March Newsletter & Upcoming Courses

Dear */fname/*,

Welcome to our March Newsletter.

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 Writers’ Gym or are writing your novel or screenplay.

Many people wonder with so many books having been written, how can they possibly write something that is unique and interesting.

Donald Maass, New York literary agent and author, says:

“Originality does not come from your genre, setting, plot, characters or any other element on which you work. Originality can only come from what you bring of yourself to your story. In other words, originality is not a function of your novel; it is a quality in you.

“Your take on the world is not only valid, it is necessary. Embrace the importance of what you have to share with the rest of us and you have the beginning of what makes novels great.”

In the very first session of Unlocking Creativity, writers discover how unique their voice is when they learn to tap into the power of their imagination, the true source of creative power. They then learn tools and techniques enabling them to craft the outpouring of their imagination into a form that connects their writing and stories with readers.

Click on the image below to watch a new video review of our 4-Week Unlocking Creativity Course. Ben’s video is the first one.

Quick Course Round-up

Unlocking Creativity Online course will commence next Wednesday 13 March with places still available at this stage. 

Unlocking Creativity Live will start on 2 May, after the Easter Break.

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.)

The 10-Month Novel & Script First Draft Online course starts 24 June 2019.

The next 10-Month Novel & Script First Draft Live course starting 7 September, with Roland, Kathleen & Richard is now open for enrolments.

The next Second Draft Online course start on 8 April. This course is fully booked. Please contact us to go onto the wait-list. The September course will open for booking soon.

The Second Draft Live 2020 course will be open for bookings soon.  The current course with tutors Roland, Zahid, Liz, Andrew & Richard is fully booked.

The next Third Draft Online course will start on 19 August, with limited places in this course.

Third Draft Live will commence again this coming November.

Third Draft Extension Live commences on 23 March 2019 – 3rd Draft writers please contact the office for your Discount Code to book asap.

Third Draft Extension Online with Kelly will commence on 22 July with limited places.

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.

Free Tickets to Advanced Screening

We have a few double passes to give away care of Madman Films, to see an advanced screening of
the new crime thriller ‘Destroyer’ starring Nicole Kidman.

When a fresh case exposes history from a former investigation, LAPD detective Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman) is forced to face her demons, in this genre-defining work from Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Æon Flux).

Event Cinemas at Bondi Junction, Sydney
Monday 18th March 2019 at 6.30pm

If you would like a ticket please email: with your name and mobile number.

Success Stories & Events

Rebecca Rocheford-Davies

Rebecca, one of our Novel & Script writers has a theatrical production – ‘Russian Transport’, opening this month in Sydney, at Darlinghurst’s Eternity Playhouse from the 9 March – 31 March.

A powerful and suspenseful drama, Russian Transport follows an immigrant Russian family struggling to survive in Brooklyn, NY.

“An engrossing moral thriller” – Time Out New York – “A must see” play” – Chicago Critic

Enter this Discount Code when booking to receive a discount for Writers’ Studio writers & friends: 4FRIENDS

For all information and tickets:  click here

Zahid Gamieldien

Zahid, one of our senior Novel & Script tutors has a new short story ‘The Children’ which has just been published through UK publisher Platypus Press.

“Gamieldien’s unsettling and visceral rural mystery shows that human brutality can come from where you least suspect it.”

To purchase a digital copy of The Children:  click here

Recent Course Feedback

Some snippets of the wonderful feedback that we receive back from recently completed courses. We update these each newsletter. They show what a large variety of writers get out of our writing courses.

“This course gave me and proved I had the tenacity to keep writing several times a week. It confirmed yet again that writing is my “Happy Place’. I’ve always stuck to the comfort of non-fiction writing, but in the last 4 weeks I really ventured out in to the creative world of fiction walking in the shoes of so many different characters I never knew were inside of me. Dashika, Unlocking Creativity Live Feb 2019

“Unlocking Creativity is right. The promise of the course is in the name and the course fulfils on that promise. I was at a point where I felt like I just couldn’t come up with ideas. But over the last 4 weeks I’ve come up with more ideas and even taken more action on old ideas that were at the back of my mind then I have in the past couple of years.” Ben, Unlocking Creativity Live, Feb 2019

“Over the past four weeks I’ve had my eyes opened to limitless possibilities; I’ve learned about story structure, character development and to practice that art of showing not telling and I’m lovin it.” Elise, Unlocking Creativity Online Jan 2019

“The sense of community the course facilitates along with the excellent guidance our tutor provided, all help in taking another step, followed by another. Now, all too soon, I’m at the end. But it doesn’t feel like the end, more like another beginning.” Robert, Unlocking Creativity Online Jan 2019

“The Writers Studio Unlocking Creativity course has blown my mind and given rise to an outpouring of something I could not control. I was a ball of unbridled emotion (I hear you laughing), ready to be set free. I felt like the over excited kid in class for most of it, but I didn’t care, it was too joyous to contain.” Janine, Unlocking Creativity Online Jan 2019

“I have loved every minute of this course – it has given me so much more than simply spitting out a story. …..knowing that I have had this story to escape to, these characters to speak to and love, has been a huge comfort and a real joy. Thank you for helping me get my mind onto a page!” Anne, First Draft Online, just completed Feb 2019

“This course is so clever. Very challenging, unique, inspiring, educational and just a real cracker!! I am very grateful, and count my blessings that I have had the opportunity to undertake and complete this fabulous course. I have learnt so much, and it has been the shining light in the year.” Annie, First Draft Online, just completed Feb 2019

“Thank you for a  brilliant course. I have been challenged, stretched, encouraged, surprised  and thrilled. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of producing a first draft of my first novel and can’t wait to move into second draft.” Siobhan, First Draft Online, just completed Feb 2019

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

Ten Month Novel & Script First Draft

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.

Mad Max - Fury Road“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.

Devil's Harbor, by Alex Gilly‘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.

Six Week – Character & Critique Short Story –

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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Eight Month Novel & Script Second Draft

“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

February 2020: Second Draft – LIVE

April 8: Second Draft – ONLINE  (Wait-list only)

Seven Month Novel & Script Third Draft

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

TBA November: Third Draft – LIVE

August 19: Third Draft – ONLINE

Twelve Month Third Draft Extension

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


What Makes Your Writing and Stories Unique -

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