Susannah got in touch to let us know Pantera Press has acquired the world rights for Between Husbands and Wives, a gripping domestic thriller set in Far North Queensland, in a two-book deal.
Between Husbands and Wives is a taut and twisty thriller with deliciously sinister touches. Centred around a couple’s relationship in the aftermath of a car crash, Susannah’s clever and assured writing perfectly suits the domestic thriller genre, creating vivid characters and pitch-perfect suspense scenes that will have you gripped from beginning to end.
Between Husbands and Wives will be published in July 2024, and we cannot wait for this book, congratulations Susannah!
Congratulations to our senior tutor, Zahid Gamieldien.
Zahid’s novel All The Missing Children has been picked by up by Ultimo Press, and is scheduled to be published in June 2024.
All the Missing Children is a literary horror novel about the effect that the enigmatic presence and mysterious disappearance of two children has on characters that are increasingly disconnected from the children’s lives.
We are beyond excited that Zahid’s novel will be out in the world next year – our warmest congratulations, Zahid – woo hoo 🎉
Zoe Coyle, one of our brilliant alumna, has let us know the exciting news that her second novel, The Dangers of Female Provocation has just been published by Ultimo Press.
Odessa Odin has it all – a successful career, an adoring husband and a close circle of friends to whom she is fiercely loyal. On the surface they’re living a glittering London life of wealth, but underneath this veneer lies painful truths of betrayal, neglect and unfulfilled ambitions.
It’s a tightrope of holding themselves and their marriages together as their men transgress the promises they made at the altar with the blithe entitlement they’ve enjoyed all their lives. For the women, there’s just too much to lose.
The Dangers of Female Provocation is a razor-sharp, delicious testament to the force of women stepping into their own power.
A huge congratulations to Maya Linnell, who has just let us know that her new novel Kookaburra Cottage will be released May 30 in paperback, eBook and audio. This is her fifth novel (!) and her latest release via publisher Allen & Unwin.
April Lacey is determined to lead her family’s Limestone Coast winery into the future, but soon discovers the crumbling historic building and her father’s reluctance to join the food tourism revolution are just the beginning of her uphill battle
English winemaker Connor Jamison has travelled to South Australia’s iconic wine region to learn from the experts and carve a name for himself in the industry. However, it quickly becomes clear that Connor’s past continues to nip at his heels.
Studio alumna, Zoe Coyle’s novel, ‘Where the Light Gets In’, is now available for general release.
Published by new Australian publisher, James Kellow’s Ultimo Press, Zoe’s debut novel is the first of a two-book deal. ‘Her voice is unique—authentic, full of wit, wise and gracious. Where the Light Gets In is a novel women will relate to as mothers, daughters, sisters, friends.’
Where the Light Gets In is the story of Delphi Hoffman ‘a wildchild living in London … finally getting her somewhat deliciously messy life together with a new love affair and the offer of a coveted job’ when she receives the phone call telling her her mother Inica’s terminal illness has reached its tipping point. Having promised her mother ‘a good death’, Delphi must return to Australia to help her euthanise.
To purchase a copy of ‘Where the Light Gets In’ click here
Emma, Writers’ Studio tutor and graduate, has let us know that her debut YA novel, Anomaly will be published by Affirm Press in 2024.
“This high-octane work of YA speculative fiction is filled with breathtaking action sequences, intrigue, snarky banter and romance. It will ultimately leave you questioning the power of memory and how far you would go to survive“, said Affirm’s press release.
Emma was a recipient of the 2020 Affirm Press Mentorship Award at Varuna, the National Writers’ House.
Studio alumna, Krew Boylan’s new Australian debut film, ‘Seriously Red’, has been screened at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas.
The Miranda Otto directed musical comedy about a Dolly Parton impersonator, written by and starring Krew, received a standing ovation and praise, including from Dolly Parton herself, who tweeted her support, following the film’s worldwide premiere at the festival.
Krew originally developed the story in our First Draft & Second Draft courses.
Congratulations, Krew !
Writers’ Studio alumna, Louisa Larkin has published seven books, including crime thrillers written as L. A. Larkin and cosy mysteries written as Louisa Bennet featuring Monty, a dog detective.
Her latest novel, Widow’s Island, published by digital imprint Bookouture, is now available and is described as ‘an absolutely nail-biting crime thriller with a heart-pounding twist.’ Lee Child described Widow’s Island as, ‘Fast and immersive … a really fine thriller.’
Louisa wrote, “Understanding the structure of a novel is essential if you want to be a writer. After a few books, the structure becomes second nature, a bit like riding a bicycle – you never forget. Roland’s course on structure all those years ago was invaluable to me.”
Erina Reddan, Writers’ Studio alumna and former ABC foreign correspondent & Walkley Award winner has a new literary suspense novel, The Serpent’s Skin published by Pantera Press.
It’s a cold and wintery night in 1968 and ten-year-old JJ’s mother isn’t home. The cows are milked, the pigs fed, and her dad won’t answer any questions.
The four children survive as best they can in a cloud of their father’s lies and clear misery, dealing with their mother’s absence in their own ways. But it’s always been JJ’s job to cause trouble, and her sleuthing wreaks havoc in their tight-knit community.
Fourteen years on, JJ has a new life, a loving partner and a good job, but she finds herself being pulled back in to the unsolved mystery of her childhood. While pretending to have made peace with her father’s dishonesty, she organises a final farewell for her mother so they can all put the past behind them. Will the tragic truth finally set them all free?
“The Serpent’s Skin is a gripping, literary crime novel about male power and the secrets that can haunt a family. Most of all, it’s about the many ways we prove our love.” Christos Tsiolkas
Studio alumna, Loraine Peck’s debut novel, Second Son, has been published by Text Media.
Duty always has a price. When Ivan Novak is shot dead putting out his garbage bins in Sydney’s west, his family wants revenge, especially his father Milan, a notorious crime boss. It’s a job for the second son, Ivan’s younger brother Johnny. But Johnny loves his wife Amy and their son Sasha. Torn between loyalty to his family and love for his wife, Johnny plans the heist of a lifetime.
“The Second Son is a brilliant action-packed crime debut that creates a world where honour is everything, violence is its own language, and love means breaking all the rules.”
Studio alumni, Sarah Thornton second novel ‘White Throat’ has been published by Text Publishing.
Disgraced former lawyer Clementine Jones is on the shores of paradise—Queensland’s Great Sandy Straits—trying to outrun her past.
Bored with her house-sitting gig, she becomes a reluctant recruit to the local environmental group, campaigning to save an endangered turtle as developers close in. Then a body is found at the base of a quarry, and Clem’s world is turned upside down.
The police say suicide. Clem’s convinced it was murder. She also knows she’s the only one interested in tracking down the killer. Well, the only one apart from her friend Torrens, ex-con and reformed standover man. And he’s got his own fight on his hands.
Congratulations again, Sarah!
Writers’ Studio alumna, Maya Linnell, is launching her third novel, Magpie’s Bend, with publisher Allen & Unwin.
A writer from our First Draft and Second Draft courses, Maya’s novels, Wildflower Ridge and Bottlebrush Creek, have made the bestseller lists in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Weekend Australian and the finals in the Australian Romance Readers Awards. Both novels have featured in the Better Reading Top 100, with Bottlebrush Creek last month being announced in 13th position in the 2021 list, as voted by readers.
Elizabeth, academic, senior columnist at SMH and Studio alumna’s latest non-fiction book Killing Sydney is published by Pan Macmillan.
For Elizabeth Farrelly, Sydney was love at first sight. But in 2012, looking on aghast at the scale of the development firestorm poised above the city, she made a silent vow: I will do what I can to protect you. In this book, she calls on us to wake up and do the same.
As an architectural graduate, academic, city councillor and writer, Farrelly has considered what makes cities tick for more than thirty years.
Killing Sydney is part-lovesong, part-warning; a parable for all our cities and how we shape them for the future. It lays down a gauntlet for the enrichment and protection of a green, beautiful, affordable, sustainable, heritage-grounded and accessible city.
Writers’ Studio alumni, Alex Gilly’s second novel ‘Death Rattle’ has just been published in the US, by Tor/Forge, an imprint of Macmillan.
