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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.

31 May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012
In this issue:
  • TIP: Gerunds and possessive pronouns
  • PM Literary Awards shortlist announced
  • Don’t miss out – courses starting soon
  • TIP: Program or programme?
  • Writing about food – how you can do it
  • WEBPICK: The 24-hour book

I have a secret. Okay, it’s not so secret – I love reading chick-lit. Yes, I know “contemporary women’s fiction” is the politically correct term. But whatever you call it, it’s a best-selling genre that’s fun to read and, sometimes, filled with profound stories about women who you’re likely to relate to. When I want to escape the world, especially when I’m on holiday, there’s nothing better than indulging in a chick-lit novel.

So I’m thrilled about our new course Write a Chick-Lit Novel presented by the wonderful author Lisa Heidke, who recently released her fourth book in this genre.

In this weekend course, you’ll learn about:

  • the chick-lit market, why this genre is so popular, what successful writers have in common
  • bringing a believable voice and character to your story
  • crafting your characters so that your reader will actually care about what happens to them
  • perfecting the ‘page-turner’ effect – how to use dialogue, point of view and conflict
  • maintaining structure and pacing from ‘once upon a time’ all the way through to ‘happily ever after’
  • editing and refining and rewriting and editing and did we mention refining?
  • taking the next step towards publishing and beyond!
  • and MUCH more.

Write a Chick-Lit Novel with Lisa Heidke
When
: Saturday 16 June and Sunday 17 June 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: Gerunds and possessive pronouns
There’s a very simple rule in English that you may not have heard: when you put a pronoun in front of a gerund, or –ing noun, you must use the possessive pronoun. You do this to ensure the noun is the main idea of the sentence, not the pronoun.

You can probably see why this rule is broken so often – it’s a simple rule but sounds much more complicated than it needs to. Here’s an example from English Grammar for Dummies:

Which sentence is correct?

A. The boss hates you answering the phone with "Whassup, dude?"
B. The boss hates your answering the phone with "Whassup, dude?"

Answer: Sentence B is correct. The boss doesn’t know you enough to hate you (the meaning of Sentence A). Sentence B places the emphasis on answering. The possessive your puts it there. The boss objects to "Whassup, dude?" as a client’s introduction to the company.






End-of-Financial-Year offer
Can you believe we’re almost halfway through the year?
That means many businesses will be preparing for the
end of the financial year on 30 June, so we’re offering some
special EOFY packages
to help you get your staff training booked.

Until Friday 29 June 2012, you can pay now for staff training
and have an entire year to book into any of our face-to-face or
online courses. You can even book in-house training with us!
There are three packages on offer, and you can save thousands
on your staff training:


  Enrol in courses worth:
You pay only:
Silver level $4500
$3900
Gold level $9000
$7500
Platinum level $15,000
$11,000


If you’d like any more information on this offer call our courses manager, Danielle Williams on 02 9929 0088 or email danielle [at] spindriftmedia [dot] com [dot] au

You can download the booking form here or visit our website for more information.






Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlist announced
If you want advice on what Australian books you should be reading this year, the shortlist for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards is a good place to start. Announced last week the shortlist for what is now Australia’s richest literary awards includes many familiar names but also some of our newest novelists.

In the fiction category Anna Funder’s first novel All That I Am has made the cut. She’ll be competing against some of Australia’s best-known authors for the prize, including Alex Miller (Autumn Laing) and Kate Grenville (Sarah Thornhill). As well as prizes for non-fiction, children’s and young adult fiction and an Australian history prize, this year also sees poetry included for the first time.

Check out the full shortlist here.







Don’t miss out – courses starting soon
Online course: Creative Writing Stage 2
If you’re ready to take your writing to the next level but can’t make it to our training rooms in Milsons Point check out our Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2. You’ll enjoy all the interaction and fun of one of our face-to-face courses from the comfort of your own home (or wherever you may be!). Click here for more information or to enrol online.

ONLINE COURSE: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Cathie Tasker
When
: Week beginning Monday 4 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Self-Publishing: How to do it
Not all writers take the traditional route to publishing. Many, particularly non-fiction writers, have enjoyed great success by self-publishing their books. In this two-hour seminar we’ll show you how it’s done. Click here for more information or to enrol online.

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

Writing Picture Books
Want to know how to capture the imagination of children and teach them the joys of reading? Our next Writing Picture Books course starts soon. This is your opportunity to learn the art of writing great picture books from an expert in the field. Click here for more information or to enrol online.

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





TIP: Program or programme?
In Australia, we usually stick with British English conventions in spelling. So it’s surprising that we would choose the American spelling over the British for “program”. Or have we? According to Daily Writing Tips, “program” was the correct spelling in British English until around the mid-19th century, when the French “programme” came into use. Here in Australia, we stuck with “program” – mostly.  

The Macquarie Dictionary lists “program” as the preferred spelling, but does also give “programme” as a possible spelling. So if you’re not sure, make sure you check your style guide.







This week on the Writing Bar
Publishers will tell you a good review can make a book, just as a bad one can kill it. Writers may fear reviews, but they rely on them to promote their book. And reviewers say their work is more than just a marketing tool for publishers – they’re contributing to Australia’s cultural scene.

Newspapers may be cutting down on space for book reviews, but there are still plenty of print and online publications publishing long, critical book reviews. On the Writing Bar, we chatted to three editors and reviewers to find out why they thought reviews are so important in building a thriving literary culture. You can read the article here.

And, at the recent Sydney Writers’ Festival, we heard authors and reviewers speak on the contentious issue of friends reviewing friends.
You can read more about that here.






