looking for some guidance? Our online First Feedback service provides an opportunity for new writers to get a first reader for their work. Submit up to 1500 words of writing or up to four pages of poetry (Times New Roman, 12pt, double-spaced) and receive a page of general feedback on your story and your writing, with some questions designed to develop and challenge your writing skills. You will receive your feedback within four weeks of submitting. This service is available for members only. For more information, please contact [email protected] [gravityform id="13" title="true" description="true"]
- Professional development
- Useful links
- Southern Write ArchiveSouthern Write is the SA Writers Centre newsletter/magazine. It was discontinued in 2014, but there is a wealth of information on writing craft in these pages. 2014 March edition June edition 2013 March edition June edition September edition December edition 2012 February edition March edition June edition September edition December edition 2010 February edition March edition April edition May edition June edition July edition August edition September edition October edition November edition December edition 2009 February edition March edition April edition May edition June edition July edition August edition September edition October edition November edition December edition 2008 February edition March edition April edition May edition June edition July edition August edition September edition October edition December edition 2007 February edition March edition April edition May edition June edition July edition August edition September edition October edition November edition December edition 2006 February edition March edition April edition May edition June edition July edition August edition September edition October edition November edition December edition 2005 February edition March edition April edition May edition June edition August edition September edition October edition November edition December edition
- Manuscript assessment
Membership information and resources.
Keep up to date with those around you.
- SA First Nations Writers GroupThe South Australian First Nations Writers Group was established to foster and develop the continuing diversity and growth of local First Nations writing in South Australia. It is coordinated by Edoardo Crismani, a descendant of the Wiradjuri people, author of poetry and short stories and working on his first novel manuscript. The group meets once a month, and currently these gatherings take place over Zoom due to Covid-19 restrictions. Meeting dates for 2020:
- Wednesday 21 October
- Wednesday 18 November
- Wednesday 16 December
- A Year in ReviewWriters SA in partnership with The Adelaide Review have launched ‘A Year in Review’, a new national program of literary criticism, supported by The Australia Council for the Arts. As a recipient of The Australia Council of the Arts COVID-19 Resilience Fund, Writers SA will deliver a year-long literary criticism program designed to provide important coverage to Australian authors affected by the pandemic, and a platform for emerging local critics. The first review will be published shortly. Keep your eyes on The Adelaide Review and this page for the latest. For more information on the project, click here.
- Writers & Readers in ResidenceIn 2018, Writers SA launched its Writers and Readers in Residence Project, in which South Australian and international writers undertake an artistic residency in regional communities to activate reading as well as writing in the town. The Writers and Readers in Residence Project will take place from 2018 to 2020, and has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. In the first year of the project, residencies were awarded to Bernice Chauly (Malaysia), Jane Howard, Karen Wyld and Manal Younus.
2018 Writers and Readers in Residence
Bernice ChaulyBernice Chauly is a novelist, poet and educator. She is the award-winning author of six books of poetry and prose which include the acclaimed memoir Growing up With Ghosts, Onkalo, and the novel Once We Were There, which won the Penang Monthly Book Prize 2017. Since 2011, she has directed the George Town Literary Festival, shortlisted at the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards 2017. Her contribution to the Griffith Review: Commonwealth Now is “The Batang Kali massacre, Truth still denied”. While on her Writers SA residency, Bernice worked with South Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann at her property in Koolunga. She also appeared at Adelaide Writers Week and New Zealand Festival.
Jane HowardJane Howard is a journalist, critic, artist and researcher who works throughout Australia. She is a contributing editor at Kill Your Darlings Journal, where she focuses on podcast criticism, and a regular contributor to Guardian Australia. Jane has worked for the Guardian across Australia and in Asia; had writing commissioned in England, Scotland, Canada, and the Czech Republic. She was director of the 2016 Digital Writers’ Festival and coordinator of HIVE at the 2017 Adelaide Film Festival. Jane is currently manager of communications and development at ActNow, and a research assistant at Deakin University. Jane undertook her residency in Renmark in partnership with the Renmark Paringa Library. Jane met with local readers at the library and with students at St. Joseph’s School Renmark and Glossop High School, and ran a workshop at Riverland Youth Theatre.
