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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.

25 August 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011
In this issue:
  • TIP: Are you in uncharted or unchartered territory?
  • Start your writing journey here
  • More Student Success – Leonie Curgenven
  • Don't miss the Big Issue Fiction Edition
  • Improve your writing in one day
  • What we’re reading: Kafka on the Shore by
    Haruki Murakami
  • WEBPICK: whichbook

It's an exciting week here at the Sydney Writers' Centre. Rose, our communications coordinator, is off to cover the Melbourne Writers' Festival so stayed tuned for videos, blog posts and interviews with fabulous authors. For those of you who can't make it to Melbourne, we'll bring the Festival to you via our Writing Bar.

Meanwhile, as you read this, I'm heading back to Sydney after spending the last four days in California immersed in book publishing and marketing. I've been at a small gathering of agents, publishers and New York Times best-selling authors, all organised by Tim Ferriss (pictured with me, right), author of The Four-Hour Work Week and The Four-Hour Body.

It's been very exciting to talk at length about the new world of publishing. During the week, Amazon also announced that Tim's book is the first major acquisition for their new imprint, Amazon Publishing. You can read more about that here.

Tim said: "My decision to collaborate with Amazon Publishing wasn't just a question of which publisher to work with. It was a question of what future of publishing I want to embrace. My readers are migrating irreversibly into digital, and it made perfect sense to work with Amazon to try and redefine what is possible."

That's why we are so committed to helping our students who want to learn how to publish on Amazon's Kindle. While many of our courses will help you write a great book, it's our seminar "Sell your eBook on Amazon" with Steven Lewis that will walk you through the mechanics to actually publishing it. And we're thrilled to receive emails from some of you who have already done so!

The seminar will cover:

  • the Kindle itself (its capabilities, limitations and user-experience)
  • listing a book in Amazon’s Kindle bookstore
  • formatting your book for the Kindle (a major stumbling block for Kindle authors)
  • building your writer’s platform
  • and much more

Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Wednesday 14 September 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Click here for more information or to enrol online. 





TIP: Are you in uncharted or unchartered territory?
Reader Mitch Lewis has asked us to help resolve an office argument – should you say “uncharted territory” or “unchartered territory”? This is an error we see a lot, so we’re happy to help end this argument.

If you’re talking about a company taking a new direction, or exploring a part of the world no one has been to before, you say you are entering “uncharted territory”, as in unmapped or not charted. For example:


Rambo was in uncharted territory when he went for a walk in the new park.

A charter is a written undertaking or contract. It can also mean something is hired for a particular purpose, like a chartered bus or plane. You’ll rarely see the word unchartered used, so remember – you’re never in unchartered territory. But you might be sailing in an unchartered boat if you didn’t hire it!





What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre





Start your writing journey here
There are some amazing authors touring the country at the moment for this busy writers festival season. Jonathan Franzen, Louis de Bernieres, Lynda La Plante, Kate Grenville, and Nick Earls, to name just a few. If you’re feeling inspired by all the literary goings on, why not join us for a creative writing course? This is your chance to learn how the greats do it – and maybe even get started on your own novel.
 
During the course, you’ll learn how to tap into your imagination, how to write a compelling story, how to use characters and dialogue and how to give structure to your writing. And because we know many of you can’t make it to our weekly evening classes, we’ve scheduled some intensives as well! These will fill quickly so get in fast.
 
Here’s what past participants say:
"I would recommend this course for a whole range of people; from those who want to awaken the writer within, to those who have got a novel in the works. It's a good 'kickstart' course."
- Michelle Stewart

"The creative writing course is a great place to get started with writing. The teachers are writers themselves and the course is a great way to move your writing to the next level"
- Teena Johnston

Creative Writing Stage 1 with Laurine Croasdale
When
: Thursdays starting Thursday 14 September 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.
 
Already completed stage 1 and want to continue your writing journey? If you want to consolidate what you’ve learned and workshop more of your writing, our Creative Writing Stage 2 course is for you.
 
ONLINE COURSE: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When
: Week beginning Monday 29 August for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





More Student Success
When we say students are often published before they finish their course, we really mean it. The latest student success is from Leonie Curgenven, who's midway through her Online Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newpapers. She has been submitting pieces to her local paper and has so far had two accepted. She also had a feature accepted by Reader's Digest, which will be published in their November edition. Here’s what she wrote:   
 
“I'm so excited. I've been submitting small pieces to the Caloundra paper and they have published one and have two more in the pipeline. Reader's Digest commended me on an article well written! Your course has been invaluable for me. I feel like I've soaked it all in.”

 
Congratulations Leonie!






Big Issue Fiction Edition
Each year, the Big Issue releases an edition devoted completely to fiction. It’s always a hit and includes some of Australia’s best established and up and coming writers, and this year’s is no different. Writers include Chris Womersley, Frank Moorhouse, Nick Earls, Charlotte Wood, Peggy Frew and Amanda Lohrey.
 
The Big Issue Fiction Edition goes on sale from Friday 26 August. You can buy your copy from your local Big Issue vendor. It’s only $5 and half of that will go to the seller. Grab one quickly – it will sell out!






Improve your writing in one day
You can improve your writing in just one day. Learning the essential rules of grammar and punctuation will give you the confidence and the skills to write well. Your work will become clearer and more succinct just by knowing where to put a comma, when to use an apostrophe, and how to structure your sentences correctly.

Whether you’ve never learnt the basics of grammar (and many of us didn’t), or you just need a refresher, the one-day Grammar and Punctuation Essentials seminar is perfect for you.

