Literary Events

Workshop & Literary Event - Wednesday 8 December 2021


This will be our first event held in the Dixson Room of the State Library of NSW for many months! Please come along for some in-person laughs with your writing friends, a jam-packed program and a few surprises. Details are below.


Workshop – Carolyn Eldridge-Alfonzetti: Writing with Humour

Time:  10:15 am to 12:00 pm
  Dixson Room, State Library of NSW
Cost:  Members $35, non-members $45

Whether evoking laughter or more subtle reactions, humour is a tool that can be used to enhance a wide variety of writing forms.  Interspersed with short writing exercises, this workshop is suitable for writers of all genres and skill levels. It will explore:

  • What makes something funny

  • Types of humour

  • Benefits of including humour in your work

  • Building humour into your writing

  • Humour techniques

  • Developing a humour mindset

Participants, please bring an open mind, and pen and paper or your electronic preference with which to write.

Carolyn Eldridge-Alfonzetti is a writing fellow class member of the Fellowship of Australian Writers. Her short fiction, poems and articles for adults have been published in mainstream magazines in Australia and the UK as well as a variety of literary anthologies.  

Her stories and poems for young readers have been published in The School Magazine since 2007, and she is the author of six books for children: picture books Rainforest Feasts and Rocky the Cocky, verse novella Around the Globe with Gramps, and three chapter books in the Trudie Cooper Super Foodie series.


Literary Event

Time:  1:00 am to 3:00 pm
Place:  Dixson Room, State Library of NSW
Cost:  Members $20, non-members $35

Member Speakers – Maria McDougall & Olga Chaplin: A Collaborative Exercise in Self-publishing


It was eighteen years ago at a writers’ retreat at Braidwood that the genesis of the Writers at Bay Road was formed. It has grown into a tight-knit group that supports each other, listens to each other’s stories and provides valuable feedback.

Buoyed by the success and encouragement of several guest speakers, including Sharon Rundle at our Society of Women Writers lunches, Maria and Olga presented the idea of ‘collaborative writing’ to their writing group in Waverton, which met once a month and continued to thrive after more than a decade. The group’s members unanimously agreed the concept of collaborative writing and self-publishing had great merit, and were enthusiastic in contributing a variety of prose, poetry, fiction and travel accounts. Within a short space of time, they put together a selection of work which reflected their different writing interests and styles. With every member participating in this novel creation, we are proud to present an interesting and polished book which can be enjoyed in several genres.


Member Speaker – Pip Griffin: Three poetry books published in the time of COVID

Pip will be speaking about her latest publications, The Climb Back: poems for Ted, Virginia & Katherine: The Secret Diaries and Margaret Caro the extraordinary life of a pioneering dentist in New Zealand 1848-1938.

The ‘secret diaries’ – Virginia’s begun after Katherine’s death in 1923, Katherine’s begun in 1920 are written in lyrical poems inspired by the friendship (and intense rivalry) of the two women. Virginia and Katherine recognised that they were ‘both after the same thing’ in their compulsive, innovative work of ‘writing their lives’.  The book presents a fresh dialogue that also suggests a tantalising possibility.


Member Poets

Settle down and enjoy listening to and watch some of our talented poets read their poetry:

  • Anne Casey

  • Kelly van Nelson 

  • Colleen Keating and Beverley George 

  • Helen Lyne

Guest Speaker - Donna Abela: Performing redress

Working as a Narrative Writer for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse completely altered the course of Donna’s creative writing. In her talk, Donna will speak about how that experience of bearing witness through storytelling continues to infuse her plays, her practice and her collaborations.

Donna Abela’s plays have won the Griffin Playwriting Prize, Australian Writers’ Guild AWGIE Awards for Stage and Radio, the Human Rights Award for Drama, and been nominated for two NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. She completed a doctorate in creative arts at UoW, and works as a dramaturge on the development of new scripts. Donna is a founding member and co-chair of the theatre company PYT Fairfield, and a founding member of the playwrights’ alliance 7-ON. Among her works-in-progress are a number of plays informed by her experience working as a narrative writer with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: Prevail, Hearing, Stella Started It, and Ridsdale.

Book and pay:
Discount for full program (workshop and literary event) when booked together:  
Members $50non-members $75

(a)  Credit card:

If you are a regional member or cannot get to the December event, you may like to view it via Zoom. Members $10, non-members $15. Click here to book:


(b)  Direct debit:
      The Society of Women Writers NSW Inc
      BSB: 062 018
      Account:  00950433
      Code:  VM (for Literary Event) or VMW (for Workshop) 

      Email Amanda Mark - -
      with your name, receipt number and date of event