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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.

29 March 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012
In this issue:
  • TIP: Fluidly or fluently?
  • Get inspired with a creative writing course
  • Learn the rules for editing
  • Did you know? The Book of St Albans
  • Turn your travels into a career
  • What we’re readingThe Alphabet of Light and Dark by Danielle Wood
  • WEBPICK: Werdsmith

I’m so excited to be running a writing workshop at the Digital Parents Conference this week in Melbourne. It’s a great event full of inspiring bloggers from all over Australia. It also gives me a chance to connect with our Melbourne community.

One of the most rewarding things about my job is when I see students really improve their writing and, in many cases, get published. That’s why we’re so committed to helping you in your writing journey. After you’ve done your first course with us, you’ll find another one to help you continue building on the skills you’ve learnt.

In particular, I love the results that I see from students who do the ONLINE COURSE Creative Writing Stage 2. It’s ideal if you’ve already done Stage 1 or had some writing experience. This course goes into more depth and is packed with practical exercises so that you really give your writing a workout!

You’ll discover:

  • how to find, create or extend your main characters
  • how to structure 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.

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 9 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.

You can also do this course at our training rooms in Milsons Point.

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • What is crowdfunding and how can it help you get published faster? Find out on the Writing Bar.

  • Filling fast: WEEKEND INTENSIVE Magazine and Newspaper Writing with Marina Go, Saturday 31 March & Sunday 1 April 2012.

  • We recently interviewed award-winning kids’ book author, Susanne Gervay. You can watch the interview on the Writing Bar and Youtube.




TIP: Fluidly or fluently?
Thanks to Get Published reader, Margo, who spotted this error in a newspaper on 17 March:

“It took him 4 days to learn the alphabet, he said, and a week to read fluidly.”

Fluidly? I wonder if he meant “fluently”. “Fluidly” is the adverb of fluid, and refers to something that is capable of flowing or easily changing shape. For example:

The ballerina moved fluidly.

“Fluently” is also an adverb, of fluent, and refers to the ability to speak or write readily. For example:

She could speak and read French fluently.

Fluent
can also mean flowing smoothly and easily, but only when you’re talking about speaking or writing in a particular language.






Get inspired with a Creative Writing course
It’s only March but already we’ve had well over 100 people complete our Creative Writing Stage 1 course. Every one of them has finished the course feeling inspired and ready to tackle their fiction writing projects. If you’ve always wanted to explore your creative side and write fiction, we have more Creative Writing courses coming up that will help you get your story out of your imagination and onto the page.
 
Creative Writing Stage 1 will teach you all the elements of a good story – voice, plot, character, and structure – and show you how to apply them to your writing. You can join us for a five-week evening course, a morning course or, if you can’t get to our training rooms in Milsons Point, an online course.
 
What past participants say:
"This is a value for money, practical course that will make you think and help you develop your creative writing skills."
- Michele Clapin

"I enjoyed hearing from a published writer on the real experience of writing, and finding out all the hints, tips and techniques needed to get started."
- Shelley Hall

Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy
When
: Tuesdays starting Tuesday 10 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
 
DAYTIME Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Thursdays starting Thursday 19 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 10.00 am – 12 noon
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.
 
ONLINE COURSE Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When
: Week beginning Monday 2 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Congratulations to our presenter Patti Miller
Our wonderful Life Writing teacher, Patti Miller, is just weeks away from launching her latest book, The Mind of a Thief. It will be released on 30 April and she’s sent us this sneak peak of the book cover.
 
The Mind of a Thief is a memoir/narrative non-fiction exploring a native title claim in Patti’s hometown. John Hunter from UQP says, “It’s both a beautifully written and a timely book… It traverses public issues and private life in the way that the best memoirs do.”
 
We can’t wait to read it! Congratulations Patti.
 






2012 Miles Franklin Award long-list announced
Congratulations to all the authors long-listed in the 2012 Miles Franklin Awards! There are some great writers featured here, including previous winners Frank Moorhouse and Alex Miller, as well as first-time nominees Favel Parrett and Mark Dapin. Here in the Sydney Writers’ Centre office, our reading lists have just gotten longer!
 
You can check out the full list of long-listed authors here.







Learn the right rules for editing
Editing other people’s work can be tricky if you’re not confident you’re making the right decisions or if you’re not sure of the right procedure. Understanding the standard editing conventions will help you cut your editing time in half and produce more polished documents.
 
Our one-day Editing Essentials seminar will show you how to edit for structure and style, how to create and use style guides, how to tackle common editorial dilemmas and how to use the standard editing marks. You’ll come away with a new approach for tackling your editing tasks at work.
 
What past participants say:
 "The course had very practical, clear and easy to understand advice. Definitely the best course of this type I have attended."
- Catherine Thrum

"Deb was fantastic. She explained things really well, everything was very clear."
- Eliz Lanson

This seminar is taught by Deb Doyle. She 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. She demystifies the editing process in a way that’s engaging and interesting.
 
Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 19 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Did you know? The Book of St Albans
I came across this interesting post on Huffington Post recently, on the origins of 7 bizarre English words. One of the words, gaggle – as in, a gaggle of geese – was one of many collective nouns first mentioned in The Book of St Albans.
 
One of the first English printed books, The Book of St Albans was first published in 1486. It’s actually a collection of essays on hunting and hawking, but is perhaps most well-known for its list of nouns for groups of animals. The list has been attributed to Dame Juliana Berners, whose essay proved so popular the book was still in print many years later. She’s been credited with terms like a “murder of crows” and the “gaggle of geese”.
 
Since Dame Berners humorous take on collective nouns was first published, we’ve continued to add to the lexicon of terms for groups of people or animals. Some more modern ones include “a crash of software”, “an annoyance of mobiles”, “an intrigue of politicians” and “a tedium of golfers”.





Oops word



Another erroneous apostrophe... This one’s especially frustrating as they could have used the apostrophe in “pencil’s” for “carpenters”. The sign should actually say “10 Carpenters’ Pencils” as the pencils belong to the carpenters, but you don’t need an apostrophe to create a plural.







Turn your travels into a career
Explore the world and get paid for it! Yes, it is possible. If you love travel and love writing you can combine the two and fund your adventures with a career in travel writing.
 
A good travel writer knows how to develop the right angle for their story, is always on the lookout for interview subjects and interesting travel topics, and can even craft great travel stories from their own hometown. In our five-week Travel Writing course you’ll learn all that and more, including how to pitch your articles to editors and get them published.
 
