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Summer school

Fast track your writing goals at
Summer School in Sydney

  • Do you want to get published quicker?
  • Would you like to write with confidence?
  • Do you want to see your book in print?
  • Want to get paid for your travels?

This summer, make your writing dreams come true at the Australian Writers' Centre Summer School.

You can choose from a wide range of intensive summer sessions so that you can complete our courses in a short period of time.

We know that you may not be from Sydney – or you may not be able to commit to a course that goes over several weeks. That's why our Summer School is ideal for you. You can complete our high quality, results-driven courses over a two-day weekend, or a five-day week. So you can visit the beautiful city of Sydney and nurture your creative writing genius at the same time.

We'll be adding more dates soon but get in early because these
dates do get booked out!

Here are the courses you can choose from:

Creative Writing Stage 1

Would you like to see your words in print? Do you feel like you have a book in you? If you want to explore the world of writing, but are not sure where to start, this course will enhance your creativity.

You'll learn how to:

The next course starts:

Daytime intensive
Monday 21 to Friday 25 January 2013

(five consecutive mornings)
Time: 10am – 12noon
Cost: $395
Presenter: Pamela Freeman 

Find out more
  • Kick-start the creative writing process
  • Tap into your imagination
  • Draw from everyday experiences and
  • Examine different types of creative writing
  • Give structure to your writing
  • Use characters and dialogue
  • and MUCH more

"I’ve just been offered my first contract, a
four-book deal with Omnibus Press ... Big
thanks to you, Valerie, for the Writers' Centre,
to Pamela for her course and to Geoff for
reading my proposal. Thanks!"
- Mitch Lewis

Magazine and Newspaper
Writing Stage 1

If you’re serious about becoming an intrepid freelance writer, Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 will give you the tools and skills to craft magazine and newspaper articles that editors want to publish. We’ve distilled years of knowledge into a relevant and highly practical course – with scripts, templates and insider information from journalists/editors who are currently working in the industry. After completing this course, you’ll not only write with more confidence, you’ll get published faster!

You'll learn about:

  • Ideas – where to get them and which ones work
  • The industry – understanding the magazine/news market
  • Styles – all the different types of feature articles
  • Researching, structuring and actually writing your feature
  • The next course starts:

    Evening course
    Wednesday 16 January 2013

    (once a week for five weeks)
    Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
    Cost: $395
    Presenter: Marina Go

    Daytime intensive
    Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 January 2013

    (two consecutive days)
    Time: 10am – 4pm
    Cost: $395
    Presenter: Sue White

    Find out more
  • Interviewing skills – whether it’s a CEO or circus
    clown, rock star or rocket scientist, learn the
    questions you need to ask
  • People power – who to approach to get the
    best subjects for your stories
  • Editor expectations of freelance writers
  • Selling your story – a step-by-step guide
    to successfully pitching
    your article or
    idea to a magazine
  • and MUCH more!

"In my fourth week, I pitched an idea and got
my first article published. I want to be a
freelance journalist, so this has been the
perfect course for me."
- Georgia Rickard

Writing Picture Books

One of the most common phrases used about picture book texts is “deceptively simple”. And that’s just it – the writing is deceptive. It appears simple, but requires a lot of skill to be effective. In this course we plan to show you some of the secrets and techniques you need to write a good children’s picture book.

The course will teach you about:

  • Understanding the nature of children’s
    picture books
  • Working with illustrations
  • Language and rhythm
  • What’s so different about the picture book?
  • Point of view, structure and pace
  • Finding the right voice
  • Choosing your topic
  • The industry: market, gatekeepers, legal and
    financial considerations
  • and MUCH more

The next course starts:

Evening course
Thursday 17 January 2013

(once a week for five weeks)
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $395
Presenter: Cathie Tasker

Find out more

"Cathie is extremely knowledgeable on the
topic of picture books, and with so much
relevant industry experience, her tips and
insights were invaluable. The workshop
aspect of the course and meeting other
writers was terrific. Cathie was AWESOME.
She was direct, honest, informative,
funny – perfect!"
- Natalie Keen

Travel Writing

In this course you’ll learn a blueprint on how to become a travel writer. That’s right … we’ve
distilled what would normally take years to figure
out on your own so that you can get published now!

