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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.

4 June 2009

Thursday, June 04, 2009
Script Writing for Short Films; Inside Steve Jobs' Brain; Movie giveaway; Study when you want - online courses; New podcast available now!

In this issue:

    • TIP: Quotes and punctuation
    • Script Writing for Short Films
    • Book giveaway: Inside Steve’s Brain: Business Lessons from Steve Jobs, the Man Who Saved Apple
    • Study where you want, when you want: Online Creative Writing
    • Free movie tickets!
    • TIP: Congratulations are in order
    • WEBPICK: The Lightning Bug

It’s been a busy week here. I was asked to moderate a “Hypothetical”-style panel of three successful entrepreneurs – Bridgeclimb’s Paul Cave, Harris Farm Markets’ Cathy Harris and Macquarie Telecom’s David Tudehope. For those of you who remember the wonderful “Hypothetical” series on the ABC, I did my best to channel Geoffery Robertson and lead these entrepreneurs on a range of hypothetical business scenarios.

For added inspiration, I’ve been reading Inside Steve’s Brain: Business Lessons from Steve Jobs, the Man Who Saved Apple by Leander Kahney. I’m loving it – so it’s this week’s book giveaway, just for you.



Book giveaway: Inside Steve’s Brain: Business Lessons from Steve Jobs, the Man Who Saved Apple

This month’s Slim Ink book offer is for all you business-minded readers out there. Inside Steve’s Brain: Business Lessons from Steve Jobs, the Man Who Saved Apple by Leander Kahney is part biography, part leadership guide.

Steve Jobs is the man behind Apple’s meteoric rise, and I’m sure many people would love to know the secrets to his success. This enlightening book shares the principles that guide Steve Jobs – and he’s clearly on to something. The New York Post recently reported that Apple’s Fifth Avenue store in New York made $440 million in sales last year.

I can’t put the book down!

If you’d like to win a copy just answer the question in the video above and email your answer, full name and postal address to competitions@spindriftmedia.com.au by 5pm, Friday 12 June 2009.


2-week course: Script Writing for Short Films
The Sydney Film Festival is upon us again, so if you’re feeling inspired by all those movies, you should join us for our first Script Writing for Short Films course. Writing for short films could be your springboard to feature length film writing, so this is a great opportunity to learn how to craft short film screenplays from scratch.

This course will cover:

  • how to select and develop suitable ideas for a short film
  • what narrative elements you need in a short film screenplay (characters, plot, dialogue etc)
  • what technical elements you must consider in a short film screenplay (locations, props, budget etc)
  • the roles of the writer/director/producer and how they interact
  • getting your film seen and sold.
This course is presented by Geoff Bartlett who has written for several Australian TV shows and produced three short films. Two were semi finalists at Tropfest and one screened in competition at Flickerfest. They were also bought by Foxtel (The Comedy Channel), ABC TV, Qantas, Telstra and Japanese TV.

Script Writing for Short Films with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 2 July 2009 and Thursday 9 July 2009 (2 consecutive Thursday evenings)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $165

Click here for more information or to enrol online.


New Podcast
Our latest author podcast is now available! This week we’ve interviewed Maree Giles, internationally renowned author of Invisible Thread, The Past is a Secret Country and Under a Green Moon.

If you want to hear about Maree’s inspiring writing journey, go to our website or iTunes.

Maree will be in Australia in June teaching only one creative writing course at the Sydney Writers’ Centre this year. She is also holding one-on-one manuscript clinics.

Hook Your Reader with Maree Giles
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 17 June 2009 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more details or to enrol online.


One-on-one Manuscript Clinic with Maree Giles
When
: Wednesday 24 June 2009, one hour sessions
Time: Call 9929 9237 to arrange an appointment
Cost: $150

Click here for more information.


TIP: Quotes and punctuation
Always watch where you place your punctuation when using quotes. According to the Australian Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers:

…when two different punctuation marks appear together, one applying to the quotation and the other to the sentence, both should be printed. Here is an example:

Did he hear the Speaker call ‘Order!’?
He said, ‘Do you think I am mad?’.



Study where you want, when you want
If you’re quick you may still be able to secure a place in our next Online Creative Writing course, which starts on Monday 8 June. This is one of the Centre’s most popular courses and will help you enhance your creativity and really start writing.

If you’re writing short stories, a family history, have plans for a novel, or just need to know where to start, this course will help you improve your writing skills.

You can also do our Feature Writing course online. This course is for anyone who wants to see their work published in magazines and newspapers. In fact, many students see their work published before they’ve even finished the course!

