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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 May 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009
How to make your book a best-seller; $5,000 Blake Poetry Prize; Manuscript Clinics with Maree Giles; More free books!

In this issue:
  • TIP: What does it mean to be ‘sic’?
  • How to make your book a best-seller
  • $5,000 Blake Poetry Prize
  • One-on-one manuscript clinic with Maree Giles
  • More free books for you!
  • WEBPICK: Girl with a satchel


I hope you had a great time at the Sydney Writers' Festival. There were so many events to choose from and it was great to see our presenters - Pamela Freeman, Judith Ridge, Kate Forsyth and Pamela Wilson all on different panels at the Festival.

I also squeezed in a trip to Melbourne to work with some buddies from the period I spent working full-time in magazines. Those were the days when I was interviewing the likes of Britney Spears (sweet, actually), Will Smith (those muscles) and Jon Bon Jovi (mmmm, teenage crush). These days, I'm more likely to be interviewing CEOs and entrepreneurs - there's lot of variety when you're a writer, that's for sure. Not long ago, I also edited a 300+ page book on the history and renaissance of Melbourne Docklands so it was great to
check out how the city's waterfront is progressing (that's
where the pic was taken).

After a whirlwind trip, it's good to be home!



TIP: What does it mean to be ‘sic’?
Sometimes you might see the word “sic” written in a sentence. Often, it’s found in brackets. Like this:

“I washed my face and hands before I come [sic].” (We’ve stolen the famous line from Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.)

‘Sic’ is a Latin word meaning ‘thus’ or ‘so’. Many people incorrectly assume that ‘sic’ is an acronym for ‘Spelled incorrectly’ or ‘Sentence in context’. This is not true.

It’s used to indicate that an incorrect or unusual spelling or phrase has been reproduced verbatim. In other words, the writer is making it clear they have not written the sentence incorrectly but they have just reproduced exactly what the person said.

In the case of Eliza Doolittle, she really meant to say: “I washed my face and hands before I came.”


Marketing your book
A quick look in any bookstore should be enough to convince you of the importance of marketing your book well. If you want people to buy your book, it needs to stand out and be recognised. Whether you’ve self-published your book or been picked up by a commercial publisher, how you market your book will have a real impact on sales.

Our new Marketing Your Book course is designed to give you control over your own publicity and marketing. You don’t need a huge budget – it’s amazing what you can do with little or no money – you just need to know how to do it!

During this course you’ll learn how to:

  • position your book within its target market
  • position yourself and establish your author brand
  • choose the most appropriate promotional tactics
  • prepare for media interviews
  • generate your own PR long after your publisher has moved on to the next title
  • promote your book using smart online strategies

This course is taught by Amanda Falconer, author of The Renovator’s Survival Guide and experienced brand and marketing expert. She is currently the national marketing manager of the Australian division of a global manufacturing company. Since launching her book, she has been featured on Sunrise, 9am with David & Kim, A Current Affair, as well as numerous radio interviews including ABC Radio in Melbourne, Hobart, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide, as well as 3AW and 2CA.

Marketing Your Book with Amanda Falconer
When
: Every Wednesday evening starting Wednesday 22 July 2009 for three weeks
Time: 6.30-8.30pm
Cost: $265

Click here for more details or to enrol online.


2009 Blake Poetry Prize
We’re always on the lookout for opportunities for poets and this is one of Australia’s more generous poetry awards. The Blake Poetry Prize awards $5,000 for the poem that ‘best explores the religious and spiritual in poetry’. The prize is run by the Blake Society, which also administers the annual Blake Prize in Visual Art - one of the most prestigious art prizes in Australia. The Society is committed to ‘stimulating the interaction of ideas and spiritual thought in contemporary Australian art’, and they’re supported by many organisations, including the National Art School in Sydney.

Entries close on Friday 12 June. Each poem entered must be accompanied by a $20 entry fee – a hefty fee, yes, but $5,000 is a generous prize for poetry. If you’d like more information or an entry form, click here.


Manuscript Clinic
We’re very excited about Maree Giles’ visit to Australia and her workshops with the Sydney Writers’ Centre. Maree is an internationally renowned author who has published three literary novels, The Past Is A Secret Country, Invisible Thread and Under The Green Moon.