Alex’s new book has already received great reviews including one from the New York Times.
‘Heart-thumping … [Nick Finn and Mona Jimenez] are a super new team of crime-busters.’ New York Times
‘Death Rattle’s’ strong focus on character and the gripping immigration court drama will keep readers turning the pages.’ Publishers Weekly
‘Death Rattle’ is a solid thriller on a timely subject and will definitely strike a chord with critics of the U.S. government’s immigration policy.’ Booklist
‘Death Rattle’ is available in bookstores throughout the United States and Canada, and through all online retailers.
Rosemary, one of our Novel & Script writers who let us know that that she has published her novel Alfredo.
She says “Many moons ago I took a deep breath and jumped into your Unlocking Creativity course and followed along for the first, second and one of the third draft courses.
The result is, I went from zero confidence in my ability, to being the proud mother of two novels and a short story contest winner.”
Alfredo takes the reader into the spiritual realm surrounding mortals in the ordinary moments of life and the extraordinary circumstance of death.
Click here to buy Alfredo on Booktopia
Alyce, an Unlocking Creativity alumni has let us know she has published the second novel in her triology, Pray To The Dead,
This novel is an apocalyptic dystopian thriller that looks at how society can be polarised and fragmented in order to serve the purpose of the powerful.
She says “Thanks for all your support!”
Click here to buy Pray To The Dead on Booktopia
Susannah got in touch to let us know her debut novel has been picked up by a publishing house and is due to hit bookshops in June 2024.
Susannah goes on to say ‘The novel would never have come about if not for The Writers’ Studio. My inspiration began from a short story I wrote while doing the genre course (thriller). I received so much positive feedback for that story and although the final novel bears very little resemblance, the setting and main characters began in my head while doing this course.’
We cannot wait for this book, congratulations Susannah!
Johan Du Toit
Johan contacted us to let us know that his book, a collection of stories, Meandering Road has been published by Broadcast Books.
“The stories in Meandering Road were inspired by images and gave Johan the freedom to explore characters and draw on his personal experiences in Australia, the United States, South Africa, and beyond. The result is a collection that celebrates the lives of regular people.
… A young man embarks on a journey across outback Australia in search of his father, on the other side of the world an innocent soul finds himself on death row; a family responds to the new South Africa at the end of the apartheid era; an only daughter confronts her mother about a family secret; a classical musician reflects on the privilege of having an older sister who is always there to take care of him…”
“Meandering Road is a journey through many lives, and they all make it worth taking that road to meet them. A lovely work.” William McInnes
To purchase a copy of Meandering Road click here
Karen Waldman, who undertook our Unlocking Creativity course, has let us know she has published her novel, Sidnie Meets Uncle Sam.
“For Sidnie, the smart, handsome (if not quite prize-winning) cocker spaniel, life at home in Australia is just fine, but when Mum decides to spend a few years living on a Christmas tree farm in America, Sidnie finds himself transported to the other side of the world.
Through his own words, Sidnie tells of the thrills, struggles and delights of living amongst Christmas trees, running into intimidating stags and gun-toting deer hunters, whilst playing hide-and-seek with friendlier wildlife and chasing squirrels as they gather nuts for winter.”
To purchase a copy of Sidnie Meets Uncle Sam click here
Harry P. Russell
Harry emailed to let us know that he has published his novel, Gull Against the Wind.
In the late 1950s the fledgling KGB trains a young couple as deep sleepers. The couple’s task is to rebuild a KGB intelligence network in Canberra that has been damaged by the defection of former operatives, Vladimir and Yevdokia Petrov.
Soon after their arrival in Canberra, the KGB finds itself blindsided when two of its people defect to MI6 and are also sent to Canberra. MI6 uses a Canberra journalist, Rufus Delaney and his team to debrief the two whistle-blowers before the KGB can get to them.
Delaney and his team must navigate its way through a series of assassinations, blackmail and other operations to achieve their end. When Rufus discovers a link in Canberra to the JFK assassination, he suddenly becomes the next person on the KGB’s hit-list.
To purchase a copy of Gull Against the Wind click here
Juls, who did our Unlocking Creativity course emailed to let us know that she has self-published her first non-fiction book, Secrets of a Superhost – How to become an Airbnb rockstar.
She also wrote that ‘the Writers’ Studio was my first foray into writing and starting this amazing journey for me. It was such a hard fought slog but I persevered and am so proud of what I have achieved.’
“With a passion for sharing her Airbnb secrets, Juls Rollnik is a Superhost, author, property developer, and a mum. By a twist of fate, she fell into the world of Airbnb. After her husband’s brush with death and faced with the prospect of raising two children alone, Juls embarked on a mission to find financial independence. She discovered that her ability to make people feel special and her desire to create a fabulous experience for her guests combined to make her a rockstar Airbnb Superhost.”
To purchase a copy of Secrets of a Super Host click here
Anne contacted to let us know she has published her book, ‘Horse Whispers’.
Sixteen horses from various backgrounds have come to live and work together on a property in Australia. Straight from the horses’ mouths, we hear about their work and their friendships, their likes and dislikes. They share what makes them sad, happy, annoyed, fearful or grateful. In so doing they teach us that horses have feelings too.
While aimed at children, this delightfully presented book teaches readers of all ages that horses experience feelings of joy, sadness, gratitude and loneliness.
To purchase an e-copy of ‘Horse Whispers’ click here
Studio alumna, Johanna has been long-listed for the Hawkeye Manuscript Development Prize for her manuscript, ‘A World of Silence’.
A fantastic achievement.
Fiona, one of our Short Story tutors, has let us know that one of her stories has been published in Andromeda Spaceways Magazine (one of Australia’s two long running SFF short story zines) and has been selected for their annual ‘Best Of’ anthology.
Studio Alumna, L.A. Larkin’s latest nail-biting crime thriller, The Safe Place, published by Bookouture, is now avaialble in both hard copy and ebook formats.
Her heart pounds at the sound of footsteps outside her small cabin in the woods. The snap of a twig tells her someone is close by. As she treads lightly towards the back door, she says a silent prayer—don’t let him find me…
Everyone in Eagle Falls knows Jessie Lewis. Ever since she reported her boyfriend, fire chief and local hero, for beating her, she’s been an outcast from the small town. But when someone sets fire to a house in the woods, killing the entire Troyer family in their beds, the locals turn on her once again. And when rumors circulate about her very public argument with Paul Troyer, they take it as proof that she killed them.
To purchase a copy of click here
Lenora is a Torres Strait Islander storyteller. After finishing her First Draft course with tutor, Robin Shaw, Lenora entered and has won the inaugural ‘Boundless Mentorship’ supported by Text Publishing, for a work of historical fiction inspired by the life of her grandmother.
“It is a love letter to my grandmother, a proud Erub woman, and all my grandmothers and mothers who did so much with so little.
“Set during the 1930s leading up to and involving the Second World War, the story highlights the tensions between black and white Australians and how a community of Torres Strait Islanders banished to the mainland lived, loved, struggled and triumphed.
“Lenora’s winning story, with the working title Pearl of Shantytown, is the first piece of writing she has submitted for publication or competition.”
Kelly Adam, Novel & Script course alumna, has been long-listed in the prestigious US Page Turner Awards for her manscript. She is also currently working with US based agents and editors.
Writers’ Studio alumni, Loraine Peck’s debut novel, Second Son has just won the 2021 Best Debut Crime Fiction Prize in the Ned Kelly Awards.
Geraldine, an Unlocking Creativity writer has let us know that she has published her novel Shee-Oak.
A modern drama, Shee-Oak by Geraldine Star is a testimony to the power of a stranger to undertake a journey through alcohol, pills and romance to help transform a difficult young woman’s life.
To download an e-book of Shee-Oak click here
Tanya, who undertook our Novel & Script courses, has a new e-book, The Valkyrie’s Viking.
As the daughter of King Aric’s most trusted Huscarl, Brenna is well-schooled in the art of battle and weaponry. Vali is a seasoned warrior preferring the freedom of the open seas.
Brenna and Vali’s young love is torn apart when the King offers Brenna’s hand in marriage to the Jarl of his most important trading centre. Believing this to be the will of the gods and a prophecy revealed to her as a child, she agrees to the marriage.
