Gunnas Writing Masterclass Testimonials


  • Testimonial 60 External Links

    Read a review of the masterclass here and here and here and here and here and here and check out some of the student’s writing.

  • Testimonial – Dina

    Hi Catherine,

    Just wanted to let you know how much I loved the class yesterday. The structure and all the information and tips that came with it. You delivered it with such sincerity, warmth and generosity. I wish I hadn’t taken so long to do it (have been thinking about it for more than a year) – it was worth every cent.

    Thank you and keep doing what you’re doing.


  • Testimonial – Roy

    Hi Dev,

    Thought I would share my “What would Dev do?” experience that helped me out this week.

    My Mum passed away last week after a long struggle with cancer. It was peaceful and surrounded by family. I volunteered to present the eulogy at her funeral service.

    In an initial team meeting with my sisters and Dad, we came up with a mind map of all the aspects of Mum’s life what we wanted to talk about. This was great, but when it came to sitting down to write, I got three lines down and got stuck there.

    Once push came to shove, and it was time to really get cracking, I thought back to the Gunnas class earlier this year. I remembered that you told us about the method of voice recording the story in order to get it out of your heart and onto the screen. That evening, as I sat in my car while my daughter was doing soccer trials, I recorded on my phone a piece for each of the thought bubbles on the mind map.While it felt weird, and while I did get a little blubby through the emotional parts, I was able to get down a good chunk of material.

    That night I typed it all in verbatim, and the next morning did a rough edit. Ended up with about 2,600 words to work with. Later that day I read what I had written to my family. They were so happy. We fixed up a few details and by the next day I had the final copy ready for the service.

    Yesterday was Mum’s funeral, and it went so well. It was so easy to read because that’s how it initially came out. It really came from the heart and it showed. Got lots of laughs and there was lots of blubbing. Thankfully I managed to get all the way through without any tears. I received so many positive comments about the eulogy. I was so happy, and I feel I did my Mum and my family proud.

    All thanks to the help of that little tip you gave in class. Not a self-pubished novel, but a work that I am really proud of.

    Thank you.

    Roy Meuronen
    Canberra, Australia

  • Testimonial – Ali

    Hi Catherine,

    There were so many things that were great today – the venue and the food and the wonderful attention from Team Bouvier of course, and the amazing people who came along – everyone with a special story (could have listened to them all for ages). And of course your wise words and hilarious comments.

    But what I really loved and appreciated was the way in which you targeted everyone in turn, gave each of us your full attention, encouraged every one of us so that we each felt we had been given something particularly special and helpful, and then … best part … you actually remembered what everyone had told you, so later on you were able to go back to various people around the table when something pertinent came up for their particular project. And all the time you kept us enthralled by your fabulous humour and funny stories. And it was great getting people to introduce their neighbour so we didn’t all have to do that appalling self-introduction thing (which always has my heart thundering as it gets closer and closer to being my turn).

    So, thank you for being magnificent.

    Will this be enough to excuse me from sending in my homework ‘contribution’ by 10pm? (it’s your fault really, a piece of work for you tonight would not be core writing – it would be what you so concisely called ‘fucking about’ and today I learned to stop doing that!)

    I’m going to work hard now and try to get the book finished in a couple of weeks. I’ll let you know how we go.

    Thank you again for an amazing day – I really feel we’re gunna get this book done now. Para is still at work; he’ll be home in an hour or so … poor man won’t know what’s hit him!

    Bye for now,

    Ali xxx

  • Testimonial – Melinda Hildebrandt

    I’ll never forget the experience of writing a new story after a wonderful day spent in a Gunnas Writing Masterclass with the incomparable Catherine Deveny. The task at day’s end was to send her a piece written between 10am and 10pm. ‘But how?’, I wondered, ‘I’m going straight out to dinner and to see a show. I won’t have time to do it’.

    But no excuses would do. So I texted my husband the simple words…’You better bring your laptop’. Later, parked in our car on a city street, I sat with the computer on my knee and frantically tapped out my piece from the notes I’d scrawled during the class. I had to do it – would never forgive myself if I didn’t – and so I did.

    I emailed it to Catherine, typos and all, and felt a great sense of satisfaction at meeting the deadline. The feedback and support from Catherine the next day was absolutely thrilling and so that mad writing session in my car felt even more worthwhile. It was such a great experience that I’m sure any aspiring writer would enjoy. Plus, Catherine wears gorgeous shoes with little musical notes engraved on the soles. So there’s that too.

    Melinda Hildebrandt

  • Testimonial – Rowena Murray

    I want tell you all how grateful I am that I crossed paths with these writing masterclasses and Dev. With two Gunnas under my belt now, my book For Foxes’ Sake is out there in the wilderness. I took this photo this morning, moments before doing a one-hour live radio spot out of Los Angeles, doing promo for the book. I told Dev that the day after my first Gunna, I spent a day in my PJ’s and wrote 5,000 words. It’s grown into 87,000 words, is out in the world, and I started book 2 last week. Dev, thank you for doing what you do, it’s beyond amazing, and I am so grateful

