Sign up for our newsletter

Get Published newsletter

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.

8 April 2010

Thursday, April 08, 2010
Write what children want to read; A journalist’s toolbox - Feature Writing Stage 2; More student success; Book giveaway; NSW Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist announced

In this issue:
  • TIP: Loath or Loathe?
  • Write what children want to read!
  • Manuscript Development Program for Children’s Fiction
  • A journalist’s toolbox – Feature Writing Stage 2
  • Student Success – congratulations Kerry Osborne!
  • Book giveawayKiss of Death by PD Martin
  • Kickstart your creativity
  • WORDWISE: Pleonasm
  • WEBPICK: Premier’s Literary Awards

I hope you all had a great break over Easter. I'm still trying to get through all the chocolate eggs - it's a tough job, but I've been up for the challenge. Over the Easter break, I also had a chance to surf the internet (yes, I'm a geek) and finally take a look at so many websites that I've been meaning to check out. My current theme is architecture/renovation (yes, I'm vaguely contemplating a reno) and travel websites (I love escaping). However, I'm constantly amazed at how badly designed and written some websites can be.

The information is not structured logically, the links don't make sense and the text is not concise. If you need to write for the web, you'll learn a lot from our one-day seminar in Writing for the Web.

This seminar is ideal for:

  • anyone who writes web copy
  • public relations or marketing professionals who write for online mediums
  • business owners who want to promote their message online
  • employees who contribute to company intranets
  • experienced print writers who want to hone their online writing skills
  • IT professionals/consultants who have been given the responsibility of writing web pages.

This seminar is presented by Grant Doyle
, an experienced copywriter, content manager and web editor. After many years as a print journalist and author, Grant has spent the last 11 years in web writing and has been contracting or consulting to major corporations in various online content capacities since then. Grant continues to initiate and teach many in-house web writing programs in addition to developing corporate web writing style guides.

Writing for the web with Grant Doyle
When
: Wednesday 28 April 2010
Time: 9.30am - 4.00pm
Fee: $365 (includes GST)

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





TIP: Loath or Loathe
Many of us probably wouldn’t pick up this error if we saw it in writing. After all ‘loath’ and ‘loathe’ sound exactly the same and also have similar meanings. Here’s how Grammar Girl tells them apart:

"Loath" (without an "e") is an adjective, meaning it is used like "sad" or "eager". You can be sad to admit something, eager to admit something, or loath to admit something.

"Loathe" is a verb, meaning it is used like "hate" or "overlook". You can hate bad grammar, overlook bad grammar, or loathe bad grammar.

I remember the difference by thinking that "loathe" (the verb) ends in "e", and the only vowel in "verb" is "e". Therefore, the "e" on the end of "loathe" signals "verb".





Write what children want to read!
Writing for children and young adults isn’t always easy. Children can be very discerning! So if you’re interested in writing for a younger audience and want the inside information on how to achieve this, our Writing Books for Children and Young Adults course is for you.

You’ll learn all about the kids’ publishing industry in Australia and what makes authors such as Morris Gleitzman and Garth Nix so successful. The course will also teach you:

  • how to get started
  • finding the right voice
  • creating characters and stories young readers will enjoy
  • how to write believable dialogue
  • common assumptions about writing for children and about young readers
  • how to structure a story that works
  • the secrets to plotting for different age groups
  • what you need to know about getting into the children’s publishing market

Here’s what some recent participants had to say about the course:

‘It was amazing to be surrounded by so many creative and talented writers. It was truly inspiring. I have made a network of aspiring writers who have offered support and encouragment for me to succeed. I have re-awoken my passion for writing.’
- Carolyn Francis

‘Judith is a fantastic presenter, enthusiastic and passionate about childrens’ literature and you can't help but get caught up in her enthusiasm.’
- Germaine Leece

This course is presented by Judith Ridge. Judith is a well-known in Australia and internationally for her involvement with 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 Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When
: Mondays starting Monday 12 April 2010 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Manuscript Development Program for Children’s Fiction
If you’ve already completed our Writing Books for Children course, or you’re working on a manuscript for kids, then you must check out this amazing opportunity from Allen & Unwin and the Queensland Writers Centre.

In October this year, 10 authors will be given the chance to attend an intensive, five-day workshop that will include an individual consultation with editors from Allen & Unwin. Authors will work towards developing a high-quality manuscript suitable for children aged 8-13 years old and also get a chance to meet and talk to publishers, agents, booksellers and other authors.

You have until 5pm on Friday 21 May 2010 to get your application in. Make sure you read the conditions carefully and follow the submission guidelines. You can download these here.






A journalist’s toolbox – Feature Writing Stage 2
Many of our former Feature Writing Stage 1 students have gone on to be published in their favourite magazines and newspapers and have had great success with their writing. Of course, there’s always more to learn, and the next step for many people is Feature Writing Stage 2.

