Writers' Studio Philosophy and Team


Our team of passionate, experienced and dedicated tutors will guide you through the writing journey every step of the way.

Writing powerful stories, creating compelling characters and writing in a way that makes other people want to read what you've written doesn't just happen.

Our goal is to give you:

  • Tools and techniques that make your writing and stories come alive on the page
  • An understanding of how to write stories that move, entertain and inspire readers
  • A practical step-by-step process which enables you to write stories that will have readers wanting to know what happens next, while taking you and your main character on an emotional and spiritual journey of change
  • A stimulating and supportive live class or online environment with a group of like-minded writers and tutors that will keep you motivated and focused, bringing out the best in you and your work.
  • An experience where you tap into the power of your imagination and unlock your creative potential.

"I spent a lifetime teaching and talking about writing. Roland's workshops at last got me doing it."
Dr Arnie Goldman - Lecturer, English Literature

"It is an understatement to say I learnt more about writing from the workshops than I did in three years studying at university."
Ali Gripper 

Sign up for our Monthly Newsletter

 Roland Fishman is a journalist-turned-author who also happens to have a Midas touch with teaching people how to get in touch with their imaginations. Unlike many who think there's magic or romance in writing and that it's a gift bestowed by the gods on a special few, Fishman adheres to a far more pragmatic approach. He believes writing is a craft that can be learned, with techniques and tools that can be applied, like chisels, to characters and scenes. He's convinced that all of us can write a novel or short story that people want to read. The biggest barrier is learning how to silence our inner critic that tells us we have nothing original to say, and trusting the creativity of our unconscious minds instead."

The Sydney Morning Herald
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • Roland Fishman

    Roland Fishman has been a professional writer since 1980 and has published four 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, which he believes nourishes the spirit of the writer and reader. He founded the Writers’ Studio in 1992, drawing on his own career as a writer, as well as his experiences traveling the world studying the art and craft of writing from bestselling authors and elite teachers. He has also conducted workshops at The Sydney Writers’ Festival. Academy Award Winner George Miller, director/writer of Happy Feet, Mad Max, Babe and Lorenzo’s Oil said after working with Roland, “Roland is like a script shrink. He works on the story from the inside out and got me excited about the possibilities of the story we were working on. We were very much on the same wavelength. I left the sessions feeling excited and inspired.” Roland's novel No Man's Land - a Russell Carter Thriller was published in 2014.
  • Kathleen Allen

    Kathleen Allen is the manager of the Writers' Studio. She has worked as a professional actress, taught English and travelled the world as the Australian marketing manager for an international group of language schools. She has attended and participated in numerous international writing retreats and conferences. She runs Unlocking Creativity Live and the 10 Month Novel and Script First Draft Live course with Roland.
  • Richard Cornally

    Richard Cornally is an actor, a director, a producer, a teacher and a writer. He loves a good story in all its forms and takes special pleasure in helping a writer find the best possible expression of their story. Having studied at ATYP as a youngster, Richard went on to graduate from the Actors’ Studio Australia. He was offered a teaching position at the studio shortly after, and he has been teaching acting ever since. In 2013 his company, Sure Foot Productions, mounted their first independent theatre production to full houses and rave reviews. These days Richard shares his time between his role as tutor for the Unlocking Creativity Live and First Draft Online courses at The Writers’ Studio, Artistic Director of The Sydney Drama School and continuing to develop his own writing and acting projects.
  • Kelly Rigby

    Kelly Rigby is a freelance editor and coach who is passionate about helping writers tell their stories and polish their words. Over the past 20 years she has developed a unique combination of writing, marketing and teaching experience, and holds qualifications in creative writing (UTS), business and TESOL. Kelly has edited and assessed manuscripts from most genres, and mentored writers at all levels of ability, including two who went on to win Varuna Fellowships. She has also written two short films and numerous short stories, and been published in a Louise Hay book - Modern Day Miracles, as well as on the web. Kelly first came to the Writers Studio in 2004, where she completed the Unlocking Creativity, First and Second Draft courses and discovered she had a natural instinct for story structure. Since then, she has continued to study writing and hone her craft, and is at the final edit stage of her first book in a new urban fantasy series. Kelly works as an editor/tutor in our Fourth Draft Course.
  • Owen Ravenscroft

