Allen & Unwin » Faber Writing Academy

Student testimonials


'Although the course was not cheap, I think the cost of it distilled the group to a small selection who were equally committed to their writing journey. The cost was, I think, matched by the level of professionalism and it motivated me to make the most of every moment of the learning experience. I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking to upskill to a more professional level. All the staff at Allen & Unwin were warm and welcoming and I think we were all inspired to want to be part of a publishing house that is so supportive of its writers.' - Kelly, Sydney, 2016

Writing a Novel

True Stories

Ready to Submit?

Facts to Fiction

The Writers' Workshop

Writing for Children (Melbourne)

Getting Started

Writing for Children - Beginners (Sydney)

Getting Published as a Writer for Children

Writing the Past

Editing Fundamentals

Start to Write

How to Write the Novel in You

Writing a Life

Short Story Masterclass

Writing Young Adult Fiction

Revise, Revise, Revise

Fluency and Insight

Telling the Truth

Getting Published


Writing a Novel

'The individual feedback was fantastic - both the session with the tutor and in our feedback groups on Saturdays. The atmosphere was always very relaxed and welcoming. No question was deemed too "dumb" to ask. I think we all felt comfortable and safe. Like most things in life, I think you get out of the course what you put in. I feel my second draft has improved immeasurably. A fantastic educational experience. Worth every penny! ' - Simon, Sydney, Writing a Novel - Stage 2, 2016

'The enthusiasm and genuine nature of the tutors, and their practical knowledge is great and has helped me improve my writing MASSIVELY!' - Anon, Melbourne, Writing a Novel - Stage 2, 2016

'This course exceeded my expectations and truly was a lovely experience. The group was full of great writers who all supported each other. Kathryn and James are both highly knowledgeable and generous, skilled teachers. Exceeded my expectations!' - Katy, Sydney, Writing a Novel - Stage 2, 2016

'Toni and Paddy's support has been pivotal. The course is definitely value for money.' - Katherine, Melbourne, Writing a Novel - Stage 2, 2016

'I loved the practical exercises and technical approach to problem solving. Also the guests were fantastic. The teaching style was very diplomatic and constructive. It's been so good - thank you.' - Diana, Sydney, Writing a Novel - Stage 2, 2016

'Toni and Paddy have been an amazing, encouraging support - mentors as well as teachers.' - Rob, Melbourne, Writing a Novel - Stage 2, 2016

'Kathryn and James make learning the craft contagious if not downright addictive. Their humour, knowledge and simple plain advice get you through the tough times.' - Charles, Sydney, Writing a Novel - Stage 2, 2016

'Fabulous teachers & writers.' Anon, Melbourne, Writing a Novel - Stage 2, 2016

'Kathryn was my tutor and she was inspirational, supportive and challenging - a great mix. I will totally miss her passion and energy and motivation.' Linda, Sydney, Writing a Novel - Stage 2, 2016

'Excellent writing exercises that drew attention to specific skills as ways to improve your writing.' - Sherryn, Melbourne, Writing a Novel - Stage 2, 2016

'My expectations have been surpassed. I have done a couple of creative writing courses before but none that have made me feel that I have become a better, more confident writer. I heard about the courses through a friend and I agree with what she said 'There is no other courses I would spend my time or money on. It's nice to know that there are those within the industry working so hard to support us fledgling writers.' - Lindsay, Writing a Novel - Stage 2, 2016

'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, Writing a Novel - Stage 1, 2016

'Every week I learnt new tools which I could use straight away. It helped me at a macro and micro level. The teaching style made me want to write more and gave me confidence in my own writing. The course exceeded my expectations.' - Rob, Melbourne, Writing a Novel - Stage 1, 2016

'It helped me clarify the direction of my novel and think about what is missing. I feel motivated and ready to move on.' - Kelli, Sydney, Writing a Novel - Stage 1, 2016

'I feel like I've achieved a great breakthrough in my writing due to the expert tutoring.' - Anon, Melbourne, Writing a Novel - Stage 1, 2016

'Fantastic course tutor, warm, generous, engaging, so knowledgeable.' - Anon, Sydney, Writing a Novel - Stage 1, 2016

'All the aspects involved in writing were most helpful e.g. narrative drive, point of view, language, dialogue, formatting, workshopping, all of it really.' - Renee, Melbourne, Writing a Novel - Stage 1, 2016

