Woorilla: From Writers in the Dandenongs

This is the journal of the Woorilla Writers Society. Convened in the 1980s by Maria Millers in her home in Ferny Creek called Woorilla. I haven’t found whether they’re still going but as of last year there was a Woorilla Poetry Prize still being awarded to poets of excellence. It seems promising that the Worrilla Writers Society is possibly still continuing. I’ll be handing this magazine to a writing friend who lives in the area, it’ll be interesting to hear what she finds out.

Woorilla: From Writers in the Dandenongs Vol 2 No 3 1991

This magazine is very full. It is 56 pages densely populated with writing from 1991. The front cover and the illustrations give a visual flavour of the area, I’ve stayed in the Dandenongs on a number of occasions and this is what it feels like. The text populates my mind with more visualisations with various things including what the area is like. There is a good mix of non-fiction, fiction and poetry. I do apologise to the poets, though, I’m really not much for poetry and I’ve had to read so much for uni I’m currently overloaded with poetry – essentially, I skipped most of it. I did read all the fiction and non-fiction.

I loved this magazine. It’s made me want to know more about the area, I want more of these magazines and I want more local magazines from other local areas. It makes me wonder what sort of gems are currently in hiding somewhere because writers groups published only small runs and therefore the magazines never moved out of their areas. I’m trying not to think about a writers group in my own area as time is something I just don’t have.

Writers groups can be invaluable for emerging writers or even established writers. A good group can critique your writing and make it better. If you’re an established writer then teaching other people can make your writing better. Groups also give you a chance to get out of the house and socialise with like-minded people. It is possible that the first group you join doesn’t suit you, in which case you need to find another group and there are many across the country. I started one at uni back in 2016, we don’t do much writing but are firm friends. One lady came to one session then started her own on-line group, I joined that and it’s really worth my while. I get to socialise, I get to read other people’s works, I get critiques on my own writing. When I listen to their thoughts I find my writing gets ever so much better.

Socialising? Who need to socialise?

Writing is a solitary occupation. We spend a lot of time in our own heads and in front of the computer. Sometimes it’s really important to get out of your head and to speak to people. The people who understand us the most are other writers.

What I’m trying to say is that if you’re a writer do a google search or check out your local libraries and see if there’s a local writers group for you to join. You never know what might happen.