    Owen Ravenscroft's debut novel 'SINK OR SWIM won a Highly Commended at the FAW National Literary Awards, Christina Stead Award, 2013. He is now working on his third novel. He is a father of two who lives on Sydney's Northern Beaches. Owen tutors the Unlocking Creativity Online courses.
  • Jess Black

    Jess Black has written 12 books, acted and directed in theatre and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Film with Honours in Theatre Directing. She worked in television for drama producer John Edwards as a trainee script editor on the drama series Head Start. While working in the script department, she realised she wanted to write books. She completed Unlocking Creativity and the First and Second Draft courses with The Writers’ Studio. She worked at Random House as a writer on The Bindi Wildlife Adventure Series, a fictional series about helping endangered animals around the world. Then worked on the RSCPA Animal Tales series and wrote three books. Most recently she completed two books for an older Bindi series called Bindi Behind the Scenes. Jess does author talks in schools, writes for several publications and is currently working on a new children's book. She tutors writers in our 10 Month Novel and Script First Draft Online Course.
  • Nicholas Lathouris

    Nicholas Lathouris has enjoyed a long and successful career as an actor, director, script editor, and dramaturge contributing to more than 300 screen hours of popular, award-winning Australian film and television.First involved with the Writers’ Studio in 2003, while screenwriting at Kennedy Miller Mitchell, his on-going collaboration with George Miller as both screenwriter and dramaturge on the ‘Mad Max Suite’ explored its world across an array of media, including two feature film prequels, video game and graphic novel. Mad Max: Fury Road has been nominated for numerous awards around the world including Best Original Screenplay.Nico’s career encompasses directing and producing for theatre, film and television, cinematography, film editing and acting. As an actor, Lathouris was nominated for two Australian Film Institute Awards. His numerous credits as a Dramaturge include Heartbreak High, Wildside, Blue Murder, Looking for Alibrandi, Yolgnu Boy, Head Start, and Young Lions.
  • Ruth Fingret

    Ruth Fingret has worn many professional hats over the years working in industries ranging from IT to the not for profit sectors. She has skills in project management, training and development, coaching, strategic consulting and marketing. Ten years ago she pursued writing as hobby – since then studying with The Writers Studio and others. She now writes and directs for theatre, specialising in short form, and received two commissions for full length plays in 2013. She is a volunteer on the board of Actor’s Anonymous – a not for profit organisation that helps writers bring new scripts to the stage. She is passionate about stories that tell the truth (in the Robert McKee sense of the word).
  • Zahid Gamieldien

    Zahid Gamieldien is an author, editor, screenwriter, tutor, and lawyer. He has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a major in writing. He’s served as a member of the Australian Classification Board and has also worked as a solicitor in the areas of migration law, media law, and government. Since 2015, his fiction has been regularly published in major literary journals, including Overland, Meanjin, Mascara Literary Review, and Tincture. His short stories and television writing have also been shortlisted for awards, such as The Cupboard’s 2015 international short story award and the Australian Writers’ Guild’s John Hinde Award 2016. Zahid tutors writers in our Novel and Script First Draft Online Course, Second Draft Live and Online Courses, and Six-Week Short Story Courses. He is working on a collection of short stories, a television series, and a novel.
  • Stella Collier

    Two years ago Stella gave up her job in arts administration to finish her Master of Creative Arts at UTS. With her Masters and first novel complete, she’s excited about her career as a writer. Her short stories ‘I Saw My Stalker Last Night’ and ‘Kitty’ were published in the UTS Anthologies ‘Hide Your Fires’ and ‘The Evening Lands’. She is indebted to the Writers’ Studio for jolting her awake with an Unlocking Creativity course many years ago. Stella tutors our Six-Week Short Story courses and our Novel and Script First Draft Online. Meanwhile her new novel is taking shape…
  • Gillian Pick

    Gillian has had a varied career path ranging from a jockey to most recently a policy advisor in Local Government. What matters most to Gillian is interpersonal relationships, and how they can enrich a creative life. Gillian particularly enjoys writing fiction that provokes social awareness and is currently undertaking the Third Draft Novel & Script course.
  • Roger Joyce

