The Writers' Studio. If your dream is to write, our courses will get you doing it.

December Newsletter & Upcoming Courses

Dear */fname/*,

Welcome to our December and final Newsletter for 2018.

As another year comes to an end, we’d firstly like to thank everyone who joined the Writers’ Studio and participated in our creative writing course during the year, and those who are currently working with us in our live and online programs, and those who start their courses in the new year.

We’d also like thank our wonderful tutors who do such a magnificent job of giving our writers the feedback, accountability and support they need to realise their creative potential.

We’d also like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and very Happy New Year, and we hope if writing is your passion, that you make a commitment to yourself and your creativity to realise your writing dreams and goals, whatever they might be.

Novel & Script Xmas January Shutdown Dates

Our official Xmas & January break for Novel & Script writers and tutors will commence on Saturday 21 December through to Sunday 20 January, although your tutor may start back a bit earlier, please check with your tutor directly.

Please note that office will be open during this period for bookings, enquiries and any technical issues.

Please Check Your Emails

Due to a technical issue from late October to mid November, many of our emails were going into people’s spam folders or were being filtered. If you were expecting a reply from us and you didn’t receive one, please email the office asap:

Writing Nourishes your Soul

At the Writers’ Studio, we believe that the act of writing nourishes the spirit of the reader and the writer. And if writing is your thing, it will add another dimension to your life as you tap into something bigger than yourself.

We always refer to this insightful quote by Joyce Carole Oates in Week Two of the Unlocking Creativity course:

“One must be pitiless about this matter of mood. In a sense, writing will create the mood. Generally I’ve found this to be true. I have forced myself to begin writing when I’ve been utterly exhausted, when I’ve felt my soul as thin as a playing card, when nothing has seemed worth enduring for another five minutes … and somehow the activity of writing changes everything.”

Jennifer Egan, the Pulitzer Prize winning author, puts it beautifully when she wrote:

“When I’m writing, especially if it’s going well, I’m living in two different dimensions: this life I’m living now, which I enjoy very much, and this completely other world I’m inhabiting that no one else knows about …

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Quick Course Round-up

Unlocking Creativity Live starts Thursday 17 January. Book now to ensure your place as this first course of the year always books out early.

Unlocking Creativity Online course will commence on 23 January.

Our next upcoming 6-Week course, the Writers’ Gym – Advanced Writing Techniques Online starts on 25 February and is a very popular course. (Unlocking Creativity is a prerequisite for this course and all of our courses.)

The 10-Month Novel & Script First Draft Online course starts 4 March 2019. (If you haven’t undertaken Unlocking Creativity, you will need to register and undertake Unlocking Creativity starting 23 January to be ready for your First Draft course in March.)

The next 10-Month Novel & Script First Draft Live Studio course with Roland, Kathleen & Richard starts on 9 March, and has only three places now open. (Reserve your spot now if you are planning on taking this course next year.)

The next Second Draft Online course will start on 9 April and is open for bookings.

Second Draft Live 3 February 2019 with tutors Roland, Zahid, Liz, Andrew & Richard is now fully booked.

The next Third Draft Online course will start on 11 February 2019, with limited places in this course. (Third Draft Live won’t start again until November 2019.)

12-Month Third Draft Extension Live commences on 23 March 2019. Third Draft Extension Online course with Kelly will commence on 22 July with limited places, and will be open for bookings soon.

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 Movie Passes

We have 10 double movie passes to give away to the new film ‘Colette’ starring Keira Knightley, based upon the life of the French novelist Colette.

Please note that the passes are only available for cinemas in Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide.

If you would like a double pass please email:

Success Stories

Carrie Kablean

Carrie has let us know that her first novel ‘What Kitty Did Next’ has been published by UK publishers Red Door.

Set in Regency England, ‘What Kitty Did Next’ continues the story of Catherine Bennet, one of the five Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice.

A coming of age story, with of course a smattering of romance, it is entirely faithful and respectful to Jane Austen’s spirit and time.

Congratulations Carrie!

Click here to order your copy

Ruth Fingret  

First Draft Online tutor, Ruth Fingret has let us know that her play ‘Your Call Is Important’ was voted Audience Favourite at the recent Crash Test Drama Series.

We guarantee that Ruth wins every competition she enters. And she is kind enough to say that everything she learnt about storytelling is through the Writers’ Studio. Thank you Ruth and congratulations again!

Please let us know if you have been successful in any of your creative writing projects. We love to celebrate all and any successes!

Jess Black

Jess’ latest children’s book ‘The Tales of Mr Walker’ published by Penguin, has been long-listed by the Australian Independent Booksellers in their Indie 2019 Awards.

‘The Tales of Mr Walker’ contains four delightful stories inspired by the real-life Mr Walker, a Guide Dog Ambassador who now calls the Park Hyatt, Melbourne home. Royalties from sales of this book go to Guide Dogs Victoria.

Congratulations Jess!

Click here to order your copy

Recent Course Feedback

Some snippets of the wonderful feedback that we receive back from recently completed courses. We update these each newsletter and we know there are a lot, but we are thrilled to share with you how much people get out of the courses.

