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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.

26 April 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012
In this issue:
  • TIP: Why shouldn’t you use adverbs?
  • Boost your creativity
  • Alan Marshall short story award
  • Where do “nerds” come from?
  • Learn with us – online
  • TIP: No please in please rsvp
  • What we’re readingA Game of Thrones by George R.R.Martin
  • WEBPICK: Easy Street Prompts

This week is a HUGE one for me because I submitted the manuscript for my book to the publisher. I should be used to the process as it’s my sixth book, but it’s still hard work!

It’s a business book about storytelling for entrepreneurs and I’ve been so lucky to meet and interview some fascinating people during my research for it.

I’m particularly excited because, in case you haven’t noticed lately, the business book genre has grown in a big way. Gone are the days when there were only a handful of books in the business section of the book store. These days there are entire walls in some stores dedicated to this genre.

If you’ve considered writing a business book, you’re probably an entrepreneur, expert, consultant, or coach. That’s why I’m so excited to be presenting the seminar, How to write a business book.

This seminar will cover:
  • how to make your business book different from the rest of the market
  • the right way to structure your book
  • innovative ways to keep your reader interested and engaged
  • whether you should write it yourself, or outsource to a ghostwriter
  • your publishing options – mainstream publishers versus self-publishing
  • how to use your book as a lead generation tool
  • the basics of publicity, marketing and promotion
  • and MUCH more.
I’m only holding this seminar in May and November this year!

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • Best Australian Blogs 2012 Competition finalists have been announced! Click here for the list. You can still be a part of the competition by voting in the People’s Choice Awards.

  • Filling fast: How to Get Your Book Published, Monday 7 May 2012.

  • Legendary American broadcaster Ira Glass on storytelling – watch the video on Writing Bar.




TIP: Why shouldn’t you use adverbs?
The poor adverb. Often maligned by writers of fiction, for many the dreaded –ly words are like the literary equivalent of fingernails down the blackboard. But why are they considered so bad?
 
Adverbs are descriptive words that can be used to alter the meaning of verbs, adjectives or other adverbs. Adverbs that modify verbs usually come after the verb and often end in –ly. For example:
She ran quickly.
It rained heavily.
Adverbs can also modify adjectives. These adverbs are: very, extremely, really, totally, absolutely, quite, fairly, well. In this case, they’ll usually come before the adjective. For example:
He was running very late for his appointment.
We’re totally impressed with the renovations on the new apartment.
While adverbs are a legitimate form in English, you do need to watch how often you use them in your writing. If you find you’re using ­a lot of ­–ly words, make sure they’re needed. Often, writers inadvertently slip an adverb into their writing and it’s totally unnecessary. For example, “shouted loudly” or “carefully examine” or “totally unnecessary”! 





Boost your creativity and get started writing fiction
Want to know how to boost your creativity and explore the world of writing fiction? Our next Creative Writing Stage 1 course starts soon and this is your chance to get those ideas out of your head and onto the page.
 
This five-week course will show you how to turn your dream of writing into a reality. You’ll learn about what makes great fiction and how to apply these skills to your own writing. You’ll also learn how to tap into your imagination and how to draw from everyday experiences to inspire your stories. Whether you’ve experimented with writing fiction before or you’re a complete beginner, this course will help you get started.
 
What past participants say:
"Jeni was great! I had so much fun listening, writing, talking and I loved all of her advice and motivation."
- Chantelle Ravenswood

"The Sydney Writers' Centre helps to get your ideas out of your imagination and onto paper. Plus, the location is amazing and you are spoilt with a great view!"
- Shelley Hall

Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Thursdays starting Thursday 3 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Alan Marshall Short Story Award
If you’ve completed your creative writing course then your next step is to put what you’ve learnt into practice. The best way to do this is to write, and what better motivation to write than short story competitions!
 
One of Australia’s most well-known is the Alan Marshall Short Story Award. Held in memory of short story writer and author of the classic I Can Jump Puddles, the competition is open to all Australian residents. The open section is for short stories up to 2,500 words long and offers a first prize of $2,000 cash. There are also prizes for local writers (in the Nillumbik Shire Council area in Victoria) and young writers.
 
Check out all the details here.






Where do “nerds” come from?
These days, we’re all familiar with the word “nerd”. The Macquarie Dictionary describes one as: “a person who is unpopular by reason of not participating in the social life of a school, college, etc., because of an obsession with study, computers, etc.”

But where did the word come from? The first known appearance of the word in print was in a story by Dr. Seuss “If I Ran the Zoo”. In it, a character said:
“I’ll sail to Ka-Troo and bring back an It-Kutch, a Preep and a Proo, A Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker, too!”





Varuna Sydney Writers’ Festival
Less than three weeks to go until the 2012 Sydney Writers’ Festival kicks off, and we’re busy planning our festival schedule. One event we’d love to attend features our own life writing guru, Patti Miller. She’ll be discussing Memoir: Public Issues and Private Lives with Robert Hemley and Carol Major at the Carrington Hotel in the Blue Mountains.
 