    Rowena Murray

  • Testimonial – Stephanie Hughes

    Hey Dev,
    I went to your Masterclass in October and my writing habits couldn’t be more different now, and I have you to thank for giving me the creative enema I needed.
    I’ve stopped applying for “creative” writing jobs because I realised I’d be writing for someone else instead of myself.
    I’ve gotten myself a full time admin job, so I’ve always got time to write something while I’m at work. Writing now is a daily habit for me, like sleeping (I was going to say showering but that habit still hasn’t kicked in as a daily thing yet). And best of all I haven’t been tracking my writing behaviour like I used to – no edits, no re-writes while making the first draft, no going back and reading through it to see “where i got up to”. Because i know the characters and story so intimately, I trust that what comes next was always meant to be there. I’ve written over 12,000 words in 2 months, and 5,000 of those words in the last 2 weeks. My momentum can only get faster.
    So thank you for teaching me how to actually write instead of just thinking or talking about it. I’ve never been so happy with my writing in my life smile emoticon
    Muchos lovas,

    Stephanie Hughes

  • Testimonial – Kate Buckley

    Dear Catherine,

    I attended your workshop during Melbourne Writers Festival and I need to tell you that it’s been one of the most pivotal experiences of my life. (I sat near the front, furiously transcribing nearly every word you uttered.)
    After years and years of meaning to write, wanting to write, waiting to write, finding excuses for why I couldn’t write, and trying to convince myself and others who encouraged me to ‘just do it!’ that I couldn’t, I’ve just completed NaNoWriMo.
    I would never have attempted it had I not taken on your 4 days/4 weeks challenge and already established the practice of getting up at 5:30 am to write until the kids needed to be up (or later, if I just couldn’t stop pounding out the words).
    Your tip about typing in white font was pure gold. It made all the difference. So did the idea of ‘giving myself the Spring’ – it transformed something terrifying into an act of kindness towards myself and framed it in a way that made me feel I deserved that time. That the endeavour – and I – was worth the investment of time. Breaking the commitment down into just one hour a day – no more – and only four days a week (though this expanded) made it MANAGEABLE. For the first time, it wasn’t daunting. It was a simple as putting marbles in a jar, one every day. So critical.
    My NaNoWriMo submission is a totally shitty first draft, a la Anne Lamott. The shittier, the better. So liberating. It’s not even a draft, really – there’s no ‘the end’, yet. But there’s one in sight. Now, I’ve got something to really sink my teeth into. And an entirely new purpose that feels real and attainable, after years of reading and yearning and fear.
    Thanks to you, I will not die with my music still inside me.
    I hope you, too, are having a most incredible Spring. I owe mine to you.

    P.S. I am so happy – you’ve made every day better for me since I attended your class
    PLEASE use this testimonial – it’s the least I could do. And not too generous at all. If I wasn’t a recovering Catholic, I’d say you’re doing God’s work, unlocking on.

    Kate Buckley

  • Testimonial – Amanda Fong

    Here’s some non-feedback on the day.

    Catherine Deveny’s Gunnas Masterclass isn’t about writing and that’s what makes it so fabulous. It’s about debunking the myths that surround the notion of writing and it’s about giving you the green light to write regardless of your level, interest or subject matter. By doing so, she reminds you that writers are just people, and their tools are available to all. They’re just arranging words into sentences in a way that resonates with themselves first and foremost.

    This is not only refreshing but it enables you to discard whatever baggage you bring to the class so that you will put pen to paper or digits to keyboard. Think of it as an investment in your very own writing cheerleader. Whenever you have that moment of doubt, writer’s block or procrastination, rest assured you can always ask “what would dev do?” and all your writing ills will fall away.

    Thank you Dev. Truly, deeply and sincerely. You’ve completely shifted my mindset about writing and creativity and I feel totally liberated.

    Amanda Fong

  • Testimonial 11

    I hope you’re well. I did one of your Gunnas classes in Melbourne in December, and just thought I’d give you an update on how things are going.

    That five minute non-stop writing exercise has transformed the way I write – it’s made it possible for me to make use of all sorts of gaps in my schedule. For so long, I thought that there was no point in trying to use a two-hour window (or whatever) for writing, because I’d need at least a day to produce anything worthwhile.  Well, that counter-productive attitude has now gone, and I’m really pleased with some of the material I’ve produced in those gaps.

    Another thing. I’ve really kept in mind the mantra about making this a summer of writing, rather than a summer of reading. I love reading, but whenever I’ve thought about grabbing a book, I’ve reminded myself that this is my time. My time to tell my stories.

    Last week I had a free afternoon. I was going to go to the pub with a book, and lose myself in someone else’s story. But I decided to take my laptop instead, and do some editing on one of my projects. On the tram ride to the pub, the idea for another piece sparked in my mind, and when I got there I just sat down and got on with it. No nonsense, no “let’s workshop this idea” procrastination. Just a couple of beers, my laptop, and the resolve to just type and type like my life depended on it.

    Within a couple of hours I had a down-draft done. Later that evening I returned to it and edited it a bit. The next day, I gave it a sober look over, edited it some more, and decided to send it to a website that had previously published some of my work. They ran it.

    It is far from a perfect piece (it could be briefer, it could be neater), but I’m pleased with it. It means something to me, and (I’ve been told) it has meant something to some of the people who have read it. If I’d still been hung up on the idea of ensuring everything was perfect before I shared it, or on the idea that a few spare hours could not be put to meaningful use, then the piece would not have seen the light of day.