'The teaching was helpful and uniquely insightful. I didn't entirely know what to expect but the course was value for money and more. I was very reassured by the whole environment.'- Anon, Sydney, Writing a Novel - Stage 1, 2016

'I have had such a great experience. I loved both teaching styles and found learning from published authors most helpful.' - Jean, Melbourne, Writing a Novel - Stage 1, 2016

'Technical advice, support and advice was the most helpful about the course as well as group interaction and support.' - Stephen, Sydney, Writing a Novel - Stage 1, 2016

'The course is absolutely value for money. Practical, engaging and warm style of teaching.' - Nada, Melbourne, Writing a Novel - Stage 1, 2016

'Practical. Inspirational' - Aziza, Sydney, Writing a Novel – Stage 1, 2016

'Excellent suggestions got me through a rather complex problem with the story arc.' - Katherine, Melbourne, Writing a Novel - Stage 1, 2016

'Toni provided direct and constructive feedback and support, great tips and went out of her way to make sure I was on track. She has been a great source of encouragement and has a great sense of humour. Paddy provided a relaxed and very supportive approach, such great ideas and tips, very open to new ideas and there was lots of laughter in class. I had the best time meeting Toni, Paddy and classmates as well as all the guests. The information I learnt is invaluable and will make me a better writer.' - Anonymous, Melbourne, 2015

'I was thorough in my research when choosing writing courses and found none could compare to the Faber course. It met all my expectations and gave me the tools to do things I didn't believe I could. It was definitely value for money and I am glad I invested my money and time in this course.' - Stephanie Kentepozidis, Melbourne, 2015

'The course exceeded my expectations and is value for money. I could not have had a better tutor. Kathryn was engaging and entertaining and I have learnt so much from her.' - Kim Astill, Sydney, 2015

'The writing exercises took me to places I wouldn't have gone on my own. Toni's positivity and detailed feedback were very useful and reassuring. Paddy was also very insightful and encouraging.' - Michelle Wright, Melbourne, 2015 who was subsequently shortlisted for the Award for an Unpublished Manuscript in the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards

'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 thing that could have been done better or that I would want done differently.' - Janine Dickinson, Sydney, 2015

'I started with just an idea (which has changed dramatically) and at course end I am about a third of the way through my first draft with a clearer idea and story structure. I am confident I will finish my first draft in the next three months. The course is most definitely value for money.' - Anonymous, Sydney, 2015

'The skills I have learnt on this course and the launching into writing a novel with the development of the habits of a "real" writer have given me the confidence I needed to continue to develop my writing skills. It has been a very positive turn in my life. Thank you.' - Jenny Stapledon, Sydney, 2015

'Thanks to all at Faber Academy. I learnt so much doing that course.' - Debra Jopson, Sydney, 2011.
Debra's first novel, Oliver of the Levant is coming out with Random House in 2016.

'Anyone who has attempted to write a novel knows how difficult it can be, how easy it is to become trapped in the thicket of your own work. Undertaking this course is like being led into a clearing – it provides a sort of illumination of the novel writing process.' - Sarah Price, Sydney, 2014

'... all the practical things I learnt that I couldn't read online, or in a book; the opportunity to meet editors and agents' - Leah De Forest, Melbourne 2014

'Big investment that has cleared the way for me and shown a way forward with my writing' - John Somerville, Sydney, 2014

'The course has been very, very worthwhile and has taught me a lot... What I needed most was encouragement from those in the industry that I had something worthwhile to say and a talent to nurture. Whatever the fate of my novel, I can't thank the Faber Academy enough!' - Dina Ross, Melbourne, 2014

'Have your presumptions changed about writing and publishing' - Karl Bourke, Sydney, 2014

'I did not study English Literature at University and so only knew intuitively the workings of the novel. This course has filled in the gaps and I feel more confident about my novel and others I hope to write. The one-on-one consultations, group workshopping and publisher feedback prepared me well for submitting my novel to the industry.' - Sarah Menary, Sydney, 2014

'The perfect start for anyone looking for a practical rather than academic introduction to the craft of writing.' - Julian Canny, Sydney, 2013

'Getting constant feedback from industry experts was extremely helpful . . . I learned a lot that I can apply to my own work both now and in the future . . . More than returned the money I paid for this course.' - James Walden, Melbourne, 2013

