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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.

24 November 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011
In this issue:
  • Kickstart your creativity at our 2012 Summer School
  • Fish Publishing International Short Story Contest
  • How do you treat your titles?
  • Online Travel Writing – new date for 2011
  • What we’re readingKinglake 350 by Adrian Hyland
  • WEBPICK: Written Kitten

It’s been really weird to see myself on the cover of McGrath magazine (pictured right). Of course, I had to pick a book about grammar to be in the photo. Inside the magazine is a three-page article on the Sydney Writers’ Centre. This coincided with a television appearance on Sky Business about the increasing number of people who are writing business books.

Getting publicity is an important part of running any organisation. Because while WE know that the Sydney Writers’ Centre is a fabulous and dynamic place for students, that doesn’t matter if no one else knows about it! So that’s why we put effort into getting media coverage.

If you also want to get publicity for your business or message, then you’ll love our seminar in PR and Media Releases. It’s the principles you’ll learn in this seminar that will help you build your company's profile.

You'll learn:
  • the elements of a typical PR strategy
  • how to structure media releases and what you must include
  • how to deal with journalists
  • online distribution strategies
  • how to approach bloggers as part of your PR strategy
  • and MUCH more.

PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Thursday 1 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $495

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: Whose or who’s?
Many people confuse the words "whose" and "who’s" when writing, despite there being a very clear rule here. Just remember, "who’s" is a contraction of "who is" or "who has". For example:

Who’s (Who is) going to clean the bathroom?
Who’s (Who has) taken Rambo for a walk?

According to the Macquarie Australian Dictionary "whose" means of, belonging, or relating to whom. It is the possessive case of "who" or "which". For example:

Whose jellybeans are these?
Whose dog is Rambo?




What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • In 2012 we’re launching a brand new course – Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin. The first course starts Thursday 15 March 2012. 

  • Check out the latest on the Writing Bar – new articles on delivering bad news, writing fantasy fiction, and what we’ve been up to this week. 

  • Filling fast: Professional Business Writing on Tuesday 29 November.





Kickstart your creativity at our 2012 Summer School
We know that many of you will want to start fulfilling those New Year’s resolutions early, so we’re holding a special Summer School in January and February 2012. We’ll be featuring all of our most popular courses and there’ll be a variety of ways you can attend:

  • Intensive weekend courses (Saturday and Sunday)
  • Intensive weekday courses (Monday and Tuesday)
  • Intensive 5-morning courses (Monday to Friday)
  • Five-week evening courses

If your dream is to write a novel, you can choose a Creative Writing Stage 1 course held over five mornings, a weekend, or five weeks. If writing for magazines and newspapers is your goal, you can join us for a weekend course or for five morning classes. Or maybe you want to write a picture book or a novel for young adults. You can even learn how to write great travel articles or finally get started on your memoir – all in the inspiring surrounds of the Sydney Writers’ Centre!
 
You can also purchase gift certificates for any of these courses. A perfect Christmas gift for the budding writer in your life.

Check out all the courses here.






Student Success – Claire MacTaggart
For many of our students, the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend is the publication to pitch to.

Well, this week, we heard from former student Claire MacTaggart who did the Online Course in Magazine and Newspaper Writing last year. She’s been writing ever since and in the October 1 issue of Good Weekend, her Two of Us piece was published.
 
Congratulations Claire! This is a great achievement.





Fish Publishing International Short Story Contest
The annual Fish Publishing Short Story Contest closes in one week! If short stories are your thing, you don’t want to miss out on this one. Prizes include €3,000 cash and publication in the anthology, which will be published in 2012.

This year’s prize will be judged by David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and, most recently, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. (We spoke to David at the Sydney Writers’ Festival earlier this year. Check out the interview here.)
 
The prize is for short stories of up to 5,000 words and is open to any writer in the world, writing in English. There is a €20 entry fee for each story. Entries can be submitted online until Wednesday 30 November 2011.

For full entry details click here.






Write better emails
Getting your correspondence at work right can seem like an overwhelming challenge. Most of us were not taught the basics of writing clear emails or letters at school so it’s not surprising so many get it wrong!
 
Clear, concise and polite correspondence is essential in business. Whether you’re emailing a customer, a colleague or your boss, you want your message to come across as professional. Our one-day seminar, Better Business Emails, will show you the right way to structure your emails and letters. You’ll come away with valuable templates that you can use for any correspondence, and a framework to ensure that your emails do the job, every time.
 
What past participants say:
"We all need to learn how to communicate. This seminar was very good and subjects were covered to help us understand the correct methods and then put them into a written format."
- Frances McLoughlin

"This is a good course for buliding the foundations of writing business emails and letters."
- Andrew Bardsley
 
This seminar is taught by Deb Doyle. Deb is an experienced editorial-training consultant and publication editor. Deb has conducted courses for the Productivity Commission, AMP and Wizard Home Loans as well as many other corporate and government entities located in Sydney or Melbourne. Deb’s courses are interactive and collegial.
 
Better Business Emails with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 30 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.





TIP: How do you treat your titles?
How you treat titles – of books, newspapers, articles or films – in your writing will always depend on your style guide. But the general convention in Australia is:

Use quotation marks for titles or smaller works or parts of a whole, including:

  • Poems
  • Short stories and essays
  • Songs
  • Chapters
  • Magazine and newspaper articles
  • Individual episodes of a television series

Titles of larger or complete works are italicised. Use italics for titles of:

  • Books and collections of poetry, stories and essays
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Television programs, plays and films





More oops words


We’re sure "vynal" is not even a word, so presumably they meant "vinyl".






Online Travel Writing
Our newest online course, Travel Writing, is proving so popular, we’ve decided to run one more for 2011. If you dream of making a living from writing about your travels, this is the course for you. In five weeks you’ll learn about what needs to be in your travel writing toolkit, how to find inspiration wherever you are, and how to pitch your work to editors.
 
