About The Writers' Studio Team

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Roland Fishman has been a professional writer for over 30 years and has published three books, two of which were bestsellers. After working as a journalist and columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald, Good Weekend and The Financial Review, he decided to dedicate his life to storytelling and the creative process which he believes nourishes the spirit of the writer and reader.

He founded The Writers’ Studio in 1992 where he draws on his own career as a writer, as well as his experiences travelling around the world learning the art and craft of writing from bestselling authors and elite teachers. 

In addition to his work at The Writers’ Studio, he has also conducted workshops at The Sydney Writers’ Festival and worked as a script consultant for Academy Award Winner George Miller, director/writer of Happy Feet, Mad Max, Babe and Lorenzo’s Oil.

After working with Roland, George said, “Roland is like a script shrink. He works on the story from the inside out and got me excited about the possibilities of the story we were working on. We were very much on the same wavelength. I left the sessions feeling excited and inspired.”

For nearly twenty years, Roland he has personally guided thousands of people through the creative process at The Writers’ Studio using his unique step-by-step process. He conducts all live courses and hand picks online tutors to ensure you get the best possible guidance, support and instruction.

His novel No Man's Land - a Russell Carter Thriller was published in 2014.

Read Synopsis l Amazon l Buy the novel


Kathleen Allen is the manager of The Writers' Studio. She has worked as a professional actress, taught English language and travelled the world as the Australian marketing manager for an international group of language schools.

She has attended and participated in numerous international writing retreats and conferences.

She runs the Unlocking Creativity LIVE courses and the 10 Month Novel and Script First Draft LIVE Courses with Roland.


Andrew Blanch

Andrew Blanch is our online tutor for the The Novel and Script First Draft Course Online, The Second Draft Course Online and The Third Draft Online. 

He also shares teaching duties with Roland in the Second and Third Draft Live Courses. 

Andrew was personally invited by Roland over 10 years ago to be our online tutor due to his innate sense of story structure and his incredibly insightful and in-depth feedback and guidance.





Yasmin Khan is a full time mother who has studied with the Writers' Studio since 2008. She tutors Unlocking Creativity Live and our Six-Week short story courses and is writing her first novel with The Writers' Studio, a tale of love, loss and war set in Bangladesh.

Born into a long line of 'people people' with an innate ability to find and explore what connects us emotionally, including English teachers, published authors, editors, nurses and doctors, her fascination with the human condition and love of stories was inevitable.




Denise Imwold is a writer and editor who also worked for many years as a bookseller. She earned a BA in English literature and a Postgraduate Diploma in Editing and Publishing from Macquarie University, Sydney.

Denise has contributed to a wide range of publications in fields such as arts and entertainment, history, travel, sport, gardening, health and spirituality. Her books include Cut!—Hollywood Murders, Accidents,and Other Tragedies (2005); 501 Must-Read Books (2006); Historica’s Women (2007) and Musica (2009).

She completed her first novel through the mentorship of The Writers’ Studio and has tutored our writers in the Online Unlocking Creativity and Short Story courses since 2008.



Emma Kirby first started writing poems and short stories at eight years old. She started studying at The Writer's Studio over three years ago and is currently finishing her first novel.
As well as writing, Emma has over 17 years experience in marketing, specialising in the arts and music and she runs her own marketing business. Emma works part-time as a Professional Development Co-ordinator for the Australian Society of Authors. She is also a visual artist and loves drawing portraits of people and animals.

Emma tutors our writers in in the Online Unlocking Creativity course and Short Story courses.













Jess Black has acted and directed in theatre and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Film with Honours in Theatre Directing. She worked in television for drama producer John Edwards as a trainee script editor on the drama series Head Start.

While working in the script department, she realised she wanted to write books. She completed Unlocking Creativity and the First and Second Draft courses with The Writers’ Studio.

She worked at Random House as a writer on The Bindi Wildlife Adventure Series, a fictional series about helping endangered animals around the world. She wrote twelve books. Then worked on the RSCPA Animal Tales series and wrote three books. Most recently she completed two books for an older Bindi series called Bindi Behind the Scenes.


Jess does author talks in schools, writes for several publications and is currently working on a new children's book.

She tutors writers in our 10 Month Novel and Script First Draft Online Course.


Louise Goggin loves language and the ability of lines scribbled on paper to make us laugh, cry, and want to be a better person. She began studying with the Writers' Studio in 2009, and will soon finish her first novel.

Louise has worked in science communication for 15 years, publishing science stories in science magazines and journals.

She tutors in the 10 Month Novel and Script First Draft Online course.













Zahid Gamieldien is a lawyer and writer who holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He served as a member of the Australian Classification Board and has also worked as a solicitor in migration law, media law and government.

Zahid's writing has been published in literary journals including Voiceworks and Page Seventeen, as well as appearing in the UTS Writers' Anthology and being commended in the Alan Marshall Awards. In 2014, he completed the Second Draft course at the Writer's Studio. He is currently working on his novel.

Zahid tutors writers in our 10 Month Novel and Script First Draft Online Course.


As an actor Jim Holt is no stranger to storytelling and celebrates his 40th year as a professional actor.

He’s writing a novel about his adventures in Moscow and is enjoying creating fiction and bending the truth.




Richard Cornally is an actor, a director, a producer, a teacher and a writer. He loves a good story in all its forms and takes special pleasure in helping a writer find the best possible expression of their story.

Having studied at ATYP as a youngster, Richard went on to graduate from the Actors’ Studio Australia. He was offered a teaching position at the studio shortly after, and he has been teaching acting ever since.

In 2013 his company, Sure Foot Productions, mounted their first independent theatre production to full houses and rave reviews.

These days Richard shares his time between his role as tutor for the Unlocking Creativity Course at The Writers’ Studio, Artistic Director of The Sydney Drama School and continuing to develop his own writing and acting projects.







Pia Riley  has worked for several years as a lawyer in the area of human rights and social justice. She started studying with the Writers' Studio in 2006 and recently completed the Third Draft Course. Pia has a passion for storytelling and is also a volunteer tutor at Sydney Story Factory, a not for profit creative writing centre encouraging young students' creativity. 

Pia is a tutor for the Unlocking Creativity Online Course and  10 Month Novel and Script First Draft Online Course.



Shelley Kenigsberg

Shelley has worked in-house with Harper Collins, Harcourt Brace, John Wiley,  Macquarie University and has been Head of Macleay College’s Editing Diploma for the past 21 years.

She works as an editor in our Fourth Draft Course.











Owen Ravenscroft is a father of two who lives on Sydney's Northern Beaches.

He works as a tutor for Unlocking Creativity Online and his debut novel 'SINK OR SWIM', won a Highly Commended at the FAW National Literary Awards, Christina Stead Award, 2013. He is now working on his third novel.





Janet Hutchison Janet has worked in book publishing for twenty-five years. She has conducted workshops in editing and manuscript development at the University of Technology, Sydney and undertaken editorial projects for such publishing companies asUniversity of Queensland Press, Allen & Unwin, Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Magabala Books and Aboriginal Studies Press.

She has also compiled and edited two recent anthologies of Central Australian writing — The Milk in the Sky and Fishtails in the Dust, both published by Ptilotus Press, Alice Springs and is the commissioning editor of Grandma Magic: true stories by and about grandmothers (Allen & Unwin, 2009 and 2010)

She works as an editor in our Fourth Draft Course.