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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.

10 December 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tell us what you think and you'll get a $50 voucher; Your best-seller blueprint; Kickstart your creative writing in 2010

In this issue:
  • Tell us what you think for a $50 voucher to use towards any course
  • TIP: Don’t forget the hyphen!
  • Turn your book into a best-seller!
  • Slim Ink giveaway
  • Kick-start your creative writing in 2010
  • Wordwise: Censor
  • Get published in magazines and newspapers
  • WEBPICK: Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity


As you know, we love using videos to communicate with our community at the Sydney Writers’ Centre. Take a look at my video message here.

To this end, we’d love to hear from YOU! If you send us a video testimonial about a course you’ve done at the Centre, we’ll reward you with a $50 voucher to use towards any course here in 2010.

It’s really easy to record and send a video “rave review” to us. You can find details on how to do this here. You need to do this before 31 December 2009 because we’ll be sending your vouchers during the first two weeks of January 2010.

I can’t wait to see your videos!


Click here for details on how to get your $50 voucher and to see my video message.




TIP: Don’t forget the hyphen!
I have an admission to make. Last week’s newsletter contained an error. I know, we’re as surprised as you are! But one of our readers, Alison Leader, pointed out that we forgot to use a hyphen when we mentioned an ‘Oscar winning screenplay’. It should have been ‘Oscar-winning screenplay’.

A hyphen can be used to join two or more words that are serving as a single adjective before a noun. It helps to make your meaning clear.

Consider the following examples:

"one-armed bandit" is the thief with one arm (also a colloquial word for a poker machine).

"one armed bandit" is a single thief holding a weapon.


The missing hyphen in the second sentence gives it a very different meaning. Instead of a bandit with one arm, or a poker machine, you have one bandit who is armed.





Turn your book into a best-seller!
Every book that’s published needs a marketing plan – even blockbuster author Dan Brown’s latest book. If readers don’t know your book is out there, how will they ever be able to buy it? If you’re self-publishing your work, or you have a deal with a publisher but want to boost your own sales, then you need to know how to market your book. Even if you haven’t finished writing your book, you can start marketing right now.

Our Marketing Your Book: Your Best-seller Blueprint course will give you the confidence to sell your book, and yourself. During the course, you’ll discover:


  • the importance of positioning your book – who it's for and where you find this target market
  • positioning yourself - what’s your author brand all about?
  • how to choose the most appropriate promotional tactics
  • what your publisher does (if you have one) and when they do it – and what they want from you. Also, find out what they don’t do.
  • how to prepare for media interviews
  • how to generate your own PR long after your publisher has moved on to the next title
  • how to promote your book using smart online strategies – do you need a website, blog, online video or a social media presence?
  • case studies on online book marketing ideas that you can model.

Here’s what recent participant, Kamal Weerakoon, had to say about the course:
"Amanda knew her stuff and gave us clear guidelines on how to market our book. She also gave me a reality check as to what's needed to successfully market a book."

This course is presented by Amanda Falconer, a brand and marketing expert with over 20 years experience across industries ranging from the rag trade to building and now, books. Amanda is currently the national marketing manager of the Australian division of a global manufacturing company. She is executive editor of LookHome magazine and producer of myLOOKHOMEtv. She is also author of The Renovator’s Survival Guide. Since the book’s launch, she has been featured on Sunrise, 9am with David & Kim, A Current Affair, as well as numerous radio interviews including ABC Radio in Melbourne, Hobart, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide, as well as 3AW and 2CA.

Marketing Your Book: your best-seller blueprint with Amanda Falconer
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 18 January 2010 for three weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $265

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Slim Ink giveaway
As you know, our friends at Slim Ink have given us a book every month for our newsletter subscribers to win. This month, they have something a little different to give away.

Slim Ink is your online library. They stock all the latest releases and your membership entitles you to take out anything from one to 12 books at a time, depending on which plan you purchase. And this month, they are giving away a three-month gift membership for a casual reader. Valued at $66, this plan will allow you to borrow two books per month. All you need to do is select 10 titles to be placed on your reading list, and two books from that list will be sent straight to your door each month.

You can get more details about the plan here.


To win this gift membership, just tell us what your favourite books in 2010 were and why. Send your answers to courses [at] spindriftmedia [dot] com [dot] au by Friday 18 December 2009.

Please read these terms carefully before entering.
Your email address is required by Slim Ink and that will be used as your initial password to activate your membership, along with other details. Please be advised that recipients of the gift membership must also give credit card details to activate their gift membership. This is purely a precautionary measure for any other charges that might be incurred eg damage or loss of books, throughout the gift membership period.





 
Kick-start your creative writing in 2010
If 2010 is your year to kick-start your creative writing, then our Creative Writing course will be perfect for you. We know that many of you can’t make it to our evening classes, so we have a great daytime option where you can complete the course in 5 consecutive days in January. You can attend the classes in the morning and head to the beach in the afternoon!

If you’re interested in writing short stories, a novel, or a memoir our creative writing course could be just what you need. It will give you the tools you need to refine your writing and get started on that project.

This creative writing course will teach you how to:

  • tap into your imagination
  • draw from everyday experiences and memories
  • examine different types of creative writing
  • give structure to your writing
  • use characters and dialogue

Here’s what some recent participants had to say about the course.