This course is held in our virtual classroom, which means you can do it from wherever you are, whenever suits you!
 
This course will be taught by Sue White. Sue has lost count of the number of countries she’s visited for work and play. As a travel writer, she has written about everything from the Golden Temple (Amritsar, India) to Gianni Versace’s 24-carat gold toilet (Miami, USA) while indulging her own itchy feet.
 
ONLINE COURSE: Travel Writing with Sue White
When
: Week beginning Monday 5 December 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.
 
Due to Christmas and New Year’s public holidays, there will be a break from Monday 26 December 2011 to Monday 2 January 2012. Modules will be released on the following dates:

Module 1: Starts week beginning Monday 5 December 2011
Module 2: Starts week beginning Monday 12 December 2011
Module 3: Starts week beginning Monday 19 December 2011
Christmas break: Week of 25 December to 2 January 2012
Module 4: Starts week beginning Tuesday 3 January 2012
Module 5: Starts week beginning Monday 9 January 2012





What we’re reading
This week Sydney Writers’ Centre course manager, Danielle Williams, is reading Kinglake 350 by Adrian Hyland. She writes:

The Black Saturday fires in Victoria will forever be etched in Australia’s collective memory. On February 7 2009 a deadly combination of drought and one of the country’s worst heat waves brought on a conflagration that killed 173 people and destroyed over 2,000 homes. Adrian Hyland’s Kinglake 350 recounts the events of that day and the lead up to these terrible fires.

Kinglake 350 is the call-sign of the book’s central focus, policeman Roger Wood. As the only policeman on duty in Kinglake that day, he faced a massive challenge trying to ensure the safety of so many people.
 
While the writing is easy to read (almost laconic – like the characters in the book), the pace of the book is frantic. I found myself losing track of who was where and why. Other than that, this is a compelling book. Hyland weaves the science and history of fire into the narrative and offers more than just a re-telling of a terrible day. Kinglake 350 is a fascinating if devastating read.

We want to know what you're reading! You can write a book review for the Writing Bar and we'll feature an excerpt here in the newsletter. If you'd like to submit, check out the review guidelines here.





WEBPICK: Written Kitten
There are plenty of websites that promise to keep writer’s block at bay by threatening to wipe all your work if you don’t keep typing, or make loud noises every time your hands pause over the keypad. But Written Kitten, sent to us by Mel Kettle, uses positive reinforcement to keep your creativity flowing.
 
For every 100 words you type – whether it’s your latest short story or a business project you’re working on – a picture of a kitten will pop up to help motivate you for the next 100 words. Just watch that your final story isn’t punctuated by lots of 'aw's or the overuse of words like cute and adorable.
 
Check it out here.









Other upcoming courses
Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 24 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 25 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – FULL
When:
Week beginning Monday 28 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Plotting and Planning with Kate Forsyth – FULL
When
: Monday 28 November 2011 and Monday 5 December 2011 (two evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When
: Tuesday 29 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Better Business Emails with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 30 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Thursday 1 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $495

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 5 December 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 5 December 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 5 December 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 5 December 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Wednesday 7 December 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Thursday 8 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 12 December 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 14 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Daytime Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Monday 9 January to Friday 13 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Monday 16 January to Friday 20 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Monday 16 January to Friday 20 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Kate Forsyth – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 18 January 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395 

Seminar: Successful Freelancing with Valerie Khoo and Gayle Bryant
When
: Thursday 19 January 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Weekend Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Saturday 21 January and Sunday 22 January 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Travel Writing with Sue White – SUMMER SCHOOL
When:
Saturday 21 January and Sunday 22 January 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Monday 23 January and Tuesday 24 January 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Tuesday 24 January 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When
: Tuesday 24 January 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding – NEW DATE
When:
Every Monday starting Monday 30 January 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 31 January 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Daytime Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 2 February 2012 (two-hour morning seminar)
Time: 10.00am – 12.00noon
Cost: $85

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go – NEW DATE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 2 February 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Saturday 4 February and Sunday 5 February 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Saturday 4 February and Sunday 5 February 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 6 February 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 6 February 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Wednesday 8 February 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Weekend Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Saturday 11 February and Sunday 12 February 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Life Writing with Patti Miller
When
: Saturday 25 February and Sunday 26 February 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 5 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin – NEW COURSE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 15 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Writing about Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett – NEW DATE
When:
Thursday 15 March 2012 and Thursday 22 March 2012 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 24 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding – NEW DATE
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 9 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Bali with Patti Miller – NEW DATE
When:
Saturday 21 July to Saturday 28 July 2012

Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – NEW DATE
Arrival: Thursday 18 October 2012
Departure: Saturday 3 November 2012



17 November 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011
In this issue:
  • New online course: Travel Writing
  • TIP: Beware the dangling modifier
  • Hardie Grant Egmont want your manuscript!
  • Make the most of your holidays with an online course
  • Are your documents ready? Perfect Your Proofreading
  • What we’re readingQuarterly Essays for 2011, The Happy Life
  • WEBPICK: 11 Drinks to Pair With Your Favourite Books

I’m so excited to announce our new online course in Travel Writing! This long-awaited five-week course is jam-packed with information. I’ve loved every minute of creating it with our amazing, globetrotting Travel Writing presenter, Sue White.

It will lift the lid on what you need to know to write travel articles that editors want to publish (and pay you for). This is all new content and new course material.

I have been through every single module in this course and, I have to say, it’s awesome. You’ll learn so much and come away with a really firm foundation to pitch and write travel articles that sell.