Plan ahead – Food Writing
It would be hard to miss Australia’s current obsession with all things food. With shows like Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules inspiring millions of home cooks it’s no surprise that cookbooks and food magazines are also becoming more and more popular.

That’s why we’re so excited about our newest course – Food Writing. In this two-day course with freelance food and travel writer, Carli Ratcliff, you can learn all about the art of writing restaurant reviews, recipes, blog posts – anything to do with food and cooking!

Our weekend courses are always popular so get in early.

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






WEBPICK: The 24-hour book
Is it possible to write a book in 24 hours? On 11 and 12 June, nine writers are going to find out.

If:book Australia, an organisation that promotes digital literature, has recruited a team of writers, editors and publishers. At midday on 11 June the writers, including Nick Earls, Krissy Kneen and Christopher Currie, will sit down and start writing. By midday the next day, a finished book will be available.

Readers will be able to follow their progress through the live blog and will have a chance to download the finished book for free. (It will be available for free for 24 hours after its completion.)

Check out all the details here









Other upcoming courses
Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy – FULL
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 31 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 4 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
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

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White/Allison Tait – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 11 June 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 11 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 11 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

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

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith
When
: Thursday 14 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 14 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
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

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 18 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle
When
: Monday 18 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 21 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When
: Tuesday 26 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard – NEW DATE
When
: Wednesday 27 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

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

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 28 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Tuesday 3 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

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
When
: Tuesday 10 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 11 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

WEEKEND course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Saturday 14 July and Sunday 15 July 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

WEEKEND course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go
When
: Saturday 14 July and Sunday 15 July 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Build Your Profile Using Twitter with Steven Lewis
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
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 17 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith – NEW DATE
When
: Wednesday 18 July 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 19 July 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 19 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Tuesday 24 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 26 July 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Friday 27 July 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 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

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding – NEW DATE
When:
Every Monday starting Monday 13 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 15 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Program: Write Your Novel with Pamela Freeman – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 18 September 2012 for six months
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $1980

Weekend Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie
When
: Saturday 13 October and Sunday 14 October 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Friday 16 November 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 1.00 pm
Cost: $295

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Bali with Patti Miller – FULL
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



24 May 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012
In this issue:
  • TIP: Lend or loan?
  • Learn how to write for kids
  • Win $1,000 in Random House Short Story Thriller competition
  • Get started on your novel
  • TIP: The subjunctive verb were
  • What we're readingThe Planets by Dava Sobel
  • WEBPICK: Caro & Co

I finally caught up on Thor (the movie) recently. Nothing like a bit of escapism and a hunky superhero with a hammer for an entertaining night in. Now, I can’t wait to see The Avengers (where Thor gets to reprise his role as the god of thunder). And I'm so excited that amazing screenwriter, Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, The Social Network), is penning a screenplay on Steve Jobs. Whether you like action flicks, arthouse cinema or comic motion pictures, one thing’s for certain: the backbone of all these movies is the screenplay.

I am sometimes in awe of these writers. It takes a special skill to be able to hold an audience with believable characters making their way through a gripping plot for 90 minutes. The great thing is that there is so much wonderful talent coming out of Australia. And I can already see some of it coming out of the Sydney Writers’ Centre. If you’re interested in our Screenwriting course, 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
  • the difference between story and plot
  • how to write the most audience-engaging narrative
  • genre, style and theme – and how this applies to your screenplay
  • what you must do before you even start writing
  • and MUCH more.
Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When
: Mondays starting Monday 28 May 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



TIP: Lend or loan?
Do you lend or loan money to your friend? Lend or loan a dress to your sister? Strictly speaking you should use lend only as a verb and loan only as a noun. For example:

Can you lend (v) me that dress?
 
We have loan (n) of a truck to move our furniture.

But, as usual, there are some exceptions to this rule, particularly in British English. The Macquarie Dictionary lists loan as a verb in certain circumstances. One definition for loan it gives is “something lent or furnished on condition of being returned, especially a sum of money lent at interest.” That’s why banks loan us money rather than lend it.
 





Learn how to write books for kids
The market for books for younger readers has exploded in recent years. Harry Potter, the Twilight series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid – even adult readers have heard of these! If your passion is writing books for children or young adults, you need to know more about what’s happening here in Australia and how to write the most engaging books for youngsters.

Writing Books for Children and Young Adults will show you how to write an inspiring and entertaining book, and what steps you need to take to get it published. You’ll learn how to create great characters, find the right voice for your target age group, and how to write believable dialogue. You’ll also explore common assumptions about writing for children and young readers.
 
What past participants say:
"A thoroughly accessible, non-intimidating way of beginning to think seriously about the process of writing books for young children. Judith was excellent."
- Katherine Norbury

"My own insight into what I write has improved. I'm so glad I took this course!"
- Stuart Layzell
 
Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When
: Tuesdays starting Tuesday 29 May 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 Centre in Milsons Point? You can also do this course online.

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: The subjunctive verb were
In traditional grammar, sentences have moods, which we’ve borrowed from ancient Greek and Latin. One of those moods is the subjunctive – a sentence that suggests a hypothetical scenario. In these sentences, the subjunctive verb were has always been the preferred choice. For example:

If I were you, I would wait until it stopped raining before taking Rambo for a walk.
 
If the boss were here, we’d all be on our best behaviour.

In the past, if you were to choose the verb was for these sentences, traditionalists would tell you you’re wrong. But the Australian Style Manual suggests the rule is not so clear now:

In Australian English the were subjunctive is falling into disuse, replaced by was for ordinary purposes. This then makes the were subjunctive a formal choice in terms of style.