'A writing school on the rooftop of a big publishing house, wow. It's literally in the air. Just taking deep breaths, sucking in the fumes, is inspiring . . . I found it unreal that I was supported to be the writer that I am. At no stage did I feel put in a box, or constrained by the rules.' - Dave Verey, Sydney, 2013

'The course pretty much met, if not exceeded, my expectations. It certainly was value for money.' -Maria Haughey, Melbourne, 2013

'It helped me focus on my writing more effectively and to consider the technical aspects of what I was doing.' - Steph Little, Melbourne, 2012

'I came on this course with the aim of learning the tools: character, plot, structure, narrative arc etc. I left enriched.' - Clare Press, Sydney, 2012

'I gained a deeper understanding of all the elements that go into shaping and writing the novel you are trying to write.'- Sienna Brown, Sydney, 2012

'I knew I had gaps [in my knowledge] but couldn't quite work out what and why. Now I can, and for the first time, I actually believe I can do this.' - Bethany, Sydney, 2012

'Every single session gave me at least one light bulb moment, something that helped me untie a knot I'd been working with. Of course untying some of the knots just revealed new, more complex ones underneath, but the course really gave me the tools and the impetus to keep plugging away at all the knots.' - Carolyn Swindell, Sydney, 2011

'I started with 10,000 words and ended up with a 60,000 word first draft so this course was very helpful indeed . . . Very professional, but also very friendly and relaxed, and I appreciated that.' - Jacqui Stack, Sydney, 2011

'Like every other aspect of the course, and putting aside the brilliance of James and Kathryn, the organisation and delivery over the past six months has been flawless. Faber Academy empowers you to write and think like a writer. The question for me is no longer if I will finish my book, but when.' - Luke Sullivan, Sydney, 2011

'James shared valuable insights into his writing process and provided support and encouragement unstintingly.' - Sally Gibbons, Sydney, 2011

'I define the value of the Faber course in that it has given me all the basic writing tools I need to write a novel - it's now up to me to provide the 'umpf' of writing the actual book, but in terms of nuts and bolts, inspiration, encouragement and ideas the course has provided them all.' - Catriona Ling, Sydney, 2011

'I found the course to be helpful on a number of levels: the regular classes encouraged me to become more disciplined in the act of writing; It gave me a deadline for a draft which I managed to complete; it introduced me to a community of writers; it provided a wealth of knowledge and experience, both personal and practical, to further explore my own ideas and the craft of writing; it gave me the confidence that I can write a novel . . . The guest speakers and tutors were fantastic. All the staff were warm and encouraging and Kathryn Heyman was such an inspiration. Not only did she provide insight into the craft but she helped me to realise that I love to write!' - Adrienne Adams, Sydney, 2011

'It was very helpful to have acknowledgement and discussion about the challenges of the writing process both mechanically, and personally . . . Because of the approach everyone was supported and challenged equitably and enthusiastically. Like most I am sure, I didn't want the course to end and hold it as a great experience that I won't forget. It has set my life on a new and exciting path.' - Georgina Crawford, Sydney, 2011

'This is a great writing course. Inspiring and practical and full of wisdom and fun. It was a privilege to learn from great teachers and share with wonderful fellow writers.' - Liz Jurman, Sydney, 2011

'I think I can speak for everyone in saying that this course has really been more than a course. In 6 unforgettable months, James and Kathryn have carefully delivered to us the essential tools required to fully articulate those nagging ideas circling in our souls. They have enabled us to plan and move forward with manuscripts that now have a hope of coming to life. It is not only this gift but the way in which they achieved this that has made it so significant . . . honest and encouraging, there has been humour and pain in equal measure . . . and patient accommodation of individual struggles both professional and personal It's been epic, it's been dramatic, it's been confronting, it's been great. Tuesday nights have never been so rewarding nor any Saturday so inspiring. Thank you.' - Lyn McDonald, Sydney, 2011

'I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this course to a friend. It was much better than any university course I've done.' - Barbara Hatten, Sydney, 2011

'The Faber Academy Novel Writing course gave me a much needed framework and deadlines to work seriously on my novel with the benefit of proper feedback from experienced novelists. Listening to the guest authors reveal their writing processes and offer practical advice to new writers was priceless. Almost as importantly, the weekly meetings and day workshops with other attendees, all grappling with their own books, dispersed a little of the loneliness of writing and became a kind of mutual therapy that I think we all missed very much when the course ended.' - Joanne Riccioni, Sydney, 2011