This course will cover:
  • different types of travel articles and why they suit
    different markets
  • industry lingo you need to know
  • how to develop the right angle for your travel story
  • how to structure your article, when it’s important to provide photos,
    and other key elements such as trip notes
  • how to research travel stories and find interview subjects
  • travel writing in your home town
  • travel writing ethics
  • how to plan your itineraries to maximise your story
  • and MUCH more.

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When
: Week beginning Monday 28 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Back to Basics – Dangling Modifiers
Ever read a sentence and wondered why it didn’t really make sense? It’s possible a dangling modifier is the culprit. This is a verb form that isn’t connected to anything – it’s subject-less. Put simply, a dangling modifier is a word or phrase that modifies a word that does not appear in the sentence.
 
A sentence with a dangling modifier will leave the reader wondering what the subject is, therefore confusing the meaning.
 
This example was spotted in a travel article:

Sipping cocktails on the balcony, the moon looked magnificent.

This sentence suggests the moon was sitting on the balcony sipping cocktails. An interesting image, sure, but not what the writer meant. This would make more sense:

Sipping cocktails on the balcony, I admired the magnificent moon.

OR

Admiring the magnificent moon, I sipped cocktails on the balcony.





What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • Filling fast: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett on Thursday 24 November 2011. 

  • Need a NaNoWriMo motivational boost? We’re having a NaNoWriMo catch-up on Friday 18 November. Check the Writing Bar for details.

  • For social media junkies, visit our new Google+ company page here. Add us to your circle and we'll add you back!

  • Our Christmas decorations are up!






Plotting and Planning your story the right way
"If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail."
There is some truth in this, especially for writers. Effectively planning your novel could mean the difference between having a publishable draft, and going back to the drawing board.
 
There are many different ways to plan a novel, and many different ways to build a plot. Our two-part Masterclass on Plotting and Planning, with author Kate Forsyth, teaches you the techniques you need to make sure you don’t lose the plot.

If you’re a graduate of one of our creative writing courses, or you’re ready to start planning your novel, this course will help you understand plot and narrative, and give you a strategy to turn your idea into a plan.

What past participants say:
"I just think Kate is wonderful. She is passionate, intelligent and her course is packed with useful information. I get from Kate's class more information than I have from week-long courses."
- Olivia Vozila

"Fantastic! Dynamic! Inspiring! The course was packed with useful information that I can apply on many levels now and later."
- Mary Hickson

This course is taught by Kate Forsyth. Kate is an internationally bestselling author of more than 20 books for children and adults, including The Puzzle Ring, The Gypsy Crown, The Starthorn Tree, and the bestselling fantasy series ‘The Witches of Eileanan' and 'Rhiannon’s Ride'.

Plotting and Planning with Kate Forsyth
When
: Mondays 28 November & 5 December 2011 (two evening classes)
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





Hardie Grant Egmont competition
Hardie Grant Egmont love kids’ books and are committed to publishing books kids want to read. They’re also committed to giving new writers a go in a publishing market that can be hard to break into. That’s why their new collection, Ampersand, is so exciting.
 
In 2013, Hardie Grant Egmont will publish Ampersand, a collection of short novels for teens, written by debut authors. So, if you’re an unpublished author and have a YA manuscript that explores the real lives of teens, then check out the competition details on the Writing Bar.

Entries close 5pm Monday 27 February 2011.





More Student Success
More great news from one of our former students this week… Leanne Anderson describes herself as a "serial attender" at the Sydney Writers’ Centre and she has just had an article published in the magazine, French Provincial. Here’s what she wrote to us:

Just wanted to let you know of some recent success following my attendance at two Sydney Writers' Centre workshops: Feature Writing and PR and Media Releases.

I pitched to the editor of French Provincial (a niche magazine for Australian francophiles) using a case study of two families who had followed their dreams to relocate to France. Pitch was accepted, interviews of case study participants done (by skype!), and the article was published in the Oct/Nov edition of the magazine.

Both courses were so well structured and provided clear guidance to putting workshop content into action and it works!


Congratulations, Leanne! We’re sure this is the first of many published features.






TIP: Can you use ‘because’ at the start of a sentence?
According to Grammar Girl, yes you can. Here’s her advice:

It's OK to start a sentence with "because"; you just have to make sure you're writing complete sentences and not sentence fragments.

"Because" heads up subordinate clauses, which means if you have a clause that starts with "because," you must also have a main clause in your sentence. A main clause is something that could be a complete sentence by itself. The main clause can come first or last; if it comes last, you need a comma.

  • Because Squiggly woke up late, he had to postpone the fishing trip. (subordinate clause first, note the comma)
  • Squiggly had to postpone the fishing trip because he woke up late. (subordinate clause second, no comma needed)
  • Because he woke up late. (sentence fragment)





Make the most of your holidays – join an online course
We know that for many of you, summer holidays are the best time of year to take time out for yourself, and start writing! That’s why our online courses will continue right through December. That’s right – even if you want to spend your Christmas break learning and writing, you can.

Whether you want to explore writing fiction, have an idea for a kids’ book you want to write, or think writing for magazines and newspapers is your thing, we have an online course that will suit you.

ONLINE COURSE: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1
When
: Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.

ONLINE COURSE: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults
When
: Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.

ONLINE COURSE: Creative Writing Stage 1
When
: Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Did you know? Spin doctor
We all hear "spin" everyday, especially in the media, where an interpretation of an event or political campaign can be used to sway public opinion one way or another. Spin is usually considered deceptive in some way, and we’re naturally distrustful of it.

The "spin doctor" is the one doing the spinning. They’re the ones charged with getting that favourable interpretation out there. Interestingly, it’s quite a new term. The phrase actually comes from baseball. The "spin" put on the ball by the pitcher is used to confuse the batter by disguising the ball’s direction.

