Writing Centre – A Tropical Paradise

The Gondor Writer Centre is a workshop space where national and international authors share their knowledge with writers. In searching for places to improve my writing skills, I discovered Elaine Ouston and Ron Day offered numerous workshops. So far, I’ve enjoyed courses with author and publisher, Aleesah Darlison  (Picture Book Writing) of Greenleaf Press and Elaine Ouston (Writing Believable Dialogue) of Morris Publishing Australia. These hands-on, interactive workshops worked well for me. Also it was great talking to like-minded participants.

I liked that Gondor offered children’s writing workshops. And while memoir, business and technical writing was not something I needed right now, it was great to see diverse writing workshops with Ron Day. His similes and metaphors workshop or copywriting for marketing would also be useful. However, I liked that the ‘Concept to Completion’ workshops gave writers the opportunity to transition to publication.

The Centre’s neat little exterior reminded me of ‘Dr Who’s Tardis’, because its tidy white facade belied what lay deep inside. The first step revealed a welcoming workshop space with embossed burgundy table runners complementing the long deep curtain folds. The table-centres held the glass water decanters and tall slim glasses. I set up in preparation for the workshop. I cosied a little deeper into the cushioned chair with a cup in hand. Then a waft of rosemary oil startled my senses, invigorating me into action.

Prior to the workshop, a walk in the garden was in order. My host, Ron, recognised the familiar raised brow. Garden? Where would a garden be hidden in this small place? He slid a glance to the side door – indicating the exit. Proceeding outside, the earthen brick path led me to a tall bamboo fence and white brick wall. One step to the right lay hidden a magical, breathtaking landscaped garden. The scene was reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland – everywhere you looked was wonderous. Ten steps further revealed two long timber tables, oversized mushroom statues, an arched bridge, water features and the painted cat face staring. The pond and walkway bridged two spaces allowing you to lunch, explore, contemplate and write. Cosseted at one far end was an exquisite coiled knotted root hugging its trunk. Deep in the other corner was a quirky stolid handmade armchair from yesteryear.

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Elaine Oustan’s Writing Believable Dialogue

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Aleesah Darlison’s Writing Picture Books

The Gondor Writers’ Centre was easily accessible when I travelled about an hour from Brisbane city to Lansborough train station. Then it was a 5-8 minute walk depending on whether you’re running on Mad Hatter time. The train ride allowed me the pleasure of reading my book.

This newly renovated Centre’s building didn’t happen by itself and there were no fairies, gnomes or other creatures ‘within sight’ during the renovations. However, it was Elaine and Ron’s persistence and determination which saw the creation of this learning centre for writers. ‘Concept to Completion’ also marked the rebirth of this building, which I’m going to nickname the Writing Tardis. However, truly a remarkable place for learning.

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