Death brings Brenna and Vali together again and she must choose between Vali and the prophecy once more. Her fate has been determined by the gods, but is it the destiny Brenna has always believed in?
The Valkyrie’s Viking is Book 1 in The Valkyrie of Birca series.
Noreen contacted us to let us know that she has published an illustred children’s book based up a story she wrote in the Genre Short Story course last year.
Billy’s Tree-Mendous Adventure is based on the true story of a young boy in the 1920’s who had a speech impediment. All the kids used to tease him and laugh at him when he would recite his little poem.
Billy’s story is in honour of this young boy and all those children who feel different. It is also about having the courage to believe in yourself.
Zahid, one of our senior tutors, has had one his short stories selected to be published in the University of Technology, Sydney’s 40 Year Anthology collection. The Editorial Committee curated the final selection from over 1000 works.
The Moving Pen
The Moving Pen are group of writers who met in our Live courses, and have continued to write and publish stories on their own website.
They have just published a selection of their stories in a new book titled, The Moving Pen, showcasing a variety of tales involving horror, crime, psychodrama, comedy and romance. It’s available now both online and in print.
Congratulations, Robert & The Moving Pen group!
One of our tutors, has had a short story, titled Glamoured, published under a pen name, in the online speculative fiction magazine, Abyss & Apex.
Aylish, one of our online tutors, has let us know that she has won Second Prize in a Short Story competition, run by the University of Sydney’s Honi Soit newspaper.
Jo Filshie Browning
Jo, contacted us after many years, to let us know that her non-fiction book, Scientifically Speaking: How to speak about your research with confidence and clarity, is being published in June.
“A must-read for anyone who is passionate about their research; who wants to communicate complex information effectively; who cares about securing grant funding or investment, or who cares about advancing their research career… it is engaging, direct and highly effective. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
Elizabeth let us know that a short story of hers will published soon as part of an Anthology of Short Stories to be published by Hot Doggy Press.
We are thrilled to announce that Zoe, well known actor and Studio alumna, has been offered a book deal with Ultimo Press and we re-print their press release below:
“We are elated to be welcoming the remarkable Zoë Coyle and her mesmerising, unpredictable and passionate novel, Where the Light Gets In, to Ultimo.
Delphi Hoffman, a wildchild living in London is finally getting her somewhat deliciously messy life together with a new love affair and the offer of a coveted job – until she receives the phone call she hoped would never arrive…
This is a novel about hope, grief and grace for anyone who has ever loved, lost, felt alone and broken, but dared to rise from the ashes.
Where the Light Gets In will be published in April 2022.”
Susan let us know that her new book Glasgow, The Heritage You Left Behind is now available as an e-book.
Glasgow 1948. Twenty-three-year-old sculptor Ellie Gilmartin grew up in the shadow of her father’s torment following his service in World War I. Believing her mother died when she was a child, the revelation that Finella had left her husband and daughter, leads Ellie to travel to Australia. After bureaucratic obstacles, psychological and physical threats Ellie discovers the truth about her parents’ difficult lives, in the process learning that she cannot change the past, nor assume responsibility for the deeds of her parents.
Harry P. Russell
One of our alumni contacted us to let us know that he has published his novel, ‘The Clenched Hand’.
On New Year’s Day in 1963, a CSIRO scientist and a young woman are found dead on a Sydney riverbank. Is it suicide, murder or foreign interference? ASIO operative Oscar Riddell follows a trail of Satanism, superstition and revenge – a high stakes game of betrayal and obfuscation, as he races to prevent a Chinese death squad assassinating two world leaders.
Sharita, one of our Novel & Script course writers, has published a new novel, Original Sinner.
One mistake cost Eve her home, her reputation, her sons, and her marriage. She’s desperate for a second chance, but the only offer she has is from the devil…
Eve didn’t die. She’s been on a mission on Earth for some time.
She drives a pickup, wields a sword and is looking for redemption.
Ingrid who undertook our First Draft course, has published her first novel, Emilie.
Sixteen-year-old Emilie Lefroy is searching for her identity amid the bloody 16th century French religious wars. Emilie laments being born a female and of noble birth and desires to become a healer, and no one is going to stand in her way, not her devout Huguenot parents nor her malicious brother or her scheming betrothed.
Emilie’s plans of escape are disrupted by the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre and she must decide whether to flee France and save herself, or stay and help other Huguenots survive a copycat massacre in Rouen.
Emilie is a captivating adventure of self-discovery that is brimming with raw emotions and heartbreak.
Kristen, Writers’ Studio alumna, contacted us to let us know she has published her book, After Party.
Augie is a woman caught up in her past. Her brother, Joe, has been missing for several years. He was everything to Augie, but she didn’t fight hard enough to find him and it haunts her.
After trying to hide a miscarriage, her boyfriend has left, she has lost her job, and it’s the perfect time to become an amateur investigator and find out what really happened to her brother.
After tracking down an old boyfriend of Joe’s, she lands in Kings Cross and begins stalking Joe’s ex, Tomás. Now Tomás is missing, and Augie feels like she is being watched.
“Augie is so well drawn – complicated, neurotic, out-of-place, regretful, driven, scared, scarred, sad – and despite having every reason to crawl up into a little ball, she forges her path by inches. She is a hero.”
Senior Writers’ Studio tutor, Robin Shaw, currently attending AFTRS’ MAS program, is hosting a free live event of a play that she has written, Beneath the Soulskin. It will be performed by actors, Lieschen Pogue and Bradley Stryker.
Join Robin and her key creatives to talk about collaboration across borders, the creative process, and the future of the project, and the new direction it will be taking.
Beneath the Soulskin is the story of Charlie, a melancholy young woman, who finds herself adrift in a boat on an uncharted sea at night with a grim Ferryman. The Ferryman gives her a choice: the price of passage, the tales of woe of the women in her family… or forfeit her soul!
Chronicling three generations of love and loss by exploring how a shared superstition can create a cycle of self-destruction within a family and by unraveling the ties that bind her to the past, Charlie might be able to break free from her bonds and save her soul.
Date: Saturday, 17th April 2021 at ESCAC Rehearsal Space, 34-40 Burton Street, Darlinghust
Connie, who is currently undertaking the First Draft Online course, has let us know that a story she started in Unlocking Creativity and she later titled ‘The Little Girl From Swatow’ was chosen as a Judge’s Choice in the 2020 Hammond House International Literary Prize.
Connie’s story will be published in Hammond House’s 2020 anthology of award winning short stories, titled ‘Survival’.
Claire who undertook Unlocking Creativity and our Writers’ Gym course, emailed to us to let us know she has kept up her writing and has been Shortlisted and won third places in the ‘The Creatives Journal’. She goes on to say “these successes however small, could not have been achieved without your help. Editing is not my favourite past time, hence only third place, but I did not ever think I could write successfully.”.
Cecilia contacted us to let us know that she has developed a series of podcasts titled, Brave New Women.
Cecilia’s podcast series is the culmination of six months connecting to extraordinary women from around the world; a doctor working with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders, a Norwegian anthropologist working with the Pacific Island states on climate change, another who trains park rangers in developing countries. ‘I am hoping these women will inspire others to live their dreams.’
Some of the episodes are in English and some are in French.
Writers’ Studio alumni, Maya’s second novel ‘Bottlebrush Creek’ has just been published by Allen & Unwin.
Between managing a bustling beauty salon, hectic volunteer commitments and the lion’s share of parenting two-year-old Claudia, Angie McIntyre barely has time to turn around. And with each passing month, she feels her relationship with fly-in, fly-out boyfriend Rob Jones slipping through her fingers.
When Rob faces retrenchment, and the most fabulous fixer-upper comes onto the market, Angie knows this derelict weatherboard cottage will be the perfect project to draw their little family together.
There’s just one catch: the 200-acre property is right next door to Rob’s parents in south-west Victoria.
Australian actor and Writers’ Studio alumni, Krew Boylan has let us know that the story and screenplay that she first developed at the Studio, is now in the shooting phase.