Spin doctor didn’t come into use until the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan’s advisers were frantically trying to win support for his ‘Star Wars’ initiative, which was widely criticised.






Are your documents ready to be published?
When you’re working on documents – whether they’re annual reports or weekly newsletters – your final step should be proofreading. This important, but often overlooked, step will help ensure your business documents are polished and professional every time.
 
Our one-day seminar, Perfect your Proofreading, will show you how to make sure your documents are in the best shape possible for printing and publication. You’ll learn how to use the standard proofreading symbols, how to set up a clear proofreading process for your work, and how to avoid the most common proofreading errors.
 
What past participants say:
"The course was excellent and the teaching was focussed on exactly what I needed to know."
- Carol-Anne Maurer

"The presenter was fantastic. She gives practical, painless tuition you will refer to in the workplace."
- Sarah Shields
 
This seminar is taught by Deb Doyle. Deb is an experienced editorial-training consultant and publication editor. Deb has conducted courses for the Productivity Commission, AMP, Wizard Home Loans and the RTA as well as for many other corporate and government entities located in Sydney or Melbourne.

Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 25 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more details or to enrol online.






What we’re reading
This week Sydney Writers’ Centre intern, Katie Booth, is reading The Happy Life: The Search for Contentment in the Modern World, Quarterly Essay 41 by David Malouf. She writes:

"When so many of the sources of human unhappiness have been removed, how is it that happiness still alludes us?" David Malouf endeavours to answer this question, exploring happiness through different lenses and grappling with the possibility that a solution does not exist, in the first Quarterly Essays for 2011, The Happy Life.

Malouf’s gentle and all inclusive voice lures the reader on a journey in an attempt to seek answers. He guides his readers through the classical perception on happiness to our modern 21st century take on “the simplest of human emotions.”

One cannot help but be swept away on this voyage but some readers may be frustrated after turning the final page. Malouf leaves us with an ambiguous answer, simply suggesting that we may encounter happiness in the arts. While readers may be far from satisfied with his answer, the adventure Malouf takes us on is a captivating one.

We want to know what you're reading! You can write a book review for the Writing Bar and we'll feature an excerpt here in the newsletter. If you'd like to submit, check out the review guidelines here





WEBPICK: 11 Drinks to Pair With Your Favourite Books
I came across this on Huffington Post recently. If you’ve got some reading time planned over the holidays, perhaps this will give you some ideas on what you should read... and drink.

Not to be taken too seriously, this post lists some must-read books, along with a suggested accompanying drink. Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love is probably the booziest book suggested, with a drink to complement each country she visited. If you happen to own a goatskin (or wineskin), then you’re ready to read Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls while enjoying a good red wine.

Check it out here.









Other upcoming courses
Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – FULL
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 17 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Edit with Confidence with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 18 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville – FULL
When
: Monday 21 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson
When:
Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett – FULL
When
: Wednesday 23 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 24 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle
When
: Thursday 24 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 25 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW ONLINE COURSE
When:
Week beginning Monday 28 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Plotting and Planning with Kate Forsyth
When
: Monday 28 November 2011 and Monday 5 December 2011 (two evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When
: Tuesday 29 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Better Business Emails with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 30 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Thursday 1 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $495

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Wednesday 7 December 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Thursday 8 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 12 December 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Wednesday 14 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Daytime Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Monday 9 January to Friday 13 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Monday 16 January to Friday 20 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Monday 16 January to Friday 20 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Seminar: Successful Freelancing with Valerie Khoo and Gayle Bryant
When
: Thursday 19 January 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Weekend Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Saturday 21 January and Sunday 22 January 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Travel Writing with Sue White – SUMMER SCHOOL
When:
Saturday 21 January and Sunday 22 January 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Monday 23 January and Tuesday 24 January 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Tuesday 24 January 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When
: Tuesday 24 January 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding – NEW DATE
When:
Every Monday starting Monday 30 January 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 31 January 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go – NEW DATE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 2 February 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Saturday 4 February and Sunday 5 February 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Saturday 4 February and Sunday 5 February 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 6 February 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Saturday 11 February and Sunday 12 February 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Life Writing with Patti Miller
When
: Saturday 25 February and Sunday 26 February 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 5 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin – NEW COURSE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 15 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Writing about Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett – NEW DATE
When:
Thursday 15 March 2012 and Thursday 22 March 2012 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 24 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding – NEW DATE
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 9 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Bali with Patti Miller – NEW DATE
When:
Saturday 21 July to Saturday 28 July 2012

Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – NEW DATE
Arrival: Thursday 18 October 2012
Departure: Saturday 3 November 2012



10 November 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011
In this issue:
  • TIP: Until, till or ’til?
  • Perfect documents every time – editing
    and proofreading seminars
  • Commonwealth Short Story Prize – win £5,000!
  • Season’s Greetings – don’t forget the apostrophe!
  • Get published in your favourite magazine today
  • What we’re readingYou’ll Be Sorry When I’m
    Dead
    by Marieke Hardy
  • WEBPICK: Time Travel Turtle

We’re living in a world that’s increasingly going online. That’s how we consume much of our information, whether it’s on a website, mobile phone or iPad. So it’s becoming more important than ever to understand how to write for the web. If you’re not using the right techniques, you may not be as effective in communicating your message to your audience.

Our Writing for the Web seminar is ideal for:

  • anyone who writes web copy
  • public relations or marketing professionals who write
    for online media
  • business owners who want to promote their
    message online
  • employees who contribute to company intranets
  • experienced print writers who want to hone their
    online writing skills
  • IT professionals/consultants who have been given
    the responsibility of writing web pages.
Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle
When
: Thursday 24 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: Until, till or ’til?
Just when you think you’ve got this grammar thing down pat along comes an exception to the rule … We’ve been pondering the question of how you should shorten the word until. The rules of abbreviation would suggest that ’til would be correct – a shortened version of until with an apostrophe representing the missing letters.

