I had a fabulous couple of hours out of the house sans children yesterday, attending my first writing workshop. Hosted by the ACT Writers Centre, the short story workshop was run by Australian author Craig Cormick, who took us through what elements constitute great short stories. He also talked about the difference between stories that win competitions and those that are published by literary magazines and journals. He had some great writing exercises for us to do, as well as some excellent examples of short stories that exemplified the points he was making. I think all participants got something out of the workshop - I certainly did. I look forward to putting some of what I learned into practice. I have no doubt it will make my writing stronger and more real.
Something else that will help me learn the craft is the Sleepers Almanac. Or almanacs, as I ordered not only the current edition from Sleepers Publishing, but also the previous three editions. The almanac is an anthology of emerging Australian writing talent. I know what I'll be reading for the foreseeable future! I just have to remember to read as a writer as well as a reader :)