    So thank you, for helping me de-clog some of the attitudes and misconceptions that have been holding back my writing. I hope your Gunnas students this year have a similar experience, and I look forward to reading whatever stories they have to share.

    Andrew Heaver

  • Testimonial 40


    I wanted to send you this email, with no expectation or want for a reply, just to tell you how grateful I am that one week ago I came to your Gunna’s Masterclass.

    When I came to class I was on my second-last day of 5 weeks of annual leave.  I didn’t have a lot planned for that 5 week period, but “a shitload of writing” was high on the list (I had started my novel 6 months prior and had squeezed out just shy of 2000 words at that time and never gone back to it).

    On the day of the Gunna’s I had been on annual leave for 4 weeks and 5 days and I had not written a single word in that time.

    Since last Saturday at Gunnas…..

    1) I submitted my piece that Saturday night which has since appeared on your site (the first thing I have written and let someone read in about 17 years since I finished school);

    2) I have accepted the Gunnas Challenge and sat down on 4 occasions this week with the intention of writing for 1 hour.  On every single occasion I have written for in excess of 1 hour (on one occasion it was closer to 3);

    3) I have read “Bird By Bird” by Anne Lamont in a single siting;

    4) My novel now has in excess of 10,000 words and is growing everyday…

    5) I worked a 40 hour week at my full time job and functioned as a human being whilst completing all of the above.

    One final thought.  I sat down this afternoon and started to write a scene which is set in the conservatory of the Botanical Gardens. I was going from childhood memory and then thought “fuck this” and packed up my laptop and headed into the actual Gardens.  In my scene the conservatory is closed to the public but my characters are still able to go inside, and when I got to the Gardens this arvo the conservatory WAS closed to the public due to a wedding!! I was ready to go home and call it a day but instead I had a chuckle to myself about the irony of the situation (crazy writing gods fucking with my head!!), had a wander around the place and ended up with SO much more material which I will can use for either this piece or something in the future.  So it wasn’t a wasted trip at all!

    So thank you, thank you, thank you for making me see the light, inspiring me to pull my thumb out of my arse, and bestowing on me the knowledge that to get something written you just have to sit down and damn well write it!

    I feel that in terms of my writing, my life will forever be divided into “pre-Gunnas” and “post-Gunnas”!



  • Testimonial 54

    I wrote this piece yesterday after a wonderful day spent in a Gunnas Writing Masterclass with the incomparable Catherine Deveny. The task was to send her a piece written between 10am and 10pm on the day. ‘But how? I’m going straight out to dinner and to see a show. I won’t be able to do it’. But no excuses would do. So I texted my husband the simple words…’Bring your laptop’. Later, parked in our car on a city street, I sat with the laptop on my knee and frantically tapped out this piece from the notes I’d scrawled in the masterclass. I had to do it – would never forgive myself if I didn’t – and so I did. I emailed it to Catherine, typos and all, and felt a great sense of satisfaction. The feedback and support from Catherine the next day was absolutely thrilling and so that mad writing session in my car felt even more worthwhile. It was such a great experience that I’m sure any aspiring writer would enjoy. Plus, Catherine wears amazing shoes with little musical notes engraved on the soles. So there’s that too.

    Melinda Hildebrant

  • Testimonial 52

    Hey Catherine,
    Wanted to thank you for yesterday, your sharing of your life experiences both as a writer, a woman and all round fabulous human being. I loved the pearls of wisdom, your wicked sense of humour and fabulous frock and expensive shoes. The space you create and the connections you make with each and very one of your gunna’s is special, also the space you create for your gunna’s to connect to each other is a great gift. La Luna is the perfect space long table with white cloths a space full of potential. The food was fabulously glorious and coffee perfect for this Greek coffee/food loving vegetarian lezo single mum (wif a daughter) Christos Tsiolkas wanna be! The timing was perfect and it’s the self care I needed!!! To be around creative nurturing folk like yourself. I loved that I didn’t even have to make a decision about what food to order!
    Well done for creating a space for people to come and get whatever they want out of it!
    I came home and read. I didn’t feel guilt about not writing and handing something to you 10pm, I’ve always got dead lines!! I’ll be taking up the gunna’s challenge though. Shit scared and excited at the same time.
    Just wanted to share.
    A million thanks.

    Maria xx

  • Testimonial 52

    Six months ago, a fellow student in my Masters program at Melbourne University took advantage of my offer of my spare bedroom for interstate students needing accommodation for our two day intensive sessions on campus.

    When on Day 1 he asked me if I was a writer, I knew what he was talking about. I have at least three books on writing on the shelves in the spare bedroom, and possibly others elsewhere. Despite having bought them at various times in the past, I have never read them. From time to time I’d dabbled in writing and then given up when it got too hard, or I didn’t have enough time. I’d also journalled frantically in times of crisis, but I’d never made any sort of commitment to serious, ongoing writing.

    Catherine Deveny describes her classes as “creative enemas”. It’s a great description. Dev forces you to write for one minute, for five, ten or fifteen minutes, using totally disconnected prompts. There are no excuses.

    I learned so much over two days of classes (Masterclass + Advanced): my writing doesn’t have to be perfect, and yes, the writing process is hard. You don’t have to commit to sitting down and writing for hours at a time. You don’t have to confine yourself to one writing project or even one genre at a time. If you’re writing a story, you don’t have to know the ending before you begin.

