We have met every Monday since 1996 in Blackwood a suburb in the hills above Adelaide South Australia to read and critique members' writings with the aim of getting published

Original writers group poster

The Orginal Poster

The poster was placed in my bookshop window sometime earlier in August 1996. The year is not mentioned; everybody reading it would've known.

Why Books with Connections? Two computers connected it to the internet is why. An iterenet cafe with books instead of coffee.

Not the most creative name, nor the best ad for a would-be-writers considering how the line above "Science Fiction & Fantasy" reads but if anybody noticed they didn't say.

The result was overwhelming. According to my afterword in Tesselation, written 3 years later, we got 12 starters 9 of whom were writing SF. No photo or record of the event has been found - yet.

Twelve would-be-writers cramped into my tiny bookshop and despite what the poster said "to discuss venue, times and format" most came with a story ready to read;


And the rest as they say is history of which there is a lot more to come before we reach our 4th anthology "Out of their Minds"

Original writers group poster

The Original Venue

Note the contacts in the fine print.

It must be said that without Edna it would never have happened. Enda, who had previously run a writers group in Queensland, provided the impetus.

Enda, however, was not a fan of Science Fiction & Fantasy. To paraphrase Edna 'they're the ones at asleep at the back.' Nor was she a member, seeing herself as an encourager.

My bookshop didn't last. As and ex-tech come IT nerd with a passion for writing I liked the idea of a bookshop but had no head for business.

Edna then rented rooms at the Blackwood Railway Station to host multiple writing groups. For several reasons it didn't suit the bookshop members. BWG emerged and thrived, a two bob operation, Rob B and Rob S (myself and Robert N Stephenson.)
rb Aug 2023