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True Stories

'The course kickstarted my return to writing after a long absence, it gave me deadlines to meet, encouraging feedback, a recognition that I could fit writing into my life and a community of writers to continue to work with at the end. Eight of us have continued meeting in a monthly writing group, supporting each other's writing. We are all very different but Patti made the class a very safe place to share our stories and, with that foundation, we have been able to continue.' - Louisa Costa, Sydney, 2015

'This course has enabled me after years of taking notes on my book to actually write. Patti's very considered feedback on our chapters was incredibly helpful as were her focus, in each class, on one tool strategy and her openness to discuss the pitfalls and mistakes she has encountered in her own writing.' - Samantha Selinger-Morris, Sydney, 2015

'Expert mentoring, wonderful teacher. I admired the way she was able to manage all the different personalities so that everybody felt fairly treated and paradoxically specially treated. I honestly find it difficult to rate any of the individual elements less than 10.' - Paul Denton, Sydney, 2015

'Patti was incredibly generous with her feedback and all that she offered throughout the course from her own personal and professional writing journeys.' - Natalie Daniel, Sydney, 2014

'I had finished a first draft of the book and hated it . . . did the course over a six month period and forced myself to finish it in that time. The course was fantastic because it gave me confidence to continue. All the writers in the group were encouraging and for the first time I started to believe what I had to say was worthwhile. The course gave me confidence to continue.' - Jayne Newling. Sydney, 2013
Jayne wrote Missing Christopher during the course and it has since been published by Allen & Unwin. The quotation above was taken from interview by Megalong Books.

'I learn how to write a memoir from the start to the finish. Patti grew all of her students from the first lesson to the last.' - Michelle Whitfield, Sydney, 2014

'Every now and then in life, if you're lucky, you come across a teacher like Patti. I cannot speak more highly of her teaching style, integrity and care. This has been a life changing course in many ways.' - Kahla Gerard, Sydney, 2014

'Working with Patti Miller was a joy - her experience and her skills as a teacher are invaluable. All group participants show improved writing no matter what their starting points.' - Penelope Kearney, Sydney, 2013

'I absolutely loved it and feel I have learned an enormous amount. Thanks to the course I am now addicted to writing and do not mind re-writing and re-working things because I have learned the pleasure of conjuring with words to capture and convey experience. There are other great gains. I now find myself reading with much more awareness of language and structure and it is a much richer experience because of this. That alone would be enough to make the course of great value to me.' - Jo Karaolis, Sydney, 2013

'Patti is superb, experienced and gives well-constructed, helpful criticism. She has improved my writing immeasurably.' - Rebecca Poulson, Sydney, 2013

'Patti Miller's course introduced me to the vital elements, techniques and approaches needed to learn the craft of writing a book. The input from other writers, editors, publishers, literary critics, agents and publicists was invaluable.' - Therese Spruhan, Sydney, 2013

'The support and camaraderie; trust and respect we built up as a group was essential and very much a plus . . . I was quite intimidated prior to doing this course - publishing houses were like God. I found you all most approachable and human!' - Robyn Elliott, Sydney, 2012

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How to Write the Novel in You

'I came away with a clear direction for my writing - both the approach to the writing and the story itself.' - Simon Shields, Sydney, 2014

'This course met all my expectations . . . I had the most useful and enjoyable weekend - one that made a difference to the direction of my life.' Anonymous, Sydney, 2014

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Facts to Fiction

'Lisa is a great teacher. Structured, relaxed, open and helpful.' Anonymous, Melbourne, 2014

'Lisa (Lang) did a fabulous job . . . She put so much of herself into the day. I've been to a few courses during my writing career and she was by far the best. And she was time focused – a simple thing but so rare.' - Glen Thomson, 2013, Melbourne

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The Writers' Workshop

'I found the depth and insights of Stephanie's approach most inspiring and helpful. I also appreciate her insistence on a non-competitive approach, so very important when struggling to be real and authentic on the page.' - Sheridan Rogers, Sydney, 2014

'[Stephanie Dowrick] began a class with… a talk about the subject matter, reading from examples along the way. I found these absolutely enlightening. Stephanie is a masterful teacher and I feel so lucky to be learning from her. She has created a safe environment where feedback can be positive, nourishing and encouraging yet real and useful.' - Juliette O'Brien, Sydney, 2014

