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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.

8 September 2011

Thursday, September 08, 2011
In this issue:
  • How to write a business book
  • TIP: Onto or on to?
  • More student success – congratulations
    Katie Manitsas
  • You could win $10,000 for your manuscript!
  • Join our creative community – online
  • Perfect documents every time 
  • What we’re readingIvanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
  • WEBPICK: Iconic Book Covers

I just found out today that my personal blog at valerekhoo.com has been announced by Smart Company as one of the 25 Best Business Blogs in Australia. It's my firm belief that business books (which often start off as blogs) are set to explode in the coming year thanks to low barriers to entry and innovative publishing models. That's why, I’m so excited to be presenting “How to Write a Business Book” in both Sydney and Melbourne. In this seminar, you’ll discover:

  • how to make your business book different to the rest of the market
  • the right way to structure your book
  • whether you should write it yourself – or outsource to a ghostwriter
  • your publishing options – mainstream publishers versus self-publishing
  • how to use your book as a lead generation tool
  • how to leverage your book to build your profile and get publicity
  • and MUCH more.

SYDNEY How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Wednesday 14 September 2011 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 1.00pm
Cost: $295

MELBOURNE How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Friday 7 October 2011 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Click here for more information or to enrol online.





Would you like to join our team?
We're looking for a dynamic, enthusiastic assistant with strong organisational and administration skills. You'll join a small, progressive team in Milsons Point in Sydney and be part of an award-winning centre. The role is as my assistant – a full description and details on how to apply can be found here.

Applications close 5pm Friday 16 September.






TIP: Onto or on to?
How do you know when to use “on to” instead of “onto”? The key thing to remember is that onto is a preposition and is always part of a prepositional phrase. Onto will describe the relative position of something. For example:

We drove onto the beach.
(So, the car is actually positioned on the beach.)


On to
is the combination of the adverb on, and the preposition to, and has a slightly different meaning to onto. For example:

We drove on to the beach.
(We kept driving until we got to the beach.)


Still confused? Daily Writing Tips has a handy test you can use to determine whether you can use onto. With the “up” test, you replace “onto” with “up on”. If the sentence still makes sense, you
can use “onto”. For example:

Dougal jumped onto the chair.
(Dougal jumped up on the chair – the sentence makes sense, so use onto.)

I held tightly onto my purse.
(I held tightly up on my purse – this doesn’t work, so use on to.)





What's new at the Sydney Writers' Centre
  • Filling Fast: Writing Picture Books, starts Thursday 6 October. 

  • We’ve uploaded LOADS of fascinating author interviews from the recent Melbourne Writers Festival. Check them out at the Writing Bar.

  • From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville. I’ll be doing an ‘in conversation’ with her on Monday 21 November. 

  • New dates: Sell Your eBook on Amazon, Thursday 6 October. 




Want to see your writing published?
What are your interests or hobbies? Do you like travel, books, politics? Chances are if you’re doing it, there’s an article in it. Learning the art of writing feature articles for newspapers and magazines could be a way for you to turn your interests into a freelance writing career.

Our Magazine and Newspaper Writing course is one of our most popular. During this five-week course you’ll learn all about what editors want, how to research your story, where to find inspiration and, most importantly, how to sell your article.

Here’s what past participants say:
"This course is perfect for someone who is just starting out in feature writing. It teaches you what you need to know to get started."
- June Chen

"The Sydney Writers’ Centre is the perfect place for a writer of all levels to go – whether it be a friend wanting to know how to begin their career, or a professional working in the field who needs a bit of a refresher."
- Diana Timmins

This course is taught by Sue White. She is a successful feature writer and travel writer whose work has featured in The Sydney Morning Herald, Vogue Australia, Travel + Leisure (Australia), Sun Herald Travel, Women’s Health, Vogue Entertaining + Travel, CNN Traveller, various ABC outlets, Green Living, G magazine and numerous other publications in both Australia and overseas.

Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When
: Mondays starting Monday 26 September 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.
 
Can’t make it to Milsons Point to attend this course? You can also do it online.
 
Online course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When
: Week beginning Monday 12 September 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
 
Click here for more information or to enrol online.






