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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.

15 March 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012
In this issue:
  • TIP: That or who?
  • Best Australian Blogs 2012 Competition now open! 
  • Indulge your creative side – Online Creative Writing Stage 1
  • More student success – Congratulations Kerry Osborne!
  • Write better copy for your website
  • What we’re readingOut Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
  • WEBPICK: Mr Thompson’s Guide to Never Getting Published

"How y'all doing?" I've been hearing a lot of that over the past few days as I'm currently in Austin, Texas at the South by South West Interactive Festival. It's been wonderful to hear from an endless stream of best-selling authors here at the festival, talking about their books and the writing process. I've also been eating way too much cheese (which seems to be on every type of food here) and key lime pie (which, thankfully, is one of the few things that does not come with cheese).

Lots of people rush to get ready and be part of this festival. So I'm also seeing lots of typos – in brochures, marketing materials, display stands and signs. That detracts from the professionalism of the brand. And it makes me want to go to the founders of these businesses and shake them! They work so hard to create a product or service, but then let silly typos in their marketing material devalue their brand.

That's why our one-day seminar Perfect Your Proofreading is so important. You should always have a person responsible for proofreading your material – whether that's yourself or someone else. Their eagle eyes could be the difference between gaining a sale or making an embarrassing mistake.

During this seminar you'll learn:

  • the standard proofreading symbols
  • how and when to use hyphens, ‘ens’ and ‘ems’, all of which are often misused
  • common proofreading slips you should avoid (there are more than you think!)
  • common terms used in publishing and printing
  • how to create your own proofreading checklist
  • and much more

Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 22 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • We recently interviewed successful chick-lit author, Erica James. You can watch the full interview on the Writing Bar.

  • Check out our latest post on the Writing Bar – It’s a monster literary mash-up!

  • Filling fast: Introduction to Travel Writing, Monday 19 March 2012.



TIP: That or who?
For many editors, writers and word-nerds, it’s often the most simple mistakes that cause the most angst. For example, many people find the confusion between the use of “who” and “that” akin to fingernails running down a blackboard. For example:

She’s the one that edited my book.

The commonly accepted view is that this sentence should actually say “She’s the one who edited my book.” The rule being you use “who” when referring to a person or people, and use “that” when referring to things or groups.
 
It seems, though, there isn’t a rule stating this and there are plenty of literary precedents to justify using “that” instead of “who”. Even Mark Twain did it in his story “The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg”.
 
We suggest you follow the Fairfax Style Guide, which states:

Who suits particular people, and that generic people. For example:
  • You, who are a walking dictionary.
  • But: He is a man that is never at a loss.





Best Australian Blogs 2012 Competition now open!
We're thrilled to announce the launch of our Best Australian Blogs 2012 Competition. The competition opened this morning at 10.00 am. Last year, 570 bloggers entered and over 13,350 people voted in the People's Choice Award. Last year's winner, Nikki Parkinson, is now a full-time blogger thanks to the profile boost of the competition.
 
This year's competition has an all-star judging panel of Robert Gerrish of Flying Solo; Marina Go, veteran editor and publisher; Brenda Gaddi, founder and director of the Digital Parents Network; Angela Meyer, one of Australia’s leading literary bloggers; and Greg Jericho, one of Australia’s most popular online commentators.
 
This is a wonderful opportunity to get your blog recognised, and celebrate the booming Australian blogosphere. The competition closes 5.00 pm, Friday 13 April 2012.

Click here for more information or to enter online.






Indulge your creative side
Taking time out to indulge your love of writing can be hard, especially if you don’t live in Sydney, or have kids at home, or you’re too busy at work… There are so many excuses you could make! That’s why we’re so committed to offering our most popular courses online, so you can join us from wherever you are.
 
Our most popular online offering is Creative Writing Stage 1. This course is perfect if you want to test your creative skills on writing fiction. Whether you’ve never done a course before or you’ve been writing for a while and want to be sure you’re on the right track, the online course Creative Writing Stage 1 will show you how to write great stories.
 
What past students say:
"I found the workshopping an invaluable tool. I enjoyed reading other people's work and the feedback given to them also helped me implement changes for the better in my own work."
- Olivia Blackburn

"The course is very practical, and really helps you to improve your writing from week to week."
- Nimmity Zappert
 
Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When
: Week beginning Monday 19 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






More Student Success!
We received some very exciting news from former Life Writing student, Kerry Osborne. After completing two courses here at the Sydney Writers’ Centre with Patti Miller, Kerry has had some of her short stories and blog posts published in a number of collections. Here’s what she wrote:

Last year I was approached by a publisher who asked to use four of my blogs in his book 40 Aussie Stories (Strand Publishing), which was released last year. This week another four of my stories were published by Strand in another book, Inspirational Stories for Aussie Women. Now, to top it off, I have another short piece being included in Candida Baker’s latest book, The Wisdom of Women (Allen & Unwin), which is being launched next month. I’m loving my writing journey and wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ to the Centre and to Patti Miller for the invaluable teaching you gave me.

Congratulations Kerry! We can’t wait to hear more about your writing success.
 
If you want to a chance to learn from the wonderful Patti Miller, why not join her in Bali for Writing the Senses? There are only four places left on this wonderful trip. You can download a full itinerary here.






Verandah literary journal seeks submissions
For writers of poetry and short fiction there are a number of literary journals in Australia you can submit to. One is Verandah, Deakin University’s Literary and Art Journal. The first edition of Verandah was published in 1985, and editors are now seeking submissions for their 27th edition.
 
