Course Information

This course has payment option. Click the ‘Enrol Now’ link to view the payment options.

Prerequisite: Novel & Script Second Draft course.

Course Overview

See your Writing Come Alive on the Page

The Third Draft course is where we focus primarily on the writing. It is amazing how everyone’s ability to write a page turning story that engages your reader dramatically improves when you learn the art and craft of re-writing and editing.

During the course, you will learn how to create subtext in your writing, show as opposed to telling, create powerful dialogue, raise questions in your readers mind, create moral dilemmas, develop your characters’ voices and connect them emotionally to your reader. You will learn to write in a way that has each sentence causing the next so that your reader is drawn through your story wanting to turn the page.

It is a real thrill to see your writing work on the page for readers.

I have emerged from being a dreamer to being a writer. This course has made that possible because it has given me the tools and the courage to give it a go. This has been an incredibly valuable (and sometimes confronting) experience. I think we all discovered what an almighty process this is. Penny Robinson, author and executive producer of RPA

Course Structure

During the course you will:

  • Follow a process to explore, clarify and focus the spine of your opening five chapters, then clarify they spine of each chapter before re-writing and editing.
  • Learn tools and techniques, including advanced templates, processes and checklists, to re-write and edit your story.
  • They will show you how to shape your writing in a way that connects with your readers and have them wanting to turn the page and know what will happen next.
  • Have your writing flowing logically and dramatically so everything makes sense and your story feels authentic.
  • Receive detailed, critical feedback on your writing and do extensive re-writing and editing to make every scene work. Having fresh eyes and an experienced editor review your work is critical to your progress as a writer. It will improve the quality of your writing, taking it to a whole new level.
  • Find your voice and see your writing, story and characters come alive on the page.

While there is scope to refine your structure, the focus is very much on the writing and making each scene as good as it can be.

This is the most challenging and exciting part of the whole writing process as you see readers (fellow group members and your tutor) respond to your work in an increasingly positive way.

For me, this course is where it's really at. Getting at last to the coalface, the actual word-by-word writing of the thing has allowed me to connect with the character and the story in a way that I had found difficult to this point. I think I have learned to trust the narrative thread and not feel the need to control it constantly. Elizabeth Farrelly, columnist Sydney Morning Herald, author of Blubberland and Caro Was Here

Course Outcomes

  • Craft your scenes so your story is well paced, has drama, shape, emotional resonance and flow
  • Learn how to make your characters and story engage your readers emotionally
  • Build creative tension into your writing and raise a dramatic question in each scene so your readers keep turning the pages wanting to know what happens next
  • Experience the joy of seeing your story engage and excite readers.
  • Be well on the way to having your writing and story reach a professional standard.

This draft requires the most work, but brings the greatest rewards.

“The art of writing is the art of re-writing. Success depends on attitude and patience as you take it one step at a time. So much of writing is about re-writing, I never get it right the first few times. I’m of the school that it’s in the re-writes that the story is born. It’s a refiner’s craft. As territorial as we are, it is important to be challenged.” Tina Howe, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright

“I can’t emphasis strongly enough how important this is, writing leads to writing, that failed attempts lead to eventual success, that the solution of writing problems is made up of all the attempts that lead nowhere. The trouble is that when you’re just beginning to write, you may believe that words committed to paper are sacred, fixed immutable. But you’re not dealing with a finished, printed, copyrighted book, only with an idea, a pile of words that change shape many times before they take shape as a book.” Dorothy Bryant

This has been my favourite course. I have loved focusing on the writing and the detail that needed to be fleshed out from Drafts One and Two. And I now see how important it was to get the structure in place before embarking on the Third Draft. I have learnt so much about the actual craft of writing in this course. The first lesson was about point of view and it has stuck with me ever since. That and other tools such as having a clear dramatic question have made a huge difference to my writing. And I felt that everyone in the class, after applying the tools and techniques, had a strong story worthy of being published. Kylie Keogh, journalist and media manager

How the Course works

Before the first session you will be required to write your first 600 words, find the opening of two novels that you love, write your section summaries for TP 1 to TP 2 and answer some review questions.

