Allen & Unwin » Faber Writing Academy

Annette BarlowEdit Your Novel

with Annette Barlow & Sophie Hamley + guests

1 May – 27 November 2014

Allen & Unwin - Sydney
83 Alexander St
Crows Nest NSW 2065
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(Please note access is via stairs)

Course fee: $3,900 Faber Academy alumni / $4,400 non-alumni (inc. GST)

Sophie HamleyEdit Your Novel is intended to give you the support you need to prepare your novel for publication; to finish the job. It is ideal for those who have completed Faber Writing Academy's Writing a Novel course or for those at the editing stage with their manuscript.

Conducted over seven months, it consists of 40 hours of tuition within a small and focussed class of no more than ten participants led by professional publisher, Annette Barlow of Allen & Unwin, and experienced literary agent, Sophie Hamley of Cameron Cresswell. You will attend regular evening workshops with Annette or Sophie (and on occasion, a guest tutor) and also have the invaluable opportunity of undertaking a series of one-to-one sessions to focus on your individual work and deal with any specific concerns you have.

Edit Your Novel will cover all the important issues that you will face as a writer after completing your first draft including how to:

• hone your voice
• tighten your structure
• nail your synopsis
• decide on your title
• plan your route to publication

About the Course Directors

Annette Barlow has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years, in bookshops, sales, editorial and for over 10 years as a publisher. Her list comprises fiction titles, including the twice Miles Franklin winner Alex Miller, the internationally successful Kate Morton, and the creator of Miss Phryne Fisher, Kerry Greenwood. Her nonfiction titles include the popular Buddhism for Mothers series by Sarah Napthali, On Shakespeare by John Bell and the cookbooks of Janella Purcell. Annette is also the publisher in charge of the annually awarded The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award.

Sophie Hamley has been the literary agent at The Cameron Creswell Agency since 2006. Sophie has worked in the print and online publishing industries for many years, as a bookseller, and a senior editor at HarperCollins; and writer and content producer at the Seven Network, Massive Interactive and CCH. She is currently the President of the Australian Literary Agents Association and a member of the Book Industry Collaborative Council.

Course Program

The course consists of 16 fortnightly sessions made up of one-and-a-half-hour workshops, followed by an hour of in-class writing time. Within each session, one participant will have the opportunity of undertaking a twenty minute one-to-one with the Course Director. Each student will have two one-to-one sessions with publisher Annette Barlow and one with literary agent Sophie Hamley during the course.

16 x evening sessions

6.30 - 9pm Thursdays

Sessions 1-11 will be led by publisher, Annette Barlow.
Sessions 12-16 will be led by literary agent, Sophie Hamley.

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: Thursday 1 May
Introduction – Honing Your Critical Voice

Session 2: Thursday 15 May

Session 3: Thursday 29 May

Session 4: Thursday 12 June

Session 5: Thursday 26 June
Twists, Secrets and Revelations

Session 6: Thursday 10 July
Flashbacks and Memory

Session 7: Thursday 24 July
Plots and Subplots

Session 8: Thursday 7 August
Beginnings, Middles and Ends

Session 9: Thursday 21 August
Characters – major and minor

Session 10: Thursday 4 September
Multiple Narrators and Dialogue

Session 11: Thursday 18 September
Description and Q&A

Session 12: Thursday 2 October
Editing with an Agent
An overview of the stages of editing and how an agent, as the 'first reader', works with a writer to edit their novel.

Session 13: Thursday 16 October
Describing What You Are Writing: Genre, Hook, Title, Synopsis
Before you can describe your work to others, you need to be able to describe it for yourself, which isn't always as easy as it seems. In this session you will learn how to identify the main descriptors of your novel, to prepare for writing your pitch and query letter.

Session 14: Thursday 30 October
Writing Your Pitch and Query Letter
The query letter is the first encounter that agents and publishers will have with your novel, and you only have one chance to make an impression. Using the elements identified in the previous session, we will work on writing your pitch and, from that, your query letter.

Session 15: Thursday 13 November
The world of publishing has changed dramatically in the last few years, and it's now feasible for novelists to self-publish – but that doesn't mean it's straightforward. In this season, learn what you need to know in order to publish your own work.

Session 16: Thursday 27 November
Round Up and Next Steps
Every student will be at a different stage, so in this session we will discuss what's best for each individual and where they should go from here.

'I know my writing is better from Edit Your Novel. I know the things I have learnt there I will apply into the future and that they will continue to inform and grow my skills. I have come away from Edit Your Novel with not just a determination to finish my damned book and submit, as well as some wonderful friends who are writers, but also with a passion and engagement for the whole of the writing industry that I am sure will change my life.' Jill Gientzotis (Edit Your Novel 2013)

'practical, immediate access to publishing knowledge with two professionals working in that industry... it was invaluable to see the editing proofs that Annette gave us, and the copies of pitches and proposals that Sophie brought us.' Rowena Helston (Edit Your Novel, 2013)

'…a tremendous course. It has suited my writing process remarkably by allowing me the space I needed while at the same time giving it context via material provided by the tutors. Annette and Sophie went out of their way to accommodate participants with widely differing projects.' Gita Mammen (Edit Your Novel, 2013)

How to Make a Booking

Applicants are asked to submit a one page synopsis of your manuscript along with a copy of the first three chapters (12 point Times New Roman double spaced). The deadline for applications is 24 April 2014.

To secure your booking, please email your application material to:
or post to: Faber Academy at Allen & Unwin, PO Box 8500, St Leonards NSW 1590.

For further information contact: or (02) 8425 0171

Download the application form (PDF)

Payment details
Applicants will be asked to pay a non-refundable first installment of the course fee of $900 (alumni) and $1,400 (non-alumni) upon registration. The balance of $3,000 will be payable in three installments of $1,000 each on the 1 June 2014, 1 August 2014 and 1 September 2014. Refunds are not available for participants who miss sessions or do not complete the course.

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