Courses

2012 Going Freelance

Who: Barry Divola
When:
29 April 2012, 10am – 4pm
Cost: Full Price
$150; Member $105; Conc Member $90
Code:
12DIV04

Ah, the life of a freelancer writer. Up at the crack of noon, pants optional and working only when you damn well feel like it. Sounds too good to be true? That could be beacuse it is.

Get the real story from Barry Divola, who has been a full-time freelancer for over 20 years. How do you start? What should you write? How do you get story ideas? How do you write effective pitches? Who do you approach? How do you deal with evil, uncaring editors? How do you structure appealing stories? How do you organise your time? And should you wear pants? (Hint: yes). .....

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2012 Intensive Picture Book Workshop

Who:  Libby Gleeson
When:
Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 April 2012- 10am-4pm
Cost:
Full Price $290; Member $205; Conc Member $175
Code:
  12GLEE4

Picture books are a unique literary form combining written and visual text. In this workshop students will work through the process of developing a picture book text: ideas generation, character and plot development, structure and language. In a combination of presentation and discussion, group work and one-on-one time with the tutor, students will be encouraged to take risks and to delve more deeply into the ideas they wish to explore. The state of the publishing industry as it affects picture books will also be examined. .....

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2012 The Characters Who'll Get You Published

Who:  Catherine Hammond
When:
Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 April 2012- 10am-4pm
Cost:
Full Price $290; Member $205; Conc Member $175
Code:
12HAMM4

This practical course will focus on the portrayal of characters in both fiction and non-fiction, responding to such issues as: What if my characters all seem to sound and behave almost the same? What is meant by a “well-rounded” character? The relation of character portrayal to storyline development will be examined, with emphasis on avoiding the common error of using characters as mere vehicles to move the plot along or convey messages dear to the author. .....

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2012 The Grammar Gig (sold out)

Who:  Selena Hanet-Hutchins
When:
Saturday 21 April 2012, 10am-4pm
Cost:
Full Price $150; Member $105; Conc Member $90
Code:
  12HANE4

‘Join waiting list’

Ever hovered over a hyphen, or a “which” or “that”? Have valuable workshop minutes been lost in debate about apostrophes, or “and” or “but” at the start of a sentence? Uncertain of those semicolons? Every writer, whether master or novice, can improve their craft by developing their skills in grammar. Every published writer knows the value of submitting a “clean” manuscript for publication. Beyond knuckle-rapping and rote learning, English grammar is a system of rules and principles that allow us to communicate meaningfully with one another, and can take your writing from flat or forced to fantastic. .....

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2012 Whose Life is it Anyway? (LAST MINUTE PLACES. BE QUICK!)

Who:  Jacqueline Kent
When: 6x Saturday afternoons; 21 & 28 April; 5, 19 & 26 May, 2nd June 2012, 1pm – 4pm. NOTE: 19 May (Only)- Time Change- 1:30pm-4:30pm
Cost: Full Price $540; Member $380; Conc Member $325
Code: 12KENT4 

Whether you are setting down your experiences for your children or grandchildren, explaining your part in larger events, or describing a traumatic event to make sense of it for yourself, writing a memoir can be one of the most rewarding things you do. It can also be one of the most difficult, for a variety of reasons. Researching and writing the history of your family is equally fascinating, offering the opportunity to develop research and interviewing skills. And in both cases, finding the right words is satisfying and empowering. .....

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2012 Beginner's Mind: Writing as a Meditative Practice

Who: Joyce Kornblatt
When: Sunday 22 April 2012, 10am-4pm
Cost: Full Price $150; Member $105; Conc Member $90
Code: 12KORN4 

If we let go of our beliefs about how to write, what to write and whether or not we’re any good at writing, what might we discover about our creativity?

In this experiential course, we’ll explore writing from what Zen Buddhists call “beginner’s mind”. Using gentle meditation practices, we’ll allow breath, silence and movement to guide us through a series of writing experiments. In this unconventional way, we’ll experience directly what it means to write with immediacy, empathy, courage and playfulness. We’ll discover form, voice and point of view. Giving up what we already know, we’ll write directly from the body’s rich and surprising wisdom. This course is open to both new and experienced writers, to those for whom the words are flowing and to those who feel “stuck”, to those who have a spiritual path and to those interested in learning about the rich relationship between meditative practice and the art of writing. .....