    I came home from La Luna today (incidentally, totally amazing food!) and read the first fifty pages of Stephen King’s “On Writing”. I can’t wait to read Kate Grenville’s “The Writing Book” and Pamela Lloyd’s “How Writers Write”. I am no longer fearful of putting words on paper.

    According to Dev, there is no such thing as inspiration. I think she is wrong. She is an amazing, generous, and, dare I say it, inspirational teacher. Thank you, Catherine, for two days of warmth, fun, encouragement and guidance. And thanks to my fellow class members, who over two days have shared their writing, their fears and their experiences with the rest of us.

    Kath Kenny

  • Testimonial 52

    You’re shit hot at what you do. I’m sure you hear a lot of great feedback and so you should. Your grasp of your ‘subject’ is amazing but more importantly, how you deliver from the depths of where you’ve been; the good, bad and ugly places, gives such depth of meaning.

    I’ve been to a lot of presentations and workshops and yours blew me away. You made a bunch of random people with various sizes of ego, fear and nerves be themselves. That’s a gift.

    Clare Dallat

  • Testimonial 51

    I’ve attended a few writing courses over the years, but I wanted to go to Gunnas for one reason only: Catherine Deveny. I knew that what I’d learn (the actual content) would be good, but not as good as spending the day in the company of this woman. Catherine is a true original – fearless, outspoken, articulate, unselfconscious, generous, funny and possibly the least vain woman I’ve ever met. Just being around Dev makes you braver. Makes you wonder why you’ve let yourself get in your own way for so long. Makes you want to be better, and to try harder.

    Jill Chivers

  • Testimonial 50

    The Devs passion and energy is simply inspiring and she makes you believe you can achieve anything. I have been gunna write for sometime but since doing the Masterclass I am more disciplined and I want to write!

    Do yourself a favour and sign up, you know you want to!

    Danni Smith

  • Testimonial 49

    Last week I attended Catherine Deveny’s Gunnas Writing Masterclass and it was the best time and money I have ever spent. I thought I’d feel intimidated and out of my depth. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Catherine was like an old friend who knows how to give you the kick up the arse you need. I was so enthralled my poor kidneys were nearly drowned while I held on for hours not wanting to miss a single second. Not only was Catherine her sharp, witty and hilarious self, but she was generous and attentive to each individual in the class and with sharing her experiences and knowledge to debunk myths, discredit our self-doubt. She kicked procrastination to the kerb with her tips and tools for getting us all to “just write” and to have the courage to “fail while daring greatly”. I don’t know what the hell I’m writing each day, it seems like a journal, but I’m writing, thanks to Devs.

    Go ahead and spend an invaluable day in great company with fellow budding writers from every imaginable background, great food and coffee and of course, the fabulous Catherine Deveny. I could happily bask in her brilliance every day of the week. Satisfaction guaranteed.

    Love, love, loved it!

    Lisa Rachele

  • Testimonial 48

    I had completed the mission – I had written a book – but what now. I knew I needed to do it to feel better about myself and indeed I did, I felt brilliant, but was that it. Friends assured me that if I had gone to that much trouble to put it on paper to get it out there, it genuinely needed to be out there, but I was still scared. Then I met Catherine via an exhilarating experience at a “Gunnas” Workshop. ‘Gunna’ is the operative word for me, I’m always gunna do something but something has always held me back. From the second I walked in, I was greeted and asked about myself and almost immediately asked to take charge of my identity and given ways for me to ask the world to stop and pay attention to the fact that I have take time out to write a book. I am now proud that I have written my first book and feel inspired by Catherine to market it in every way that I can think.

    Catherine inspired me to take ownership of my space in the world.

    Fiona Kerr

  • Testimonial 47

    If I could lather a Catherine Deveny Gunnas class all over me I would – everyday. It’s sparked something inside me and it makes my heart sing. I’m inspired, I’m confident, I’m being true and I’ve got clarity. Rad Town. Plus she’s way babin’.

    Eva Pattison

  • Testimonial 46

    Don’t go to the Gunnas Masterclass if you want to cling to your pathetic excuses for not writing. Catherine Deveny doesn’t want to hear your reasons for not producing: she is there to make you WRITE. And you will. Repeatedly. What you do next is up to you, but this class will give you the tools and motivation to get your words on the page. And the courage to write what you really are. A day spent in excellent company, writing and eating lovely food — what greater pleasures does life offer?!

    Tanya Stedge

  • Testimonial 45

    There was no doubt about it. My writing felt stale and a little tedious, so I entered the Gunnas Masterclass looking for motivation and some fresh ideas. A room of like minded people was a good start. Then it was down to business as Catherine delivered a multitude of tips and ideas. Her no nonsense style was concise, informative and entertaining. I walked in with a bit of fog in my brain, but within hours I’d felt a manic energy take over. A great day and most of all, a lot of fun!

    Greg Johns

  • Testimonial 44

    Today I attended Catherine Deveny’s Gunna’s Writing Masterclass. Before I get to the actual benefits to writers of attending this class, let me first mention the fringe benefits:

    • The class took place in a comfortable room upstairs at La Luna Restaurant in North Carlton—great food and coffee and very friendly and helpful staff. Lunch was incredible; a large range of grazing food, wonderful variety and great tastes. This was not a Weight Watchers event.
    • Catherine Deveny performed at her absolute best, shifting the mood from mad, hilarious humour, to biting satire and social commentary, to motivating us to think about and do, what we most wanted from life, to Dominatrix Teacher who made sure we knuckled under and actually wrote
    • An intelligent and fascinating range of participants, one of whom I watched later that night (after doing my homework for Dev) as she read at an Erotica performance at Open Studio; I may have a new friend. Dev warned us that pregnancies, creative partnerships and friendships were among the many consequences of her workshops, in addition to outstanding writing pieces.