What past participants say:
"The course content is exceptional and covers all aspects of travel writing. Sue is a fantastic teacher and shares her knowledge in a fun and interactive environment."
- Krystal Davidson

"The course is very well structured and Sue is full of information, very down to earth and straightforward."
- Christiane Abou Taan

This course is taught by Sue White. She’s 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.
 
Travel Writing with Sue White
When
: Thursdays starting Thursday 26 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.
 
Can’t make it to our training rooms in Milsons Point? You can also do this course online.
 
ONLINE COURSE Travel Writing with Sue White
When
: Week beginning Monday 9 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






What we’re reading
This week Get Published reader, Andrea Baldwin, is reading The Alphabet of Light and Dark by Danielle Wood. She writes:

I picked this book off the library shelf because of its title: The Alphabet of Light and Dark. It hinted at secrets and hidden meanings, and interaction between the natural world and human communication. The book had won The Australian/Vogel’s Award for an unpublished author under 35. I expected good things. I didn’t expect it to change my life.
 
This is a very quiet novel. No-one talks much. Perhaps because of this, the places sing through – a paved street in Edinburgh, glittering glass high-rises in Perth, the wild coastline of Cape Bruny. Woods’ poetic prose evokes the places where her characters voyage, so powerfully you can smell them.
 
This book inspired me to visit Bruny Island, novel in hand, and linger so long at the light-house I nearly missed the last ferry back to Hobart. It also inspired me to follow in Wood’s footsteps by undertaking a PhD in creative writing. Maybe it won’t have quite as dramatic effects for you, but if you love beautiful places and beautiful language, this book will give you great joy.

This is an edited extract of Andrea's full review on the Writing Bar.

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: Werdsmith
Turn your iPhone or iPad into a portable writing studio. That’s what Werdsmith promises. This is an app for writing on the go, the digital equivalent of a notepad and pen (and of course we all know you can never find the pen when you need it!)
 
Werdsmith allows you to work on your writing projects wherever you are. You can set writing goals, organise your writing and even get feedback on your work. It’s the perfect app for keeping track of progress on your novel, short story, poetry – anything you’re working on.
 
Check it out here.










Other upcoming courses
Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – FULL
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 29 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Friday 30 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

Course: Weekend Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go
When
: Saturday 31 March and Sunday 1 April 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Monday 2 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 2 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 9 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 9 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 10 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 11 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 11 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 12 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When
: Every Friday starting Friday 13 April 2012 for six weeks
Time: 10.00 am – 12 noon
Cost: $450

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When
: Monday 16 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When:
Every Monday starting Monday 16 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 16 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith
When
: Tuesday 17 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 19 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Daytime Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 19 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 10.00 am – 12 noon
Cost: $395

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

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 23 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Build Your Profile Using Twitter with Steven Lewis – NEW SEMINAR
When
: Monday 23 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

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

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 26 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Friday 27 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Perfect your Proofreading with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 3 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo – NEW DATE
When
: Friday 4 May 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 1.00 pm
Cost: $295

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 7 May 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 10 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 15 May 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Program: Write Your Novel with Pamela Freeman – FULL
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 21 May 2012 for six months
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $1980

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 23 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Introduction to Novel Writing with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 29 May 2012 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $495

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 29 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 7 June 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Food Writing with Carli Ratcliff – NEW COURSE
When
: Saturday 16 June and Sunday 17 June 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Writing about Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett
When:
Wednesday 27 June and 4 July 2012 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $175

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

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

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



22 March 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012
Dear {tag_recipientfirstname},

In this issue:
  • TIP: Passed or past?
  • Congratulations Pamela Freeman!
  • Learn to write for magazines and newspapers – online
  • The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award
  • How to publish and sell your own eBook
  • What we’re reading(re)Visions: Alice
  • WEBPICK: Listverse

I'm currently in New York researching the book I'm writing (that's me in the picture, on a breezy day at the top of the Rockefeller Center, spelt the other way!). However, yesterday, I took a break and literally spent hours browsing through Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue. Apart from a huge selection of books, they have free wifi and Starbucks. So I alternated between browsing, buying and refuelling with caffeine. I left with heaps of new books – and a stash of Moleskines.

One section I love browsing through is the picture books. I love the diversity of ideas, authors and illustrations in today's picture books. It's no wonder that the picture book category is one of the most popular. That's why I love our course Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker.

You'll learn about current trends in the market so you'll be equipped to write a picture book that will really resonate with publishers and readers. This course will cover:

  • language and rhythm
  • what’s so different about the picture book?
  • point of view, structure and pace
  • finding the right voice
  • choosing your topic
  • and MUCH more

Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When
: Wednesdays starting Wednesday 28 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • Award-winning author Elliot Perlman has just published his third novel, The Street Sweeper. We chatted to him about the new book and you can listen to the interview now on the Writing Bar.

  • Filling fast: Writing for the Web, Monday 26 March 2012.

  • We launched our Best Australian Blogs 2012 Competition last week and have already received almost 500 entries! If you blog, you can enter here, or if you know a great Australian blogger, nominate them here.




TIP: Passed or past?
We’ve looked at the difference between "passed" and "past" before, but a Get Published reader emailed us this week to find out a simple rule of thumb to tell the difference between the two, so we thought it was time to revisit it.
 
This one causes a lot of confusion for writers but it’s fairly easy to remember. Passed is the past tense of the verb pass. For example:

Rambo passed doggie school with flying colours.
This week has passed by so quickly!


Past is used as a noun, adjective, preposition and adverb. For example:

The past few weeks have been so busy.
We walked past many beautiful buildings on our tour of Sydney.





Build your profile
Free publicity for your business doesn’t just happen. The right media coverage can help boost your sales and your profile, but to get it, you need an effective publicity strategy.

Our PR and Media Releases That Get Results seminar is ideal if you’re completely new to the art of good PR, but will also be helpful if your PR plans need some help. During the seminar you’ll learn how to write a great press release, how to attract the attention of journalists, how to use online resources, and much more.

What past participants say:
"Catriona's style and knowledge of the industry was excellent. She wasted no time throughout the day and was most generous in the information and material she shared with the group."
- Jennifer Adams

"Catriona was fantastic. She was very generous in imparting so many tricks of the trade and gave a detailed, step-by-step guide to PR in practice."
- Faun Harbord

This seminar is taught by Catriona Pollard. She is the director of CP Communications and has 17 years’ experience in developing and managing public relations and marketing programs. She has previously set up the marketing communications department for a leading software company and managed a diverse range of accounts within PR agencies.

PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Friday 30 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Congratulations Pamela Freeman!
The 2011 Aurealis Awards shortlist has been announced and we’re so excited to see our very own Pamela Freeman on the list! She created and teaches our Creative Writing courses and has published 23 books. Her book, Ember and Ash, has been shortlisted in the Fantasy Novel category of the awards.
 
We’re looking forward to hearing the final results in May and will definitely have our fingers crossed for Pamela.






More student success – Jonathan Souter
Congratulations this week go to Jonathan Souter, who completed our Magazine and Newspaper Writing course in August last year and recently sent us this exciting news:
 
I completed Magazine and Newspaper Writing at the end of last year. A few weeks later I pitched my first story to Men's Health magazine, which they accepted, and the 3,000 word piece is in the April edition (out this week).
 
The course gave me exactly the inside knowledge I was looking for in terms of pitching ideas, and it was amazing to have access to Marina's incredible experience. In addition, the advice on structuring stories was a huge and unexpected benefit. I would recommend this course to anyone who might like to do some freelance writing but has absolutely no idea where to start.

 
Congratulations Jon! This sounds like the start of a promising writing career.







Learn to write for magazines and newspapers – online!
Would you like to try your hand at magazine and newspaper writing but can’t make it to our courses here in Milsons Point? Why not join us online? Our online course in Magazine and Newspaper Writing can be done anywhere you have access to the internet. The interactive style of this course means you can communicate with your presenter and classmates just as you would in a face-to-face class.

If you’re interested in writing for magazines and newspapers, then this course will help you do it. You’ll learn the essentials of writing good articles and how to get them published.
 
What past participants say:
"The best thing about the course was the ease and the ability to get real feedback and answers to our questions each week from the online tutor. I've highly recommended this course to many of my friends already!"
- Cassy Small

"The structure of the course was great. All of the activities were enjoyable which made learning easy. I will never read an article in the same way again."
- Shirley Schulz-Robinson

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing with Allison Tait
When
: Week beginning Monday 26 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award
One of Australia’s most exciting awards for unpublished writing is now open for entries. The Australian/Vogel Literary Award offers a writer under the age of 35 a chance to see their novel published by Allen & Unwin, and share in a prize pool of $20,000.
 
The award is open to unpublished manuscripts of between 30,000 and 100,000 words. You have until Friday 1 June 2012 to enter.

Click here for full details and an entry form.






Did you know? Ghouls
We know many English words have evolved from Latin, French and other romantic languages, but did you know there are also many that derive from Arabic words? In the fantastic worlds of horror or speculative fiction you may come across one such word – ghoul.
 
This word comes to us through One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, the famous collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian folk tales (think Aladdin, Ali Baba, and Sinbad the Sailor). In these stories, a "ghul" is a demon that haunts burial areas and feasts on the dead, often luring travellers into the desert to feed on them. In English, the word "ghoul" can also mean “someone who revels in what is revolting” or “a grave robber”.







How to publish and sell your own eBook
For new writers, Amazon’s Kindle bookstore has been a boon. It’s now possible for authors to publish even short stories as a "book" and earn up to 70% in royalties from their sales – far more than a traditional publisher can offer. Sell Your eBook on Amazon is fast becoming our most popular seminar, so if you want to get into this one, you have to be quick!

You’ll learn how to list a book on Amazon’s Kindle store, including all the terminology you should know, how to format your book for Kindle, how to build your profile and market your book, and much more.

What past participants say:
"Steven is very articulate and presented his content in interesting, bite-sized chunks. He crammed in lots of 'best practice' facts and I feel like I have something I can use that is tangible."
- Sophie Chenoweth

"Steven Lewis has been there and done that with eBook publishing, which made what he had to say more relevant."
- Sharon Livingstone

This seminar is taught by Steven Lewis, a writer 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
: Monday 2 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





What we’re reading
This week, office manager Andrew Gillman is reading (re)Visions: Alice, published by Candlestick and Gleam. He writes:

Lewis Carroll's classic tale Alice in Wonderland has been a mainstay of Western popular culture since it was released in 1865. The story has been interpreted so many times in so many ways that you might think there isn't much more that could be done with it.

Well, it turns out there is, and then some. For the imaginative folks at Candlestick and Gleam, an innovative fledgling publishing house in the USA, have come up with a wholly original take on Carroll's fantastical tale called (re)Visions: Alice.

This bold re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland is completely in keeping with their publishing mission, which states: "Candlemark & Gleam aims to marry the best of publishing’s past with the best of its future."

They asked four relatively unknown writers to take Carroll’s text, and create something altogether new yet familiar. Given creative carte blanche by the publisher, and with obvious affection for Alice, a white rabbit, a Mad Hatter, and sundry other characters clearly and delightfully off their rockers, they did just that, creating a clever collection of tales that pay homage, but do not slavishly adhere, to the spirit of Carroll's classic. Each has taken an aspect of Alice in Wonderland and fashioned it into their own slice of fantastical weirdness, and it is a delight from start to finish.

You can read Andrew’s complete review here.

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: Listverse
It’s surprising what you can learn from lists. For example, did you know that elephants are among the smartest animals on earth, Ancient Greeks ate cabbage to cure hangovers, and that the earth’s rotation is very gradually slowing down?

Whether you’re after an interesting lunchtime read, need to brush up on your ‘useless’ trivia for the next pub trivia night, or have a bizarre topic to research, you’ll probably find what you need at Listverse. Listverse focuses on lists “that intrigue and educate”. You can find top 10 lists on everything from art and literature to religion and even travel. A fascinating read!

Check it out here.