    Roger is a screenwriter and producer, having written five feature screenplays. Roger headed-up Virgin Retail in Australia in the early 1990’s, before changing careers and becoming a full-time student of directing at NIDA. He has written and produced numerous shorts films, including the 1998 Tropfest finalist 'Jimmy'. Roger opened his own production company, billfilms in 2014 and amongst various projects has produced a children’s TV program in Vietnam and is currently developing an online comedy series. Roger tutors in the Novel & Script First Draft Online course.
  • Ingrid Studholme

    Ingrid is currently undertaking the Third Draft Novel and Scriptwriting course and has found the creative writing process to be a fascinating way of exploring the edges of our meaning making. Creative writing, meditation and the ocean have all been companions on her journey. Ingrid works as an executive coach and facilitator for clients operating in corporate, education, health, community and social enterprise sectors. She has a Master of Coaching Psychology and continues her learning journey around adult development, mindfulness and social enterprise. In her downtime, Ingrid can usually be found with her young family in or near the ocean.
  • Fiona Rose

    Fiona Rose had careers in Architecture and E-Commerce before becoming a full-time mum. She’s passionate about the importance of creativity in our lives. Since taking courses at the Writers’ Studio, several of her short science fiction and fantasy stories have been published in sci-fi zines and a professional Anthology. She’s been a finalist in an international Genre competition, but sadly didn’t win. Currently, she’s working on her first novel.
  • Graeme Woodrow

    Graeme has had a lifelong career in science and is keen to tell stories about the passion and adventure of being a scientist. A former research director and CEO in both the private and public sectors, he believes the best way to communicate science is through storytelling and is currently on the third draft of his first major story. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
  • Yasmin Khan

    Yasmin Khan is a full time mum, freelance writer and blogger about all things parenting related under the pseudonym Lylabellefleur. She has been with the Writers' Studio since 2008 and is currently in the midst of completing her first novel, a tale of love and loss set against the backdrop of the 1971 Liberation War in what is now Bangladesh.
  • Pia Riley

    Pia Riley has worked for several years as a lawyer in the area of human rights and social justice. She started studying with the Writers' Studio in 2006 and recently completed the Third Draft Course. Pia has a passion for storytelling and is also a volunteer tutor at Sydney Story Factory, a not for profit creative writing centre encouraging young students' creativity. Pia is a tutor for the Unlocking Creativity Online Course and 10 Month Novel and Script First Draft Online Course.
  • Andrew Blanch

    Andrew Blanch is a Senior Online tutor for the Novel & Script courses and Short Story courses. He also shares tutoring duties with Roland in the Second Draft Live courses. Andrew was personally invited by Roland over 10 years ago to tutor due to his innate sense of story structure and his incredibly insightful and in-depth feedback and guidance.
  • Simone 'Reg' Gaunt

    Simone likes to help people learn through writing. After an Australian Society of Authors Mentorship for Writers & Illustrators, two Masters, one in Professional Writing & a second in Education, and a blue-chip Advertising Agency career, ‘Reg’ learned the big difference between storytelling and writing in her Second Draft course at the Writers’ Studio. Reg wears numerous hats including being a married mother of three sons. Whether presenting and facilitating workshops or attending them, she is inspired to develop her craft and other’s by tutoring Online Creativity.
  • Rowena Robinson

    Rowena was an elite US college gymnast whilst undertaking her B.Sc in Human Movement and Community Health at Southern Illinois University. She then taught in NSW high schools for 33 years and represented NSW at indoor volleyball for an unprecedented 15 years. Mother of 3 and grandmother of 6, Rowena is a studio artist and loves creating images in oils, as well as running her natural therapies clinic. Rowena has participated in 3 group publishing projects before coming to the Writers' Studio, where she is currently working on the second draft of her memoir.
  • Jim Holt

    As an actor Jim Holt is no stranger to storytelling and celebrates his 40th year as a professional actor. He’s writing a novel about his adventures in Moscow and is enjoying creating fiction and bending the truth. Jim is a tutor in our Unlocking Creativity Online courses.
  • Sarah Waddington

    Sarah Waddington is passionate about all things creative. She started her career as a Public Relations Consultant and later left the corporate world to start a family and her own bespoke jewellery business. She currently teaches Philosophical Ethics & sings in a Sydney based a cappella choir. What really makes her heart sing is inspiring and nurturing others to fulfil their creative writing dreams, just as the Writers’ Studio has done for her. She is currently in the process of writing the 3rd draft of her first novel with the Writers’ Studio and tutors Unlocking Creativity.
  • Jenny Fisher