As a freelancer, Karen writes trade book reviews for Books + Publishing and has op-eds published in NITV, Meanjin, Al Jazeera, Guardian Australia and Indigenous X. She has a piece in the Spring issue of Meanjin, which is a fictional telling of four girls in Western Australia, who were part of the Stolen Generations. Her debut novel, When Rosa Came Home, was shortlisted for a SA Readers & Writers People’s Choice Award in 2015. Her draft manuscript, Where the Fruit Falls, was shortlisted for the Richell Prize in 2017. Karen was a participant of Hardcopy in 2018, after being awarded the inaugural ACT Writers & First Nations Australia Writers Network Indigenous Writers Scholarship.
Karen spent a month in Ceduna for her residency, where she edited her novel, Where the Fruit Falls, which she worked on during the Hardcopy professional development program for writers. She also commenced her next project, Bestiarium Terra Nullius: peculiar beings of uninhabited southern lands, which is a series of three novellas. Following the journeys of maritime explorers, such as Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders, some of this work is based in the Great Australian Bight.
While in Ceduna Karen was hosted by the Ceduna School Community Library, and presented writing workshops with readers from the wider community, the Ceduna Area School, and met with community at Arts Ceduna and Far West Languages Centre.
Manal YounusManal Younus is an Australian based freelance storyteller from Eritrea who believes that language and stories are the very fabric of our existence. The young artist also facilitates writing, performance, public speaking, youth empowerment and intercultural awareness workshops in schools, community groups. Younus has featured on ABC’s QandA, presented at the Adelaide TEDx Conference in 2016, the National Multicultural Women’s Conference of 2016, the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and Open State Festival, the Halogen Foundation’s Young Leaders Convention, The Council for International Schools Conference 2017 and James Cook University’s Young Language Ambassadors Conference of 2018. Manal’s residency took place in Port Augusta in partnership with the Port Augusta Public Library. She also spent time with local writers, readers and artists, in particular with the local community arts groups Desert Voices Choir and Dusty Feet Mob. Manal focused on writing a new collection of poetry, which explores youth, self, femininity, faith and migration. Following her residency, Manal will keep in touch with the community through digital updates to show the progression of her writing work. Subscribe to Writers SA for news about the 2019-20 iterations of the Writers and Readers in Residence Project.
- Context Writers Festival
Context Writers Festival is a free, three-day festival for writers to connect and share new conversations about story and truth.
Presented in partnership by Writers SA and City of Adelaide, the 2021 Context Festival features a diverse range of local and national authors to inspire new conversations, held on Kaurna Yarta (Adelaide), from 8–10 October. The program features Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Natalie Harkin, Soul Lounge poets Stevie Zhao, Manal Younus and Prosper, journalists Anisha Pillarisetty and Royce Kurmelovs, musician Corey Theatre, zine-maker Ruby Allegra, novelist Karen Wyld, and many more.
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Adelaide City Library
Auslan interpretation will be available on all sessions. Please see library accessibility information here.
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An initiative of the City of Adelaide delivered in partnership by Writers SA
- See Me Through My HandsIn 2020 and 2021, Writers SA presented ‘Deaf Storytellers Live’ and ‘See Me Through My Hands’ at Adelaide Writers Week – performances featuring emerging writers from the Deaf community telling stories in Auslan. Thank you to the writers – Stuart Anderson, Joanna Agius OAM, Debra Swann, Paul Bartlett, Samantha Wilson, Sophia Borick and Kate Frost, mentors Manal Younus, Hannah Kent, Jared Thomas and Sean Williams, facilitator Indigo Eli and our team of interpreters. Supported by Aesop Foundation and City of Adelaide.
- National Writers’ Centre NetworkThe National Writers’ Centre Network is Australia’s largest network of writers. The network supports and connects writers in all the States and Territories of Australia. Together, we represent more than 10,000 members and a much broader constituency of early career, emerging and established authors – across all genres, all styles and all parts of Australia.
- Liminal x Writers SA
Writing Commissions & Editorial Mentorship 2022
Submission period: 1 September–1 October, 2021
We are thrilled to announce that Writers SA is collaborating with Liminal magazine!
We are welcoming fiction and non-fiction pitches from both emerging and established Asian-Australian writers who live in South Australia. Selected works responding to the theme of Haunt will be published online, in a collection of Asian-Australian excellence that sees Liminal’s first South Australian series, to be published in 2022.
