ROUND ROBINS (for full members only)

Several times a year there is a “ readability round robin” where a topic, title or theme is set with a word limit and a deadline. Entries are circulated to all members who critique using the criterion of readability.

Round Robin #73 - "SEASONS"

The challenge is to write a poem on the theme of "Seasons".  You can write about just one season - or 2, 3, or all 4 seasons -

or use the word "seasons" with a different meaning or in a different kind of way.  Your poem may rhyme - but it does not have to.  

Your poem may have a constant meter (rhythmic pattern) or may be "free verse".  Your poem may be divided into verses (stanzas) or may be just one verse.

The minimum length is 4 lines and the maximum length is 32 lines. Make up your own title.  he deadline is Monday 3 September.

Round Robin #72  - "The Bright Side"

The challenge is to write a short personal memoir about any time or incident in your life when you looked on the bright side.  The incident you describe may be something trivial

or something important. The point should be that you overcame the immediate instinct to be sad or to experience any other 'negative' emotion and instead chose or managed to look on

the bright side, to find the positive or even the humorous side.  Inspire us, if you can, entertain us with your story.

The suggested maximum word length is 1000 words and the suggestedminimum length is 500 words.  The deadline is Monday 11th June.  Entries should be sent to

Round Robin #71 - "Amazing"

The challenge is to write a story. It can be either fiction or fact.  If it is based on fact, whether a personal memoir or not, it must
be told in your own words.  The minimum length is 500 words and the maximum is 2000 words.

The deadline is Sunday 4 February.   Please email entries to:

Round Robin #70 - "Music, Music, Music!"

What is music? From where does it come?

Why and how does music affect us?

The challenge this time is to write about music in one or both of these 2 formats:

1. Write a poem that describes or encapsulates the essence of music.

Use any poetical style you wish, with no minimum or maximum number of words.

2. Write a memoir or personalised essay about music: the influences of music in your life,

and what you have learned or experienced from music. Maximum 1500 words, no minimum.

Please note you may enter both formats if you wish, or just one.

The deadline is Sunday 24 September.

Please email entries to:

Round Robin #69 - The Writing Bug

This Round Robin was particularly well supported with seven entries and five critiquers.

The challenge is to write a short memoir, on a particular theme:  When, and how did you catch the writing bug? Were you a child, a teen, an adult? Was it a particular book you read,

or perhaps an author who inspired you?  Was it a specific event in your life that made you want to write? Did it come to you in a flash, or was it as feeling that grew and grew?

These questions are really just prompts. Everyone has their own story to tell of how you decided you wanted to write. Tell us your story, your journey. Make up your own title.

Minimum length is 500 words and maximum length is 1500 words. If you can, write anonymously (that is, try not to reveal who you are!).  Make it interesting, make it enjoyable, and

the overall aim is - readability. 

The deadline is midnight, Sunday 25 June.  Please email your entry to

Round Robin #68 - The Seven Deadly Sins

The challenge of the round robin is to select 1 (one) deadly sin from the list of: Pride; Greed; Lust; Envy; Gluttony; Wrath; and Sloth,

 and use it as the theme of a fiction story; or a non-fiction essay or article;   or a memoir; or a poem.  If you wish you may use the chosen sin as

the title,  or you can create any title  you choose.

The maximum word count is 1500 words and there is no minimum.  The key element to enhance your writing should be: Readability!

The deadline for your entries is: midnight on 31 March 2017.  Entries should be emailed to:

Round Robin #67 - "It Must Be Love" - Song Lyrics

If song lyrics are not your thing, poetry, even if free verse, will also fit the criteria.  One easy way to write lyrics is to choose an existing tune and write your own words to

it.  If you do that, just preface your contribution with "Sung to the tune of ......".

Send submissions to by midnight Sunday November 27.

Round Robin #66

Open genre and form on the topic of  "Letting Go".  Max word length 1500 Words

Please send contributions to by midnight, Tuesday 27 September.

Round Robin #65

A Story about "A Challenge".  Fiction or Non Fiction, up to 1500 words.