Here’s what past participants say:
"Deb is obviously a master of the English language. Her knowledge is evident and her presentation style was lively and kept the class awake and enthusiastic!"
- Angela Gilmour

"Deb is an excellent presenter. She was very professional and passionate about her subject matter."
- Madeline Gill

This seminar is taught by Deb Doyle. Deb is an experienced editorial-training consultant and publication editor. Deb's courses are interactive and fun. You'll be amazed at how engaging and interesting a workshop in grammar and punctuation can be.

Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 9 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Oops words
We spotted this spelling error in a golfing newsletter. They very helpfully underlined it for us:



I’m sure they meant to write “amendments”, not “ammendments”.







New additions to Oxford English Dictionary
They may be crimes against fashion, but if their recent addition to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary is an indication of their staying power, mankinis and jeggings could be around for a while.

The editors of the latest edition of the Concise OED have announced that mankini, jeggings, retweet, sexting and cyberbullying are now, officially, words. In fact, there are 400 new words included, in an edition that has over 240,000 entries.

This is the 100th year of the Concise OED, which was first published in 1911. Back then new words included aeroplane, carburettor, motorist and radioactive. Who knows what the next 100 years will bring!






Make money from your travels
Want to know what it’s really like to be a travel writer? There are many options for budding travel writers – you can write features for print or online, or you can write for guidebooks. Whatever you decide, if getting paid for your adventures is your dream, you need to know where to start.

That’s where our industry insight Introduction to Travel Writing comes in. This two-hour seminar will give you an idea of what’s involved. You’ll learn about publishing opportunities, how to generate story ideas, how to get your articles published, and much more.

Here’s what past participants say:
"If you are serious about writing and want to get ahead of other aspiring writers, get yourself to the Sydney Writers' Centre."
- Tina Lambert

"If you're passionate about writing and travel I would highly recommend this seminar."
- Tenille Schell

Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 1 September 2011 (two-hour seminar)
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Click here for more information or to enrol online.







TIP: Back to basics – commas
For such a ubiquitous and essential punctuation mark, the comma sure does cause a lot of confusion. It can be hard to know when to use one and when to leave it out, but there are a number of rules to keep in mind when using commas. Here are two of them:

1. Use commas for parenthetical phrases, or words or phrases that interrupt an independent clause. For example:
Dougal the dog, who moved in only a few months ago, is already taking over the house.
2. Although some people say you shouldn’t use a comma before and, but, or or, this isn’t entirely true. You can use a comma before a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or) if it connects two independent clauses. For example:

Rocky the cat likes to sleep in the sun, but Rambo the dog prefers the bed.





What we’re reading
This week our communications coordinator, Rose Powell, is reading Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. Rose writes:

At the risk of sounding shallow, I bought Kafka on the Shore because of its beautiful cover. Stark white with a black cat and calligraphy inspired type, the cover is magnetic. Fortunately for me the sparse aesthetic with sharp details continues from the cover art to the narrative.
 
Written by Haruki Murakami, one of Japan's leading authors, this story is a tale of quirky characters, the impact of fate, and reality's relationship with the supernatural. If that sounds silly enough to dismiss, don’t do it – as the 2006 winner of the World Fantasy Award, and one of the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2005, you'd be missing out.  
 
The characterisation of Kafka, a 15-year-old run away, inflicted with an Oedipal curse by his father, and the ageing, simple Nakata who can talk to cats, keeps this book from becoming absurd. Their parallel struggles ran alongside a wonderful cast of problematic characters, and the increasing encroachment of the fantasy world into contemporary Tokyo is well managed by Murakami. What I loved most about this book was the extensive conceptual intertextuality, which Murakami thankfully explains for his millions of western readers. 

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: whichbook
Can’t decide what to read? Need help choosing a book for a friend or family member? whichbook is like browsing your local library or book store, online. All you need to do is rate the book you want to read, using sliders on the home page that let you choose between happy or sad, funny or serious, beautiful or disgusting – even optimistic or bleak! whicbook will then give you a list of books you may like.

The unique thing about this site is that you won’t find the latest bestsellers listed, because they’re easy to find yourself. The books are chosen by a changing team of readers from libraries and literature organisations. Only books that have been read by someone on this team make it onto whichbook, so there’s lots here you may never find by yourself.

Check it out here.









Other upcoming courses

Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Marina Go
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 25 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 29 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 29 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 29 August 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 29 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When:
Every Monday starting Monday 29 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 1 September 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 9 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller – FULL
When:
Every Friday starting Friday 9 September 2011 for six weeks
Time: 10.00am - 12.00noon
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Wednesday 14 September 2011 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Wednesday 14 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Laurine Croasdale
When:
Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 14 September 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis – NEW DATE
When
: Wednesday 14 September 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 15 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $495

Seminar: Better Business Communications with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 22 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Tuesday 27 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Wednesday 28 September 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – NEW COURSE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 6 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Sue White – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Thursday 6 October and Friday 7 October 2011 (two-day course)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Valerie Khoo – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Thursday 6 October 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Friday 7 October 2011 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Seminar: Edit with Confidence with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Friday 7 October 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller – MELBOURNE COURSE
When:
Saturday 8 October and Sunday 9 October 2011 (two-day course)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Travel Writing: Get Paid for Your Adventures with Sue White – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Saturday 8 October and Sunday 9 October 2011 (two-day course)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Novel Writing Workshop with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 11 October 2011 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $495