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2012 Fiction Feedback: A Focus Group on Your Writing (sold out)

Who:  Kevin O’Brien
When: 8 x Saturdays afternoons: 21 & 28 April; 5,12, 19 & 26 May; 2 & 9 June 2012, 1pm-4pm
Cost: Full price $865; Member $605; Conc Member $520
Code:  12OBRI4

Join waiting list

Bring your fiction-writing and evaluation skills to the next level in this intense but friendly focus group, convened by Random House senior editor Kevin O’Brien. .....

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2012 The Essentials of Editing

Who:  Tony Spencer-Smith
When: 4x Thursday evenings; 19 & 26 April, 3 & 10 May 2012 -6:30-9:30PM
Cost: Full price: $360; Member: $250; Conc Member: $215
Code: 12SPEN4

Editing and proofreading are a vital part of the writing journey. A first draft is only the start of a process that turns raw copy into polished gems ready for the reader. This course, for people who need to edit their own work or documents in the workplace, will show participants how to carry out the three layers of editing: substantive editing, which looks at the big picture; copy-editing, which ensures that each sentence is well-constructed; and proofreading, which eliminates the errors that slipped through the first two stages. .....

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2013 Blogging for Beginners

SOLD OUT
To join a waiting list please email us.

Who: Angela Meyer
When:
Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 April 2013, 10:30am-1:30pm
Cost: Full price:
$200; Member: $140; Conc Member: $120

You want to start a blog but you’re really not sure where to begin. It could be for business, pleasure, criticism, charity, or to build a profile or portfolio. Which platform will you use? How do you make it look good? Should you have a topic or theme, or just dive in? Will you allow comments? .....

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2013 The Fundamentals of 21st Century Play Writing

Who: Timothy Daly          
When:
8 x Saturday afternoons: 6, 13, 20, 27 April; 4, 11, 18, 25 May 2013, 1pm-4pm
Cost:
Full price: $800; Member: $560; Conc Member: $480

The emphasis in this comprehensive course is on learning the techniques of contemporary theatre writing by seeing the results of your work acted out in front of you each week.

You will receive extensive notes, along with creative writing exercises which Timothy Daly has devised over many years of teaching writing to all levels, from beginner to fellow professional. The first half of each session is devoted to the learning of new writing concepts in combination with the extensive and fully-illustrated lesson notes. In addition, theatre group visits will be organised, along with follow-up discussions of the performances. The second half of each session will be devoted to the reading, workshopping and analysis of your developing plays and creative exercises. .....

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2013 Advanced Fiction

SOLD OUT
Please email if you would like to know about future advanced fiction courses.

Who: Tony Birch
When:
Saturday 6 April 2013, 10am-4pm
Cost:
Full Price: $165; Member: $115; Conc Member: $100

This advanced fiction workshop will be suit writers with an interest in both the novel and short story.  Whether discussing beginnings and endings, dialogue and description, or character and plot, the workshop is designed to help writers move from the early draft stage of a work of fiction to something more closely resembling a completed manuscript.  Technical approaches and exercises will be introduced to participants that should become integral to each writer’s tool box.  Participants will be encouraged to actively engage with each other, offering advice as well as receiving it.  Some writing will be done in the workshop, in addition to each participant leaving with ideas for future writing projects. .....

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2013 Seminar: Crowdfund It!

Who: Anna Maguire
When:
Thursday 11 April 2013, 6:30pm-9:30pm
Cost:
Full Price: $50; Member: $35; Conc Member: $30

Over the last few years the number of authors choosing to self-publish has grown. To produce a professional book authors need to incur costs for editing, cover design, book design, printing, ebook conversions and marketing. These costs can add up and it is hard to invest in your title upfront.

There are hotly-contested grants available to writers but some have looked to crowdfunding to help them attain their dream of publishing their own book. .....

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2013 Travel Writing with Spirit

SOLD OUT
To join the waiting list for this or future courses please email us.