Other upcoming courses
Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle
When
: Monday 26 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 26 March 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 26 March 2012 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 26 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 28 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 29 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Friday 30 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

Course: Weekend Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go
When
: Saturday 31 March and Sunday 1 April 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Monday 2 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 2 April 2012 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 2 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 9 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 11 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 11 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 12 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Friday 13 April 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 1.00 pm
Cost: $295

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When
: Every Friday starting Friday 13 April 2012 for six weeks
Time: 10.00 am – 12 noon
Cost: $450

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When
: Monday 16 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When:
Every Monday starting Monday 16 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith
When
: Tuesday 17 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 19 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Daytime Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 19 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 10.00 am – 12 noon
Cost: $395

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

Seminar: Build Your Profile Using Twitter with Steven Lewis – NEW SEMINAR
When
: Monday 23 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

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

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 26 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis – NEW DATE
When
: Friday 27 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Monday 7 May 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Program: Write Your Novel with Pamela Freeman – FULL
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 21 May 2012 for six months
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $1980

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 23 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Introduction to Novel Writing with Pamela Freeman – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 29 May 2012 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $495

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 29 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 7 June 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Food Writing with Carli Ratcliff – NEW COURSE
When
: Saturday 16 June and Sunday 17 June 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Writing about Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett – NEW DATE
When:
Wednesday 27 June and 4 July 2012 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $175

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

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

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



15 March 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012
In this issue:
  • TIP: That or who?
  • Best Australian Blogs 2012 Competition now open! 
  • Indulge your creative side – Online Creative Writing Stage 1
  • More student success – Congratulations Kerry Osborne!
  • Write better copy for your website
  • What we’re readingOut Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
  • WEBPICK: Mr Thompson’s Guide to Never Getting Published

"How y'all doing?" I've been hearing a lot of that over the past few days as I'm currently in Austin, Texas at the South by South West Interactive Festival. It's been wonderful to hear from an endless stream of best-selling authors here at the festival, talking about their books and the writing process. I've also been eating way too much cheese (which seems to be on every type of food here) and key lime pie (which, thankfully, is one of the few things that does not come with cheese).

Lots of people rush to get ready and be part of this festival. So I'm also seeing lots of typos – in brochures, marketing materials, display stands and signs. That detracts from the professionalism of the brand. And it makes me want to go to the founders of these businesses and shake them! They work so hard to create a product or service, but then let silly typos in their marketing material devalue their brand.

That's why our one-day seminar Perfect Your Proofreading is so important. You should always have a person responsible for proofreading your material – whether that's yourself or someone else. Their eagle eyes could be the difference between gaining a sale or making an embarrassing mistake.

During this seminar you'll learn:

  • the standard proofreading symbols
  • how and when to use hyphens, ‘ens’ and ‘ems’, all of which are often misused
  • common proofreading slips you should avoid (there are more than you think!)
  • common terms used in publishing and printing
  • how to create your own proofreading checklist
  • and much more

Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 22 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • We recently interviewed successful chick-lit author, Erica James. You can watch the full interview on the Writing Bar.

  • Check out our latest post on the Writing Bar – It’s a monster literary mash-up!

  • Filling fast: Introduction to Travel Writing, Monday 19 March 2012.



TIP: That or who?
For many editors, writers and word-nerds, it’s often the most simple mistakes that cause the most angst. For example, many people find the confusion between the use of “who” and “that” akin to fingernails running down a blackboard. For example:

She’s the one that edited my book.

The commonly accepted view is that this sentence should actually say “She’s the one who edited my book.” The rule being you use “who” when referring to a person or people, and use “that” when referring to things or groups.
 
It seems, though, there isn’t a rule stating this and there are plenty of literary precedents to justify using “that” instead of “who”. Even Mark Twain did it in his story “The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg”.
 
We suggest you follow the Fairfax Style Guide, which states:

Who suits particular people, and that generic people. For example:
  • You, who are a walking dictionary.
  • But: He is a man that is never at a loss.





Best Australian Blogs 2012 Competition now open!
We're thrilled to announce the launch of our Best Australian Blogs 2012 Competition. The competition opened this morning at 10.00 am. Last year, 570 bloggers entered and over 13,350 people voted in the People's Choice Award. Last year's winner, Nikki Parkinson, is now a full-time blogger thanks to the profile boost of the competition.
 
This year's competition has an all-star judging panel of Robert Gerrish of Flying Solo; Marina Go, veteran editor and publisher; Brenda Gaddi, founder and director of the Digital Parents Network; Angela Meyer, one of Australia’s leading literary bloggers; and Greg Jericho, one of Australia’s most popular online commentators.
 
This is a wonderful opportunity to get your blog recognised, and celebrate the booming Australian blogosphere. The competition closes 5.00 pm, Friday 13 April 2012.

Click here for more information or to enter online.






Indulge your creative side
Taking time out to indulge your love of writing can be hard, especially if you don’t live in Sydney, or have kids at home, or you’re too busy at work… There are so many excuses you could make! That’s why we’re so committed to offering our most popular courses online, so you can join us from wherever you are.
 
Our most popular online offering is Creative Writing Stage 1. This course is perfect if you want to test your creative skills on writing fiction. Whether you’ve never done a course before or you’ve been writing for a while and want to be sure you’re on the right track, the online course Creative Writing Stage 1 will show you how to write great stories.
 
What past students say:
"I found the workshopping an invaluable tool. I enjoyed reading other people's work and the feedback given to them also helped me implement changes for the better in my own work."
- Olivia Blackburn

"The course is very practical, and really helps you to improve your writing from week to week."
- Nimmity Zappert
 
Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When
: Week beginning Monday 19 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






More Student Success!
We received some very exciting news from former Life Writing student, Kerry Osborne. After completing two courses here at the Sydney Writers’ Centre with Patti Miller, Kerry has had some of her short stories and blog posts published in a number of collections. Here’s what she wrote:

Last year I was approached by a publisher who asked to use four of my blogs in his book 40 Aussie Stories (Strand Publishing), which was released last year. This week another four of my stories were published by Strand in another book, Inspirational Stories for Aussie Women. Now, to top it off, I have another short piece being included in Candida Baker’s latest book, The Wisdom of Women (Allen & Unwin), which is being launched next month. I’m loving my writing journey and wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ to the Centre and to Patti Miller for the invaluable teaching you gave me.

Congratulations Kerry! We can’t wait to hear more about your writing success.
 
If you want to a chance to learn from the wonderful Patti Miller, why not join her in Bali for Writing the Senses? There are only four places left on this wonderful trip. You can download a full itinerary here.






Verandah literary journal seeks submissions
For writers of poetry and short fiction there are a number of literary journals in Australia you can submit to. One is Verandah, Deakin University’s Literary and Art Journal. The first edition of Verandah was published in 1985, and editors are now seeking submissions for their 27th edition.
 
Submissions of short stories (350 – 2,000 words long), poetry, art and design are welcome. Submissions cost $10 for one, or $15 for two or three. You have until Friday 1 June 2012 to submit written submissions, or Tuesday 1 May 2012 for art and design submissions.