The course will teach you about:

  • The different types of travel articles
    and why they suit different markets.
  • How to speak the language – understanding
    the industry lingo.
  • Developing the right angle for your
    travel story so it doesn’t resemble a six hour
    holiday slideshow.
  • Structuring your articles, using photos
    and trip notes effectively.
  • How to research travel stories, plan your
    itineraries and find interview subjects on the road.
  • How to write without ever getting on a
    – discovering your hometown or state.
  • How to stay out of trouble by following
    travel writing ethics.
  • The best way to approach editors and
    pitch your story to perfection
  • and MUCH more!

The next course starts:

Weekend intensive
Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 January 2013

(two consecutive days)
Time: 10am – 4pm
Cost: $395
Presenter: Sue White

Find out more

"The venue was fabulous and even the
people in the café were lovely. I learnt
heaps. The presenter was so experienced,
knew her subject and was full of great tips.
Very professional and very focused."
- Lynn Anamourlis

How to Write a
Chick-Lit Novel

This course will teach you how to speak to your readers. Because although your finished product
may be words on a page, the process is all about
that ‘conversation’ you share with the reader.
It’s an intimate relationship: you want your
reader to connect with your main character,
cheer her on, and be sympathetic (even when
she chooses the wrong bloke).

The course will teach you about:

  • The chick-lit market, why it’s so popular,
    what successful writers have in common
  • Bringing a believable voice and character
    to your story
  • Crafting your characters so that your reader
    will actually care about what happens to them
  • Perfecting the ‘page-turner’ effect – how to
    use dialogue, point of view and conflict
  • Maintaining structure and pacing from ‘once
    upon a time’ all the way through to ‘happily ever after’
  • Editing and refining and rewriting and editing
    and did we mention refining?
  • Taking the next step towards publishing
    and beyond!
  • and MUCH more.

The next course starts:

Weekend intensive
Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 February 2013

(two consecutive days)
Time: 10am – 4pm
Cost: $395
Presenter: Lisa Heidke

Find out more

"Lisa Heidke is a great presenter and an
amazing writer. She really got in and listened
to everyone. She taught me a lot in only two
days and everyone was buzzing about her at
the end of the two days. She makes it fun,
enjoyable and exciting! You have nothing to
lose and so much to gain by doing this course."
- Chantelle Ravenswood

Travel Memoir

Whether you travel for business or pleasure,
whether you’re a writing traveller, or a travelling
w­­­riter­ – what’s most important is learning to
be a good storyteller. Unlike travel journalism,
literary travel writing uses many of the
narrative techniques common in fiction.

You'll discover:

  • How to structure your travel memoir and
    make your journey unique from the first page
  • Ways to transform dog-eared travel journals
    into a must-read manuscript
  • Writing about place with new eyes and
    describing characters
    without clichés
  • Popular genres of travel writing
  • How to write a compelling book proposal to
    get your work published
  • What to do before you leave and how to write
    on the road

The next course starts:

Weekend intensive
Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 February 2013

(two consecutive days)
Time: 10am – 4pm
Cost: $395
Presenter: Claire Scobie

Find out more

"It was truly enjoyable. I have wanted to do
a course like this for such a long time. I never
knew I could learn so much about travel
memoir writing. Claire was excellent. Her
method of teaching was encouraging and
easy to follow."
- Beverly Pang

Writing Books for
Children and Young Adults

There is no doubt that some of the most
memorable stories and luminous characters
ever created have been in books written for
children and young adults – from J.K Rowling
to May Gibbs to Roald Dahl. Authors have the opportunity to create wonderful worlds in their
books and inspire the imaginations of their readers.

  You'll learn all about:

  • 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
  • and MUCH more.

The next course starts:

Evening course
Monday 4 February 2013

(once a week for five weeks)
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: $395
Presenter: Judith Ridge

Find out more

"I loved the course and truly Judith is a brilliant
and enthusiastic teacher. She is passionate
about children's books and such a huge
knowledge of all the different age groups.
So thank you for your help and advice and
thank you to Judith too."
- Robyn Elliot

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