'Stephanie Dowrick is an inspirational tutor and more than that, also a mentor and guide. She also has excellent practical suggestions and observations on technique.' - Penelope Ransby, Sydney, 2014

'It was an adventure in writing and a rich life experience.' - Katy Morgan, Sydney 2014

'It was an exhilarating experience. In the process we began to observe more closely and think more deeply, read with more appreciation and feel more able to express ourselves in language.' - Helen Greenacre, Sydney, 2014

'Stephanie is brilliant at growing writers' confidence and individual clarity of vision.' - Sarah Menary, Sydney, 2014

'Stephanie (Dowrick) is a national icon of excellence. She encouraged us, one and all.' - Peter McGrath, Sydney, 2014

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Writing for Children (Melbourne)

'Comprehensive, informative, supportive and encouraging. Interesting speakers, realistic homework load. Delivery of feedback was respectful, realistic and encouraging and set the tone for others in the group, fostering a supportive network. Although the course was not cheap, I think the cost of it distilled the group to a small selection who were equally committed to their writing journey. The cost was, I think, matched by the level of professionalism and it motivated me to make the most of every moment of the learning experience. I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking to upskill to a more professional level. All the staff at Allen & Unwin were warm and welcoming and I think we were all inspired to want to be part of a publishing house that is so supportive of its writers.' - Kelly, Melbourne, 2016

'Did the course meet my expectations? Heck to the yeah! I wanted an intensive, in-depth course that would cover all the major elements of writing for children. What I got was all that, plus the opportunity to work with an amazing mentor, in a physical space that calls out for books to be written, all wrapped up in an atmosphere of support. The money spent is comparable to a unit in a university course but the outcome offered so much more. Where else could I get a three-month apprenticeship' with one of Australia's best writers? I'd also like to thank all the A&U Melbourne staff who made the running of the course possible. I was greeted with warmth by everyone that I encountered. I really appreciate the care and attention that was taken.' - Carolyn, Melbourne, 2016

'I have made a lot of progress in a short time. I appreciated the staff at Faber Writing Academy very much.' - Josie, Melbourne, 2016

'I learned an enormous amount and am keen to continue writing.' - Ellen, Melbourne, 2016

'The course was absolutely wonderful. It was such a joy getting together with everyone each week to discuss something everyone enjoys so much. The course structure and content were so helpful and I learnt so much. Martine was a fabulous teacher. The course materials were great and I have referred back to them numerous times. The venue was perfect - I could not imagine doing this course anywhere else.' - Kate Hutchings, Melbourne, 2014

'(The course) did meet my expectations and exceeded them. I wrote more than I anticipated I would.' - Leesa Allinson, Melbourne 2013

'Well, I certainly have all the tools and information I need to write a children's picture book. And a good one at that! Perhaps a series of short stories or a novel might come of it. There are no excuses now. Both Sally Rippin and Martine Murray have been exceptional teachers. Not only are their stories, style and different approaches to writing inspiring, but their knowledge and expertise in the area of children's writing is invaluable. If you are serious about writing for children, then this is the course for you. I loved it!' - Tanya Allison, Melbourne, 2013

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Writing for Children - Beginners (Sydney)

'Eloquently delivered. Stimulating. Succinct and informative.' - Paul, Sydney, 2015

'Anna was very encouraging and gave great feedback.' - Georgina, Sydney, 2015

'I truly recommend her as a teacher for being informative and helpful.' - Anthony, Sydney, 2015

Getting Started

'For me as an absolute beginner it has given me a great place to start.' Anonymous, Melbourne, 2014

Getting Published

'So much focused, relevant information. Sue is a great presenter. This course exceeded my expectations.' Colleen Goth, Sydney, 2015

'So many pointers about process. Loved feedback session – enlightening to hear other perspectives on everyone's work. My first feedback on my writing, very reassuring.' Baska Bartsch, Sydney, 2015

'I've come away with invaluable information on the inside world of publishing' Lucy Bowler, Melbourne, 2014