Fellow Australian actor Rose Byrne’s Dollhouse Pictures is producing the feature, titled ‘Seriously Red’, with Robyn Kershaw Productions and will star Krew, Rose Byrne and an ensemble cast.
The feature is currently being filmed in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.
Tanya, a Novel & Script alumni, contacted us to let us know that her story has been published as part of an Anthology of Romance stories titled ‘Christmas at Kissing Point’, including five tales of Christmas love from five Australian authors.
Home for Christmas after a messy breakup, heartbroken Rae had almost forgotten about her marriage pact with her teenage sweetheart, Alan, until he turns up as promised on her thirtieth birthday. But a pact made when they were new adults may not be strong enough to overcome their past hurts and give them a merry Christmas together.
Daryl, a Novel & Script alumni, contacted us to let us know that he has published his novel ‘Pointing the Bone’.
Archie Stenmark is sent on an assignment to Byron Bay to cover the story of curse cast on his father’s family by local Indigenous elders.
While Archie is researching the curse, his father tries to clear his name of a crime that the town still believes he committed in his youth. When trouble erupts, Archie teams up with an indigenous lawyer to fight his powerful family’s interests.
Zahid, one our Senior Novel & Script tutors and alumni, has let us know that his novel ‘The Children’ has been long-listed for the 2020 Richell Prize.
Hachette Australia, along with the Richell family is presenting the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers for 2020, in partnership with The Guardian Australia and The Emerging Writers’ Festival.
Michelle Ahern Bevans
Michelle has emailed to let us know she has published a collection of her poetry.
Spanning two decades of material, the vibrant and rhythmic poetic style captures the light and shade of everyday moments, the nuances of humanity and the relationships that bind us.
A stirring first collection that delves into loss, authenticity, femininity and existence – Michelle’s self-expressive style creates an open space for the reader to linger, taking what they need and creating their own meaning.
Colleen Goth & Zoe Downing
Colleen, a Studio alumni, has let us know that her novel ‘July 13’ has been long-listed for the 2020 Richell Prize.
Zoe Downing, another alumni also made the long list with novel, ‘After the Show’
Congratulations Colleen & Zoe!
We received an email from Mark, a Studio alumni, to let us know his novel Volcanic Winter, a timely climate change thriller, has been published with Archway Publishing.
President of the United States Angus Probin does not believe in playing fair; he only believes in winning. Vice President Robert Jenkins has always been a respected politician and lawmaker.
Now, Probin has been fed an insane idea. He is convinced that global warming can be reversed through military action and guarantee his reelection. It’s madness—and Jenkins realizes it.
Gemma contacted her Unlocking Creativity tutor to let know that a poignant piece of non-fiction she had written during her course had been published in the Sydney Morning Herald.
We met once at the height of the pandemic. Then he went missing. My plan that afternoon was to take my time walking along the base of the cliffs and then head up the Giant Stairway at the Three Sisters, but as the afternoon shadows started to lengthen, fear crept in.
Nicole, who is curently finishing her First Draft course, has let us know that two of her short stories ‘Close to Heaven’ and ‘Just Alice’ have been published in anthologies this year. And her debut historical fiction novel ‘Lament’ is being released this October with Hawkeye Books.
In June 1880, the reign of the Kelly Gang ended – guns blazing – in a fiery siege at the Glenrowan Inn. Ned Kelly survived, only to be hanged four months later. In this re-imagining of Australia’s most notorious bushranger, Ned is given the chance to keep his band of brothers together and build a better life.
We received an email from OMJ Ryan, who took our Unlocking Creativity in 2008, letting us us know he has published the fourth book in his ‘Deadly’ series, through Inkubator Books.
When fifteen-year-old Hollie, daughter of the UK’s biggest munitions dealer vanishes without a trace, the race is on to find her. The family’s worst nightmare is realised when they receive a video of Hollie tied to a chair and ransom demands. DCI Jane Phillips is assigned to the case. As the pressure mounts, can Phillips find Hollie before it’s too late? Or will this investigation signal not only the death of the Major Crimes Unit but one of her beloved team as well?
Emma Lord, one of our Novel & Script writers and a Studio tutor, has just been awarded a prestigious Varuna ‘Affirm Press’ Fellowship for her YA manuscript, which Emma developed at the Studio.
Congratulations Emma, we are so thrilled for you and your story!
Theresa Miller, one of our Novel & Script alumni, has let us know that she has published her debut novel, The Spin Doctor’s Wife.
Megan is desperate for a baby, running hard on the IVF treadmill and heading for the edge. Meanwhile, her PR spin-doctor husband, Laurie is distracted by very different desires. Enter Carla, an ambitious young singer, who can give them both what they want—at a price.
Set in Sydney against a backdrop of corporate cover-ups and the cult of celebrity, The Spin Doctor’s Wife is fast-paced, heartbreaking and funny.
“Theresa Miller perfectly captures her characters with empathy and insight. If you enjoyed Allison Pearson’s, I Don’t Know How She Does It, you’ll love The Spin Doctor’s Wife.” Petronella McGovern, bestselling author of Six Minutes
Margaret, a studio alumni (who some of you may remember from her time working in the office at the Writers’ Studio, or as a classmate), has recently published her first novel, ‘Call Me Kismet’, under the pen name PJ Mayhem.
(Anyone who has done a face-to-face class with Roland should keep an eye out for the reference to the pop-up toaster technique!)
Kismet’s destined to fall in love … but that’s not the future she had in mind. With all signs pointing to the one person who isn’t interested, fate is going to need a helping hand—if she’s to trust it at all …
“Really, really funny and a great read … from the opening paragraph I was laughing.” Ian Andrew-Book Reality*
Congratulations Margaret !
To purchase a copy of Call Me Kismet, click here
We received an email from one of our writers, Emma, “I just wanted to let you know that thanks to what I learned through the Unlocking Creativity course, one of my short stories (Opting In), has been published by the ‘Literary Yard’ today. I am shocked and thrilled. I would never have had the confidence to put my stories out there had it not been for your support.”
Robert Wilcher, one our First Draft writers, along with a small group of other writers, has set-up a website to showcase their short stories which they will be writing and putting up on this new site every month.
And they are looking to hear from readers.
When you read one of their short stories, they are encouraging readers to leave constructive, thoughtful feedback.
We recently received an email from one our writers, Robert: “The NSW Govt Seniors Card, (in association with Fellowship of Australian Writers NSW), recently ran a short story competition. There were thousands of entries. I’m pleased to report that my 1000 word story entitled ‘The Crop Duster’ was selected and with 50 others will be published soon. I will be called to meet the Premier and the Arts Minister at an award ceremony in Macquarie Street later this year. I am delighted and must report that I could not have done it without you all!”
We also received an email from another of our writers, Vivien, who has also been shortlisted in the same NSW Seniors Short Story compeition.
Vivien’s short story will be also published and she will also go to the NSW Parliament for the ceremony.
Oliver, a Writers’ Studio alumni, wrote to let us know that he has published his novel ‘Breeda Looney Steps Forth’ with deGrivelo Publishing, and it already has great reviews on Goodreads.
Breeda Looney tells herself she’s happy with her life in a small Irish fishing village. Sure, there are days she talks to no one but the cat, but then Breeda makes a shocking discovery that flips her world upside down.
Her father, said to have died when Breeda was a child, might actually still be alive. As she digs up the family dirt to find him, Breeda begins to wonder… has she taken a step too far?
Congratulations Oliver !
To pre-order a copy of Breeda Loony Steps Forth click here
Mandy, an alumni and author who had great success with a series of educational text books for school children, has recently published her first novel ‘Love Song’.
Jessie Morgan’s life is okay. She enjoys her long nights with Netflix, guzzling red wine, and eating mountains of chocolate.
But Jessie’s world is about to be shattered when an old love, dances back into her life and she becomes friends with the terrifying foodie, entrepreneur and cake lover. Her industrial relations specialist, and old leftie husband Jeff, thinks Jessie should just stay the way she is. And it’s too late to change at fifty anyway, isn’t it?
A story of love, music, dancing in the moonlight, women’s friendship and cakes. Love Song is an uplifting novel about finding hope.
Purchase a copy of Love Song: here
Eve let us know that she has published her personal development book, Ignite Your Power: Unmasking the Five Faces of Anger.