Submissions of short stories (350 – 2,000 words long), poetry, art and design are welcome. Submissions cost $10 for one, or $15 for two or three. You have until Friday 1 June 2012 to submit written submissions, or Tuesday 1 May 2012 for art and design submissions.

For more details or to purchase past editions, visit Verandah Twenty Seven.






Writing picture books
Who could ever forget such classic picture books as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Where the Wild Things Are or Green Eggs and Ham? It’s these stories, and so many more, that have introduced generations of kids to the wonders of reading.

If you want to know what appeals to children and publishers, Writing Picture Books will show you. You’ll learn how to perfect the language and rythmn of your book, how to work with illustrations, and how you go about getting your picture book published.
 
This course focuses on picture books for younger children. If you'd like to write for slightly older children, please go to our course Writing Books for Children and Young Adults.

What past participants say:
"Cathie was a very knowledgeable presenter and I liked that she was open to all sorts of questions. It was great to hear how publishing works from someone who has been in it."
- Catherine Golding

"Cathy was AWESOME. Direct, honest, informative, funny – perfect!"
- Natalie Keen

This course is taught by Cathie Tasker. Cathie has edited over 150 children’s picture books, both popular and award-winning titles. She has worked with some of Australia’s greatest picture book creators – Bruce Whatley, Jackie French, Mem Fox, Bronwyn Bancroft, Wendy Orr, and many others. She has also worked in-house at Scholastic Australia and HarperCollins.
 
Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When
: Wednesdays starting Wednesday 28 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: How should you use accordingly?
One of our online course students wants to know what the correct way to use “accordingly” is. She was recently pulled up for using the following sentence:

"I have amended the document with the necessary changes and have attached for you to review accordingly."

According to the Macquarie Dictionary, "accordingly" is an adverb that means “in accordance; correspondingly” or “in due course; therefore; so.” For example:

The government wants to assess teachers’ performance and pay them accordingly.

In the example sent to us, the use of “accordingly” is superfluous. It’s not needed there. You wouldn’t be able to replace “accordingly” with “in accordance with” as it wouldn’t make sense. So, it would be better to write:

I have amended the document and have attached for you to review.





Write better copy for your website
You may be comfortable writing marketing copy for brochures, or writing long reports or proposals, but could you write convincing and engaging copy for your website?
 
Writing for the web is very different to writing for print, and it’s essential you know the rules before tackling this important task. Our Writing for the Web seminar will show you how to engage readers and customers with your web copy, the golden rules of information design, how to write for accessibility and usability, and much more.
 
What past participants say:
"For a novice this was a good introduction, with tips to immediately improve the content that I write for the web."
- Vicky Coumbe

"Grant Doyle was excellent. I enjoyed how he used relevant examples and engaged the audience by reviewing their own sites throughout the day."
- Sarah Collins

This seminar is taught by Grant Doyle. He is an experienced copywriter, content manager and web editor. Grant's background is as a print journalist and author. He has spent the last 11 years in web writing and has been contracting or consulting to major corporations in various online content capacities since then.
 
Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle
When
: Monday 26 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






What we’re reading
This week Get Published reader Kathy George is reading Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson. She writes:

Out Stealing Horses – a relevant, cheeky title - concerns a widower, grown old, who has moved to a remote cabin in the countryside. Set in Norway, it recounts his daily life, his thoughts on coping with the coming harsh winter, and how this new existence triggers memories of his boyhood and one particular summer. Without giving too much away, the narrator is a boy during the Second World War, and it’s also therefore a coming of age story. Some of the memories he recalls are painful, some are turbulent, some happy, but all are recounted in Trond Sander’s slow, pensive but uncluttered fashion.

It begins with a simple observation of nature: “Early November. It’s nine o’clock. The titmice are banging against the window”, then a sentence later, “I don’t know what they want that I have.” I was hooked by this beginning. A story was coming. I was willing to wait for it.

Your can read Kathy's complete review here.

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: Mr Thompson’s Guide to Never Getting Published
So, the first reason we like Mr Thompson is, he has cats. Three of them. And they often feature in his blog. Secondly, we like his humorous approach to writing and publishing.

Mr Thompson is an English teacher and writer based in the US. His posts include a contemplation on the Twitter-verse, 10 commandments you should not follow, and occasionally some writing advice.

Check it out here.










Other upcoming courses
Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 15 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Writing about Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett
When:
Thursday 15 March and Thursday 22 March 2012 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 19 March 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 19 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 19 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Perfect your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 22 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle
When
: Monday 26 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 26 March 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 26 March 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 26 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 28 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 29 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Friday 30 March 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

Course: Weekend Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go
When
: Saturday 31 March and Sunday 1 April 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Monday 2 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 9 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 11 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 11 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 12 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Friday 13 April 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 1.00 pm
Cost: $295

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When
: Every Friday starting Friday 13 April 2012 for six weeks
Time: 10.00 am – 12 noon
Cost: $450

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When
: Monday 16 April 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

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

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

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 19 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Daytime Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 19 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 10.00 am – 12 noon
Cost: $395

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

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

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 24 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 26 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis – NEW DATE
When
: Friday 27 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Program: Write Your Novel with Pamela Freeman – FULL
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 21 May 2012 for six months
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $1980

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

Course: Introduction to Novel Writing with Pamela Freeman – NEW DATE
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 – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 29 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

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

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: 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

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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