Pam And Kel’s Top Ten Books On Writing

Pam And Kel’s Top Ten Books On Writing

In Episode 10, So This Is Christmas Part 1, we chatted about our favourite books on writing. Here they are, in no particular order. Turns out there are exactly 10. We could add to it but ten is a nice round number so here we go …




Pam’s Faves


Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Books On writing, Writing Down The Bones, @w4wpodcast


All about writing practice, letting go of fear and  freewriting. Natalie is a buddhist and has some great writing exercises here for beginning writers and for experiences writers wanting to get back to basics. One of the first books I bought on writing and still well loved.


The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron



Books On Writing, The Artist's Way, @w4wpodcast


The book that, along with the one above, got me started me writing. This is a must for any ‘artist’ (and aren’t we all?) and deals with all those issues that come up when we decide to spend time on our creative pursuits – fear, guilt, family, time, work … and more. Julia’s two must-do’s are ‘morning pages’ (three hand written pages as soon as you wake up) and a weekly ‘artist’s date’. Both are designed to fill the creative well and tap into the ideas and emotions lurking in our subconscious.This is one I come back to again and again. There’s also a website with an online course and a range of other books full of the author’s wisdom on creativity and writing.


The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass


Books On Writing, The Emotional Craft Of Fiction, @w4wpodcast


In fact, anything by Donald Maass! A Literary Agent who has turned his hand to books on writing, Maass passes on his knowledge of how to connect with readers on an emotional level in his latest how-to. I wouldn’t recommend this one to beginning authors as the concepts are quite tricky but if you’d like to tap into some of Maass’ wisdom try Writing The Breakout Novel, Fire In The Fiction or 21st Century Fiction. I’m a huge Maass fan and turn to his books each time I’m writing one of my own.


Revision and Editing by James Scott Bell


James Scott Bell, Books On Writing @w4wpodcast         James Scott Bell, Books On Writing, @w4wpodcast

Easy to use, full of great tips on editing and all the craft elements of writing. JSB has a whole range of books which are all wonderful! Write Your Novel From The Middle is another one i=of his I found really helpful.




How To Be A Writer: Who Smashes Deadlines, Crushes Editors And Lives In A Solid Gold Hovercraft
by John Birmingham


Books On Writing, How To Be A Writer, @w4wpodcast


Written in his usual wry, punchy style this one is a practical guide on how to get your book written and published. Chapter headings include Find Your Voice, Kick Self Doubt In The Dick, Write 10,000 Words A Day and Pimp Your Book. The week I bought this book i read it from cover to cover and wrote 14,000 words in 6 days. Maybe I should read it again!



Kel’s Faves

On Writing by Stephen King


Books On Writing, On Writing, @w4wpodcast


An oldie but a goodie and a must-have for any writer’s shelf. King details how he became a writer and shares his wisdom on becoming one. His ‘writer’s toolbox’ gives writers a fantastic run-down on what you need in your metaphorical toolbox. This is one you will come back to again and again. Pam loves it too!


Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert


Books On Writing, Big Magic, @w4wpodcast


The best book on writing by anyone in recent years .Liz tackles all the big questions around fear and doubt, weaves in stories about her own experiences as a writer and generally inspires. Her theory on how stories are out there in the universe waiting to be told is truly magical. Another double choice!


Story Genius by Lisa Crohn


Books On Wriring, Story Genius, @w4wpodcast


The subtitle “How to use brain science to go beyond outlining and write a riveting novel (before you waste 3 years writing 327 pages that go nowhere)” really says it all. Cron uses brain science to navigate to abyss between panting and plotting and leads you through the steps from idea to finished novel.


Rae’s Pick


The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi


Books On Writing, The Emotion Thesaurus, @w4wpodcast


These authors have struck gold with their range of thesaurus’ for writers which can all be found at along with a heap of other writing resources. The Emotion Thesaurus is a huge help in the quest to show not tell and along with the others, (including the brand new A Writer’s Guide To Psychological Trauma) will help you create characters and writing readers want to devour.


Hope you find something to add to your bookshelf. 

We’d love to hear about your favourite books on writing. Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page






Love Your Sister:  A Brother & Sister Who Created A Village To Fight Cancer

Love Your Sister: A Brother & Sister Who Created A Village To Fight Cancer

In episode 11 of the W4W podcast Kel discusses “Love Your Sister” on What’s Cool With Women. The amazing cancer fighting and fundraising village created by brother and sister team, Connie and Samuel Johnson. Or as they affectionately called each other when Connie was alive, Connie Cottonsocks and Sammy Seal.



Love Your Sister, @w4wpodcast


A year or 2 ago Kel came across the story of a tenacious, determined woman, Connie Johnson who had failed to listen to an instinct that said the doctors were wrong when she was diagnosed 3 times with mastitis. Instead of listening to that wise voice in her head that said something was wrong, like most of us women and mothers, she was busy and tired and just pushed it down deep inside as something to deal with later.


