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  • Holly Brunnbauer

The Wrap-Up: August 2023

Hello, lovely!

Ready for all things reading & writing?

I'm going to safely assume you said, 'Yes!' It'd be awks if you didn't.

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Monthly Wrap-Up: July | Holly - Stay-at-home writer


Competition News

I am delighted to share updates on two writing competitions.

Clears throat ...

Queensland Writers Centre

My manuscript, The Sexy Bucket List, was shortlisted for the Queensland Writers Centre Publishable program.

I almost died when I got the call. No, seriously. I got so excited, I had an asthma attack. I'm okay now.

Thankfully, that's the last hurdle in the comp. There's no first place—we're all winners!


  • 5-hour mentorship with an industry professional.

  • Opportunity to pitch to a matched agent/publisher.

  • One Year Membership with Queensland Writers Centre.

Publishable Shortlist - Queensland Writers Centre - Holly Brunnbauer


Romance Writers of New Zealand

I won 3rd place for my rom-com short story, Scorpio.

Want to read it and nine other swoony tales? Check it out in the 2023 Liaison Magazine.


$100 gift voucher to spend at the Chapter Book and Tea Shop. My dream combo!

I'm stoked to add these writing achievements to my Awards page.

The Sexy Bucket List

My second novel

At the start of the month, I sifted through feedback from my beta readers.

A huge thanks to my beta team - Sarah Wendt, Bridie Blake, Emma Rossi, Katie Montinaro and Emma Mugglestone. They're all talented writers (and lovely people) that I met on Instagram.

I compiled all their suggestions into one document. It's a great way to look for repetition. If three readers point out the same issue, you can't ignore it. If only one makes a comment, you then have to make a decision about whether or not it'll best serve your story. I find those the hardest.

It's normal to initially reject other people's ideas or become defensive. We writers are a precious bunch, aren't we? Give yourself a few days to consider feedback. The sting does go. I've come to learn that if a suggested change keeps me up at night, it's because I know it's necessary (and will require a lot of work).

Once I had my editing list sorted, I tackled the changes one by one. There were a total of 193. Some were teeny tiny and took a minute to do and others required hours of procrasti-cleaning beforehand.

The good news? I've finished them all. Back pats.


Not Just Gal Pals - Elizabeth Luly

Not Just Gal Pals ~ ELIZABETH LULY

I got to read this novel before it was released. Such a lucky ducky.

It's a sapphic rom-com featuring delightful characters and funny pets that's set in a charming fictional small town, during fall. Need I say more?

Admittedly, when Liz first described her story as "low-angst", I had no idea what that really meant. Now I do and let me say, I'm a HUGE fan.

It means you don't get that feeling in the pit of your stomach when something horrible happens in the story. Some people might love that, but not me. Oh, no, no, nooo. That's when I put the book down and grab a TimTam to eat the anxiousness away. It's one of the reasons I love reading rom-coms. I'm all about the warm & fuzzies and Not Just Gal Pals is exactly that.

Yes, there's pining.

Yes, there's simmering tension.

But no one dies or has a traumatic backstory that keeps you up at night. Thank you, Liz!

Jenny and Blake's love story is not too sweet and not too spicy. As Goldilocks would say, 'It's just right.'


Stay-at-home writer, Holly Brunnbauer, out and about in July at the Tram museum, the Indie Bookworm event, watching Barbie and going on a Mumcation.

I spent a lot of August in bed (and not in a good way).

The flu/plague got me.

Among my feverish dreams, Book Week happened.

Mr 8 dressed up as a Creeper from his favourite Minecraft series. Mr 5 dressed up as Pig the Pug for about 0.5 seconds. Then he ripped off his costume (the one he picked and I paid thirty bucks for) and refused to wear it to Kinder. Thanks, kiddo.

Mr Giuseppe (my pug) had another busy month of napping and more napping. What a life!

That's all from me. Until next month, Auf Wiedersehen.


Want to know more about my work in progress? Enjoy a sneak peek.


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