Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
10:00 am (Melbourne time / AEDT - convert to your timezone?)

Web and Flow

Crafting a Killer First Chapter

This event has already finished!

Given the modern array of entertainments that vie with books, and the rapidly growing number of authors able to reach their audiences directly through self-publishing and other digital means, it’s probably never been more critical to make your work irresistible from page one.

Explore the art of capturing an audience by gaining a deeper understanding of the critical functions of a first chapter. Gain insight into what professionals seek from your manuscript, as well as common failings, and learn techniques in the art of the hook – from bludgeoning the reader with murder and mayhem, to more subtle and nuanced ways authors create intrigue.

Learn exactly how long you have to snare an agent/editor’s attention.

Taking part in the conversation is publishing lecturer and author, Euan Mitchell, who also has experience as a senior editor, Paul Collins, author of The Jelindel Chronicles and The Quentaris Chronicles, as well as senior editor at Text Publishing, Jane Pearson, who last year edited the non-fiction award winner in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards (Australia). The panel is brought to you in partnership with Freshly Squeezed Reads, a website dedicated to emerging YA fiction, and as an accompaniment to its first chapter contest, #C1Blitz.



Have you crafted your killer first chapter?

Enter C1Blitz – YA writing comp

The YA fiction community is gathering at Freshly Squeezed Reads. Join writers, teen readers and industry in the new online competition, Chapter One Blitz (see the C1Blitz page for details), with winners to be featured in a book of first chapters.

C1Blitz exposes the work of emerging writers to teens and industry professionals, provides valuable feedback on these works, and kickstarts writers to build a profile as they explore their publishing options.

How do I attend this event?

You can attend all DWF events from home, using your own computer and web connection! DWF events will be livestreamed at

Event times are in Australian Eastern Daylight Time.
(Convert to your timezone)

Artists in this event:

Euan Mitchell

Dr Euan Mitchell is an author, editor, publisher and lecturer in professional writing. Originally a staff writer and commissioning editor for an independent educational publisher, Euan became a senior editor for a major publisher before he successfully self-published his first novel in 1998. Since then he has continued writing fiction and non-fiction books, both published and self-published, while helping writers from all walks of life launch their works into orbit. His latest book, originally commissioned by the Australian Society of Authors, is Your Book Publishing Options: How to Make and Market Ebooks and Print Books.

His website is

Jane Pearson

Senior editor at Text Publishing

Paul Collins

Paul Collins has written many books for young adults. He is best known for his fantasy and science fiction titles in The Jelindel Chronicles and The Quentaris Chronicles. The Earthborn Wars trilogy was published by Tor in the US.

Paul has many strings to his bow. He’s been an agent, publisher, writer and editor.

Paul has been short-listed for many awards and has won the Inaugural Peter McNamara, A Bertram Chandler, Aurealis and William Atheling awards.

Michelle Coleman

Panel moderator Michelle Coleman is a co-founder and administrator at Freshly Squeezed Reads, which links emerging and aspiring writers of YA fiction with industry professionals and teen readers. Her background is in news, and her freelance publication history includes features in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. She’s worked for Fairfax Community Network, the Spectator-Observer Partnership and The Cairns Post. She is finalizing two manuscripts for young adults, including one set against the backdrop of the Melbourne gangland war

Vicki Renner

Vicki is co-founder and administrator of Freshly Squeezed Reads and has worked in publicity, marketing and communications in publishing and local government. She has completed the first book in her Boudica’s Daughters trilogy, a YA series based on the famed warrior queen. This novel was chosen by Text Publishing to receive Varuna Publishers’ Fellowship award. She is currently working on the second book of the trilogy along with two children’s books and a Middle Grade series.

Belinda Crawford

Belinda is co-founder and administrator of Freshly Squeezed Reads. An IT graduate, she has worked in website design and development, desktop publishing and film editing. In 2011 she extended her passion for reading into writing. Belinda’s first book, Hero, the first book in The Hero Rebellion, will be published by Odyssey Books. She is currently working on the second book in the series and is the driving force behind the Freshly Squeezed website.