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 12 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Writing: Get Paid for Your Adventures with Sue White
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 13 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Intensive Creative Writing Stage 1 with Laurine Croasdale
When
: Saturday 15 October and Sunday 16 October 2011 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Intensive Creative Writing Stage 2 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Saturday 15 October and Sunday 16 October 2011 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Intensive Creative Writing Stage 1 with Kate Forsyth
When
: Monday 17 October to Friday 21 October 2011 (5 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am - 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 18 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: The Business of Freelancing with Gayle Bryant – NEW COURSE
When
: Wednesday 19 October 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

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

Course: Writing About Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett – NEW DATE
When:
Wednesday 26 October 2011 and Wednesday 2 November 2011 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $175

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

Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding – NEW COURSE
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 7 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
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

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – FULL
When:
Thursday 20 October to Saturday 5 November 2011

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



18 August 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011
In this issue:
  • TIP: Dependant or dependent?
  • Beat the chill – learn creative writing online
  • Win $1,500! EJ Brady Short Story Competition
  • TIP: Do you use too many intensifiers?
  • Two seminars that will improve your writing at work
  • What we’re reading: The Eye of the Storm by Patrick White
  • WEBPICK: Let me Google that for you

What a week! I'm currently busy at a book publishing conference in California. It's going to be a few days of jam-packed sessions so I'm really looking forward to it.

I was thrilled when former students Louise Woodbury and William de Ora dropped in this week to give me a copy of their latest book hot off the press. The Invisible Branson is fantastic and I'm so thrilled for them. I know it's going to be huge.

That's why I'm also thrilled about the free webinar that I'm hosting about "How to write a business book". If you're a business owner, coach, consultant or expert, you might be thinking about writing a book to showcase your expertise.

When you've authored a best-selling book, this gives you instant credibility. It opens doors, gives you an excuse to get on morning talk shows and is a wonderful calling card for prospects and customers.

Join this free webinar to find out more.

Date: Tuesday 30 August 2011
Time: 12.00noon – 1.00pm

Click here to register for the webinar






TIP: Dependant or dependent?
What’s the difference between dependant and dependent? This one’s easy to confuse, especially as your spellchecker won’t tell you if you’ve used the wrong one! But there’s a very clear difference that makes it easy to know which one to use.
 
Dependant is a noun and is someone who depends on, or looks to another for support.
Dependent is an adjective and means depending on something else for help or support. So:
I have four furry dependants (noun) and they are all dependent (adjective) on me.




What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre





Beat the chill – learn creative writing online
Winter is definitely still with us, so we know it can be difficult to commit to coming to a class on a chilly weeknight. But don’t worry – you can do some of our courses from the warm comfort of your own home, at a time that suits you.
 
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.
 
Here's what some recent participants said about the online course:
“The structure of the course was perfectly suited to my needs. The online tutorials were easy to follow and full of useful advice and tips. Now I am reading, and writing, with an entirely new perspective.”
- Jenny Challen
 
“If you're serious about writing, this course covers all the essentials and is a great place to start.”
- Liam Charlesworth
 
ONLINE COURSE: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman/Laurine Croasdale
When
: Week beginning Monday 29 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.





EJ Brady Short Story Competition
Now in its 17th year, the EJ Brady Short Story Competition, run by the Mallacoota Arts Council, is held in honour of the poet Edwin James Brady (1869-1952). He lived in Mallacoota and in 1909 established a camp for writers and artists.
 
He is a fitting patron for the annual Short Story and Very Short Story competitions, which attract entries from all over Australia. The 2011 competition is now open and stories of up to 2,500 words (for the Short Story category) or under 700 words (the Very Short Story category) are welcome.

Cash prizes of up to $1,500 will be awarded to the best stories. Entries close Friday 16 September 2011.

For more information visit the Writing Bar Competitions page.






WORDWISE: Ergophobia
Ever wondered what to call that sense of dread as the weekend approaches its end? Or why nobody likes Mondays? Believe it or not, it is a medically recognised phobia – ergophobia, or an abnormal fear of work.
 
Apparently, the term was coined in 1905 by Dr W D Stanton. He insisted ergophobia was a legitimate medical condition, recognisable by a persistent fear of work and the workplace. It’s never really been taken very seriously and you’d be hard pressed to convince your boss of the seriousness of ergophobia. (But knowing the term might come in handy at your next trivia quiz.)  
 
How do you cure ergophobia? We prescribe cupcakes and bubbles!






Learn the art of screenwriting
Do you have a great idea for a short or feature film, but aren’t sure how to write the script? Want to learn the art of writing for television?

In our 5-week Screenwriting Stage 1 course, professional screenwriter Tim Gooding will show you how to write a script and help you complete a first draft of your screenplay. This is the perfect start for anyone who has an idea but hasn’t yet started to get it down. Even if you’ve got part of a script but aren’t sure it’s headed in the right direction, Screenwriting Stage 1 will help you refine it and get you onto your next draft.
 
Here's what some recent participants said about the course:
“Tim was fantastic and was motivating and passionate about our work. The course was very practical and cut straight to the core of the subject.”
- Phil Brook
 
“I enjoyed the process of developing a short film script and actually applying the information from the seminars. The feedback from Tim was invaluable.”
- Michael Olliffe
 
This course is presented by Tim Gooding. He writes for stage, film and television. He has written television drama – Rafferty’s Rules, Blue Heelers, Stingers, Water Rats, All Saints – and comedy – The Aunty Jack Show, The Norman Gunston Show, Wollongong The Brave, and Ratbags. He also devised and co-wrote the ABC TV series Sweet and Sour.
 
Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When
: Mondays starting Monday 29 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $395


Click here for more information or to enrol online.





TIP: Do you use too many intensifiers?
Intensifiers are words, usually adverbs, that emphasise the meaning of the word or phrase they’re modifying. They make other words sound really important.