For younger readers, there’s also a Varuna Sydney Writers’ Festival Children’s Day featuring some of Australia’s best writers for young people, including our own creative writing presenter, James Roy.
 
There are lots of events happening in the Mountains as part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival. You can find all the details here.






Learn online from the best
We may be known as the Sydney Writers’ Centre, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be an international writers’ centre… If you don’t live in Sydney or prefer to learn online, you can still join us for some of our most popular courses. And that’s exactly what many students from around Australia and the world have already done.
 
If you’re interested in writing for magazines, writing fiction, writing for kids or writing travel articles, we have an online course for you. The courses are interactive and cover the same great content we teach at our face-to-face classes, and you’ll also benefit from the expertise of your own online tutor.
 
We schedule online courses very regularly so there’ll be a course and a date to suit you.  
 
What past participants say:
"It was easy and convenient doing an online course. The best thing was being able to study around my busy life, when and where it suited me."
- Vanessa Bernardo

“This is one of the best online courses that I’ve done.”
- Michelle Crutcher
 
ONLINE COURSE Magazine and Newspaper Writing with Sue White/Allison Tait
When
: Week beginning Monday 30 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
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 30 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.

For more online courses click here.





TIP: No need to say please
We’ve all seen it – a wedding or party invite with the words “Please RSVP…” While it might seem polite to ask “please” when requesting a response, there’s absolutely no need for it.
 
We all know that RSVP is derived from the French phrase, répondez s'il vous plait, meaning “please reply”. And here’s the problem with asking to “please rsvp” – the phrase already has a ‘please’ in it so there’s no need to add it again.






Did you know?
This year’s announcement of the Pulitzer Prize winners created news not so much for those who won, but for the fact an award for fiction was not given. For the three shortlisted authors it must have come as a shock that the board could not agree on one outstanding novel for the year.
 
Maybe they’ll take some comfort in the fact that many great authors struggled to achieve fame and fortune in their lifetimes – some receiving no recognition until long after they died. Consider these initial reactions to some of literature’s greatest novels:
 
“It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.”
– Publisher’s rejection of George Orwell’s Animal Farm
 
“It is a compound of vulgar depravity and unnatural horrors.”
Graham’s Lady Magazine on Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights
 
“It is no discredit to Walt Whitman that he wrote Leaves of Grass, only that he did not burn it afterwards.”
– Thomas Wentworth Higginson in The Atlantic, 1867 on Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass
 
You can find more examples of ill-judged book reviews here.






How you can edit with confidence
To turn even the clumsiest writing into clear and concise communication, you need to know the rules of editing. Many of us have to edit documents at work – correspondence, reports, proposals – but if you’re not familiar with the process, you may be spending more time on this than you need to.

In one day, we can show you how to edit for structure and style, how to set up and use style guides, and show you the editorial style rules you need to know. After our Editing Essentials seminar you’ll be able to tackle all your editing tasks with confidence and efficiency.

What past participants say:
"Very practical, clear and easy to understand advice. This is definitely the best course of this type that I have attended."
- Catherine Thrum

"Deb was brilliant! She has amazing knowledge and knew how to make the seminar fun."
- Aine Dowling

Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 3 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am - 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






What we’re reading
This week Sydney Writers’ Centre course manager, Danielle Williams, is reading A Game of Thrones by George R.R.Martin. She writes:

It’s been a long time since I took on a good fantasy series, and as there’s been so much hype around the Ice and Fire series by George R.R.Martin, I figured this was a good one to immerse myself in.

Book 1 of the series, A Game of Thrones, introduces us to the noble houses of Westeros, a large island continent divided into seven kingdoms. Told from several points of view, the book begins in Winterfell, where Eddard Stark and his family are uprooted from their ancestral home so Stark can take up a position as the “Hand of the King”.

I wasn’t sure at first that I was going to get into this book. There was some hokey symbolism early in the story that I worried was a sign of things to come. Happily, it wasn’t. The pace of the story is incredible and I’ve quickly gotten to the “I can’t put this book down even though it’s almost 1am” stage. There are all the elements of good fantasy fiction here, but it’s darker than other series I’ve read, and this gives the story a more mature feel.

Being only ⅓ of the way through book 1 of the series, I know I’ve got a lot of late-night reading ahead of me, but I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy the journey.

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: Easy Street Prompts
Need more than just a word to get your creativity flowing? Then Easy Street Prompts is the place to go. Here you’ll find visual prompts – including photos, paintings and even short videos.

It’s the perfect place for the “terminally creative” to go if they’re feeling the dreaded writers’ block coming on.

Check it out here.










