Here you will find a list of helpful tips for emerging writers and published authors:

Our list of resources removes a lot of guess work for the first time author by linking you into the world of getting published. Have fun and all the best!

Join a writer’s association or group

Connect with your literary community for advice, resources, contacts, newsletters, workshops and to meet other writers.

We also encourage you to become a member of the Townsville Writers and Publishers Centre so we can keep you updated with our Human Writes newsletter.



There are lots of opportunities and workshops now available in the region to help you develop your skills.

  • Shut Up & Write is a fantastic opportunity in 2016, providing a relaxed atmosphere for quality writing time and guidance with like-minded creatives. With planned workshops rotating around Townsville’s City Council Libraries, those who would like to participate will engage in exercises that will provide resources and valuable information on both the writing and publishing process, along with stress-free periods of simply working on your own literary creations!
  • Speculative Fiction writers group is for writers who utilize many genres including, but not limited to, science-fiction, fantasy and horror. We aim to support both aspiring and experienced writers and to hopefully open opportunities to publish their works.
  • Verb Writers Group is for writers and poets who are interested in connecting with like-minded creatives, developing skills in writing techniques and receiving feedback on their works-in-progress.
  • Emerge Writers Group is for 13 to 17 year olds who want to meet young writers and stretch their writing skills to create amazing stuff like short plays, micro fiction and poetry.
    We aim to help students look for real life audiences and chances to get published.
  • Romance Writers Group, this group is aimed for the romantically inclined creative writer who would like to engage with other passionate wordsmiths across North Queensland who enjoy the genre.For other workshops and events, keep an eye on the City Library website, as well as the Writers in Townsville Society website.

More options…

• Join a peer critique site such as

• Do an online course – Google your specific interests and someone, somewhere, will have a course for you!


Get a manuscript assessment

So you’ve written a manuscript, you think it has merit and want to know what steps to take next? This is an initial step prior to more detailed editing. An assessor will give you feedback about your story and characters, strengths, weaknesses and strategies for improvement.

• The Townsville Writers and Publishers Centre have an excellent team of consultants that are more than happy to look over and assess your manuscript. Contact us for more details.

Louise Cusack runs a successful manuscript assessment service or you can contact the Queensland Writer’s Centre for a list of assessors.


Find an editor

You don’t have to have a publishing contract to get an editor – you can hire your own.  See below:

• Choose an editor through Roundup, an excellent list of resources, including links to directories and to several articles.

• Don’t forget that you can work with an editor via email from anywhere in the world. Many people in Australia with Australian editors never actually meet them.

IPEd have a register of freelance editors in Australia searchable by state

• If you’re lucky, you can even win an editor by entering the annual mentorship program run by the Australian Society of Authors.


Get an agent

Getting an agent is not a guarantee of publication but most (not all) publishers require you to go through one.

• The Queensland Writer’s Centre provide a guide to approaching Literary Agents.

• A list of Australian agents who subscribe to an industry code of practice can be found on the Australian Literary Agents’ Association website. You will need to go to their individual sites to see if they are open and what genres they specialise in.


Write a great query

Once you have found the agent/publisher that you wish to approach, you will need to query them. They receive hundreds, if not thousands, of approaches from would be writers so you need to do this professionally.

• Some tips can be found on and on Nathan Bransford’s Blog.

Nathan Bransford is an ex-literary agent and writer who runs an excellent blog for writers. Check out the links to agents, querying and examples of good and bad queries, pitches etc.


Why not self-publish?

Self-publishing used to be considered the province of the second rate writer but this idea is now deader than a dodo. There are many advantages to self-publishing, not least that the royalties are substantially higher and you don’t need an agent or any other middle man.

Some things you need to consider:

• At the very least you will need to hire an editor, a cover designer and a book formatter. Alternatively you can learn to do some or all of this yourself – self publishing means you are not just an author but a publisher.

• Beware! Never, ever hire a book publishing service that wants to take a percentage of your sales. That’s like giving your house painter an ongoing portion of your house. Hire people on a pay for service basis.

The one exception to this is using an eBook distributor like Amazon or Smashwords – you can’t sell your books without them.

• Resources:

The Book Designer

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing

The Writings and Opinions of Dean Wesley Smith
Contentious but brilliant. Read EVERYTHING he writes about ‘think like a publisher’ and ‘killing the sacred cow of publishing.’

• And finally…

Be careful about who you approach to represent or publish your work.

Preditors & Editors will let you know who’s good… and who’s not.

Need more help?

No worries! Just contact us.