Who: Walter Mason
When:
Saturday 13 April 2013, 10am-4pm
Cost:
Full Price: $165; Member: $115; Conc Member: $100

With the success of books like Eat, Pray, Love, travel writing has become more personal and more linked with intimate journeys that are spiritual, romantic and quirky. This course will teach you what to look out for when you travel and how you should record it. Light-hearted, fun and sometimes meditative, Walter’s workshop is practical and focused on inspiring you to write down the personal side of your journeys and on sharing your insights with others. This workshop will explore the power of connection and how we can transcend the description of monuments, transport and traffic conditions and concentrate instead on the infinitely more fascinating realms of relationship and self-realisation. The goal is to create genuinely fascinating stories about why we travel and how it changes us. .....

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2013 Free to Write: Writing with Greater Fluency and Pleasure

SOLD OUT
Have a look at our other great creativity course Revitalising Creativity: Nourish Your Writing or email to be notified of future courses with Stephanie Dowrick.

Who: Stephanie Dowrick
When:
Sunday 14 April 2013, 10am-4pm
Cost:
Full Price: $165; Member: $115; Conc Member: $100

A day with highly successful writer Stephanie Dowrick, for writers at all levels. .....

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2013 Memoir Made Simple

Who: Amanda Hampson
When:
6 x Saturday mornings: 27 April; 4, 11, 18, 25 May; 1 June 2013, 10am-1pm
Cost:
Full Price: $600; Member: $420; Conc Member: $360

Writing your life story or family history can be a valuable and enriching experience and a priceless gift for future generations. It is easier and more fun than you might imagine. In this workshop you will discover simple techniques to capture memories, how to make your stories engaging and you will make a substantial start on your project.

Expected Learning Outcomes .....

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2013 Revitalising Creativity: Nourish Your Writing

Who: Jane Meredith
When:
Sunday 28 April; 5, 19, 26 May 2013, 10am-1pm
Cost:
Full price: $400; Member: $280; Conc Member: $240

Creativity is vital to writing that’s alive on the page, that reaches out to engage and intrigue readers. It springs from play, from improvisation, from fooling around with language and ideas and dabbling in the unknown. Whether you are a novelist, poet, playwright, short story or inspirational or life writer this course asks you to dig up your established ground, sow some surprising seeds, add the fertiliser of your discernment and stand back and see what happens. .....

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2013 Writing for Children

Who: Jacqueline Harvey
When:
6 x Tuesday evenings: 30 April; 7, 14, 21, 28 May & 4 June 2013, 6:30pm-9:30pm
Cost:
Full price: $600; Member: $420; Conc Member: $360

Writing for children is big business.  Despite the doom and gloom about the state of the publishing industry, the children’s market remains robust and growing.  Children are reading and the demand for quality books is strong.

If you’re keen to write stories that will keep children reading under the covers after lights out; if you’re interested to know more about the puzzling business of publishing, or if you harbour dreams of being the next JK Rowling or Morris Gleitzman, then this course is for you. .....

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2014 Understanding Story Structure

SOLD OUTclick here to join the waiting list.

Who: Laurel Cohn
When:
Saturday 5 April 2014, 10am-4pm
Cost:
Full Price: $180; Member: $125; Conc Member: $110

A story is like a creature. It can have a multitude of limbs and unusual features, but it needs to be able to stand on its own and deliver its creator’s intent. Being able to identify the backbone of your story is crucial to help you work out whether you have unwanted growths that need to be excised or require additional material needed for balance. In Laurel Cohn’s experience as a developmental editor, structural issues are common. In this workshop you will be introduced to the idea of storyboarding for writers. This is a useful tool to help you discover the spine of your story, the key elements that your story can’t do without, and ideas that can be trimmed away. In addition to storyboarding, through practical exercises we will explore other strategies to help you understand and hone your story structure. .....

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2014 Heritage Storytelling

Who: Anna Conomos

When: Saturday 5 April 2014, 10am-4pm

Cost: Full Price: $180; Member: $125; Conc Member: $110

Using techniques that have been refined and perfected for over a decade, international storyteller Anna Conomos will give you the skills to bring to life a story from your heritage: a myth, folk or fairy tale of your choice. Anna will take you through a series of exercises which will allow you to explore and discover the art of telling stories from your background and ancestry (no matter how far back that goes) or from a cultural background that is of particular interest to you. .....

