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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.

28 June 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

In this issue

  • TIP: Rack or wrack?
  • This week on Writing Bar
  • TIP: Do you rob or steal? 
  • Write books that kids love
  • Can you save these words?
  • WEBPICK: Judging Your Breakfast

I've been on a lot of planes recently so I've certainly been watching my fair share of movies this year. Some are awesome, some are woeful (and you wonder how in the world they actually get made). It's great when you watch a movie that inspires, moves or entertains you and you can escape into another world for a couple of hours.

I've been chatting to a number of our screenwriting students lately and have been so excited by their ideas. If you want to keep the moment going, I strongly encourage you to enrol in Screenwriting Stage 2. This will take your script to the next level. It's so important to keep getting the right guidance and workshop your idea with your peers.

This course is very practical and will focus on larger, more complex projects, particularly feature film.

Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding
When
: Monday 9 July 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.

TIP: Rack or wrack?

Which would you use?

  • Nerve-wracking OR nerve-racking
  • Rack and ruin OR Wrack and ruin
  • Wracking her brains OR Racking her brains

The words rack and wrack are often confused, so it’s no surprise these phrases are too.

Rack has several meanings and can be used as a noun or a verb. One of the many definitions in the Macquarie Dictionary is “a framework of bars, wires or pegs on which articles are arranged” but it can also mean “a cause or state of intense suffering of body or mind” or “to strain in mental effort” – to rack one’s brains.

Wrack has a rather more surprising definition – seaweed. Or “any seaweed or marine vegetation cast ashore”. It can also mean ruin, destruction, disaster or … rack. This form comes from an Old English word meaning “to punish” and wrack eventually came to mean a wrecked ship, leading to the expression “wrack and ruin”.

What about nerve-wracking and nerve-racking? Turns out it’s perfectly acceptable to use either option.

Correction

Thanks to all those readers who spotted the typo in our tip about collective nouns last week. It seems we broke rule number 1:

Collective nouns may take singular or plural verbs, but you can’t mix the two for the same word.

Our example did exactly that – mixed the plural and singular verbs for the collective noun team. What we should have written was:

The team wants to win so badly it’s training every day.

(Would you believe us if we said we were just testing you?)

Upcoming courses
Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy

Our next Creative Writing Stage 1 course starts soon and this is your chance to get those ideas out of your head and onto the page. This five-week course will show you how to turn your dream of writing into a reality. You’ll learn about what makes great fiction and how to apply these skills to your own writing.

5-week course starts Thursday 5 July 2012
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395


Sell Your eBook on Amazon

Amazon’s Kindle store has been a boon for many writers. It offers a chance to publish your own books and market to an audience of millions! Many writers have launched their careers with eBooks, and this two-hour seminar will show you how you can too.

One-evening seminar on Tuesday 3 July 2012
Time
: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85


Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White

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!

5-week online course starts Monday 9 July 2012
Time
: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

TIP: Rob or steal?

In his book, The Accidents of Style, Charles Harrington Elster offers this advice on avoiding the words rob and steal:

You rob a person or an establishment and you steal an object, such as money or property. Thus, you rob a bank or a jewelry store by stealing the bank’s money or the store’s jewelry. The reporter got it wrong in this sentence:

“Lowe is accused of robbing [stealing] jewelry with a retail value of about $1 million from the store.”

Oops Word

Thanks to @jenbishopsydney who sent us this picture of a sign she spotted recently:



It sounds like a nice idea – “raising” toast – but we’re pretty sure they meant “raisin toast”.

Plan ahead – Writing Books for Children and Young Adults

There’s a lot more to writing books for children and young adults than meets the eye. They’re discerning readers and 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 Writing Books for Children and Young Adults course 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.

Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
5-week course starting Wednesday 1 August 2012
Time
: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

This week on Writing Bar

Justin Beiber’s done it. So have Ellen DeGeneres, Tina Fey and Steve Martin. What have they done? They’ve written a book. And they’re not the only celebrities penning anything from an erotic thriller to a memoir.

Celebrity books are fast becoming big business in publishing, possibly because they’re usually a guaranteed bestseller, but what does that mean for other writers struggling to get their book noticed?

On Writing Bar this week we look at the meteoric rise of the celebrity book and its impact on the publishing world. You can read it here.

Weird Words

Could you use nutation in a sentence? Or have a use for monology in your novel? If you answered yes, then you could be helping save some endangered species in the world of words.

We found this fascinating post on Twenty Wonderful Words recently and have been inspired to save at least a few of them.

Our favourites are:
Nutation – a nodding of the head, or “nodding dog syndrome”.
Pocucurante – a careless or indifferent person or caring little; nonchalant.
Monology – the act or habit of soliloquising or a monologue.
Borborygmus – a rumbling or gurgling in your stomach.

Yes, we did check these in the dictionary – these words actually exist! For now …

Check out the full list here.

WEBPICK: Judging Your Breakfast

The Judging Your Breakfast blog won the "Best New Blog" special award in our Best Australian Blogs Competition this year. Despite the blog only being five months old, the blog is full of great posts about breakfast cafes in Melbourne (conveniently sorted into regions), with delicious pictures and insightful, often hilarious content. The blog is the work of Anna Spargo-Ryan and Robyn.

You can read exactly how many poached eggs, pancakes and dollars they've invested in breakfast (and their blog) since they launched here.

Check it out here.

Other upcoming courses

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 2 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis
When
: Tuesday 3 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 5 July 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 9 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 9 July 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 9 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

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

WEEKEND course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Saturday 14 July and Sunday 15 July 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

WEEKEND course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go
When
: Saturday 14 July and Sunday 15 July 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson
When:
Week beginning Monday 16 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
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: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith
When
: Wednesday 18 July 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When
: Wednesday 18 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle
When
: Thursday 19 July 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 19 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Tuesday 24 July 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Tuesday 24 July 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When
: Thursday 26 July 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Friday 27 July 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 Tuesday starting Tuesday 31 July 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Wednesday 1 August 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 1 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 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

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When
: Thursday 9 August 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When:
Every Monday starting Monday 13 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 15 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 16 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

WEEKEND Course: Food Writing with Carli Ratcliff
When
: Saturday 18 August and Sunday 19 August 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

WEEKEND Course: Write a chick-lit novel with Lisa Heidke
When
: Saturday 18 August and Sunday 19 August 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Wednesday 22 August (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 23 August 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Monday 27 August 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 5 September 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Perfecting Your Pitch with Sue White
When
: Tuesday 11 September and 18 September 2012 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: Self-publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 13 September 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Program: Write Your Novel with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 18 September 2012 for six months
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $1980

Weekend Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie
When
: Saturday 13 October and Sunday 14 October 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
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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