For more details or to purchase past editions, visit Verandah Twenty Seven.






Writing picture books
Who could ever forget such classic picture books as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Where the Wild Things Are or Green Eggs and Ham? It’s these stories, and so many more, that have introduced generations of kids to the wonders of reading.

If you want to know what appeals to children and publishers, Writing Picture Books will show you. You’ll learn how to perfect the language and rythmn of your book, how to work with illustrations, and how you go about getting your picture book published.
 
This course focuses on picture books for younger children. If you'd like to write for slightly older children, please go to our course Writing Books for Children and Young Adults.

What past participants say:
"Cathie was a very knowledgeable presenter and I liked that she was open to all sorts of questions. It was great to hear how publishing works from someone who has been in it."
- Catherine Golding

"Cathy was AWESOME. Direct, honest, informative, funny – perfect!"
- Natalie Keen

This course is taught by Cathie Tasker. Cathie has edited over 150 children’s picture books, both popular and award-winning titles. She has worked with some of Australia’s greatest picture book creators – Bruce Whatley, Jackie French, Mem Fox, Bronwyn Bancroft, Wendy Orr, and many others. She has also worked in-house at Scholastic Australia and HarperCollins.
 
Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When
: Wednesdays starting Wednesday 28 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: How should you use accordingly?
One of our online course students wants to know what the correct way to use “accordingly” is. She was recently pulled up for using the following sentence:

"I have amended the document with the necessary changes and have attached for you to review accordingly."

According to the Macquarie Dictionary, "accordingly" is an adverb that means “in accordance; correspondingly” or “in due course; therefore; so.” For example:

The government wants to assess teachers’ performance and pay them accordingly.

In the example sent to us, the use of “accordingly” is superfluous. It’s not needed there. You wouldn’t be able to replace “accordingly” with “in accordance with” as it wouldn’t make sense. So, it would be better to write:

I have amended the document and have attached for you to review.





Write better copy for your website
You may be comfortable writing marketing copy for brochures, or writing long reports or proposals, but could you write convincing and engaging copy for your website?
 
Writing for the web is very different to writing for print, and it’s essential you know the rules before tackling this important task. Our Writing for the Web seminar will show you how to engage readers and customers with your web copy, the golden rules of information design, how to write for accessibility and usability, and much more.
 
What past participants say:
"For a novice this was a good introduction, with tips to immediately improve the content that I write for the web."
- Vicky Coumbe

"Grant Doyle was excellent. I enjoyed how he used relevant examples and engaged the audience by reviewing their own sites throughout the day."
- Sarah Collins

This seminar is taught by Grant Doyle. He is 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
: Monday 26 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






What we’re reading
This week Get Published reader Kathy George is reading Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson. She writes:

Out Stealing Horses – a relevant, cheeky title - concerns a widower, grown old, who has moved to a remote cabin in the countryside. Set in Norway, it recounts his daily life, his thoughts on coping with the coming harsh winter, and how this new existence triggers memories of his boyhood and one particular summer. Without giving too much away, the narrator is a boy during the Second World War, and it’s also therefore a coming of age story. Some of the memories he recalls are painful, some are turbulent, some happy, but all are recounted in Trond Sander’s slow, pensive but uncluttered fashion.

It begins with a simple observation of nature: “Early November. It’s nine o’clock. The titmice are banging against the window”, then a sentence later, “I don’t know what they want that I have.” I was hooked by this beginning. A story was coming. I was willing to wait for it.

Your can read Kathy's complete review here.

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: Mr Thompson’s Guide to Never Getting Published
So, the first reason we like Mr Thompson is, he has cats. Three of them. And they often feature in his blog. Secondly, we like his humorous approach to writing and publishing.

Mr Thompson is an English teacher and writer based in the US. His posts include a contemplation on the Twitter-verse, 10 commandments you should not follow, and occasionally some writing advice.

Check it out here.










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

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

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 19 March 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 19 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 19 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Perfect your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 22 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle
When
: Monday 26 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 26 March 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 26 March 2012 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 26 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 28 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 29 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Friday 30 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

Course: Weekend Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go
When
: Saturday 31 March and Sunday 1 April 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Monday 2 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 9 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 11 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 11 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 12 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Friday 13 April 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 1.00 pm
Cost: $295

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When
: Every Friday starting Friday 13 April 2012 for six weeks
Time: 10.00 am – 12 noon
Cost: $450

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When
: Monday 16 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When:
Every Monday starting Monday 16 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith
When
: Tuesday 17 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 19 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Daytime Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 19 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 10.00 am – 12 noon
Cost: $395

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

Seminar: Build Your Profile Using Twitter with Steven Lewis – NEW SEMINAR
When
: Monday 23 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

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

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 26 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis – NEW DATE
When
: Friday 27 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Program: Write Your Novel with Pamela Freeman – FULL
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 21 May 2012 for six months
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $1980

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 23 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Introduction to Novel Writing with Pamela Freeman – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 29 May 2012 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $495

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 29 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 7 June 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Food Writing with Carli Ratcliff – NEW COURSE
When
: Saturday 16 June and Sunday 17 June 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

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

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

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



8 March 2012

Thursday, March 08, 2012
In this issue:
  • TIP: Why does humour become humorous?
  • Write a gripping thriller
  • Win a World Nomads Travel Writing Scholarship
  • Perfect your proofreading
  • New fairytales discovered
  • What we’re readingThe Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
  • WEBPICK: Australian Women Writers

I love being a writer. It's one of the most flexible jobs in the world. As long as you have a computer and the internet (well, sometimes you don't even need the internet), you have all you need. And if you're really old school, all you need is a pen and notepad. It's a portable career that allows you to explore your creativity and travel the world.

In fact, as you read this, I'll be getting off the plane in Texas where I'm researching and interviewing people for my next book. If I have the time, I may even write a travel story or two. It's great to be paid to go on adventures!

If you like the idea of being paid for your travels, you'll enjoy our online course in Travel Writing. The best part is that this online course means you can learn from wherever you are – even if you are sipping pina coladas on a tropical island.

You'll learn:


  • 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
  • how to research travel stories and find interview subjects on the road
  • travel writing in your home town so that you can be a travel writer without ever having to get on a plane!
  • your blueprint on how to become a travel writer
  • travel writing ethics
  • travelling on your own versus an organised trip with other writers
  • and MUCH more.

