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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.

19 April 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012
In this issue:
  • TIP: Altogether versus all together
  • Make your travels pay – Travel Writing course
  • New Queensland Literary Awards announced
  • Why full-stops are so important
  • Why you need to blog for your business
  • What we’re readingA Tiger in Eden by Chris Flynn
  • WEBPICK: Digital Publishing Australia

To say that this week has been a busy one for me would be an understatement. I have been spending much of it poring over the manuscript of my book, rewriting sections and "killing my darlings". My publisher is expecting it on Monday 23 April so no guesses as to what I'm going to be doing over the weekend. But, of course, at some point you have to let it go because you can't keep refining it forever.

When I press "send" and wave my manuscript "Goodbye and good luck", I'll be breathing a huge sigh of relief and will also be looking forward to real food. I've been living off the pre-packaged microwave-able variety to get me through this week.

But then comes the strategic business of promoting the book. It's being released in October so that means I have a few months to work hard and build my "author platform".

What's that you ask? Well, in the old days, most authors could rely on their publishers to secure publicity, organise book launches and promote the book. However, increasingly, you need to rely on yourself to build a following of people who are likely to:

(a) buy your book
(b) spread the word about your book to their friends and followers.

In fact, if you're serious about book sales, you should seriously think about how to build your profile as a writer. The most effective way to do this is online because you'll reach the most people this way. That's why I'm so thrilled about our new seminar How to Build Your Profile Using Twitter.

You'll discover:

  • Twitter — what it is and why it matters
  • All the terminology — @, RT, MT, DM — so you can use Twitter without worrying you’ll make a fool of yourself!
  • How to find the right people to “follow” and how to get them to follow you back
  • The best tools for using Twitter — there’s so much more out there than just Twitter.com for managing Twitter
  • How to use Twitter to have an impact on your brand and profile as well as measuring what that impact is.

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • Filling fast: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman, starts Tuesday 24 April 2012 – only 3
    places left!

  • I recently interviewed Unmarketing author Scott Stratten. You can watch the video on our Writing Bar blog

  • Our Writing the Senses in Bali course is almost full – there’s only 1 place left! Will you be joining us this year?





TIP: Altogether versus all together
More from the world of commonly confused terms… This time we’re looking at “altogether” versus “all together”. These two are so easily confused it seems many writers have decided they’re interchangeable! Well, they’re not and they do have very different meanings.
 
All together means several things or people brought together. For example:

The Sydney Writers’ Centre team gathered all together on Sunday to learn how to cook tapas.

Altogether means wholly, entirely or completely. It can also mean “on the whole”. For example:

Altogether, there were 16 people in the writing course.





Make your travels pay
Travel the world and get paid for it. It can be done! If you’re passionate about writing and travel and want to learn how to combine the two, then join us for our next Travel Writing course with Sue White.
 
Success as a travel writer requires an eye for interesting stories, knowing how to structure an article, and knowing how to sell it – all skills you’ll learn over five weeks in this course. By the end of the course, you’ll have all the nuts and bolts of travel writing and be ready to explore a world of writing!
 
What past participants say:
"The course content is exceptional and covers all aspects of travel writing. Sue is a fantastic teacher and shares her knowledge in a fun and interactive environment."
- Krystal Davidson

"Sue is very charismatic. It was enjoyable to go through the course with her. At every point she gave an example of her own experience which prepared each of us on what to expect and how to get into writing."
- Christiane Abou Taan
 
This course is taught by freelance writer, Sue White. She’s lost count of the number of countries she’s visited for work and play. As a travel writer, she has written about everything from the Golden Temple (Amritsar, India) to Gianni Versace’s 24-carat gold toilet (Miami, USA) while indulging her own itchy feet.
 
Travel Writing with Sue White
When
: Thursdays starting Thursday 26 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






New Queensland Literary Awards
Many in the arts and literary world were shocked when Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, recently cancelled the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards. In fact, there was such a big response to the news, two Queensland authors – Matthew Condon and Krissy Kneen – decided to launch their own state literary award. And entries are now open!
 
There are 14 categories in the competition (the same as the axed Premier’s awards), covering fiction, non-fiction, children’s and young adult’s books, poetry, screenwriting and much more.

The competition is open to writers all over Australia and submissions close on Sunday 6 May 2012.
For entry details click here.






Weird Words
There is a word to describe someone or something resembling a hedgehog. I did not just make that up! The word is erinaceous. While it's not listed in the Macquarie Dictionary, you will find it in plenty of online dictionaries and, not surprisingly, lists of weird words.

We're not sure how you achieve resembling a hedgehog, let alone slipping this word into everyday conversation.

Check out more weird words here.






Write for kids and young adults
There’s a lot more to writing books for children and young adults than meets the eye. That's why publishers are always on the look out for kids’ books that are engaging and inspiring.
 
Whether you’re still nutting out your idea for a kids’ book or you’ve been working on a young adult novel, the ONLINE COURSE Writing Books for Children and Young Adults is your chance to learn from an industry expert. You’ll discover how to find the right voice for your characters, how to structure your story, and how to get an editor to take notice of your work.
 
