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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 November 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011
In this issue:
  • TIP: Until, till or ’til?
  • Perfect documents every time – editing
    and proofreading seminars
  • Commonwealth Short Story Prize – win £5,000!
  • Season’s Greetings – don’t forget the apostrophe!
  • Get published in your favourite magazine today
  • What we’re readingYou’ll Be Sorry When I’m
    Dead
    by Marieke Hardy
  • WEBPICK: Time Travel Turtle

We’re living in a world that’s increasingly going online. That’s how we consume much of our information, whether it’s on a website, mobile phone or iPad. So it’s becoming more important than ever to understand how to write for the web. If you’re not using the right techniques, you may not be as effective in communicating your message to your audience.

Our Writing for the Web seminar is ideal for:

  • anyone who writes web copy
  • public relations or marketing professionals who write
    for online media
  • business owners who want to promote their
    message online
  • employees who contribute to company intranets
  • experienced print writers who want to hone their
    online writing skills
  • IT professionals/consultants who have been given
    the responsibility of writing web pages.
Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle
When
: Thursday 24 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: Until, till or ’til?
Just when you think you’ve got this grammar thing down pat along comes an exception to the rule … We’ve been pondering the question of how you should shorten the word until. The rules of abbreviation would suggest that ’til would be correct – a shortened version of until with an apostrophe representing the missing letters.

Well did you know that the word till is actually much older than the word until, appearing in English around 400 years before until. Till is listed in the Macquarie Dictionary as meaning “up to the time of; until”, or “to the time that or when”.

In the past century, it’s become acceptable to use ’til as the shortened version of until. However, just make sure you always use the apostrophe and make sure it’s facing the right way. Til (without the apostrophe) is incorrect.






What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • Summer School: We've confirmed more intensive and weekend intensive courses for our Summer School. Check out dates here

  • NEW DATES: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis on Wednesday 7 December 2011.

  • NEW VIDEO: We spoke to SJ Watson in our Milsons Point training centre about his international best-seller Before I Go to Sleep.






Edit with confidence: Perfect documents every time
Do you work on important documents in your job? Are you responsible for ensuring your company’s correspondence, reports or proposals are well-written and error free? Editing and proofreading are very different processes, but both are essential to ensuring perfect documents every time.

If you want to learn the essentials of editing, our Edit with Confidence seminar will show you how to edit for structure and style, techniques for improving anyone’s writing style, and how to use editorial stylesheets – a vital tool for making your job easier.

What past participants say:
"Beautiful location; knowledgeable presenter; and the small class size allowed for a more tailored approach and questions."
- Veronica Eulate

"Thank you, I have benefited immensely from this seminar. I now have some great tips to improve my skills in my work place."
- Greti Willett

Edit with Confidence with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 18 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.

Your next step in ensuring your documents look professional is proofreading. Perfect Your Proofreading will show you how to use the standard proofreading symbols, how to avoid common mistakes, and how to create your own proofreading checklist.

What past participants say:
"I will be using the knowledge that I have taken away from this course on a day-to-day basis. I now know what my exact role as a proofreader is, and will be able to use the correct, professional language."
- Danielle Roddick

"Vibrant, interesting and dynamic."
- Gina Portsher

Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 25 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






More Student Success
More great news this week from one of our former students – Toni Brisland has done a number of courses with us over the years and has had a lot of success with her book, DemiChat and the Kent Street Mystery. Here’s what she wrote to us:

All the courses I've done at the Sydney Writers' Centre have helped me to be a better childrens' writer and yesterday I was thrilled when I saw in the Sun-Herald that my Sherlock Holmes spoof, "DemiChat and the Kent Street Mystery" (about a cat and dog detective team) illustrated by Peter "Zane" Haywood is listed on the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge for 2012 for Years 5 - 6.

Congratulations, Toni! We look forward to hearing more about your success with the book.





Commonwealth Short Story Prize
A great opportunity for new and established writers, the annual Commonwealth Short Story Prize is now open for entries. This award for the best un-published short fiction (stories of 2,000 to 5,000 words long) is open to any writer living in a commonwealth country.

The overall winner of the prize will receive £5,000 and each regional winner (there are four regions) will receive £1,000. Entries close Wednesday 30 November 2011.

Check out the Writing Bar for more details.







Boost your creativity – online!
It’s a busy time of year but that doesn’t mean you can’t take time out for your writing. And what could be better than an online course in creative writing to help you do that? Our online courses are perfect if you’re interstate, overseas, or would just prefer to study from home.

The Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 will cover exactly the same content as our popular face-to-face course, but you’ll be learning in our virtual classroom. The course will cover all the essential elements of great fiction – voice, character, plot and structure – and you’ll have a chance to put what you learn into practice.

