Just under two years ago, I knew no one who had published a novel. I wanted to improve my writing and publishing contacts so I joined Writers Victoria and the Monash Writers’ Group. One of the Monash Writers, Katherina Fares had a book launch for her novel View from a Barred Window last weekend, which I enjoyed going to. The photo below was taken at the launch (I’m in the middle). What amazes me is that out of the seven people in the photo only one hasn’t published a story, at least not yet (they will likely publish their first story later this year). I’m proud to say that all these people have become my friends. Over the last two years they have been a great source of inspiration and advice, and have introduced me to my editor, helped me get my book into libraries, told me when I’ve headed down the wrong path and helped me get published. So my advice to people who want to write stories is to get involved in your writing community, you never know who you’ll meet or what opportunities it presents.