We trust that everyone who is doing courses with us is keeping the spark of creativity alive in their soul, whether you are doing our 4-Week Unlocking Creativity Course, 6-Week Short Story courses, or are writing your novel or screenplay with us.
While we believe the act of writing has its own rewards, most writers write so that other people will enjoy and benefit from what they’ve written.
So we’re thrilled to share eight success stories from our writers. Including several debut novels, a memoir and short stories. Great to see the diversity of writing and stories that emerge from our courses.
Congratulations and well done to all of you. You are a great source of inspiration for all of our writers.
Our next upcoming 6-Week course, the Character & Critique Short Story Course – Online starts on 17 June. (Unlocking Creativity is a prerequisite for this course and all of our courses. Please register early & reserve your place, as these courses book out.)
The 10-Month Novel & Script First Draft Online course starts 24 June. (You will need to undertake the Unlocking Creativity course starting 1 May, to be eligible to join this course, if you haven’t already undertaken.)
Please contact the office on (02) 9386 4994 between 10.30am and 3pm Monday to Friday, if you have any questions at all about which course is right for you.
Success Stories & Events
Cait Duggan, one of our Novel & Script writers has just let us know that we can announce that her debut novel ‘The Last Balfour’ is being published by Harper Collins and will be on sale in August.
“Iona Balfour’s life is turned upside down when her beloved aunt Grizel is executed for the crime of witchcraft. Before she dies, Grizel appoints Iona as guardian of a precious family bloodstone and tells her she must flee their village and deliver the stone to the mysterious Guild of the Green Lion.”
“Magic and fire are kindred spirits…discover an exciting new voice in Australian fiction.”
Congratulations Cait! (We’ll have more about Cait and her novel later.)
Isabella Lawson, another of our Novel & Script writers has published a memoir.
“When Brenda meets Emin, he is a young man half her age, a refined and brilliant undergraduate, freed from the stranglehold of his orthodox family. Brenda is a well-educated and alluring hooker. Aware of her role in their ‘erotic arrangement’, she sees it as nothing more than a transaction….”
“Isabella Lawson lays her soul bare in this intense and beautiful memoir.”
To read an extract, and purchase a copy or download: click here
Gregory James, also one of our Novel & Script writers, has let us know that he has published his novel – ‘Bordertown’, and was runner-up in the Harper Collins’ inaugural ‘Banjo’ Awards.
“Promising young detective Robert “Bo” Campbell is in a stack of trouble. After accidentally shooting and killing his best friend and partner during a bungled inner city drug raid, he faces the sack or, even worse, jail. With his career and freedom hanging by a thread, he’s outcast to a remote posting on the border.”
Menios has let us know that one one his short stories has been selected to be published in an upcoming anthology, titled Saltwater.
The anthology will include a matching artwork, which will be displayed at Manly Art Gallery, during their Arts Festival in September along with the anthology.
Chelsea has let us know that she entered the first chapter of her story into the Romance Writers of Australia ‘Little Gems’ Short Story Competition and was awarded equal first prize, and will be published in the Little Gems Anthology.
We have a 10 x double passes to give away care of Curious Films, to see the new film ‘Celeste’ starring Radha Mitchell, Thomas Cocquerel, Nadine Garner and Odessa Young. Celeste has screened to great success at Australian and International film festivals.
Please note the tickets are for available only for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane & Perth.
Include your name, mobile no. & address.
Celeste opens nationally on 25 April.
Click on the image below to watch our brand new video featuring an eclectic collection of writers discussing their experiences after completing our 4- Week Unlocking Creativity Writing Course and our 10 Month Novel & Script First Draft Course.
Four Week Unlocking Creativity
Whether you are a complete beginner, a professional writer or somewhere in-between, this is the first step towards achieving your writing goals, whatever they are. This introductory writing course will give you essential tools and techniques to unlock the power of your imagination and dramatically improve the quality of your writing. The ideal place to kick start your writing journey.
