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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.

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


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