More Student Success
This week we heard from author and yoga expert, Katie Manitsas. Katie completed a number of courses with us, including the Self-Publishing seminar. Since then, she’s written and published a book, The Yoga of Birth. Here’s what she wrote to us:
 
"The Sydney Writers’ Centre Self-Publishing seminar gave me the confidence to publish this book myself. As a previously published author (with Hardie Grant) I knew how much work goes into producing a book, and felt a little overwhelmed at the thought of self-publishing. But I also knew how rewarding the experience could be. I've been blown away by the positive response to the book so far (and it doesn't even officially come out until 24 September!). Thanks Sydney Writers’ Centre for giving me the tools and the confidence to take my vision from an idea to an actual paper book in my hands!"

Congratulations Katie!






Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award
Writing Australia is the new, national body committed to promoting writing and literature around the country. And they’re wasting no time! They’ve just launched the Unpublished Manuscript Award, an incredible opportunity that will see the winner walk away with $10,000 plus a $2,000 mentorship.

The award is for an unpublished work of adult literary or genre fiction and is open to any writer in Australia. You have until Thursday 13 October 2011 to enter your manuscript.

Entries will only be accepted through the online entry form on Writing Australia’s website.





Join our creative community – online 
We know many of our readers live outside of Sydney, some even live overseas! But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on one of our most popular courses. Creative Writing Stage 1 is the perfect starting point if you're thinking about exploring the wonderful world of fiction – and you can do it online!

The Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 will show you how to turn your ideas into a short story, maybe even a novel. You’ll learn all about plot, structure, voice and characters, and learn tips on how to kickstart your creativity.

Here’s what past participants say:
"I really enjoyed receiving feedback about my work, so that I could see what areas I needed to work on as well as what I was doing well. It was easy and convenient to the course online. The best thing about this mode of delivery was it allowed me to complete the course while I am living overseas."
- Jessica Sheather-Neumann

"It was so simple to download the audio files and listen to them in the car, or whenever I could grab a minute. Using audio files means you can listen whenever you have time AND you can go back to listen again. If you think you want to write, then do this course."
- Melissa Sargent

ONLINE COURSE: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman/Laurine Croasdale
When
: Week beginning Monday 19 September 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.






TIP: Disburse or disperse?
Reader Margo Hutchison emailed us and wanted to know the difference between disburse and disperse. Out of context, these two words can be easily confused, be careful which one you choose.

Disburse means to pay out money. For example:

It was up to the lotto organisers to disburse the winnings.

Disperse
means to scatter or spread, or to send or drive off in various directions. For example:

The police were called to disperse the crowd.





What's missing?
We spotted this sign in a local Sydney cafe.



Apparently they also don’t do apostrophes!






Perfect documents every time
If you want to ensure your documents are perfect every time, you need to know how to proofread properly. Proofreading is a vital stage in the production of any document – whether it’s a marketing brochure, an annual report, or everyday correspondence.
 
Learning the right techniques for proofreading needn’t be hard. Our one-day seminar, Perfect Your Proofreading, will show you how to make sure your documents are in the best shape possible for printing and publication. You’ll learn how to use the standard proofreading symbols, how to set up a clear proofreading process for your work, and how to avoid the most common proofreading errors.
 
Here’s what past participants say:
"The course was excellent and the teaching was focussed on exactly what I needed to know."
- Carol-Anne Maurer

"I will be using the knowledge that I have taken away from this course on a day-to-day basis. I now know what my exact role as a proofreader is, and will be able to use the correct, professional language. Deb’s knowledge on the topic was both outstanding and enviable."
- Danielle Roddick

This seminar is taught by Deb Doyle. Deb is an experienced editorial-training consultant and publication editor. Her courses are interactive and collegial. If anyone can turn a proofreading workshop into a fun and interesting day, it’s Deb Doyle.
 
Perfect Your Proofreading
When
: Tuesday 27 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Click here for more information or to enrol online.




What we’re reading
This week reader Jenny Mclennan is reading Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. She writes:

Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practise to deceive!


Sir Walter Scott wrote these words, still quoted today. In Ivanhoe, written in 1819, he created his ‘tangled web’ in a story with his hero appearing in a mask and a Black Knight who finally reveals who he is. In addition, there’s Robin of Locksley, who’s really … well, you have to read it to find out.

