Book doctors offer shot in arm for budding authors

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Book doctors offer shot in arm for budding authors

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Published on 26 July 2012

26 July 2012

Three Doctors of Creative Writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast are taking a novel approach to helping aspiring authors by staging the literary equivalent of a travelling medical clinic.

Dr Gary Crew, Dr Ross Watkins and Dr Paul Williams are presenting a series of three weekly workshops across the region called “Consulting a Book Doctor”, starting tomorrow (Wednesday 27 June) at USC.

The series was organised jointly by the University’s Creative Writing team and the Sunshine Coast Council as a project for the National Year of Reading, for which Dr Crew is a State ambassador.

Two of the three sessions were booked out almost immediately after they were announced on the Sunshine Coast Libraries website.

The booked-out sessions are Dr Crew’s presentation tomorrow entitled “Pottering About with Beatrix”, which suggests inroads into nature writing based on the works of Beatrix Potter, and Dr Williams’ presentation on JM Coetzee’s novel Disgrace at Noosa on July 11.

There are still some places for Dr Watkins’ discussion and writer's workshop on Jonathan Safran Foer’s illustrated novel Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close in Maleny on July 4.

“Each week of the series involves a lecture on a given author, followed by a workshop on how to use that author’s work to write your own material,” Dr Crew said. “The sessions are all pretty much booked out, which is wonderful. Initially, we were expecting three attendees and a dog, but they’re maxed out at 40 participants each … with waiting lists!”

Dr Crew is an Associate Professor in Creative Writing, the Head of Discipline for Creative Writing at USC, and an internationally acclaimed writer.

Dr Watkins was shortlisted for the 2011 Queensland Premier’s Award for Emerging Author and collaborated with Dr Crew in illustrating their forthcoming graphic novel The Boy Who Grew Into A Tree (Penguin).

Dr Williams has won the Zimbabwe International Book Prize. He has lectured in Creative Writing in Europe, the Middle East, the United States and South Africa.

— Terry Walsh

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