Arts & Culture

Writers, upskill your narratives

Geoff Helisma|


The valley’s budding writers will soon have an opportunity to learn from one of Australia’s most talented and acclaimed story tellers – thanks to the people who coordinate The Long Way Home writing competition.

Long Way Home co-director and writer, Claire Aman, said she completed a one-day workshop with author Cate Kennedy, in Bellingen several years ago, and an online workshop last year.

“It changed the way I write,” says Aman.

“It ratchetted it up – I’ve made a lot of progress and become a better writer.

“I even learnt how to write dialogue; she made me much braver about what I could do.

“Everyone should have the chance to learn to write with Kate.”

Kennedy has won a string of awards for her writing, which spans novels, short stories and poetry.

But she is best known to Australian readers for her novel, The World Beneath, which won the People’s Choice Award in the NSW Premier’s 2010 Literary Awards.

“She has taught across Australia and in France, Austria, Bali, Singapore, the US, the UK and Canada – and also teaches in the fiction faculty at Pacific University in Oregon (pre-COVID),” says Aman.

“Cate will come and teach our local Clarence Valley writers after a sold-out masterclass through Writers Victoria.”

Applications, by expressions of interest, close on August 31, for the two one-day workshops: Yamba, Saturday October 30; and, Grafton, Sunday October31.


Applications are open to anyone living in, or with a genuine and strong connection to, the Clarence Valley.

  • Send an expression of interest to [email protected];
  • Include a short sample of your work; this can be a work in progress, a fragment, a section from a longer piece or a completed short story; maximum 750 words;
  • Let us know what you’d like to gain from the day; and tell us briefly about your writing experience – maximum 500 words;
  • Let us know if you prefer the Grafton or Yamba workshop; and,
  • Don’t forget to include your name, postal address and email address.

Successful applicants will be notified by mid-September.

Fees: while workshop places are valued at $100 per person, successful applicants will only pay $50.

“The Yugilbar Foundation/Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal is subsidising the remainder via a grant given to the Long Way Home to help us encourage local writers to deepen their craft,” says Aman.

All writers in the Clarence Valley are invited to apply; for more information, contact the Long Way Home at [email protected]