    After three decades managing teams in local government, health and small business, Jenny is now working as a freelancer in creative pursuits. She is relishing her change of direction exploring photography, website design and copywriting. Currently studying Group Work using Expressive Arts, she aims to combine her love of consulting and facilitating groups with the creative arts. She is finishing her first novel with the Writers' Studio.
  • Helen Robertson

    Helen has worked with those who make the law and with those who break the law, first in the world of federal politics and then as a literacy teacher inside Long Bay Correctional Complex. She has a BA in Professional Writing from the University of Canberra, where she was awarded the Allen & Unwin Prize for Writing for Young People, a Graduate Diploma in Literacy and Numeracy from UTS and is an alumni of the Writers’ Studio. Helen tutors in the 10 Month Novel and Script First Draft Online course.
  • Denise Imwold

    Denise Imwold is a writer and editor who also worked for many years as a bookseller. She earned a BA in English literature and a Postgraduate Diploma in Editing and Publishing from Macquarie University, Sydney. Denise has contributed to a wide range of publications in fields such as arts and entertainment, history, travel, sport, gardening, health and spirituality. Her books include Cut!—Hollywood Murders, Accidents,and Other Tragedies (2005); 501 Must-Read Books (2006); Historica’s Women (2007) and Musica (2009). She completed her first novel through the mentorship of The Writers’ Studio and has tutored our writers in the Online Unlocking Creativity and Short Story courses since 2008.
  • Clare Gillis

    Clare holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and communications. In her day job she writes copy for annual reports, websites, blogs and articles. An alumni of the Writers Studio she reads ferociously, has a passion for film and loves really good television.
  • Wallace Lee

    Wallace comes from writing plays to writing novels. He completed an Arts Degree in Theatre Studies at UNSW and the Playwright Studio at NIDA. His plays have been performed at the Belvoir St Theatre. After a successful career managing projects in large corporate and government organisations, Wallace began with the Writers Studio in 2011. In 2014, he completed the 4th Draft Course and is currently finishing his first novel. Wallace hopes to bring his story telling passion and experience to help other writers develop their work.
  • Anna Kounis

    Anna Kounis works in a small dedicated marketing team at NewSouth Books and Publishing. She has been writing for more than ten years and having almost completed the Fourth Draft Course is on her way to finishing her first novel. Anna is passionate about the character journey and believes adversity is one of our greatest teachers. With this in mind, she takes great pleasure in exploring the opportunities for personal growth in characters under pressure. She has a diploma in teaching and tutors in the 10-Month Novel and Script First Draft Online course.
  • Louise Goggin

    Louise Goggin loves language and the ability of lines scribbled on paper to make us laugh, cry, and want to be a better person. She began studying with the Writers' Studio in 2009, and will soon finish her first novel. Louise has worked in science communication for 15 years, publishing science stories in science magazines and journals. She tutors in the 10 Month Novel and Script First Draft Online course.
  • Rachel Green

    Rachel Green loves story telling and its ability to connect people by tapping into shared human experiences. She believes writing can inspire us all to look at the world from a new perspective, giving our intellect a purpose, recounting experiences and frees the creativity within all of us. Rachel was a lawyer for 10 years and is now a devoted mother, meditator, and writer. Rachel looks forward to supporting others who have the desire to write. Rachel tutors Unlocking Creativity.
  • Shelley Kenigsberg

    Shelley has worked in-house with Harper Collins, Harcourt Brace, John Wiley, Macquarie University and has been Head of Macleay College’s Editing Diploma for the past 21 years. She works as an editor in our Fourth Draft Course.
  • Emma Kirby

    Emma Kirby first started writing poems and short stories at eight years old. She started studying at The Writer's Studio over four years ago and is currently finishing her first novel. As well as writing, Emma has over 17 years experience in marketing, specialising in the arts and music and she runs her own marketing business. Emma works part-time as a Professional Development Co-ordinator for the Australian Society of Authors. She is also a visual artist and loves drawing portraits of people and animals. Emma tutors our writers in Unlocking Creativity Online and the Intermediate Short Story courses.