    I found this workshop opened me up creatively and I began writing great pieces with confidence. Dev was wonderful at making people feel relaxed about being in the class and writing. She never asked us to do anything that could be publicly humiliating eg we did not read out our pieces or get pressured to publish. She was able to help me see the importance of writing most days of the week and gave me many great tips and techniques for stimulating creativity, writing from the heart and getting over procrastination, fear and lack of confidence.

    A tip: don’t ever ask Dev to give you free advice on being a writer over a cup of coffee

    Catherine Deveny is an inspiration, a wonderful entertainer and master teacher. I don’t know where she gets her energy. I highly recommend her Gunna’s Writing Masterclass.

    Peter Forrester

  • Testimonial 43

    I attended Catherine’s master class because I have been a wannabe writer for years. Now in my 60’s I am determined to get there. I would recommend the class to anyone who wants a jumpstart with their writing. Catherine’s message throughout the class is clear. If you want to write then do it and stop making excuses. She had us writing all day and respected that we were all at different stages and abilities. She gave us the opportunity to share, chat with the other delightful people who were there and to read our writing while being incredibly respectful about those people who want to keep their writing to themselves.

    I came out at the end of the day with the motivation to keep on with my writing attempts, with some bits of writing which, although done under pressure, I was a bit proud of and, most importantly, a shape for the biggest piece of writing I want to attempt. Catherine is also funny and incredibly generous with her considerable experience. The venue is perfect with food that made me incredibly happy. And it was practical! A visit from an editor gave us insight into what editors do and how to work with them. So if you want warmth, humour, good company, good food and inspiration and motivation to write don’t go past the Gunnas Master Class.

    Marg D’Arcy

  • Testimonial 42

    During the pack up and exiting Catherine asked me what I thought, ‘what dya think of it’? I gave it a 9.9, saying I never give a 10, there’s always room for improvement. I don’t know how she’ll do it but I’m sure she will. I can’t offer any criticism, helpful or otherwise. Only praise and thanks.

    With 24 hrs of accumulated hindsight, motivation stands out. Not motivation in any regular sense from my experience. Not the ‘dominion over’/ greed driven, ‘you can do it just do it’ ‘motivational’ hype that’s spruiked in any number of styles and voices. Motivation, from pointing out and encouraging the group to reveal, from personal experience, the obstacles we put in the way of ‘getting it down’, followed up with strategies that have been helpful, from sources far and wide. All set in a firm and clear framework, based in the understanding that it’s us, we are responsible, we put up the barriers, we are the saboteurs, our own worst etc. Energising, not in the least bit patronising, nothing to do with shame, veiled or otherwise.

    The next thing that comes to mind is tucker. It’s easy to complement isn’t it. My income bracket dictates that I will only be dining at La Luna on special to very special occasions; hmm, quick as you like. The workshop was a very inclusive, comfortable affair that La Luna fed, much better than well. I’m not sure how this fits in, it does for me though, the dunnies were an appreciated plus.

    If you have, in anyway, found yourself inclined toward the Gunna experience, don’t miss out.

    Thomas Paine

  • Testimonial 41

    It is about reminding yourself what you want your life to be, identifying the little creatures that stop you from achieving that life and learning to say to them, “Go away, shut up, sit over there. I’m busy.”

    It is, as Catherine says, about “not dying with your music inside you” and “getting to the best possible place with the least amount of damage.”

    Catherine presents simple yet powerful ideas with grace, generosity and passion in a wonderfully safe, welcoming environment filled with amazing people and incredible food.

    The Gunnas Masterclass is empowering, freeing and inspiring. Do it.

    Laura Hartnell

  • Testimonial 40

    I finally got my act together and booked into a Gunnas class. It was the best thing I’ve done for myself in ages. I’m not a writer, but have dreams of writing. Catherine provided just the inspiration and kick up the butt I needed. She got me writing, and that’s no mean feat! Warm, welcoming and practical, I’d definitely recommend this class to anyone.

    Martel Menz

  • Testimonial 39

    If you’ve ever been stuck in a muddy bog of procrastination, you feel low on ideas, your motivation’s running on empty, or you generally need a kick up the arse, this is the class for you. Catherine runs through practical exercises and tools to get you up and at ’em, plus you’re guaranteed some top nosh at the faboo La Luna. Do it, go on!

    Emily Kratzmann

  • Testimonial 38

    If you’re looking for something within yourself to write, but not sure what, I can guarantee you that by the end of 6 hours with Devs you will have found it! Catherine is the practical, pragmatic, protagonist of writing your own stories, and you will get the advice and inspiration you need to just sit down and write. You will surprise and delight yourself and overcome whatever is holding you back in the Gunna’s Writing Masterclass.

    Leisa Bowness

  • Testimonial 37

    Thanks a squillion, Catherine!

