Writers' Gym - Advanced Writing Techniques (Online)

Course Overview

The Writers' Gym - Advanced Writing Techniques is ideal for writers who have completed Unlocking Creativity and/or the Character & Critique Short Story Courses and want to continue with their creative process and learn more about the art and craft of writing. It is held online only, over a 6-week period each February.

If you do the work and implement the more advanced tools and techniques in this course, you'll be amazed how much your writing and storytelling abilities develop.

The course will also prepare you for our Ten Month Novel and Script First Draft Course should you want to do that down the track.

Next Upcoming



26 February 2018


6 Weeks






$445 incl. GST

Please Note

Unlocking Creativity is a prerequisite for this course.

The Intermediate 6-Week Online Courses are run only once per year.  Read More >

Course Details

The Tools and Technique you will learn:

One session = 10 days

Session One: Character Development

You will learn keys to creating compelling moral dilemmas, developing key character traits to flesh characters out and building three-dimensional opponents. Also how to invoke the power of subtext and inner dialogue. Making your characters come alive on the page and giving them depth and resonance.

Session Two: Dialogue

You will learn the keys to writing powerful dialogue.

Session Three: Desire, opposition and conflict

Create drama and focus by utilising the desire line. This is a key structure dynamic that will focus your writing and characters and draw readers into your fictional world and keep them there.

Create conflict through opposition. This is an essential key to creating dramatic fiction. It will force your characters to grow and keep your readers wanting to turn the page. Learning to create tension on the page is a vital skill of all good storytelling.

Session Four: Writing, re-writing and editing a short story

Put together everything you have learnt and write, edit, then rewrite an extended short story.

You'll learn re-writing and editing tools and techniques that will enable you to improve everything you have written.

You will also explore how story structure creates the emotion and makes it meaningful.

Targeted Feedback on every piece you post

You will receive feedback from your personal tutor on every piece you post. They will identify what you communicated through your writing, what worked and what could be improved or done differently using our targeted feedback templates.

Our feedback templates are designed to inspire and support you, help you develop an understanding of the craft and take your writing to the next level.

You will also be expected to provide two pieces of feedback for other participants in the class for every piece you post. The first step to becoming a better writer is to become a better and more discerning reader. 

Course Outcomes

This course will give you advanced tools and techniques to further develop your writing and storytelling skills, including:

  • the ability to develop characters that come alive on the page

  • keys to writing powerful dialogue 

  • the means to capture your character's voice through inner dialogue

  • structural techniques that will build tension into your writing and make your scenes more dramatic

  • editing tools that will enable you to lift the quality of your writing and stories

If you do the work and implement the tools and techniques, you'll be amazed how much your writing and storytelling abilities develop. 

Testimonials Writers' Gym Online (Online)

  • Dr Russell King

    "The Writer’s Gym is exactly that. A way to flex your cerebral muscles, engage parts of your body that have not been used for a while (if at all) and exercise your imagination. Like a gym, it is hard work but the rewards come with time as you see your writing take shape. On the micro level I have learnt the importance of structure to a piece and the delicate balance or dance with imagination and creative flair. It is easy to get that balance askew. Even in the narrow confines of our word limits it is possible to create
  • Alice Bhasale

    "I am so glad I did this second course. I am amazed at how much more confident I feel about approaching writing since the end of the Unlocking course and this one’s end - about the process, about putting ideas and words down on paper and not censoring them, and even about my ability to do so. This is probably the single most useful aspect of it for me – in the past I have never been able to write more than a few paragraphs because I would just go back and re-edit, judge it and finally abandon it. Having a structure
  • Vanessa Stubbs

    ‘Before I did the Unlocking Creativity course I knew I loved to write creatively but had no idea how I might start to channel that into something like a novel. The course teaches the basics of storytelling in a really accessible and inspiring way. Things like the importance of sensory detail in scene setting, writing a character’s emotion and conflict on every page. ‘The techniques really worked for me and I’m still a little bit amazed I was able to write a book and have it published using them. I refer to the notes I took during Unlocking Creativity even
  • Sharon Kernot

    "This is the third Writers' Studio course I have done and I have loved them all. What really works for me is having deadlines and exercises to work with. It is so easy to priortise everything else other than writing so it is great to put writing at the top of the To Do list for a change. The course has re-energised a stalled novel which I am now very much in the flow of – a great feeling. It was a pleasure to read so many wonderful stories and give and receive feedback."
  • Fiona Howland-Rose

    "The Writer’s Gym was the perfect follow-up to Unlocking Creativity for me. I had a lot of fun writing the exercises, and I learned a hell of a lot. I thought everyone else’s stories were wonderful. Seeing our writing transformed from the beginning to the end of the course showed me how powerful basic techniques are in communicating to a reader. I have been reading ‘The White Tiger’ while doing this course, and was struck by how the author had mastered the techniques we were being introduced to. At times I was overwhelmed by how well he did it. This
  • Emily Seresin

    "I have just finished the second WS course and in many ways it is like finishing one of the exercises: I immediately feel like I would like to start it all over again from scratch. It was great to see how some of the other students developed and I was really impressed with much of the work. What is amazing in these courses is to notice how different we all are."
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