Thursday, September 8, 2016

Omega Writers Book Fair (Brisbane)

Last Saturday, on the northside of Brisbane, over fifty enthusiastic people came together to celebrate books, writing, authors and stories at the first Omega Writers Book Fair. 

Rochelle Manners & Lynne Stringer

We had 16 stalls and over 18 writers and authors - including YA authors Lynne Stringer and Adele Jones; Fantasy authors Lisbeth Klein, Raelene Purtill and Jeanette O'Hagan; middle-grade author Jenny Woolsey; children's author Paul Clark; romance author Andrea Grigg; historical fiction from Frank Taylor, writers of biographies and memoirs such as David Bennett (also theology), Ruth Bonetti, Hazel Barker, Nina Wiesenekker; self-help (on hearing loss) by Pamela Heemskerk; inspirational stories by Graham Bee, Kaye Hollings and Gwen Akers; and devotions from Ray Akers. Rochelle Manners from Wombat Books/Rhiza Press was there with a wide range of fiction and non-fiction for all ages through Books in Stock; and also Nola Passmore from the Write Flourish (editing), poetry and short stories. There were a number of new releases -Lynne's Once Confronted, Adele's Activate, Hazel's Heaven Tempers the Wind, Ruth's Burn My Letters - as well as titles shortlisted in the 2016 Caleb Prize - for instance Too Pretty by Andrea Grigg.

Ruth Bonetti reads from new release Burn My Letters

We also had book teasers and readings - poetry, excerpts from novels, flash fiction and short stories - that brought laughter, tears and enthusiasm to the listeners.

The two workshops - The Power of Story by Paul Clark and The Writing Life by Raelene Purtill - inspired those who participated. 

And then there were the door prizes and the end of day prize draws - with a couple of fantastic book packs - as well as the show bags and a delicious lunch. (You can see more photos of the day here.)

First Prize - Fantastic Book Pack 

Altogether, it was a great day of fun, friendship and enjoyment of books and faith. Many went away with a pile of wonderful books and anticipation of hours of reading pleasure.

It was all made possible by the authors, publishers and editors who came and shared, our workshop presenters, Omega Writers (including President Simon Kennedy and Judy Rogers), and a group of volunteers and offsiders - as well as book lovers and readers who attended. Throughout the planning and on the day itself, we were grateful for God's provision and power, and for those who supported the day in prayer.

Omega President Simon Kennedy with Jeanette O'Hagan

While most of those present came from Brisbane, the Gold Coast, even Gympie - we were thrilled to have Lisbeth and Graham Klein, who are currently travelling around Australia. 

There were a number of people who would  have loved to be with us but were unable either due to distance or to prior commitments or other restraints.

We are thinking of doing it all again next year - and the Toowoomba-rites and inspired to run a Book Fair in Toowoomba.

Overall, it was a good start and well worth the effort of putting it together. Wouldn't it be wonderful to see Omega Writer Book Fairs across Australia - celebrating the writing of Christians downunder :)

Jeanette O'Hagan


  1. Wow! Sounds like a fantastic day Jenny. That's great so many authors were able to come together and am sure the blessings of the day will continue. Well done to the organiser! Give yourself a pat on the back for me! :)

    1. Thanks Anusha - it was a good day. Just being together with a lovely bunch of writers and readers was a buzz, the readings, sales, workshops added to it all. Definitely worth doing :)

  2. Sounds like it exceeded expectations! We could do with something similar down south!

  3. You Queenslanders sure do get amongst it, don't you. Good work!

  4. I'm glad it was a great day. Thanks for sharing the photos with those of us far away.

    1. Thanks Paula. So glad that Raelene took so many fantastic photos :)

  5. It was a great day Jenny. Thanks for all of your hard work in organising it. I had a lot of great conversations with people. I was talking so much I didn't even manage to get around all the stalls myself! Thank you to everyone who helped out on the day. Would be great to see a similar thing happen in other locations where there's a critical mass of like-minded writers :)

    1. Thanks Nola - that's wonderful you got to talk to so many people. I loved the readings to -which was another way to connect. I think it would be fantastic if there were similar Book Fairs in different states or cities :)