So the bottom line is, was is acceptable for informal use, while were is the preferred option for formal writing (and traditionalists).






Get started on your novel!
Want to make your book a reality? Our Introduction to Novel Writing course starts next week and there are only 2 places left. If you’ve done one or both of our Creative Writing courses, or you’ve made a start on your manuscript and want to be sure you’re heading in the right direction, this six-week course is your next step.

The course is a combination of theory and workshopping and you’ll have a chance to submit drafts of your work to fellow students and your presenter, Pamela Freeman, for regular feedback. By the end of this course you’ll be armed with the tools and techniques you need to take your writing to the next level.

What past participants say:
"Pamela was absolutely wonderful. She was not only helpful in her general advice to the class, she also gave considered and invaluable advice to each of us individually."
- Anika Berkman

"Putting your work out amongst readers and then getting feedback from them is the best way to move your manuscript forward."
- Melissa Sargent

Introduction to Novel Writing with Pamela Freeman – ONLY 2 PLACES LEFT!
When
: Tuesdays starting Tuesday 29 May 2012 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $495

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Short Story Thriller Writing competition
If you haven’t finished your manuscript or short stories are more your thing, here’s a competition for you.

To celebrate the release of Karin Slaughter’s new digital short story, Random House are holding a competition for the best story up to 1,000 words starting with the sentence:
"I have seen unspeakable things in my life.”
The winner will receive $1,000 cash and have their story published as an eBook and in Take 5 magazine.

Easy! The first sentence is already written for you.

Entries close on Monday 18 June 2012. For details and to enter click here.






Oops!
We spotted this sign at a cafe in country Victoria.



If you get past the missing apostrophe – there should definitely be one in “Healesville’s” – you’ll be tripped up again by the unique spelling of “dining” – dinning.






Perfect your writing at work
With the advent of email few of us will get through our working day without writing to someone. So much of our communication is now in writing it’s vital to have the skills to do it clearly and succinctly. Our Business Writing Essentials seminar is designed to give you those skills and help you write more confidently at work.
 
This one-day seminar suits anyone who has to write at work. Whether you’re in customer service, administration or sales, you’ll benefit from this practical and intensive seminar. You’ll learn the 11 Golden Rules of business writing, how to deliver bad news in writing, and the right way to start and sign off your emails and letters.
 
What past participants say:
"Tony was excellent. He has a good knowledge of his subject."
- Catherine Ferrara

"The presenter was excellent. He was clear, patient, dug deeper into topics and was approachable."
- Ana Ribeiro

Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith
When
: Thursday 14 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.





Historical Novels
When Hilary Mantel spoke at the recent Sydney Writers’ Festival she had hundreds of history buffs in thrall, hanging off her every word. The author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies is today’s doyenne of the historical novel – her books tell the story of Henry VIII’s right hand man, Thomas Cromwell. In fact, Wolf Hall made it onto this recent list The 10 Best Historical Novels in The Guardian.

The list also includes Leo Tolstoy for War and Peace, George Eliot for Romola and Robert Graves for I, Claudius, so Mantel is in very good company. There are also some lesser known books mentioned, such as The Leopard by the Italian writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, and The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker. Any reader interested in history, or just great fiction, will find something to interest them here.

Check out the full list here





What we’re reading
This week Sydney Writers’ Centre office manager, Andrew Gillman, is reading The Planets by Dava Sobel. He writes:

A former New York Times science reporter, Dava Sobel has become well known for her popular expositions on a range of scientific topics.

The Planets reflects her ability to make arcane facts come alive in a fascinating way. She takes readers on a solar system-spanning tour of the planets, but far from being just a recitation of facts and figures, she also weaves in the myth, history, astrology and even science fiction associated with Earth’s celestial companions.

What emerges is as full a picture of each of these heavenly bodies as you could hope to get. You learn why Venus is swathed in acidic clouds, and why it stays brilliantly visible for anyone on Earth no matter how far away it moves from us in its orbit. Or why Jupiter is not simply a boisterous ball of liquid nitrogen but the reputed source of fecundity and generosity for anyone born under its sign.

Richly detailed, accessible without being condescending, The Planets is a perfect balance between scientific fact and storytelling. Dava Sobel reminds her readers that knowledge never exists in a vacuum as isolated facts but always finds its true relevance when it is placed in the context of human experience.

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: Caro & Co
For a parenting blog, Caro & Co covers a wonderfully diverse range of topics. Written by Caro Webster, this blog won the Parenting category in the Best Australian Blogs 2012 Competition. Caro’s aim with her blog is to show parents “how to keep kids connected to the wonder of nature”. There’s plenty of advice on Caro & Co on how to do this – there are recipes, gardening tips and advice on outdoor activities for the kids, all accompanied by beautiful photographs.
 
Even if you aren’t a parent Caro & Co is worth checking out. There’s one post in particular, featuring a chubby King Charles cavalier named Charlie, that’s bound to have you reaching for the tissues.
 
Check it out here.









