Allen & Unwin » Faber Writing Academy



Emily Maguire

Get It Written: Bootcamp for your novel

with Emily Maguire

and guests Kathryn Heyman and P.M. Newton


Perhaps you have an idea for a novel, or have started working on your opening chapters, but find that you don't seem to have the time – or the confidence and impetus – to move it forward. This ten-week course, led by award-winning, best-selling novelist Emily Maguire, aims to provide a supportive, structured environment in which to develop your work further and set you well on the way to a first draft. Intensive weekly sessions will provide an opportunity to produce sections of your novel, and to share and discuss your writing with others working towards a similar goal. There will be lots of guidance and practical advice on the building blocks of any novel – structure, character, voice – but also a focus on producing new work and devising a framework on which to build when writing on your own.

Through in-class writing exercises, lively discussion and reading out your work, you will gain the focus and momentum needed to get going – and keep going – on your first draft, and by the end of the course, you should have completed your first three chapters, and have a structure mapped out for the rest of your novel. If you have already written a few chapters or a draft of your novel, but need help with improving it, this course will give you the necessary tools to do so. The course is open to anyone who has a definite idea of what they want to write about.

Most of the classes will be led by the Course Director Emily Maguire, but there will also be guest sessions given by Kathryn Heyman and P.M. Newton, as well as a class given by publishing professionals on next steps.

About the Course Director

Emily Maguire is the author of the novels Fishing for Tigers (2012), Smoke in the Room (2009), The Gospel According to Luke (2006) and the international bestseller Taming the Beast (2004). Emily has been twice highly commended for the Kathleen Mitchell Award for writers under 30 and was a finalist for the 2006 Dylan Thomas Prize. In 2010 she was named as a Sydney Morning Herald Young Novelist of the Year. She is the recipient of the 2011 NSW Writer's Fellowship.
Her non-fiction books include: Princesses and Pornstars: Sex + Power + Identity (2008) and a Young Adult version entitled Your Skirt's Too Short: Sex, Power, Choice was published in 2010. Emily's articles and essays on sex, feminism, culture and literature have been published widely including in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Observer and The Age. Emily has served as Writer in Residence at the Djerassi Artists Program in Northern California (2009), as an Asialink Literature Resident in Vietnam (2008) and as a Tasmanian Writers' Centre resident in Hobart (2006). She has an MA in literature and has worked as a mentor to young and emerging writers.

About the guest lecturers

Kathryn HeymanKathryn Heyman is the author of four novels, including The Accomplice and Captain Starlight's Apprentice, published internationally and in translation. She has won an Arts Council of England Writers Award, the Wingate and the Southern Arts Awards, and has been nominated for the Orange Prize, the Scottish Writer of the Year Award, the Edinburgh Fringe Critic's Awards, the Kibble Prize and the West Australian Premier's Book Awards. She's written several radio plays for BBC radio, including adaptations of her own work, and has taught Creative Writing for the University of Glasgow and the University of Oxford.

P.M. NewtonP. M. Newton spent thirteen years in the NSW Police Force before finally having enough of meeting people for the first time on the worst day of the their life. In 2011, her first book, The Old School was shortlisted for an Indie Award, a Ned Kelly Award and was joint winner of the 2011 Asher Award. It was described by Andrew Rule (Underbelly) as "an arresting debut: astonishingly accomplished and as authentic as a .38 bullet wound." Pam has a Masters by Research from UTS in Creative Writing and has given papers on Crime Fiction at conferences in Australia and the UK. She has taught creative writing at UTS, NSW Writers' Centre, Queensland Writers' Centre and appeared at various writers' festivals.

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:

10 x three-hour daytime sessions

10.30am-1.30pm Thursdays

The subject matter of sessions as listed below is a guide only. The exact course content will be finalised according to the experience and interests of the group. The detail of the course content is at the discretion of the Course Director and the Faber Writing Academy.

Session 1: Introductory Session
Session 2: Creating a Strong Opening
Session 3: Plot: Part 1
Session 4: Plot: Part 2

Session 5: Characterisation and Dialogue
Session 6: Structure
Session 7: Narrative Voice and Perspective

Session 8: Prose Style and Editing
Session 9: Endings
Session 10: The Professional Approach: Finding a freelance editor and agent