Upcoming Workshop: The Writer’s Toolbox

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Writer's ToolboxThere are many different tools that a writer uses within their trade. Now would be the perfect time to brush up on those skills.

Then the next workshop in the 2016 series of Christchurch Writers’ Guild workshops is just what you need.

The Writer’s Toolbox

Sunday September 25, 2016, 10:30am – 12:30pm
South Library, 66 Colombo St, Cashmere
(The Boardroom)
(Parking is across street by river outlet)

$10 (CWG members), $15 (non-members)
Places limited to 25 people.


  • Nuts and Bolts
    Brush up on your basic punctuation and grammar. Get a refresher on colons and semi-colons. Learn the differences between the dashes. Remember the differences between different sentence structures.
    Presented by Joan Gladwyn (Editor with Proper Words)
  • Work Gloves a Must: Roll Up Your Sleeves and Get Active
    Remind yourself about the differences between active and passive voice. Get it straight in your head the differences between show and tell, and when it would appropriate to use each.
    Presented by Shelley Chappell (Author of BEYOND THE BRIAR)

Whether you are a new writer, just starting out, or an established author, it can always help to have a reminder of those common tools of our trade.

Preregistration is now open. Please note that preregistration does not guarantee a place within workshop. The places will be strictly limited to 25 people. Door sales only.

Members must have membership code with them to receive discount.

Not a member of the Christchurch Writer’s Guild? Not a problem. There’s no time like the present. Join here.

This workshop is proudly sponsored by:


Meet Our Marketing Vendors

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As part of the May Marketing workshop, we are hosting a mini-market, in which a selection of local authors, and other related talents, will be selling their wares. These stalls will be Cash Only, so please consider bringing along a bit of extra money ($20-100), and support the local talent.

If you wish to join the market ($10 a table), visit this page for further details.

Deb Donnell
Keswin Publishing

Deb Donnell
Deb Donnell’s stall from our Developmental Editing workshop.

Deb Donnell is one of our presenters. She has several books on Christchurch available, including the very powerful Responders photo book and two slim slim collections of Christchurch before/after photographs (great for overseas posting), as well as her Creating Writing Diamonds guides. You can view more of her books (and get an idea of prices) from her website:


Angela “LemurKat” Oliver
Author and illustrator

Angela’s stall, from Sancon 2013

Angela is known for her quirky and unique style of animal art. She will have a selection of wares, including her two books: Aroha’s Grand Adventure and Fellowship of the Ringtails (for today, $20 each), plus art cards originals (from $10), postcard prints ($2 each) and more!


Shelley Chappell

once upon a time close
Shelley doing a reading from her book at the Tin Palace, Lyttelton

Shelley Chappell writes fairy tales and other fantasy fiction for all ages. She is the author of a range of short stories and novellas, including Beyond the Briar: A Collection of Romantic Fairy Tales for young adults and adults (for sale at the market today, at the special price of $15).


Nicola Mauchline

Nicola Mauchline in London

One reader describes Nicola’s writing as “deeply personal and provoking” and that you can feel the author’s heart in her books. The beginnings of Nicola’s first novel, Her Long Goodbye, were born out of her own dance with love, but three years on it has turned into much more. Nicola had thought she would only write one book, however in July she will be releasing Her Long Wait. This book is the final book in the romance trilogy, Her Long Goodbye, and will be the fourth book in four years that Nicola has released. Nicola mainly writes romance, however she has also written a Christian non-fiction book about thriving and is currently working on a fictional/non-fictional book based around the Christchurch earthquakes.

Limited copies of Nicola’s books will be available for purchase at the Marketing Workshop, with further copies being available at the Her Long Wait book launch, scheduled for July. The books normally retail for $18 each, however during the Marketing Workshop, she will be selling Her Long Goodbye and Her Waiting List $15 each and Called to Thrive for only $10.


Justin and Jasper Harrison


Justin and Jasper, father and son writing team

The Adventures of Jasper and Sharkcrock in Magictopia.

“…a delightful, humorous, original, action packed story that any primary school student would love to read.” Deborah Harding Browne, Halswell Community News

About the Authors

Jasper Harrison: Born in 2006 in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has had a love of books from a very early age. His love of adventure, and an active imagination have combined to produce this, the first book in the Magictopia series. Magictopia is his world. By the way, he was only 6 years old when we wrote this!

Justin Harrison: Born in 1975 in Tuatapere, New Zealand. Had a lot of fun working with Jasper on this, helping to bring Jasper’s many fantastic ideas together.

Copies will be available for sale on the day. RRP$15, but a special price of $10 per copy for the workshop.