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2014 Catch a Rising Star: Writing for Young Adults

Limited Places – please enquire through the Centre on 9555 9757.
Who:
Melaina Faranda
When: Sunday 6 April 2014, 10am-4pm
Cost:
Full Price: $180; Member: $125; Conc Member: $110

Want to write for teenagers? It didn’t take Twilight, The Hunger Games, or John Green to tell us that Young Adult fiction is in its ascendancy and now is a better time than ever! A YA novel is not a tricked-up children’s story or dumbed-down adult fiction. Take a guided journey through the pitfalls and possibilities with author of thirty-five young adult and children’s books, Melaina Faranda, who will distill over a decade’s writing for teenagers into a practical, experiential exploration of: YA conventions, themes and styles, generating killer ideas, high-paced plotting, credible characterisation, research, audience expectations, and self-editing, as well as share invaluable insights into the publishing process from working with seven major publishers. .....

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2014 Seminar: Writing a Synopsis

Who: Laurel Cohn
When:
Monday 7 April 2014, 6:30pm-9:30pm
Cost:
Full Price: $55; Member: $40; Conc Member: $35

Writers often moan and groan about synopses, but there’s no escape – if you want a literary agent to represent you or a commercial publisher to consider your manuscript, you can’t avoid it. Even self-publishers need to know how to encapsulate their book to grab a potential reader’s attention. A good synopsis can be the key to publishing success.

Many writers find tackling a 500 word synopsis more daunting than an 80,000 word manuscript. This workshop explores the role of the synopsis and offers practical tips and tools to help you work out what you need to put in, and what you need to leave out. We will look at synopses that have been successful for first-time Australian authors and hone synopsis-writing skills through practical exercises. .....

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2014 The Art of the Essay

This course has been postponed. New date to be announced. Click here to email us and receive updated information.
Who:
Anne Manne
When:
Saturday 12 April 2014, 10am-4pm
Cost:
Full Price: $180; Member: $125; Conc Member: $110

In this workshop writer and essayist Anne Manne will discuss that most beguiling and versatile of art forms, the essay. She will also assist students in crafting their own and discuss approaches to getting published. What EXACTLY is an essay? The morning session will open with some examples of good essay writing for students to read and discuss the genre, identifying the features they think make a piece work. The workshop will look at techniques which help students cultivate their own distinctive style and the importance of developing your own unique author’s ‘Voice.’ But what about the necessary requirements to get your essays published? What is a ‘hook’ and how does it help to have a sparkling beginning to a piece? What differentiates essays in shape, style, content and length from other forms of writing such as academic writing, reports, opinion pieces, feature articles and reportage? Ways to orient your essay writing to fit the requirements of publications you submit to will be discussed.  The afternoon will be devoted to practising the art of essay writing. Anne Manne will give a choice using a file of a contemporary issue or an essay topic of own for free choice and get students to craft part of that essay. Then in the final part of the workshop, the group will discuss the work presented by fellow students. Along the way we will discuss writer’s block, and ways of overcoming your inner critic!
.....

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2014 Crafting Poetry

Who: Lisa Jacobson
When:
Saturday 12 April 2014, 10am-4pm
Cost:
Full Price: $180; Member: $125; Conc Member: $110

“I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.” Robert Frost

Creating a memorable poem is like making a fine piece of furniture. It requires the right tools, imagination and innovation to craft an object of beauty that draws people to it, rather than something that gets thrown out in the next hard rubbish collection. Maybe you have never written a poem before, or perhaps you have written poetry but would like to extend your range. Both beginners and intermediate writers will gain knowledge, inspiration and technique in this one-day session about what makes poetry work. .....

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2014 Making History

Who: Peter Stanley
When:
Sunday 13 April 2014, 10am-4pm
Cost:
Full Price: $180; Member: $125; Conc Member: $110

It’s never been easier to research and write history. The internet, responsive archives and libraries and the laptop computer make it possible to research and write more easily than ever before. But it is arguably harder to get history books published than ever before. This course, presented by one of Australia’s most active historians, will help you to decide what to research, how to go about that research; how to structure and complete an historical manuscript and how to go about preparing it to have the best possible chance of securing publication. .....