This course will show you what you need to know to work as a journalist and become a fully-fledged freelance writer. You’ll learn new skills on interviewing techniques, finding the right angle and ethics and protocol. You’ll also learn:

  • how to attribute quotes correctly
  • how to create balance in your stories
  • nailing the lead of your feature
  • finding hard-to-get interviewees
  • Freedom of Information
  • where to find relevant sources for your story
  • facing journalistic dilemmas
  • managing your contact book
  • dealing with editors in the real world
  • and other publishing conventions which are vital if you are serious about honing your feature writing skills.

Here’s what some previous participants had to say about the course:

‘[I liked] the fact that Judy works in the field and brings real knowledge to the course; she's very helpful and approachable. I did a similar course elsewhere last year and I must say that this one was by far superior. What was so great about this course was the small class size that enabled us to address questions as a group. It really was a far superior course to the one I did last year! Well done! [I’ve] gained practical skills, improved confidence, and generated good ideas for feature articles.’
- Kerstin Pilz

‘The course was choc full of useful information. The presenter made it lively and informative and had fantastic industry knowledge and experience. I feel more confident and informed on how to go about pitching ideas - and coming up with them in the first place.’
- Sylvia Aitken

This course is presented by Judy Skatssoon who is the features editor at Australian Associated Press (AAP). She has also been a successful freelance feature writer, contributing to a diverse range of publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, life etc, Sydney's Child, Women’s Health, ABC Online and many more. At AAP, Judy held a variety of positions including state political correspondent and national medical correspondent. She writes on a wide range of issues including the arts, health, politics, technology, women’s issues, business and more. Recently, Judy has also been a lecturer and tutor in journalism at UTS and is passionate about helping students discover the world of journalism and writing.

Feature Writing Stage 2 with Judy Skatssoon
When
: Wednesdays starting Wednesday 14 April 2010 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





Student Success – Congratulations Kerry Osborne!
We received an email this week from former Life Writing student, Kerry Osborne. Here’s what she had to say:

‘I’ve been thrilled this month to be published for the first time – and not just once, but twice. I attended a course at your Centre last year with Patti Miller where I discovered a passion for life writing and memoir.
 
'I had an article published in the Autumn edition of Christian Woman magazine –‘Dad’s Last Day’ (free on-line version of the magazine is available at www.christianwoman.com.au) – which is a tribute to my father who passed away recently. Also, my essay, ‘Bringing in the Light’, was highly commended in the Black Dog Institute’s Annual Writing Competition and has been published on their website (www.blackdoginstitute.org.au). This essay deals with the trauma surrounding late onset depression, and my experiences caring for my elderly parents.

'These small achievements have given me a great boost, and my love affair with writing is continuing to blossom!'


Congratulations Kerry! Two fantastic achievements in one month – and we’re sure there’ll be more.







Book giveaway – Kiss of Death by PD Martin
We’re interviewing some amazing authors this year for our podcast series, and this week we spoke to Australian crime writer PD Martin. Her books have been published worldwide and she’s received glowing reviews for her novels.  

Her latest book, Kiss of Death, is the fifth in a series featuring an Australian FBI profiler, Sophie Anderson.

Sophie Anderson is on a new case, and this one is strange, even for Sophie. The victim is found dead in a state park with two puncture wounds on her neck. There is no blood on the scene, but she looks to have been drained.

Is it a straightforward murder investigation or the result of a ritual performed by LA’s secretive population of vampires?

Special Agent Sophie Anderson must put the pieces together and her feelings aside as the investigation becomes a race against time before more innocent girls die.


We have one copy of Kiss of Death to give away. All you have to do to win it is tell us your idea for a great crime novel. Send your answers to courses [at] spindriftmedia [dot] com [dot] au by 5pm Friday 16 April 2010 and please remember to include your postal address.






Kickstart your creativity
Do you have great ideas for stories but aren’t sure how to get them down on paper? Want to know how to improve your short stories, or even get started on your novel? Our Creative Writing Stage 1 course is now available as an evening or daytime course. You can even take it as an intensive five-day course!

This course will show you how to:

  • kick-start the creative writing process
  • tap into your imagination
  • draw from everyday experiences and memories
  • examine different types of creative writing
  • give structure to your writing
  • use characters and dialogue

Here’s what some recent participants had to say about the course:

‘Even though I am only new to writing, during the course I found so many new techniques and ways of approaching my work that I couldn’t have discovered without help. Writing is a passion I have only just recently discovered, and to have a course that offers so much in these early stages of my learning was the best experience I could have hoped for. I loved the course and would recommend it to anyone who wanted to take creative writing to the next level.’
- Gustavo Panucci


‘I didn't know what to expect from the course and wondered, before the start, how it was possible to teach someone to write creatively. Well I quickly found out. I loved every stage of the course, all the tips, writing excercises, exploring different ways of writing, building character profiles. Every bit of it was thoroughly enjoyable and I'm sad that the 5 weeks has come to an end. Jeni is a brilliant teacher, I loved listening to her, she has so much positive energy and she made the group feel very relaxed. The course has given me the confidence to start moving ideas from my mind to paper. I see a story wherever I might to be, whatever I happen to see. It's a very exciting place to be.’
- Kate Bradley

This course will be taught by Jeni Mawter. Jeni is the children’s author of the hilarious ‘So’ series: So Gross!, So Feral!, So Sick!, So Festy!, So Grotty! and So Stinky! (HarperCollins) as well as the Freewheelers series: Unleashed!, Launched! and Extreme! (HarperCollins). Unleashed! was shortlisted for the WAYRBA Older Readers Award 2009.