Alongside these commissions, Liminal will facilitate a mentorship for two emerging editors, who will work with editors Cher Tan and Elizabeth Flux for hands-on experience editing our South Australian series.
If your pitch is successful, the editorial mentorship and writing commissions will be remunerated.
For more information, please see below.
Liminal x Writers SA Writing Commissions 2022
Call For Fiction & Non-Fiction Pitches
Led by Cher Tan & Elizabeth Flux, alongside two emerging editors.
What spectres linger? What superstitions appear in the day to day? Whether it be ghosts of people or ideas, experiences that cause ripples through lives and generations, places you return to again and again, we want to hear what ‘haunt’ means to you.
The Liminal writing commissions call for fiction and non-fiction writers to send through a pitch of their best ideas. We are looking for work that touches on the theme of Haunt, in the broadest ways possible; you are welcome to take the theme and split it apart, interrogate it, or turn it inside out. We welcome work from both emerging and established Asian-Australian writers.
Writers will be paid $600 each, for their piece in the Liminal x Writers SA series.
Liminal x Writers SA Editorial Mentorship
Call For Emerging Editors
Mentored by Cher Tan & Elizabeth Flux
The Liminal & Writers SA Editorial Mentorship invites emerging Asian-Australian editors based in South Australia to apply for an editorial mentorship. The mentorship will be conducted online, and involve working closely with Cher Tan (non-fiction) and Elizabeth Flux (fiction) to edit the Liminal x Writers SA series. Each selected mentee will learn how to edit and shape pieces for digital publication, as well as receive feedback and guidance throughout the entire editorial process.
Each emerging editor will be paid a stipend of $1600, which will support the upskilling and development of an emerging Asian-Australian editor based in South Australia.
THIS PROJECT IS PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LIMINAL MAGAZINE, AND IS SUPPORTED BY ARTS SOUTH AUSTRALIA.
- Lit Market Lab
Writers SA is excited to announce a state industry first, the Lit Market Lab. This October in Adelaide, we will connect 20 aspiring and emerging South Australian writers with representatives from the Australian publishing industry over an intensive weekend to forge professional relationships, grow networks and—most importantly—pitch their books. Joining us will be: Rachel Bin Salleh, Magabala Books Robert Watkins, Ultimo Press Kelly Fagen, Allen & Unwin Alex Adsett, Alex Adsett Literary Agency Melanie Ostell, Melanie Ostell Literary Agency Grace Heifetz, Leftbank Literary …and more to be announced. Writers SA is now accepting applications from unpublished writers with a completed manuscript in any form or genre, and those with only a single publication and no current representation. We especially encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers, writers with disability, culturally and linguistically diverse writers, and those living in outer suburban, regional and remote areas. See below for more information about what each professional is looking for. Apply here Applications close 11:59pm on Monday 13 September. The Lit Market Lab is supported by Arts South Australia. Publishers Rachel Bin Salleh, Magabala Books (WA) Only accepting pitches from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creators, and if there are any non-Indigenous peoples involved, they would need to either be co-author or part of the storytelling process. Magabala Books publishes in all genres. (co-authors can apply together in one application)
Robert Watkins, Ultimo Press (NSW) Currently interested in contemporary literary fiction and contemporary reading group fiction. ‘Also keen to read psychological thrillers, but not looking for crime that sits outside what might be considered a psychological thriller (procedurals, mystery, traditional outback crime etc). I will read historical literary fiction if it has themes that feel contemporary! Ps I also like short fiction – but only if the collection has a unifying theme across the collection.’
Kelly Fagen, Allen and Unwin (NSW) A&U publishes a wide range of Australian fiction and non-fiction and Kelly is looking for books from largely new authors who have something to say that is currently missing from our national and international conversations.
Agents Alex Adsett, Alex Adsett Literary Agency (QLD) Seeking: Crime or mystery, romance, science fiction or fantasy (except urban fantasy), commercial fiction, literary fiction (with a strong narrative), narrative nonfiction, young adult, or middle grade fiction. Particularly looking for BIPOC authors or those from marginalised backgrounds.
Not seeking: Comedic SciFi Fantasy or crime, or any kind of satire or parody; no short stories, no poetry, no works that have already been published or self-published. No straight memoir, unless there is a really great hook. No urban fantasy, unless there is a genuinely fresh perspective.