J.L. O’Rourke
Millwheel Press

Jenner with her display at our Developmental Editing workshop

Jenner Lichtwark (writing as J.L. O’Rourke) writes mystery for all ages. Her YA urban fantasy Severn series sees murder, kidnapping and vampires backstage at a local theatre company, while her adult mystery Power Ride is the first of a series of cosy murders set around a Christchurch rock band. Blood in the Wings, Chains of Blood and Power Ride, and her children’s book Agatha by Airmail, will be available at a special price of $10 each.

January Workshop: Editing (part 1)

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On January the 30th, we held the first in our series of 2016 workshops, Developmental Editing: the Editing Skills Every Writer Needs. This full day program offered four guest speakers, plus offered one-on-one critiques of manuscripts. We were supported by a strong attendance – the venue was full! – with writers coming from the Guild, the Hagley Writers School and the wider Christchurch community.

We started the program at 10am, with an introduction by Janine Lattimore, the Guild secretary. Then our first guest speaker, Barbara Arnold took the stage to discuss “Dialogue and the Traps”.


Barbara is an author and has previously tutored at the University of Canterbury. She is also published in various collections and has penned a series of historic novels available through Amazon and your local library.

She first talked us through the basics of dialogue and its role in narrative: how it can reveal information in an accessible manner (including backstory), show a character’s personality and relationships, and advance the plot, amongst other functions. Any dialogue that does not fulfil any of the above is nothing more than filler, and should be reconsidered or removed from the narrative.

Dialogue should also be realistic, but not real, and every character needs a “voice” of their own. And, I’m sure many of you will be pleased to note: bad grammar is perfectly acceptable in dialogue, as are cliches (although please do not overdo the latter).

We also discussed dialogue tags – the overuse of “said”, when to replace it with other adjectives, and when not to, as well as alternatives to using tags at all. For a bit of fun, we got to list adjective alternatives, which could change the shape of the story somewhat dramatically. Best bit of advice: alternatives are powerful tools, to be used sparingly and to the best impact. And an adjective is better than an adverb. (ie: ‘”stop!” he shouted’ VS ‘”stop!” he said loudly.’)

Second presenter was freelance editor, Judy Mohr, speaking on “What is Editing? Why and Who?”

Judy L Mohr 2

Beginning first with the “who needs an editor?” (answer: anyone who intends to share their book with the world), she educated us on the various types of editors available and various stages of editing: from developmental editor to the final copy-editor and proofreader. Also, sharing with us a few tips and tricks to make the way easier – and cheaper – for self-publishers.

Her lecture was particularly useful because it highlighted how many different stages there are to the editing process; finishing the first draft is a huge achievement, but it is really only the first step upon your publishing journey. Finding beta readers, compatible critiquing partners and a good editor are all necessary in transforming your story from a manuscript into a strong and polished novel. And yes, I’m afraid that does involve a lot of work – and several exhausting rewrites!

You can read a little of her lecture here.

We then parted for a short lunch, before continuing on with the afternoon lectures.

Deb Donnell

Deb Donnell, of Keswin Publishing and Writing Diamonds was one of our sponsors for this event. She set up a lovely display with Keswin Publishing’s Christchurch-themed books: Responders, and Christchurch, NZ 2015, as well as her introductory books to the Writing Diamond Publishing System.

She also provided her services as one of our Editors in the Critiquing Program.

The workshop was sponsored by:

Millwheel Press
Black Wolf Editorial Services
Writing Diamonds Ltd

Keswin Publishing Ltd

The Workshop Report will continue next week.

Workshop: Developmental Editing

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EditingHave you just “won” NaNoWriMo? Or are you sitting on the first draft of a manuscript but not sure what to do next?

The Christchurch Writers’ Guild are here to help, with the first in their 2016 series of workshops:

Developmental Editing
The Editing Skills that Every Writer Needs

Saturday January 30, 2016, 10am – 4pm
South Library, 66 Colombo St, Cashmere
(Parking is across street by river outlet)

Half day: $20
Full day: $30 (CWG members), $40 (non-members)

As part of the workshop, one-on-one critiquing sessions with editors will be offered for manuscripts and query letters. Participation in the critiquing programme will incur an additional charge. More information can be found here. A list of the editors participating can be found here. Critiquing programme is now closed.

The full programme for the workshop can be found here. Registration is now closed.

Not a member of the Christchurch Writer’s Guild? Not a problem. There’s no time like the present. Join here.

This workshop is proudly sponsored by:

Black Wolf Editorial Services

Keswin Publishing Ltd

Millwheel Press

Writing Diamonds Ltd