Scott’s prose is a little heavy for today’s taste, but it’s a great story from the twelfth century about the strong hatreds between the Saxons, the older inhabitants of England, and the Normans, the conquerors of 1066. One hundred years of occupation haven’t reconciled the Saxons to their fate, but the underlying message of this novel is that both sides eventually compromised and made their peace.

The knight Ivanhoe is the hero, but as in many of Scott’s stories, he’s not an all-conquering hero, and needs help. His father Cedric is a Saxon who despises the Normans, and Brian de Bois-Guilbert is a rather nasty Templar knight with evil intentions. Rowena and Rebecca provide love interest.

Complicated plot, great read, worth the effort. Not a kid’s story at all.

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: Iconic book covers
There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about the death of the book. Will e-readers take over? Will books in their traditional form die out? Will bookstores no longer be? It’s hard to believe it could ever happen when you look at this list of The 20 Most Iconic Book Covers Ever.
 
The images featured on this post may be tatty, old, the colours a little dull, but they’re instantly recognisable. Books featured include The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, and many more (17 more, to be exact). As long as book covers alone can inspire such awe, surely books will be around for a long time yet.

Check the list out here.









Other upcoming courses
Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller – FULL
When:
Every Friday starting Friday 9 September 2011 for six weeks
Time: 10.00am - 12.00noon
Cost: $450

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When:
Week beginning Monday 12 September 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When
: Wednesday 14 September 2011 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When
: Wednesday 14 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Laurine Croasdale
When:
Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 14 September 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis – FULL
When
: Wednesday 14 September 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 19 September 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Better Business Communications with Deb Doyle
When
: Thursday 22 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – NEW DATE
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 26 September 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson – NEW DATE
When:
Week beginning Monday 26 September 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Tuesday 27 September 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Perfect Your Proofreading with Deb Doyle
When
: Tuesday 27 September 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-Publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When
: Wednesday 28 September 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – NEW COURSE
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 6 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Sell Your eBook on Amazon with Steven Lewis – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 6 October 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers with Sue White – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Thursday 6 October and Friday 7 October 2011 (two-day course)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Valerie Khoo – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Thursday 6 October 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Friday 7 October 2011 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 1.00pm
Cost: $295

Seminar: Edit with Confidence with Deb Doyle
When
: Friday 7 October 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller – MELBOURNE COURSE
When:
Saturday 8 October and Sunday 9 October 2011 (two-day course)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Travel Writing: Get Paid for Your Adventures with Sue White – MELBOURNE COURSE
When
: Saturday 8 October and Sunday 9 October 2011 (two-day course)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When:
Week beginning Monday 10 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Novel Writing Workshop with Pamela Freeman
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 11 October 2011 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $495

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When
: Wednesday 12 October 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $450

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie
When
: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 12 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Travel Writing: Get Paid for Your Adventures with Sue White
When
: Every Thursday starting Thursday 13 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Intensive Creative Writing Stage 1 with Laurine Croasdale
When
: Saturday 15 October and Sunday 16 October 2011 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Weekend Intensive Creative Writing Stage 2 with Jeni Mawter
When
: Saturday 15 October and Sunday 16 October 2011 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Daytime Intensive Creative Writing Stage 1 with Kate Forsyth
When
: Monday 17 October to Friday 21 October 2011 (5 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00am - 12noon
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 18 October 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Successful Freelancing with Gayle Bryant
When
: Wednesday 19 October 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Blogging for Business with Steven Lewis
When
: Thursday 20 October 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle
When
: Monday 24 October 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30am - 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Course: Writing About Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett
When:
Wednesday 26 October 2011 and Wednesday 2 November 2011 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard – NEW DATE
When
: Thursday 27 October 2011 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $495

Course: Your Story Structure with Kathryn Heyman
When
: Friday 4 November 2011 and Friday 11 November 2011 (2 half-day classes)
Time: 9.30am - 12.30pm
Cost: $215

Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding – NEW COURSE
When
: Every Monday starting Monday 7 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman – NEW DATE
When
: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 15 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding – NEW DATE
When:
Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 15 November 2011 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville – NEW SEMINAR
When
: Monday 21 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett – NEW DATE
When
: Wednesday 23 November 2011 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $85

Course: Plotting and Planning with Kate Forsyth
When
: Monday 28 November 2011 and Monday 5 December 2011 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: $175

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – FULL
When:
Thursday 20 October to Saturday 5 November 2011

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

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