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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.

24 March 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011
In this issue:
  • TIP: Enrolment or enrollment?
  • Getting paid for your travels
  • Text Publishing Prize for unpublished manuscripts
  • Book giveaway Bright and Distant Shores by Dominic Smith
  • TIP: Pique, peek or peak
  • WEBPICK: The Screenwrightist

As you read this I'll be flying back home from New York City. As you know, I love books and writing so one of the best things about this trip was staying in The Library Hotel (pictured right), within a stone's throw of the beautiful and grand New York Public Library (where Carrie got jilted at the altar in S*x and the City). Each floor of this hotel is dedicated to a different category of the Dewey Decimal System. And each room within each floor has its own sub-category. I stayed in the "Law" room, which had its own mini-library of law-related books and law-related artwork on the walls.
 
The hotel has beautiful little havens such as the Reading Room (complete with grand piano and evening glasses of prosecco), the Writers' Den and the Poetry Garden. You can check out a little video here.
 
Another reason I love travelling is that I also get to write about my travels. I've already filed a couple of stories with more on the way. This is a great way to fund your trip – and get paid to travel. If you'd like to explore the world of Travel Writing, you'll discover how in our five-week course. And if you can't make it in the evenings, we have an intensive weekend workshop for you too.
 
This practical, information-packed course will teach you about the types of stories editors are looking for, how to structure your travel writing features, the realities of life on the road and much more.

Travel Writing with Sue White
When
: Wednesdays starting Wednesday 6 April 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: Enrolment or enrollment?
Since I've spent the last two weeks in the US, I've been resisting the temptation to correct the spelling of certain words when I see them in magazines or on billboards. Of course, these words aren't actually spelt wrong in America! The trouble is that we are increasingly seeing these US English spellings in Australia. Despite Microsoft Word's function to use the British/Australian English spellcheck, some US words creep in. We all know that it's:
travelling (Australia)

not

traveling (US)

But I'm also frequently seeing the following words sneak into the Australian vernacular:
installment (US)
enrollment (US)

Instead of:

instalment (Australia)

enrolment (Australia)





What’s new this week at the Centre:






Unleash your creativity!
Do you just want to do something different? Many of us find ourselves in a writing rut at some stage. Whether we’re writing fiction or writing reports at work, maintaining the creative flow is not always easy. There’s a popular notion that you must be born with creativity, that it’s a talent only a few of us are blessed with. But it is possible to unleash your own creativity – even when you’re not feeling very creative!
 
Boost your Creativity is a two-week course that can help you break through those creative barriers and reinvigorate your writing. Even if you know the essential elements of good writing, the key to continuing your journey is motivation – and unleashing your creativity.
 
Laurine has published three fiction titles for University of Queensland Press, two novels for Pan Macmillan, and school readers for Macmillan Education. Her latest book, iHarry, is being released in May 2011 by Penguin.
 
Boost your Creativity with Laurine Croasdale
When
: Mondays 28 March & 4 April 2011 (two evening classes)
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $175
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.





News from our presenters
We often hear from former students who’ve had publishing success since doing our courses, but this week two of our presenters have had their own success!
 
James Roy, one of our creative writing presenters, has been shortlisted in the German Youth Literature Prize. The German edition of his book, Town, is one of six shortlisted books in the young adult section.
 
Congratulations James! And good luck – we can’t wait to hear the final result.
 
We also heard from feature and travel writing presenter, Sue White, who has launched her first four e-books on Amazon. Three of the books are part of her ‘7 Steps’ series – 7 Steps to: Boosting Your Career, 7 Steps To: Balancing Work and Play, and 7 Steps To: A Healthier You. She has also published a World Yoga Festivals Guide for 2011.

Congratulations Sue!






Text Prize for unpublished manuscripts
The Text Publishing Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing has been launched! Publishers at Text are looking for outstanding unpublished manuscripts from writers of any age, in fiction or non-fiction. The winning manuscript will be published by Text and the author awarded a $10,000 advance against royalties.
 
But don’t send your entry yet! Manuscripts will be accepted between Monday 2 May and Friday 3 June 2011. You must send an entry form with your submission and these can be downloaded here, along with more information on the competition and previous winners.





