Face-2-Face with… Saturday Ladies Bridge Club (Melb)

Group Name:Saturday Ladies Bridge Club.

L to R: Sasha, Carol, Holly, Alison, Sara. Photo taken by the kind staff at Booktalk in Richmond

Area/Region: Metropolitan Melbourne, Victoria

Members: A mix of pubbed and unpubbed writers of women’s fiction/romance.

Genre: A mix of historical, paranormal, sweet, contemporary suspense and romantic environmental writing.

About: The Saturday Ladies Bridge Club is comprised of 6 members living in various parts of Melbourne. The name of the club has nothing to do with cards, rather it relates to the fact that to meet members of the group have to cross the Westgate Bridge. Since we are a ladies club, members are encouraged to wear pearls when we meet.

When a member has something significant to celebrate in her writing career she is award The Pearl (which also includes a nice pair of hand made pearl earrings). The first recipient of The Pearl was Carol Challis who finalled in The First Kiss competition this year.

Members of the group:

Alison Brideson who is an award winning published author. www.alisonstuart.com  She is also a member of www.hoydensandfirebrands.blogspot.com. Alison was born in Kenya and emigrated to Melbourne at the age of ten. She studied law at Melbourne University and has worked in a wide field of areas as a lawyer, including the military and the emergency services. Following some success with short stories written during a spell of living in Singapore, Alison has two published novels set in the English Civil War, THE KING’S MAN and the Eppie Award winning BY THE SWORD.  Alison is currently taking a break from the legal world and is, in her words, “differently employed” in writing full time.

Alison has been a very active member of the RWA over the years and is coordinating the Firefighters Charity Fund Melbourne raffle on Sunday 14th August at the Melbourne conference. (More on those firefighters and the raffle below.)

Sara Hood Sara is an unpublished writer who is currently working on a single title set in Victorian London.She is a member of the SLBC, MRWG and RWA, and has just signed up for the RWA’s 500 Club as part of the renewed focus on writing that started on 1 July. Sara has also served as a judge for RWA competitions and is a very active RWA member.

Carol Challis . Carol Challis writes contempory romance with passion for the environment and a touch of suspence. She has a Certificate in Professional Writing & Editing and finalled this year in the 2011 First Kiss competition. She is joining in the RWA 500 club to bring a rebellious draft to completion.

Holly Fisher has recently just completed her first major work, a baby boy named Hunter. Holly has lived overseas much of her life and started writing for television. She is currently working on a paranormal ms and is interested in YA as that appeals to her inner teenager who refuses to grow up.

Sasha Cottman has finally emptied her holiday suitcase and is working hard to finalise her Regency single title which she will be pitching at the RWA conference. Sasha is a member of the historical eloop and is the SLBC group liaison. She is also working on getting a viable website established. www.sashacottman.com

About our meetings:

Our group meets every 4-6 weeks our meetings are full of lively gossip, discussion centring around publishing and, if we get time, our writing! Seriously, we are all committed to entering competitions this year and providing support and encouragement through the process. As a number of the group will be pitching in August we will be talking pitches at our July meeting.

We are only a small group, but we find value in being able to critique each other’s work and generally keep up with one another. As  we are a critque group we have limited our current membership to 6, this allows us to hold brainstorming sessions (many a hero and heroine has been undone by a good brainstorming session from the group).

The group is also very active within RWA with members volunteering as judges, working with the team who produce Hearts Talk and RWA Media. With the RWA conference in Melbourne next month all members will be heavily involved in supporting the RWA to make the conference a huge success. For more information about this group: scottman@regis.com.au

Now about those firefighters…

Just as a reminder, the Firefighters Charity Fund Melbourne www.firecharity.org.au is joining with us at the Conference on the Sunday to raise money for the Otis Foundation http://www.otisfoundation.org.au/

We will be holding both a Raffle (We have an iPad as first prize – kindly donated by the SARA ladies!) and a Silent Auction. The firefighters will be in attendance to sell raffle tickets on the day and they assure me they are champion raffle ticket sellers!

Any donations for either the raffle or the silent auction can be brought to the conference and given to Carol Marinelli or Alison or posted to Carol at:

PO BOX 688
Australia 3807 

Terrific post. Thank you for sharing a little about your group. Nice to meet you all.

Leave a comment


  1. Louise Reynolds

     /  July 6, 2011

    Love the name of your group! And good to learn more about you all. Looking forward to seeing you at conference.

  2. Serena

     /  July 6, 2011

    Hi ladies,
    Well, I know two of you very well! (Hi Sara (fellow MRWG member) and Hi Alison (we were on the last Melbourne Conference Committee together – which is also where I met the lovely Sara!!) And I recently met Carol and Sasha at Paula Roe’s wonderful workshop which she gave at the MRWG which was funded through the RWA Group Grant Scheme.

    What a fabulous group you have and what a wonderful community we have as romance writers in Australia. Good luck to you all with your pitches at the conference and I’ll see you there!

    • Large wave to Serena!!! The Paula Roe session got me back on track and was a terrific opportunity to clear out plot problems. Having your story mapped out on 2 large A3 sheets of paper makes it all so clear.

  3. Hi Ladies,
    Great blog and wow, what an interesting group. Yes, wasn’t Paula Roe’s session a real eye opener.



  4. Suz Hamilton

     /  July 7, 2011

    Wow, what an awesome group! And I did think you were a ‘bridge’ card playing club. LOL. Thank you for all your hard work with our fantastic association.
    Looking forward to seeing you in Melbourne. Bring it on!

  5. Sounds like a fun and intimate group. Congratulations on being featured, and I look forward to seeing you all at the conference. (Countdown is on!)


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