For example:
Rambo was very hungry.
 
Rocky and Dougal get on extremely well.
Some grammarians suggest that the effectiveness of words such as "really" and "very" have been weakened by overuse, so be careful your writing doesn’t include too many intensifiers.






Book giveaway – Four Kitchens by Lauren Shockey
If you watched the recent series of Masterchef, some of the New York restaurants featured in Lauren Shockey’s foodie memoir, Four Kitchens, will already be familiar to you. Lauren is a food writer and trained in some of the world’s busiest and best-known restaurants in New York, Vietnam, Israel and France.
 
Four Kitchens is her account of a year of food and travel, and it also includes some of Lauren’s favourite recipes. If you’re not inspired to cook up your own feast, you’ll certainly be hungry for some of the more exotic dishes featured! We spoke to Lauren about her book and you can listen to the full interview on our podcast page from tomorrow (Friday).
 
We have one copy of Four Kitchens to give away. If you’d like to win it visit our Writing Bar Competitions page and tell us what your favourite recipe or foodie experience is and why. We’ll take
answers until 5pm on Thursday 25 August 2011.






Two seminars that will improve your writing at work
We all have to write at work. Whether it’s emails, letters, reports or proposals, writing is a skill required in most jobs. Yet many of us struggle with it.
 
If you, or your staff, need help on the essentials of writing at work, we have two seminars designed to get you writing well in just one day.
 
Grammar and Punctuation Essentials
If grammar and punctuation is not your strong point, or you’d like a refresher on the golden rules of grammar, our Grammar and Punctuation Essentials seminar is perfect for you. After this one-day seminar you’ll transform your writing and need never fear apostrophes again!
 
Here’s what past participants say:
"Deb is an outstanding presenter. She made the course enjoyable and very easy to understand. I've gained knowlege as well as confidence in my grammar and punctuation skills."
- Claudia Arrage

"Deb is obviously a master of the English language. Her knowledge is evident and her presentation style was lively and she kept the class awake and enthusiastic."
- Angela Gilmour

Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 9 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.

 
Professional Business Writing
If you work on large writing projects such as reports and proposals, Professional Business Writing will show you how to plan, structure, and write with confidence. During this one-day seminar, you’ll learn how to plan your document, the most common business writing errors and how to avoid them, and how to write persuasively.
 
Here’s what past participants say:
"You will benefit from this course as it outlines better ways of writing emails, letters and documents and also outlines important English rules that we all tend to forget in the business world."
- Silvana Petrovski

"Sue was very informative and the pace of the course was perfect. Great course, wonderful presenter!"
- Karen Cairncross

Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When
: Thursday 1 September 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 our course manager, Danielle Williams, is reading The Eye of the Storm by Patrick White. She writes:

The pending movie release of this Australian classic prompted me to choose Patrick White’s The Eye of the Storm for our August Book Club. It was released in 1973 – the year White was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. It is the story of Elizabeth Hunter, an ageing ex-socialite tended to by three nurses, a housekeeper, and her family solicitor. Her children are also by her side, after travelling from England and Paris.
 
Elizabeth Hunter is not a kind woman. She commands loyalty through cruelty and her children especially seem to feel little emotional connection to her.
 
Described as a “savage exploration of family relationships”, The Eye of the Storm, for me, has lived up to White’s reputation. The book, in parts, is incredibly difficult to read. The writing often shifts into long passages of stream of consciousness, which I have to admit often send me to sleep. But the characters are so utterly convincing and at times it really is possible to experience, as a reader, the lives of Mrs Hunter and her cohorts.
 
If you’re keen to read the work of Australia’s only Nobel Laureate, then I have to warn you – you’re in for a long, hard slog. But the rewards will be worth it.

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: Let Me Google That for You
This webpick is for anyone who’s ever been asked a stupid question – especially by someone with Google at their fingertips. It’s the snarky response to “where’s the post office?” or “which train should I catch?”.

Just go to Let Me Google That For You and type in the stupid question. LMGTFY will then provide a link, which you send to the questioner. When they click on the link, the answer to their question will appear! Along with the not-so-subtle hint that next time they could look it up themselves.
 
Check it out here.









Other upcoming courses

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 23 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Laurine Croasdale – FULL
When:
Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 23 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30om
Cost: $395

Seminar: Edit with Confidence with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 24 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Thursday 25 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Marina Go
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 25 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 29 August 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 29 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 29 August 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 29 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When:
Every Monday starting Monday 29 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 1 September 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 9 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller – FULL
When:
Every Friday starting Friday 9 September 2011 for six weeks
Time: 10.00am - 12.00noon
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Wednesday 14 September 2011 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Laurine Croasdale – NEW DATE
When:
Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 14 September 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30om
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis – NEW DATE
When
: Wednesday 14 September 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 15 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $495

Seminar: Better Business Communications with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 22 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 26 September 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Tuesday 27 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – NEW COURSE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 6 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Sue White – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Thursday 6 October and Friday 7 October 2011 (two-day course)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Valerie Khoo – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Thursday 6 October 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Friday 7 October 2011 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller – MELBOURNE COURSE
When:
Saturday 8 October and Sunday 9 October 2011 (two-day course)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Travel Writing: Get Paid for Your Adventures with Sue White – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Saturday 8 October and Sunday 9 October 2011 (two-day course)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Novel Writing Workshop with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 11 October 2011 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $495