Well did you know that the word till is actually much older than the word until, appearing in English around 400 years before until. Till is listed in the Macquarie Dictionary as meaning “up to the time of; until”, or “to the time that or when”.

In the past century, it’s become acceptable to use ’til as the shortened version of until. However, just make sure you always use the apostrophe and make sure it’s facing the right way. Til (without the apostrophe) is incorrect.






What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • Summer School: We've confirmed more intensive and weekend intensive courses for our Summer School. Check out dates here

  • NEW DATES: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis on Wednesday 7 December 2011.

  • NEW VIDEO: We spoke to SJ Watson in our Milsons Point training centre about his international best-seller Before I Go to Sleep.






Edit with confidence: Perfect documents every time
Do you work on important documents in your job? Are you responsible for ensuring your company’s correspondence, reports or proposals are well-written and error free? Editing and proofreading are very different processes, but both are essential to ensuring perfect documents every time.

If you want to learn the essentials of editing, our Edit with Confidence seminar will show you how to edit for structure and style, techniques for improving anyone’s writing style, and how to use editorial stylesheets – a vital tool for making your job easier.

What past participants say:
"Beautiful location; knowledgeable presenter; and the small class size allowed for a more tailored approach and questions."
- Veronica Eulate

"Thank you, I have benefited immensely from this seminar. I now have some great tips to improve my skills in my work place."
- Greti Willett

Edit with Confidence with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 18 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.

Your next step in ensuring your documents look professional is proofreading. Perfect Your Proofreading will show you how to use the standard proofreading symbols, how to avoid common mistakes, and how to create your own proofreading checklist.

What past participants say:
"I will be using the knowledge that I have taken away from this course on a day-to-day basis. I now know what my exact role as a proofreader is, and will be able to use the correct, professional language."
- Danielle Roddick

"Vibrant, interesting and dynamic."
- Gina Portsher

Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 25 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






More Student Success
More great news this week from one of our former students – Toni Brisland has done a number of courses with us over the years and has had a lot of success with her book, DemiChat and the Kent Street Mystery. Here’s what she wrote to us:

All the courses I've done at the Sydney Writers' Centre have helped me to be a better childrens' writer and yesterday I was thrilled when I saw in the Sun-Herald that my Sherlock Holmes spoof, "DemiChat and the Kent Street Mystery" (about a cat and dog detective team) illustrated by Peter "Zane" Haywood is listed on the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge for 2012 for Years 5 - 6.

Congratulations, Toni! We look forward to hearing more about your success with the book.





Commonwealth Short Story Prize
A great opportunity for new and established writers, the annual Commonwealth Short Story Prize is now open for entries. This award for the best un-published short fiction (stories of 2,000 to 5,000 words long) is open to any writer living in a commonwealth country.

The overall winner of the prize will receive £5,000 and each regional winner (there are four regions) will receive £1,000. Entries close Wednesday 30 November 2011.

Check out the Writing Bar for more details.







Boost your creativity – online!
It’s a busy time of year but that doesn’t mean you can’t take time out for your writing. And what could be better than an online course in creative writing to help you do that? Our online courses are perfect if you’re interstate, overseas, or would just prefer to study from home.

The Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 will cover exactly the same content as our popular face-to-face course, but you’ll be learning in our virtual classroom. The course will cover all the essential elements of great fiction – voice, character, plot and structure – and you’ll have a chance to put what you learn into practice.

What past students say:
"I enjoyed the challenge of the writing tasks and the discovery that they didn't have to be long to be effective. This is the first course I've taken in writing and I'd forgotten how much I enjoy the process of creating."
- Patty Zorzetto

"Being online was convenient and it was very easy to post our assignments and comments in the classroom. And I could do it in my PJs!"
- Laurie-Lee Sivewright

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When
: Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: Season’s Greetings
’Tis the season! Well, almost. Any day now you can expect the Christmas cards to start flooding in, the shopping centre Santas to start appearing, and the annual festival of drinking and eating too much to begin. And no doubt, somewhere in all of that, you’ll see the term Season’s Greetings – hopefully with an apostrophe.
 
The term means “greetings of the season” or “with the season’s greetings”, as it was written in the 19th century. That was eventually shortened to “Season’s Greetings”. You must include the apostrophe in “season’s” because the greetings belong to the season.







More apostrophe neglect
Thanks to Peter Fadeyev for sending us this picture.



There should definitely be an apostrophe in "its", because it is Charger's 35th birthday.





Get published in your favourite magazine TODAY
Have you ever sat down to read your favourite magazine, or pored over the Saturday newspapers, and thought to yourself, “I could write that”? In our five-week course Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1, we’ll show you how you can master the art of writing a great feature article, and get it published.

You’ll learn how to generate story ideas, how to research and structure your article, and how to approach an editor. This course is ideal if you’re interested in writing articles about travel, lifestyle, politics, sport, entertainment – just about anything you can think of.

What past participants say:
“Sue White's enthusiasm for writing made going to class on a Monday night worth while. She was fantastic!
- Alegria Alano

“Sue brought the course to life. She was enthusiastic, friendly, open, thoughtful – she's the best. I love her! This course is definitely worth doing whether you would like to pursue writing as a hobby or as a career.”
- Kimberly Omodei

Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When
: Thursdays starting Thursday 17 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: "Than me" or "than I"?
Our former student Martin emailed in this query. Is the correct usage: "than me" or "than I"?

Which is right?

Rambo loves food more than me.
Rambo loves food more than I.

Well, it depends on what you are trying to say. The trick is to mentally fill in the extra words that would express what you're trying to say, and that generally gives you the answer.

