The second season of Writing Races is up and running! As of August 8th we are once again hosting weekly writing sessions in the AWMonline forums.

I’m Julia, the latest AWM intern, and I’m spearheading this season’s Races. Howdy. I’m an aspiring novelist myself, and just a general fan of the written word, so I’m psyched to be moderating the Races for the next few months. Particularly considering some of the guest authors we have in the line-up. For example…

Kathleen Noud was our first guest star of the season, co-captaining the August 15th Race with me. (We have accomplished authors as Guest Racers on a regular basis; it’s a great opportunity to get some insight and inspiration.)

Kathleen Noud

Kathleen has won awards in several short story competitions, and her short stories have been published in Award Winning Australian Writing 2010 and One Book Many Brisbanes 6.

The Racers quizzed Kathleen on her craft, and we got some insight into the world of competitive writing, and her amazing experience in the One Book Many Brisbanes masterclasses:

[It was] crazy hard work. I’d been through a mentoring process before so I knew how hard it could be, but the masterclass was just for a weekend. So I was constantly thinking about it. One morning I might be chatting to my mentor about boosting the sense of place throughout the story and by lunch I’d be working on the character’s emotional journey.

By the time I went home, I was already on to something new. It’s a lot of information and work in a short period of time.

Kathleen, who writes almost exclusively in Young Adult fiction, talked about her experience with teens and what draws her to the genre.

I used to teach drama to teens and I really loved working with that age group. I think we’re more open to new ideas and experiences at that age, and everything about life is wonderfully exciting and terrifying. There’s something liberating about that age that draws me in. Or maybe I just haven’t really grown up. One or the other.

Check out the AWMonline forum thread here to read more.

Otherwise, the Races are on from 7:50-9pm AEST every Wednesday night. It’s a free-for-all event: you don’t have to be a subscriber to come and have a go. Get together just before 8pm, share your writing goal for the night and just let the words flow until the finish line. At 9pm the racers coalesce again and share progress and encouraging words. It’s a fun, supportive writing environment, and a chance to meet other written-word enthusiasts.

Coming up: Trent Jamieson as Special Guest Racer on August 29th.

Come along for some Q&A with a successful spec fic author: guaranteed to get the creative juices flowing. You’ll get some inspiration quotes for your trouble, too.

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