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 12 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Writing: Get Paid for Your Adventures with Sue White
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 13 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Intensive Creative Writing Stage 1 with Laurine Croasdale – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 15 October and Sunday 16 October 2011 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Intensive Creative Writing Stage 2 with Jeni Mawter – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 15 October and Sunday 16 October 2011 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Intensive Creative Writing Stage 1 with Kate Forsyth
When
: Monday 17 October to Friday 21 October 2011 (5 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am - 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 18 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: The Business of Freelancing with Gayle Bryant – NEW COURSE
When
: Wednesday 19 October 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

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

Course: Writing about Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett – NEW DATE
When:
Wednesday 26 October 2011 and Wednesday 2 November 2011 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $175

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

Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding – NEW COURSE
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 7 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
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

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – FULL
When:
Thursday 20 October to Saturday 5 November 2011

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



11 August 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011
In this issue:
  • TIP: What’s the plural form of person?
  • Get published in your favourite magazine
  • Win £3,000! Society of Women Writers & Journalists Life Writing Competition – international competition
  • Learn the essentials of editing
  • Analysing Charlotte Brontë’s head
  • What we’re reading: The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
  • WEBPICK: One Word

We’ve had a little visitor in the office this week, my cat Rex. He LOVES the office and did try to sneak into the Grammar and Punctuation seminar yesterday but we assured him that he had already mastered the use of apostrophes.

In the meantime, with Spring just around the corner, we’ve been busy planning a fantastic Spring lineup for you. I’m excited about our Melbourne Spring Writers’ Carnival, being held from Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 October 2011. These courses are already getting booked!

If you’re in Melbourne – or want to do your course in a one- or two-day intensive program, this is ideal. You can choose from:


You can find out more about our Melbourne Spring Writers’ Carnival here.

I love Melbourne so I’ll personally be at our Melbourne Spring Writers’ Carnival to meet our fabulous students – so if you’re coming, make sure you say hi!





TIP: What’s the plural form of person?
An announcement at the train station this morning had me wondering about the correct plural form of person. The announcement said: “Please move inside the carriage to allow other persons on the train.”

Using persons certainly sounds more official, but is it correct? Or should he have used the word people?

Both words derive from Latin but have different original meanings.

Person
comes from persona and refers to an individual – as the Macquarie Dictionary will tell you.

People comes from populum, and refers to a group of persons sharing a culture. Again, that’s exactly what modern dictionaries list it as.

What wasn’t listed in the Macquarie Dictionary, and isn’t in most dictionaries, is persons. That’s because it’s considered archaic and old-fashioned to use this form. It’s perfectly acceptable now to use people as the plural form of person, though you will see persons used in legal or more official documents.





What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre






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”? Well, you can. In our five-week course Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers, 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.

Here’s some feedback from previous participants:
"I enjoyed having the opportunity to learn so much from someone with passion and a clear understanding about the industry. The Sydney Writers' Centre is the right place for anyone interested in writing. It gives you the tools to change the direction of your career (fingers crossed!)."
- Sarah Waylan

"Marina was fantastic – what an inspiration. Her knowledge base was incredible and the insight she brought as an editor was worth every cent."
- Julie Noever

This course is presented by Marina Go. Marina has been editor of Australian Good Taste, editor-in-chief of ELLE Australia, editor of Sunday Life, editor of fashion for Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers. She has also been managing editor of Cosmopolitan.

Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Marina Go
When
: Thursdays starting Thursday 25 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





The Society of Women Writers & Journalists Life Writing Competition
There are plenty of creative writing competitions around, but for life writers, it can be difficult to find suitable competitions or journals willing to read your work. So of course our Life Writing guru, Patti Miller, wanted us to tell you about this current competition.

Run by the The Society of Women Writers & Journalists in the UK, this international competition offers a total prize pool of £9,000 and is open to any writer in any country over the age of 20. Entries of up to 3,000 words will be accepted. There are two age categories – 20-40 years old, and over 40s – and first prize in each category is £3,000.

Check out all the details here.


 






Avoid the slush pile – Manuscript Monday
Pan Macmillan publishers have just announced a new initiative for unpublished authors – Manuscript Monday. This is your chance to pitch directly to the editors, confident in the knowledge your proposal will be read.

Submissions can be submitted by email only, between 10.00am and 4.00pm every Monday.

For more information and details on how to submit your proposal, check out the Writing Bar.







Learn the essentials of editing
Want to know how to turn even the clumsiest writing into a polished document? Editing doesn’t have to be a tedious task – learning the essentials of this vital skill will make your job easier and save you time.

Whether you’re editing hard copy or on-screen, this one-day seminar will show you how a professional editor approaches their work – and how you too can edit confidently. You’ll learn:

  • how to edit for structure and style
  • simple techniques that will improve anyone’s writing
  • the standard proofreading symbols and how to use them
  • the role of editorial style sheets and house-style guides – and how to create them
  • how to edit numerical information
  • and MUCH more.

Here’s some feedback from previous participants:
"I have already recommended the course! You could tell the presenter had a lot of knowledge in editing – she was exactly what I'd hoped for."
- Sarah Riseley

"Deb knows her topic and obviously enjoys what she does; everyone responded to her and her inclusive style."
- Danielle Brender

This seminar is taught by Deb Doyle. Deb Doyle is an experienced editorial-training consultant and publication editor. Her courses are interactive and fun. She demystifies the editing process in a way that’s engaging and interesting.

Edit with Confidence with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 24 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





TIP: Well-known or well known?
Do you know when to include the hyphen in well-known and when to leave it out? We see this one being confused all the time but here's a simple rule:

When well-known is used as an adjectival phrase in front of a noun, you should hyphenate.

The are many well-known reasons for economic problems in America.

If it follows the noun, do not hyphenate.