Melanie Ostell, Melanie Ostell Literary Agency (VIC) I’m keen to unearth distinctive voices and wonderful stories in commercial fiction, crime, literary, historical fiction, narrative non-fiction, memoir and only interested in select YA and middle grade. No microfiction, expansive fantasy series, poetry or plays.
Grace Heifetz, Leftbank Literary (NSW) Open to most genres but not looking for kids & YA, genre or lifestyle/illustrated at this time.
- Have a completed and polished manuscript not currently under consideration or contract
- Be previously unpublished, be unpublished in the last ten years, or, have one full length novel or collection published but not be under contract or represented for a second novel or collection*
- Be a permanent resident living in South Australia
- Biography (300 words)
- Synopsis and/or summary
- The impact this opportunity will have on your writing career
- The genre you are writing in and word count of your manuscript
- Your dream publisher if there were no barriers and why
- Completed manuscript as an attachment***
- If the manuscript has been previously submitted to anyone on the list of attending professionals, and if so, please advise where and the year.
- Council Partnerships and Events
- No Limits: Young Regional Writers[caption id="attachment_56609" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Eyre Peninsula by Jack Baldwin, The Lead South Australia, licensed under CC BY 2.0[/caption] Writers SA is expanding our operations into the regions! Our project No Limits: Young Regional Writers supports literary activities in the regions, and creates industry pathways for young regional writers, from skills to publication. The project supports coordinators in three regional SA locations (Renmark, Eyre Peninsula and Mount Gambier), employs diverse authors to present skills-based writing workshops, commissions new literary work by young regional writers, connects young writers with publishers and industry representatives, and presents performance events and literary showcases in regional Country Arts SA venues for communities of readers and writers. With events delivered in-person and online, young regional writers are connected with professional peers and audiences from around Australia. This project is supported by Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative, and Arts South Australia. As of May 2021, Alysha Herrmann has stepped into the role of Statewide Regional Manager and Riverland Coordinator. She is currently recruiting coordinators in Eyre Peninsula and Mt Gambier regions. Contact [email protected] for more information.
- Teen Writers Club
Writers SA hosts a Teen Writers Club each term in-person. High school aged teens meet on Saturday mornings at City Library just off Rundle Mall for 8 weeks starting at the end of week 1.
Dan Thorsland is our 2021 group facilitator! Dan is an editor, writer, video and film producer, who contributed to Superwoman, Wonder Woman and Star Wars comic series when he worked for DC and Dark Horse. Dan has moved on from his position at video game producer Mighty Kingdom and now works for Flinders University.
Facilitators change term-to-term and provide structure and advice for the group with help on all forms and mediums related to creative writing. Sessions are casual and there are no hard outcomes, just a fun and inclusive atmosphere to build relationships with other writers and to learn to write or learn to write better.
The cost of participation for each term is $200 and while registrations are open, you can find the event link under the ‘Program’ tab. Places are limited to keep the group manageable and if Covid creates restrictions, we move to a Zoom or Groups online location.
If you’d like to find out more information or to be added to a mailing list when registrations are coming up, please email [email protected]
Writers SA does not currently have a program for primary school aged children but please ask your local council library if they have any workshops coming up.
About our organisation.
- VolunteeringVolunteering with the SA Writers Centre offers a chance for you to expand your skills, ready you for the workforce and provide you with an operational understanding of a professional arts organisation. Whilst we currently don’t have any vacancies for volunteers, we do encourage you to register your details with us here and we will notify you of any suitable opportunities. SA Writers Centre has a wide reaching professional development program that offers free and ticketed events for local writers – from our Quick and Dirty reading nights, Member Meetup events – through to ticketed events such as literary dinners, fundraising events and regular workshops. The majority of our volunteer opportunities require event preparation, venue set up and pack up, front of house and bar shifts for our regular onsite and offsite events and often reside out of normal office hours, such as evenings and weekends. We really value our volunteers and are committed to ensuring the experience is positive and useful and we strive to provide pathways for them. Many of our current staff began with us through our volunteer program. Occasionally, we also have volunteering vacancies in the areas of administration and workshop delivery. We’re looking for people who want to begin or boost their career in the arts, who want to support opportunities for local writers, or who just want to get involved and have some fun. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please ensure you fill out this form and you will be contact should we require your assistance or further details.
- Gift Vouchers