Other upcoming courses
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

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White/Allison Tait
When:
Week beginning Monday 30 April 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 30 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 3 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 3 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
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

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 7 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 7 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith
When
: Tuesday 8 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 9 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

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

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Tuesday 15 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

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

Seminar: Perfect your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 17 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Monday 21 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

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When
: Tuesday 22 May 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When
: Wednesday 23 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

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

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Thursday 24 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 28 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When:
Every Monday starting Monday 28 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: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 13 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

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: Write a chick-lit novel with Lisa Heidke – 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

Seminar: Successful Freelancing with Valerie Khoo and Gayle Bryant – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 10 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Build Your Profile Using Twitter with Steven Lewis – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 17 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 17 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When
: Every Friday starting Friday 3 August 2012 for six weeks
Time: 10.00 am – 12 noon
Cost: $450

Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 9 August 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



19 April 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012
In this issue:
  • TIP: Altogether versus all together
  • Make your travels pay – Travel Writing course
  • New Queensland Literary Awards announced
  • Why full-stops are so important
  • Why you need to blog for your business
  • What we’re readingA Tiger in Eden by Chris Flynn
  • WEBPICK: Digital Publishing Australia

To say that this week has been a busy one for me would be an understatement. I have been spending much of it poring over the manuscript of my book, rewriting sections and "killing my darlings". My publisher is expecting it on Monday 23 April so no guesses as to what I'm going to be doing over the weekend. But, of course, at some point you have to let it go because you can't keep refining it forever.

When I press "send" and wave my manuscript "Goodbye and good luck", I'll be breathing a huge sigh of relief and will also be looking forward to real food. I've been living off the pre-packaged microwave-able variety to get me through this week.

But then comes the strategic business of promoting the book. It's being released in October so that means I have a few months to work hard and build my "author platform".

What's that you ask? Well, in the old days, most authors could rely on their publishers to secure publicity, organise book launches and promote the book. However, increasingly, you need to rely on yourself to build a following of people who are likely to:

(a) buy your book
(b) spread the word about your book to their friends and followers.

In fact, if you're serious about book sales, you should seriously think about how to build your profile as a writer. The most effective way to do this is online because you'll reach the most people this way. That's why I'm so thrilled about our new seminar How to Build Your Profile Using Twitter.

You'll discover:

  • Twitter — what it is and why it matters
  • All the terminology — @, RT, MT, DM — so you can use Twitter without worrying you’ll make a fool of yourself!
  • How to find the right people to “follow” and how to get them to follow you back
  • The best tools for using Twitter — there’s so much more out there than just Twitter.com for managing Twitter
  • How to use Twitter to have an impact on your brand and profile as well as measuring what that impact is.

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • Filling fast: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman, starts Tuesday 24 April 2012 – only 3
    places left!

  • I recently interviewed Unmarketing author Scott Stratten. You can watch the video on our Writing Bar blog

  • Our Writing the Senses in Bali course is almost full – there’s only 1 place left! Will you be joining us this year?





TIP: Altogether versus all together
More from the world of commonly confused terms… This time we’re looking at “altogether” versus “all together”. These two are so easily confused it seems many writers have decided they’re interchangeable! Well, they’re not and they do have very different meanings.
 
All together means several things or people brought together. For example:

The Sydney Writers’ Centre team gathered all together on Sunday to learn how to cook tapas.

Altogether means wholly, entirely or completely. It can also mean “on the whole”. For example:

Altogether, there were 16 people in the writing course.





Make your travels pay
Travel the world and get paid for it. It can be done! If you’re passionate about writing and travel and want to learn how to combine the two, then join us for our next Travel Writing course with Sue White.
 
Success as a travel writer requires an eye for interesting stories, knowing how to structure an article, and knowing how to sell it – all skills you’ll learn over five weeks in this course. By the end of the course, you’ll have all the nuts and bolts of travel writing and be ready to explore a world of writing!
 
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

"Sue is very charismatic. It was enjoyable to go through the course with her. At every point she gave an example of her own experience which prepared each of us on what to expect and how to get into writing."
- Christiane Abou Taan
 
This course is taught by freelance writer, 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.






New Queensland Literary Awards
Many in the arts and literary world were shocked when Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, recently cancelled the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards. In fact, there was such a big response to the news, two Queensland authors – Matthew Condon and Krissy Kneen – decided to launch their own state literary award. And entries are now open!
 
There are 14 categories in the competition (the same as the axed Premier’s awards), covering fiction, non-fiction, children’s and young adult’s books, poetry, screenwriting and much more.

The competition is open to writers all over Australia and submissions close on Sunday 6 May 2012.
For entry details click here.






Weird Words
There is a word to describe someone or something resembling a hedgehog. I did not just make that up! The word is erinaceous. While it's not listed in the Macquarie Dictionary, you will find it in plenty of online dictionaries and, not surprisingly, lists of weird words.

We're not sure how you achieve resembling a hedgehog, let alone slipping this word into everyday conversation.

Check out more weird words here.






Write for kids and young adults
There’s a lot more to writing books for children and young adults than meets the eye. That's why publishers are always on the look out for kids’ books that are engaging and inspiring.
 
