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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.

22 March 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012
Dear {tag_recipientfirstname},

In this issue:
  • TIP: Passed or past?
  • Congratulations Pamela Freeman!
  • Learn to write for magazines and newspapers – online
  • The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award
  • How to publish and sell your own eBook
  • What we’re reading(re)Visions: Alice
  • WEBPICK: Listverse

I'm currently in New York researching the book I'm writing (that's me in the picture, on a breezy day at the top of the Rockefeller Center, spelt the other way!). However, yesterday, I took a break and literally spent hours browsing through Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue. Apart from a huge selection of books, they have free wifi and Starbucks. So I alternated between browsing, buying and refuelling with caffeine. I left with heaps of new books – and a stash of Moleskines.

One section I love browsing through is the picture books. I love the diversity of ideas, authors and illustrations in today's picture books. It's no wonder that the picture book category is one of the most popular. That's why I love our course Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker.

You'll learn about current trends in the market so you'll be equipped to write a picture book that will really resonate with publishers and readers. This course will cover:

  • language and rhythm
  • what’s so different about the picture book?
  • point of view, structure and pace
  • finding the right voice
  • choosing your topic
  • and MUCH more

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • Award-winning author Elliot Perlman has just published his third novel, The Street Sweeper. We chatted to him about the new book and you can listen to the interview now on the Writing Bar.

  • Filling fast: Writing for the Web, Monday 26 March 2012.

  • We launched our Best Australian Blogs 2012 Competition last week and have already received almost 500 entries! If you blog, you can enter here, or if you know a great Australian blogger, nominate them here.




TIP: Passed or past?
We’ve looked at the difference between "passed" and "past" before, but a Get Published reader emailed us this week to find out a simple rule of thumb to tell the difference between the two, so we thought it was time to revisit it.
 
This one causes a lot of confusion for writers but it’s fairly easy to remember. Passed is the past tense of the verb pass. For example:

Rambo passed doggie school with flying colours.
This week has passed by so quickly!


Past is used as a noun, adjective, preposition and adverb. For example:

The past few weeks have been so busy.
We walked past many beautiful buildings on our tour of Sydney.





Build your profile
Free publicity for your business doesn’t just happen. The right media coverage can help boost your sales and your profile, but to get it, you need an effective publicity strategy.

Our PR and Media Releases That Get Results seminar is ideal if you’re completely new to the art of good PR, but will also be helpful if your PR plans need some help. During the seminar you’ll learn how to write a great press release, how to attract the attention of journalists, how to use online resources, and much more.

What past participants say:
"Catriona's style and knowledge of the industry was excellent. She wasted no time throughout the day and was most generous in the information and material she shared with the group."
- Jennifer Adams

"Catriona was fantastic. She was very generous in imparting so many tricks of the trade and gave a detailed, step-by-step guide to PR in practice."
- Faun Harbord

This seminar is taught by Catriona Pollard. She is the director of CP Communications and has 17 years’ experience in developing and managing public relations and marketing programs. She has previously set up the marketing communications department for a leading software company and managed a diverse range of accounts within PR agencies.

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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Congratulations Pamela Freeman!
The 2011 Aurealis Awards shortlist has been announced and we’re so excited to see our very own Pamela Freeman on the list! She created and teaches our Creative Writing courses and has published 23 books. Her book, Ember and Ash, has been shortlisted in the Fantasy Novel category of the awards.
 
We’re looking forward to hearing the final results in May and will definitely have our fingers crossed for Pamela.






More student success – Jonathan Souter
Congratulations this week go to Jonathan Souter, who completed our Magazine and Newspaper Writing course in August last year and recently sent us this exciting news:
 
I completed Magazine and Newspaper Writing at the end of last year. A few weeks later I pitched my first story to Men's Health magazine, which they accepted, and the 3,000 word piece is in the April edition (out this week).
 
The course gave me exactly the inside knowledge I was looking for in terms of pitching ideas, and it was amazing to have access to Marina's incredible experience. In addition, the advice on structuring stories was a huge and unexpected benefit. I would recommend this course to anyone who might like to do some freelance writing but has absolutely no idea where to start.

 
Congratulations Jon! This sounds like the start of a promising writing career.







Learn to write for magazines and newspapers – online!
Would you like to try your hand at magazine and newspaper writing but can’t make it to our courses here in Milsons Point? Why not join us online? Our online course in Magazine and Newspaper Writing can be done anywhere you have access to the internet. The interactive style of this course means you can communicate with your presenter and classmates just as you would in a face-to-face class.