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

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White/Allison Tait
When:
Week beginning Monday 28 May 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 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

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 31 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 4 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
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

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 11 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

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

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith
When
: Thursday 14 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 14 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
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

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle
When
: Monday 18 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 21 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 26 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

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

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 28 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 3 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

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
When
: Tuesday 10 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 11 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

WEEKEND course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 14 July and Sunday 15 July 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

WEEKEND course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 14 July and Sunday 15 July 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Build Your Profile Using Twitter with Steven Lewis
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
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 17 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 19 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Tuesday 24 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Friday 27 July 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 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

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 15 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Weekend Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 13 October and Sunday 14 October 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Friday 16 November 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 1.00 pm
Cost: $295

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Bali with Patti Miller – FULL
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



17 May 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012
In this issue:
  • TIP: As though or as if
  • Write your travel memoir
  • Congratulations Pamela Freeman
  • More student success – Tara O'Sullivan
  • Sydney Writers' Festival
  • Book giveawayRip Tide by Stella Rimington
  • WEBPICK: Feeding the chooks

In today’s digital world, if you’re ignoring eBooks, you’re doing so at your own peril. While I believe that there will always be a place for printed books (the touch, the smell, the experience), it’s exciting that authors have the opportunity to publish their own eBooks. The barriers to try to reach a global audience via Amazon are now much lower and, if you are prepared to market your book yourself, you could actually make a decent income this way.

That’s why our seminar “Sell your eBook on Amazon” is so useful. This is a step-by-step information-packed guide on exactly what you need to do. Some students have left the seminar and have had their eBook available on Amazon the very same night!

You’ll discover:

  • the Kindle itself (its capabilities, limitations and user-experience)
  • listing a book in Amazon’s Kindle bookstore (terminology, requirements, options, terms and conditions)
  • formatting your book for the Kindle (a major stumbling block for Kindle authors; discussing their pros and cons of options that can otherwise be very confusing)
  • building your writer’s platform (putting the book in the Kindle store is just the first step in your marketing)

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre



TIP: As though or as if?
Which sentence is correct?

A. It looks as though the weather will be nice for the Sydney Writers’ Festival.
B. It looks as if the weather will be nice for the Sydney Writers’ Festival.
C. It looks like the weather will be nice for the Sydney Writers’ Festival.


Well, first, let’s look at the incorrect answer... C, or “It looks like the weather will be nice” is wrong because the word like is followed by the clause, the weather will be nice. Like should only be used before a noun and never as a conjunction.

Now the correct answer... you can use either A or B. There’s no difference between as if or as though. The Macquarie Dictionary lists as if as “as if (or though), as it would be if” so you’re safe to use either option.





Write your travel memoir
Readers love travel stories, and why wouldn’t they – reading about an author’s journey to all corners of the globe is almost as good as going there yourself! Writers such as William Dalrymple, Paul Theroux and Bill Bryson have made careers out of writing their travel memoirs, and books like Eat, Pray, Love and Under the Tuscan Sun just prove that travel memoir is an incredibly popular genre.
 
If you’ve been on your own journey and want to turn your experiences into a memoir, we can show you how. Our next Travel Memoir course with Claire Scobie starts soon and this is your chance to turn those wonderful travel memories into a memoir readers will love.

What past participants say:
"Claire was wonderfully encouraging and always listening. I enjoyed learning about different sorts of writing, from describing a photo to going to a new location in Sydney."
- Donna Hayward-Brown

"Claire Scobie is a warm and enthusiastic teacher. I found her easy to understand and encouraging. She made me want to write!"
- Carla Simmons

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Congratulations Pamela Freeman!
Big news in the world of fantasy, horror and science fiction writing this week – the winners of the 2011 Aurealis Awards were announced on Sunday at an event in Sydney. Among the winners is our very own Pamela Freeman, who was awarded the best fantasy novel for Ember and Ash. Congratulations Pamela!

Pamela is the creator of our Creative Writing Stage 1 and Stage 2 courses and this year is also undertaking a 6-month novel writing course with 14 lucky participants. Ember and Ash is her fourth novel for adults (she has published 23 books, mainly for children and young adults) and this is her second Aurealis Award.





More Student Success
We’ve also had good news from one of our former students. Tara O’Sullivan has completed both our Creative Writing and Magazine and Newspaper Writing course. She writes a column for Cosmopolitan online and has just had her first feature published in the June issue of the magazine.

Congratulations Tara!




Sydney Writers’ Festival
The 2012 Sydney Writers’ Festival kicked off on Tuesday night with an opening address by Hisham Matar. Today the full program of panel sessions, author talks and interviews is in full swing and will continue until Sunday night. Tickets are still available for many events and, of course, there’s lots of free sessions you can attend too. You can view the timetable here.

Can’t make it to Sydney for the festival? Don’t worry – we’ll be bringing you lots of author interviews and will keep you posted on the best sessions on our Writing Bar. We’re updating it every day and already have interviews there with Frank Moorhouse, Thomas Keneally, and Malla Nunn. Watch out for interviews with Geoff Dyer, Lemon Andersen and Edward de Waal, all coming soon.

Check them out here.






See your film on the big screen
Whether you’re keen to write a feature film or want to get your short ready for the next big shorts festival, you’ll want to be sure your script is as good as it can be. And the best way to achieve that is with our Screenwriting Stage 1 course.

Screenwriter Tim Gooding will take you through 5 weeks of learning the fundamentals of screenwriting. You’ll learn how to structure your story, how to write compelling characters audiences want to watch and how to recognise what’s working in your script and what isn’t. By the end of the course you can expect to have a first draft – either of a short film or a first scene – and you’ll be on your way to seeing your story on the big screen.

What past participants say:
"Tim has a great style and a lot of real world experience. He was excellent."
- Sean Scott

"If you want to write a screenplay but don't know where to start, then you must try the Screenwriting Stage 1 course. It will show you all the basics and have you starting to write almost straight away."
- Paul Sorauer

Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When
: Mondays starting Monday 28 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: All ready or already?
Already or all ready, one word or two? The two phrases are very different in their meaning so make sure you’re using the right one.