Whether you’re still nutting out your idea for a kids’ book or you’ve been working on a young adult novel, the ONLINE COURSE Writing Books for Children and Young Adults is your chance to learn from an industry expert. You’ll discover how to find the right voice for your characters, how to structure your story, and how to get an editor to take notice of your work.
 
What past participants say:
"I enjoyed being challenged to actually push through barriers in my thinking and achieve something new and satisfying. I loved doing it online – it really suits my lifestyle."
- Jo Henwood

"The online course has opened a venue for me and given me insights into things I didn't think possible. Now my imagination is truly the limit! I'm thrilled with the results."
- Lynn De Lacey Frost


ONLINE COURSE Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Juidth Ridge/Nicola Robinson
When
: Week beginning Monday 23 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.





TIP: When do you use ‘single quote marks’?
One reader, Martin, asked us to clarify the correct use of single quote marks. This is a great question as we often see single quote marks misused.

If you use “double quote marks” to indicate speech, like most Australian newspapers, then you use ‘single quote marks’ to indicate a quote WITHIN a quote.

Example:
"Michael said to me, 'I'm never going back there again'," said Susan.





Why full-stops are so important
The humble full stop does not just mark the end of a sentence. If you’re not careful, you can dramatically change your meaning if you don’t include that full stop – as happened recently in a major Australian newspaper:
 


Thanks to @lethalleigh who tweeted this one.






Movie ticket giveaway – Cafe de Flore
If you’re into French cinema you’ll love our latest film ticket giveaway. Thanks to Icon Films we have five double passes to director Jean-March Valee's latest film Café de Flore.
 
Cafe de Flore is a love story about people separated by time and place but connected in profound and mysterious ways. Atmospheric, fantastical, tragic and hopeful, the film chronicles the parallel fates of Jacqueline, a young mother with a disabled son in 1960s Paris, and Antoine, a recently-divorced, successful DJ in present day Montreal. What binds the two stories together is love - euphoric, obsessive, tragic, youthful, timeless love.
 
The film has been noted for its fantastic soundtrack so, if you’d like to win a double-pass, just tell us about your favourite movie soundtrack and why (in 25 words or less). Email your answers to courses [at] spindriftmedia [dot] com [dot] au by 5pm Friday 27 April 2012, and don’t forget to include your postal address.






Why you need to blog for business
Would you like to set up a blog for your business, but don’t know how to get started? Have you been blogging for your company for a while but would like to know how to build your audience? Whether you’re new to blogging or have some experience, our Blogging for Business seminar is essential if you’re building your business blog.
 
In this one-day seminar you’ll learn about the difference between a blog and a website, the terminology of blogging, what your readers expect from your blog, and, most importantly, how to make your blog stand out.
 
What past participants say:
"Excellent. Steven was well organised, informative, knowledgeable and in-tune with what we required. He pitched it exactly at the group's level, the pace was great and we covered an enormous amount of information."
- Joni Benjamin

"Steven is a very entertaining and informative presenter. His advice was practical and relevant. Excellent!"
- Rebekah Campbell

This seminar is taught by Steven Lewis. Steven has consulted on blogging, podcasting and other Web 2.0 tools for companies such as Westpac and IAG. For Tourism Tasmania he created a ground-breaking series of travel podcasts, with similar projects in the works for companies like V Australia and Time Out. He blogs at www.taleist.com
 
Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Friday 27 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






What we’re reading
This week Sydney Writers’ Centre course manager, Danielle Williams, is reading A Tiger in Eden by Chris Flynn. She writes:

When I first started reading this book, the first person narration in the distinct Irish brogue and the, um, colourful language, made me wonder if I would even finish it. But a couple of chapters in, I was won over.   
 
A Tiger in Eden is a worthy debut novel by Irish born Australian writer, Chris Flynn. It follows a young Loyalist fighter from Belfast, Billy Montgomery, whose violent past forces him to flee to Thailand. Much of his time there is spent drinking, fighting and womanising, until he joins a Buddhist retreat for 10 days and he is gradually forced to confront his past.
 
The mean streets of mid-1990s Belfast and the backpacker trail of Thailand are worlds apart, but Flynn manages to create a real sense of both places and Billy is a convincing and likeable character (despite his questionable behaviour). The novel also explores the hedonistic vibe of Thailand, shining a light on the more unpleasant aspects of tourism.
 
There is lots of strong language and descriptions of Billy’s various exploits in this book, so don’t read this if you’re easily offended. If you can get past that, this is an enjoyable and often funny 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: Digital Publishing Australia
The publishing world is changing and for many writers, this change is an exciting opportunity to explore new ways of getting their work out there. Digital publishing is all the rage but it can be overwhelming. So the Copyright Agency has put together a website to answer all your digital publishing questions.

Digital Publishing Australia includes lists of resources, contacts and case studies, as well as articles from authors who’ve experimented with digital publishing themselves. There’s also lots of updates about what major publishers are doing in digital publishing.

Check it out here.










