Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

What’s your story?

Do you have a story to tell? Most of us do, whether it’s our own or someone else’s. But where do you start? If you live in Broken Hill, there’s no better place to start than the Broken Hill Writers’ Festival, organised by Under the Silver Tree Bookshop.  

The Festival takes place on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 May, and there’s something for everyone!

L to R: presenters Christine Adams, Jack Marx, Lori Emmett, Barbara de Franceschi, organiser Jean Farry and Deb Hunt

Something for everyone

If you’re new to writing and you’re not sure how to start, there’s a session for complete beginners. You could play around with ideas for a film script in another session, explore local or family history or try writing a short story. You can find out why fan fiction is so popular, step up to the mic with a favourite poem – it doesn’t have to be yours – or get creative with non-fiction. You can also get tips on getting your work published.

I’m running the session on non-fiction

Non-fiction is any ‘true’ story, and that can cover life writing such as biography and memoir. It can also include travel writing, copywriting, corporate work, blogging, newspaper articles or magazine features. 

“What I like about non-fiction is that it covers such a huge territory. The best non-fiction is also creative.”

Tracy Kidder

I’m running the session on non-fiction, using a creative approach to help bring your work to life. We’ll look at how to grab and hold your reader’s attention, how to fictionalise real events, and how to plot (or not!). 

I’ll have hints and tips on how to edit your work – or get someone else to edit it – and we’ll also discuss the tricky process of when and how you might need to seek approval for non-fiction work. If there’s time, we’ll look at how to get your work seen and where to find work as a freelance writer. 

It’s a lot to cover in an hour and a half but it should be fun! You can join in with the writing exercises, or just sit back and listen. 

Places are limited

Each session in the Broken Hill Writers’ Festival lasts from one and a half to two hours. Once you’ve registered, you can attend as many sessions as you like. Places are limited, so be sure to register early if you’d like to attend. 

Registration is essential

Registration costs $10. Pick up a registration form at Under the Silver Tree bookshop (29 Sulphide Street) or phone 08 8000 1942 or email

Here’s the full programme:

Saturday 29 May

10am – 11.30am

Poet Barbara de Franceschi will explore creative writing with people who are just starting to write or who want to write but aren’t sure how to go about it.

Venue – Community Centre, 200 Beryl Street.

12.30pm – 2pm

Author, journalist and copywriter Deb Hunt will share tips on writing non-fiction, from features, memoir and biography, to copywriting and blogging. 

Venue – Community Centre, 200 Beryl Street.

3pm – 4.30pm

Jack Marx, author and journalist, will give pointers on how to get your work published and on writing short stories.

Venue – Community Centre, 200 Beryl Street.

6.30pm – 8.30pm

Art Exchange Courtyard, poetry open mic. MC Maureen Clarke will present the poetry of Annette Herd and David Doyle. Then you’re invited to read your own poems or those of other poets.

Venue – Art Exchange courtyard, 313 Argent Street

Sunday 30 May

9am – 11am   

Lori Emmett, winner of UTST Writing Competition 2019, will focus on fan fiction. Bring your favourite book, comic, gaming character on paper or in your head.

Venue – Bridge Club, Sturt Park.

11.30 am – 1.30pm

Author Christine Adams will explore family history and local history. 

Venue – Railway Museum, Blende Street


Scriptwriter and film maker Jason King will run a workshop on script writing for short films. 

Venue – South Broken Hill Library, Patton Street.

Remember, registration is essential

Registration costs $10. You can register at Under the Silver Tree bookshop at 29 Sulphide Street. You can also email or phone 08 8000 1942. 

If you’d like more information about the session on non-fiction, you can call me on 0450 169697 or email

See you at the Festival! 

Brief bio

Deb Hunt has worked in public relations and as a journalist and copywriter in the UK and in Australia, including stints with Australian House and Garden magazine, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Commonwealth Bank. She has written articles on travel, photography, gardening, renovating, interior design, health and beauty. Deb is the author of three non-fiction books and she won the UTST Short Story competition in 2021. 

This festival was made possible by Create NSW’s Country Art Support Program, a funding program administered by Regional Arts NSW and West Darling Arts on behalf of the NSW Government. Under the Silver Tree also acknowledges the support of Broken Hill City Council. 

2 comments on “What’s your story?

  1. Chris Dougherty
    May 17, 2021

    Hi Deb,
    I think this is a marvelous idea to run a writers workshop in Broken Hill. Well done.
    I will register but only interested in the non fiction session on the Saturday 12.30-2.00pm.
    On my retirement almost 7 years ago I have been keen to write my life story or a book called the teacher (retired teacher/principal). I have made a start and hopefully your session wide give me future in sight to writing in this particular style.
    Chris D


    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      May 17, 2021

      Hi Chris, great news that you’ll be coming along to the Saturday non-fiction session, have you called Under the Silver Tree to put your name down? I think places are filling fast, so if you haven’t already done so, please call them on 8000 1942. Look forward to seeing you, best wishes Deb


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This entry was posted on May 9, 2021 by and tagged , , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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