The story of Little Red Riding Hood is well known.





Charlotte Brontë’s head…
Like many book nerds out there, here in the Sydney Writers' Centre office we’re all looking forward to the release of the latest movie adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, which will start in cinemas this week.

Recently I came across a fascinating bit of trivia about Charlotte in Curiosities of Literature by John Sutherland. He writes that she, like many other Victorian novelists, visited a phrenologist for a reading. Phrenologists were specialists who claimed they could determine a person’s personality traits and intellectual capacity by studying the contours of their skull. Here’s what Charlotte Brontë’s phrenologist had to say about the lumps and bumps in her skull:

Very remarkable. The forehead is at once very large and well formed. It bears the stamp of deep thoughtfulness and comprehensive understanding. It is highly philosophical. It exhibits the presence of an intellect at once perspicacious and perspicuous.

I’m sure she was happy with the reading. If not with the phrenologist’s impressive vocabulary!






The secret to getting published
Getting published may seem like an insurmountable hurdle, a confusing and difficult process only the most talented (or lucky) writers learn to negotiate. If you have a great idea for a book or are ready to pitch to a publisher, but aren’t sure where to start, join our How to Get Your Book Published seminar.

This intensive two-hour session will show you how to approach publishers, what should be in your book proposal, and how to negotiate a fair contract.

Here’s some feedback from previous participants:
"The seminar was factual, content rich, relevant. The two hours were filled up with no waffle. I loved it."
- Jo Vadillo

"I learnt several important factors about ways to approach publishers. I'm really glad that I went to the seminar as now I will save myself weeks of time."
- Amber Hamam

This seminar is taught by Geoff Barlett, an author, journalist, actor and producer. In 1999, Geoff's first book, was published in Australia and New Zealand through Harper Collins. Comedians in the Mist was a series of interviews with top Australian comedians.

How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 18 August 2011 (two-hour seminar)
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Click here for more information or to enrol online.







Book giveaway – The Genesis Flaw by L.A. Larkin
Australian thriller author, L.A. Larkin, has been very busy this year. Her first book, The Genesis Flaw, has been compared to Michael Crichton and John Grisham, and her second, Thirst, is due for release soon.

We spoke to L.A. Larkin at this year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival about her journey from corporate writer to thriller author, and the topical inspirations behind her novels. She is passionate about environmental issues and these themes feature heavily in her work.

We have one copy of The Genesis Flaw to give away. If you’d like to win it, visit our Writing Bar Competitions page and tell us – what would your thriller novel be about? We’ll take answers until 5pm Thursday 18 August 2011.






What we’re reading
This week our communications coordinator, Rose Powell, is reading The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson. She writes:

I had very high expectations when I settled down to read Jacobson's latest novel, The Finkler Question. Perhaps those expectations were the reason I found it underwhelming, but I struggled to find someone to connect with.

The book follows the unexceptional Julian Treslove, who begins to suspect he is Jewish after being mugged and subjected to anti-semitic name-calling. This realisation, accurate or not, is closely related to his problematic relationship with his best friend Samuel Finkler.

Jacobson's relentless inquisition of Jewish identity is actually quite uncomfortable as it plays with the risk of generalisations and racism, but he handles this in a typically humorous way. One of the early rules that Treslove learns is that no one who isn't Jewish can make generalisations about Jews, and Jacobson uses this tongue-in-cheek humour to lighten the narrative as it plods it's way through serious discourses.

Despite my lack of engagement with the main characters, I would recommend this book for the insight it provides into the nature of contemporary Jewish identity, tackling sticky topics such as the nation state of Israel, guilt and self-hatred.

We spoke to Howard at the Sydney Writers' Festival. Click here to watch the interview.

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: One Word
Here’s one website you can legitimately justify visiting when struggling with writers block/procrastination.

One Word is very simple – a word prompt will appear at the top of the screen, and you have 60 seconds to write using that word as your inspiration. The idea is that you type, don’t edit, and don’t think too much about what you write.

You can join the One Word community and post your 60 second stories on the forum, or just use your post as a way to free up your writing for the day.

Check it out here.









Other upcoming courses

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 15 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 15 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle
When
: Tuesday 16 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your Ebook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Tuesday 16 August 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Better Business Communications with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 17 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When
: Thursday 18 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 18 August 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 23 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Laurine Croasdale
When:
Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 23 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30om
Cost: $395

Seminar: Edit with Confidence with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 24 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Thursday 25 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Marina Go
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 25 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 29 August 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 29 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When:
Every Monday starting Monday 29 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 1 September 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Friday 9 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When:
Every Friday starting Friday 9 September 2011 for six weeks
Time: 10.00am - 12.00noon
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Wednesday 14 September 2011 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 26 September 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Tuesday 27 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – NEW COURSE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 6 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Sue White – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Thursday 6 October and Friday 7 October 2011 (two-day course)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Valerie Khoo – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Thursday 6 October 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Friday 7 October 2011 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller – MELBOURNE COURSE
When:
Saturday 8 October and Sunday 9 October 2011 (two-day course)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Travel Writing: Get Paid for Your Adventures with Sue White – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Saturday 8 October and Sunday 9 October 2011 (two-day course)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Novel Writing Workshop with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 11 October 2011 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $495

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 12 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Writing: Get Paid for Your Adventures with Sue White
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 13 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Intensive Creative Writing Stage 1 with Laurine Croasdale – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 15 October and Sunday 16 October 2011 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Intensive Creative Writing Stage 2 with Jeni Mawter – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 15 October and Sunday 16 October 2011 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Intensive Creative Writing Stage 1 with Kate Forsyth
When
: Monday 17 October to Friday 21 October 2011 (5 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am - 12noon
Cost: $395