She will be holding one hour manuscript clinics on Wednesday 24 June. If you’ve completed a manuscript or you have a work in progress, an intensive manuscript clinic will help you refine your writing and get it prepared for publication.
 
A Manuscript Clinic is perfect if you want instant one-on-one feedback on your novel or short story. Participants will be required to send their work to us a week before so that Maree can familiarise herself with
it and prepare your feedback.

Manuscript Clinic with Maree Giles
When
: Wednesday 24 June 2009
Time: Please call 9929 9237 for an appointment
Cost: $150 for one hour

Click here for more details.

And don’t forget Maree’s new course, Hook Your Reader. This five week course will give you invaluable tips on how to improve your writing, and hook your readers from the very first line.

Hook Your Reader with Maree Giles
When
: Every Wednesday evening starting Wednesday 24 June 2009 for five weeks
Time: 6.30-8.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more details or to enrol online.
 

Book Giveaway
We have another fabulous book giveaway for readers this week, this time thanks to Allen and Unwin.

Jasper Jones is the second novel from WA author Craig Silvey, who appeared at the recent Sydney Writers’ Festival. His first novel, Rhubarb, was published in 2004 when he was just 19 years old, and was a huge success. He was awarded The Sydney Morning Herald Young Novelist of the Year Award for Rhubarb and his follow up novel, Jasper Jones, promises to be as engaging and rewarding a read.

Here’s some more about the book:

Late on a hot summer night in the tail end of 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress.

In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.


If you’d like to win a copy of Jasper Jones tell us about your most memorable adventure as a 13 year old. Email your answers along with your full name and postal address to courses@spindriftmedia.com.au by 5pm Friday 5 June.

WEBPICK: Girl with a satchel
Girl with a satchel is a fabulous blog written by Erica Bartle for girls who like, well, girlie stuff! She writes regularly about fashion, pop culture and magazines. She describes her mission statement as 'finding the good in gloss'.

Erica was interviewed at the recent Sydney Writers’ Festival by Tara Moss on why she blogs and her posts can receive up to 10,000 hits a day. Her posts analyse and rate Australian and international glossies with ‘Glossie ratings’ ranging from 1 (For the sake of your brain cells, borrow a book instead) to 5 (Definitely… consider it a secure glossy investment). This blog is an honest and educational look at the world of women’s magazines

http://girlwithasatchel.blogspot.com/



Other upcoming courses
Course: Online Creative Writing with Pamela Freeman / Cathie Tasker - NEW DATE
When
: Week beginning Monday 8 June 2009 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395


Course: Editing Essentials with Katrina Lobley
When: Wednesday 10 June 2009 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $345

Seminar: Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When: Wednesday 10 June 2009 (one-evening seminar)
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $75

Seminar: Self-publishing - How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When: Thursday 11 June 2009 (one-evening seminar)
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $75

Course: Online Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Valerie Khoo - NEW DATE
When
: Week beginning Monday 15 June 2009 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395


Course: Hook Your Reader with Maree Giles
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 17 June 2009 for five weeks
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Successful Freelancing with Valerie Khoo and Gayle Bryant
When: Thursday 18 June 2009 (one-evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $75

Seminar: How to get your book published with Geoff Bartlett
When: Thursday 25 June 2009 (one-evening seminar)
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $75

Seminar: Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle
When: Friday 26 June 2009 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.00pm
Cost: $325

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 30 June 2009 for five weeks - FULL
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Script Writing for the Short Films with Geoff Bartlett
When: Thursday 2 July and Thursday 9 July 2009 (two evening seminars)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $165

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When: Friday 3 July 2009 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Writing for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 16 July 2009 for five weeks
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Marketing Your Book with Amanda Falconer – NEW COURSE
When
: Every Wednesday evening starting Wednesday 22 July 2009 for three weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $265

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Mel Wilkinson - NEW DATE
When: Thursday 30 July 2009 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Novel Writing Workshop with Pamela Freeman - NEW DATE
Evening classes held approximately every six weeks
Course starts: Tuesday 11 August 2008
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $450

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Kate Forsyth
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 20 August 2009 for five weeks
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Judith Ridge
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 26 August 2009 for five weeks
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Feature Writing Stage 2 with Judy Skatssoon - NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Monday 7 September 2009 for five weeks
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $395



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