Other upcoming courses
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
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

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White/Allison Tait – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 30 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 30 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 3 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 3 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
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

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 7 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 7 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 8 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 9 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

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

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Tuesday 15 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

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

Seminar: Perfect your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 17 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Monday 21 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

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 22 May 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Wednesday 23 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

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

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Thursday 24 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding – NEW DATE
When:
Every Monday starting Monday 28 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: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 13 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

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: Write a chick-lit novel with Lisa Heidke – 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

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller – NEW DATE
When
: Every Friday starting Friday 3 August 2012 for six weeks
Time: 10.00 am – 12 noon
Cost: $450

Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 9 August 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



12 April 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012
In this issue:
  • TIP: Between versus Among
  • How to get your script onto the screen
  • More Student Success – Anna Spargo-Ryan
  • Learn from anywhere! Online course in Creative
    Writing Stage 1
  • More apostrophe abuse
  • What we’re reading – Endworlds by Alan Dean Foster and Nicholas Read
  • WEBPICK: 10 Crazy and Unusual Book Designs

I’m always thrilled when I hear about our students who are getting attention from agents and publishers thanks to their blogs. I love blogs and I’m so excited that this is a viable way to showcase your writing.

When you go about it in the right way you can get your writing in front of the right people, bypassing the dreaded slushpile – where thousands of manuscripts languish in publishing houses all over the world.

In our “Blog to Book” seminar, I’ll be chatting to Kerri Sackville (pictured) about how she used her blog to land herself not just one book deal – but two! She is following up her best-selling memoir When My Husband Does the Dishes: A Memoir of Marriage and Motherhood with her second book The Little Book of Anxiety to be released next month.

In this session, Kerri reveals:

  • the steps she took to build a fan base for her blog
  • how she built her profile online
  • why you need to contribute to other blogs (and how to do this)
  • strategies to get noticed by publishers
  • how to make yourself a “marketable” author
  • and much more

There are only a handful of places left!

Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville in conversation with Valerie Khoo
When
: Monday 16 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.





What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre



TIP: Between versus Among
You’ve probably heard the rule that you should use “between” when referring to two things and “among” when referring to three or more. Well, like most rules in English grammar, it’s actually not that simple. Here’s how it’s explained in The Accidents of Style by Charles Harrington Lester:

“… when you’re dealing with three or more, you may use between or among depending on how the things you’re referring to are related. If their relation is collective, meaning you think of them as a group, use among. But if the relation is individual or reciprocal, from each to the others, use between. For example:

After listening to a debate between the six candidates, Amy thought that no one among them stood out as the best choice.”





How to get your script onto the screen!
Want to overcome the terror of the blank page? If you’ve got an idea for the next Aussie blockbuster but aren’t sure how to get the script written, our Screenwriting Stage 1 course is for you.


During this course, you’ll have an opportunity to develop a script you’re working on, or get started on a new script, and receive feedback from an industry professional. By focusing on the three essential elements of a good script – character, story and structure – you’ll gain confidence in your writing abilities and get that script written!


What past participants say:
"If you want to write a screenplay but don't know where to start, then you must try the screenwriting course at Sydney Writer's Centre. The course will tell you all the basics and actually have you starting to write almost straight away. And meeting others interested in the area is invaluable."
- Paul Sorauer

"I enjoyed the practical approach to screenwriting. Tim is direct, motivating and his experience is invaluable!"
- Adrienne Byrt

This course is presented by Tim Gooding who 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, Ratbags.

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.

Have you already completed Screenwriting Stage 1, or have a script you’ve been working on for a while and want to be sure you’re on the right track? Our Screenwriting Stage 2 course is your next step.

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.







Sydney Writers’ Festival
Time really does fly. It seems like only yesterday we were preparing for the SWF for 2011 and planning which sessions we’d be going to and who we would interview. And now it’s on again! The Sydney Writers’ Festival program for 2012 is out now and tickets are selling fast.

There are some great sessions including international guests like Jeffrey Eugenides, Edmund de Waal, Jeanette Winterson, Hilary Mantel and Stella Rimington. We’re also looking forward to hearing from local guests like Marieke Hardy, Thomas Keneally, Malcom Knox and Annabel Crabb.

To help whet your appetite for the festival proper, there will be an “Out of Season” event with one of last year’s headlining guests, A C Grayling. You can find out more about it on the Writing Bar blog.

To download a program and book tickets visit www.swf.org.au






More Student Success
Congratulations to Anna Spargo-Ryan, whose blog Judging Your Breakfast, has been announced as a finalist in the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. The competition attracted over 40,000 entries, so Anna’s spot on the list of finalists is an incredible achievement. When she wrote to us she said, “The Sydney Writers' Centre really did give me the confidence that I needed to put my writing out there. I'm so grateful to you, Valerie Khoo!”

Good luck Anna – we can’t wait to hear the result!

Anna has also entered our very own blog competition – the Best Australian Blogs Competition. Have you entered yet? We’ve almost reached the 1,000 entry mark and have $15,000 worth of prizes to give away. So if you’re an Australian blogger, get your entry in before 5pm Friday 13 April 2012. (That’s tomorrow!)