'It really was excellent value for money. By comparison the type of professional, industry run courses I've been doing over the years in IT are normally $500 per day and more. Sue Hines's insights are invaluable and I can't imagine there's anywhere else aspiring authors are going to get so close to the inner workings of a publishing house. Sue can draw on powerful anecdotes from decades of experience. First page exercises were excellent, giving us the rules, then analysing some published examples before work-shopping our own. Those workshops are really valuable for picking up mechanical issues in your writing that you can't see because you're too close to it, and also tease out things that just aren't working, or at least not the way you intended. IT WAS REALLY GOOD.' - Mark MacNamara, Sydney, 2014

'Sue's experience and insights were invaluable . . . I really, really enjoyed Sue's style – very engaging, interesting and obviously incredibly experienced.' - Michelle Harris, Sydney, 2014

'Inside knowledge - first hand - better than any "how to" book.' - Carol Goess, Melbourne, 2013

'Fantastic, productive day in an encouraging environment.' - Andrea Gillum, Melbourne, 2013

'Such a rare opportunity to learn about the mysterious world of publishing from one of its masters, Sue Hines. Years of study did not and could not have taught me what Sue covered in a single day. She is patient without being patronising, honest and very generous with her sharing of knowledge. I took a punt in travelling from Adelaide for the workshop and was not disappointed. My individual questions received full, frank and fearless answers and my work was expertly assessed and commented on. Invaluable industry insights, delicious food, and a fistful of readings to take home, chosen for their usefulness by a publisher no less. Sue motivated and inspired me. It was well worth $295.' - Dianne Maguire, Melbourne, 2012

'Trade Publishing Director at Allen & Unwin, Sue Hines provided valuable information to the 15 participants on the current state of publishing in Australia, the markets for different genres, how to prepare a good publishing proposal, the main reasons manuscripts are rejected, and how to edit that all-important first page, as well as giving individual feedback on the first two pages of the participants' manuscripts . . . New and emerging writers should not hesitate to spend the $295 it cost to gain such privileged access to an experienced publisher.' - Irina Dunn, Director, Australian Writers Network, Sydney, 2012

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Getting Published as a Writer for Children

'It was great how she gave so much information in such a short time, precisely and clearly. The course absolutely met my expectations and way above and is definitely value for money.' - Amanda, Melbourne, 2015

'Every question I had was answered.' - Juliet, Melbourne, 2014

'It was good to get an honest picture of children's publishing from those in the business. Very interesting.' - Kelli, Melbourne, 2014

'The course content was extremely informative. All of my major questions were answered.' - Michelle Lewry, Melbourne, 2013

'Having an inside look into the publishing process and the acquisitions process was invaluable.' - Astrid Scholte, Melbourne, 2013

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Writing the Past

'Faber Academy courses appeal to me because of the pedigree of the teachers and the publishing house, Allen and Unwin. I'm passionate about writing and wanted my manuscript to be of a quality I felt could be published or at least attract the attention of an agent. Creative writing is my passion but there are so many writing courses out there it was hard to choose which one would be right for me. During the Writing the Past course I met other writers who had the same interests as myself, I learnt how to access various databases, ethical considerations to take into account and the importance of perspective and issues relating to writing about a time period with values that are dissimilar to these modern times. We had the opportunity to do some exercises in class to cement in the techniques we were learning, and had a guided tour of the NSW Library with lessons on how to access their databases. As a result of doing this short course, I felt I had the strong basis to write my manuscript confidently and I was able to complete it fairly quickly. It's now waiting for consideration from a major publisher.' - Lisa Venables, author of the memoir, Saving Zali published by Pan Macmillan in 2014

'Helped me shape my project into something manageable. A very intimate course with a focus on us as individuals as well as a group.' - Carolyn Matthews, Sydney, 2013

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Editing Fundamentals

'I found most helpful seeing that the editing process is on-going i.e. previously published authors still work intensively on their writing, and that several early unpublished manuscripts can be seen as 'apprenticeship' works, rather than failures; the high level advice from such a senior person as Annette who is a fantastic teacher. She should be the head of a creative writing department at a university. Very friendly and approachable manner, yet manages to put her finger on exactly what is required, or uncover any discrepancy in the writing, very accurately and quickly. This was a very professional and inspiring course.'- Clarissa Bye, Sydney, 2014

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Short Story Masterclass

'I took 21 pages of scribbled notes (including the exercise Robin set), which is a fairly sound indication of the day's benefits. It was great having Robin's vast experience and accessible instruction for the day.' – Diana Jenkins, Sydney, 2016