Jeni has also published fiction, non-fiction, poetry and verse narrative for the education market. With a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature and a Diploma in Book Editing and Publishing Jeni has taught creative writing for many years at Macquarie University and at writers' centres. Her enthusiasm for words and books is infectious.

Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Thursdays starting Thursday 22 April 2010 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

There are also limited spaces available for our next daytime intensive course.

Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Monday 12 April to Friday 16 April 2010 (five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10.00am – 12noon
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






Fascinating word crime
Ok, I'll admit. I'm an Eighties music tragic. So I couldn't help watching the Eighties music special on Foxtel over the Easter weekend. And I also couldn't help spotting this spelling mistake in INXS's video for Mediate. That's right. It should say: "fascinate" not "facinate".







WORDWISE: Pleonasm
A ‘pleonasm’ is ‘the use of more words than are necessary to express an idea’ (from Dictionary.com) or a redundant word. No doubt we’ve all seen them in writing. Some good examples are free gift, true facts or dark night. In other words, pleonasm is wordiness and is something you should avoid in your writing. If a word is not necessary to your sentence, then take it out.

And remember what William Strunk, author of The Elements of Style, said: ‘Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.'





WEBPICK: Premier’s Literary Awards
The shortlists for the 2010 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards were announced yesterday and winners will be announced on 17 May 2010. Twelve shortlists were announced and cover fiction, poetry, children’s and young adult’s books and academic writing. The winners of each category will be decided by a panel of judges, but readers also have a chance to vote for their favourite book in 2009.

The six books shortlisted in the Christina Stead Prize for fiction are now also eligible for the People’s Choice Awards. The shortlisted titles are: 88 Lines about 44 Women by Steven Lang; Wanting by Richard Flannigan; Ransom by David Malouf; The World Beneath by Cate Kennedy; Summertime by J.M. Coetzee; and Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey. You have until midnight on 10 May 2010 to vote.

You can vote, and check out all the shortlisted authors here








Other upcoming courses
Course: Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Friday 9 April 2010 (2-hour morning seminar)
Time: 10.00am - 12noon
Cost: $75

Course: Online Feature Writing Stage 1 with Valerie Khoo
When
: Week beginning Monday 12 April 2010 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 12 April 2010 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 5-day Intensive course with Jeni Mawter
When
: Monday 12 April - Friday 16 April 2010 (5 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am - 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Feature Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Wilson
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 14 April 2010 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Feature Writing Stage 2 with Judy Skatssoon
When
: Every Wednesday beginning Wednesday 14 April 2010 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Online Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman - NEW DATE
When
: Week beginning Monday 19 April 2010 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When
: Tuesday 20 April 2010 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 22 April 2010 for five weeks
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Cost: $395


Seminar: How to get your book published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Friday 23 April 2010 (2-hour morning seminar)
Time: 10.00am - 12noon
Cost: $75

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle
When
: Wednesday 28 April 2010 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.00pm
Cost: $365

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Katrina Lobley
When
: Friday 30 April 2010 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $365

Course: Professional Business Writing with Mel Wilkinson
When:
Tuesday 4 May 2010 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $395


Seminar: How to get your book published with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Tuesday 4 May 2010 (2-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $75

Course: Perfecting your pitch with Sue White
When
: Tuesday 11 May and 18 May 2010 (two evening seminars)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Course: Script Writing for Short Films with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Thursday 13 May and 20 May 2010 (two evening seminars)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $165

Course: Online Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge - NEW DATE
When
: Week beginning Monday 24 May 2010 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Novel writing workshop with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday beginning Tuesday 25 May 2010 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $495

Seminar: Travel writing with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Wednesday 26 May 2010 (2-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $75

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 27 May 2010 for five weeks
Time: 10.00am - 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Feature Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Wilson - NEW DATE
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 2 June 2010 for five weeks
Time: 10.00am - 12noon
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing: How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Wednesday 2 June 2010 (2-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $75

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When: Friday 18 June 2010 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.00pm
Cost: $365


Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When
: Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July (two-day workshop)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $450

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 27 July 2010 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395


Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 12 August 2010 for six weeks
Time: 10am - 12noon
Cost: $450

Writing Tour: Writing in Bali with Patti Miller - 1 PLACE LEFT
When:
30 September to 5 October 2010

Writing Tour: Writing in Paris with Patti Miller - FULL
Dates for 2010:
Arrival
: Thursday 21 October 2010
Departure: Saturday 6 November 2010

Archive

Website terms of use | Privacy policy | Anti-spam policy | External links policy

Powered by eway

© Copyright Australian Writers' Centre, Suite 3, 55 Lavender Street, Milsons Point NSW 2061, Australia.