"Hear hear" or "Here here"
When someone makes a comment that others agree with wholeheartedly, they often respond with "hear hear!"

You'll often see this as a response on Twitter when one person is in strong agreement with another. However, we are increasingly seeing the use of "here here!" This is wrong. The correct use is "Hear hear!"





Get started on your novel or short story – learn from anywhere in the world!
It doesn’t matter where you live. You can still access the wonderful resources and tutors at the Sydney Writers’ Centre. So if you’ve always wanted to get started on your novel or short story,  join us for our most popular online course: Creative Writing Stage 1.

In this five-week course you’ll learn:
  • the art of writing fiction
  • you’ll cover voice, plot, character and structure
  • you’ll get lots of writing practice and valuable feedback from your tutor.

This year we’ve had students from all over Australia and as far away as England, China and the USA.

What past students say:
"It was easy and convenient to do the creative writing course online. The best thing was being able to listen to the presentation and do the assignment in my own time, when it suited me best. It worked around me, instead of me trying to work around it."
- Glenda Hindley

"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

Online course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When
: Week beginning Monday 16 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing
Do you have an unpublished manuscript for younger readers you’ve been working on? Then don’t forget about the Text Prize, the annual prize awarded to an outstanding manuscript for young adults or children.

This fantastic prize for published or un-published writers offers a publishing contract with Text for the winning manuscript as well as a $10,000 advance on publishing royalties.

Submissions are opening soon. Entries can be sent from Monday 30 April until the closing date of Friday 1 June 2012.

You can check out more details as well as previous winners here.







The pain of writing
It’s impossible not to be impressed by the beauty and skill on display in some of the world’s oldest illuminated manuscripts. But pity the poor monks who had to do the work… According to some of the notes scribbled by early writers in the margins of their work, writing really was a chore. Here are some examples we found on brainpickings.org

“Writing is excessive drudgery. It crooks your back, it dims your sight, it twists your stomach and your sides.”

“As the harbor is welcome to the sailor, so is the last line to the scribe.”

And who hasn’t thought this at the end of a long week:

“Now I’ve written the whole thing: for Christ’s sake give me a drink.”





NEW SEMINAR: Build Your Profile on Twitter
What do you know about Twitter? Do you know it has over 300 million users, including many authors, publishers, and self-publishers? Do you know how to retweet, how to build your followers, or who you should follow?

Twitter can be overwhelming for new users but it’s actually very simple. It allows you to broadcast messages of 140 characters or less to anyone who’d like to receive them. But it’s also a powerful tool for building your profile.

Our new seminar, Build Your Profile Using Twitter, will help demystify social networking and how to use it. This two-hour seminar is perfect for any writer or business owner who wants to know how to make Twitter work for them.

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





Apostrophe Abuse
Thanks to Get Published reader Emma, who sent us this sign which she spotted in a northern suburbs hotel.



Apostrophe abuse! There’s no need for the apostrophes to be there in “steak’s and schnitty’s”. Those words are plurals and you don’t need an apostrophe to create plurals.

We’re not even going to comment on their use of the non-word “schnitty”.





What we’re reading
This week Sydney Writers’ Centre office manager, Andrew Gillman, is reading Endworlds by Alan Dean Foster and Nicholas Read. He writes:

I'm a great believer in new and exciting concepts. While you can never predict if they will succeed brilliantly or fail spectacularly, the fact that someone has dared to try something different always impresses me.
 
That’s why I embraced Endworlds by Alan Dean Foster and Nicholas Read, a daring experiment in digital publishing. At its core it’s an imaginative sci-fi novel that centres on the discovery of another galaxy that overlaps with Earth’s own corner of the universe, and which will likely destroy us when our planet flies through its debris field.
 
But the news of this discovery is suppressed by a decision that it’s not worth saving all of humanity. The only people who will survive this apocalypse, it is decided, are the world’s elite who secretly plan to save only themselves and their families.
 
There’s clearly a lot at stake, and it’s a clever gripping read.
 
The e-book comes with a full symphony orchestra soundtrack, high quality cover art and all manner of technical diagrams and maps. It has also spawned a social media frenzy with a race on by fans to find the pieces of the anti-doomsday device hidden in locations around the world, including Australia.
 
Time will tell if it succeeds as a concept but it is an audacious bid to redefine how we read that succeeds primarily because it remembers that at the heart of any concept you must have a great story, well told.

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: 10 Crazy and Unusual Book Designs
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense to print a cookbook on pasta, the same pasta you’ll use to bake your own lasagne. In fact, many of the unusual book designs in this selection of 10 are not only beautiful, but also practical in their own way.

Along with two edible books, there’s a glow in the dark book, a book you have to destroy to read, a growing book and a book made from coffee.

Check out the full list here.










