Brisbane Writers Festival – Maggie Stiefvater

OK, so the highlight of this year’s Brisbane Writer’s Festival for me was today’s master class with Maggie Stiefvater (anyone who’s ready my Other Worlds blog knows how much I enjoy and appreciate her work).

Not just because it’s always exciting to meet a favourite writer (and find out she’s extremely likable in person), but because Maggie had some insightful and interesting things to say about writing and –  in particular – how to get to the end of the story.

I’ve got a good idea of where I’m going with The Rephaim, but I’ll always jump at the chance to learn from experienced authors.  I was keen to hear what Maggie had to say about plotting and delivering a story – especially over multiple books.

The two-hour session was choc-ful of great tips and advice. There were a lot I could relate to, and a few things I needed to be reminded about (e.g the importance of every setting having meaning in the story). But what resonated most with me was Maggie’s comment on knowing the “whatness” of a story. What is the core of the story? What am I trying to achieve? (And does every scene get me closer to achieving that? It’s a no-brainer when you think about it, but it’s easy to lose sight of that sometimes when bogged down in character and plot development.

For me, Maggie delivered the master class like a seasoned presenter – lots of energy, interesting, relevant content, plenty of humour, and some lovely insights into her own process and experiences as a writer. I’d go as far as to say it’s my favourite BWF session in the six years’ I’ve been going to the festival.

So, yes, I may have a book deal, but I’m still a geek fan at heart. 🙂


  1. paulaweston says:

    Yeah, I love her books too. I’ve read both series (Lament and Ballad were good, but she definitely hit her stride with the Wolves of Mercy Falls) and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does with the upcoming Scorpio Races.

  2. T.F.Walsh says:

    The workshop sounds awesome… I love Maggie Stiefvater… so jealous

  3. paulaweston says:

    Yes Charmaine, so many fantastic writing events to go to in Brisbane these days. You’ll love it! I’m so glad CYA was all you hoped it would be.

  4. That would have been a great workshop! Can’t wait until next year’s festival, I’ll be living back in Brissie and can attend many more workshops. CYA Conference was a blast 🙂
    Wagging Tales – Blog for Writers

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About Me

I’m the author of the Rephaim series and The Undercurrent.

For my day job, I’m a writer-journalist-professional communicator, where my writing involves a lot less profanity.

I grew up in regional South Australia and now live in the Scenic Rim with my husband and a retired greyhound.

If you’re interested in how I came to land a publishing deal, you can read the short version in this post from August 2011. There’s a longer version (in a guest post) here.

Paula Weston

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