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When
: Week beginning Monday 19 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online






What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • Our latest writer profile by Katie Booth is on controversial columnist, Piers Akerman. You can read it now on the Writing Bar.

  • Our Creative Writing Stage 1 course is proving so popular we’ve scheduled another one. The next evening course starts Thursday 29 March 2012.

  • There are only 4 places left in our Writing the Senses in Bali tour. Click here for all the details.



TIP: Why does humour become humorous?
In Australia we spell "humour" with a "u", but in American English, they spell it without the "u" – as in "humor". So why is it we spell "humorous" without the "u" before the "r"?

According to Contradictionary by Fritz Spiegl, it merely comes down to readability.

“Humour loses its second u when modified to humorous. There seems to be no particular reason for this, though both humourous and humourist look cumbersome and wrong. The same applies to other word modifications like glamour/glamorise, vapour/vaporise, etc.”






Writing About Interiors, Style and Design
Are you one of those people instantly drawn to the home and renovating section of the newsagent to pore over magazines like Belle, Home Beautiful and House & Garden? And have you ever wondered if you could write for them?

Interiors, style and design has become something of a national obsession in Australia. We’re fascinated by it. So there’s plenty of opportunity out there for anyone interested in writing about interior design, renovating, architecture or anything to do with the home. In our industry insight course, Writing About Interiors, Style and Design, you’ll learn all about writing articles on this fascinating topic.

Here’s what past participants say:
"This course was excellent. Nigel showed a keen interest in sharing his knowledge. It's the best short writing course I have been on and wasted no time in presenting the right information for getting your work published."

- Phillip Brook

"Nigel's personal insights were really valuable and interesting. I particularly appreciated that he had asked people he knows in the right positions, such as magazine editors, to provide their dos and don’ts. Nigel is engaging and interesting."

- Nicola Duncan

The course is taught by Nigel Bartlett, a freelance writer and editor with more than 20 years’ experience in magazines. He has written and edited interior design features for Belle, Inside Out, Real Living and other magazines.

Writing About Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett
When
: Thursdays 15 & 22 March 2012 (two evening classes)
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






More Student Success
This week we heard from former student Ambra Sancin. She completed our Introduction to Travel Writing seminar and has been busy writing every since. Here’s what she wrote to us:

"I'm very pleased to inform you that I had a short piece published in this month's Italianicious magazine. I did the 'Intro to Travel Writing' course with the Sydney Writers' Centre last year, and obviously it paid off. I'm hoping to keep writing the same types of stories related to my Italo-Australian heritage."

Congratulations Ambra!

Congratulations also to Dean Koorey, whose Tooth Fairy Ombudsman won the day in Seek’s Wish It Exists competition. Dean won the popular vote and $20,000!






2012 World Nomads Travel Writing Scholarship
For budding travel writers it can be hard to get that big break. That’s why we love the World Nomads Travel Writing Scholarship. This annual competition gives one writer a chance to really experience life on the road as a travel writer.

The winner will be mentored by three professional travel writers and will contribute to the new edition of The Rough Guide to Singapore as well blog regularly about their journey through South East Asia.

To enter you need to write a 2,000 character (roughly 500 words) story on one of four themes. Judges will be looking for great descriptive ability, a compelling story and, of course, excellent grammar, so make sure you proofread your story!

Full details can be found on the World Nomads website.






Write a gripping thriller
Thrillers dominate bestseller lists around the world. Whether they’re occasional readers or devoted fans of the genre, it’s hard for readers to resist the action, suspense and mystery of a good thriller. So how do you write one?

Our newest course, Thriller Writing, will show you how to turn your story into an edge-of-your-seat novel your readers won’t be able to put down. Over five weeks you’ll discover the eight “must haves” of a good thriller, the dos and don’ts of action scenes and how to build pace and suspense in your novel.

This course is taught by thriller author L.A. Larkin. She has been likened to Michael Crichton and John Grisham. Her latest novel, The Genesis Flaw, received glowing reviews and has been nominated for four crime writing awards. Her next thriller, Thirst, set on an isolated Antarctic station, will be released in 2012.

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






New fairytales discovered
Many of us grew up on classic fairytales such as Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Cinderella and the Princess and the Pea. Thanks to the work of the Grimm Brothers (Jacob and Wilhelm), who spent many years during the early 1800s collecting the stories and folklore of Germany, these stories have become an integral part of the childhood of millions of people around the world.

But it seems the Grimm Brothers weren’t the only ones collecting the myths, legends and fairytales of the time. Another academic, Franz Xaver Von Schönwerth, collected around 500 fairytales in and around Bavaria and published much of his research in three volumes in 1857. The collection has been sitting in an archive in Regensburg, Germany, ever since. But now they’ve been rediscovered and stories such as the Turnip Princess and King Golden Hair may yet become just as important to young readers as those stories collected by the Grimm Brothers.

You can read all about the new fairytales in The Guardian.






Oops Word!
This picture was sent into the Herald Sun by one of their readers who was rightly upset about the use of "except".



Except means to exclude or leave out, or not including. For example:

Everyone was at the party except Rambo.

Accept means to take or receive, and this is what should have been used in this sign. For example:

This machine will only accept $1 or $2 coins.





Perfect documents every time
If you want to ensure your documents are perfect every time, you need to know how to proofread properly. Proofreading is a vital stage in the production of any document – whether it’s a marketing brochure, an annual report, or everyday correspondence.
 
Learning the right techniques for proofreading needn’t be hard. 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.
 
Here’s what past participants say:
"The course was excellent and the teaching was focussed on exactly what I needed to know."
- Carol-Anne Maurer

"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. Deb’s knowledge on the topic was both outstanding and enviable."
- Danielle Roddick

This seminar is taught by Deb Doyle. Deb is an experienced editorial-training consultant and publication editor. Her courses are interactive and collegial. If anyone can turn a proofreading workshop into a fun and interesting day, it’s Deb Doyle.

Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 22 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.







What we’re reading
This week Sydney Writers’ Centre office manager, Andrew Gillman, is reading The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. He writes:

I love books with quirky titles. They have become quite popular over the last few years ever since The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time became a hit in 2003. But a quirky title is only truly memorable if the novel is equally creative and well-written, which is not always the case, alas.

Thankfully The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake has a catchy title and a beautifully written story, which is exactly what you would expect from the author, the gloriously talented Aimee Bender.