Other upcoming courses
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
When:
Week beginning Monday 16 April 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 16 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

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

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
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: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 3 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – NEW DATE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 3 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
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

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 7 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 7 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 8 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

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

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Tuesday 15 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

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

Seminar: Perfect your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 17 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Monday 21 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

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Thursday 24 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

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: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 13 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

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: Write a chick-lit novel with Lisa Heidke – 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

Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin – NEW DATE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 9 August 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



5 April 2012

Thursday, April 05, 2012
In this issue:
  • TIP: Lit or lighted? 
  • How many words do you write each day?
  • Ray Koppe Young Writers Residency
  • Learn the art of memoir writing
  • Turn your blog into a book
  • What we’re reading – Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
  • WEBPICK: Word Lens

I’ve been on the road for the past six weeks and am now so glad to be at home where I can focus on writing my book and hanging out with my furry babies (see the picture of me with Rambo on the right). However, one of the great things about travelling is that you can get paid to write articles about your adventures.

I love writing travel articles because it makes me even more aware of my surroundings as I take note of experiences and attractions that are worthy of sharing. The best part is that you also get paid for your articles, which means you can potentially fund all or part of your holidays.

The great thing about our online course in Travel Writing is that it can be done from anywhere – which means it’s also an ideal course to do while you’re on holidays! You’ll be living and breathing the life of a travel writer.

Congratulations also to Caroline Makepeace who only recently graduated from this 5-week course and has landed a fantastic gig with a major outlet where she'll be writing three times a week about travel!

This course covers:

  • different types of travel articles and why they suit different markets
  • how to develop the right angle for your travel story
  • how to find interview subjects on the road
  • travel writing in your home town
  • a step-by-step guide to “media trips”
  • and MUCH more.

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's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • The axing of the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards has been big news this week. Read more about it on our Writing Bar blog.

  • Filling fast: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy, starts Tuesday 10 April 2012.

  • Are zombies the new black in publishing? We discuss on our Writing Bar blog.




TIP: Lit or lighted?
One of our readers has emailed us and wants to know, “when would you use the word ‘lit’ instead of ‘lighted’?”
 
Well, this one’s easy to answer – these words are interchangeable. That means you can use either option.
 
Both lit and lighted can be used as the past tense or the past participle of the verb light. For example:

We lit a fire.
We lighted a fire.

As is often the case, there does seem to be a difference here in American and Australian usage. American writers tend to use lighted more often, where users of British English seem to prefer lit.





Get your articles published in your favourite magazines
What are your interests or hobbies? Do you like travel, books, politics? Chances are if you’re doing it, there’s an article in it. Learning the art of writing feature articles for newspapers and magazines could be a way for you to turn your interests into a freelance writing career.

Our Magazine and Newspaper Writing course is one of our most popular. During this five-week course you’ll learn all about what editors want, how to research your story, where to find inspiration and, most importantly, how to sell your article.
 
What past participants say:
"The Sydney Writers' Centre is so in touch with industry and what's happening right now. They teach the foundations, but apply it to real-life scenarios."
- Rebecca Bodman

"If you are interested in feature writing then you could not do better than to attend a course at SWC. It is practical, good value for money and the presenter is first class."
- Kate Escobar

This course is presented by Sue White. She is a successful feature writer and travel writer whose work has featured in The Sydney Morning Herald, Vogue Australia, Travel + Leisure (Australia), Sun Herald Travel, Women’s Health, Vogue Entertaining + Travel, CNN Traveller, various ABC outlets, Green Living, G magazine and numerous other publications in both Australia and overseas.

Magazine and Newspaper Writing with Sue White
When
: Wednesdays starting Wednesday 11 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 pm ­– 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






How many words do you write each day?
I’m often asked what word count is considered reasonable to aim for each day. Well, it depends. Some authors are incredibly prolific, while others labour over every word. Here are the reported word count regimes of some famous authors:
 
  Words per day 
Ernest Hemingway   500
Jack London 1000
Somerset Maugham
1000
George Bernard Shaw
1000
Norman Mailer
1500
Anthony Trollope
3000
Thomas Wolfe
10,000

How do you stack up?




Ray Koppe Young Writers Residency
The Australian Society of Authors is inviting applications for a one-week residency at the writers’ house, Varuna, for young writers under the age of 30. The Ray Koppe Young Writers Residency was established last year, in honour of the ASA’s former business affairs manager.

The residency will provide a private working space for one writer as well as accommodation and meals – and Varuna is certainly a most inspiring venue for such a residency.

Applications close Friday 18 May 2012. Full details and an application form can be downloaded here.






Learn the art of memoir writing
Missed out on a place in our memoir writing in Paris tour? Don’t despair – there are just a few places left on our next Life Writing course to held here at the Centre in Milsons Point. (Not quite Paris, but we promise a lovely view.)
 
If you want to explore creative autobiographical writing, this course is the best way to do it. Patti Miller is Australia’s premier memoir teacher and writer. Places in her courses are always in high demand. During this six-week course you’ll learn how to awaken memory and creativity, bring details to life and find structure in your work.
 
There are only 4 places left in this course so be quick!
 