The term all ready means prepared, or completely prepared. For example:
Dinner was all ready when she got home.
Already is an adverb meaning “by this or that time” or “prior to or at some specified time”. For example:
It’s Thursday already!
If you’re not sure which one to use, try replacing all ready/already with ready. If the sentence makes sense, you can use all ready (or just one word – ready). If it doesn’t, stick with already.





Book giveaway – Rip Tide by Stella Rimington
Leading the charge in the new genre of “insider” spy fiction is former MI5 director Stella Rimington. Her books, featuring a young female intelligence operative, Liz Carlyle, have proved incredibly popular and now her sixth, Rip Tide, has been released.

Stella is here to be part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival and her publishers at Bloomsbury have sent us four copies of Rip Tide to give away.

When pirates attack a cargo ship off the Somalian coast and one of them is found to be a British-born Pakistani, alarm bells start ringing at London's Thames House.

Now Liz and her team must unravel the connections between Pakistan, Greece and Somalia, relying on their wits – and the judicious use of force – to get to the truth. And they don’t have long, as trouble is brewing closer to home: the kind of explosive trouble that MI5 could do without…


If you’d like to win a copy of Rip Tide tell us who your favourite spy novel hero or heroine is and why. Email your answers to courses [at] spindriftmedia [dot] com [dot] au by 5pm Friday 25 May 2012, and don’t forget to include your postal address.





Learn the golden rules of good business writing
Is your writing holding you back at work? Do you struggle when it comes to writing reports, proposals or correspondence? Learning the fundamentals of good business writing could be all you need to build your confidence and save time at work.

Professional Business Writing is a one-day seminar that will show you how to plan, write and present your business writing tasks. During this seminar you’ll cover the golden rules of good business writing, common writing mistakes (and how you can avoid them), how to write persuasively and how to structure your reports and proposals.

What past participants say:
"The content was very relevant, and interesting. Sue was knowledgeable and easy to listen to, and had good, practical advice."
- Lauren Barrett

"I learnt more in eight hours than I did in four years of high school."
- Geoffrey Marsh

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





What helps your writing?
We’re chatting to lots of authors this week about the craft of writing and what helps them get through a writing day. An author’s writing routine can be as distinctive as their books – and for some authors can also cement their reputation as the typical “eccentric” writer.

Truman Capote, the author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, did all his writing “completely horizontal”, lying either in bed or on the couch. He also kept cigarettes and coffee and/or sherry close at hand.

Vladimir Nabokov said, “My schedule is flexible, but I am rather particular about my instruments: lined Bristol (index) cards and well sharpened, not too hard, pencils capped with erasers.” Lolita was written on thousands of these index cards.

Finally, Stephen King, whose habit isn’t as strange as it is impressive, writes 10 pages every day. Without fail. It may explain why he’s one of the most prolific writers of our time.






WEBPICK: Feeding the Chooks
Last week we featured our overall winner for the Best Australian Blogs 2012 Competition, and this week we take a look at our commentary winner, Feeding the Chooks.

Feeding the Chooks is the blog of Martin McKenzie-Murray. It’s here that he posts his reflections on life, politics, sport, music, film – anything that comes to mind, really. As a former Labor “hack” his insights on Australian and international politics are well worth reading.

Commentary category judge Greg Jericho said, “the writing on this blog is just too good to ignore”, and we agree.

Check it out here.









Other upcoming courses
Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White/Allison Tait – FULL
When:
Week beginning Monday 21 May 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 21 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
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
When:
Week beginning Monday 28 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White/Allison Tait – 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

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 31 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 4 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
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

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 11 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

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

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith
When
: Thursday 14 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – NEW DATE
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 14 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
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

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Monday 18 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 21 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

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

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 28 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

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
When
: Tuesday 10 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 11 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Build Your Profile Using Twitter with Steven Lewis
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
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 17 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 19 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 24 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

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

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo – NEW DATE
When
: Friday 16 November 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 1.00 pm
Cost: $295

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Bali with Patti Miller – FULL
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



10 May 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012
In this issue:
  • TIP: Is data singular or plural?
  • Learn what it’s like to be a travel writer
  • Winners announced for the Best Australian Blogs Competition 2012
  • Did you know? Lynch mobs
  • Turn your travels into memoir
  • What we’re readingMadlands by Anna Rose
  • WEBPICK: Edenland

I was chatting to a friend about how she should take her writing to the next level. She’s a great writer but lacks confidence when it comes to the rules of grammar and punctuation. In fact, this is holding her back. I explained that even if you don’t have a strong foundation in this area, it shouldn’t hold you back because grammar and punctuation is so easy to learn.

All you need is the right teacher and the right materials. You’ll realise that it’s not rocket science; you just need the right rules to follow.

That’s why I’m so passionate about our one-day seminar Grammar and Punctuation Essentials. This is a real weak spot in so many people's writing and it can hold you back, not only in fiction but also in the world of business. But it doesn’t have to.

In this seminar you’ll gain:

  • knowledge that you can apply easily and immediately in your writing
  • a clear understanding of how to treat common mistakes - such as apostrophes and plurals
  • the basic rules you need to know to be confident in the workplace
  • an understanding of when to bend, break or keep a rule or convention
  • ability to discern when more than one solution is acceptable
  • empowerment to justify your corrections to your own and other people's writing
  • and MUCH more
Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Tuesday 15 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre



TIP: Is data singular or plural?
Data is the plural form of datum – that’s a fact and that’s how the Macquarie Dictionary defines it. Technically, being a plural, data should only ever be used with a plural verb.  For example, some people would say this sentence is wrong:

The data is compelling. (Uses the single verb is.)