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2015 Writing a Sense of Place

SOLD OUT – EMAIL US TO GO ON THE WAITLIST.
Who:
Felicity Castagna
When:
Saturday 18 April 2015, 10am-4pm
Cost: Full price:
$180; Member: $125; Conc Member: $110
Level:
All

The expression ‘a sense of place’ is a critical catchphrase that often defies clear understanding.  As readers we know when a writer has created a ‘great sense of place.’ But what does that mean? It’s hopelessly vague. In this course students will meticulously consider the techniques used by writers to convey ‘a sense of place’, as well as looking at the role it plays in creative writing. When writing about place, the writer must consider more than just its physical attributes or location. .....

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2015 Marvellous Journeys: Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy

Who: Terry Dowling
When:
Saturday 18 April 2015, 10am-4pm
Cost:
Full Price: $180; Member: $125; Conc Member: $110
Level:
Beginner/Intermediate

Want to write out of this world? Do you dream of the impossible? Then get ready to immerse your imagination in the genres of science fiction and fantasy with one of Australia’s most awarded and internationally acclaimed speculative writers, Terry Dowling.

Terry Dowling has been described by Locus as “the most noted pro

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2015 Creative Groove

Who: Walter Mason
When:
6 x Sunday mornings: 19, 26 April; 3, 10, 17, 31 May 2015, 10am—1pm
Cost:
Full Price: $600; Member: $420; Conc Member: $360
Level:
All

A course in re-igniting your creative spark and learning to share your gifts with the world.

The time has come for you to start making your mark! So often we put off our creative work. We tell ourselves that when the time is right, and when we are inspired and informed, our writing will begin in earnest. But guess what? The clock is ticking. You don’t have time to wait for the stars to align. You need to awaken your creative spark now and get working in earnest. You need to get your creative groove back. .....

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2015 Writing for Kids

Who: Jacqueline Harvey
When:
5 x Tuesday evenings: 21, 28 April; 5, 12, 26 May 2015, 6:30pm-9:30pm
Cost: Full Price:
$500; Member: $350; Conc Member: $300
Level:
All

Writing for children is big business.  Despite the doom and gloom about the state of the publishing industry, the children’s market remains robust and growing.  Children are reading and the demand for quality books is strong.

If you’re keen to write stories that will keep children reading under the covers after lights out, if you’re interested to know more about the puzzling business of publishing, or if you harbour dreams of being the next JK Rowling or Morris Gleitzman, then this course is for you. .....

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2015 Professional Editing

SOLD OUT. Please call us on 9555 9757 to go on the waitlist.

Who:Pamela Hewitt
When:
6 x Tuesday evenings: 28 April; 5, 12, 19, 26 May; 2 June 2015, 6:30pm-9:30pm
Cost:
Full Price: $600; Member: $420; Conc Member: $360
Level:
Intermediate. This course assumes a basic knowledge of word processing and a high level of literacy.

This series of six workshops presents the essentials of professional editing. Using practical examples and sample texts, you will work through the skills you need in an increasingly globalised and outsourced publishing industry. This means you need business nous combined with technical know-how and a feel for language. Editing is a compelling and rewarding career and this is a hands-on introduction to the tricks of the trade. .....

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2016 Creative Groove

Title: Creative Groove
Who: Walter Mason
When: 6 x Sunday mornings: 13, 20 March; 3, 10, 17 April; 1 May, 10am—1pm
Cost: Full Price: $600; Member: $420; Conc Member: $360

A course in re-igniting your creative spark and learning to share your gifts with the world.

The time has come for you to start making your mark! So often we put off our creative work. We tell ourselves that when the time is right, and when we are inspired and informed, our writing will begin in earnest. But guess what? The clock is ticking. You don’t have time to wait for the stars to align. You need to awaken your creative spark now and get working in earnest. You need to get your creative groove back. .....