What past participants say:
"I enjoyed being challenged to actually push through barriers in my thinking and achieve something new and satisfying. I loved doing it online – it really suits my lifestyle."
- Jo Henwood

"The online course has opened a venue for me and given me insights into things I didn't think possible. Now my imagination is truly the limit! I'm thrilled with the results."
- Lynn De Lacey Frost


ONLINE COURSE Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Juidth Ridge/Nicola Robinson
When
: Week beginning Monday 23 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.





TIP: When do you use ‘single quote marks’?
One reader, Martin, asked us to clarify the correct use of single quote marks. This is a great question as we often see single quote marks misused.

If you use “double quote marks” to indicate speech, like most Australian newspapers, then you use ‘single quote marks’ to indicate a quote WITHIN a quote.

Example:
"Michael said to me, 'I'm never going back there again'," said Susan.





Why full-stops are so important
The humble full stop does not just mark the end of a sentence. If you’re not careful, you can dramatically change your meaning if you don’t include that full stop – as happened recently in a major Australian newspaper:
 


Thanks to @lethalleigh who tweeted this one.






Movie ticket giveaway – Cafe de Flore
If you’re into French cinema you’ll love our latest film ticket giveaway. Thanks to Icon Films we have five double passes to director Jean-March Valee's latest film Café de Flore.
 
Cafe de Flore is a love story about people separated by time and place but connected in profound and mysterious ways. Atmospheric, fantastical, tragic and hopeful, the film chronicles the parallel fates of Jacqueline, a young mother with a disabled son in 1960s Paris, and Antoine, a recently-divorced, successful DJ in present day Montreal. What binds the two stories together is love - euphoric, obsessive, tragic, youthful, timeless love.
 
The film has been noted for its fantastic soundtrack so, if you’d like to win a double-pass, just tell us about your favourite movie soundtrack and why (in 25 words or less). Email your answers to courses [at] spindriftmedia [dot] com [dot] au by 5pm Friday 27 April 2012, and don’t forget to include your postal address.






Why you need to blog for business
Would you like to set up a blog for your business, but don’t know how to get started? Have you been blogging for your company for a while but would like to know how to build your audience? Whether you’re new to blogging or have some experience, our Blogging for Business seminar is essential if you’re building your business blog.
 
In this one-day seminar you’ll learn about the difference between a blog and a website, the terminology of blogging, what your readers expect from your blog, and, most importantly, how to make your blog stand out.
 
What past participants say:
"Excellent. Steven was well organised, informative, knowledgeable and in-tune with what we required. He pitched it exactly at the group's level, the pace was great and we covered an enormous amount of information."
- Joni Benjamin

"Steven is a very entertaining and informative presenter. His advice was practical and relevant. Excellent!"
- Rebekah Campbell

This seminar is taught by Steven Lewis. Steven has consulted on blogging, podcasting and other Web 2.0 tools for companies such as Westpac and IAG. For Tourism Tasmania he created a ground-breaking series of travel podcasts, with similar projects in the works for companies like V Australia and Time Out. He blogs at www.taleist.com
 
Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Friday 27 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






What we’re reading
This week Sydney Writers’ Centre course manager, Danielle Williams, is reading A Tiger in Eden by Chris Flynn. She writes:

When I first started reading this book, the first person narration in the distinct Irish brogue and the, um, colourful language, made me wonder if I would even finish it. But a couple of chapters in, I was won over.   
 
A Tiger in Eden is a worthy debut novel by Irish born Australian writer, Chris Flynn. It follows a young Loyalist fighter from Belfast, Billy Montgomery, whose violent past forces him to flee to Thailand. Much of his time there is spent drinking, fighting and womanising, until he joins a Buddhist retreat for 10 days and he is gradually forced to confront his past.
 
The mean streets of mid-1990s Belfast and the backpacker trail of Thailand are worlds apart, but Flynn manages to create a real sense of both places and Billy is a convincing and likeable character (despite his questionable behaviour). The novel also explores the hedonistic vibe of Thailand, shining a light on the more unpleasant aspects of tourism.
 
There is lots of strong language and descriptions of Billy’s various exploits in this book, so don’t read this if you’re easily offended. If you can get past that, this is an enjoyable and often funny read.

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: Digital Publishing Australia
The publishing world is changing and for many writers, this change is an exciting opportunity to explore new ways of getting their work out there. Digital publishing is all the rage but it can be overwhelming. So the Copyright Agency has put together a website to answer all your digital publishing questions.

Digital Publishing Australia includes lists of resources, contacts and case studies, as well as articles from authors who’ve experimented with digital publishing themselves. There’s also lots of updates about what major publishers are doing in digital publishing.

Check it out here.










Other upcoming courses
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

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson
When:
Week beginning Monday 23 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

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
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
When
: Friday 27 April 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White/Allison Tait – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 30 April 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 30 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 3 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 3 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Friday 4 May 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 1.00 pm
Cost: $295

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 7 May 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 7 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 7 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 8 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 9 May 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle
When
: Thursday 10 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Tuesday 15 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Tuesday 15 May 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Perfect your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 17 May 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
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 – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 22 May 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
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

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding – NEW DATE
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

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

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

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

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

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

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller – NEW DATE
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

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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