Before the rest of the sessions, you will send a 1,500 word document to you tutor and, in the live course, your fellow group members. They will read and analyse your work and give you detailed feedback in class.

By the end of each session you’ll have lots of suggestions to work with. This will give you a clear idea of what works, what doesn’t and what needs to be done to make your story the best it can be.

You’ll be amazed at how much your story and everyone else’s improves during the course. One of the big differences between an amateur and a professional writer is knowing what to cut out.

Please Note

It is not possible to workshop every scene in class and get to the end of your story. Before you give your work to an agent, publisher or producer you need to make your story as good as it possibly can be.

Depending on the nature of your project, your experience as a writer and your time commitments, the above process can take varying lengths of time. But we can assure you that you will have a solid framework from which to rewrite the rest of your story at home.

In the Third Draft course, it is our aim at the Writers’ Studio to give you the skills, knowledge and accountability to continue to work on your story at home to make it as fabulous as it can be.

The knowledge you acquire from this course, coupled with the First and Second Draft processes, can be applied to create and craft any stories you write in the future.

Workshop Dates

Workshop Dates for the 17 November 2018 to 11 August 2019 Course

Workshop 1: Saturday 17 November – This will be a full day workshop from 11am to 6pm

The rest of the sessions are half day workshops. Please note times:

Session 1: Saturday 9 February – 2pm to 6pm

Session 2: Sunday 17 March – 12pm to 4pm

Session 3: Sunday 14 April – 12pm to 4pm

Session 4: Saturday 18 May – 2pm to 6pm

Session 5: Saturday 15 June – 2pm to 6pm

Session 6: Saturday 13 July – 2pm to 6pm

Session 7: Sunday 11 August – 2.30pm to 6.30pm & Dinner


Workshop Dates for the 25 November 2017 to 18 August 2018 Course

Workshop 1: Saturday – 25 November – This will be a full day workshop from 11am to 6pm

The rest of the sessions are half day workshops. Please note times:

Session 1: Sunday 4 February –  12pm to 4pm

Session 2: Saturday – 3 March – 2pm to 6pm

Session 3: Sunday – 15 April – 12pm to 4pm

Session 4: Sunday – 20 May – 12pm to 4pm

Session 5: Saturday – 23 June – 2pm to 6pm

Session 6: Saturday – 21 July – 2pm to 6pm

Session 7: Saturday – 18 August – 2.30pm to 6.30pm & Dinner

What Our Students Say

The Third Draft is where the hard work of finding your story and making sure the structure works actually starts to payoff. The discipline of having to write to have at least something to turn up to class with has pushed my characters and myself on to a better place. Thank you so much Roland, Andrew and my class. You've motivated me to finish this novel. And start the next one June Laffey, Group Creative Director, McCann Healthcare
Settling down and concentrating on each sentence at a time rather than trying to water ski over the story has been a valuable lesson. Now I just need the time and hopefully I can nail this thing. Thank you, Roland, Andrew and the class! John Mavety, award-winning director and writer
remember eight months ago when I first got feedback on my very first section (which I thought was perfect!) and being crushed. But then, slowly, I looked at the feedback and used it to re-write my work. Now I love feedback. It's fantastic to have so many people provide constructive, useful feedback on my work, that has really helped, as Roland says, "take it to a whole new level." Louise Goggin
"The last eight months have been instrumental in me finding my voice and of bringing my story to a point of greater clarity. I have also learnt how to bring my reader into the picture to connect emotionally with my characters and to relate to what is going on in their lives. The giving and receiving of feedback has provided a huge learning curve for me. It has made a huge difference to my writing and ability to critique myself and others. Melinda Wardlaw
"I cannot stress how important this process was. The end result is a book. My book! Not long ago, this was just a spark of an idea in my mind. A spark which Roland, Alex and Andrew and The Writers' Studio team nurtured and guided to help me write a book which stretched my abilities well beyond what they were capable of at the outset. Now armed with confidence, I know I couldn't have written a book of this quality without their help. Not only that, but Roland, Alex and Andrew have expertly guided my online course in such a Lucas Welsh