2 Submissions, 2 Commenters.

Round Robin #64

A Poem "The Answer"

3 Submissions, 3 Commenters.

Contributions closed.  Please send critique to by midnight, Sunday June 12.

Round Robin #63

"Journeys".  Open genre and form, between 350 and 2000 words.

2 Submissions, 3 Commenters.

Round Robin #62

Up to 2000 words about "Love Misguided".

2 Submissions, 5 Commenters (circulated on March 7)

Round Robin #61

An up to 1000 word narrative about "A Life Changing Moment".  Due 15th November.

5 Submissions, comments circulated 17th Decemer.

Round Robin #60

A photo of ‘personal significance’ with a background story, either based on fact, or fictitious.

When commenting, members can give their opinion as to whether each contribution is fact or fiction, and the truth will be revealed later!

Result:  6 Submissions, comments circulated October 1.

Round Robin #59

A poem with a water theme (ie a reference to water plays a significant part in the poem).

Minimum length 100 words.

Result:  8 Submissions, comments circulated 9 August.

Round Robin #58

"A Conversation with a significant person"

in the form of a dialogue or script (ie not descriptive narrative).  Maximum of 1000 words..

And the aim, as always, is readability.

Round Robin #57

"A Secret" - written in any form, up to 1000 words.

Some of the major forms of writing are Autobiographys/Memoirs, Essays, Articles, Journals/Diaries, Letters, Plays, Poems, Song Lyrics, and Speeches.

Perhaps entrants prefer or can create another form of writing? (Although our convention has been to limit ourselves to the written word and to not venture

into graphic art.)

And the aim is, READABILITY.

Round Robin #56

A Short Story of up to 1000 words, about An Encounter With A Stranger.

Entry deadline: Sunday January 18.

Deadline for voting and comments: Sunday February 1.

Announcement of results: Thursday February 5.

Feb 5 Update:  4 Entries Received.  The winner, by the narrowest of margins from two other entries is Rogi with "DIGISLIP".

Round Robin #55

(1) A Poem with an Australian Historical Theme (no line limit); or

(2) A Short Story on a Theme of Travels Gone Wrong  (could be a comedy, a drama or even a thriller - 1000 Words Max).

Entries due midnight Sunday November 23, 2014.

Dec 6 Update:  4 Entries Received.  The winner is Paul with "The Mission of the Reverend William Ullathorne"

Round Robin #54

"A Mysterious Disappearance" 

For the first time all judges were of one mind as to which is the best entry for this round robin.

Congratulations to Paul for his story "A Mysterious Disappearance"

Round Robin # 53

 A character study of up to 1,000 words.

Out of Three Entries, the winner is Lynette with "Sylvia"

Round Robin #52


   A story on a fantasy theme of up to 500 words.

The winner is Rogi with "Fantastic Flight" 

Round Robin #51

A short story based on ‘a moment of discovery in  an Australian setting’ in up to 1500 words

Round Robin #50

Any subject or genre covered by Round Robins 1-49 with a limit of 1000 words.

Round Robin #49

A Letter.  Length to 1000 Words.  And the winner is:  Meryl, for "Dear Fred"

Perhaps there is an apology to make, or a feeling to be expressed?  Or the record needs to be straightened about events long past?  Or you want to sign a

resignation letter "yours sincerely" and mean it because what you have written does not skirt around the real reasons for your departure?

These are just some ideas.  What will you write about and to 
who?  Obviously it doesn't have to be based on your or any other person's actual

experiences.   We are also fiction writers after all.

Round Robin #48

The winner is Lynette with "Waking Up From the Dream"

The topic is "A Dream".  Any genre (short story, poem, article).  Also, any interprettation of the word "dream".  (What we have

when we are asleep of course, but also maybe what we aspire to for our lives or perhaps something else).

No limitation on length.  Entries due Sunday night, February 3, 2013.

Round Robin #47

A Speech.  Length 400-1000 Words (2- 5 minutes when read aloud).

Deadline for entries is midnight on Sunday November 4.

