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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 November 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011
In this issue:
  • Kickstart your creativity at our 2012 Summer School
  • Fish Publishing International Short Story Contest
  • How do you treat your titles?
  • Online Travel Writing – new date for 2011
  • What we’re readingKinglake 350 by Adrian Hyland
  • WEBPICK: Written Kitten

It’s been really weird to see myself on the cover of McGrath magazine (pictured right). Of course, I had to pick a book about grammar to be in the photo. Inside the magazine is a three-page article on the Sydney Writers’ Centre. This coincided with a television appearance on Sky Business about the increasing number of people who are writing business books.

Getting publicity is an important part of running any organisation. Because while WE know that the Sydney Writers’ Centre is a fabulous and dynamic place for students, that doesn’t matter if no one else knows about it! So that’s why we put effort into getting media coverage.

If you also want to get publicity for your business or message, then you’ll love our seminar in PR and Media Releases. It’s the principles you’ll learn in this seminar that will help you build your company's profile.

You'll learn:
  • the elements of a typical PR strategy
  • how to structure media releases and what you must include
  • how to deal with journalists
  • online distribution strategies
  • how to approach bloggers as part of your PR strategy
  • and MUCH more.

PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Thursday 1 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $495

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: Whose or who’s?
Many people confuse the words "whose" and "who’s" when writing, despite there being a very clear rule here. Just remember, "who’s" is a contraction of "who is" or "who has". For example:

Who’s (Who is) going to clean the bathroom?
Who’s (Who has) taken Rambo for a walk?

According to the Macquarie Australian Dictionary "whose" means of, belonging, or relating to whom. It is the possessive case of "who" or "which". For example:

Whose jellybeans are these?
Whose dog is Rambo?




What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • In 2012 we’re launching a brand new course – Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin. The first course starts Thursday 15 March 2012. 

  • Check out the latest on the Writing Bar – new articles on delivering bad news, writing fantasy fiction, and what we’ve been up to this week. 

  • Filling fast: Professional Business Writing on Tuesday 29 November.





Kickstart your creativity at our 2012 Summer School
We know that many of you will want to start fulfilling those New Year’s resolutions early, so we’re holding a special Summer School in January and February 2012. We’ll be featuring all of our most popular courses and there’ll be a variety of ways you can attend:

  • Intensive weekend courses (Saturday and Sunday)
  • Intensive weekday courses (Monday and Tuesday)
  • Intensive 5-morning courses (Monday to Friday)
  • Five-week evening courses

If your dream is to write a novel, you can choose a Creative Writing Stage 1 course held over five mornings, a weekend, or five weeks. If writing for magazines and newspapers is your goal, you can join us for a weekend course or for five morning classes. Or maybe you want to write a picture book or a novel for young adults. You can even learn how to write great travel articles or finally get started on your memoir – all in the inspiring surrounds of the Sydney Writers’ Centre!
 
You can also purchase gift certificates for any of these courses. A perfect Christmas gift for the budding writer in your life.

Check out all the courses here.






Student Success – Claire MacTaggart
For many of our students, the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend is the publication to pitch to.

Well, this week, we heard from former student Claire MacTaggart who did the Online Course in Magazine and Newspaper Writing last year. She’s been writing ever since and in the October 1 issue of Good Weekend, her Two of Us piece was published.
 
Congratulations Claire! This is a great achievement.





Fish Publishing International Short Story Contest
The annual Fish Publishing Short Story Contest closes in one week! If short stories are your thing, you don’t want to miss out on this one. Prizes include €3,000 cash and publication in the anthology, which will be published in 2012.

This year’s prize will be judged by David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and, most recently, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. (We spoke to David at the Sydney Writers’ Festival earlier this year. Check out the interview here.)
 
The prize is for short stories of up to 5,000 words and is open to any writer in the world, writing in English. There is a €20 entry fee for each story. Entries can be submitted online until Wednesday 30 November 2011.

For full entry details click here.






Write better emails
Getting your correspondence at work right can seem like an overwhelming challenge. Most of us were not taught the basics of writing clear emails or letters at school so it’s not surprising so many get it wrong!
 
Clear, concise and polite correspondence is essential in business. Whether you’re emailing a customer, a colleague or your boss, you want your message to come across as professional. Our one-day seminar, Better Business Emails, will show you the right way to structure your emails and letters. You’ll come away with valuable templates that you can use for any correspondence, and a framework to ensure that your emails do the job, every time.
 
What past participants say:
"We all need to learn how to communicate. This seminar was very good and subjects were covered to help us understand the correct methods and then put them into a written format."
- Frances McLoughlin

"This is a good course for buliding the foundations of writing business emails and letters."
- Andrew Bardsley
 
This seminar is taught by Deb Doyle. Deb is an experienced editorial-training consultant and publication editor. Deb has conducted courses for the Productivity Commission, AMP and Wizard Home Loans as well as many other corporate and government entities located in Sydney or Melbourne. Deb’s courses are interactive and collegial.
 
Better Business Emails with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 30 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.