And that it should be:

The data are compelling. (Using the plural are.)

But, like other words we’ve borrowed from Latin, data is rarely used only as a plural. And the Macquarie Dictionary acknowledges that with its second definition, “(construed as singular or plural) figures, etc., know or available; information.” In other words, you’re safe if you use data as a ‘collective singular’ noun and therefore with a singular verb.
 
Other technically plural nouns we’ve borrowed from Latin and often use as singular nouns are agenda, insignia, bacteria and candelabra.






What’s it like to be a travel writer?
Want to get a taste of what it’s like to work as a travel writer? If you’re interested in pursuing travel writing as a career but first want to learn what it’s really like to travel the world and get paid for it, then our Introduction to Travel Writing seminar is for you.
 
This intensive two-hour seminar will give you tips on publishing opportunities, finding your story, making contacts and getting published. This industry insight is perfect if you want to explore the nuts and bolts of travel writing.
 
What past participants say:
"I loved that the course was so informative about the reality of what it means to be a travel writer. I came away inspired and also equipped to BEGIN!"
- Rachel Sharp

"The content of the presentation made good use of a small timeframe and the teacher was excellent."
- Annette Bewicke

Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Tuesday 15 May 2012 (two-hour seminar)
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: Fewer or less hours?
You know the rule – use the word fewer for countable items and the word less for items that can’t be counted. For example:

There are fewer m&ms in the bucket than there were at the beginning of the week.

We've used less fabric to make the red cushion compared to the blue cushion.

There are, however, some occasions when this rule may not apply. The Chicago Manual of Style Online says:

Less is idiomatic in certain constructions where fewer would occur according to the traditional rule. Less than is used before a plural noun that denotes a measure of time, amount, or distance: less than three weeks; less than $400; less than 50 miles.





Winners announced for the 2012 Best Australian Blogs Competition
This morning we announced the winners of the Best Australian Blogs 2012 Competition. With 1024 entries and over 17,000 votes for the People's Choice Award, the competition for the category winners was tight.

Congratulations to Bernadette Jiwa (Business winner), Caroline Webster (Parenting winner), Eden Riley (Personal/Lifestyle winner), Lisa Hill (Words/Writing winner) and Martin McKenzie-Murray (commentary winner). The overall winner and Best Australian Blog for 2012 was Eden Riley's Edenland.

The People's Choice Award was won by David Knox’s blog, TV Tonight, with 785 votes.

This year we also had special awards for outstanding posts, new blogs and young bloggers. You can see the full list of winners and links to their blogs here.






Learn to write for Magazine and Newspapers – Online
Learning to write great features for magazine and newspapers is as easy as logging on to your computer! With our ONLINE Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing, you can learn everything you need to know to kickstart your freelance writing career, from wherever you are.

Using our interactive online classroom, you’ll learn how to develop ideas, how to research and write your features, what editors expect from you and how to pitch your ideas and sell them.

What past participants say:
"The course gives you real life insights, constructive feedback and an ongoing support network to hone your skills."
- Vanessa Bernardo

"What sets apart the courses at the Sydney Writers' Centre from other organisations is the relevant and realistic content. I got a real sense of what it would be like to be a freelance writer in the 'real world'."
- Emma Cottrell

ONLINE COURSE: Magazine and Newspaper Writing with Sue White
When
: Week beginning Monday 21 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Twitter inspired words
A recent article in smh.com.au alerted me to Twitter’s latest addition to the English languagetwitchfork. It’s a combination of Twitter and pitchfork. Urban Dictionary defines it as a group of people using Twitter as a tool for social protest. Lately, its definition has become more sinister, bringing to mind an online lynch mob.
 
Other recent twitter-words (twords?) are:

dweet: a tweet sent while drunk
tweeps: Twitter people that follow each other from one social media/network to another.
tweetaholic: someone addicted to Twitter, so much so that it may be an actual problem.
twitterati: The A-list twitterers.

Twitter language is now becoming so complex, there’s even a Twittonary!






Did you know? Lynch mob
Since we’ve mentioned “lynch mobs” … did you know that the lynch mob is named after Captain William Lynch (1742-1820)?

He was a justice of the peace in Virginia at the time of the American Revolution. He had a tendency to execute people with whom he disagreed! And so the term “lynch mob” was coined.






Oops Word
We spotted this on an online news site:



We’re not sure why the headline says “Get you’re diary out…” You’re is a contraction of “you are” and is definitely not the right word to use here. It should read “Get your diary out…”, to indicate the diary owned by you.






Turn your travels into your memoir
Take a look at the shelves in any book shop and you’ll see plenty of travel memoirs. Publishers love them – and that’s because readers love them. Just look at the success of Eat, Pray, Love, or Bill Bryson’s hilarious travel tales, such as Down Under.
 
If you’ve taken your own life-changing journey, or are planning one, you too could turn your travels into a book. Award-winning author and journalist Claire Scobie will show you how you can turn your travel tales into a memoir. This five-week course is perfect for new writers or for anyone who wants to turn their writing skills to travel memoir.

What past participants say:
"Claire was wonderfully encouraging and always listening. I enjoyed learning about different sorts of writing, from describing a photo to going to a new location in Sydney."
- Donna Hayward-Brown

"Claire Scobie is a warm and enthusiastic teacher. I found her easy to understand and encouraging. She made me want to write!"
- Carla Simmons

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.