The challenge is to write a speech. It can be on any topic that arouses some passion in you. It may be a current political or existing hot topic such as same-sex marriage, bringing troops home from the war, or banning cars from the CBD in favour of bicycles.   Or it could be on an ‘oddball’ topic such as “boys should be taught baby care as part of their school education”.  It may be a speech that you would make yourself, if offered a soapbox to stand on and a crowd to listen. Or, you can write the speech for a particular person or imaginary person to deliver to parliament, to make on TV, or to address an interest group of some kind.

The important element is that the speech should be short (maximum 5 minutes if reading it aloud), and should be written with passion, feeling, and a
determination to express a point of view. The speech should sound convincing, important and relevant in order to win audience support – so don’t hold back, use the power of words to win your audience and convince them to believe in your ideas.


Any speech, such as that which would be made at a social ocasion.

The aim, besides all the above, is: Readability!


Round Robin #46 

October 5 Update:  6 Entries Received.  Winner was Jan for "Eventide". 

Rogi's "journeys" and Lynette's "Berowra" were not far back in the field.

A poem.   Minimum length: 14 lines.  No maximum number of lines.



Round Robin #45  "A Short Story" - 

July 31 Update:  7 Entries Received.  The winner is  Rogi for "The boy who rode on a moth to the moon…".

A short story (must be fiction) - open theme, any genre.

Maximum 1000 words.


Round Robin #44  "A Definite Article".

May 4 Update:  4 Entries Received. The Winner was Alan for "Bob Carr: On the March?".  All entries recevied at least one first preference, and only two points separated second to fourth place.

The guidelines for this RR are detailed, please press HERE to view.


Round Robin #43  "Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma"

March 1 Update.  3 Entries Received.  The winner by the smallest of margins was Jan for "A Letter from Jerilderie".

                                                                                              New lyrics including optional chorus to a known melody/tune. 
                                                                              No limitation on length or song style (eg Country, Rock, Hymn, Nursery Rhyme).
                                                                                                              Entries due midnight Sunday February 5.  


Round Robin #42  "Love Story"

Nov 11 Update:  8 Entries received.  The clear winner was Julianne for "
The Kiss”.  In equal second 
place were Pam's “Letter to a Friend from a Disenfranchised Wife” and Ron's 

Minimum 400 words, maximum 1000 words.  Entries must be prose, not poetry.  Please make up your title to your story.  Story should be written as fiction, but can be based closely or loosely on real events.



Ideas for future Round Robins:

A story which is highly readable regardless of breaking all the "rules".

Round Robin #41

"The world as we don't know it..."

October 8 Update:  6 Entries received;  Les with "Too Close to the Sun" was the clear winner.  Maureen's  "The Lucky Country" and Meryl's "The Great Southland" were placed equal second.

The challenge: write a short fiction story, set in the present day, but in a world that is different to the world we know because an event in history did not happen, or had a different outcome.  For example, what if Germany won World War II, or what if Captain Cook did not discover Australia? What if Russia and USA destroyed each other with nuclear missiles in the 1960s?  You may use any of these ideas if you wish, or make up your own "alternate history". Either way, in your story the world must be different to the way we know it because of its different past.  But, be aware that your story does not need to focus on the historical event; the challenge is to write a story set today in a world made different by its different past.  Minimum 400 words, maximum 1000 words.  Entries must be prose fiction, not poetry.  Please make up your own title to your story.

The deadline is midnight on Sunday 4 September.

Round Robin #40

"Our Hawkesbury".   August 5 Update:  Jan was the clear winner, with entries by Julianne, Meryl and Pam in equal second place.

A poem or suite of poems about the Hawkesbury River.   Minimum length: 14 lines.   Maximum length: No maximum number of lines.  If you can maintain a high enough standard for as many lines as are in Coleridge's "Rhyme of the Ancient  Mariner", or more, please feel free to do so.  And the aim is "readability".

Round Robin #39.