Write for young adults and get published
Another Australian publisher is currently looking for manuscripts for their children’s books catalogue – Hachette Australia is now accepting unsolicited manuscripts for young adult readers aged 13 and over. You can find all the details on their website.
 
With so many great opportunities coming up for budding kids’ book authors in Australia, why not explore the world of children’s fiction with us? If you’ve ever wondered if you could write the next Twilight or Harry Potter but have never been sure where to start, our Writing Books for Young Adults and Children course will show you the way!
 
We have courses happening here in Milsons Point and also online – so you can join us from wherever you are.
 
Here’s what some recent participants had to say about the course:
"The most enjoyable thing about the course was Judith's passion and knowledge. I also enjoyed listening to what the other participants had written. If you are interested in writing, the Sydney Writers' Centre is the best place to start, not only children's books but any books."
- David Frazer

"The course material was excellent, and the number of people in the class was just right. Judith was fantastic. I appreciated her honest and professional feedback. The venue is excellent with great views, and the course itself is interesting and value for money!"
- Catherine Hong
 
This course is taught by Judith Ridge. She is well-known in Australia and internationally for her expertise in writing for children. Judith has worked with the Children's Book Council, as an editor at ABC Children's Books and the NSW School Magazine and freelances as an editor for Random House. Judith edited Handle with Care: Making Friends with Animals by Paul McGreevy – one of Halstead Press' all-time top sellers. She has also edited Piccolo and Annabelle 4: The Steamer Demons by Stephen Axelsen (Random House) and numerous books for ABC Books.
 
Writing Books for Young Adults and Children with Judith Ridge
When
: Wednesdays starting Wednesday 6 April 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $395
 
ONLINE Course: Writing Books for Young Adults and Children with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson
When
: Week beginning Monday 4 April 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.





Book Giveaway
We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Texan-based Australian author, Dominic Smith, for our podcast series. You can listen to the full podcast or read the transcript here.
 
Dominic’s latest novel is Bright and Distant Shores and we have one copy of the book to give away. Here's a bit more about the book:
 
Chicago First Equitable has won the race to construct the world’s tallest building and its resident, Hale Gray, hits upon a surefire way to make it an enduring landmark: to establish on the roof an exhibition of real-life ‘savages’. He sponsors a South Seas voyage to collect not only weaponry and artefacts, but also ‘several natives related by blood’ for the company’s rooftop spectacle. Caught up in this scheme are two orphans: Owen Graves, the voyage’s head trader from Chicago’s South Side, and Argus Niu, a mission houseboy in Melanesia – two young men haunted by their pasts.
 
If you’d like to win our copy of Bright and Distant Shores just tell us what period in history you’d like to write about and why. Email your answers to courses [at] spindriftmedia [dot] com [dot] au by 5pm Thursday 31 March 2011, and remember to include your postal address (so we can send you the book if you win).
 
Congratulations to Rita H, who won our last book giveaway – a copy of Pamela Freeman’s Ember & Ash.






TIP: How to pique
Here's another word I've often seen used incorrectly. Which is correct?
The strange email he received piqued his interest.

The strange email he received peeked his interest.

The strange email he received peaked his interest.
I've frequently seen the word "peaked" used above. However, the correct word is "piqued", which comes from the French word "piquer" meaning "to irritate".






Build your business blog
There are now endless opportunities for online marketing for your business. Everything from Twitter to Facebook to your website can be harnessed to increase your online profile and bring you more customers.
 
Blogging is also an increasingly popular way to keep your customers informed and is also a great way to engage a new audience. Just ask the entrants in the business blogging category of the Best Australian Blogs Competition!
 
If you want to explore how a blog could build your business, or if you’re already blogging at work and want to refine your blog posts, join us for the one-day seminar, Blogging for Business. In one day you’ll learn the terminology of blogging, how to make your blog stand out from the crowd, and how to build and maintain your audience.
 
Here’s what previous participants had to say about the seminar:
"Fantastic presenter. Great anecdotes and information. Very funny and intelligent."
- Nicole Miller

"Perfect pace to learn and be stimulated – great presenter and teacher. Dragged me out of the dark ages of social networking knowledge to be talking the talk!"
- Sally Berry
 
Steven Lewis 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. Steven has also promoted blogs, wikis and podcasts as a corporate insider, having worked for AMP as an in-house evangelist for its enterprise 2.0 tools.
 
Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Friday 1 April 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






What we’re reading:
This week Valerie Khoo is reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

Continuing with the New York theme, I decided to re-read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, which I first read 20 years ago! First published in 1943, it focuses on architect Howard Roark who has idealistic visions for the buildings he wants to create and heads to New York to pursue his architectural ambitions. It's a long book – and a lot happens in it – so I won't even try to summarise the plot. Many people say that Roark's struggle represents the triumph of individualism over collectivism.

The book (which was made into a film starring Gary Cooper in 1949) polarises opinion. Some find the book truly inspirational, as an incredible story of the human spirit eschewing mediocrity. However, others disagree with Rand's undisguised politics: where capitalism and free markets reign. Regardless of the politics, The Fountainhead is a great read. It kept me riveted 20 years ago, and it's doing the same today.
 
We want to know what you’re reading! If you’d like to submit a short book review (no more than 200 words) send it to courses [at] spindriftmedia [dot] com [dot] au and we’ll consider it for publication in our newsletter or blog.






WEBPICK: The Screenwrightist
Many writer/bloggers devote their blogs to short-story or fiction writers, but here’s one that also focuses on writing for the screen.

The writer of The Screenwrightist, Kim Peres, writes screenplays, plays and novels and combines her love of all three here.

More than just writing tips, there’s a lot of technical information here that writers in all three areas would benefit from. Recent posts include musings on how films are more accurate than novels, why writers shouldn’t overuse adjectives and adverbs, and the importance of learning story structure.

Check it out here.








Other upcoming courses
Course: Writing about Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett – NEW COURSE
When:
Thursday 24 March 2011 and Thursday 31 March 2011 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 25 March 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Boost Your Creativity with Laurine Croasdale
When:
Monday 28 March 2011 and Monday 4 April 2011 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 28 March 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett – FULL
When
: Wednesday 30 March 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Friday 1 April 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 4 April 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 4 April 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Writing Books for Young Adults and Children with Laurine Croasdale/Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 4 April 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Writing: Get Paid for Your Adventures with Sue White
When:
Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 6 April 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 6 April 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 8 April 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Weekend Travel Writing: Get Paid for Your Adventures with Sue White
When: Saturday 9 April 2011 and Sunday 10 April 2011 (2 day workshop)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Intensive Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Monday 11 April 2011 - Friday 15 April 2011 (5 days in a row)
Time: 10.00am - 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 12 April 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 12 April 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing Letters and Emails with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 13 April 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell your ebook on Amazon with Steven Lewis – NEW SEMINAR
When
: Thursday 14 April 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 14 April 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Edit with confidence with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 15 April 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Mel Wilkinson
When
: Tuesday 19 April 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy – NEW DATE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 21 April 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 21 April 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Perfecting Your Pitch with Sue White
When
: Thursday 28 April 2011 and Thursday 5 May 2011 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 3 May 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 4 May 2011 for five weeks
Time: 10.00am - 12.00noon
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases That Get Results with Catriona Pollard – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 5 May 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $495

Course: Daytime Travel memoir with Claire Scobie
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 9 May 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When:
Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 11 May 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Magazine Writing Stage 2 with Gayle Bryant
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 18 May 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Plotting and Planning with Kate Forsyth – NEW COURSE
When:
Thursday 19 May 2011 and Thursday 26 May 2011 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 16 June 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Your Story Structure with Kathryn Heyman
When
: Friday 17 June 2011 and Friday 24 June 2011 (2 half-day classes)
Time: 9.30am - 12.30pm
Cost: $215

Course: Life Writing Masterclass with Patti Miller
When
: Every Friday starting Friday 1 July 2011 for eight weeks
Time: 10.00am - 12.00noon
Cost: $650

Course: Novel Writing Workshop with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 5 July 2011 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $495

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When:
Every Friday starting Friday 9 September 2011 for six weeks
Time: 10.00am - 12noon
Cost: $450

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Bali with Patti Miller
When
: Saturday 18 June to Saturday 25 June 2011

Writing in Paris with Patti Miller
When:
Thursday 20 October to Saturday 5 November 2011

Travel Writing in Italy with Sue White
When
: Friday 16 September to Friday 30 September 2011


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