“I loved the entire experience. The classes build on each other week on week… really helped me unpack & release my imagination in a cohesive & digestable way.” Suzanne, Unlocking Creativity Live 18 October 2018

Wish I had done this course before I embarked on my first independently produced short film.” Jenna, Unlocking Creativity Live 18 October 2018

“The course gave me a renewed appreciation of the art and craft of writing – especially the writing of fiction.” James, Unlocking Creativity Live 18 October 2018

“Richard did an awesome job instilling confidence in each individual a tough job considering we all came with different goals. Awesome course, would definitely recommend (& already have…)” Michele, Unlocking Creativity Live 18 October 2018

“The importance of structure and planning, and following the headlights. I was amazed by how well this actually worked! Have a structure, do some planning and the writing happens. To have this experience reinforced by such positive feedback was incredibly validating.” Helen, Unlocking Creativity Online 26 September

“The tutors were totally engaged in the process with us… Then our interactions and feedback with the other students … Whoa! My understanding of the art has taken an upward curve. I started out thinking it was all about my creativity that mattered, but I’ve since discovered that talent alone won’t cut it! Like a mountaineer (and you know all about that one) I have to push my leaden steps to get to the top.” Anita, Unlocking Creativity Online 26 September

“It’s been such a fascinating 10 months. I started having no idea how one would go about writing a book. I assumed books were meticulously planned and then you sat down and wrote it all. How wrong and relieved I was to find that the process is entirely different from what I imagined. I loved the fact that the story was free to reveal itself, that I didn’t know who would be in it where they would go, what they would be like and what they would do. My own story surprised myself, as did those of my fellow students. It’s been a fabulous experience. The structure is so helpful & the teaching was wonderful.” Penny, First Draft Live completed November 2018

“What an adventure! It’s given me the confidence and the skills to believe I have a novel waiting to escape. The Bronte Writers’ Studio is an incredible helpful and supportive experience. It will tackle any bidding writer and put the mood to succeed.” Mike, First Draft Live completed November 2018

“When I began the Writers’ Studio journey, I was half way into a first draft of a totally different story. Reluctantly at first I loosened my grip on it and listened to the wise advice of Roland, Rich and Kathleen to let the story emerge, rather than trying to control it. I am so grateful for this experience. I now have a story which warms my heart and gives me goose bumps when I reflect to those keen to know. This story has energy that I feel has come through me rather than from me. Now that I am at the end of the first draft, I’m amazed at the depth of the story, many layers and how it resonates with me and others. I am so looking forward to continuing on with this journey.” Rebecca, First Draft Live completed November 2018

“10 months ago I had a name and a kernel of an idea for a story. What happened next was beyond what I could have expected – not only a name change but a depth of character and what became a story outline developed, alongside priceless feedback from a group of peers all experiencing the same thing in their own way. Like others before me I’m finishing the course hungry for more and excited to see my characters do next.” Amelia, First Draft Live completed November 2018

“I have taken most of your courses and am blown away by the difference they have made in my writing – dedication (no more procrastination), turning snapshots into an interlinked story and giving me confidence in my work that I have never had before. This course has added a further dimension to my story and encouraged me to continue writing a story I had almost despaired over.” Jennifer, First Draft Online completed July 2018

“This has been an epic process. I have been trying to write a novel since I was twelve and I’ve finally achieved it! I would not have been able to manage it without the support and materials this course has offered me, and now I feel like this is a process I can undertake again independently. When I first signed up I was worried about the cost, but it has been worth every dollar. This was a fantastic course which fit in perfectly with my lifestyle and my learning style. I have recommended this course to everyone I know who has mentioned wanting to write a novel, I can’t recommend it enough.” Marnie, First Draft Online completed July 2018

“Thumbs up, round of applause. I have never attempted such a long online course before and am thoroughly impressed …. I’m so proud to finally have something, a draft, after 30 years of wanting to put my experiences into words and several failed attempts. I believe the real writing of the story is only just beginning.” Jacqueline, First Draft Online completed July 2018

“I’d like to thank the Writers’ Studio for your amazing course, and I’m so happy I stumbled across it on the internet one afternoon while lolling about in the backyard. It has truly changed my life.” Leanne, First Draft Online completed July 2018

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 – Writers’ Gym – Advanced Writing Techniques

course is ideal for writers who have completed Unlocking Creativity
and/or the Short Story courses and want to continue with their
creative journey.

you do the work and implement the advanced writing tools and techniques
in this course, you will be amazed at how much your writing and
story-telling ability develops.

powerful characters and build drama through opposition and conflict.
Learn the key ingredients of powerful dialogue. Write, edit and re-write
a short story.

This course will also prepare you for the 10 Month Novel & Script course should you want to do that down the track.

Receive targeted feedback on every piece you post.


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 3: Second Draft – LIVE – FULLY BOOKED

April 8: Second Draft – ONLINE

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 2019: Third Draft – LIVE

February 12: Third Draft – ONLINE

Twelve Month Third Draft Extension

Working with a professional editor, myself and the group has enabled 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

Writing Nourishes Your Soul -

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