Our online courses are interactive web-based classes delivered via a password protected classroom. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to engage with classmates and your presenter throughout the course. So you really can study where you want, when you want.

Here's what past participants say about our online course:
"It was very easy and convenient to do the course online. I was actually surprised by how much it suited me. I didn't originally think I would get as much out of it as a face to face course, but I think I got even more. The best things about this mode of delivery was the fact that you could download the audio and listen to it anytime. Also, the fact that you can listen to it again and again in case you missed something."
- Samantha Baker
 
"The online delivery was extremely convenient. I looked forward to each Monday. I knew what to print out, what to download and could get myself organised so that on Tuesday I was ready to listen. I wasn't expecting the delivery of this course to be so interactive and I think you should make a point of referring to your product in terms of 'virtual classroom' or 'virtual lectures' simply because I don't think 'online course' does your training justice."
- Lisa Hampson

Online Creative Writing with Pamela Freeman / Cathie Tasker
When: Week beginning Monday 8 June 2009 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.

Online Feature Writing with Valerie Khoo
When
: Week beginning Monday 15 June 2009 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.


Free movie tickets
Disgrace is playing in competition at the Sydney Film Festival and will be released in Australia on 18 June. Based on J.M. Coetzee’s Booker Prize winning novel, Disgrace is the story of English professor, David Lurie, who goes to live with his daughter on her farm in Eastern Cape, South Africa. The country is still in the grip of post-apartheid tensions and a vicious attack at the farm changes David’s life irrevocably.  

If you would like to win a double pass to the preview of Disgrace on Wednesday 17 June, 6.30pm at the Dendy Opera Quays, just tell us which Australian state J.M. Coetzee now lives in.

Email your answer to courses@spindriftmedia.com.au no later than 5pm Thursday 11 June.


TIP: Congratulations are in order
Should you congratulate someone on or for their achievement? Here’s Grammar Girl’s explanation:

‘Congratulations on’ is the right choice when you're using ‘congratulate’ as a noun. You can remember the rule by noting that ‘congratulations’ ends with ‘ons,’ so you use ‘on’ for a ‘congratulation.’

  • Congratulations on your graduation.

You can use either ‘on’ or ‘for’ when you use ‘congratulate’ as a verb.

  • We congratulated Bob on finishing his seventh marathon.
  • Margo should be congratulated for setting a good example.

The Sydney Writers’ Centre’s own grammar girl, Deb Doyle, will be holding a one-day grammar and punctuation seminar on Friday 3 July. The seminar will help you grasp the basics of grammar and help you improve your writing.

Grammar and Punctuation: What you need to know with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 3 July 2009 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $395 including a copy of the workbook Gray Areas and Gremlins: A grammar and punctuation refresher.

Click here for more information or to enrol online.


WEBPICK: The lightning bug
The name of this site comes from a lovely quote from Mark Twain – ‘the difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – it is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning’.

The site is designed by Martin Jorgensen and he’s put it together mainly for younger writers. Given the apparent lack of resources for younger writers in Australia (we get a lot of queries from parents about writing courses for kids) it’s well worth a visit. There are resources listed for younger writers and their teachers, how to find inspiration, how to develop characters, there’s even a link to a dictionary and thesaurus. This is a really nice looking website and it’s obvious that Martin is committed to helping younger people write – but I think it could help older people write too.

While you’re visiting the Lightning Bug, check out Martin’s other project, Become a Story Chaser.





Other upcoming courses
Course: Online Creative Writing with Pamela Freeman / Cathie Tasker
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) - FULL
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) - FULL
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $75

Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Judy Skatssoon
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 15 June 2009 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Online Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Valerie Khoo
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

One-on-one Manuscript Clinic with Maree Giles
When
: Wednesday 24 June 2009, one hour sessions
Time: Call 9929 9237 to arrange an appointment
Cost: $150

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: Online Creative Writing with Pamela Freeman / Cathie Tasker
When
: Week beginning Monday 29 June 2009 for five weeks - NEW DATE
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

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: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Pamela Wilson
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 1 July 2009 for five weeks – NEW DATE
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
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 22 July 2009 for three weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $235

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

Seminar: Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Tuesday 4 August 2009 (one-evening seminar) – NEW DATE
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $75

Course: Novel Writing Workshop with Pamela Freeman
When
: 5 evening classes held approximately every six weeks beginning Tuesday 11 August 2009
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: Self-publishing - How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Wednesday 12 August 2009 (one-evening seminar) – NEW DATE
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $75

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
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 7 September 2009 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395


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