Love Your Sister, @w4wpodcast


By the time later came, Connie was in the fight for her life against the current number 1 killer of women. Breast Cancer. A fight she ultimately lost but not before creating an entire cancer fighting community, raising well $7 million dollars and lobbying governments. Connie left this world having created a legacy whose vibrations will ripple through generations of women. But the most important messages Connie wanted women to get was:

  • LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS – if you think something or a diagnosis is wrong get it checked. There is no harm in getting it wrong but the weeks or months of delaying if you aren’t could be the difference between life and death. If you need support doing this join the Love Your Sister village on facebook. They will help you find the confidence to listen to your gut, talk to doctors and face your fears.
  • CHECK YOUR BREASTS LADIES! Regularly check those boobs properly. Don’t do what Kel did for years and put your head in the sand thinking it’s better not to know. It is NOT better not to know. Make sure you check them every month in the shower. The older you are the more You should check them. Below is the breast check guide that is on the Love Your Sister website. Please print it out and follow it. Early detection is the only prevention against this ferocious beast.


Love Your Sister, @w4wpodcast


You can check out Connie story at or via their Facebook page @loveyoursister.

Here you will also find the very funky Love Your Sister marketplace which sells the coolest bibs and bobs. They sell Sammy Seal and Connie Cottonsocks socks…including rainbow coloured in honour of the YES vote. There are the cutest Sammy Seal and Connie Cottonsocks pens which look like a little Sammy and Connie and double as a smart phone pen and eraser as well as a normal everyday pen. These are great for the kids. And for those moments when you ain’t got no Bleeps left to give in life, you can always pick up a very cooly designed Little Box of F*#@ks. Everything is affordable and all the money raised goes directly to cancer research. And I mean directly. These guys have set up a model which means the money is going where it counts, where it will make the most impact in the future. (Pens and Box of Bleeps featured in pic below)

So head on over to Love Your Sister and join their global village in the fight against cancer and together let’s take it down like Weinstein.


Love Your Sister, @w4wpodcast


THIS POST WAS MEANT TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO BUY STOCKING FILLERS FROM THE LOVE YOUR SISTER MARKET FOR CHRISTMAS BUT THEY CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE CHRISTMAS ORDERS!!!! As you can see from the letter we received with our order, they have had over $1million worth of orders through the Market this past month and cannot take anymore. You can still buy from the market anytime just not in time for Christmas now. Please keep it in mind for next year.




Best Holiday Reads This Christmas – What’s Hot In Books

Best Holiday Reads This Christmas – What’s Hot In Books

With Mandi McIntosh from Book Bazaar Umina Beach

Following on from our recent Writes4Women Minisode and Facebook Live experiment below is the complete list of books and authors recommended by Mandi in our Holiday Reading Recommendations bonus ep. A little something for women of every age and stage. Enjoy!


Mandi’s Best Holiday Reads:


Storyland by Catherine McKinnon

Storyland, Best Reads This Christmas, @w4wpodcast’s Best Reads for Women:


Tin Man by Sarah Winman

Tinman, Best Reads This Christmas, @w4wpodcast


Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend

Nevermoor, Best Reads This Christmas, @w4wpodcast


The Call by Peadar O’Guilin
The Call, Best Reads This Christmas, @w4wpodcast


A Galaxy Of Her Own by Libby Jackson

A Galaxy Of Her Own, Best Reads This Christmas, @w4wpodcast


The Book Of Dust by Philip Pullman

The Book Of Dust, Best Reads This Christmas, @w4wpodcast


Thornhill by Pam Smy

Thornhill, Best Reads This Christmas, @w4wpodcast


Happy Reading!




Our Top 5 Writing Retreat Picks For 2018

Our Top 5 Writing Retreat Picks For 2018

In Episode 6 we had a great chat about writing retreats and why you should consider going on one. If you missed our discussion you can pop over and listen here or on iTunes here

Here’s a quick re-hash of why you should treat yourself to a writing retreat in 2018:

  • Spoil yourself with some time out to do what you love. You deserve it!
  • Spend time with like-minded people.
  • Make connections and friendships that could last a life-time.
  • Find a potential support network for your writing.
  • Immerse yourself in your craft and learn new writing techniques.
  • Give your writing brain some space and a fresh perspective.
  • Return home totally inspired and ready to write/revise that book.

That pretty much covers it but if you can think of any others do let us know!

So now we’ve convinced you, here’s out Top Five Picks For Writing Retreats in 2018.

  1. Revise To Publish Masterclass at Russley Rural Retreat, Segenhoe, NSW. April 20-22nd. Spend a weekend with your Writes4Women Co-Host Pamela Cook, author of five completed manuscripts. Pamela will be sharing what she’s learnt about writing, revising and the publishing industry in this not to be missed Masterclass at beautiful Russley. Places are strictly limited so be quick. Click the link for more information or email Pamela direct:


Revise To Publish Masterclass, Russley, @PamelaCookAU, @w4wpodcast


2. A Writing Retreat In Tuscany with Vanessa Carnevale

A week-long stay in an idyllic Tuscan setting. A 17th century villa with stunning views of Florentine hills, providing the perfect backdrop for a week of peaceful relaxation, writing and dining. Relax by the poolside with an intimate group of like-minded writers and a glass of Chianti or Prosecco and allow the inspiration to unfold.

