When Thirroul's Susan McCreery was in her 20s, she dreamed of publishing her own book of short stories. But then "life got in the way".
She had children - two sons - and took a job proof-reading other people's words for the publishing houses behind Australian Geographic, Allen and Unwin, Reader's Digest and the University of Queensland Press.
It wasn't until about 10 years ago that Ms McCreery, then in her 40s, set about realising her dream "to have a slim book of my short stories".
Her bid received a significant shot in the arm last week when she won a place in an Australian Society of Authors (ASA) and Copyright Agency program that mentors aspiring writers. From 257 applicants, only 12 writers were chosen.
The successful few nominate three writers they would like to mentor them and those writers are then approached by the ASA.
Ms McCreery, who has written more than 20 stories in the hope of finding a publisher, is looking for a "fresh, experienced, professional eye" to help her fine-tune her tales to a standard worthy of publication.
Her stories are often about families under stress and relationships. Often her characters enjoy small moments of revelation. Ms McCreery said the opportunity to have a respected writer act as a mentor was an important boost and being chosen from a field of other writers was "a real affirmation".