The book tells the story of shy Rose Edelstein, who discovers as a child that she can sense the emotions of the person who has cooked the food she is eating. She discovers quickly though that this gift is more of a curse than a blessing since it means she knows more about those she loves, and wants to love, than she should. This includes her mother who, though outwardly gregarious and accomplished, is secretly despairing of life. She finds out her father and brother have secrets too, all of which shakes the confidence of Rose who almost instantly sees food as a threat, rather than a comfort.

But it’s not all doom and icing-topped gloom. At it’s heart this is a beautifully written book about how much goes unsaid between people and how the ability to pick up on these unremarked undercurrents can profoundly change the way you relate to the rest of the human race.

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: Australian Women Writers
It’s International Women’s Day today so we thought we should tell you about Australian Women Writers. In response to the recent debate on gender bias in publishing and reviewing, AWW has established the 2012 Reading and Reviewing Challenge.

The idea is for women to read and review as many books as possible throughout 2012 – the National Year of Reading. If you want to join the challenge, you need to decide if you’re going to be a casual or dedicated reviewer, and whether you’re a purist (one genre only), a dabbler (more than one genre) or a devoted eclectic (as many genres as you can read).

Reviews can be posted on your own blog or on GoodReads. All the details and reading lists are on the website.

Check it out here.










Other upcoming courses
Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 12 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 12 March 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 15 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin
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
When:
Thursday 15 March and Thursday 22 March 2012 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 19 March 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 19 March 2012 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 19 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Perfect your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 22 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle
When
: Monday 26 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 26 March 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 26 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 28 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – NEW DATE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 29 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Friday 30 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $495

Course: Weekend Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go
When
: Saturday 31 March and Sunday 1 April 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Monday 2 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 9 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Wednesday 11 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Friday 13 April 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When
: Every Friday starting Friday 13 April 2012 for six weeks
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $450

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When
: Monday 16 April 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 16 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 17 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 19 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

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

Seminar: Build Your Profile Using Twitter with Steven Lewis – NEW SEMINAR
When
: Monday 23 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

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

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 26 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis – NEW DATE
When
: Friday 27 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Food Writing with Carli Ratcliff – NEW COURSE
When
: Saturday 28 April and Sunday 29 April 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 9 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Program: Write Your Novel with Pamela Freeman – FULL
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 21 May 2012 for six months
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $1980

Course: Introduction to Novel Writing with Pamela Freeman – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 29 May 2012 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: 495

Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding
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
When:
Saturday 21 July to Saturday 28 July 2012

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



1 March 2012

Thursday, March 01, 2012
In this issue:

  • TIP: Disinformation or misinformation?
  • Writing tours to Paris and Bali – only a few places left!
  • The Big Issue Fiction Edition open for submissions
  • Did you know? Crash blossoms
  • Perfect your grammar and punctuation
  • What we’re readingAstropolis: Saturn Returns by Sean Williams
  • WEBPICK: Ruth Wajnryb: words woman

What a week. I’ve been very busy writing but, unsurprisingly, I’ve succumbed to the temptation to buy a stack of books. These have included Story by veteran screenwriting guru Robert McKee. My other book purchase, just for something a bit different, is Crafting with Cat Hair!

While the book about cat hair is quirky (and grosses out most people I show it to), it’s the book on screenwriting that has me riveted. If you fancy the idea of writing for the movies, then you’ll love our course Screenwriting Stage 1 with the wonderful Tim Gooding.

We’re lucky to have Tim teach this course as he’s been travelling to Europe working on his latest TV project. So this is a great opportunity to learn from an experienced screenwriter who is working in the midst of this dynamic industry.

You’ll discover:

  • the ideal way to structure your story
  • what you need to include in your plot
  • how to write characters people love to watch
  • why pressure is the catalyst of character
  • how to write the most audience-engaging narrative
  • genre, style and theme – and how this applies to your screenplay
  • and MUCH more.

Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When
: Wednesdays starting Wednesday 7 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre



TIP: Disinformation or misinformation?
The word “disinformation” is not one you see often, so when I saw it used recently in an article I was reading I had to wonder – why “disinformation” and not “misinformation”?
 
The Macquarie Dictionary lists “disinformation” as “misleading information supplied intentionally, as in counter espionage”. For example:

There has been much disinformation spread about the issue of climate change.

The online version of the Macquarie lists “misinformation” as the noun form of the verb “misinform” – to give false or misleading information to. According to the blog Sentence First the difference between the two words is intent. Misinformation is a result of ignorance, or is unintentional, for example:

The pamphlet contained misinformation about the cost of dog-sitting.

Disinformation, however, is deliberately misleading.






Our Writing Tours to Paris and Bali – only a few places left!
Our International Writing Tours are a unique experience offering inspiration and motivation to writers at any stage of their journey.
 
Writing in Bali
You can enjoy 8 days in the artistic centre of Ubud, Bali, and learn about the Art and Craft of Writing the Senses. Staying in your own room in a beautiful resort set amongst the rice paddies, you’ll discover how to enrich your writing and re-awaken your senses with Patti Miller.
 
The Art and Craft of Writing the Senses in Bali with Patti Miller
When
: Saturday 21 July to Saturday 28 July 2012

Click here for a full itinerary.  
 
Living and writing in Paris
If memoir is more your thing, why not immerse yourself in French culture, food and literature and join our Writing in Paris tour. You’ll spend 17 days exploring the City of Light, staying in your very own Parisian apartment, and undertaking writing instruction from Patti Miller – one of Australia's best writing tutors. This tour is very popular and fills quickly, so don’t miss out!
 
Writing in Paris with Patti Miller
When
: Thursday 18 October to Saturday 3 November 2012
For early bird discounts full payment is due by Saturday 31 March 2012.

Click here for full itinerary.






More Student Success
Very exciting news from one of our Creative Writing graduates this week. Rajasree Variyar entered a story he wrote in a short story competition – and his entry was short-listed! Here’s what he wrote to us:
 
I just wanted to let you know that my short story, "Men Don't Cry", was short listed for the Margaret River short story competition. This story is about a young Sudanese ex-child soldier, which I workshopped in Creative Writing Stage 2 with you last year. You gave me some great advice, so thank you!

Another potential student success story is Dean Koorey. I use the word “potential” because you would help him win $20,000 for his witty entry into Seek’s competition. But you need to vote before 11.59pm Thursday 1 March 2012 (today). Find out about his “journey” here.