If you mean:

Rambo loves food more than he loves me. Use "than me".
Rambo loves food more than I love food. Use "than I".

However, if there is any ambiguity at all, our advice is that it's always best to add the extra words to make sure that your meaning is clear.






What we’re reading
This week Sydney Writers’ Centre intern, Katie Booth, is reading You’ll Be Sorry When I’m Dead by Marieke Hardy. She writes:

From mortifying experiences with a prostitute, to stalking her Young Talent Time idol, to watching a friend lose her battle with cancer, this book is not for the faint of heart.

Marieke Hardy delves into the depths of painful, awkward and side-splittingly funny experiences in her 259 page memoir You’ll Be Sorry When I’m Dead. Those familiar with the writer’s public persona will not be surprised by the hedonistic and humorous manner in which she maps her life so far via the collection of short stories.

What lingers long after you’ve turned the final page is the vulnerability Hardy displays in moments that truly touch you. One of the stories tells of her initial hesitation in fulfilling the role of half-time mother, and subsequent grief for the child’s loss as the mother moves interstate. It is in moments such as these that Hardy strips her veil of self-deprecation to reveal a vulnerability that is heart-achingly real.

This is an edited extract of Katie’s review on the Writing Bar. You can write a book review for the Writing Bar and we'll feature an excerpt here in the newsletter. If you'd like to submit, check out the review guidelines here





WEBPICK: Time Travel Turtle
We’re thinking a lot about travel writing at the moment (maybe it’s the weather…) so when we came across Time Travel Turtle by Australian writer Michael Turtle, we just had to check it out.

For anyone interested in travel, writing, and photography, this blog should satisfy. Michael’s around the world adventure is faithfully recounted in regular blog posts and stunning photos. Well worth a look if you’re after inspiration for your own holidays – or travel blog!

Check it out here.








Other upcoming courses
Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 11 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Weekend Intensive Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go – FULL
When
: Saturday 12 November and Sunday 13 November 2011 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 14 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding – 1 PLACE LEFT
When:
Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 15 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy
When:
Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 16 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 17 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Edit with Confidence with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 18 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville – FULL
When
: Monday 21 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson
When:
Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Wednesday 23 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 24 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle
When
: Thursday 24 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 25 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Plotting and Planning with Kate Forsyth
When
: Monday 28 November 2011 and Monday 5 December 2011 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 29 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Better Business Emails with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 30 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Thursday 1 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $495

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis – NEW DATE
When
: Wednesday 7 December 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Thursday 8 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 12 December 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Daytime Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – NEW DATE
When
: Monday 9 January to Friday 13 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Monday 16 January to Friday 20 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When
: Monday 16 January to Friday 20 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Seminar: Successful Freelancing with Valerie Khoo and Gayle Bryant – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 19 January 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Weekend Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 21 January and Sunday 22 January 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Saturday 21 January and Sunday 22 January 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 24 January 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 24 January 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 31 January 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395


Course: Weekend Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 4 February and Sunday 5 February 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Life Writing with Patti Miller – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 25 February and Sunday 26 February 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge – NEW DATE
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 5 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Bali with Patti Miller – NEW DATE
When:
Saturday 21 July to Saturday 28 July 2012

Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – 2012 dates to be confirmed


3 November 2011

Thursday, November 03, 2011
In this issue:
  • TIP: Maybe or may be?
  • Write compelling fiction – Creative Writing Stage 1
  • Beautiful words
  • Book giveawayThe Sixth Key by Adriana Koulias
  • Transform your writing – Grammar and
    Punctuation Essentials
  • What we’re readingThe Dead I Know by
    Scot Gardner
  • WEBPICK: We Wanted To Be Writers

Well it seems that I’m surrounded by NaNoWriMo participants. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard of NaNoWriMo, here’s an explanation. Rose, our communications coordinator, and Andrew, our newest team member (welcome Andrew!) are busy penning their novels in an effort to write 50,000 words in National Novel Writing Month. Good luck to all the NaNoWriManiacs out there!

If you want to progress towards writing your novel, then an ideal course is Creative Writing Stage 2. This is great if you want to keep your momentum going after the Stage 1 course or if you have a decent body of work that’s ready for fine-tuning.

Creative Writing Stage 2 will cover:

  • how to find, create or extend your main characters and how to place them within a world of believable minor characters
  • how to make similar characters distinct on the page – what is your character’s ‘journey’?
  • structuring your story
  • climax and resolution: how these shape the final story – and how to write them
  • the principles of scene development: dialogue, pacing, manipulation of time, character interaction, management of exposition
  • the right process of structural editing, copy-editing and proofreading, using examples from published and student work
  • and MUCH more.

Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman LAST COURSE FOR 2011
When
: Tuesdays starting Tuesday 15 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Can’t make it to our training rooms in Milsons Point? You can also do this course online.

ONLINE COURSE: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When
: Week beginning Monday 14 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: Maybe or may be?
When you’re firing off an email or engrossed in writing your latest story, it’s easy to make mistakes that won’t be picked up by your spell-checker – like using “may be” when you actually mean “maybe”.
 
We often see these two confused but it’s important to remember they’re not interchangeable. Maybe is an adverb, meaning “perhaps” or “possibly”. For example:

Maybe I’ll join you later.
Maybe all this exercise will make me feel fitter.

May be is a verb phrase. It means something “might be” or “could be”. For example:

I may be going on holiday soon.
We may be taking time off over Christmas to read more books.

A good way to test if you’re using the right version when using “maybe” is to replace it with “perhaps”. If the sentence still makes sense, you’ve got it right. You can use the same test for “may be” – replace it with “perhaps”, but if it doesn’t make sense, then you’ve chosen the right form.






What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • Filling fast: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker, starts Thursday 10 November. 