She writes that it took her 13 years to finish, but the breakthrough came when she did the Online Unlocking Creativity course . “I discovered a profoundly different way of enabling words to flow through me. My writing markedly improved—for me this was a breakthrough I repeated the course a year later and could see the improvements in my writing.”
A fictional story, that Eve started in Unlocking Creativity was also awarded an Honourable Mention in the 2014 Writer’s Digest international short story competition. “This was my first validation that I could write.”
Purchase a copy here
Sarah Thornton’s debut novel ‘Lapse’ has been published by Text Publishing.
“All it took was a lapse…a momentary lapse, to bring Clementine Jones’ world crashing down. Now she’s living like a hermit in small-town Katinga, coaching the local footy club. She’s supposed to be lying low, but here she is, with her team on the cusp of their first premiership in fifty years—and the whole bloody town counting on her, cheering her on.
So why the hell would her star player quit on the eve of the finals? It’s a question she wishes she’d left alone. Other people are starting to ask questions too—questions about her. Clem’s not the only one in town with a secret, and as tension builds, the dark violence just below the town’s surface threatens to erupt. Pretty soon there’ll be nowhere left for Clem to hide.
For all information: click here
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 22 July 2019.
“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.”
For all pre-sale information: click here
Maya, one our Novel & Script writers’, debut novel ‘Wildflower Ridge’ is being released by Allen & Unwin on 3 June.
‘A moving tale of endings, new beginnings and love. A page turner.’ – Fleur McDonald, author of the bestselling Where the River Runs
Four sisters, one farm and a second chance at following your heart….Penny McIntyre loves her life as an ambitious city professional, with a marketing team at her fingertips and a promotion just within reach. So when she’s floored by a mystery illness, and ordered back to the family farm for three months’ rest and recuperation, she is horrified to find her perfect life imploding.
Maya will be touring Victoria, South Australia and Queensland this winter to talk books, writing and rural romance.
Visit Maya’s website for all pre-sale and other information: click here
Zahid Gamieldien, one of our senior tutors has a new short story ‘Asya, On Her 40th Wedding Anniversary’ in the latest edition of Australian literary magazine ‘Island’.
You can purchase a copy of the lastest edition, or a subscription.
A digital edition of the magazine will available at some stage:
Susan wrote to let us know that her novel ’tis the doing, not the deed, has been published by Small Star Press.
’tis the doing, not the deed’, follows Apolline a headstrong French lawyer, and her mild-mannered Australian husband, Parry, an investigator for an art auction house, as they investigate the provenance of paintings by two 20th-century Australian artists.
You can purchase a copy and read ”tis the doing, not the deed’ here
Tamsin Stanford, who undertook our 4-Week Unlocking Creativity course, has written to let us know that she has published her first novel, The Purple Bike.
The Purple Bike is a story about the aftermath of loss, and what can’t be fixed, no matter how hard you try.
You can purchase a hardcopy of Tamsin’s book, The Purple Bike: here
Colleena contacted us to let us know that has published her first novel – Lash Me Fair, a tale of bravery, cruelty, savagery and new beginnings in Australia. Fenians, convicts, the Indigenous custodians of the land, and free settlers determined to create a better life, all entwined in a struggle to survive.
Based on true events, her relative Henry Passmore, not only survived, he flourished and his many projects were significant to the development of Western Australia.
You can purchase a copy of Colleena’s book Lash Me Fair: here
Doug Pender, one of our writers, has a short story about to be published.
‘Out of the Forest, Into the Trees’ is being published in an anthology by Busybird Publishing, to be launched on 29 August.
Another story of Doug’s ‘Boxing in the Shadows’ was also longlisted for the Fish Publishing Short Story Competition, from out 1260 entries.
Richard Cornally, one of our senior tutors is directing a play “We are the Himalayas” written by Mark Langham.
“I know you’re scared. You damn well should be, this place is dreadful.”
Anna Larina was the wife of one of the architects of the Russian Revolution, Nikolai Bukharin. With his downfall and execution, she was persecuted for twenty years, separated from her family, and spent her prime years in a succession of gulags.
‘We Are The Himalayas’ will run from Wednesday 3 July until Sunday 21 July
Fringe HQ – Downstairs Theatre #1
26 Bayswater Rd, Potts Point
Enter this Discount Code when booking to receive a discount for Writers’ Studio writers & friends: wstudio
Mandy one of our Novel & Script writers has let us know that she has been offered an 8-book deal with Cengage to write 4 books and 4 teacher guides on writing for Years 7-10.
Year 7 is out in October with others to follow in November and 2020!
Isabella Lawson, one 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.”
You can purchase a copy of Isabella’s book at Art on King and Modern Times Bookstore in Newtown. Or to read an extract, and purchase a copy or download: click here
Gregory James, 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.”
To purchase a copy of Bordertown: click here
Amanda Robson, another of our Novel & Script writers, has written a novel ‘Charles’ as part of a literary artwork in collaboration with two visual artists.
“A story of redemption as Charles, once arrogant and proud, finds humility, maturity and love in the most unlikely places. Illustrations by Angela Nolan.
To view the People’s Library site: click here
Zahid, one of our senior Novel & Script tutor’s latest short stories ‘Holiday’ has been shortlisted for the Newcastle Short Story 2019 Awards.
Congratulations again, Zahid!
Charlotte has let us know that one of her stories has won the Port Writer’s Literary 2018 Competition!
Charlotte says that she wanted to share and say “that if it wasn’t for Writer’s Studio’s excellent teaching I wouldn’t be where I am.”
To read more: click here
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.
To read more: click here
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
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, 2019
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
For all information and tickets: click here
“I really believe doing the ‘Unlocking Creativity’ course was instrumental in helping me to write a compelling pitch, as well as help script the story for production.”
“An opportunity arose to pitch an idea to an international short film initiative of the BBC, ‘Hope Works’, in which broadcasters from around the world produce short films to inspire and assure children around the globe that there are reasons to hope and believe that our world could be a good place to live.
“The short film I wrote and pitched was successful and ‘The Cupcake Choir’ concept became a reality with the film being completed in October. In addition to the film, we were also able to produce additional content in ‘The Cupcake Choir Chat’ series.”
Watch Sharon’s inspirational video here
Caris Bizzaca, one of our Novel & Script writers recently interviewed Sascha Rothchild, for her Screen Australia podcast series.
Sacha writes and is co-EP for the Netflix series ‘Glow’.
In this useful and inspiring interview, Sascha discusses writing for US television, and how the writer’s room works there, getting agents & managers, and her writing process.
Click listen to this podcast here.
Writers’ Studio tutor Jess Black’s 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.
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!
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.
Maya has let us know the fabulous news that she has been signed by Allen & Unwin: “I always knew I wanted to write a book, but the idea of a framework made me more confident to start the journey. My tutors (Jess Black – First Draft course and Kelly Rigby – Second Draft course) were my cheerleaders throughout the process. They were enthusiastic, professional and key in helping me shape the early drafts of my manuscript. The course gave me a great insight into the classic novel structure, with great hints, tools and suggestions along the way, and the all-important accountability.” Click on the link to follow Maya, and we will keep you posted about the publication date of her debut novel. Congratulations Maya!
One of our Novel & Script writers has let us know that she has just secured a book deal with a major publisher! It is her first novel that she wrote in our Novel & Script First Draft Online course and is scheduled for publication in 2019. She is currently working on her second book in the series. We will let you know all the details closer to publication date.
Congratulations Sarah, we can’t wait to reveal all!
“I have participated in a couple of Writers’ Studio courses and they were excellent, I can’t recommend them enough. My writing has improved as a result, so much so that I recently received a commendation and had a short story published by the KSP Writers Foundation in their Annual Ghost Story Anthology. This wouldn’t have happened without the valuable lessons I learned about story structure from the Writers’ Studio.”
Writers’ Studio tutor Ruth Fingret is directing a new musical comedy based on the beloved Australian icon Margaret Fulton. Margaret Fulton is famous for selling 1.5 million cook books. Not so well known is her bohemian life in The Rocks, escapes from ‘decorative, elegant and useless men’ and struggles as a single mother.