If you’re interested in writing for magazines and newspapers, then this course will help you do it. You’ll learn the essentials of writing good articles and how to get them published.
 
What past participants say:
"The best thing about the course was the ease and the ability to get real feedback and answers to our questions each week from the online tutor. I've highly recommended this course to many of my friends already!"
- Cassy Small

"The structure of the course was great. All of the activities were enjoyable which made learning easy. I will never read an article in the same way again."
- Shirley Schulz-Robinson

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing with Allison Tait
When
: Week beginning Monday 26 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award
One of Australia’s most exciting awards for unpublished writing is now open for entries. The Australian/Vogel Literary Award offers a writer under the age of 35 a chance to see their novel published by Allen & Unwin, and share in a prize pool of $20,000.
 
The award is open to unpublished manuscripts of between 30,000 and 100,000 words. You have until Friday 1 June 2012 to enter.

Click here for full details and an entry form.






Did you know? Ghouls
We know many English words have evolved from Latin, French and other romantic languages, but did you know there are also many that derive from Arabic words? In the fantastic worlds of horror or speculative fiction you may come across one such word – ghoul.
 
This word comes to us through One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, the famous collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian folk tales (think Aladdin, Ali Baba, and Sinbad the Sailor). In these stories, a "ghul" is a demon that haunts burial areas and feasts on the dead, often luring travellers into the desert to feed on them. In English, the word "ghoul" can also mean “someone who revels in what is revolting” or “a grave robber”.







How to publish and sell your own eBook
For new writers, Amazon’s Kindle bookstore has been a boon. It’s now possible for authors to publish even short stories as a "book" and earn up to 70% in royalties from their sales – far more than a traditional publisher can offer. Sell Your eBook on Amazon is fast becoming our most popular seminar, so if you want to get into this one, you have to be quick!

You’ll learn how to list a book on Amazon’s Kindle store, including all the terminology you should know, how to format your book for Kindle, how to build your profile and market your book, and much more.

What past participants say:
"Steven is very articulate and presented his content in interesting, bite-sized chunks. He crammed in lots of 'best practice' facts and I feel like I have something I can use that is tangible."
- Sophie Chenoweth

"Steven Lewis has been there and done that with eBook publishing, which made what he had to say more relevant."
- Sharon Livingstone

This seminar is taught by Steven Lewis, a writer and online publisher whose own titles are available in Amazon’s Kindle store, Apple’s iBookstore, and as audiobooks through Audible. Steven also helps other writers publish their eBooks.


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

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





What we’re reading
This week, office manager Andrew Gillman is reading (re)Visions: Alice, published by Candlestick and Gleam. He writes:

Lewis Carroll's classic tale Alice in Wonderland has been a mainstay of Western popular culture since it was released in 1865. The story has been interpreted so many times in so many ways that you might think there isn't much more that could be done with it.

Well, it turns out there is, and then some. For the imaginative folks at Candlestick and Gleam, an innovative fledgling publishing house in the USA, have come up with a wholly original take on Carroll's fantastical tale called (re)Visions: Alice.

This bold re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland is completely in keeping with their publishing mission, which states: "Candlemark & Gleam aims to marry the best of publishing’s past with the best of its future."

They asked four relatively unknown writers to take Carroll’s text, and create something altogether new yet familiar. Given creative carte blanche by the publisher, and with obvious affection for Alice, a white rabbit, a Mad Hatter, and sundry other characters clearly and delightfully off their rockers, they did just that, creating a clever collection of tales that pay homage, but do not slavishly adhere, to the spirit of Carroll's classic. Each has taken an aspect of Alice in Wonderland and fashioned it into their own slice of fantastical weirdness, and it is a delight from start to finish.

You can read Andrew’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: Listverse
It’s surprising what you can learn from lists. For example, did you know that elephants are among the smartest animals on earth, Ancient Greeks ate cabbage to cure hangovers, and that the earth’s rotation is very gradually slowing down?

Whether you’re after an interesting lunchtime read, need to brush up on your ‘useless’ trivia for the next pub trivia night, or have a bizarre topic to research, you’ll probably find what you need at Listverse. Listverse focuses on lists “that intrigue and educate”. You can find top 10 lists on everything from art and literature to religion and even travel. A fascinating read!

Check it out here.










Other upcoming courses
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
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: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 2 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 2 April 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
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
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
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

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Monday 7 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

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: Writing about Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett – NEW DATE
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

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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