Roland Fishman discusses
10-Month Novel & Script Course


"I have now written the first draft of my first novel. A quarter of a century dream has come true."

Shari Hooper

“This course has been truly amazing.

Although I hold two degrees in English Literature, the knowledge I gained here far outweighed anything I learnt at University and has created a wealth of valuable skills.

The collective consciousness of the group and each and every person’s contribution was touching, moving and above else truly helpful.

Roland’s insights and ability to crystallize what I was struggling to pinpoint is an incredible skill and really kept the novel moving along.”

Marie Sullivan

"What a miracle. If someone had told me two years ago that I would finish the first draft of a novel, I would have laughed hysterically. I would recommend this writing course to anyone. 

After so many years talking, but mostly thinking about how I wanted to be a writer, I have done it. The course has made sure I have done something about realising my dreams."

Mandy Galbraith

"Well this course has certainly been one of the best things I have ever done. It has met and exceeded every expectation. I am now fulfilling a lifetime dream of writing a novel. The steps give me a process to follow that is not daunting but fun and makes sense.

I now read books in a different way and question the author, feel more, and understand why and why not far better than before. It is a self-inspiring and invigorating task and you will never be the same again."

Beth Smith

"I can't believe I set this goal and achieved it! I feel great, inspired and on top of the world.

The steps to writing this first draft are so important and give the guidance to ensure that we haven't wasted the last year of our lives churning out words on lines, words on lines without structure.

They gel, entwined and make it all real and happening and provide the skeleton for all the muscles, bones tendons, sinew, veins and skin to hang on but created in the correct steps to finish as a work of art, just like the human body."

Judy Senn

"I have found this a most liberating, insightful and informative experience. From the beginning, Roland has masterfully guided me through the first draft course with very useful and thorough course notes and suggestions to keep me on track.

I would not hesitate to recommend this course to anyone who has always had the dream to write a novel, film script or play, but been too afraid to begin."

Helena Rudnik

The structuring process has been a revelation for me. I am surprised at all the additional detail and insight which has resulted. I’m feeling very confident and determined."

Karl Bourke


 "It is the largest sustained and interested effort I have ever expended on anything, and I have a story to show for it. I am so grateful to The Writers’ Studio for the practical and spiritual support they have given me to achieve this. I feel very proud.”

Jane Wallace

"I now feel I have the tools to drive my story forward, to make it a story worth reading. It has been great getting other people's perspectives and ideas."

Britt Howes

"I have been amazed at how the story evolved. I never knew it was possible to write a first draft now I know how funny, interesting and exciting it has been. I also learnt that structure can be the bones of a story and seeing and hearing stories from that perspective is part of an exciting journey."

Dalia Maron

Ten Month Novel & Script First Draft Course - Online Classes

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WRITING YOUR first draft ONLINEonlinephoto



MARCH 9, 2015 to FEBRUARY 9, 2016 (includes one month break over Xmas/New Year) 

Please scroll down for testimonials and success stories!

COURSE FEE: $2,845 
(incl GST and Free Unlocking Creativity Course)

Please click on the link below to view Payment Options.

Please note: Unlocking Creativity is a pre-requisite to the 10 Month Course.










Many people dream of writing a novel or screenplay but are overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. 

Our Ten Month First Draft Novel & Script Course is a step-by-step process that breaks the tasks into manageable bite-size chunks.

It will provide you with the structure, accountability and support you need to find the story you want to write and give you the wherewithal to complete your first draft in ten months, while working full-time.

It is not necessary to come to class with a clear idea for a story. In fact, 60% of writers who do this course start without a clear idea of what they want to write. The course will help you find and clarify the story you want to write.

During the course, people always ask, "How could anyone write a novel or screenplay without having a process like this?" It is essential that you have a process that allows you to access the power of your imagination while grounding your story in solid structure.

mcKeeNinety per cent of novels and screenplays are rejected because of poor structure.

Many people can write great scenes and/or have a strong initial incident that they think will make a great story. But a few good scenes and a dramatic incident don't make a powerful story. 

The purpose of structure is to link the action of the story with the character journey so that each scene contributes to the overall character arc and the story builds in a dramatic and logical way, engaging your reader from beginning to end. This is the art and craft of storytelling. 

As Robert McKee, who travels the world teaching story structure, says"There are no unrecognised geniuses. For writers who can tell a quality story, it is a sellers' market, always has been, always will be."



Alex Gilly

Writers' Studio graduate, new dad and our former tutor, Alexander Gilly, has  signed a two-book deal with Tor/Forge, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, in New York. This is his first novel, a high-seas action-thriller that Alex  developed through our first, second and third draft novel writing courses.

'I'm thrilled,' says Alex. 'By sticking with my story and to the principles I learned at the Writers' Studio, and by getting lucky, I've realised a life-long ambition. Thank you Roland and Kathleen!

Mad max four
"The Writers' Studio is my testing ground, and a place equipped with the finest mental technologies, which unlike the thousands of books on the subject, are designed to nurture the screenwriter through that arduous practice and discipline of animating a story step-by-step, day by day, and refining it so that it represents the best of what you are."

 Nick Lathouris, actor and co-writer, Mad Max Four, Fury Road


"If it wasn't for Unlocking Creativity and The Writers' Studio First Draft (Novel & Script) Course I wouldn't be where I am today - an author about to be published. Thank you Roland for the inspiration."


L.A. Larkin - Her first novel, The Genesis Flaw, was published in Australia by Murdoch Books and in the United Kingdom. Her second book is Thirst.

krew boylanKrew Boylan has received funding from Screen Australia for the script she developed in the Writers' Studio first and second draft Novel and Script Courses. 

She said,
"I spread the word around Australia, about the Writers' Studio, like gospel. Everyone who talks to me about wanting to write, I first ask them if they have read the War of Art, and my next question is if they have heard of the Writers' Studio in Bronte."

