Kristina Olsson

Writing a Novel: Stage 2

with Kristina Olsson + guests, including leading industry agents/publishers

6 October - 15 December 2020 (3 months)

Avid Reader
193 Boundary St
West End QLD 4101
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Course fee:
$3,250 / $2,760 alumni

Write your novel, and write it well.

A comprehensive three month course builds on the work started in Writing a Novel: Stage 1 and is suitable for writers who have completed that course, or who have a substantially completed rough or first draft of a novel-in-progress. This course will develop craft and technical skills required to turn a rough draft into a work of art. Using exercises focused on your own work, you'll finish the course with a deep understanding of the novelists' craft and how it applies to your own novel.

• Benefit from the structure of regular classes covering everything from playing with genre, the power of what is unspoken and using scenes and narrative summary to maintain momentum.

• Learn from our experienced Course Director, as well as guest tutors including top authors, and agents/publishers.

• Receive personalised, one-to-one attention on your project from your tutor.

Get it done. When undertaken with Writing a Novel: Stage 1, this is a flexible alternative to a creative writing MA, designed for people who might be considering a career and who are prepared to engage fully in the hard work involved. Apart from the workshops, you will be devoting as much time as possible between classes to writing.

Receive invaluable feedback by having the chance to present your work to your class of other committed novelists.

Start your career with unrivalled access to those who know. There is no better way to get on the road to publication than to meet the people who know how to make that happen. Hear talks from people in the industry, then read to a room of agents at course completion.

Please note that while Writing a Novel: Stage 1 and Writing a Novel: Stage 2 are designed to build on each other, each may be taken as a stand-alone course. Talk to us if you need guidance on which one is best for you.

Please note that students completing Writing a Novel Stage 1 will have first preference for places in Writing a Novel Stage 2. Places for new students can only be offered if an existing student chooses to discontinue. We will advise new applicants of the availability of places as soon as possible.

Praise for Writing a Novel

‘The exercises allowed people to experiment at their own pace and skill level. The structure provided myriad resources and lots of inspiration.’ - Kim, Sydney, 2017

'I have done writing courses before but this far outstrips any of them: the fundamentals of voice, plot, turning points, technical structures, have been invaluable. Engaging, encouraging and incredibly knowledgeable.' – Lindsay, Sydney, 2016

'I found every single session of Writing a Novel useful and productive. I have always worked alone and had reservations about a long program of close work with a group but it has been a wonderfully rewarding experience. I cannot think of a thing that could have been done better or that I would want done differently.' – Janine, Sydney, 2015

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About the Course Director


Kristina Olsson is an award-winning writer of fiction, non-fiction and journalism. Her 2013 memoir, Boy, Lost, garnered multiple national awards. Her new novel, Shell, set in Sydney against the backdrop of the building of Sydney Opera House and Australia’s entry into the Vietnam War, was published last October and launched the legendary Scribner Australia literary imprint. It has been shortlisted in several major literary awards.

Kristina’s previous work includes the novel The China Garden and the biography Kilroy Was Here. She also works as a journalist, mentor and teacher of creative writing, and is currently working on a new work of narrative non-fiction. She lives in Brisbane.

About the guests – watch this space. Previous guests have included Andrew O’Hagan (UK), David Malouf, Margo Lanagan, Charlotte Wood, Ross Grayson-Bell, Louise Doughty (UK) plus agents and publishers.

Please note in the event of unforeseen circumstances, courses - including tutors and venues - may be subject to cancellation or change.

Course Program

The course consists of:

11 x evening sessions (Tuesdays 6.00pm-8.00pm) + 3 x full-day sessions (Saturdays 10am-4pm)

The content listed below is comprehensive but is still a guide only. The exact course content could be adjusted according to the experience and concerns of the group and availability of guest writers. The detail of the course is at the discretion of the course director and Faber Writing Academy at Allen & Unwin.

Session 1: Tuesday 6 October
Taking Stock: What do you know, what is unknown (and why this matters). Listening to your characters and finessing voice.

Session 2: Tuesday 13 October
Scenes: what a scene is, what is does, and how to make them work. Using action and reflection scenes to build momentum.

Session 3: Tuesday 20 October
Structure: Heroism and vulnerability. Structure that transforms. Guest tutor - Ross Grayson Bell (developer and producer of Fight Club).

Session 4: Saturday 24 October
Exposition and backstory: How to write and edit narrative summary (and why we need it). Using summary to maintain momentum.
Pacing and the passage of time. Individual mentor sessions.

Session 5: Tuesday 27 October
Character: Three ways into character. Making use of the unspoken and revealing character on the page.

Session 6: Tuesday 3 November
Dialogue: Listening; recording; pace; precision. Imagined truth and overheard truth.

Session 7: Tuesday 10 November
Place and setting: making the setting do narrative and emotive work. Bringing place to life. Infusing place with mood.

Session 8: Saturday 14 November
Turning points - making use of internal and external change. Moving pieces around to create a structure that's true to your story. One-to-one mentor sessions.

Session 9: Tuesday 17 November
(Re)writing the Beginning. How to find the right place to start now that you know where you are.

Session 10: Tuesday 24 November
Endings: getting the balance right. Have you fulfilled the promise and answered the question? How much satisfaction is enough? Staying true to style and world.

Session 11: Tuesday 1 December
Editing Boot Camp - Rewriting revisioning and the final edit.

Session 12: Saturday 5 December
Guest: presentation and pitching. In this special session students are coached by a skilled actor/director in using performance skills for presentations and readings, and also for pitching.

Session 13: Tuesday 8 December
Guest publisher.

Session 14:Tuesday 15 December
Final session: moving on, maintaining momentum.

N.B. In November, students will have an option to take part in the launch of the Faber Writing Academy Anthology 2020 which includes a reading to industry guests.

How to Apply

To apply you will need to submit, in a single document with your name, email and phone number in the header:

  • A letter briefly stating any writing experience
  • An overview of the idea for your novel and its present stage of development
  • A 1,500-word sample of prose

This process ensures that all applicants are applying for the course best suited to their needs.

Enter your application for Writing a Novel Stage 2 here.

If you need further information please contact Faber Writing Academy by email at or call us on (02) 8425 0171.