'Robin's obvious depth of experience and deft approach provided a memorable introduction to the art of short story writing. Like everyone else, I took copious notes.' - Anne Fussell, Sydney, 2016

'Robin Hemley was a great presenter who broadened my short story horizons, gave me some new insights and crystallised many ideas for me. I found him a very empathic and generous presenter, thoughtfully responding and sharing his writing life with us.'- Megan de Kantzow, Sydney, 2016

'Thank you for a fabulous Short Story Masterclass. It was a rewarding and stimulating experience. Robin was engaging, humble and generous. There was a great wealth of material to take away and contemplate over the coming weeks.' – Adam Byatt, Sydney, 2016

'[most helpful] the depth of writing experience and reference to stories that demonstrated different points Robin made. Practical advice.' - Kahla Gerard, Sydney, 2016

'Everything he told us was instantly applicable and I really know how to move forward with improving my short story now. He's inspiring, humble and giving as a tutor.' - Sarah Menary, Sydney 2016

'Robin was a font of knowledge about many areas. He was extremely informative and helpful. Structure of the day was well-organised.' – Nina Macleod, Sydney, 2016

'Excellent material on short story beginnings and endings.' – Jenny Stapledon, Sydney 2016

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Start to Write

'Very practical. Wonderful. Exceeded expectations. A bargain. ' - Kym Logan, Melbourne, 2015

'Delightful, very friendly and approachable, generous with answering questions.' - J Knibbs – Melbourne, 2015

'It was a terrific introductory course.' - Anonymous, Melbourne, 2015

'What a day! This course came at time when writing a novel seemed just too much – Toni has given me the confidence to just give it ago!' - Heather Zubek, Melbourne, 2015

'Thoroughly engaging and knowledgeable' - Pip Brandon, Sydney, 2014

'A lovely combination of expert knowledge, humour and sharing of personal experience' - Anonymous, Sydney, 2014

'Kathryn is fabulous – very down to earth and it is easy to feel inspired by her.' - Samantha Hawker, Sydney, 2014

'Paddy was a fantastic tutor. I've done a lot of creative workshops and this was one of the best – the atmosphere was non-critical and collaborative, and the exercises she set were just broad enough to get the creative juices flowing without seeming overwhelming or scary. I wholeheartedly recommend this course to anyone who wants to write but doesn't know where to start.' - Samantha Forge, Melbourne, 2014

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Writing a Life

'Arnold was just fantastic. I honestly enjoyed it all. I think it exceeded my expectations.' - Huda, Melbourne, 2016

'Very generous with his wisdom, great snippets of writing as examples from a range of writers. Clearly very experienced in writing but also teaching. Be prepared to take your previously mild ambition seriously!' - Anon, Melbourne, 2016

'Arnold was a very warm and generous presenter. I was blown away by the quality of storytelling from our tutor and the people in the group!' - Diane, Melbourne, 2016

'Inspirational and very approachable. Excellent value, better than expected. Arnold managed all levels of student really well.' - Anon, Melbourne, 2016

'A very thought provoking, stimulating and enjoyable experience.' - Anon, Melbourne, 2016

'Very impressive and helpful. Very valuable to meet with an experienced writer.' - Iain Buckland, Melbourne, 2015

'I particularly liked talking about point of view and hearing others' stories, problem solving around the table, and all the readings Arnold did, all the examples.' - Ilana Sharp, Melbourne, 2015

'Delightfully engaging, insightful and rich with knowledge. Arnold Zable is a Master of Craft.' - Anonymous, Melbourne, 2015

'Thanks Arnold for the specific input and a very useful day.' - Carolyn Mathers, Melbourne 2015

'Given me the confidence to start writing and stop doubting myself. Arnold was such an inspiring presenter. Thoroughly enjoyed it.' - Anonymous, Melbourne, 2015

'It was perfect. He was fabulous.' - Anonymous, Melbourne, 2015

Writing Young Adult Fiction

'The course exceeded my expectations. It followed the outline closely and was very well structured. Jaclyn was generous and engaging, and she provided great advice (her stimulation activities to break writer's block were fantastic). People beginning their novels and those near the end of their project would have been equally well catered for. Rather than telling us how to write for a YA audience, Jaclyn dropped us back into the teenage world. Her advice was generous; the writing exercises unique and stimulating. I would definitely recommend the course to anyone writing for teenagers.' - Sarah Price, Sydney, 2016