 Krew played the title role of the convicted drug smuggler, Schapelle Corby, in the Channel 9 tele-movie Schapelle.


Elizabeth Farrelly, SMH Columnist,  has published her first work of fiction,  a children's adventure story called Caro and the Spanish Lords. It will be published by Walker Books and launched in September.

'Dear Roland. So excited. I have a publishing offer for my first book of fiction. So what I'm really saying is - thank you!'




"A truly practical approach to the secrets of good story telling."

Rachel Ward - actress and director/writer of the feature film Beautiful Kate starring Sophie Lowe, Ben Mendelsohn, Maeve Dermody and Rachel Griffiths



The_Bet_Final"Sometimes it feels 'The Bet' was miraculous - where did it come from? But then I remember everything that went into it - not talent (there were far more talented writers in my class), rather faith and persistence, using all the tools provided by The Writers' Studio.
The dance between structure and imagination, the understanding of the character and writer's journey, the constant re-writing and keeping the faith - these were the fundamental building blocks of my script and my experience of writing it. I'm proud that the story of 'The Bet' works. Ultimately, that's the power of classic story telling which is at the heart of what The Writers' Studio is all about." 

Caroline Gerard - writer and producer of the 2007 feature film The Bet, starring Matthew Newton, Aden Young and Sibylla Budd.



"I am doing a 10-month online writing course with them (The Writers' Studio) and it's challenging, exciting and frustrating. As it should be."

Julia Zemiro, radio host, actor, singer and Rockwiz presenter in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald


live vs online

The Ten Month Novel and Script First Draft Course Online contains all the information, processes and outcomes of the LIVE course.

Even though this is a ten month course, you can move at your own pace with your personal online tutor. We have created a schedule to help you manage your time and if you follow it, you should be able to complete the course with one month to spare. 

IMPORTANTNote 1: You will write the majority of your first draft behind closed doors. It is essential that you develop a writing habit whereby you are writing an average of five scenes a week. It's not a huge time commitment (roughly 30 minutes a day four to five times a week). Your tutor will give you feedback on one scene a week and the dynamics and evolving spine of your story, not on all of your writing.

IMPORTANTNote 2: Writing your first draft is an act of discovery. The First Draft is about finding and expanding the dramatic possibilities of your story, not writing the perfect story. When you are finished you will still have work to do. Excellence is a commitment to completion.

IMPORTANTNote 3: If you want to write a screenplay, we recommend you write it in narrative form first. Only when you have completed the First Draft and found your story should you attempt to put it into screenplay format.

As Ernest Hemingway said to F Scott Fitzgerald, "The most important thing about a first draft is finishing the damn thing."



course features


During the course you will:

Find and develop the story you want to write

The first step of the process is to find and develop the story you want to write and come up with a Ten Step Outline BEFORE you start writing the first draft of your novel or screenplay.

This way before starting your first draft proper, you will know that you have found the story that you want to write and that your story is structurally sound and will go the distance.

Follow a step by step process

Once you start writing the first draft proper, you will follow a step-by-step process to ensure you complete your story in ten months.

If you want to write a novel or screenplay successfully you need a process to ensure you work efficiently, effectively and methodically. This will allow you to realise your full creative potential.

Guidance, accountablity and support

Use our unique interactive story telling technology so you can be guided and supported every step of the way.

This will keep you accountable and keep your story on track.

You will also develop a regular writing habit - the foundation of the whole process and the fundamental ingredient to writing success. 

Learn the essential keys to creating powerful drama

Use scene templates to build internal and external conflict into every scene. This way every scene works dramatically and is integrated into the overall story structure.

Learn how to draw readers into your fictional world and keep them there.

Build the world of your story so that you create a fictional dream in the mind of your readers, an important component of making your story come alive on the page.

Create compelling characters

Create compelling characters who go on a dramatic journey of change.

Character and structure are the opposite side of the same coin.

One exists to reveal the other.

When you learn how to detail the structure of your story, your characters and story will come to life and have your readers wanting to know what happens next.

Develop a practical understanding of story structure

Learn the underlying dynamics of story telling including, ghost, prison, stakes, inciting incident, desire, four point opposition, obsessive drive, progressive complications, moral dilemma, mid-point, wasteland and surrender. 

Apply the 8 Turning Points to your story to make sure your story works on an archetypal level. This will make your story resonate on a deep psychic level with the reader.

Work through the 29 Story Steps to ensure you take your character on a profound and dramatic journey of change.

This detailed structure systematically links the action of your story with the character journey so that it builds in a dramatic and compelling way.

Use scene sequencing techniques to build dramatic tension and character growth organically.

This makes sure the pacing is dramatic and appropriate to where you are in your story and the character development is believable.

Learn the art and craft

Learn that the aim of a first draft is not to write the perfect story, rather it is to learn the art and craft of storytelling and to develop the possibility of your story and characters. It is a process of discovery.

It is the dance between structure and imagination that will enable you to create the best story you are capable of writing.

End result

You will have completed  your first draft in ten months while working full time. A huge achievement.

You will have taken your  main character and yourself on a profound journey of change.

f you do the work and follow the process, you will be amazed at how good your story has become and how much you've learnt about the process of story telling.


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 as he believes writing fiction nourishes the spirit of both the writer and the reader.

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

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

They will coach you, keep you inspired, accountable and on track, bringing out the best in your and your story.



Please read the terms & conditions before booking onto this course

please_noteIf you have enrolled for the 10 Month Course and after completing Unlocking Creativity, your tutor, Roland and Kathleen feel that you may not be ready for the longer course, we will recommend that you either repeat the UC and go into the next N&S Course or we will provide you with a refund for the N&S course only.