Critically acclaimed at its premiere in Melbourne – described as “hilarious, sassy and rousing” by the Herald-Sun, “a banquet of entertainment” by Stage Whispers Magazine and “ninety minutes of delectable enjoyment” by Simon Parris.
Margaret Fulton: Queen of the Dessert will run for 10 performances only in October from 12th to 27th at the Bondi Pavilion Theatre in Sydney.
All bookings and ticket details can be found here: Buy Tickets Here
Studio alumni, Ali Gripper’s book ‘The Barefoot Surgeon’ is due for publication by Allen & Unwin in July 2018.
“Inspiring and uplifting, this is the extraordinary story of Dr Sanduk Ruit who, like his mentor Fred Hollows, took on the world’s medical establishment to give the life-changing gift of sight to hundreds and thousands of the world’s poorest and most isolated people.
“It is the story of a boy from the lowest tiers of a rigid caste system who grew up in a tiny, remote Himalayan village with no school to become one of the most respected ophthalmologists in the world and a medical giant of Asia.”
Michaela has let us know that one of her stories was chosen as the runner-up in the 2018 Berkelouw Books sponsored Pittwater Short Story Competition. She also wrote”I will definitely try to do another course, I loved Unlocking Creativity”.
Zahid, who tutors Third Draft Live and Third Draft Extension Live has sent us a link to a podcast of his short story ‘Pyrene’.
(Pyrene was originally published in the Overland Literary Journal.)
‘Class Act’, Ged’s second book in his ‘Bill Murdoch Mystery’ series has been longlisted last month for the Ned Kelly Awards: Best Crime Fiction 2018.
The Ned Kelly Awards are Australia’s oldest and most prestigious prizes honouring our published crime fiction and true crime writing. The awards began in 1995 and have become an internationally recognised writing award and has done much to raise awareness worldwide of Australia’s great crime authors.
We recently attended the launch of Studio alumni Ged Gillmore’s latest book in his Bill Murdoch mystery series ‘Headland’. The launch of ‘Headland’ and a reading by Ged, was held at Berkelouw Books in Paddington in Sydney, and was a great success.
Monica emailed us to let us know that she has been awarded the Runner Up prize in the South Coast Writers’ International Women’s Day Competition with a short story that she adapted from her final story she wrote in her 4-Week Unlocking Creativity course.
Maryhelen’s story ‘An American Migrant’ was selected as one of 100 stories published in Seniors’ Stories Volume 3, launched at Parliament House.
Geraldine Borella, who is currently tutoring Unlocking Creativity Online and undertaking her final draft course at the Studio, has just been awarded a mentorship from the Australian Society of Authors, as part of their Emerging Authors Mentorship program for 2018. The 2018 program is funded by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. This is a well deserved honour and we are so excited for Geraldine.
Rachel has won the ‘Financial Crime’ Prize in the 2017 Scarlet Stiletto Awards. Her short story has now been published by Clandestine Press as part of an e-book along with all of the other winners. Congratulations Rachel!
Zahid, another of our Novel & Script tutors, co-wrote a television series pilot that was judged in the top 30 of the prestigious AMC One-Hour Pilot Awards at the recent 2017 Austin Film Festival in Texas, which Zahid attended along with the finals of WeScreenplay’s TV Pilot Screenwriting Award. He also co-wrote a short film screenplay that’s currently an official selection at the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival.
Studio alumni Gilbert Mane’s first novel, ‘The Revelation of the Elders’ has just been published with both Kindle and paperback versions available. “It takes a good man to fight real evil (and a little chicken soup doesn’t hurt either).” The Revelation of the Elders is Book One in the Elders Series.
Ruth Fingret, one of our First Draft tutors, has written her first full length play Asylum which is being produced by Brave New World Theatre, and will run from 15 November to 25 November at the Comber St Studio, in Paddington, Sydney. Directed by Richard Hilliard, Asylum is a story about the many ways in which we seek refuge in our lives, and follows Craig, an Australian Immigration officer, who has retreated into a rigid sense of morality and duty. Equally uncompromising in his personal and professional life he now finds himself forced into questioning that position.
Kelly Rigby, our Advanced Novel & Script tutor and Editor has just won an #8Word Story Competition, judged by author Nick Earls, from thousands of entries. Her winning entry is being featured on the Goa digital billboard network in Brisbane. Let us know if you have seen Kelly’s winning entry!
Studio alumni Ged Gillmore’s first crime fiction novel Headland has just been published. “Bill Murdoch’s doing just ﬁne, thanks for not asking. He’s dealing drugs for a professional crime syndicate in Sydney and saving for a house by the sea. But what does he think life is – a fairy tale?”
Studio alumni, Kelly Nicholls’ novel ‘A Reluctant Warrior’ is now available for sale. Eight years from concept to completion, Kelly’s gripping novel tells the story of one young woman’s terrifying encounter with Colombia’s most notorious drug cartel and gives readers a rare glimpse into Colombia’s drug wars and their impact on ordinary citizens.
Kerry has been announced as a winner of the 2017 Affirm Press Mentorship Award. Kerry’s novel ‘The Grand Pacific’ is set in the bohemian 70’s and follows fifteen-year-old Estella Jones, who lives with her alcoholic mother in The Grand Pacific, a run-down hotel by the beach in Coogee’. After giving birth to a still-born baby, the result of rape, Estella buries the body in the sand dunes and flees, hoping to keep her shame secret. Returning years later as a wealthy and enigmatic woman, Estella buys the crumbling hotel in an effort to make amends for the past and create a connection to her lost child.
A new independent theatre company will stage the hit comedy ‘Motherhood the Musical’ by award winning composer Sue Fabisch and directed by Writers’ Studio tutor, Ruth Fingret, at the Bondi Pavilion Theatre from August 17 until 26. Motherhood the Musical is about four women who share their insights, challenges and pleasures at a baby shower. Stage Whispers Magazine applauded its “insightful tongue in cheek lyrics and foot tapping rhythms”, and in the US, Variety described it as “an entertaining night of chuckles and tears.”
Robyn’s book ‘Letters to Bunty’ is a dedication to her mother, Bunty McDonald, who never had the chance to see her daughters grow into young women and mothers. With an equal measure of tears and laughter, theses letters pen stories of a happy childhood, adolescence and adulthood filled with mischief, times of darkness, grief and challenge, and memories filled with joy.
Georgina who is currently undertaking the Novel & Script First Draft Live course, is starring in a Suzie Miller play Sunset Strip at the Griffin Theatre in Sydney. “At Sunset Strip the only people left are those who couldn’t leave. Arriving home after a bout of chemotherapy to this once thriving summer hot-spot, Caroline finds the lake completely dried up, the holiday-makers long gone.”
Senior Writers’ Studio tutor, Richard Cornally is directing a play by Theresa Rebeck, Mauritius, at the New Theatre in Newtown. “Unsurprisingly for a writer with extensive experience in TV police procedurals like NYPD Blue and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, one of Rebeck’s strengths is her skill at stitching tension into every exchange.” Mauritius will run from 12 – 29 July.
Studio alumni Robert Sullivan’s new book The Ghost of Smuggler’s Run is now available for download. “Pat O’Leary, Max Priestley, Georgina Greene and Charlene Anderson are the Team of Four. They live in Murwillumbah on the north coast of New South Wales, and attend Year 8 at Murwillumbah High School. They’ve had many adventures.”
Writers’ Studio tutor, Zahid Gamieldien’s latest short story, A Barn with a Belfry has been published in Kill Your Darlings literary journal. Zahid’s short story is behind a paywall, however there is a one-month ‘trial’ subscription available for only $3.95.
Studio alumni Lia’s second novel ‘Those Pleasant Girls’ is due for release through Pan Macmillan on April 27. Evie Pleasant, nee Bouvier, is back in town. In a figure-hugging skirt, high heels and a pin-up hairdo, she’s unrecognisable from the wild child who waged war on Sweet Meadow in her youth.
Shereen’s first book ‘From Distant Shores’ is a story about Shereen’s life across continents over six decades. Set against the cultural, historical and political backdrops of Malaysia, England and Australia, it weaves the tales of a harsh Chinese upbringing, childhood innocence, a quest for knowledge, domestic violence, mental illness and spirituality.
