Cottage news, awards and competitions (for you), film news and a studio that requires imagination

Blog time. Go, Jen, go. K. The hunt is over! We bought a cottage in the country!  OMG! This Easter we got ten substandard Easter Eggs and a 1930s cottage with two big trees, a wasp nest and a headless statue. Exhibit A: We move in winter. Lots of time to declutter — the house,…

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Story arcs made simple! Plus, how I wrote my first book.

Here at HQ (aka The Palace) I’ve been thinking about narrative arcs. Story arcs. Those things what you hang a story on… Pesky, aren’t they? Exposition Rising action Climax Falling action Resolution My friend refers to stories with saggy arcs as ‘souffle stories’. They sink in the middle. Nice! Here’s my simile: Writing fiction is like skiing. The…

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House Huntin’, Book Writin’, and the Inaugural Scribbles Live Round

The other day my friend, Tania McCartney, told me about Bullet Journalling. Sounds like fun! I’ll follow it up. It made me think of Bullet Blogging. Could I try that??? Is that even a thing? It is now. Here goes: The hunt for a country house continues. We’ve seen millions (well, that’s how it feels).…

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News from the house hunt, and ‘where to from here?’ for this blog

You know how I used to have a blog called Baxter Street? Well I did. It was more personal that this blog. For 2018 I’ve decided to combine the best of Baxter Street with the best of Girl & Duck. Which means sometimes I’ll bang on about personal stuff that might not interest you. Other…

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How I started an online business. And accidentally created a thriving community

I run a business. It’s called girl & duck. It feels weird to call it a business. I didn’t know you could love a business. But I do. I adore it. I’m obsessed with it. When I’m creating stuff for girl & duck, I’m in my genius zone. (Have you read that book? The one…

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The Key to Writing Great Stories

  People are always asking me, Jen, how do I make my writing shine? Jen, what will make my manuscript pop? Jen, what’s the one, single, best, top of the charts, CRACKERJACK thing that will make my stories sparkle? Weeeeell… Maybe it’s voice. Maybe it’s character. Maybe it’s originality, verve, heart. The list is like…

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The secret all good writers use (and no one talks about)

I used to have a studio at a Melbourne arts precinct. Funnily enough, mine was Studio 54. That might ring a bell for some of you. Doesn’t  matter. The fact is, my studio was a hub. People were always dropping by for a chat or a grizzle or a giggle. Most of them were other artists and writers.…

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