'Gained so many helpful ideas about how to move your story and it really helped me connect with the audience. She is a great teacher and really helped us develop our skills. I would do the course again. An excellent way to spend a Saturday!' - Kirsten, Sydney, 2016

'The writing exercises helped to inspire new ways of writing and new stories. I gained more confidence in delivering stories and reading my own work for feedback.' - Natalie, Sydney, 2016

'A lovely day, very valuable for my YA work. Jaclyn was lovely, supportive, warm, wise.' - Paulene, Sydney, 2016

'(Jaclyn) is a great teacher! She really helped us to develop our skills.' - Kirsten, Sydney, 2016

'(Jaclyn was) pleasant, patient, warm, encouraging, accepting of attendees' embarrassment.' - Jacqui, Sydney, 2016

'Jaclyn has real experience as a published author which is relevant and valuable. Excellent exercises. She was interested and approachable. I found the course informative and motivating. Venue itself is inspiring with books around. Take away book a nice touch.' - Anon, Sydney, 2016

'The tutor was very encouraging and observant. It was a helpful environment in which to practise writing and learn with others.' - Anon, Sydney, 2016

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Revise, Revise, Revise: honing and submitting your children's book

'Really engaging. After listening to her I feel inspired to edit (which if you think about it says a lot!) I found the in-depth look at the editing process, breaking the process down and tips about what strategies to employ most helpful. She was extremely practical and honest.' - Renee, Melbourne, 2016

'Elise packed a lot of valuable information into the day. Very interesting and encouraging, good to hear her experiences. Quite inspiring.' - Alison, Melbourne, 2016

'I found the information about structural editing and the editor's role most helpful. Elise made the editing process seem much less scary.' - Anon 1, Melbourne, 2016

'All sections very good - well-structured and informative. The course tutor was honest, informative, sharing.' - Ella, Melbourne, 2016

'Excellent.' - Anon 2, Melbourne, 2016

'Elise made the whole getting published thing feel so much more approachable!' - Anon, Melbourne, 2016

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Fluency & Insight

'Intimate small group. Stephanie is very compassionate and encouraging of each participant. Best workshop I have been to. We all had a chance to share. Very insightful hearing other writers going through similar experiences. Exceeded my expectation.' - Marcela, Sydney, 2016

'Very generous and nurturing. Feedback was careful and considered.' - Jane, Sydney, 2016

'The intimacy and personal nature of the group, small size, well-paced and balanced participation was most helpful.' - Jenn, Sydney, 2016

'Stephanie was wonderful. I feel inspired and excited. She made me see that I already have what I need - a natural teacher.' - Suzanne, Sydney, 2016

'All the writing prompts, the first poem, the settling exercises and the first line/last line exercises were very helpful. I loved Stephanie's personal style of giving her own anecdotes and addressing each one of us personally.' - Anon, Sydney, 2016

'The course exceeded my expectation. Excellent value for money. Every single aspect was most helpful.' - Eileen, Sydney, 2016

'Wonderful, warm and encouraging. Stephanie's encouragement, wisdom and openness was so helpful. It was good to be in a small, intimate, interactive group.' - Ashleigh, Sydney, 2016

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Ready to Submit?: Personalised feedback on your manuscript

'I found the session with Fiona Inglis encouraging and energising. We chatted easily about my twenty-page submission, the storyline and my writing. I will certainly incorporate Fiona's suggestions as I continue to re-write, re-shape and refine my manuscript ahead of seeking publication. The session was definitely worthwhile.' - Kathryn Coughran, Sydney, 2016

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Telling the Truth

'She's fabulous. Absolutely value for money. I will be back for another course. So informative.' - Liz, Sydney, 2016

'By discussing other memoirs, we were able to really get to grips with the difficulties and joys of truth writing. I loved Patti's manner and style. She is obviously very skilled and passionate and it beamed through the course. I left wanting more!' - Tegan, Sydney, 2016

'It helped me get clear on the different types of memoir, and why I might write one. It showed me that I can produce under pressure, and made me think about the stories I have to tell.'- Laurie

'Very knowledgeable and no judgment. Very enjoyable.' - Mandy, Sydney, 2016

'As a short course, I felt it hit all my benchmarks. Very enjoyable and consolidated my basic understanding of the genre.' - Edward, Sydney, 2016

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