What past students say:
"I enjoyed the challenge of the writing tasks and the discovery that they didn't have to be long to be effective. This is the first course I've taken in writing and I'd forgotten how much I enjoy the process of creating."
- Patty Zorzetto

"Being online was convenient and it was very easy to post our assignments and comments in the classroom. And I could do it in my PJs!"
- Laurie-Lee Sivewright

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When
: Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: Season’s Greetings
’Tis the season! Well, almost. Any day now you can expect the Christmas cards to start flooding in, the shopping centre Santas to start appearing, and the annual festival of drinking and eating too much to begin. And no doubt, somewhere in all of that, you’ll see the term Season’s Greetings – hopefully with an apostrophe.
 
The term means “greetings of the season” or “with the season’s greetings”, as it was written in the 19th century. That was eventually shortened to “Season’s Greetings”. You must include the apostrophe in “season’s” because the greetings belong to the season.







More apostrophe neglect
Thanks to Peter Fadeyev for sending us this picture.



There should definitely be an apostrophe in "its", because it is Charger's 35th birthday.





Get published in your favourite magazine TODAY
Have you ever sat down to read your favourite magazine, or pored over the Saturday newspapers, and thought to yourself, “I could write that”? In our five-week course Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1, we’ll show you how you can master the art of writing a great feature article, and get it published.

You’ll learn how to generate story ideas, how to research and structure your article, and how to approach an editor. This course is ideal if you’re interested in writing articles about travel, lifestyle, politics, sport, entertainment – just about anything you can think of.

What past participants say:
“Sue White's enthusiasm for writing made going to class on a Monday night worth while. She was fantastic!
- Alegria Alano

“Sue brought the course to life. She was enthusiastic, friendly, open, thoughtful – she's the best. I love her! This course is definitely worth doing whether you would like to pursue writing as a hobby or as a career.”
- Kimberly Omodei

Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When
: Thursdays starting Thursday 17 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: "Than me" or "than I"?
Our former student Martin emailed in this query. Is the correct usage: "than me" or "than I"?

Which is right?

Rambo loves food more than me.
Rambo loves food more than I.

Well, it depends on what you are trying to say. The trick is to mentally fill in the extra words that would express what you're trying to say, and that generally gives you the answer.

If you mean:

Rambo loves food more than he loves me. Use "than me".
Rambo loves food more than I love food. Use "than I".

However, if there is any ambiguity at all, our advice is that it's always best to add the extra words to make sure that your meaning is clear.






What we’re reading
This week Sydney Writers’ Centre intern, Katie Booth, is reading You’ll Be Sorry When I’m Dead by Marieke Hardy. She writes:

From mortifying experiences with a prostitute, to stalking her Young Talent Time idol, to watching a friend lose her battle with cancer, this book is not for the faint of heart.

Marieke Hardy delves into the depths of painful, awkward and side-splittingly funny experiences in her 259 page memoir You’ll Be Sorry When I’m Dead. Those familiar with the writer’s public persona will not be surprised by the hedonistic and humorous manner in which she maps her life so far via the collection of short stories.

What lingers long after you’ve turned the final page is the vulnerability Hardy displays in moments that truly touch you. One of the stories tells of her initial hesitation in fulfilling the role of half-time mother, and subsequent grief for the child’s loss as the mother moves interstate. It is in moments such as these that Hardy strips her veil of self-deprecation to reveal a vulnerability that is heart-achingly real.

This is an edited extract of Katie’s review on the Writing Bar. 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: Time Travel Turtle
We’re thinking a lot about travel writing at the moment (maybe it’s the weather…) so when we came across Time Travel Turtle by Australian writer Michael Turtle, we just had to check it out.

For anyone interested in travel, writing, and photography, this blog should satisfy. Michael’s around the world adventure is faithfully recounted in regular blog posts and stunning photos. Well worth a look if you’re after inspiration for your own holidays – or travel blog!

Check it out here.








Other upcoming courses
Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 11 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Weekend Intensive Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go – FULL
When
: Saturday 12 November and Sunday 13 November 2011 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 14 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding – 1 PLACE LEFT
When:
Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 15 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy
When:
Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 16 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 17 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Edit with Confidence with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 18 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville – FULL
When
: Monday 21 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson
When:
Week beginning Monday 21 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Wednesday 23 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 24 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

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

Seminar: Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 25 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Plotting and Planning with Kate Forsyth
When
: Monday 28 November 2011 and Monday 5 December 2011 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 29 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Better Business Emails with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 30 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Thursday 1 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $495

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis – NEW DATE
When
: Wednesday 7 December 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Thursday 8 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 12 December 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Daytime Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – NEW DATE
When
: Monday 9 January to Friday 13 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Monday 16 January to Friday 20 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When
: Monday 16 January to Friday 20 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

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

Course: Weekend Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 21 January and Sunday 22 January 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Saturday 21 January and Sunday 22 January 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 24 January 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 24 January 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 31 January 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395


Course: Weekend Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 4 February and Sunday 5 February 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Life Writing with Patti Miller – NEW DATE
When
: Saturday 25 February and Sunday 26 February 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge – NEW DATE
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 5 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

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

Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – 2012 dates to be confirmed

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