‘I loved the informal nature of the course. There was a structure where students learn the tools to help with creative writing, however the instructor was also open to feedback in the middle of lessons. I can’t wait to put pen to paper.
- Prasad Lokanadan

‘As a complete beginner I found all of the course very enjoyable. I particularly liked the development of characters in a story. I now know the basics and I know more clearly what direction I need to go in.’
- Alex James

This course is taught by Jeni Mawter, children’s author of the hilarious ‘So’ series: So Gross!, So Feral!, So Sick!, So Festy!, So Grotty! and So Stinky! (HarperCollins) as well as the Freewheelers series: Unleashed!, Launched! and Extreme! (HarperCollins). Unleashed! was shortlisted for the WAYRBA Older Readers Award 2009.

Jeni has also published fiction, non-fiction, poetry and verse narrative for the education market. With a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature and a Diploma in Book Editing and Publishing Jeni has taught creative writing for many years at Macquarie University and at writers' centres. Her enthusiasm for words and books is infectious.

Creative Writing 5-day intensive with Jeni Mawter
When
: Monday 11 January to Friday 15 January 2010 (5 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 12 noon
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol.

If you can’t make it to one of our face-to-face courses in Milsons Point for an evening or morning class, you can still do this great course online.

Online Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When
: Week beginning Monday 11 January 2010 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






WORDWISE: Censor
Nobody likes a censor. Especially us writers! These days, censors are charged with finding and removing certain material from books, movies, tv shows ... anything that can be published, read or viewed by the public.

But the censor’s original role was a little different. In Ancient Rome, censors were the officials who kept tabs on the population by doing a formal count every five years in a census (just like our modern-day census). They would also make a note of any citizens considered to be behaving immorally in any way. So not only were the censors in charge of counting the population, they also upheld the moral code of the day.




 

Get published in magazines and newspapers
What could be more rewarding than seeing your article published in your favourite magazine or newspaper? Our Online Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers will show you how you can achieve just that. If you’re brand new to writing or you want to brush up on your skills and build your confidence, then this is the course for you.

The course will cover:
  • which ideas work and where to get them
  • understanding the magazine/news market
  • different types of feature articles
  • how to research, structure and write a feature
  • what editors want from a writer
  • how to pitch your article or idea to a magazine and sell it!
All of this will be taught in our interactive online classroom. You’ll have a chance to interact with your teacher and classmates, just like you would in a face-to-face course.

Here’s what one recent participant had to say about the course:

‘I found each module equally enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed Valerie's presentation of each module and her audio feedback to comments and questions each week, which I found almost resembled a real life classroom situation. I also enjoyed the opportunity to interact with virtual classmates (and to meet one of them in real life) and I found the assignments very useful and practical. I've had all of my questions answered about getting into freelance feature writing and now feel I have the confidence and knowledge to approach a publisher with a story idea.

‘It was very easy and convenient to be able to do the course in my own time and not have to factor in travelling time, childcare etc. It gave me the chance to do a course that would not have otherwise been available in Canberra. The best thing was that most of it resembled a real life classroom but I had the flexibility to do it when it suited me.’
- Wendy Barilaro

Online Feature Writing Stage 1 with Valerie Khoo
When
: Week beginning Monday 11 January 2010 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






WEBPICK: Eat, Pray, Love author: Tapping
into your inner genius

Elizabeth Gilbert is author of the best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. The story of her journey of self-discovery through three different countries has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Believe it or not, this success now has her audience questioning
whether or not she can repeat it.

Gilbert recently appeared at the TED conference in America and spoke at length about writing, genius, and the pressures of success. It’s a humorous and inspirational talk and, I think, essential viewing for any writer.

Watch it here, and tell us what you think.









Other upcoming courses
Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 5-day Intensive course with Jeni Mawter
When
: Monday 11 January - Friday 15 January 2010 (5 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am - 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Online Creative Writing with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When
: Week beginning Monday 11 January 2010 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Online Feature Writing Stage 1 with Valerie Khoo
When
: Week beginning Monday 11 January 2010 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395


Course: Marketing Your Book with Amanda Falconer
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 18 January 2010 for three weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $265

Course: Script Writing for the Short Films with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Wednesday 20 January and Wednesday 27 January 2010 (two evening seminars)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $165

Course: Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 21 January 2010 (2-hour morning seminar)
Time: 10.00am - 12 noon
Cost: $75

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When
: Every Friday starting Friday 22 January 2010 for six weeks
Time: 10am - 12noon
Cost: $450

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Thursday 28 January 2010 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $365

Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Pamela Wilson
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 28 January 2010 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to get your book published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Tuesday 2 February 2010 (2-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $75


Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 3 February 2010 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Online Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When: Week beginning Monday 8 February 2010 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Professional Business Writing with Mel Wilkinson
When
: Thursday 11 February 2010 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $395


Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When:
Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 February (two-day workshop)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $450

Course: Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 15 February 2010 (2-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $75


Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 16 February 2010 for five weeks
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Feature Writing Stage 1 DAYTIME course with Vanessa Waters
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 3 March 2010 for five weeks
Time: 10.00am – 12 noon
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing: How to do it with Geoff Bartlett - NEW DATE
When
: Monday 15 March 2010 (2-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $75

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman - NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 30 March 2010 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Feature Writing Stage 2 with Judy Skatssoon
When
: Every Wednesday beginning Wednesday 14 April 2010 for five weeks
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $395


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