  • Sneak peek: The glamorous life of a travel writer 

  • How does our use of words change over time? This is the topic of our radio show here.

  • NEW DATES: We've just announced new dates for our 2012 Summer School program. Check it out here.




Get published in your favourite magazine
Want to know how to turn your love of writing into a career? Writing for magazines and newspapers is the perfect way to indulge your love of just about any topic – including politics, sport, travel, and entertainment – and get paid for it!
 
Our Magazine and Newspaper Writing course will show you how you can do it. You’ll learn which ideas work and how to find them, how to write feature articles, what editors want, and how to pitch your features and increase your chances of getting published.
 
Our last Magazine and Newspaper Writing courses for 2011 are happening soon – and filling fast!

This course is taught by Marina Go or Sue White.

Marina Go has been editor of Australian Good Taste, editor-in-chief of ELLE Australia, launch editor of ELLE Cuisine, editor of Sunday Life, editor of fashion for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers, and launch editor of PINNACLE magazine.


Sue White is a successful feature writer and travel writer whose work has featured in The Sydney Morning Herald, Vogue Australia, Travel + Leisure (Australia), Sun Herald Travel, Women’s Health, Vogue Entertaining + Travel, CNN Traveller, and various ABC outlets.


What past participants say:
“Sue White's enthusiasm for writing made going to class on a Monday night worthwhile. She was fantastic!
- Alegria Alano

“Marina's experience and easy to follow tips were brilliant. Marina is engaging and very knowledgeable. This course is a great way to kick start your writing passions.”
- Laura Farmer
 
WEEKEND INTENSIVE Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go
When
: Saturday 12 November & Sunday 13 November 2011 (two day workshop)
ONLY 2 PLACES LEFT
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395
 
Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When
: Thursdays starting Thursday 17 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






More Student Success
This week, we received an email from Magazine and Newspaper Writing graduate, Tara O’Sullivan, who’s just scored two writing gigs with major magazines. She wrote to us:
 
“I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone involved at The Sydney Writers’ Centre. After completing the Magazine and Newspaper Writing course last year, and this year Perfecting Your Pitch, with the incredible Sue White, I have been commissioned to write my first feature article for Cleo magazine! I am also writing a weekly blog for Cosmopolitan online. You guys gave me the confidence to believe in my writing, and to convince someone to publish it. A dream come true.”
 
Congratulations Tara!
 
We also received very exciting news from Barbara Parks. Barbara completed the Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 in 2010, and has just scored her first book deal! She wrote:
 
“I have now officially been contracted to Llewellyn Worldwide, who are the biggest publishers of new age and paranormal books in the world. My book is called In the Presence of Spirits: A True Story of Ghostly Visitations and will be released in early 2012.
 
I really do appreciate the role SWC has played in helping me fulfill my dream of becoming a published author. So to Pamela, Valerie, and indeed all at SWC, I send a very big THANK YOU! It goes without saying that I highly recommend the courses that the SWC offers as an invaluable stepping stone towards achieving success as a writer.”

 
Congratulations Barbara!





Sydney Writers’ Centre is a Better Business Partner
Here at the Centre we know how important sustainability is to many of our community. That’s why we’re taking part in the Better Business Partnership, a regional council project committed to improving the sustainability of businesses on Sydney’s North Shore.
 
As part of the project, we’re working on earning seven badges, each one for a different area of sustainability. So far, we’ve earned badges for water saving, waste saving, sustainable transport use and provision of staff support. And we’re still working towards becoming a more sustainable business!
 
You can check out the Better Business Partnership here.







How to write a compelling story – Creative Writing Stage 1
Do you dream of publishing your own book? Even if you’ve never written fiction before, our Creative Writing Stage 1 course can show you how to write a compelling story. Whether you’re interested in novels or short stories, this course will show you how to draw inspiration from your world and put it in words.
 
Over five weeks, you’ll cover all the essential elements of a great story – character, plot, and structure. You’ll also get tips on how to generate ideas and how to finally get that book out of your imagination and on to the page.
 
Creative Writing Stage 1 is one of our most popular courses and the last course for 2011 will be held soon!
 
This course will be taught by James Roy. James has written some 20 books, including the Children's Book Council Honour Books Captain Mack and Billy Mack's War, as well as the 2008 NSW Premier's Award-winning Town, which was also recently shortlisted for the German Youth Literature Prize.
 
What past participants say:
"James gave us some really great hints on writing. It was good to get an "insider's" perspective. The course was practical, stimulating and non-confrontational."
- Michele Smart

"James Roy was wonderful. He has inspired me to write more!"
- Amanda Baysari
 
Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy
When
: Wednesdays starting Wednesday 16 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






What’s that? Bildungsroman
Ever heard of the word “bildungsroman”?

This is “a novel whose theme is the early growth and development of its main character”. These are books like David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, and The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

Now there’s a word you can pull out next time you’re at pub trivia!







Beautiful Words
We found this wonderful post on Deshoda.com recently – a list of beautiful words. All word lovers can appreciate this! Some of our favourites were:

  • Chatoyant Like a cat’s eye.
  • Evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.
  • Gambol To skip or leap about joyfully.
  • Mellifluous Sweet sounding.
  • Palimpsest A manuscript written over earlier ones.
  • Serendipity Finding something nice while looking for something else.
  • Surreptitious Secretive, sneaky.
  • Tintinnabulation Tinkling.

And something that perfectly describes many of us at the Sydney Writers’ Centre:

  • Ailurophile A cat-lover.

You can check out the full list here.





TIP: An historic or a historic?
Last week’s tip on the difference between historic and historical prompted Get Published reader, Alicia Thompson, to email and ask us to address the issue of “a historic” versus “an historic”.
 