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2016 E-Publishing Survival

2016 E-Publishing Survival

Who: Anna Maguire and Charlotte Harper
When:
4 x Tuesday evenings: 26 April; 3, 10, 17 May, 6pm-9pm
Cost:
Full Price: $440; Member: $310; Conc Member: $265
Note: ASA members can book for the NSW Writers’ Centre member price. Simply quote your ASA membership number on the payment page.
Level:
This course is for beginners, but students must be comfortable with using the internet and providing online portals with personal and financial information. .....

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2016 Poetry In Action

2016 Poetry In Action

Who: Mark O’Flynn*        
When:
Saturday 30 April, 10am-4pm
Cost: Full price:
$180; Member: $125; Conc Member: $110
Level: This workshop is aimed at advanced level poets looking for tools and techniques to refine their verse.

With the guidance of gently paced, carefully structured exercises, discover the possibilities of action in poetry. Action can be interpreted as any process of change, as organising principle and / or subject

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Character & Dialogue 2017

Character & Dialogue 2017

Who: Toni Jordan
When:
Saturday 1 April 2017, 10am-4pm
Cost:
Full Price: $180; Member: $125; Conc Member: $110
Level: All

The bad news: bad dialogue stands out. It distracts from your story. It’s ungainly and ugly. If you write bad dialogue, even if everything else is great, good readers will think you’re not a good writer. The good news: good dialogue glistens. It’s elegant. It gleams and glows and makes everything better. The very good news: of all the elements of a novel, dialogue is the easiest to improve. Learning to write good dialogue also helps you understand your characters because dialogue is character in action. Hearing characters speak can bring them to life. .....

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Seminar: Crowdfund it! 2017

Seminar: Crowdfund it! 2017

Who: Anna Maguire
When:
Thursday 6 April 2017, 6:30–9:30pm
Cost:
Full Price: $55; Member: $40; Conc Member: $35
Level:
All

Crowdfunding has become an accepted way of potentially raising funds for small publishers and self-publishers. According to Books+Publishing, Australian crowdfunded publishing projects raised $1.2 million in 2014. Although we see many crowdfunding success stories in the press, publishing as a category does not have a great success rate – around 30-40 per cent is average.  With such low chances of success, this workshop will enable you to plan your crowdfunding campaign with all the information you need to have the best opportunity to succeed. .....

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Ignite Your Creative Fire 2017

Ignite Your Creative Fire 2017

Who: Jan Cornall
When:
6 x Wednesday evenings: 26 April; 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 May 2017, 6:30–9:30pm
Cost:
Full Price: $600; Member: $420; Conc Member: $360
Level: All

Creativity is important in every art form – the challenge for writers is how to access your creative energy and bring it to the page. Whether you are experienced or a novice, at the beginning, or part way through your writing project, in this course you will learn how to bring the fire of creativity into every aspect of your writing.  .....

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How to Succeed as a Freelance Writer 2017

How to Succeed as a Freelance Writer 2017

Who: Bianca Nogrady
When:
Saturday 29 April 2017, 10am-4pm
Cost: Full Price:
$180; Member: $125; Conc Member: $110
Level:
This workshop will best suit emerging and established writers looking to earn a living as a freelancer.

Work when you want, where you want, for whom you want, and how you want: the description of a freelance has changed somewhat since the days of the medieval mercenary warrior, but the principles remain the same.

The internet is transforming the media landscape, and while this has been to the detriment of the traditional in-house publishing model, it is opening up a wealth of opportunities for freelance writers. Succeeding in freelance writing takes determination, discipline and thick skin, but master those and you can enjoy the many benefits of a freelance career. .....

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Blogging For Beginners 2017

Blogging For Beginners 2017

Who: Will Kostakis
When:
2 x Saturday mornings: 29 April & 6 May 2017 10am-1pm
Cost: Full Price:
$220; Member: $155; Conc Member: $130          
Level: Beginner to Intermediate

**To complete this course, please check that you are confident and able to complete the following technical tasks. If you are unsure, contact the Centre on 9555 9757.

  • Access your email account remotely, for example, from a computer that is not your own
  • Upload files to the internet
  • Access a wi-fi internet connection
  • Download and install computer software
  • Use an external storage device such as a USB
  • Install and operate computer accessories such as a printer
  • Use the internet with confidence based on frequent experience
  • Understand what is meant by the term ‘social media’ and identify websites that fit into this category

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