What’s not to love?


Writing Retreat, Writing In Tuscany, @PamelaCookAU. @w4wpodcast

Sunset over the winding road with cypresses in Tuscany.


3. Peak Collaboration: Writing Group Fiction with Alice Campion

Alice Campion is four writers in one – the only group writing commercially-published fiction in the world.

Using the Alice Campions’ successful techniques, you will work within a small team to create a finished short work of collaborative fiction.

The vibrant natural and cultural world of the Himalayas should provide inspiring shared sights, sounds, experiences and characters that will resonate in your writing. The Alice process includes periods of both solitary and shared work, and whether you’re hiking, meditating or shopping in a bustling market, your mind will be collecting gems to bring back to the group. The process also includes lots of laughter and you may well forge deep creative bonds.

This is my dream retreat. How about you?


Writing Retreats, @PamelacookAU @w4wpodcast


4. WA Writing Retreat with Natasha Lester

Natasha is one of our faves and a fantastic facilitator. If you live in the west of Australia this is one you should check out.

‘Would you like to go away for a long weekend and concentrate solely on your writing? Would it make that time even better if you had the help of a published writer to guide and teach you, as well as a group of like-minded souls to talk to about the ups and downs of the writing journey? If that sounds like your idea of heaven, then keep reading!’


writing retreats, @PamelaCookAU, Natasha Lester, @w4wpodcast


5. Commercial Fiction Signature Masterclass with Fiona McIntosh

Fiona McIntosh is one of Australia’s best selling authors. Her Masterclasses are highly sought after and ‘designed to propel writers from simply talking about the novel they want to write, to confronting the task, doing the hard yards and finding the courage to submit their manuscript for consideration of publication. The aim is to offer participants much more than just creative advice.’

Places are filling fast for Fiona’s 2018 classes.


writing retreat, Fiona McIntosh, @w4wpodcast, @PamelaCookAU


Hope you get yourself on a retreat in 2018. If you do, be sure to let us know how it goes! 


Let’s Stop It At The Start – A Brilliant Anti-Violence Campaign We should All Get Behind

Let’s Stop It At The Start – A Brilliant Anti-Violence Campaign We should All Get Behind

A powerful anti-violence campaign aimed at stopping the cycle of violence before it begins.

There are not a lot of things the Australian Government is getting right at the moment so the new campaign to stop violence against women where it begins and create change on a generational level, is a big gulp of fresh mountain air and we applaud them.

Given that in this country right now 1 woman a week is killed by her intimate partner, 1 in 3 women will experience physical violence from a man in their lifetime and 1 in 5 will experience sexual violence, this campaign is everything. It finally takes what experts and women have been saying for the last decade seriously. That the behaviour, language and attitudes which lead to sexual and domestic violence are manifested and reinforced throughout childhood. This campaign aims to change it before it begins by changing the words we use and the messages we reinforce around our kids everyday.


Let's Stop It At The Start, @w4wpodcast, @PamelaCookAU


It highlights that when we brush off small instances of violence by boys against girls in childhood, by dismissing them with phrases like “oh don’t worry about it, he just likes you” or “boys will be boys” or “don’t make a fuss,” we disempower our girls from setting boundaries and standing up against disrespectful behaviour, whilst empowering our boys with a sexist entitlement over women and their bodies. This also happens every time we dismiss behaviour and language that belittles and demeans girls or what it means to be a girl by turning it into an insult with phrases like “stop being such a girl,” or “you throw like a girl”.

These responses and reactions are so ingrained in our society and in ourselves that we don’t even notice we are doing or saying them most of the time, they just fall out of us without a second thought. Until something like this campaign makes the oblivious blindingly obvious. Like a big, bright neon sign flashing “it all starts here”. THAT is exactly what the respect campaign aims to be…the nasty sign that wakes us all up to what we’ve been doing wrong for decades by showing us how we can so easily fix it for the generations to come. Just like with seatbelts and sunscreen and smoking.

Check out the clever ad below then go to the website to see exactly what I’m talking about (then come back and finish the blog post)!







The best thing about this is whole campaign is the The Excuse Interpreter which can be found on the website. This genius document breaks down the common harmful phrases we use with kids as they grow up and translates them into the messages our kids are receiving through the words they hear. The website says the purpose of The Excuse Interpreter, is to “discover the hidden meanings of common expressions that can excuse disrespectful behaviour towards girls.”

Because if we stop excusing, dismissing and condoning the wrong language and behaviour in our boys, then perhaps they will have a shot at growing into men who act and speak with respect. And perhaps our girls and women won’t need to be so scared as they walk through the world everyday.


Let's Stop It At The Start, @w4wpodcast, @PamelaCookAU


This resource is vitally important for anyone who is around, caring for or influencing kids. Please pass this onto any parents, teachers, grandparents, carers etc that you know. A campaign like this can only make a real impact if everyone knows about it and gets on board. Help make this world a little safe for the next generations of women by sharing the info around.