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Australian authors set the bar at writers festival

LITERARY TALENT: Sydney Morning Herald journalists Conrad Walters and Joyce Morgan, thriller author L.A. Larkin, event organiser Gloria Burley, local marine biologist and author Tony Ayling and prolific indigenous writer Anita Heiss shared their experiences at the Whitsunday Writers Festival at the Coral Sea Resort on Saturday.
LITERARY TALENT: Sydney Morning Herald journalists Conrad Walters and Joyce Morgan, thriller author L.A. Larkin, event organiser Gloria Burley, local marine biologist and author Tony Ayling and prolific indigenous writer Anita Heiss shared their experiences at the Whitsunday Writers Festival at the Coral Sea Resort on Saturday.

THRILLERS reflect the big political, social and environmental issues of our times with many stories starting by simply asking, "What would happen if that scenario went horribly wrong".

These were the words of author L.A. Larkin who held a very informative one-day thriller writing workshop as part of the Whitsunday Writers Festival on the weekend.

The aim of the workshop was to encourage new writers to come forward, generate new ideas and uncover the framework of good against evil.

"What is wonderful about the structure of most thrillers is that good wins out and I think that gives us hope that there are good people in our troubled world who will stand up for the right things," she said.

Thrillers can take many forms, addressing issues of climate change and rising sea levels which is the undertone of L.A. Larkin's latest thriller Thirst, to the assassination of a president which is a common theme of well-known author Tom Clancy, or the social injustice against women in Sweden which is represented in the Millennium trilogy by Steig Larsson.

The full day conference on Saturday featured special guest speaker Anita Heiss, a member of the Wiradjuri whose latest book Am I Black Enough For You won her widespread literary acclaim.

Event organiser Gloria Burley said hearing about her experiences as an indigenous woman and author was one of the highlights of the event.

"I felt that some members of the audience were almost as talented as the authors themselves and I am humbled to have been able to assist in their development," she said.

Other literary names in attendance were Sydney Morning Herald journalists Conrad Walters and Joyce Morgan and local marine biologist and author Tony Ayling.


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