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Free newsletter from the Australian Writers' Centre (formerly the Sydney Writers' Centre) packed with information about our upcoming courses and events, writing competitions, festivals, free articles on writing as well as freelance news and opportunities. Here's a collection of some of our past newsletters.

22 October 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009
Publish your travel stories - Travel Writing seminar; Red Room Company's latest poetry project; Learn online with Online Creative Writing; Learn to write for magazines and newspapers

In this issue:
  • TIP: Be very clear – remove unnecessary words
  • Publish your travel stories – Travel Writing seminar
  • Red Room Company’s latest poetry project
  • Learn online with Online Creative Writing
  • TIP: For all ‘intensive’ purposes
  • Learn to write for magazines and newspapers
  • Did you know? Vice Versa
  • WEBPICK: The Adventurous Writer


I’m back from country Victoria and happy I’ve returned to the Land of Fast Internet! While I was away, I amused myself by taking photos of mis-used apostrophes. Okay, I can hear you now - you’re telling me to get a life! Anyhow, I found this mis-used apostrophe (Pictured bottom left) at the otherwise gorgeous Innocent Bystander winery in Healesville, which is like the Hunter Valley of Victoria.

I tweeted this image, warning people not to make the same mistake. You might be amused to know that the next day, Innocent Bystander Winery tweeted the following message (and posted the picture at the bottom right):

Love your work @valeriekhoo Faces red, apostrophe fixed, forceful resignation of offending staff member accepted.






I also want to remind you about the deadline for our special offer on the exciting new self-study version of one of our most popular courses – ‘How to Get Published in Magazines and Newspapers: Your Blueprint in a Box’. We’ve only just made it available to the public but remember, as a newsletter subscriber, you have a chance to purchase at an exclusive price before Friday 30 October 2009. After that, the prices goes back to retail.

This is a self-study program based on the course Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers. It’s ideal if you want to study at your own pace.

Here's what you receive:
  • Inspiring and informative audio program of 10 CDs
  • 400+ page workbook and transcript for easy reference of notes and instructions
  • Your step-by-step guide on how to get published
  • How to pitch to editors
  • Case studies and templates
  • Valerie Khoo’s insider tips
  • Bonus CDs featuring journalists and authors

You can find out more here.

Special offer
The retail price is $395. However, as a subscriber to this newsletter, your price is only $345. And that includes postage to anywhere in Australia.

When you purchase online use the Promo Code: SUBSCRIBE301009 (at the shopping cart).

Find out more here.





Be very clear - remove unnecessary words
Sometimes improving your writing just means taking out the unnecessary words. If you really read what you’ve written carefully, you’re bound to find some superfluous words or expressions that could easily be removed to make your writing tighter. (Even I’m guilty of using unnecessary words – there are at least two words in that last sentence that don’t need to be there.)

Here are a couple of examples from Laurie Paulik-Kienlen – author of this week’s webpick:

Very – I’m very sick of this word. It doesn’t add meaning. In fact, it usually detracts from what you’re trying to say. I bet that if you took an article or blog post and crossed out every use of 'very,' you’d never know they were missing. And the writing would be tighter, too.

Kind of – ‘Very’ uses hyperbole, and ‘kind of' suffers from the opposite problem: understatement. I found myself typing ‘kind of’ and quickly added it to the list, because, well, it kind of weakens the point. Sometimes it makes sense for dialogue, though, especially if a character is insecure. But writers should avoid it, and use only in moderation.





Publish your travel stories
Summer is almost upon us. And for many people that means… holidays! If you’re a writer, travel and holidays can be an endless source of inspiration. Many of our former feature writing and travel writing students have had articles on their favourite destinations published in major newspapers. And there are so many online opportunities for travel writers too.
    
So, if you think travel writing could be your thing, you should come along to our Travel Writing seminar with Geoff Bartlett. This intensive two-hour seminar will give you the information you need to get started.

The seminar will cover:
  • publishing opportunities (newspapers, magazines, electronic publishing, travel literature, guidebooks, other avenues)
  • types of travel stories (service stories, destination stories, personal essays)
  • some straight talk about earnings
  • finding and focusing your story (the right subject, travel trends, developing your story)
  • the art and craft of travel writing
  • getting published and making contacts
  • writing for travel guidebooks

Here’s what some recent participants had to say about the seminar:

‘I’ve gained more motivation to write and also found out the avenues to take to get articles published.’
- Tina Cicolini

‘[I enjoyed] the "real world" experience and advice. The fact that Geoff has worked in many different types of writing was great too. He was knowledgeable, friendly, and extremely encouraging. I’ve gained confidence to give writing a fair go!’
- Hillary Wild

This seminar is presented by Geoff Bartlett, who has worked as a freelance travel writer and photographer for magazines and websites for the last six years. His current areas of focus are the islands of the South Pacific and Asia. He is a regular contributor to Pacific Island Paradises and Asian Paradises.

Travel Writing DAYTIME seminar with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Friday 6 November 2009 (2-hour morning seminar)
Time: 10.00am - 12 noon
Cost: $75

Travel Writing EVENING seminar with Geoff Barlett
When
: Wednesday 2 December 2009 (2-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $75

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





 
Red Room Company and Sea Things
In October and November, Red Room Company is holding a unique poetry event around Australia. Called Sea Things, the project is commissioning poetry from four major Australian poets - Graeme Miles, Petra White, Luke Beesley and Sandra Thibodeaux.

The poems will be carried in two duffel bags on a sea journey along the East Coast of Australia. Along the way, members of the public will be invited to contribute their own poems. The journey will end on 26 November at Rushcutters Bay in Sydney, but there are still many stops to go.

