BRWF 2015 Workshops

This year, the BRWF is featuring four individual workshops – one on Friday morning at the Bellingen Library, with Jayne Newling, and three on Monday at St Andrew’s church with Mandy Nolan, Irina Dunn and Michael Burlace. Throughout the weekend you can get individual feedback on your manuscript from Irina Dunn in her special super sessions. See details below.


JAYNE NEWLING – Writing your first book

Jayne Newling

Friday 5 June
Time: 10.15 am – 12.15 pm
Place: Bellingen library.

In this workshop journalist Jayne Newling will discuss the lessons she learned while writing her first book Missing Christopher, including: getting started, narrative pace, symbolic images to move the story along, finding your voice, and tricks of the trade.

Missing Christopher won the 2012 Human Rights Award for Literature.


MANDY NOLAN – Write to the Bone

Mandy Nolan

Monday 8 June
TIME: 9 – 11 am

Cost: $50 / $45 Concession

Comedian Mandy Nolan has made a career of what she calls ‘her failure to thrive’. Her workshop will show participants how to reframe everyday experiences with comedy. The challenge in writing Nolan believes, is in taking an unconventional approach to conventional or common themes. ‘Comedy is about making choices – for something to be funny, you need to develop the intuition to know when you’ve made the right one!’ Nolan believes it is possible to blend humour and pathos, where often the most poignant message can be delivered in mirth. A committed memoirist, Nolan runs regular workshops for women writers, imploring them to draw down on their ordinary lives for some very extraordinary results.


IRINA DUNN – Getting Published

Monday 8 June
TIME: 11.15 am – 1.15 pm
Place: St Andrews Church

Cost: $50 / $45 Concession

Everyone wishes to publish their writing and to experience the pleasure of seeing their name in print, but not many know how to go about this apparently complex task.  In order to commence your publishing career, you must ask, and answer, the following questions:

  • What skills and experience do I need to get my work published?
  • How can I research the market?
  • How can I make my work stand out from the other submissions and catch the attention of a book publisher?

In this practical seminar, Irina Dunn, Director of the Australian Writers’ Network, will help you get your writing career off the ground.


MICHAEL BURLACE – Polish your prose and promote to profit

Monday 8 June
TIME: 2 – 4 pm
Place: St Andrews Church

Cost: $50 / $45 Concession

We’ll look at how to use the distinct stages of Write, Edit and Rewrite to make your writing readable and enjoyable to your readers and satisfying to you as writer.

We’ll explore tools and techniques to give you a hand with that.

We’ll find sound promotional things you can do. Including trying to catch a virus – well, maybe just some viral forms of promotion. Some you may catch in your book.

Bring any of your writing with you. If you can bring whatever you write on, even better.

It’s a light, fun, fast-paced workshop and I’ll send you full notes afterwards.



Irena Dunn

Director of the Australian Writers’ Network IRINA DUNN is offering festival attendees “Super Sessions”, one-hour one-on-one sessions in which Irina will provide detailed feedback on the first 1,500 words of your manuscript.

This will include an assessment of the writing style, ways to improve your opening page, the marketability of your manuscript, what to include in a publishing proposal, and suggestions on targeting the right Australian publishers, as well as answering any queries you may have.

Irina Dunn has thirty years of experience working in the Australian writing and publishing industry. She has guided innumerable manuscripts from rough draft to final polished work and on to publication.

After this session, you will know exactly how to move forward with your manuscript.

Cost: $120

Super Session appointments can be made for Friday 5 June, Saturday 6 June and Sunday 7 June.

Deposit the fee in Bankwest BSB 302-962 account 0176425 in the name of Patricia I Dunn and email your text to Irina Dunn at, nominating a preferred session time.

Don’t forget to provide your mobile number. Irina’s mobile is 0403 486 363.


I am delighted to be working with Irina Dunn. I trust her judgement on manuscripts and am pleased to have found publishers for several of her clients whom she has referred to me in the past year.

Selwa Anthony, agent

When I engaged Irina Dunn to assess my manuscript, she tapped into the story immediately and her assessment and edit helped me take it to another level. Irina recommended my work to agent Selwa Anthony, which led to a publishing offer from Pan Macmillan. What more could an unpublished writer ask for?

John Ahern, On The Road…with Kids (Pan Macmillan)

Irina Dunn read my raw manuscript, provided an insightful assessment report which lifted it to a professional level, edited it to perfection, found a publisher who offered me a contract and then secured one of Australia’s best-known agents to look after my interests. Could any writer ask for more?

Nikki Stern, Not Your Ordinary Housewife (Allen & Unwin)

I was very lucky to be put in touch with Irina Dunn. She took my manuscript from a cathartic, emotional first draft to a professional, polished final copy. I achieved su
ccess by following her advice to the letter and as a result she engaged a first rate agent for me, and the agent then secured a contract with Pan Macmillan. In particular, I found Irina’s structural advice made the difference between it being a book only my family would read to being a commercially viable read. Thank you Irina.

 Lisa Venables, Saving Zali (Pan Macmillan)