Jackie Hosking Networking Column 9Networking on a Budget

by Jackie Hosking


networking on a budgetWhat a decadent month I had... two days at John Marsden's beautiful Tye Estate where I attended his Adult Writing Program. It was a luxurious weekend where I was surrounded by about thirty people all with a passion for writing. This was followed by a weekend at the Ballarat Writing Festival. Am I rich? Far from it actually, so how did I manage to afford such luxuries, on consecutive weekends, no less?


Well, for a start, I have a very supportive husband, which of course always helps and secondly, I didn't pay a cent for one of them. Now how did I manage that? Did I sneak in? Contrary to popular belief, I'm not quite that desperate however I am a member of The Ballarat Writing Council and as such was asked if I would like to volunteer my time over the weekend. Time is money was never truer in this instance. I was asked to choose a time that I would be available, the reward being the ability to attend as many workshops as took my fancy. I even got my coffee for free! Days and days of networking -- all for free.

I attended a very lively workshop with children's author Goldie Alexander and was able to distribute some business cards to those interested in receiving my email newsletter. Business cards, I might add, that I ordered through the internet, you guessed it, for free! What's the catch? Only that you include their advertising on the back of the card -- it reads, in very small letters -- Business Cards are FREE at…(see below for the link.) 

I also had the privilege of taking part, for free, in a Short Story Workshop with Paddy O'Reilly. Paddy is a fiction and screenplay writer who has won several major national short story prizes, including, in 2001/2 first prize in The Age, The Greater Dandenong and the Judah Waten competitions. She is published widely in magazines and anthologies and her novel, The Factory, published this year, was launched at the Ballarat Writing Festival. I am now the proud owner of a signed copy! Paddy has also written scripts for films which have been nominated for AFI awards and screened nationally and internationally. For me, attending Paddy's workshop was one of the best things that I have done for my writing in a very long time. I had a "penny drop" moment which in itself is worth its weight in gold. I would recommend Paddy's workshops to anyone and everyone who has an interest in the short story form. Paddy website is listed below.  

Hmmm perhaps I'm in the wrong business, I wonder if Paddy is looking for an agent? 

But back to John Marsden. Now his weekend wasn't free, not for me at least, not this time. But I was surprised and delighted to discover that at least five of the attending writers had received the weekend as a gift from loved ones. What a present! What a great idea! And it didn't cost them anything. Guess what I'm doing for my fortieth! 

So you see, networking doesn't have to be expensive, a little forethought and a little time will see you schmoozing with the best of them. Any volunteers? Go on, put your hand up! 

Till next time,

Your writing buddy 


PS -- here are the addresses to the organizations and people mentioned above…






Jackie has been writing professionally for 7 years. She writes mostly for children but does enjoy the odd flash fiction piece for adults. Jackie is the editor/compiler/publisher of the children's writing and illustrating industry newsletter, PASS IT ON (PIO). PIO was recently voted the best non-fiction e-zine for 2008 by the Preditors & Editors Readers Poll. Jackie also offers a rhyming manuscript editing service. You can find out more about Jackie, PIO and writing in rhyme at her website - www.jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com 

© copyright Jackie Hosking


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