Doug’s latest story ‘Beauty in the Deep’ was awarded runner up and Highly Commended in the Polestar Literary Awards 2016, and will be included their latest journal. Congratulations Doug!
Valerie emailed to let us know that her recent book launch was a great success. ‘Everyday Resilience’ is a personal leadership book with practical tools and tips to build your resilience and resources to sustain your whole well-being. Readers will find author stories, academic research and case studies that will help you create calm from chaos. Valerie is working on her novel.
Studio Alumni, L.A. Larkins’ acclaimed new thriller thriller ‘Devour’ was published in September by Hachette. “Their greatest fear was contaminating an ancient Antarctic lake, buried beneath the ice for millions of years. They little knew the catastrophe they were about to unleash. Welcome to the high octane world of Olivia Wolfe.”
Studio tutor and alumni, Helen Shorrocks emailed us in July that her manuscript took out first place in the YA Aspiring Author’s category at the CYA Conference in Brisbane. And also received favourable responses from publishers at the conference.
Studio Alumni, Kelly emailed us about a project she has developed with a colleague, a digital magazine for new Australian creative writing ‘Tabula Rasa’. Their goal is provide a platform for new Australian writers to share their work with a wide audience. They are currently running a short story competition with the entry date finishing 4 November.
Shannon Garner’s memoir Labour of Love has just been published by Simon & Schuster. Shannon’s writes “thanks to The Writer’s Studio I truly found my love of writing buried within. After completing the 4-week Unlocking Creativity course and then the 10-month Novel & Script First Draft course, I found the determination to write and submit my memoir… Thank you Writers’ Studio for triggering my drive and inspiration and my deep adoration for writing.”
Writers’ Studio tutor Zahid Gamieldien has been nominated for the Australian Writers’ Guild’s – John Hinde Award 2016. And will be published in the up-coming Meanjin Summer 2016 edition.
Helen submitted a story she developed in the final week of our Unlocking Creativity course and on the strength of that won, the prestigious Varuna Scholarship in 2014. Helen’s further developed her story and we are very excited to announce that her debut novel ‘Promising Azra’ has just been published and launched by Allen & Unwin in July.
Belinda Nowell’s illustrated children’s book ‘Who’s Got a Normal Family’ has been published by Little Steps. Who’s Got a Normal Family is now available.
Studio alumni, Anna Spargo-Ryan’s debut novel ‘The Paper House’ has been published by Pan McMillian and has received critical acclaim.”Heartbreaking, fearless, and ablaze with a coruscating beauty all its own, The Paper House tells the story of a woman sinking into the depths of grief, and the desperate efforts of her loved ones to bring her up for air.”
Alice’s short story ‘ Water Views’ has won an Honourable Mention (Top 5) in the Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards. The competition is well-known, global, and attracts thousands of entries. It is a huge achievement and we are very proud of Alice. ‘Water Views’ also won a Highly Commended in the Sydney Writers Room 2015 Short Story Competition.
Zahid’s short story ‘Poetics of Murder’, has been shortlisted for the Cupboard Pamphlet’s short story competition.
Writers’ Studio tutor and alumni Jess Black’s latest children’s book ‘Moon Dance’ was recently launched at the Newcastle Writer’s Festival in April. Click below to purchase a copy of ‘Moon Dance’ by Jess Black and illustrated by Renee Treml. Published by Scholastic, the largest publisher and distributor of children’s books in the world.
We received an email from Nic Morris to let us know that he has just published his first novel ‘Into the Silence’. “I did Unlocking Creativity which I loved and which spurred me on to write the story…” ‘Into the Silence’ is available at Dymocks and also via Amazon.
Ruth, is one of our First Draft Online tutors and her very funny and clever play ‘Chemistry Test’ which she wrote and directed has won through to final Gala Night of the Short & Sweet Festival 2016 (winning Best Play, Best Director, and best Actors from both the Judges and Audience Vote). Her other play, ‘Catastrophising is NOT a Word!’, is playing this week as part of Top 80 Short and Sweet Festival. Click here to buy tickets.
Doug Pender has had short stories published recently in Blue Crow magazine and also Brio, an anthology launched at the Toowoomba Writers’ Festival. His novel ‘Blood of My Father’ was also long-listed in a Young Adult fiction competition run by Fish Publishing.
Writers’ Studio alumni and tutor Zahid Gamieldien’s latest short story ‘Attribution’ has been published in the Australian literary journal Overland. Zahid has had previous short stories published in Tincture, Mascara Literary Review, Bahamut, Overland and Pantheon journals.
Studio alumni Shaun’s book The Art of Balanced Living is being launched on Friday 4th March at the Bronte Surf Club, Bronte Beach at 6.30pm
We just received an email from David who undertook our Novel & Script course some years ago. He has just published his second novel Run Baby Run under the pseudonym Max Bolt, about a quick talking 18-year-old who dreams of winning the Rio Olympics 100 metres.
Unlocking Creativity alumni, Marilyn Chalkely sent us the news that her Short Story, ‘Coffee Cup Crime’, set in Canberra, was awarded a Special Commendation at the recent 22nd Scarlett Stiletto Awards, held in Melbourne in November. It’s Marilyn’s first foray into writing crime fiction.
Renowned and iconic choreographer and Studio alumni, Meryl Tankard, has had her works staged in Europe, the Americas, Asia and her homeland, Australia. She makes her filmmaking debut with an inspirational portrait of dancer Michelle Ryan whose passion and courage has enabled her to overcome life-shattering personal adversity. “Michelle’s story” is screening as part of the Adelaide Festival on 17th & 25th October. Meryl is also working on her feature film script which she developed in our 10 Month Novel and Script Course.
Peter Shmigel, a talented writer has done several courses with us has recently published “Departures & Arrivals”, a poetry collection by “a voluntary migrant born to forced migrants. The poems explore different places and different states, and the search for sense through the senses.”
Denise is one our of inspirational Unlocking Creativity and Short Story writing tutors. Her very moving piece piece about the death of her ex-husband was published in the Anthology “Grieve”, Stories and Poems for Grief Awareness Month 2015, published by the Hunter Writers Centre. Her story is titled “Have I Told You Lately …?”
Sue Thomas is appearing at the Sydney Fringe Festival this month in her one-woman comedy show and a source of inspiration. We always tell writers in our 10-Month Novel and Script First Draft Course to write about something that will change their life. The process can have a profound impact on the author. While writing her novel with us, Sue, who was a very quiet librarian at the time, wrote about a woman who started off working at MacDonald’s but whose dream was to become a stand-up comedian.
Alex Gilly’s debut thriller Devil’s Harbour was published in the US this month by Forge Books and has had some great reviews, including the prestigious Kirkus and Publishers’ Weekly. “Gilly’s debut is a real page-turner filled with thrills, chills, and unexpected surprises.” Kirkus “The ending is an unexpected nail-bitter that crackles with tension. Readers will look forward to seeing more of Nick,” Publishers’ Weekly
Congratulations to Scott Butler, another Studio graduate whose debut novel ‘Drive’ is now available on Amazon. A psychological thriller, Scott’s novel is receiving some excellent reviews: “Great read – once I stepped a few pages in it consumed my long weekend on Waiheke, knocked it out in 4 rainy days. Nice one!” Good Reads
Writers’ Studio tutor, Zahid Gamieldien has had another two of his short stories published. ‘The Boy Who Believes in Magic’ can be found in Issue 18 of the Mascara Literary Review and ‘A Creature of Intelligence’ in Issue 12 of the Tincture Journal. His story ‘The Poetics of Murder’ was also short-listed for the Cupboard Pamphlets shorty story competition.
Congratulations to Ged Gillmore. Cats on the Run! is the rip-roaring adventure story of two cats trying to escape their evil owners and is a chapter book for 8-12 year olds. It has already sold over 6 and a half thousand copies! It is being officially launched next Thursday, 23rd July at 6.30pm at Berkelouw Books, 19 Oxford Street, Paddington.
