Thursday, 30 September 2021

CWD Highlights - July to Sept 2021


Christian Writers Downunder is a diverse group of writers, editors, bloggers, illustrators. As a group we support each other through our Facebook page and blog.

Today's blog will highlight some of the achievements of our members from July to Sept 2021

Awards and Recommendations

OWBF Writing Competition

Congratulations to the winners or the inaugural writing competition

Helen Bishop with her poem Hope (Unpublished Writer), 
Warren Brooks with his short story Christmas Hope (Unpublished Writer), 
Joy Mal with her poem Waiting (Published Writer) and 
Hazel Barker with her short story Hope Springs Eternal (Published Writer)

And a big thank you to Helen Bishop who donated her prize towards the next Omega Writers Book Fair (most likely in May 2022). 

CALEB Prize Finalists

Congratulations to all the finalists of the CALEB Prize in the different categories. Many are CWD members -Kathy Hoopmann, Cecily Paterson, Jenny Glazebrook, Kristen Young, Nola Lorraine, Meredith Resce, Hazel Barker, and Rosanne Hawke.  You can see the full list of finalists here.

The winners will be announced at the on 9 October 2021 as part of the Omega Writers Zoom conference (see below for details).


While the last three months seem to have been quieter on the new release front - there has been a flurry of activity when it comes to Book Fairs and Writers Festivals. Rather refreshing after the 2020 drought. 

Omega Writers Book Fair (Brisbane)

After all the planning and high hopes, the 2021 Omega Writers Book Fair (Brisbane) went ahead on the 31 July 2021 even as the announcement of a lockdown for South-East Queensland was being made.

This year the OWBF had a smaller number of author tables - with sixteen authors with works ranging for memoirs, biography, devotional theology, diversity and difference, to works of fantasy, science fiction, historical romance and crime fiction (written by a paramedic). The workshop by Anne Hamilton and Panel on Marekting and Promotion for Authors were both well attended.  Scavenger hunts and door prizes were given out and the winners of the inaugural OWBF Writing Competition were announced. All it all, it was a good time of networking, interaction and, indeed, sales. 

CWD members present  included Anne Hamilton, Judy Rogers, Ruth Bonetti, Nola Passmore, Naomi Eccles-Smith, Lynne Stringer, Jeanette O'Hagan, Hazel Barker (who won the published short story prize), David Bennett, Sally Eberhardt, Raelene Purtill, Rebekah Robinson, Ray & Sue Woodrow and Marion Kilchester

Read more about the 2021 OWBF here.

Cooparoo Presbyterian Book Fair

Some weeks later, on 28 August 2021, the Cooparoo Presyterian Church held their inaugural Book Fair with a number of stall holders, including CWD members David Bennett, Lynne Stringer, Ruth Bonetti, Jeanette O'Hagan, Jeanette Grant-Thomson, Hazel Barker and Rebekah Robinson. It was fantastic seeing a local church get behind Christian writers not only in holding the event but in in making purchases from the wide variety of books present. 

Inaugural Logan Writers Festival

And there was more. A small contingent of CWD writers were present at the inaugural Logan Writers Festival on 9-10 September.  Nola Passmore (aka Nola Lorraine) presented a workshop on the first day, while Ruth Bonetti, Naomi Eccles-Smith, Lynne Stringer and Jeanette O'Hagan all had book tables. The event was held outdoors which presented some challenges. Workshops and presentations were held in a pavilion throughout both days. Live music added to the festival atmosphere and on the first day four or five buses with students from local schools arrived and checked out the workshops and the books. And, breaking with the OWBF tradition (which the last two years seem to have preluded a lockdown) this time a lockdown was avoided. 

Other News

Ruth Bonetti is gratified that her recent release The Art Deco Mansion in St Lucia drew the attention of the books editor of The Weekend Australian–and a par review in the Review column of 18-19 September, 2021.

A charming look at one man’s post-war dream to build a mansion in the Brisbane suburb of St Lucia, which was in the 1950s mostly open kangaroo paddocks. Most astonishing for a private home in the 1950s, it had an elevator, which made Bonetti something of a celebrity at her local primary school as “the granddaughter of the man who had a lift in his house” she writes, with warmth and pride.


Who says that Indie published books can’t attract mainstream press reviews? With features in QMag Courier Mail and Toowoomba Chronicle, this makes a trifecta.
The take-out memo: Be persistent. Be confident and determined.


Coming up - Don't Miss Them

The Omega Writers Conference is now an online Retreat

With the logistical challenges of lockdowns and border closures, the Omega Writers Conference has pivoted from a retreat at Peppers Kingscliffe to a Zoom Conference in a living room near you.  The sad thing is that we will not be able to meet face-to-face, the plus is that anyone can attend regardless of their ability to travel.  If you haven't participated in an Omega Writers Conference before, maybe now is the year. 

COST FOR THE SATURDAY PROGRAM: Omega Members: $50 Non-Members: $70

The Conference will feature:

Collett Smart (Psychologist)
Nicole Partridge – Creative Writing
Genre and Breakout Groups
Two Panels – Pathways to Publication, Pathways to Promotion,
And the CALEB Awards Dinner

Find out more information here.

Omega Writers Conference and the Toowoomba Chapter

The Toowoomba chapter of Omega Writers has booked a venue in Toowoomba where we can attend the Omega Retreat Zoom day together on Saturday 9 October. 

Taking daylight saving into account, the Toowoomba sessions will run from 8-4 (and we can continue to watch the CALEB awards from our own homes later). 

In order to come, you'll have to register for the conference on the Omega site first. We'll have an additional small door fee of about $10 in Toowoomba to cover the room booking. 

If you're interested in coming, please write a comment below (or in the CWD Facebook group post) to  Nola Passmore. The Toowoomba chapter will need to firm up numbers ahead of time in case it's necessary to alter the booking.

South Australia Chapter

Contact Meredith Resce (on the CWD Facebook post) if live in Adelaide and are interested in getting together to watch the Conference on Zoom.

Rendered Realms at Supanova and Oz ComicCon

Rendered Realms (Lynne Stringer, Jeanette O'Hagan and Adele Jones) plan to be at SupaNova Brisbane November 6-7, 2021 and Oz ComicCon Brisbane in December 11 - 12. 2021, both at Brisbane Convention & exhibition centre. Please drop in and see them at these fantastic events.

Did you have a new release or event or brag point that didn't make it to the Highlights Post? Keep an eye out for the next call for information from members - the next Highlights post will be in December.

Congratulations to all our members for your milestones and achievements. 


  1. Thanks for putting that together, Jenny. It's been good to see some live events going ahead. Hoping some more people can join us in Toowoomba for the Omega Zoom Day on 9th Oct. As Jenny said, let me know if you're interested.

    1. Thanks, Nola. I'm looking forward to coming up for the Omega Zoom Day :) Such a great idea.

  2. What a variety of genres and output your overview highlights. Thanks for including me alongside other enterprising peers.

    1. It's been great to share a few events with you, Ruth :)

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