Genre Con – Opening Night

It was an enthusiastic and joyful opening night last Friday, when the first Genrecon (themed Forbidden Doors) in person for three years, happened in Brisbane on the Terrace of the State Library QLD after having to be online during the pandemic and floods.

It included fairy floss, popcorn, sushi, Japanese beer, sandwiches, a back drop of Rocky Horror Show silent on a big screen, some cosplay for launch night for this who wanted to, socializing, and a celebration of all things to do with Fantasy, spec fic, crime, romance, fairy tale as well as combination genres.

You could if you like talk to some of the best selling authors, like Garth Nix who were super friendly and encouraging of emerging and budding authors and who stayed throughout the weekend for more than just their own panels. Other presenters and writers in attendance were Nalini Singh, Natasha Lester, Rob McDonald, J.P. Pomare, and Jay Kristoff, Ali Sinclair, Leanne Young and more.

Lori-Jay Ellis (CEO of the QLD Writers Centre), was delighted to launch the event, and spoke up talented best selling Queensland writers, as well as our international and interstate visitors for the conference and the best cos players.

Roaming photographer Jemma Polari, and also MC board member, captured some of the joy and creativity of the evening. Other board members also in attendance over the weekend were Lara Cain Grey and Stephen Torre.

The amazing Lauren Elise Daniels, editor, writer, writing across a number of genres, soon to be panellist and panel host over the next few days strutted her costume out in super scary style.

There were speeches and prizes for a writing competition (Jay Mckensie won for February Girl), and costumes, with Writing Centre CEO, Lori-Jay aka, Wednesday Addams, and sponsors and organisers (Craig Cauchi came as Lori-Jay’s favourite character/actor). Which included the major one of the QLD Writers Centre and the State Library, but other sponsors are listed on the website and were dutifully and gratefully thanked.

Raelene Purtill won best costume, and gave a thank you speech in character!

One of the major highlights of Genrecon, was being able to learn about genres you might not have considered writing before, and realising you perhaps could. As well as being surrounded by writer tribes you might not have known before.

As well as of course for some connecting with their much missed writing tribe, separated by said floods, and pandemics and lack of interstate travelling rights.

The enthusiasm, knowledge and skill of the horror and speculative fiction writers, as well as writers of paranormal romance, was so enjoyable to witness.

I particularly enjoyed talking to creators, like Geneve Flynn, over the weekend, author/ co-editor of Black Cranes who I was later to host on a panel, Writing Partnerships.

There are some tremendous photographs of genrecon being posted online, with one of my favourite being this one by Garth Nix which captures Craig Cauchi communing with the Fairy Floss machine in full gladiatorial glory. You can find many by following the hashtag #genrecon2023

More posts to come…


Writing Partnerships & Collaborations


It was inspirational to discuss the ins and outs of how to create successful writing collaborations, with award winning authors Geneve Flynn, Jay Kristoff, and Mykaela Saunders at Genre Con 2023.

Most of the audience had little experience of this, and were curious to learn more, especially about the personal qualities to look for in potential collaborators and the mechanics of managing a writing partnership.

We examined this from the point of view of writing partners, collaborating editors and creating publishing opportunities to bring collectives together to have a voice.

Jay’s meeting with his writing partner, of Illuminae and Aurora Cycle, Amie Kauffman, was over their difficulties in navigating overseas taxation for individual books they had coming out, and a suggestion from a third party who said they could help each other out. They then had a breakfast meeting and this led to a cowriting…

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Happy Holidays 2023

Some highlights for the year. Inspiring and using poetry and story to make it through these times.

Following the Crow Song

Writing has truly enriched me life. A number of collaborations, with Fairy Tale Society, QLD Writers Centre, Diaspora sisters, Vacen and a panel for social justice hosted by School of Social Work Queensland. Loved catching up with SCBWI friends. One day will I make it to picture book publication, or will it be middle grade or YA.

It is wonderful to be heard. This was the year of panels!

Threads of my life, Fairy Tale friends recently attending a show from Eliane, Townsville days memories with Stephen who knew us in the early days of our marriage, Writing Buddy Maria, what a gem! Fairy Tale and Diaspora friends supporting public speech given on social Justice. Chikako always checks up on me, and patiently waits for a visit from the very busy Perkins family. And it’s a delight to connect also with some other families we are close to as well.

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Some of this year Highlights

It’s been a busy year, with four panels, meet ups with the Pasifika Baha’i Group, SCWIBI, South Australian Contacts for the Uncle Fred Murray Story, seeing friends I haven’t seen in years, and working on several teams including the QLD writers centre management committee.

Some of my favourite times have been being immersed into the stories and cultures of people from all over the world. This collage represents some of that journey.

And there were times when some of these dear friends fed me, cheered me, or dreamt and planned with me. Forever grateful for your amazing friendships, collaborations, and for just being you. There will be more of these panels as I remember the year that was.


I see you…


Introducing a regular segment to my blog, which will cover news and opportunities for diverse peoples particularly in storytelling, poetry and across art forms, inspiration strength based projects, interviews and podcasts. It’s about seeing and recognising who is out there. As well as listening, sharing and caring!

My first post is dedicated to all the women out there, who feel like they have no voice, or no-one is listening. I haven’t forgotten you. This is my poem, I see you.

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Story Factory

Poetry contributed here…


Story Factory is running this project.

This say, “This a very exciting multilingual public writing project and we want YOU to be a part of it!

In a Flash invites people to write flash fiction (very short stories – less than 100 words) in response to writing by emerging and established Australian authors.

Everyone who submits a story goes into the draw to win one of three $100 gift cards and a selection of writing will be published on our website!

All the prompts have been translated into Arabic, Vietnamese and Mandarin, and you can write in any of these languages or in English.


Follow the link below to view the prompts and submit your writing:…/in_a_flash-big-projects/

You can read some responses from well known Australian authors here:…/in-a-flash/

We can’t wait to read and share your stories.

Submissions are open until December 15, so get writing now…

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Non Linear

Following the Crow Song

So I was thinking about non linear time, and how pain/history/trauma/ loss might continue to impact the present.

And then I thought also how joy or wisdom gained from the past might also inhabit and live with us in the present also and overcome all.

Thinking of some dear family and friends living with ongoing grief and trauma right now and inviting you to have at least one joyful moment return to your mind and spirit right now

Here’s a joyful moment, from my own that always lives with me, my youngest son (now much older) leaping and flying with joy as a country boy…

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