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  • Holly Brunnbauer

The Wrap-Up: February 2024

Hey, lovely!

I skipped the wrap-up last month, so I'd like to Oh-fficially welcome you back to my corner of the web in 2024.

If you're new, hiiiii. I'm Holly, a stay-at-home writer who provides a monthly glimpse of this so-called writing "journey".

If you've been here before, you know the drill.

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The Wrap-Up: February 2024 | Holly - Stay-at-home writer



Work-in-progress status

Last year I finished the first draft of a rom-com novel. I took time off in January to let the manuscript bake and removed it from the oven in February.

At first I felt discombobulated when making the transition from drafting to editing. So I eased myself into it by tackling one chapter per week.

When I sit down for an editing sprint, I highlight 100 words to focus on. That's only two-ish paragraphs. Easy peasy. Fronting up to the page is daunting (well, it is for me), but when I break things down, it's less overwhelming.

Now that I've got my groove back, I'll bump up my weekly goal to get more traction. Those self-imposed deadlines aren't going to reach themselves.



Last week I received the Best. Call. Ever.

My rom-com, The Sexy Bucket List, has been longlisted for the Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize.

Even with a few years of writing under my belt, I'm still terrified to put my work out there. On many occasions, I haven't entered comps out of fear that my writing won't stack up against a literary tale with beautiful prose.

But I can't control what happens next. All I can do is remind myself that no matter the outcome, I'm proud of this story. It was a joy to create and my first real crack at being vulnerable in my writing. That's a win for me.

The Longlist: Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize
Longlist 2024


Resource recommendation: Write Squad Community with Jodi Gibson

With Jodi Gibson

Jodi Gibson is an author, podcaster and mentor. She juggles all these roles whilst rocking immaculate hair. How does she do it?

If you're a writer looking for accountability and community, Jodi's Write Squad Community is the place to be.

I've joined this year and am already reaping the benefits—new connections, feedback, learning galore and hilarious discussions about our search history. You had to be there.

Here's a little taster of what you get:

  • Fortnightly Online Writing Sessions

  • Monthly Author Q&A

  • Private Facebook Group

  • Feedback Fridays

  • + MORE

Writing can be a torturous experience, but it's less painful when you do it alongside other people.

See you at the next WSC catch-up?


All I want for Chris-mas - Elouise Tynan, Stephanie Hazeltine, Alison Middleton & Emma Mugglestone

SIT, STAY, LOVE by Amy Hutton

An adorable rom-com about a woman torn between her hot vet bestie, and a dazzling movie star with an award winning butt. Poor lady, right?


After a near-death experience, Amelia is no longer playing it safe. She dramatically quits her job and sets out on the ultimate adult work experience adventure.


Stay-at-home writer, Holly Brunnbauer, out and about in February 2024

This year, for the first time ever, I have both kids at school. Hallelujah. The monotony of packing school lunches everyday is a small price to pay for 6 hours of glorious uninteruppted writing and work time.

Mr Giuseppe (my blessed pug) is thrilled about the peace and quiet too.

Mr 6 (my human child) is settling in well to Prep, except he often cries about the injustice of not having daily lunch orders. Oh what I'd give to have such problems.

For Valentine's Day, I emobodied Miley Cyrus and bought myself some damn flowers. Take that, husband! Then he undid all my good work by bringing home a bouquet and a box of choccies. Must've heard my murderious rants about married men who stop making an effort.

Unlike everyone else in the southern hemisphere, I didn't attend the Taylor Swift concert. Gasp! I didn't even attempt to buy a ticket. Double gasp! Not because I have anything against the singer or her music, but I'm in my hermit era. Also, my plantar fasciitis wouldn't allow me to stand for 3 hours+. The joys of adulthood ...

I did however venture out to a nearby cafe to meet up with one of my writing buddies, Sarah. She's also a prolific reader and shares book reviews on Insta. Follow @sarahjbowen.writer for a bookish binge.


Read Behind the scenes with Amy Hutton, author of SIT, STAY, LOVE.


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