"Dusty Jackets" - June 2 Update: The winner was Meryl with "Foggy Forecast" 

Imagine you have been asked to write words for the dust jacket of a book.  Or perhaps you are helping yourself to write your own book, by starting with the dust jacket as suggested by our most recent guest speaker.
Without restriction of content - it could be any combination of title, synopsis, blurb, author bio, testimonials, or ANYTHING else - the aim is to motivate a person browsing through a library, bookshop or friends bookshelf to READ THE BOOK.  In this case "readability" translates to "motivating"!   Please note that if you include the title, and it is for an existing work, it will need to be changed (see below).

The only rules are: (1) Words only.  ie no layout or graphics; (2) If an already published  book is being touted, it should not be possible to determine which one (ie no riding on the coat tails of already successful works); and (3) Minimum 150 words , maximum 400 words.

Round Robin #38 


“A slice of my life”.  April 7 Update:  The winner was Ron, for "Bulletproof Me"


The challenge is to write a personal memoir about a specific period in your life which may have been as brief as a weekend, or a few weeks, or as long as a year or two.  Regardless how long it lasted, it must be a slice of life with a new flavour for you.  Perhaps you experienced a different culture, or a new activity or daily routine, or some completely new lifestyle.


Rules and Guidelines:

The minimum word length is 950 words; the maximum is 2500 words.  It must be a genuine memoir, that is, a true account, not something you have made up. Do not use the title "A slice of my life", but create your own title.  The overall aim is: Readability!  The deadline is midnight on 28 February 2011.

Round Robin #37


“A rhyming ad”.  Dec 2 Update:      The winner was Pam, for: “Hot Bots”


RR #37 Rules and Guidelines:

The challenge is to write a short rhyming poem that is an advertisement.  The aim: Entertainment! The poem must rhyme (or include rhymes).  he maximun number of lines is 20, the minimum is 2.  The poem must be an ad. It can be an ad for any product that people can buy, such as an ice-cream, a new car, a vacuum cleaner or a holiday. You can use any brand
names such as "Vegemite" or "Toyota".  Or you can make up your own brand name for a new or even imaginary product.  Or it can be an ad for a forthcoming event such as
a church fete or concert.  Absolutely anything that can be advertised is allowed as the theme for your poem.  Deadline: midnight on 31 October.



Round Robin #36


"All write for children"  RR36: Nov 4 Update: Winner is Rogi for “Candy Ball Magic”


RR #36 Rules and Guidelines:

The challenge is to write a story for children, up to the age of twelve.   

The aim is: Readability.  

The theme is open, any style, any genre. 

The story must be original and it must be fiction, not non-fiction. 

It must be prose, not poetry.  

You can nominate a specific age range for whom your story is written, 

for example: For ages 2-5, or 8-12 or whatever. If you do not specify an age range 

it will be assumed your story is for children of all ages. 

There is no minimum word count. The maximum number of words is 750.  

The deadline for entries is midnight on 30 September 2010.





Round Robin #35




The winners were:


Meryl for “Dream to Live”


Lynette for “Christmas Passed”




A complete list of round robin titles, starting with No. 1 in 2002???? until No. 34 in 2010 follows.

1. Short story, max 300 words, no minimum.

2. Article in 600 words or less on any topic

3. A Descriptive Passage

4. A poem of any style and type. Max 28 lines. The voting will not be based on structure, but readability. We may not

    achieve 'deathless poetry', but our work must reach someone at some level - mind, heart or soul.

5.  A book/movie review in under 300 words

6.  Short Story in under 1000 words  Theme open

7.  Free Form, Set Topic: "Books".  Prose, poetry, fact or fiction.  Any genre, any style.

     Max 600 words/60 lines, no min.

8.  Haiku

9   Make me laugh!

10 Character description (person you met)
11 The Joys of Travel
12 Out of Body Experience
13 Science Fiction
14 Bush Ballad
15 All the world’s a stage
16 Story poem
17 Song lyrics
18 What if…
19 Undiscovered Country
20 Nightmare
21 A story in poetry
22 Another Place, Another Time
23 The genuine article
24 Love
25 Comedy of Errors
26 Mystery

27 A synopsis
28 Enchanted
29 Telephone Lines
30 It’s a funny place
31 Come and Bring your Camera
32 A twist in the tale
33 Biography in Verse
34 Music