What past participants say:
"Patti facilitated an excellent course. She was able to develop a welcoming, encouraging and comfortable environment for us all to work in."
- Susan Leggett

"You learn so much! An amazing course."
- Dany Rahme

Life Writing with Patti Miller
When
: Fridays starting Friday 13 April 2012 for six weeks
Time: 10.00 am – 12 noon
Cost: $450
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Did you know? Malapropisms
Careful readers (and listeners) will recognise a malapropism immediately – they’re those words that have been used unintentionally, usually because they sound very similar to the intended word, often with amusing results. For example:

“The amount of education you have determines your loot in life.”
(Actually, it determines your lot in life.)

The word malapropism originally derives from the French mal a propos, which means “ill-suited”. It came into more common usage in English thanks to a play called The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, written in 1775. In the play a Mrs Malaprop makes a bad habit of misusing words – to great comic effect.
 
Another accidental fan of the malapropism is George Bush. So frequent were his, they were given their own term – Bushisms. Such as this one:

"We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile."
George W. Bush





Oops word
Perhaps the most confounding thing about the misuse of apostrophes is that often sign writers actually get it right in one word, but not the other! Like this sign:



They’re right to use the apostrophe in “Hollis’s”, as the meat belongs to the Hollis family. So why didn’t they use one in “Winters” and “Summers”? They should have, as the “cold” belongs to winter, and the “heat” to summer. Also, there’s no need to capitalise the names of seasons, so “winter’s” and “summer’s” would do.





Turn your blog into book
Ever wondered what it would take to turn your regular musings on your blog into a book deal? Well, Kerri Sackville knows all about it, and in our two-hour seminar Blog to Book, she’ll share her secrets with you.
 
In 2011 Kerri’s first book, When My Husband Does the Dishes: A Memoir of Marriage and Motherhood was published after her blog caught the attention of Random House. She’s now just days away from the release of her second book, The Little Book of Anxiety.
 
In this session, hosted by me, Valerie Khoo, Kerri will reveal how to build a fan base for your blog, the types of posts you should be writing and, most importantly, how you can grab the attention of a publisher.
 
What past participants say:
 "The seminar completely provided what I was hoping for. Kerri was open and generous with sharing information. It was great also to have Valerie's input and wisdom. A perfect pairing."
- Lisa Schofield

"Kerri was very informative and enthusiastic and had lots of great tips."
- Therese Spruhan

Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville in conversation with Valerie Khoo
When
: Monday 16 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Children’s Book Council Awards shortlist announced
The Australian writing community may have lost one important writing award this week, but there’s still plenty happening at the Children’s Book Council and they’ve just announced their shortlists and notables for 2012.
 
The shortlists have been announced for five categories – Older Readers, Younger Readers, Early Childhood, Picture Books and the Eva Pownall Award for Information Books. There are also up to 27 books on each category’s Notable Books list. It seems the past year has been a busy one for children’s book publishing!
 
You can view all the shortlists and notables here.

If you’re interested in writing for young people, check out our courses in Writing for Children and Young Adults, or Writing Picture Books.






What we’re reading
This week Sydney Writers’ Centre communications coordinator, Rose Powell, is reading Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart. She writes:

Multi-award winning novel Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart has a big title to live up to. Set in the not-too-distant but unspecified future in the United States, the book is literary dystopia lite.

The story follows Lenny Abramov through a world where telegraph poles flash your credit score and everyone has devices that share their key physical details such as cholesterol and cortisone levels with anyone near you. Lenny's job as a salesman for a company that extends the lives of high net worth individuals forever, and his own fear of death, set him up to fall in love with the decades-younger Eunice Park. Eunice is a Korean-American young woman constantly re-sitting her LSATS and shopping online while battling a history of domestic abuse. Her unusual relationship with Lenny is the emotional spine of the story.

Their fraught love story runs parallel to military pressures and swirling discontent that escalate throughout the book, tipping the story from amusing and incisive reflections on contemporary America's future to a chaotic depiction of a messy end to a materialistic and military nation. While the constant use of text speak and future jargon is a bit irritating, Super Sad True Love Story is a one-of-a-kind novel. I loved it as a quirky, disturbing addition to the "Where is America headed?" group of novels.

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: Word Lens
Planning your overseas trip? We’ve just found one more thing you need to add to your packing list – Word Lens. This nifty translation tool should prove invaluable if you’re navigating your way around a new city or ordering food from a menu written in a foreign language.
 
This app is unique as you don’t need an internet connection to use it. Simply point your phone at the sign or menu you want to translate, and Word Lens will do it for you instantly.
 
Check it out here.










Other upcoming courses
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
When:
Week beginning Monday 9 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy
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 – FULL
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
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

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – 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 – FULL
When
: Tuesday 17 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

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
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: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 3 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

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
When
: Thursday 10 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 15 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 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

Seminar: Perfect your Proofreading with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 17 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis – NEW DATE
When
: Monday 21 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

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 24 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

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: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 13 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

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

Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin – NEW DATE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 9 August 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




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