Category Archives: How-to Advice

Have you been writing?

Have you been writing in 2014? What were your writing goals on January 1 and have you achieved them (as the end of the year rushes towards us)? Wouldn’t it be nice to finish the year with a completed manuscript in one hand and a chocolate thickshake in the other?

Creative Dragons principal Cherie Curtis has had a busy year in 2014, since the successful launch of her debut novel The Blood She Betrayed (under the pen-name of Cheryse Durrant) in late 2013. This book was shortlisted in the national ARRA (spec fic/fantasy category) awards and has since seen a second print run. As well as working on the next two books in the Heart Hunter series, and being contracted to write a children’s picture book for Creative Regions by November 2014, Mrs Curtis has been sharing her love of writing with others and conducting workshops for both children and adults, at various locations across Queensland including Roma, Toowoomba and Bundaberg.

Cherie’s top tips for getting that all-important story or novel written in 2014:

Be Schedule Smart: Allocate a set amount of time to your WIP (work-in-progress) every day or every week (or even once a month, if that’s the only time you can afford) – and then stick to that schedule (Yucky yuk!)

Reward yourself: Once you’ve done your hour of writing for the day (or the week), reward yourself (that could be reading a book, eating a chocolate bar or hanging with friends).

Find a writing buddy: Share your goals with a writing friend. Keep them on track and they’ll keep you on track. Make sure you check in with your writing buddy at least once a week, to find out how you’re going – and to brainstorm ideas to get that page written if things haven’t been going the way you planned.

Above all, stay excited!  Writing is part of who you are. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to run the marathon. The important thing is that you make it to that finish line – eventually. Have fun writing and write what’s inside your heart and mind.

What’s your writing goal for 2014? How are you going? Share with us on this page – and maybe you even have some tips to share with your fellow writers.


Creative Dragon flies into Walkervale

Waking before the crack of dawn to squeeze in an early morning writing class before school every Monday resulted in a special reward for seven dedicated Walkervale students in late November.

Cherie Curtis (front) with the enthusiastic Walkervale Writers and their teacher Lee Peno at a guest workshop at Walkervale State School in November.Kids Get Published members (aka the Walkervale Writers) were delighted to meet and participate in an advanced “Show, Not Tell” workshop with local author Cherie Curtis (aka Cheryse Durrant) at the school’s Innovation Centre on November 19.

“Group coordinators Lee Peno and Alexandra Irwin told me these seven children had been extremely dedicated to their writing all year and never missed a class. This workshop was to reward them for their efforts – and I was delighted to discover they were not only talented but extremely polite,” Cherie said.

During the workshop, students discovered the major differences between showing and telling, and how to improve their writing using a set of 12 important tips. They also brainstormed on the whiteboard to turn a boring “telling” scene into a vibrant piece of “showing”.

This is not the first time the Walkervale Writers have been treated to a workshop by a professional writer in 2012. Author/illustrator Dr Cameron Stelzer visited stuWalkervale Writers' Write Night Collection of Storiesdents earlier this year. The stories they wrote from this visit were later printed in the school’s souvenir Write Night Collection of Stories book.

Walkervale Writers presented Cherie with a copy of their story book and a box of chocolates at the end of the workshop. “It was lovely meeting these talented students and I’m looking forward to hearing updates on their writing in the future,” Cherie said.