Seminar: The Business of Freelancing with Gayle Bryant – NEW COURSE
When
: Wednesday 19 October 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Writing about Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett – NEW DATE
When:
Wednesday 26 October 2011 and Wednesday 2 November 2011 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $175

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

Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding – NEW COURSE
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 7 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
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

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – FULL
When:
Thursday 20 October to Saturday 5 November 2011


4 August 2011

Thursday, August 04, 2011
In this issue:
  • How to make your website stand out
  • TIP: Reign versus rein
  • Victorian Premier’s Awards shortlist announced!
  • TIP: Yours faithfully or Yours sincerely? 
  • Take your writing to the next level – Creative Writing Stage 2
  • What we’re reading: She Came to Stay by Simone de Beauvoir
  • WEBPICK: Literature and Latte

It’s been a food filled week at the Sydney Writers’ Centre. On Tuesday, we visited Masterchef winner Adam Liaw’s very own home kitchen to talk about his wonderful cookbook, Two Asian Kitchens. You’ll find our online video out soon on our online magazine Writing Bar – stay tuned!

On Tuesday, I had a beautiful dinner with Booker prize-nominated author MJ Hyland. And this morning, I chatted to Lauren Shockey from her New York base. Her book Four Kitchens was written after she interned in restaurants in New York, Paris, Hanoi and Tel Aviv. I’ll admit, talking to these authors made me hungry!

I’ve also been chatting to lots of frustrated managers in the corporate world who are finding it increasingly difficult to deal with the fact that many of their team members haven’t been equipped with good business writing skills. Let’s face it – it’s not a subject that’s covered at university or school.

As a result, you might have customer-facing staff who don’t know the right way to structure a letter or may not understand the best way to convey a negative message. That’s where our seminar Better Business Communications comes in.
 
In this one-day workshop, you’ll learn:

  • the four steps you must take when writing any document
  • the ‘CSAW’ method of writing: Collect; Select; Arrange; Write
  • an action plan to improve your writing
  • valuable templates to help you write your letters and emails
  • how to draft formal letters and informal emails
  • and much more.

Better Business Communications with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 17 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





TIP: Reign versus rein
Last week, one of our sharp-eyed readers, Jenny Maclennan, spotted this error in a news story:

The vendor can hand over the reigns today.

Here the writer has used reigns when they actually meant reins.

Reign means the period or term of ruling, or the controlling power or influence. For example:

Elizabeth’s reign as queen of England lasted 44 years.

A rein is a long or narrow strap used to control or guide a horse. It can also mean to give complete license to do something, as in give free rein, or restrict, as rein in. For example:

When I’m not home, the pets have free rein of the house.





What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre






Make your website stand out
A good website is one people want to visit again – it will be easy to read, easy to navigate, and visitors will be able to find what they want, quickly. To achieve this for your own website, you need to know the golden rules of Writing for the Web.

When customers visit your website they want to read clear, concise and engaging content. It’s not enough to write the same way you would for a print brochure. In just one day, we can show you how to write that content for your website.
 
Here’s some feedback from previous participants:
"I learnt so many new things and all of it can be applied in my work. The presenter's expertise and knowledge was invaluable."
- Liesl Laker

"I really enjoyed how Grant went to our individual websites and provided feedback. That really took it to a personal level and showed how we can apply the information we were learning directly to our own situations."
- Rebecca Bodman

This seminar is presented by Grant Doyle, an experienced copywriter, content manager and web editor. Grant's background is as a print journalist and author. He has spent the last 11 years in web writing and has been contracting or consulting to major corporations in various online content capacities since then.

Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle
When
: Tuesday 16 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





Melbourne Writers Festival
The Melbourne Writers Festival program has been launched and tickets are now on sale! The big drawcards this year include Jonathan Franzen, who’ll deliver a keynote address on autobiographical fiction, Lynda La Plante, crime thriller novelist and tv writer, and award-winning Australian author, Kate Grenville.
 
The festival will run from 25 August to 4 September.
You can check out the full program and buy tickets here.
If you’re in Melbourne, we’ll see you there!


 






2011 Victorian Premier’s Awards shortlist
Congratulations to all those authors who have been shortlisted in the 2011 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards!

We’re especially excited to see Rohan Wilson’s name on the list. He’s been shortlisted for The Roving Party, which also won Rohan the 2011 Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award. We were there for that and you can watch our interview with him here.
 
For more details on who’s been shortlisted, visit the Writing Bar.







Publish your ebook!
Amazon’s Kindle has been a boon for writers, many of whom have become bestsellers simply by publishing their work as an ebook. The beauty of publishing this way is that you, the writer, receive royalties of up to 70 per cent, much more than a traditional publisher can offer.
 
And it’s not just novels that are published as ebooks. This format is perfect if you’re writing short stories, non-fiction, or even travel journals. All forms of writing can be uploaded and sold as an ebook, giving writers in all fields an opportunity to see their work published.
 
Here’s some feedback from previous participants:
"I really enjoyed the brilliant sense of humour in Steven’s delivery and interaction. He was honest, realistic, approachable, fun – a walking Wikipedia of writing/publishing/marketing."
- Nano Pinder

"The presenter was brilliant – funny articulate and left you feeling inspired but also armed with practical steps to take."
- Andrew Gillman

This seminar is taught by Steven Lewis, an author and online publisher whose own titles are available in Amazon’s Kindle store, Apple’s iBookstore, and as audiobooks through Audible. Steven also helps other writers publish their ebooks.