Louisa Bennet’s new book “Monty and Me”, published by Harper Collins, introduces loveable dog detective Monty. You might think that dogs can’t understand us… but you’d be wrong. When Monty’s beloved master is stabbed to death, Monty decides to use his formidable nose to track the killer down. Luckily he manages to find a home with Rose Sidebottom, the young policewoman who’s investigating the case. But with her colleagues turning against her, and the wrong man collared, she’s going to need a little help…
A new translation of George Sand’s Spiridion by one of our alumni Patricia Worth has just been published by SUNY Press (State University of New York). Patricia contacted us with the good news and sent us this message: “To be a literary translator, one has to be a writer. A lot of what I know about writing fiction came from your courses. Thanks for all your hard work.” Trish Worth
Congratulations to our alumni Nico Lathouris, our 4th Draft Scriptwriting Consultant and co-writer of Mad Max IV- Fury Road, Margaret Sixel, who did one of the first ever classes with Roland held in his then Bondi apartment and editor of the film, George Miller, the co-writer and director, whose creative vision is behind every frame of the movie, and the whole creative team at Kennedy-Miller-Mitchell for the outstanding world-wide success of Mad Max IV – Fury Road. The film has already grossed over $USD200 million worldwide. Many members of the Kennedy-Miller-Mitchell team have done our courses and its always great having them on board.
Writers’ Studio alumni and Novel & Script tutor Jess Black, has been an incredibly prolific writer of children’s books. Jess has written for children’s television, the Bindi Wildlife Adventure series and the RSPCA Animal Tales series all released through Random House. Jess co-wrote The Kaboom Kid series of books with Dave Warner the cricketer and published by Simon & Schuster. The ‘Keeper of the Crystal ‘series will be released in June and will be published through Walker Books, the leading children’s publisher in Australia and NZ.
Danielle recently emailed us to introduce her beautifully crafted non-fiction baby, Sleepy Magic. “I am writing to thank you for your online Unlocking Creativity course. Exactly 2 years ago I signed up for this course with the intention of it unlocking a major creative block I had after leaving my advertising business of 12 years. I wanted to create artwork, becoming an author was not on my radar at all. Sleepy Magic, (now published by Penguin) officially launched last Friday online and in less than a week I have had my first radio interview on 4GR Breakfast Radio, The Sunday Mail in Adelaide wants to write a case study with a family and I have been asked to speak at a Woman’s Business Conference in Manly. I can’t thank you enough. I have been waiting 20 years to pay it forward and the time has come.”
Soon to be retired headmaster from the prestigious John Colet School in Belrose, TED speaker, Writer’ Studio alumni and avid dancer, Gilbert Mane, has embarked on a new storytelling website venture involving sharing traditional Indian stories with young people around the world.
Another of our Writer’s Studio alumni has had his debut novel, King of the Road, published by Random House. He recently sent us this email “I have very fond memories of the Writers’ Studio, especially because it got me writing, taught me so much about structure and cleared out a lot of the rubbish I’d previously believed about writing.”
“Just a wee line from Scotland to boast that (for the first time) I have won actual money in a short story competition, in the New England Writers’ Centre Thunderbolt Competition. I won the Emerging Writers’ prize. “Grand-da’s Stolen Boots, (Winner, Emerging Award; Highly Commended, Fiction) is an utterly charming story. It uses a deceptively simple yarn-like technique to tell a fun and unexpected tale of Thunderbolt— and his ghost.”
“I was just emailing to let you know my first book is coming out at the end of this month! It’s called “Men & You” and is published by Harlequin Books. It’s a gorgeous book on love, a bit of pop psychology and a lot of humour! I am SO excited it is finally happening!”
‘Caro Was Here’ is Elizabeth’s first book for children. She’s completed a number of courses at The Writers’ Studio and is currently working with us on her much awaited, architectural detective novel. ‘Caro Was Here’ published by Walker Books Australia, offers young readers an escape from reality with plenty of action thrown in “Think 80s cult movie The Breakfast Club crossed with 80s TV stalwart MacGyver, played by a group of middle-class kids in Sydney” from Books+Publishing.
Geraldine Borella, one of our current N&S First Draft Online writers sent us this email last week. “Just thought I would let you know my exciting news. I’ve had a short story ‘Achilles and the Maple Leaf’ shortlisted in the Page Seventeen Magazine (Busybird Publishing) competition. It’s going to be published in October and is in the running to win a first or second place. Fingers crossed.”
“I thought you and Roland would be delighted, I finally launched a book today, Catapult – A Woman’s Guide To Building a 7-Figure Business. It did rather well, getting to #4 of Hot new releases in Women & Business category. I mention the importance of story in being able to communicate your vision in second chapter, and you’ll be keen to know, I directly mention remarkable Roland Fishman and the Writers’ Studio as being instrumental in me learning the arc of story etc.”
Krew Boylan has received funding from Screen Australia for a script she developed in our First and Second Draft courses. “I spread the word around Australia, about the Writers’ Studio, like gospel. Everyone who talks to me about wanting to write, I first ask them if they have read the War of Art, and my next question is if they have heard of the Writers’ Studio in Bronte.” Krew has also been cast to play the title role of the convicted drug smuggler, Schapelle Corby, in the Channel 9 tele-movie Schapelle.
Owen Ravenscroft has launched his first novel, Sink or Swim. The book has been highly commended at the National Literary Awards. Through a combination of bad luck and poor decisions a once privileged grazing family are forced from their historic property. Relocation to a coastal caravan park provides benefits for some and consequences for others, dire consequences. The high cost of low life!
James Valentine and H.G. Nelson launched David Moor’s debut novel, Adios Bondi Noir, which he conceived and developed in our Novel and Script First Draft course. It is an urban crime fiction novel with sand between its toes, liberal doses of humour and plenty of heart, the story woven in and around Australia’s most famous beach.
Helen Thurloe has won the Varuna Writing Fellowship! She submitted a story that she developed in our Unlocking Creativity course.
Gaby Mason’s short story “Frankie” was selected as a Highly Commended piece in the OutStanding Short Story Competition and will be published in an anthology. The story was one she wrote in the most recent Six-Week Character & Critique Short Story course.
“You might be interested to know I received awards in two short story competitions – one in NSW and the other in South Australia, with a story, The Horse Butcher’s Son, based on a story I wrote in your Six Week Short Story Genre course. The Woman’s Day has also published my story ‘T-Bar for Two’, also based on a story I wrote in the same course.”
The memoir ‘You Only Want Me for My Mind and Other Bedtime Stories’, I co-wrote with author John Rynn is being published in June and will launch on 7 September at 4MBS studios in Brisbane. “If it wasn’t for the Writers’ Studios’ brilliantly conceived courses I’m sure I wouldn’t be in this position. The sheer ingenuity of your courses gave me permission to release my imagination and let my creativity fly. I am basking in the certainty that being published gives you and I know I have many more books to write.”
Vanessa Anne Walsh
Vanessa’s debut book – a biography and spiritual handbook – ‘Nights in the Moon Lily Garden’ is now available. Vanessa did her First and Second Draft courses online.
Karen M. Davis
‘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, published this year.’ Karen M. Davis. Sinister Intent is published by Simon & Schuster
Russell King’s story, The Road to Nowhere has been published in The Best Australian Short Stories (edited by Cate Kennedy and published by Black Inc.) Russell said, “Thank you to everyone at the Writers’ Studio for their guidance and support. I could not possibly have had this success without you.”
Vanessa wrote to us with great news – “On August 21 this year my debut novel Star Attraction is out through Penguin. I’d love for you to include me as one of your course success stories in your newsletter.”
After a consultation with Roland, Vanessa has gained a US agent – she wrote “I sat down with Roland and in a two hour session we managed to completely redraft both my synopsis and my pitch. Once I sent these out, the reaction was far more positive. I had three agents interested in representing me almost immediately, and it all flowed well from there. Thanks Roland!”
Jess, one of our Novel & Script tutors and author of many children’s books, has had a lovely newspaper article published about her!
James Forbes wrote a full feature screenplay called The House of Special Purpose and entered it into the Oaxaca International Film Festival in Mexico. He was chosen as a finalist. He didn’t win, but he came away with eight producers spread across the USA, UK and Germany interested to know more! He wrote, “Dear Roland & Kathleen, Without your support and education throughout your course, I would not be sitting where I am today.”