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14 - 16Sep

West Words Festival

14/09/2018 - 16/09/2018 (12:00am)

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Outback Writers' Centre
Western Plains Cultural Centre
76 Wingewarra St, Dubbo NSW 2830
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Event Information

14th, 15th and 16th September 2018

West Words Festival 2018 has something for everyone with a romance twist!

Every year, we bring the best of Australia's industry professionals to Dubbo to run writing workshops, participate in panels aimed at demystifying the publishing process, take pitches/consultations and provide opportunities for regional writers to network, launch, promote and sell their books.

The festival promises to be enticing, exciting and inspiring. As in previous years, the venue will be the Western Plains Cultural Centre.

Free your Inner Character with David Reiter
Friday, September 14, 4pm to 7pm

The best fictional characters are somewhere in there, in your mind, waiting to be freed. You
seed them, like clouds over dry earth, and then wait for the droplets to start falling.

The most memorable characters transcend the story the author initiates in which they engage with readers outside the novel.

In the process of inventing and composing character, the author acts as a channel, mediator,
raconteur rather than a prison guard.

First, with an eye on Dylan Cashew, the main character of Black Books Publishing, we’ll
consider how he came to be, defined the boundaries and elements of his virtual life and
maintained distance between himself and the author.

Then, we’ll brainstorm your existing or potential characters, give you some reflection time, and end with fleshed out character pitches to the group.

One on One Manuscript Feedback with Literary Agent.
Saturday, September 15, multiple times available

  • Are you looking for industry feedback on your manuscript?
  • Alex Adsett from Alex Adsett Literary Agency will be in Dubbo for WWF2018 for manuscript consultation.

What is she looking for?

  • Highly commercial fiction, crime, romance, science fiction, and fantasy, for adults or YA.
  • Children’s, middle-grade and YA fiction, whether genre or contemporary. 

Work with a strong commercial bent, a powerful voice, and a certain something that makes a work stand apart from the crowd.

Stories we can lose ourselves in, that makes us forget we’re even reading.

  • high-concept fantasy
  • non-Earth-based science fiction
  • crime that focuses more on the characters than the procedure.
  • books with diverse casts, and diverse voices.

If you have a manuscript that fits one of these criteria, she’s very keen to see it.

IMPORTANT: After you buy your ticket, you need to send the below information with “Alex Adsett Consultation” in the subject line to

  •  A cover letter (no more than one page, with the author introducing themselves and a short precis of the manuscript).
  • One page synopsis (NB: a synopsis should outline the whole story, including the ending)
  • The first 30 pages of the manuscript.

Time New Roman or Arial in size 11 or 12, with normal margins and spacing, and each page numbered with the author’s name and title.

If authors are submitting picture books, they can submit up to 3 picture book manuscripts (assuming they are within the standard range of 2 - 5 pages each)


One on One Publisher Pitch
Saturday, September 15, multiple times available

IP is a niche publishing house, prepared to take risks with excellent, original, provocative work in almost any genre.

David is looking for:

  • High quality, original work, by authors not afraid to take risks
  • Work with a timely social message, but not preachy (juvenile as well as adult)
  • Finely crafted poetry that demonstrates a fluency with poetic convention and an agility with literary devices
  • Narratives that can be adapted to digital production (text, audio, still/video images can be part of the package)

Visit to view how your proposal would fit into their lists.

IMPORTANT: After you buy your ticket, you need to send the relevant pitch documents with “David Reiter” in the subject line to See below for more information.

  • For adult, young adult or children’s fiction – no more than 10 pages
  • For Poetry, send no more than 10 pages of representative verse
  • For picture books, one sentence that’s captures the essence of what the story is about plus a storyboard to suit 14.5 spreads.


Marketing Masterclass
Saturday, September 15, 10am-5pm – Lunch Included

Do you have a finished book in the pipeline (or one in progress) and want to maximise your income and optimise your book sales and distribution?

Then, Karen and Steve Tyrell’s Book Marketing Masterclass is a must do!

Award-winning author, Karen Tyrell, shares her marketing secrets as she teaches you to how to promote, sell and distribute your book to the world as you develop your own pro-active marketing plan. She’ll cover topics like:

  • book marketing
  • author platform
  • website SEO
  • social media influence
  • book launches
  • book reviews
  • blog tours
  • media releases
  • book sales and book distribution.

Writing Swoon-worthy Heroes with Wanda Wiltshire
Sunday, September 16th, 2pm-5pm

Even if you’re not a writer of romantic fiction, most novels contain at least some element of romance. But how do you write characters able to make your reader’s pulse pound without relegating said characters to the genre, fantasy? In ‘Writing Swoon-worthy Heroes’ author of the Betrothed series, Wanda Wiltshire, will share her tips for doing just that.
Participants will engage in writing exercises aimed at developing skills in such areas as knowing your hero, building believable characters, writing with the senses, dialogue with direction, and sex – going your distance.
The ‘Writing Swoon-worthy heroes’ workshop aims to be a fun three hours packed with fresh ideas to take home and put to work.

Surviving Submission Spur
Sunday, September 16th, 10am-1pm

A panel of publishers & editors listen to the first chapter your manuscript being read out anonymously.
They have two placards in front of them, STOP and MORE. When any one of them doesn’t want the reading to continue they put up the STOP sign. If the others put up the MORE sign the reading continues until everyone has ‘said’ STOP.
Then the panel justifies why they said STOP or MORE.

You must be an Outback Writers' Member to attend/participate in this event.

Details on how to become a member are listed below.

Your first chapter needs to be sent to by September 13.

12 Month Membership to Outback Writers' Centre

The Outback Writers' Centre (OWC) is committed to building a vibrant writing culture in the Orana Region. We do this by providing writers with opportunities to develop their knowledge, understanding and practice in all aspects of writing.

Services enjoyed by OWC members include:
• Publication of short stories, poems and memoir in our quarterly newsletter and on our website
• Email updates of opportunities and competitions 
• Website links driving traffic to your blogs, books, launches, business and writing events
• Promotion of book launches
• Opportunities to sell books at our events
• Ongoing participation in the Hub (though this is not obligatory).

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