New Members Guide

GCWA Meeting

Book Launch

As a member of the Gold Coast Writer’s Association (GCWA) you are entitled, and encouraged by the association, to launch your new book with us. We do, however, insist all members adhere to the following guidelines.

  • Only current financial members of the GCWA can hold book launches at GCWA meetings.
  • An outline of the proposed launch must accompany each application for approval by the committee. The GCWA committee reserves the right to reject any application it deems inappropriate.
  • Book launches must not exceed the given time limit of 15 minutes.
  • We suggest you structure your launch as follows:
    • Introduction – talk about your book and why you came to write it. GCWA members and guests are interested in the writer’s journey.
    • A short reading – perhaps read an excerpt, then discuss it briefly before moving on to the next reading. To help you present your reading naturally and to prevent exceeding the time limit, we suggest rehearsing and  timing this beforehand.
    • Question time – save some information just in case there are no questions, use something that may prompt questions to be asked.
    • Books sales – at the end of the launch tell the audience the price of your book and that you will be signing copies at the back of the room after the meeting (this is optional).

GCWA Membership Benefits - Book Launch

Tips to help you achieve a successful book launch:

  • Rehearse your talk and your readings well in advance of your launch. Know your product well so you can present your book in a professional manner and answer any questions.
  • For readings, choose excerpts that are interesting and keep them short. Try not to read in a monotone, add a little drama to your speech if possible. You need to arouse your audiences’ interest and keep them interested throughout your talk.
  • Decide whether you will use the lectern with the microphone on the stand or whether you will hold the microphone and move around the stage. Remember, even with the microphone you will need to project your voice to the back of the room. Practice speaking in front of family and friends to get some feedback.
  • You will be provided space on a table at the back of the room to display your books (normally one table is reserved for the guest speaker and the book launch to share). Arrive at 1:25pm so you are set up prior to members and guests arriving allowing them the opportunity to browse. Be approachable and smile, smile, smile.
  • If you have any promotional materials such as posters, flyers, bookmarks, business cards or items relevant to the book set them on display with your books.
  • Make sure you have some spare cash to use as change, and have a receipt book just in case someone requires a receipt.
  • Display the cost of your book and consider offering a discount on the day as part of your launch.
  • Enjoy the day and aim to sell lots of books, but remember that getting the word out there about your book may reap greater rewards in the future than the sales you make on the day.

Book Promo

Members may give a short talk about one of their books at a GCWA meeting. Unlike a book launch, this does not need to be a new book.


  • Time limit – strictly 5 minutes.
  • One mini book promo per meeting as per availability.
  • Places must be booked with the President at last one month prior to the meeting.
  • See book launch tips on talking about your book for ideas.

Book Sales

GCWA Membership Benefits - Book SalesMembers may sell their books at meetings by prior arrangement.


  • Bring along some marketing materials, eg. flyers, bookmarks, order forms or business cards.
  • Offer a discount on the day to boost your sales.
  • Display your book Sales Sheet in  a frame.


  • One half table space will be made available to display and sell your books.
  • You must contact the president at least one week prior to the meeting to reserve a place.
  • You must be a current financial member to sell your books so please make sure you do not allow your membership to lapse.

Note: If your book is listed on please let us know and we will add it to our online bookshop on this website.

 Creative Seminars

We regularly hold creative seminars with some of Australia’s finest facilitators.

Members will be notified of all upcoming events via the newsletter and email.


The GCWA’s newsletter eWriteabout is available exclusively to members.

eWritebout is produced monthly from February to December.

Members are invited to submit articles, books reviews, news and other items of interest for publication in the newsletter.


Open Mike 

GCWA Membership Benefits - Open Mike SessionsPeriodically the GCWA will hold Open Mike sessions at meeting where members may come up on stage and share a piece of their writing or talk about their writing experiences.

This is a great opportunity to share your writing with your peers, to gain confidence speaking to an audience, and to get some feedback on your presentation skills.


  • Open Mike sessions will be notified on the website and in the newsletter. Places must be booked with the President at last two weeks prior to the meeting.
  • Time limit – strictly 3 minutes only.


Members are recognised for their contribution to the association annually with the Andy McDermott Annual Achievement Award.

Members who have published books are recognised on our published author list.

Members’ websites are listed on our members sites page.

Members are profiled in our featured member monthly interviews on the website and in the newsletter.

Members’ achievements are recognised in the newsletter.

Committee Opportunities – Step Into Empowerment

by Angelika Heurich

GCWA Membership Benefits - CommitteeI have come to realise the potential that is available to us when we decide to step out of our comfort zone and into something new. The satisfaction and growth this offers us is quite amazing.

One of the avenues that has offered me this kind of growth is participating at the “front end” of clubs, organisations and other groups. It is something I have done for many years, but I never stop learning new skills, meeting new people and having a great time.

I encourage you to take that step outside your comfort zone and give it a go. Organisations  such as the Gold Coast Writers need the people who will make it happen to step forward and take an active role.

Even if you have never before been part of a committee, you will find this an exhilarating and empowering experience that offers you the opportunity to develop your skills, while contributing to the continued growth of the organisation.

Start out by taking on something that resonates with you, no matter how big or small. It may be as a general committee member or as coordinator for a one-off event. Then again you may wish to really get your teeth into it and take on a bigger role.

Whatever it is you would like to contribute, every person creates the whole and one of my favourite sayings is “It takes teamwork to make the dream work”.

So I urge you to consider taking an active interest in the running of an organisation and have a look at the variety of positions available as we head towards our new committee year for the Gold Coast Writers. I promise you, it will be a great experience.

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