TIP: How do you treat your titles?
How you treat titles – of books, newspapers, articles or films – in your writing will always depend on your style guide. But the general convention in Australia is:

Use quotation marks for titles or smaller works or parts of a whole, including:

  • Poems
  • Short stories and essays
  • Songs
  • Chapters
  • Magazine and newspaper articles
  • Individual episodes of a television series

Titles of larger or complete works are italicised. Use italics for titles of:

  • Books and collections of poetry, stories and essays
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Television programs, plays and films





More oops words


We’re sure "vynal" is not even a word, so presumably they meant "vinyl".






Online Travel Writing
Our newest online course, Travel Writing, is proving so popular, we’ve decided to run one more for 2011. If you dream of making a living from writing about your travels, this is the course for you. In five weeks you’ll learn about what needs to be in your travel writing toolkit, how to find inspiration wherever you are, and how to pitch your work to editors.
 
This course is held in our virtual classroom, which means you can do it from wherever you are, whenever suits you!
 
This course will be taught by Sue White. Sue has 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.
 
ONLINE COURSE: Travel Writing with Sue White
When
: Week beginning Monday 5 December 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.
 
Due to Christmas and New Year’s public holidays, there will be a break from Monday 26 December 2011 to Monday 2 January 2012. Modules will be released on the following dates:

Module 1: Starts week beginning Monday 5 December 2011
Module 2: Starts week beginning Monday 12 December 2011
Module 3: Starts week beginning Monday 19 December 2011
Christmas break: Week of 25 December to 2 January 2012
Module 4: Starts week beginning Tuesday 3 January 2012
Module 5: Starts week beginning Monday 9 January 2012





What we’re reading
This week Sydney Writers’ Centre course manager, Danielle Williams, is reading Kinglake 350 by Adrian Hyland. She writes:

The Black Saturday fires in Victoria will forever be etched in Australia’s collective memory. On February 7 2009 a deadly combination of drought and one of the country’s worst heat waves brought on a conflagration that killed 173 people and destroyed over 2,000 homes. Adrian Hyland’s Kinglake 350 recounts the events of that day and the lead up to these terrible fires.

Kinglake 350 is the call-sign of the book’s central focus, policeman Roger Wood. As the only policeman on duty in Kinglake that day, he faced a massive challenge trying to ensure the safety of so many people.
 
While the writing is easy to read (almost laconic – like the characters in the book), the pace of the book is frantic. I found myself losing track of who was where and why. Other than that, this is a compelling book. Hyland weaves the science and history of fire into the narrative and offers more than just a re-telling of a terrible day. Kinglake 350 is a fascinating if devastating 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: Written Kitten
There are plenty of websites that promise to keep writer’s block at bay by threatening to wipe all your work if you don’t keep typing, or make loud noises every time your hands pause over the keypad. But Written Kitten, sent to us by Mel Kettle, uses positive reinforcement to keep your creativity flowing.
 
For every 100 words you type – whether it’s your latest short story or a business project you’re working on – a picture of a kitten will pop up to help motivate you for the next 100 words. Just watch that your final story isn’t punctuated by lots of 'aw's or the overuse of words like cute and adorable.
 
Check it out here.









Other upcoming courses
Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 24 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

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

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – FULL
When:
Week beginning Monday 28 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Plotting and Planning with Kate Forsyth – FULL
When
: Monday 28 November 2011 and Monday 5 December 2011 (two evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When
: Tuesday 29 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Better Business Emails with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 30 November 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Thursday 1 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $495

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 5 December 2011 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 5 December 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 5 December 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 5 December 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Wednesday 7 December 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Thursday 8 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Monday 12 December 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 14 December 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Daytime Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Monday 9 January to Friday 13 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Monday 16 January to Friday 20 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Monday 16 January to Friday 20 January 2012 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Kate Forsyth – NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 18 January 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395 

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

Course: Weekend Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Saturday 21 January and Sunday 22 January 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Travel Writing with Sue White – SUMMER SCHOOL
When:
Saturday 21 January and Sunday 22 January 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Monday 23 January and Tuesday 24 January 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Tuesday 24 January 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When
: Tuesday 24 January 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding – NEW DATE
When:
Every Monday starting Monday 30 January 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 31 January 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Daytime Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 2 February 2012 (two-hour morning seminar)
Time: 10.00am – 12.00noon
Cost: $85

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go – NEW DATE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 2 February 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Saturday 4 February and Sunday 5 February 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Saturday 4 February and Sunday 5 February 2012 (two consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 6 February 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 6 February 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Wednesday 8 February 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Weekend Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge – SUMMER SCHOOL
When
: Saturday 11 February and Sunday 12 February 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Life Writing with Patti Miller
When
: Saturday 25 February and Sunday 26 February 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 5 March 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

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

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

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

Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding – NEW DATE
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 9 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Bali with Patti Miller – NEW DATE
When:
Saturday 21 July to Saturday 28 July 2012

Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – NEW DATE
Arrival: Thursday 18 October 2012
Departure: Saturday 3 November 2012


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