Conflux 14 is thrilled to bring you an exciting program of workshops on a range of different aspects of writing, editing or illustrating speculative fiction.

There are limited places for our workshops, so you need to pre-register for them (you can register now through trybooking:

Registration is on a “first come, first serve” basis – once the workshop is full registrations close, although you are welcome to join the reserve list in case of cancellation (please include your mobile telephone number). You can do this when you join, at registration at the con or by emailing

Please note, there may be an additional cost for some workshops (payment can be made on the day or through trybooking registration: Memberships.) Costs (if any) and what you need to bring will be detailed below in the Workshop list.

Saturday 29 September

Time Workshop Title & Presenter Description
9.30am-11.30am Interactive Fiction
Felicity Banks

Free to con attendees

Interactive fiction is a surprisingly lucrative creative field as readers turn to their phones for choose-a-path adventures. Learn about how to write interactive fiction without melting your brain; some of the writerly conventions; and the main tools for non-programmers to use.
1.30pm-3.30pm Writing the Other
Gillian Polack

$25 for all participants

This is a step-by-step guide to understanding how who we are and how we see ourselves affects how we write “the Other” in our fiction. It will help you see in what ways your alien looks human, like a human with a rubber mask or genuinely alien. It will also help you see how your own background plays a critical role in your creation of the Other, and how this can lead to both wonders and problems.

This workshop draws on Gillian’s current research into how we embed culture into novels and how we use them to share culture that is so very close to us that we don’t always see it as culture or understand how our readers interpret it.

3.45pm-5.45pm Writing the Best Scene Ever
Rob Porteous

$25 for all participants

We’ll dissect the anatomy of scenes to see how they tick and then put them back together again, but better.

The focus of the workshop is to discover the true purpose of a scene and how to achieve that in ways that will lift your writing to the next level!

Plus. all participants will receive a free copy of the CSFG’s Spec-fic Novel Writing Masterclass – The Book of Lore written by Rob.

Sunday 30 September

Time Workshop Title & Presenter Description
9.30am-11.30am Braving the query swamp
Sam Hawke
EJ Beaton
Freya Marske

Free to all con attendees

Australian fantasy writers Sam Hawke and EJ Beaton will take you through the ins and outs of querying agents in the big overseas markets including:

  • why you might want an o/s agent
  • finding the right agents to query
  • how to prepare the all-important submission package
  • examples of successful queries
  • How not to go made in the trenches
  • what to do once you get an offer
12.30pm-2.30pm Creating colourful characters
Kaaron Warren

Free to all con attendees


Join award-winning writer Kaaron Warren in this unique creative experience. You will have access to the treasures of the Green Shed, chosing and even dressing up in costume if you wish, before using it as inspiration for a piece with Kaaron guiding you all the way.

1.30pm-3.30pm Mapping in Science Fiction and Fantasy
Russell Kirkpatrick

Free to all con attendees

This isn’t mapping like your parents knew. This is mapping for the new kinds of spec fic out there.

There’s been a revolution in cartography in the last thirty years – but none of it has made it to spec fic. Yet. Come and learn how you can make maps to enhance your novel.

Maps that inform. Maps that deceive. Maps that add colour and meaning. Maps integral to the story.

Russell is a professional cartographer and fantasy novelist.

3.45pm-5.45pm Demystifying the editing process
Abigail Nathan

Free to all con attendees

Whether you’re planning to self-publish or hoping to work with a traditional publisher, chances are you’re going to end up working with an editor – but what does that actually involve?
This workshop covers:
 What an editor does (and why you need one)
 The different types of editing
 How to get your manuscript (and yourself) ready for editing
 What the editing process looks like
 Tools and resources
 How to find and hire your own editor (including cost estimates).
This will also include a Q&A session, so come armed with your questions about editing and

Monday 1 October

Time Workshop Title & Presenter Description
9.30am-11.30am Plotting
Katie Taylor

Free to all con attendees

There’s a difference between ‘plot’ and ‘things happening’… but what is it? How do you keep a story moving along a a decent clip – when is it the right time to slow things down, and when should you pick up the pace? What’s the difference between a plot and a subplot? Should you write out a plan, or fly by the seat of your pants?
Join local author K.J.Taylor and find out!
9.30am-11.30am The Hallmarks of Heroism
Louise Pieper

Free to all con attendees

A session looking at reader expectations in different genres to understand how to create compelling protagonists and antagonists. Participants will consider what makes a great hero or villain in sci-fi, fantasy, horror, romance etc. There will be writing exercises around character strengths and flaws.
1.30pm-3.30pm Writing fight scenes for women
Aiki Flinthart

Free to all con attendees

With more and more ‘kickass’ female protagonists appearing in genre fiction, it’s essential authors know how to write authentic fight scenes for them. Writing what you see in movies won’t cut it because a real fight isn’t like what’s on screen. Use this workshop to learn not only how to write scene that feels, sounds, tastes and smells real to the reader, but to understand the differences between how men and women fight. And how they react, physiologically and psychologically, before, during and after the event.