Eric Rolls Prize for Nature Writing
Want to win a trip to Port Macquarie plus $1,000? The annual Eric Rolls Prize is now open and accepting entries in prose fiction or non-fiction of up to 6,000 words. The prize is a celebration of nature, and anyone living in Australia and writing about nature can enter.
 
Held by the Watermark Literary Society, the Eric Rolls Prize celebrates the life of the great Australian nature writer. Rolls was a long-time patron of Watermark, which holds the biennial Literary Muster (the next Muster will be held in 2013).
 
The winner of the Eric Rolls prize will win $1,000 and will also be flown to Port Macquarie and given five nights accommodation, to take part in the Literary Muster. As part of the prize, the winner will also present their winning entry at the festival.
 
Entries close Friday 29 June 2012.

Click here for more details and an entry form.







What we’re reading
This week Sydney Writers’ Centre course manager, Danielle Williams, is reading Madlands by Anna Rose. She writes:

Climate change is a hot topic right now. Is it happening? Should we prepare for it? Should governments tax carbon? There are plenty of people with wildly different opinions on this, as we saw in a recent ABC documentary with climate activist Anna Rose and Liberal party powerbroker Nick Minchin.

The documentary, called I Can Change Your Mind About Climate Change, challenged both Nick and Anna to back up their claims – Anna's that climate change is real and action must be taken, and Nick's that the science is far from settled. From that documentary and her experiences travelling the world with a climate sceptic, comes Anna's book, Madlands.  

Anna's story is fascinating and, having watched the documentary, it's great to get more insight on her crusade to change Minchin's mind. There's lots of science in this book, but it's so well explained in layman's terms that I never felt overwhelmed (and science is NOT my strong suit). Anna argues her case eloquently and passionately. If you're interested in the debate and the science around climate change, this is a must 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: Edenland
Our Best Australian Blogs Competition is over for another year, so now it’s your turn to check out some of the fantastic blogs that entered.

The overall winner of the competition, and winner of the Personal/Lifestyle category, was Eden Riley, who blogs at Edenland. Eden blogs about life – specifically living with cancer, overcoming addiction, and living life in the Blue Mountains with her sons and husband.

Check it out here.











Other upcoming courses
Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 14 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

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

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White/Allison Tait
When:
Week beginning Monday 21 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
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
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

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 31 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 4 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
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

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 11 June 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

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

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 14 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
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

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 28 June 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

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
When
: Tuesday 10 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 11 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Build Your Profile Using Twitter with Steven Lewis
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
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 17 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 19 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

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

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo – NEW DATE
When
: Friday 16 November 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 1.00 pm
Cost: $295

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Bali with Patti Miller – FULL
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



3 May 2012

Thursday, May 03, 2012
In this issue:
  • TIP: Is it ok to use “hopefully”?
  • Get published in your favourite magazine
  • More Student Success
  • Oops Word – waiver or waver?
  • Learn the essentials of good business writing 
  • What we’re readingEleven Seasons by Paul D. Carter
  • WEBPICK: Fully (sic)

One of the things I love about my job is that I get to see students get real results. That can sometimes be challenging in the world of writing because it can be quite a solitary activity where people can sometimes take a while to find their voice and master the craft. This is particularly true in the world of fiction.

That’s why we’re so committed to supporting our students every step of their writing journey. Once you’ve completed the online course in Creative Writing Stage 1, the next step is the ONLINE COURSE: Creative Writing Stage 2. This takes you to the next level so that you can continue improving your skills without losing momentum. The results speak for themselves, with many students getting published, some with four-book deals.

Our ONLINE COURSE: Creative Writing Stage 2 is a must if you’ve already had a taste of writing fiction.

You’ll learn:

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

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • This week we spoke to the 2012 The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award winner Paul D. Carter. You can watch the interview on Writing Bar.

  • Filling fast: Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle, Thursday 10 May 2012.

  • Congratulations to our Life Writing guru, Patti Miller! Her latest book The Mind of a Thief is now in bookstores.




TIP: Is it ok to use “hopefully”?
Something big happened in the world of grammar last week. Editors of the Associated Press Stylebook announced on Twitter that they would allow “hopefully” as a sentential (sentence) adverb.

You may be thinking “so what?”, but for some purists, this is a step too far. You see, many people are dead against the use of “hopefully” as a sentential adverb – an adverb that can modify the meaning of a whole sentence rather than just a verb. Here’s what Aidan Wilson at Fully Sic says about it:

Let’s just take a few much needed steps back and look at this controversy from the beginning. Take a completely unremarkable sentence like the one below.

Hopefully she’ll be here soon.

According to the purists, this should mean that the lady will herself be hopeful when she arrives. This can be paraphrased as in a hopeful manner.

So, can you use “hopefully” in this way – as in "we hope she'll arrive soon"? The Australian Style Manual says yes, you can. It says: “Hopefully can be used to express the stance of the writer or speaker in relation to a whole sentence, as in: Hopefully their comments will be read.”






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

What past participants say:
"Marina was incredibly articulate, intelligent and insightful and ran the course brilliantly. I enjoyed learning how to structure articles correctly."
- Jo Clancy

"Marina was excellent. I thought she facilitated the discussions really well and was also able to give us real world examples from her own experiences. One of the best presenters I have come across."
- Yatungka Widders

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Student Success
It’s been a big week for Sydney Writers’ Centre graduates – we’ve heard from two former students who’ve had publishing success!

Juliet Matheson did our Life Writing with Patti Miller last year and has had two stories accepted for publication in Footprints magazine. She wrote to us:

I did a life stories course with you last year and I LOVED it! I have received two emails from Footprints saying they will publish two different stories of mine. I am SO excited! Just wanted to say thank you for all your encouragement. You have made a big difference to my writing and dreams of writing for others to enjoy.