When writing you should keep in mind this rule – use "a" if the next word starts with a consonant sound, and ‘an’ if it starts with a vowel sound. Here’s what the Australian Editing Handbook suggests:
 
All our dictionaries and style guides give a historic/historian as the preferred form. If you feel you must write an historic/historian, remember that it is an archaic form left over from the time when it was pronounced an istoric/’istorian; if you continue to use it, it follows that, for consistency, you should write an hotel, an holiday and an horrible experience as well.






Book giveaway – The Sixth Key by Adriana Koulias
We recently spoke to Adriana Koulias, author of The Sixth Key. Adriana’s publishing journey has been a fascinating one – she self-published her first book, Temple of the Grail, and eventually picked up a publishing deal with Pan Macmillan. The Sixth Key is her fourth novel and she’s now a full-time thriller author.
 
You can watch our interview with her here.




We have one copy of The Sixth Key to give away. This fast-paced historical thriller is set mainly in the 1930s and follows a search for a notorious 14th century book of black magic. If you’d like to win our copy of The Sixth Key tell us about your favourite historical book and why you love it. Email your answers to courses [at] spindriftmedia [dot] com [dot] au by 5pm, Friday 11 November 2011.






Transform your writing – Grammar and Punctuation Essentials
For many of us, the rules of grammar and punctuation can often seem bewildering. When should you use apostrophes? And when shouldn’t you? What are the nine parts of speech? How many commas are too many? Knowing these and other essential rules can have a surprising effect on your confidence and your writing.
 
Our one-day Grammar and Punctuation Essentials seminar is an intensive but enjoyable refresher that will transform your writing. By the end of the day you’ll be able to confidently spot errors in your own and other’s writing. You’ll also take home a copy of Deb Doyle’s Grey Areas and Gremlins: A grammar and punctuation refresher, a vital resource for anyone coming to grips with grammar.
 
What past participants say:
"Deb is very knowledgeable and has a wonderful presenting style. This seminar is great professional development for people wanting to write and even make a career out of it."
- Carla Avolio

"Deb is a warm and vivacious presenter who is a joy to spend time with in the class. Have your pen and notebook at the ready as she dispenses something valuable at every turn."
- Wendy Johnston

Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 11 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.





What we’re reading
This week Writing Books for Children and Young Adults presenter, Judith Ridge, is reading The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner. She writes:

I’ve just read Scot Gardner’s young adult (YA) novel The Dead I Know (Allen and Unwin). It’s the story of teenager Aaron, who lives in a caravan park in a small coastal town with a woman he calls Mam. Aaron has just started work with the local undertaker, helping with the collection and preparation of bodies for burial and attending funerals—when he can keep himself from fleeing from the grief that surrounds the bereaved. Aaron sleepwalks—often dangerously—and there’s clearly some great, terrible thing in his past that continues to haunt him. To top it all off, he’s being harassed by the constantly drunk inhabitants of a neighbouring van, and there’s something very wrong with Mam…
 
It all sounds a bit grim, and there’s no doubt that Aaron’s story takes him into some dark situations—not least of all the event from his past, which is gradually revealed to the reader through Aaron’s dreams and memories. Gardner leavens all this darkness with other characters—particularly the undertaker John Barton and his somewhat quirky family—who give Aaron friendship, support, practical help and some much needed respect. And so, in the end, while there are no pat answers and no shying away from the fact that there are some pretty dreadful people in the world, and horrific things can happen, there’s also a lot of good around. I found The Dead I Know pretty compelling and ultimately very satisfying. Recommended for older teens and grown ups.

We want to know what you're reading! You can write a book review for the Writing Bar and we'll feature an excerpt here in the newsletter. If you'd like to submit, check out the review guidelines here





WEBPICK: We Wanted To Be Writers
The legendary University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop was first established in 1936 and has gone on to become the model for many other contemporary writing workshops.

We Wanted To Be Writers is a book compiled by Eric Olsen and Glenn Schaeffer. It brings together some of the Writers' Workshop’s graduates from the 1970s including John Irving, T.C. Boyle, Jennie Fields and many more. Blending interviews, commentary, writing advice and gossip, with nearly 30 graduates and teachers contributing to the book.

The website brings together excerpts from the book, regular blog posts, and a section on “Books by the Bed”, a weekly feature where writers discuss their must-read books.

Check it out here.








Other upcoming courses
Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When
: Friday 4 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Your Story Structure with Kathryn Heyman
When
: Friday 4 November 2011 and Friday 11 November 2011 (2 half-day classes)
Time: 9.30am – 12.30pm
Cost: $215

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 7 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 7 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Wednesday 9 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 10 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 11 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Weekend Intensive Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go
When
: Saturday 12 November and Sunday 13 November 2011 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 14 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 15 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When:
Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 15 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy
When:
Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 16 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 17 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Edit with Confidence with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 18 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville – FULL
When
: Monday 21 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Wednesday 23 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 24 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle
When
: Thursday 24 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 25 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Plotting and Planning with Kate Forsyth
When
: Monday 28 November 2011 and Monday 5 December 2011 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: Better Business Emails with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 30 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Thursday 1 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $495

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Thursday 8 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 12 December 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Daytime Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – NEW DATE
When
: Monday 9 January to Friday 13 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When
: Monday 16 January to Friday 20 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Seminar: Successful Freelancing with Valerie Khoo and Gayle Bryant – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 19 January 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Weekend Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 21 January and Sunday 22 January 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Saturday 21 January and Sunday 22 January 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 24 January 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 24 January 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 31 January 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395


Course: Weekend Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 4 February and Sunday 5 February 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Life Writing with Patti Miller – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 25 February and Sunday 26 February 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $450

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Bali with Patti Miller – NEW DATE
When:
Saturday 21 July to Saturday 28 July 2012


Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – 2012 dates to be confirmed




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