Sell Your Ebook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Tuesday 16 August 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: Yours faithfully or Yours sincerely?
When you’re writing an email or letter how do you sign off? Do you use "Yours faithfully" or "Yours sincerely"? Or maybe you’re just signing off with "Kind regards". It can be hard to know which is the most appropriate sign off but generally you use:
  • Yours faithfully for a formal letter that you’ve addressed “Dear Sir/Madam”

  • Yours sincerely for a formal letter addressed to a particular person

  • Kind regards, Regards, or Best wishes when you know the recipient or you’ve previously exchanged several letters or emails.




Confused spelling
We spotted this error on an online news site.
 

 
Seeing as "crepy" isn’t a word, we assume they meant "creepy". The dolls certainly are creepy, but perhaps this writer also meant "crappy".





Apostrophe Catastrophe
Some of you may have read a post on the Writing Bar about the worst apostrophe crime we’ve seen. It was about this sign spotted by a Herald Sun reader in Victoria:



Well, in breaking news (via Twitter) we’ve learned that the sign is being fixed. If we can get a photo of the new sign, we’ll be sure to feature it here!






Take your writing to the next level
If you’ve completed Creative Writing Stage 1 or Writing Books for Children and Young Adults, then you already know the essential elements to a good story. But maintaining your motivation and inspiration is also an important part of your writing journey and that’s where Creative Writing Stage 2 comes in.

Workshopping your writing is essential if you want to extend your skills and make your stories shine. This course will give you the chance to put into practice what you’ve learnt and get invaluable feedback from the presenter and your classmates.

Places for this course fill quickly, so if you want to continue your writing journey, enrol soon.

Here’s some feedback from previous participants:
"I really enjoyed the opportunity to get feed back from someone as knowledgeable as Pamela. Sharing my work with like minded people has really given me the courage to move forward with my book."
- Hera McCaffery

"Pamela is an amazing teacher. We give her a really average paragraph or page and she gives feedback that will turn it into an amazing story with tight structure and great prose."
- Jenny New

This course is taught by Pamela Freeman. Author of 23 books, the most recent of which, Lolly Legs, has been published by Walker Books. In 2010 Full Circle (Book 3 of the Castings trilogy), was published in the US, UK, France, Spain, Portugal and Germany as well as Australia.

Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman
When
: Tuesdays starting Tuesday 23 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






What we’re reading
This week reader, Kate Walter, is reading She Came to Stay by Simone de Beauvoir. She writes:

Set on the eve of WW2 Paris, She Came to Stay is a fictionalised account of a love triangle between Jean-Paul Sartre, Beauvoir, and Wanda Kosakiewicz. Exploring themes of relationships, desire, and freedom, it is Beauvoir enacting revenge on Kosakiewicz, who almost destroyed Beauvoir and Sartre's relationship.

I have wondered if I would’ve found the story so engaging had I not known it was based on a salacious truth. As it was I was captivated from beginning to end. It’s skilfully written, and the access she provides to her character’s most intimate thoughts is fascinating. It’s a window into Parisian society – a glimpse of social and intellectual history.

Overall it was an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Next time you consider reading a classic, consider this one.

This is an edited extract of Kate’s full book review on the Writing Bar. Click here to read the full review.

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: Literature and Latte (Scrivener)
We don’t often recommend software (let alone software for Macs only) but we really like this one, and we hear Tim Ferris used it to help write his latest book, The Four Hour Body.

Scrivener is a writing tool that helps you bring together all your research so you can easily access it while writing your novel, essay or any other long-form text. It’s like a word processor and project management tool in one. You can input your ideas, notes on structure, research – anything to do with your writing project. Scrivener will order all this for you and make it easily accessible. It also has tools for re-drafting and re-structuring your work.

You can download a free trial, but the complete package costs $45. If it really can “create order from chaos”, we think that’s a small price to pay.

Check it out here.








Other upcoming courses
Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson
When:
Week beginning Monday 8 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Writing about Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett
When:
Tuesday 9 August 2011 and Tuesday 16 August 2011 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 10 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 10 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Thursday 11 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $495

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 15 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 15 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle
When
: Tuesday 16 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your Ebook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Tuesday 16 August 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Better Business Communications with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 17 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When
: Thursday 18 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 18 August 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 23 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Laurine Croasdale
When:
Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 23 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30om
Cost: $395

Seminar: Edit with Confidence with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 24 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Thursday 25 August 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Marina Go
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 25 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 29 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When:
Every Monday starting Monday 29 August 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 1 September 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When:
Every Friday starting Friday 9 September 2011 for six weeks
Time: 10.00am - 12.00noon
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Wednesday 14 September 2011 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 26 September 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Tuesday 27 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – NEW COURSE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 6 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Sue White – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Thursday 6 October and Friday 7 October 2011 (two-day course)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Valerie Khoo – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Thursday 6 October 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Friday 7 October 2011 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller – MELBOURNE COURSE
When:
Saturday 8 October and Sunday 9 October 2011 (two-day course)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Travel Writing: Get Paid for Your Adventures with Sue White – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Saturday 8 October and Sunday 9 October 2011 (two-day course)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Novel Writing Workshop with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 11 October 2011 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $495

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 12 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Writing: Get Paid for Your Adventures with Sue White
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 13 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Intensive Creative Writing Stage 1 with Kate Forsyth
When
: Monday 17 October to Friday 21 October 2011 (5 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am - 12noon
Cost: $395

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

Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding – NEW COURSE
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 7 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
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

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – FULL
When:
Thursday 20 October to Saturday 5 November 2011



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