“After two unsuccessful manuscripts I was searching for a creative writing course I could do to give me the confidence and tools needed to find a stronger voice and allow me to tap into my imagination. Unlocking Creativity did all this and more. I walked away from this course feeling much more confident in my own abilities as well as full of motivation to start my next manuscript, which turned into my first fictional crime novel Sinister Intent.” Karen Davis
If your dream is to write a novel or screenplay our first draft course will get you doing it. You don’t need to have a clear idea for a story to start.
The course’s step-by-step process begins by helping you find and clarify the key characters and story in a broad outline before embarking on writing your actual first draft. The course then provides the structure, accountability and support you need to complete your first draft in 10 months, and is designed for people working full-time.
“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.” – Nico Lathouris, co-writer Mad Max IV Fury Road
The same principles apply to novels. Writers’ Studio graduate and former tutor, Alex Gilly, whose first novel, a high-seas action-thriller that he developed in this course, was published in July 2015 in the US by an imprint of Pan Macmillan.
‘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!’
With a maximum of 20 writers, the First Draft Live course includes one weekend intensive and 9 monthly Saturday all-day workshops with weekly feedback to keep you on track.
This course is ideal for writers who have completed Unlocking Creativity and/or the Genre or Gym courses and want to continue with their creative process. It will give you tools and techniques to further develop your writing and storytelling skills.
Structure and character are two sides of the same coin. One exists to reveal the other. Structure is the key to creating powerful stories and characters. It gives your writing shape and meaning and helps evoke emotion in your readers. Some of the structural techniques you will learn during the course include:
Character Arc: You will learn techniques to build a strong character arc into your stories. You will take your characters on a journey where they will change as a result of the structural challenges you force them to face.
Ghost: All characters should have a past or a back story. You will learn how to flesh out a character by giving them a ghost or a history that drives them and your story giving both added depth and meaning.
Prison/Opening: At the start of most good stories a character is trapped in a physical, emotional or spiritual prison which puts pressure on your character.
Challenges: Learning how to challenge your key characters to crisis point will make your characters and writing come to life.
Worst Nightmare: Readers and audiences are fascinated by characters forced to face their greatest fears, which brings out the best and worst in them.
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“I must confess to being a bit skeptical when Roland said the Second Draft would improve my story 200%. After all I had just spent a year driving my story forward, putting my hapless main character under intense pressure and finding out, at the end, how my story ended. Boy, that was a revelation. How could the Second Draft improve my story that much?
And I am happy to report I was right. The Second Draft course didn’t improve my story 200%. It actually improved it 1,000%! Irrelevancies were discarded, subsidiary characters came to life and revealed formerly hidden depths, events took on an internal logic and my main character, Aaron Stern, deepened and broadened before my astonished eyes. And I saw the same thing happen with everyone else’s stories as well.” – Gilbert Mane
You have found the dramatic spine of your story in The Second Draft.
The Third Draft is where all the hard work you have put into finding, developing, clarifying and structuring your story in the First and Second Drafts dramatically pays off.
The Third Draft is where we focus primarily on the writing. It is amazing how everyone’s ability to write a page turning story that engages your reader dramatically improves when you learn the art and craft of re-writing and editing.
“This has been my favourite course. I have loved focusing on the writing and the detail that needed to be fleshed out from Drafts One and Two. And I now see how important it was to get the structure in place before embarking on the Third Draft. I have learnt so much about the actual craft of writing in this course. The first lesson was about point of view and it has stuck with me ever since.” – Kylie Keogh
By following the course process, learning advanced tools and techniques and giving and receiving feedback enables everyone to take their writing and story to another level.
“The voice of each writer is much clearer and confident; there is a sense of finding and settling down with the voice. There is a shift from being a slave to language to owning it. This is really satisfying to see. As I was reading everyone’s work for this session, I felt that the writing in general has reached a close-to-publishable standard, better than many of the printed books I read.” Wallace Lee