My First PAID Speaker Gig!

On Saturday I spoke to a welcoming crowd at the Gold Coast Writers Association.
The topic? … My dual passionsmental health and creative writing and the parallel journey they’ve taken me over the last five years.

Back in January, Jeannie Barker, president of GCWA invited me to choose any meeting date in 2010 to speak to her throng.
I randomly plucked the 16th October from the calendar. Little did I know then, that date would later synchronize with Queensland Writers Week, Logan Writers Week and Mental Health Week all of which were unknown to me back then.

I addressed an enthused audience of 60 writers. When my jelly wobble knees stabilized and my voice stopped quivering, I injected humour into my speech.
The more they laughed, the more I ad-libbed, deviating from the original prepared spiel.
What a blast we had!

My parting words were more serious …

“My ultimate dream is to see ME AND HER: a Memoir of Madness published, to share my positive message of hope and triumph throughout the community. Who would have guessed five years ago, in the depths of mania and despair that I would later forge a writing career? My burning passions for creative writing and mental health have now merged, lifting me up, giving me a new life, a new purpose.”

Thanks to Lynne Carol Green for tipping me off last night …
Last Saturday morning Kim Dennison of ABC Coast FM radio plugged my GCWA talk on her ‘Whats On’ segment, describing me as “an up-and-coming writing celebrity … a mover-and-shaker in the writing community.” … Who me? … The only thing moving and shaking were my knees.

Thank you ABC Coast FM for the rap! … Oh my God! …*blush*

Now I just have to convince a few Publishers that a fraction of this is true. LOL.

My display at Gold Coast Writers Association

My display at Gold Coast Writers Association held at Burleigh Heads Library Hall

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16 comments to My First PAID Speaker Gig!

  • Sue

    Karen, you’ve had an amazing week. I’m so proud of you. Rest and recover this week before you plan your next step. xx

  • Gabriel

    Congratulations Karen! You have achieved so much and I’m sure you will continue to rise to even greater heights!

  • Thanks so much Sue, I plan to write in the mornings and relax and read in the afternoons :))

  • Thanks Gabriel, I really appreciate your support. Love to take a Published copy of my book/s to school for Show and Tell one day :))

  • Congratulations Karen,

    Sounds like it went really well.

    Hope you get to take your published book to Show and Tell one day soon:)

  • Hi Dee, In the past I’ve been a bit nervy when I’m speaking. But introducing the Authors this week during the festival gave me confidence. Yesterday at the Gold Coast writers I was the most relaxed I’ve ever been. I was able to crack a few funnies.

  • Steph L

    Was great to finally meet you and hear you in person. Can’t wait to see your books published so i can buy them for mine and my girls enjoyment.

    Mover and a shaker – woohooo! (see the nervous knocking knees can come in hand when moving and shaking)

    Next time you don’t like being up on stage, take control and take yourself down to the floor level (even better if the mike can go with you).

    I saw a lady writing stuff down at the back of the room and asked her if she had to do paperwork (as in GCWA admin) but she said she was critiquing the guest speaker. So maybe it was the ABC lady?


  • Hi Stephanie, I had no idea you were coming so I was so shocked to see you :)) I know nothing about the lady doing a “critique” but sounds intriguing … Could be for GCWA website?? The ABC Coast Radio thing was announced at 10.30 am that morning to entice people to the GCWA that day, so not connected. Hope we cross paths again :))

  • Joanna Gaudry

    Wow! Way to go, Karen! That ABC Coast Radio plug is amazing. Congratulations! Lovely seeing you again last week, and thanks for the hospitality at your house. You’ll have to head over my way some day. Call me any time. Bye for now, Joanna :))

  • Oooh Thanks, Joanna. Their plug took my breath away. Lovely catching up with you too. I’ll head to the city in a few weeks to meet up with you. Some urgent writing projects are calling me first :))

  • Steph L

    PS if i had known you were getting paid I would have followed you into the loo to ask more questions! lol.

  • Hi Steph, the president of GCWA books writer speakers a year in advance. I’m so lucky that she chose me and the date “chose me” too.

  • Graham Clements

    Well done. Public speaking, yuck. But it is something all authors, unless they are absolutely brilliant writers who sell heaps, have to do.

  • Hi Graham, I actually enjoyed speaking this time. And I’m seeking out more speaking engagements in the future.
    My friend who listened to me introduce speakers during Logan writers week, said she noticed an improvement each time I spoke during that week. So I’m grateful of the opportunities … Karen :))

  • Lexie Mitchell

    You are a mover and a shaker, Karen. You work very hard and you deserve all your successes.

  • Thanks Lexie, for saying that. I agree I’m working very hard to get published. I hope and pray I’ll realise this dream soon. Karen :))

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