Guest blog post by Fikret Pajalic
Last night I attended a short story workshop at Caroline Springs library as part of Melton of Shire ArtBeat Festival. The presenter and this year’s Writer in Residence was Archie Fusillo.
I normally avoid these types of affairs as I have learnt the hard way that there are a stack of 'writers' out there peddling all sorts of workshops and presentations that have very little value or even less basis in current publishing industry.
After some persistent urging by my wife to go and attend I went. Plus it was close by. I was pleasantly surprised when off the bat Archie established his writing credentials.
It is always good to know that presenter of the workshop is not a hack. In the past I attended workshops where the presenter in question had less writing experience or achievements than me and mine are almost none. And we all know how the Internet can be very deceitful. In Archie's case he came with truckload of books with his name on it, a physical proof of his success.
Archie is a well known and established writer who has been making a living from writing for the past 14 years and that in itself is a great achievement in anyone's book. He's an extremely engaging and charismatic presenter and full of little anecdotes and life stories. His story about his first rejection letter is an absolute cracker and if you ever attend one of his workshops and he doesn't mention it, ask him about. You won't be disappointed.
In almost two hours he covered all the basics of what a short story should be, using both visual and written material combined with pitch perfect delivery and precise presentation skills. He had a great rapport with the group and he got a feel for the group from the beginning and we were like kittens drinking milk from his palm. (Probably inadequate analogy but that's how I felt.)
He shared with us that he has more than 800 rejections and that made me admire his dedication to the craft of writing even more.
If Archie Fusillo ever comes to a place near you or if you hear that he is holding a workshop I thoroughly recommend you go and see him. You will not be disappointed. I walked away very happy and would go to his workshops again.
I'd like to thank Archie for the great workshop, Melton Shire council and Caroline Springs Library for organising this magnificent event.