    Still on a high from yesterday’s Gunnas class, so glad we sent our pieces to you asap… It’s exhilarating to go what the fuck, there’s gaping holes n contradictions in this writing but sending it off anyway. This is unlike both of us to do this.

    We just showed both pieces to our mum here in Bendigo….who was astounded with what Vonnie wrote about “commitment”. Mum wasn’t so sure of me using the word “fuck it” in my piece, so I just blamed it on you, telling her that Catherine throws the word round the place so it must be OK!

    The best thing is that I was up writing this morning before my cuppa…a habit I will do my darndest to cultivate. I usually leave writing to night-time.

    Big positive changes already, thanks to you.

    Mars Drum

  • Testimonial 36

    The Gunna’s Class was fantastic!! I came away from this amazing day feeling excited, inspired and so very glad I took the time out to do this. Catherine is such a powerhouse of ideas, enthusiasm and talent. We were looked after so well – I knew this was going to be a great day when one of our first requirements was to write down the type of coffee we wanted!! Our coffees were delivered to us as we wrote, thought and talked, morning and afternoon. This was a really lovely touch. The staff at La Luna were delightful. Catering to a tedious gluten free person such as myself was no problem to them – this was greatly appreciated by me. The food was sensational!!! I loved being part of such of vibrant group of fellow writers (can I refer to myself as a writer?? Yes I think I can!) who were more than happy to share their ideas and inspirations. I loved this. If you are wondering if you should do a Gunna’s class I highly recommend it. You don’t need to be a writer, you just need to want to write better. I had some idea what I what wanted to write about when I attended the class however the day brought out other ideas that I happily ran with. So don’t feel you need to know what is it is you want to write before you do this class. Just come along with openness and a desire to write. That is all you need. Catherine will help you with the tools to just get in there and do it! Thank you Catherine for such an amazing day. The drive from Gippsland was absolutely worth it.

    Bernie Keating

  • Testimonial 35

    Sorry, Catherine, no time to write a testimonial. I’m far too busy doing the writing you gave me the huge big kick up the arse to do! You should see the bruise! I would say thanks but it still hurts. The bruise AND the writing. 😉

    Jess McCullough

  • Testimonial 34

    The Gunnas Masterclass was a great day with the most generous and engaging teacher I have ever had. Catherine is my role model for showing up, doing the work and singing from my heart. I really believe my Gunnas experience will help me smash down barriers to my writing, my biggest one being self-censorship and worrying about what people will think.

    Claire Weigall

  • Testimonial 33

    As a professional writer, the things I found most inspiring about Gunnas were your abundant approach to creativity, i.e. “There’s plenty more where that came from”; your generosity with your ideas, ‘secrets’, tips, struggles, etc; and your kind-but-firm no-BS kick-up-the-bum-ness. You and your Masterclass are, quite simply, grouse.

    Diana Wolfe

  • Testimonial 32

    I’m so totally wrapped with myself for signing up for this class. I expected it to be highly motivating and inspiring and knew that Catherine can work a room like nobodies business so I was thrilled to get there and get into it. What I didn’t expect and what will stay with me always is how emotional the experience was; sharing our personal experiences, fears and doubts about writing and supporting and encouraging each other. Thanks Catherine for creating a safe and joyful space for us. My first writing project is now taking shape and I know these memories will help to keep me going…

    Loren Polzot

  • Testimonial 31

    My life so far is split into two phases. The one before “The Gunnas Writing Masterclass” and the one after. The masterclass was inspirational and just the kick up the bum I needed to DO and publish writing stuff rather than be endlessly thinking about doing writing stuff. Thank-you Catherine.

    Jann Williams

  • Testimonial 30

    Having someone like Catherine be your writing mentor is such a privilege and a gift. She’s honest and gives (often hilarious) examples from her own career and personal life. This is what makes her such an engaging and inspirational teacher. Don’t miss this opportunity to have fun, improve your writing, become a lot more motivated and learn a little more about yourself in the process.

    Katy Hetherington

  • Testimonial 29

    The Gunnas Writing Masterclass was great. Down to earth tips on how to get started and keep going and plenty of Dev’s trademark, from the hip, stories. The venue was very good and the food was excellent.
    A very good way to meet a bunch of writers, would be or otherwise, and get a shot of inspiration.
    I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Coralie Sutcliffe

  • Testimonial 28

    After attending the master class I was on a high for a week, still feel amazing in fact. Dev is a dynamo, she had a class of 14 intelligent adults wanting more. Entertaining informative and encouraging all of that and more.If you have an inclination to write anything go to the masterclass, Catherine will guide you , she is very perceptive to the individuals needs. Dev is a drug and i want more.

    Fay Mason

  • Testimonial 27

    Catherine Deveny’s Gunnas Masterclass got me writing and was thoroughly entertaining at the same time. I would recommend it for anybody who wants to write anything at all. Worth every cent.

    Toby Harper

  • Testimonial 26

    I did Catherine’s Masterclass in Sydney as part of the writers’ festival last year, 3 weeks short of my due date to give birth to my first baby. I just could not miss out and I’m so glad I made the effort and went. The class reignited my passion to just write and Catherine reminded me that I’m a writer; not I want to write or I’m gunna write…..I’m a writer. Not for the awards or the money or the accolades (I’ve received none of the aforementioned for my writing), but because I can’t not write. The class was intimate, funny, inspiring, nurturing and just bloody fun! I haven’t gone a day without writing since then. She lit a cracker up my bum. I love her.