Congratulations Juliet!

We also heard from Kees Bakhuyzen. Kees has done many courses with us, including Magazine and Newspaper Writing. Kees has had lots of success since completing the course and his latest is an article in The Weekend Australian’s “Professional” section.

Congratulations Kees!





Newcastle Poetry Prize
One of Australia’s oldest and richest writing prizes is the Newcastle Poetry Prize. Established in 1981 as the Mattara Prize, it is now co-ordinated by the Hunter Writers’ Centre.

And as far as poetry prizes go, this is a big one. The first prize winner will take away $12,000 and will also be published in the prize’s anthology, both in hardcopy and as an eBook. Second prize is $5,000, third prize $1,000 and there are also two $500 prizes for young and local poets in the Hunter region.

Entries are now open for poems or suites of poems up to 200 lines. Entries close on Friday 8 June. For entry forms and more information visit their website.







Make your travel writing dream come true
If you dream of making a living from writing about your travels, then our ONLINE COURSE: Travel Writing is for you. In five weeks you’ll learn about what needs to be in your travel writing toolkit, how to find inspiration wherever you are, and how to pitch your work to editors.
 
This course is held in our virtual classroom, which means you can do it from wherever you are, whenever suits you!

What past participants say:
"The downloads were supported by the podcasts and this allowed me to follow through each module. And it's great that I have all the modules saved and can read and listen to them again, getting something new every time."
- Stephen James Castley

"Sue obviously knew her stuff. Her feedback was always spot on."
- Kutloano Leshomo

This course will be taught by Sue White. Sue has lost count of the number of countries she’s visited for work and play. As a travel writer, she has written about everything from the Golden Temple (Amritsar, India) to Gianni Versace’s 24-carat gold toilet (Miami, USA) while indulging her own itchy feet.

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Weird Words – Cantankerous
Cantankerous is a funny word. It’s not one you hear everyday but when you do, it’s pretty easy to figure out its meaning! The Macquarie Dictionary lists cantankerous as “ill-natured; quarrelsome; perverse or contrary, as in disposition.” It’s such a strange word you have to wonder – where did it come from?

Michael Quinion at World Wide Words has a couple of theories on the history of this one:

One proposal is that it was a blend of two words, each of which by itself suggested its sense: contentious and rancorous. But it’s also argued that it can be traced to the Middle English conteke, contention or quarrelling, via its compound conteckour, a person who causes strife.





Oops Word
Thanks to Clarissa Garza who sent us this week’s Ooops Word. She spotted this in a major Australian newspaper recently.



The problem here is the use of the word “waiver”. A waiver is “an intentional relinquishment of some right or interest” or “an express or written statement of that relinquishment”. That’s not the right choice of word here.

What the writer should have used is “waver”, which means to “become unsteady” or “become weaker; falter”.






Learn the essentials of good business writing
If you’re writing at work you want to be sure your communication is clear and concise every time. That’s why it’s so important to know the fundamental rules of good business writing – something that isn’t often taught at school or university.
 
If you’re writing correspondence and other documents, and want to be sure your writing is the best it can be, our one-day Business Writing Essentials seminar is for you. You’ll learn the 11 golden rules of business writing as well as essential skills that will help you get your message across clearly, every time.
 
What past participants say:
"Tony was excellent. He has a good knowledge of his subject."
- Catherine Ferrara

“Tony is very good. I was particularly impressed with his passion to increase the "human side" in business writing."
- Victoria Ilagan

This seminar is presented by Tony Spencer-Smith, a corporate writer, editor and trainer, an award-winning novelist and former Editor-in-Chief of Reader’s Digest magazine. Over the last eight years he has delivered writing training courses to many hundreds of people from numerous organisations including the AMP, Macquarie Bank, Optus, the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children and the Wesley Mission.
 
Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith
When
: Tuesday 8 May 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 Eleven Seasons by Paul D. Carter. She writes:

This year’s The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award winner is a football-loving, high school teacher from Melbourne. So it’s no surprise that his debut novel, Eleven Seasons, uses the great game of VFL (or AFL) as a backdrop to his coming-of-age story.
 
Eleven Seasons is the story of Jason Dalton, a teenager who lives in inner Melbourne and dreams of one day playing at the MCG for his team. Jason has grown up looking after himself as his mother works long hours as a nurse, saving for the house in the country she craves.
 
Jason is a methodical and committed player for his under-nineteens team, and this comes through in his life as well. But eventually a family secret so awful it’s been kept from him since he was born comes to light and he’s forced to re-assess his place in the world.
 
It would be easy to assume this is a football novel for young adults. But it’s not – it’s much more than that. It’s a snapshot of life in late 1980s and 1990s Melbourne and an exploration of the tribal nature of football and teenagers – and what it’s like to be on the outside of that.
 
This year’s judges were unanimous in their decision to award the prize to Paul Carter, and I can see why. If you want to support new Australian writing, you should definitely get your hands on this book.

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: Fully (sic)
Crikey (the independent online newspaper) has its very own language blog – Fully (sic) – for word nerds and armchair linguists. It’s a fascinating look at how we communicate and the ever-changing world of words and language.
 
Various contributors tackle topics on anything to do with English, language, media, grammar, spelling – just about anything to do with the written and spoken word.

Check it out here.










Other upcoming courses
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 – FULL
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

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 14 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

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

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White/Allison Tait – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 21 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
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
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

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy – NEW DATE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 31 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

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 11 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Build Your Profile Using Twitter with Steven Lewis
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




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