Big Issue Fiction Edition
Entering short story competitions is one of the best ways for writers to practise their craft, and one of the biggest for the year is The Big Issue Fiction Edition. This competition is fast becoming one of the most important short story events of the year – and you could be part of it.
 
The Fiction Edition is a blend of stories selected from open submissions and commissioned pieces from established and much-loved authors. In 2011, vendors sold 34,000 copies of the edition, which featured short stories by Frank Moorhouse, Peggy Frew, Nick Earls, Charlotte Wood and Chris Wormersley.

Editors of the 2012 edition are looking for “intriguing stories, humorous tales and lively and interesting writing”. You can choose to pick your own topic, or write to the official theme of “The End of the World”. Stories must be under 3,000 words long.

If you’d like to enter your story for consideration in The Big Issue Fiction Edition, you have until Thursday 31 May 2012. Full entry details can be found on the Writing Bar.






Online courses in Creative Writing
If you want to make sure your stories are ready for competition, or just want to kickstart your writing and get started on a novel, our Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 is the perfect way to start.
 
In this course you’ll learn all about character, structure, plot and voice, and how to make sure your stories really pack a punch.
 
What past participants say:
"After completing this course, I feel better equipped with the tools and techniques I need to be a good writer. I really enjoyed the process of seeing my ideas come to life on paper and as a result I now write short pieces daily."
- Itu Taito

"Prior to the course, I was floundering without any teaching to know how to approach creative writing. The course provided me with all the information I needed and more."
- Debbie Smith
 
Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When
: Week beginning Monday 5 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.

If you’ve already completed Stage 1, or you feel you’re ready to move to the next level, the Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 is your chance to really practise what you’ve learnt and workshop more of your work.
 
Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When
: Week beginning Monday 5 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Did you know? Crash Blossoms
What on earth is a crash blossom?! According to Urban Dictionary, it’s a “neologism for infelicitously-worded newspaper headlines”. In other words, it’s an awkwardly written headline that could have two or more meanings. One of the defining features of a crash blossom is confusion between nouns and verbs.
 
The term originated in an online discussion on the headline “Violinist linked to JAL crash blossoms”. Huh? Turns out the story was about a Japanese violinist whose father was killed in the 1985 Japan Airlines crash. Her career has blossomed since the crash – but you wouldn’t guess that from the headline. Instead you may wonder, “What’s a crash blossom?”
 
Here are a few more amusing examples:

British Left Waffles on Falklands
Gator Attacks Puzzle Experts
Blast at South Lebanon Hotel popular with UN staff







Oops Word!
One of our sharp-eyed students, Gemma Butler-Fleming, spotted this sign at a wildlife park:



First, the correct spelling for more than one wallaby is “wallabies”. Secondly, you don’t use an apostrophe to create a plural! Wallaby’s is wrong not only for its spelling, but also for the apostrophe that’s been used. Albino’s is also incorrect – it should be albinos, without the apostrophe.





Perfect your grammar and punctuation
Why do I need an apostrophe for “kids’ books” and not “books for kids”? What’s the difference between which and that? Where should I put the comma? Do I even need the comma?
 
Grammar and punctuation can seem overwhelming but once you know the basic rules, you can confidently approach almost any writing task. Our one-day seminar Grammar and Punctuation Essentials is an intensive and interactive day that will leave you with knowledge you can apply immediately. No longer will you need to fear apostrophes!
 
What past participants say:
"I learned so much! Deb is a wealth of information."
- Samantha Dodson

"Grammar and punctuation could be a boring topic but Deb's flamboyance and energy made it fun and interesting to learn."
- Divina Gola

Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Tuesday 6 March 2012 (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 Sydney Writers’ Centre office manager, Andrew Gillman, is reading Astropolis: Saturn Returns by Sean Williams. He writes:

Humanity is deeply flawed. But despite this, not ultimately doomed.

This is the recurring theme throughout this book, which is the first volume in what is styled as an epic sci-fi trilogy. So far it’s proving to be epic indeed and a great read.

The story covers vast amounts of space and time in its quest to tell the story of Imre Bergemasc who may be the saviour of human civilisation, or it’s greatest threat. He can’t quite recall which. Reconstituted into physical form after drifting as a download of sorts for millennia through space, and missing vital memories lost in the process, he is struggling to make sense of a galaxy greatly changed since he was last conscious. In the vacuum of power caused by the governing body, The Continuum, it’s every person for themselves, which presents endless complications for Imre as he attempts to rebuild his life.

Sean Williams’s great gift is that his story doesn’t descend into dystopian bleakness. Humanity, while technologically and biologically much evolved in a far distant future, is still prone to many of the same flaws that beset us in our troubled present. But the key part is we’re still around, chaotic galaxy or not, trying to do our best. This grounded perspective informs the whole book and makes it a compelling 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: Ruth Wajnryb: words woman
Remember the "words woman" from the Sydney Morning Herald? Well, she no longer is the “words woman” but Ruth Wajnryb is still fascinated by linguistics and language and also has a blog discussing everything from neologisms to apologies.
 
There are some really interesting posts here about language, how we use it, and how it changes. There’s also Dr Ruth’s Grammar Corner – a useful reference for anyone who struggles with the English language now and then.
 
Check it out here.









Other upcoming courses
Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 5 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 5 March 2012 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 5 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

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

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Tuesday 6 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman – FULL
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 6 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 6 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When
: Wednesday 7 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When:
Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 7 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 12 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 12 March 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 15 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin
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
When:
Thursday 15 March and Thursday 22 March 2012 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 19 March 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 19 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Perfect your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 22 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle
When
: Monday 26 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 26 March 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 28 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard – NEW DATE
When
: Friday 30 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $495

Course: Weekend Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go
When
: Saturday 31 March and Sunday 1 April 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis – NEW DATE
When
: Monday 2 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Friday 13 April 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When
: Every Friday starting Friday 13 April 2012 for six weeks
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $450

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When
: Monday 16 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 17 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 19 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

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

Seminar: Build Your Profile Using Twitter with Steven Lewis – NEW SEMINAR
When
: Monday 23 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

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

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 26 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis – NEW DATE
When
: Friday 27 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Food Writing with Carli Ratcliff – NEW COURSE
When
: Saturday 28 April and Sunday 29 April 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 9 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Program: Write Your Novel with Pamela Freeman – FULL
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 21 May 2012 for six months
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $1980

Course: Introduction to Novel Writing with Pamela Freeman – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 29 May 2012 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: 495

Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding
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




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