    Diane Koopman

  • Testimonial 25

    Spent an awesome day at the Gunnas Masterclass with the effusive and magnanimous Catherine Deveney. Great people, fabulous food and and finished the first piece I’ve put together in ages … yes, that’s right, finished it! It’s up on Dev’s website and out on Twitter – feel like a superstar! If you want to unlock the door to your writing as well, this is your chance … Do It, Do It, Do It!

    Jo Tregear

  • Testimonial 24

    I really enjoyed Gunnas Masterclass. The intimate, informal setting was perfect for being honest about what helps and hinders writing ambitions. I had no idea that procrastination was something that bothered even established writers – I’ve found all the productivity techniques that Catherine shared very effective. It was also nice to spend a day at a cozy bistro with Catherine’s awesome sense of humour. Get around this!

    Emma Webley

  • Testimonial 23

    I left Catherine’s Gunnas Masterclass inspired, I now have two books I want to write. Amazing in itself as writing has not been a big part of my life. I loved her ability to be totally herself regardless of what anyone may have thought. She is generous of heart and her energy is high and inspiring. Loved the way she teaches and would recommend attending her classes. I’m so very glad I did.

    Linda Conyard

  • Testimonial 22

    Catherine Deveny does herself, and her prospective audience, a disservice by pitching this class at want to be writers only. There’s no doubt in my mind that if you believe you want to do something creative – whether that’s writing words or music, sculpting, painting, printmaking, or even coming up with new ways to solve old problems in your business or for your country – you will benefit from participating. If I thought she’d do it, I’d have an online petition up right now to mandate a Saturday with Dev as mandatory for Tony Abbot and his entire cabinet! (Though not sure they’d be up for the challenge or the raw honesty). Do yourself a favour, meet some great people, eat some awesome food, and commit to doing what you really want to do. You never know, you might just change the world.

    Cathryn Nolan

  • Testimonial 21

    The Gunnas Writing Masterclass was a total hootenanny! Part therapy, part writing workshop and part gastronomical indulgence. Catherine was warm, generous, encouraging and supportive. And fucking funny. I love this woman, I love this masterclass and I’m gunna let everyone know all about it!

    Sam Townsend

  • Testimonial 20

    I was part of a Gunnas Masterclass yesterday. It was bloody awesome and I extracted something from my head that has been floating around since April this year. Have since been buzzing around all weekend. Highly highly recommend.

    Renae Turner

  • Testimonial 19

    Catherine Deveny is a tough mistress. She asks the one question that every would-be, woe-begotten, word-clogged writer hates being asked: “Why aren’t you writing already?” So often, writing can seem like a distant aspiration, a faint bubble shining on a distant horizon that shimmers promisingly. It’s not. It’s bloody hard work, and Catherine helps you pull your finger out with timed exercises, industry anecdotes and tough love. She won’t hold your hand and you won’t write a masterpiece, but you will get started.

    Hilary Simmons

  • Testimonial 18

    In a single day she gave us an enormous amount of advice about writing including methods for fighting procrastination and perfectionism. Her enthusiasm for her craft is contagious and I would highly recommend her Masterclass to any budding writers.

    Jane Pemberton

  • Testimonial 17

    The Gunnas Masterclass is like an enema for your muse! Catherine inspires, provokes and dammit makes you write!” Not a “how to” class but a “do it” class. Deveny dismantles all the lies we tell ourselves about why we can’t write and before you know it there are words on the page. The Gunnas Masterclass is equal parts inspiration, creativity and yummy food.”

    Jules Wilkinson

  • Testimonial 16

    If you find a woman as fierce, beautiful and wildly intelligent as Dev, I’ll give you 50 bucks.  The 6 hours spent in Gunnas Masterclass has been my best investment of time for as long as I can recall.  Dev’s humour and warmth punctuates the extremely practical tips for taking pen to paper and allowing space for creativity.  I mean really, as she says, you’re not trying to kill someone you’re just trying to make a bit of art.  Could not recommend it more.

    Lisa Watts

  • Testimonial 15

    Nobody gets your juices flowing like Catherine, creatively that is. At any level you come out her class with no excuses and all the energy you need to write from a pamphlet to a novel. One of the most creative days I’ve seen in ages.

    Simon Palomares.

  • Testimonial 14

    Being part of Catherine’s masterclass was one of the best things I did for myself. Surrounded by like-minded people, I reconnected with my enjoyment of writing and sharing stories. As well as building the confidence to write, it inspired me to continue pursuing creative and meaningful projects. This class is for anyone with a love for writing, storytelling and life.

    Biheng Zhang

  • Testimonial 13

    I signed up for this master class because I lack direction and motivation, my skills at procrastination and excuse making are quite supreme.

    In the master class, Catherine shared her own experiences, both personal and professional in a way that was inspirational, creative, insightful and very useful. She demonstrated how to ‘just write, put words on the paper’ and the value of using life and all of it’s surprises as a valuable source of inspiration.

    Coming away, I felt like I had had a total overhaul, I felt very motivated and my reasons for ‘not writing’ seemed less complex and somewhat lifted. Catherine is a beam of bright sunshine and activity.  She is charismatic and fascinating, I could just listen to her talking for months and months! 