If you’re interested in submitting a poem or would like to be there for one of the many readings along the way, check out the website.







Learn online with Online Creative Writing
It’s great to know that so many of our subscribers come from all over the country, even the world! And we know that many of you can’t make it to our courses here in Milsons Point, so we’ve developed some online options for you.

Our most popular is the Online Creative Writing. Based on our Creative Writing course, this 5-week offering will unleash your creativity and help you on your writing journey. Whether it’s a novel, short stories or a family history, this course will help you get started.

During the course you’ll learn how to:
  • tap into your imagination
  • draw from everyday experiences and memories
  • examine different types of creative writing
  • give structure to your writing
  • use characters and dialogue

Here’s what some recent participants had to say about the course:

‘I enjoyed listening to Valerie’s lecture presentations each week. I intend to review each lesson quite a few times. It’s many years since I sat in a classroom, my formal education is limited, but I think learning is a life long experience to enjoy and I ENJOYED this course. I now read more attentively and appreciate the written word so much, which inspires me to put my thoughts into words.’
- Judith Harding

‘I liked the flexibility, but also the deadlines, and I also like to listen and relisten to the modules on my ipod. It’s opened my eyes to the more technical side of writing that I knew was there but couldn’t put my finger on.’
- Jackie Randall

Online Creative Writing with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When
: Week beginning Monday 26 October 2009 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.



 
TIP: For all ‘intensive’ purposes
Another common phrase error that we are seeing more and more is ‘for all intensive purposes’. The correct term is actually ‘for all intents and purposes’.

It’s an old English law term that first came into use in the 1500s. It means ‘for all practical purposes’ and is generally used to compare two acts or deeds.

For example:
'We've got a few things to finish, but for all intents and purposes, the job is done.'

‘For all intensive purposes’ is never right. It’s just another example of how we write what we hear.






Learn to write for magazines and newspapers
If you’re one of those people who read magazines and newspapers and think ‘I could do that’, then you should join us for our next Feature Writing course. Whether you’re a first-time writer or you want to hone your skills, we’ll show you how to write an article and get it published.

The course will cover:
  • which ideas work - and where to get them
  • understanding the magazine/news market
  • different types of feature articles
  • how to research, structure and write a feature
  • what editors want from a writer
  • how to pitch your article or idea to a magazine and sell it!

Many participants in this course have gone on to be published in major publications around Australia.

Here’s what some recent participants had to say about the course:
‘The structure of the course led the novice step by step through to enable the student to begin to plan his/her first feature article. It has given me a clearer and more realistic idea of what is involved and how achievable it is.’
- Aisling Kelly

‘Feedback from Pam on writing assignments has given me greater confidence in my abilities as a writer and pointed me to areas I need to improve. Coupled with learning the realities of the industry I feel like I have a head-start.’
- Kate Hawkshaw

This course is taught by Pamela Wilson. She has worked as a freelance journalist for the past seven years. Her articles regularly appear in Medical Observer, Reader’s Digest and Health Smart. She has also contributed to various publications including Men’s Health, Good Health and Medicine, Australian Parents, Travel Vacations and Ninemsn online.

In her 18 years in journalism Pamela has worked at the Gold Coast Bulletin, AAP and The Daily Telegraph in a variety of positions covering areas as diverse as medicine, politics, health and family issues, education, travel, books, lifestyle and men’s and women’s issues.

Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers Stage 1 with Pamela Wilson
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 5 November 2009 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





Did you know? Vice Versa
We often use the term ‘vice versa’. For example:

Rambo the dog is scared of Rocky the cat - and vice versa.

We use ‘vice versa’ to indicate that Rambo the dog is scared of Rocky the cat – and when you switch that around it's also true.

This comes from the Latin words ‘vice versa’, which means ‘with position having been turned’.





WEBPICK: The Adventurous Writer
This blog by freelance writer Laurie Paulik-Kienlen is the perfect site for ‘Quips and Tips’ about writing.

Each blog post features practical advice on writing and freelancing and is accompanied by an inspirational quote from a writer. There are also writer profiles and interviews. Laurie is a Canadian writer (and obviously a very busy one as she writes four blogs on various topics) but the advice here can apply to anyone.

Check it out here - http://theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting









Other upcoming courses
Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Friday 23 October 2009 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $365

Course: Online Creative Writing with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When
: Week beginning Monday 26 October 2009 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395


Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Pamela Wilson
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 5 November 2009 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Friday 6 November 2009 (2-hour morning seminar)
Time: 10.00am - 12 noon
Cost: $75

Course: Online Feature Writing Stage 1 with Valerie Khoo - NEW DATE
When
: Week beginning Monday 9 November 2009 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395


Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter - NEW PRESENTER
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 11 November 2009 for five weeks
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $395


Course: Online Business Booster Bootcamp with Valerie Khoo
When
: Tuesday 24 November 2009
Time: 9.30am - 5.30pm
Cost: $695

Seminar: How to get your book published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Tuesday 24 November 2009 (2-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $75

Course: Professional Business Writing with Mel Wilkinson
When
: Thursday 26 November 2009 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Wednesday 2 December 2009 (2-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $75

Seminar: Self-publishing - How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Wednesday 9 December 2009 (2-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $75


Course: Marketing Your Book with Amanda Falconer
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 19 January 2010 for three weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $265

Course: Script Writing for the Short Films with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Wednesday 20 January and Wednesday 27 January 2009 (two evening seminars)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $165

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When
: Every Friday starting Friday 22 January 2010 for six weeks
Time: 10am - 12noon
Cost: $450

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge - NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 3 February 2010 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395


Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 16 February 2010 for five weeks
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $395


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