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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.

12 July 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

In this issue

  • Turn your blog into a book
  • TIP: Back to basics – parallel construction
  • Boorondara Literary Awards now open
  • TIP: Nauseous or nauseate? 
  • Weird Words: Scripturient
  • WEBPICK: Superhero Nation

"Author platform" is the latest buzzword making the rounds of the publishing industry. Gone are the days where you could write in isolation and then let your amazing words propel you to fame and glory. These days, if you want to get noticed by publishers – and if you want your books to sell – it can be useful to have an "author platform". (You can read more about this here on Writing Bar.)    
 
One way to build your author platform is through your blog. But you need to be smart and strategic about it. I love how bestselling author Kerri Sackville (pictured) rose to fame, largely due to the following she developed via her blog and social media. Of course, she is an amazing writer, but many people would not have discovered this if it wasn't for her blog. The upcoming Blog to Book seminar is a must for anyone who wants to build their author profile to get the attention of publishers, agents and readers.
 
You'll learn:

  • the steps Kerri took to build a fan base for her blog Life and Other Crises
  • how she built her profile online
  • why you need to contribute to other blogs (and how to do this)
  • strategies to get noticed by publishers
  • how to make yourself a “marketable” author
  • the types of blog posts you should aim for
  • why you need to become a valuable member of the blogging community
  • and much more

Kerri is author of When My Husband Does the Dishes: A memoir of marriage and motherhood and The Little Book of Anxiety.

From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville and Valerie Khoo
Two-hour evening seminar on Wednesday 18 July 2012
Time:
6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Click here for more information or to enrol online.

TIP: Back to basics – parallel construction

What’s wrong with this sentence?
 
She likes cooking and to read.
 
This is an example of faulty parallelism.

When you’re writing, your aim is to construct sentences that are balanced. In other words you want to match like with like – verbs with verbs, noun phrases with noun phrases, gerunds (-ing words) with other gerunds, and so on. This is called parallel construction.
 
The above sentence isn’t parallel because it combines a gerund (cooking) and an infinitive (to read). To make it parallel you would write:
 
She likes cooking and reading.

Here’s another example:  

WRONG
The course was about writing, editing and how to get your book published.

RIGHT

The course was about writing, editing and getting published.


Boroondara Literary Awards

Writing short stories is not only a great way to hone your craft – you could also get your story published or win cash!
 
The 2012 Boroondara Literary Awards are now open. This national short story prize will be judged by crime writer PD Martin and is for stories of 1500 to 3000 words in length. First prize is $3000, second $1000 and third $500. There is also a category for young writers in the Boroondara area (in Melbourne).
 
Click here for more details and to enter your story.

Upcoming courses
Build Your Profile Using Twitter

Demystify tweeting in this intensive and informative seminar on all things Twitter. This simple social networking service has taken the world by storm and for authors and business owners, it can be a powerful way to build a brand. You’ll learn all about Twitter terminology, how to create your Twitter strategy and how to find the right people to follow.

Two-hour evening seminar on Tuesday 17 July 2012
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85


Creative Writing Stage 2

Take your creative writing to the next level. In Creative Writing Stage 2, you’ll not only have a chance to build on what you’ve learned in Creative Writing Stage 1 or Writing Books for Children and Young Adults, you’ll also get to put into practice what you’ve learnt and take part in valuable workshopping sessions. This course is ideal if you want to extend your skills or if you want to hone your completed pieces.

5-week course starts Tuesday 17 July 2012
Time
: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395


Business Writing Essentials

Is your writing holding you back at work? Would you like to improve your written communication and your job prospects? Business Writing Essentials is a one-day seminar that will help you refine your writing skills so you can write clear and professional correspondence and business documents.

One-day seminar on Wednesday 18 July 2012
Time
: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

TIP: Nauseous vs nauseate

We’re not trying to make you feel ill with this one, just remind you that there is a difference between nauseous and nauseate. While many people use these words interchangeably – so much so even the Macquarie Dictionary acknowledges this – there is a clear distinction between the two.

Nauseous is an adjective meaning to cause nausea or sicken.

For example:
What is that nauseous smell coming from the fridge?

Nauseate is a verb and means to become affected with nausea, or sicken.

For example:
Sailing on such rough seas was nauseating.
She complained of feeling nauseated.

Weird Words: Scripturient

If you’re a writer you probably know this feeling – the feeling you get when you just have to write. Something. Anything! Well, there’s a word for that feeling. Scripturient. It means “having a desire or passion for writing” or “one who has a passion for writing”. It’s sometimes described as “possessing a violent desire to write”. I’m not so sure about violent but the urge can be pretty strong!

In these illustrations by the Project Twins you’ll find beautiful visual representations of weird words like scripturient. Some other favourites of ours are:

Ultracrepidarian – A person who gives opinions and advice on matters outside of one’s knowledge.

Pogonotrophy—The act of cultivating, or growing and grooming, a moustache, beard, sideburns or other facial hair.

Check out the full list and illustrations here.

Plan ahead – Travel Memoir

Whether you’re living like a local in Bali, hiking in the Himalayas, or living it up in Europe, your story could be the next big hit. Travel Memoir is steadily growing in popularity. In publishing, books like Eat, Pray, Love or Bill Bryson’s travel series have sold millions between them.

If you’re planning your first trip abroad or want to turn your old travel journals into a compelling story, Travel Memoir will show you how. This course is designed for anyone looking to write their own travel memoir or improve their travel blog. You’ll learn how to structure your story and make it unique, how to describe places and characters without clichés, and techniques for writing on the road.

Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie
5-week course starting Wednesday 15 August 2012
Time
: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

This week on Writing Bar

For many Australian journalists the Walkley Awards represent a pinnacle in their career. Established in 1956, the awards are held annually and recognise the very best in Australian journalism over 33 categories. We recently had a closer look at all things Walkleys and you can read all about it on Writing Bar.

Also on the Writing Bar this week, Life Writing guru and author, Patti Miller, spoke to Australian Story host Caroline Jones, about Patti's most recent book, The Mind of a Thief. The talk was held as part of Stanton Library’s In Conversation series. You can watch the full interview here.

WEBPICK: Superhero Nation

Ever thought of applying your fiction writing powers to comics? Superhero Nation not only offers advice on writing and editing novels, it’s also a great resource for anyone interested in reading and writing comics.

Posts are separated into sections covering general fiction and superhero writing and cover everything from avoiding superhero clichés, how to finish your manuscript, a handy list of superpowers,
and much more.

Check it out here.

Other upcoming courses

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

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

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson
When:
Week beginning Monday 16 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
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
When
: Wednesday 18 July 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When
: Wednesday 18 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle
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: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Tuesday 24 July 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

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
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: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 31 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 1 August 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 1 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

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

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White/Allison Tait – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 6 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Thursday 9 August 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – NEW DATE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 9 August 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 13 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 13 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
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

Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 16 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

WEEKEND Course: Food Writing with Carli Ratcliff
When
: Saturday 18 August and Sunday 19 August 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

WEEKEND Course: Write a chick-lit novel with Lisa Heidke
When
: Saturday 18 August and Sunday 19 August 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 21 August 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 22 August (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith
When
: Thursday 23 August 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle
When
: Monday 27 August 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 5 September 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Perfecting Your Pitch with Sue White
When
: Tuesday 11 September and 18 September 2012 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: Self-publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 13 September 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Program: Write Your Novel with Pamela Freeman
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

Course: Writing About Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 30 October and 6 November 2012 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $175

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

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