    She was such a great highlight – as it was her class hey,  and I thought, for such a hugely successful writer and thinker, it was incredibly generous of her to sit in a room with myself and 10 others for 6+ hours and talk to us, listen to us and be in the moment with us in such a sincere and interested way.  She is a treasure and I think so much of her.

    La Luna was a fantastic location, the room was small, intimate and perfect – I felt very connected with everyone.  The food was bloody amazing, I can’t wait to go back for more!!

    Mishelle Predika

  • Testimonial 12

    I had eight weeks to write my eighth show and it was twenty one years since I had written my first. So rather than falling in love with my creativity, I needed to liven up a very long marriage. Catherine’s uplifting pedagogy gave me the time to reflect upon my identity as a writer and the space to find out that I’ve still got it. Most importantly, I realised that I’d never congratulated myself for writing eight shows, which have taken me around the country, created work for artists and given me both money and pleasure. So when this show is written, I’m putting away my laptop and I’m buying a surfboard. Writing is important, but not as important as me.

    Michael Dailey

  • Testimonial 11

    I gave myself a birthday present for a spot in one of Catherine Deveny’s Writers Masterclasses. Having never done any writers course before I felt alittle less adequate at my lack of formal education on the subject. Wrong assumption. Catherine was awesome. Providing tools for every kind of procrastination, keys on unlocking creativity, and slashings of laughter dispelling all notions of not being good enough, we were left focused and prepared, for writing! All that with lashings of divine food by La Luna Bistro, and the gorgeous people in the group, made a perfect day of realisation that yes, ‘you can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf’  – thnx Dev for the surfboards, and pearls of wisdom.

    Anthea Sidiropoulos

  • Testimonial 10

    The masterclass was phenoms. Have written every day since.  You are a fucking inspiration. Thankyou for your energy and generosity of spirit to us Gunnas.  I will be a writer and I have you to thank.

    Monique Bowley

  • Testimonial 09

    Hi Catherine, I loved doing the course today. You’re an inspiring woman and I feel huge gratitude for the thoughtful ideas and open-ness you shared with us. I’m also grateful for the opportunity to have shared the day with other interesting and inspiring people.

    You’ve demystified a lot of the fog which gets in the way of committing my words to paper. And you’ve shown me that the value of my writing is only as rich as the effort and commitment I deposit. Thank you.

    You’re awesome. Now off to eat some frogs.

    Miriam Ercole

  • Testimonial 08

    Catherine radiated much appreciated personal and professional warmth from the start of the day. She gave lashes of encouragement and inspiration at every turn during the workshop, which, it has to be said, was  presented under unpredictably debilitating conditions in the searing Brisbane heat. The writing class gig itself was, however, definitely not debilitating. It sizzled along, crackling with her energy and creativity, and whenever we seemed as though we were flagging in the heat, Catherine acted cool and in control,  helping us reach for new creative heights, both emotionally and intellectually.  How Catherine sustained her boundless energy and enthusiasm throughout was a wonder to behold. She also personalised aspects very astutely for various individual members of the group, at the same time conveying very relevant, more general points where appropriate as well. Thus the enlightenment which  resonated all day was  that ‘In the particular lies the universal’ in some form – often mysteriously so, where writing is concerned.

    Helen Yeates

  • Testimonial 07

    Being a masterclass repeater I was really impressed with more things I had to learn, particularly about getting unstuck and positive habits to cultivate to get writing done. Food n company fabulous, writing tasks clear and simple and very effective. It was every bit what you said it would be, a writing enema, and then some. 

    Caitlin McGrath

  • Testimonial 06

    Just got home from Deveny’s Gunnas Masterclass at La Luna. Great food, terrific camaraderie, and best of all, motivation up the wazoo. Get onto the Dev, she’ll get you writing, thinking, asking, writing. Thanks for the brilliant day, Catherine, you are ACE

    Nicky Read

  • Testimonial 05

    I loved every minute of today’s class it’s a really great way to run a class – heaps of useful & practical information, the right amount of writing practice time, a warm-friendly-non-confronting environment, and all set in a lovely cafe with great food & people. Thanks again

    Steve Ellen.

  • Testimonial 04

    Spent the day at Catherine Deveny’s Gunnas Writing Masterclass! Loved it. Love Catherine’s extraordinary warmth praise and generosity! Good to shake off the cobwebs and get cracking on mybook!

    Cyndi Darnell

  • Testimonial 03

    Brilliant, brilliant, writing class today. This is without a doubt the most useful, practical and inspiring writing class I’ve been to. And believe me, I’ve been to a few. It’s not only given me the tools to actually do the work, the drive get down and write, but the food is amazing and the people fabulous. You’d be a dickhead not to do it.

    Victoria Strike

  • Testimonial 02

    Catherine Deveny is one of a kind. She’s passionate, open, blunt and incredibly generous. Her Gunnas Writing Masterclass is challenging, inspiring and full of creative strategies to get you focused on the activities that will get your pen to paper. Thank you Catherine!

    Soozey Johnstone

  • Testimonial 01

    Catherine Deveny’s masterclass is just the thing for the writer stuck in the body of a procrastinator. She weaves her inspirational magic over the day and before you can even process what’s happened; you’re back at home writing like your life depends upon it. All this plus delicious food, great company and many laughs – can’t recommend it more highly.

    Melanie Gaylard


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