Creative Writing

We have a creative writing group that meets 9.00 am – 11.00 am every Friday at CQU, Ooralea and you’ll learn all the ins and outs of writing. Members have, in the past, had books published. We are a self-help group and do not have actual tutors.
We begin our morning with reading our “writers’ challenge or in plain terms, homework. Sometimes just making the quorum for a meeting, and sometimes having a good roll-up seems to be the usual. We don’t keep to a schedule other than –
1. Reading our homework
2. Cuppa
3. A word exercise to assist members. This takes many forms, from a member’s problem to something someone has discovered, and on. Our members take turns taking the “chair”, doing two weeks at a time. It gives us different opinions and aspects from each of us in turn, and extends our appreciation of the work put into our writing. We welcome new members and it is always nice to catch up with past members.
Our meetings are always happy and informative. We have gone from the study of adjectives to writing about cyclones and the use of dialogue and all its ramifications.
We all seem to have great fun discussing ways and means of serious writing and what is the best way to get over what we want to say.

Writing Group members appreciate ‘having a say in running our group’. We pride ourselves in giving everyone a chance to change or keep our past ways, also we appreciate new ideas, where writing is concerned. Our group has been enlarged by new members, and they are very welcome. Appreciation for the input of information from members who have been teachers is noticeable, and with books to clarify words and their meanings and spellings, our writing is always improving. This is our group’s aim, to assist where we can, and have fun doing it.
We give ourselves ‘homework’, [or writer’s challenge] and this week, with three titles, [which perhaps ‘boggle the mind’ a bit], from which to choose, we can try to expand our thinking.
We look forward to our newsletters, with the next one coming up soon. Thankyou to all those who give us the enjoyment of the newsletters.

What is creative writing? It is taking a word, like Blue, a sentence like “he fell off the boat, your
honour!” or a subject like Ancient Greece or Australiana, and either writing (up to 900 words)
or vocalising to express your imagination, your research, or your life experiences, so that others
can appreciate your creative interpretation of the subject. It is also using English language skills and creating activities that expand knowledge of how to construct and use words. It is also the sheer
joy of enjoying the world of words. If this is what you are interested in, and you would like to join
our group, we have vacancies available. This will not ever be a large group as in the two hours,
that we meet, 9 am to 11 am on Friday mornings at the CQ University Library board room. We like
to enable everyone present to present their stories and participate in a small activity. I have
been asked to become the co-ordinator of the writers group, following in the footsteps of Jenny
Mayes, who has set a high bench mark, and brought to the table her wealth of knowledge,
having been a librarian in her working life. She has also held the position of co-ordinator, for
many years and her encouragement and guiding suggestions have encouraged some members to
continue with the group for a long time, as it is always different and stimulating. It is with great
pleasure, that I have accepted the role and encourage those who love the world of words, to
consider, to at least give it a go. Thank you.

Creative writers still have vacancies. It is definitely not a boring chore and the different slants on subjects chosen by the person whose turn it is to run the sessions, are diverse and interesting, as are the small activities that we undertake after each one of us has read out our stories.
We offer a cup of tea or coffee and biscuit to help the flow. We welcome people to sit in or participate with a view to joining our group. There is no weekly fee and the time is 9.00 am to 11.00 am in the meeting room of the CQU Ooralea Campus library.
Our members have written various and interesting stories for Writer’s Challenge each week, always different, even though the weekly titles are the same for everyone. Some weeks have shown a liking for using several words to be threaded into a story instead of just one word or heading. We do enjoy writing, using almost any genre.
I hope the colds and flu haven’t caught anyone unawares, even though the cold weather hasn’t reached us yet. ‘See’ you next month, Renie.
My sister, Beryl Edwards and I have been to the hospital to visit Beverly Sewell, who is seriously ill. Beverly was a member of our Writer’s Group some years ago, but could not continue to attend. I’m sure that all who know her will wish her a speedy recovery.

I like writing poems, the rhyming kind,
With metre and rhythm, when I feel inclined.
There are other types of poems that exist,
To write them here would be too long a list.

So all I can do in this short rhyme
Is to say “Come along, make some time,
Join in with us as we enjoy what we do,
We’re a happy lot, we’d welcome you!

Renie West

We had a guest at our Friday gathering, Daryl Barnes author of Crazy Bird children’s stories, who is now getting his books printed locally and has a local PR Person helping him. He has had four books published and is working on the fifth. He recounted his experience with publishers in the United States and how his journey into the realms of Children’s books, rhyming text and his love of birds expanding into an educational reference, started. An exceptionally interesting person who added to our references for future endeavours. Should anyone want to see his
works, go to or contact him directly on We hope to encourage more guests in the future and always welcome those who want to enjoy the lovely world or words.

25 years ago Pat Russell married Rae and Mark Halpin, and Saturday 15th June was when they re-affirmed their vows, with Pat once more officiating. Rae is the coordinator of U3A Creative writing and Pat, a long-time member of the group, said she would be honoured to do a little ceremony, even though she had retired as a wedding celebrant.
Pat Russell has recently been asked to submit a poem to the Longreach Hall of Fame publication after being successful in having her previous poems printed in the publication. This is a remarkable achievement by Pat and we wish her well with her submissions, and look forward to seeing her poems in print.
Family and friends joined Mark and Rae in making the day a special occasion, which was held in their back yard in Andergrove.

Rae Halpin 0407639356


       If you would like to join the Creative Writing Group, or just talk to someone about it, please send us a message on our Contact Page.CLICK TO GO THERE NOW