Allen & Unwin » Faber Writing Academy

Stephanie DowrickThe Writers' Workshop

with Stephanie Dowrick

20 April - 27 June 2015

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

Course fee: $2,100 (inc. GST)

'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 (The Writers' Workshop 2014)

'The Writers' Workshop stimulates you to write weekly, think freshly and build confidence in your work. Stephanie passes on her expert skills through three methods: the introduction of key ideas, focussed discussions on each individual's work and engaging with each student to set and achieve weekly goals. This results in the removal of mental blocks that prevent you from writing well and increasing your word count.' Sarah (The Writers' Workshop 2014)

The Writers' Workshop, made up of seven evening sessions plus a concluding full-day workshop, is intended to be an intensely rewarding time of writing and of "new thinking": about your work - and about yourself as a creative person and writer. The emphasis here is on you, the writer, as well as on your writing. As the meetings continue, you will write with increasing fluency and satisfaction and will discover what brings out your best intentions. Just as vitally, you will have time to consider in rare depth what a "writing life" means to you; what motivates and sustains you as a writer; what your goals are and how you can achieve them; what and how you read for pleasure, craft and inspiration.

Through focused discussion of each individual's work and of writing and reading more generally, you will explore vital questions of craft, while also investigating and growing your vision of what you can discover and achieve through your writing. You will certainly increase the intrinsic rewards of your writer's life, whether or not the work you produce is yet shared publicly.

Throughout the course, you will be encouraged to try new skills and to approach your writing with an enhanced sense of adventure. Each meeting will offer a mix of teaching on the evening's topic along with discussion, exercises, and a rotating focus on participants' work, always involving the whole group in how to listen with interest and generosity, as well as how to meet craft and content challenges, self-edit and re-write.

The Writers' Workshop is best suited to people who are ready to write in a regular, committed way, who are eager to advance a substantial project, or to try out new forms. The group is likely to include creative writers of non-fiction as well as fiction and perhaps some poets. Whatever your current modality and experience, The Writers' Workshop will offer each participant greater choice, pleasure and freedom within and beyond their current writing repertoire. It will also offer the delights of an intensely supportive writing group and the stimulation and confidence that brings.


About the Course Director

Stephanie Dowrick PhD., is one of Australia's most successful writers. She has been actively involved with writing, editing and publishing for almost four decades. Writing has been her main focus since 1983 and in that time she has written 14 successful books for adults, both fiction and non-fiction. Five have been No.1 bestsellers. She has also written two books for children. Stephanie Dowrick came to writing after a celebrated publishing career, including founding the prestigious independent London publishing house, The Women's Press. She has worked closely with many significant writers including Alice Walker, Janet Frame and Gillian Mears. She was Allen & Unwin's Fiction Publisher in the early 1990s, was the "Inner Life" columnist for the Good Weekend from 2001-2010, and has contributed to all our major media outlets. Her doctoral research was on the visionary poet, Rainer Maria Rilke (about whom she wrote In the Company of Rilke); she is also the author of Creative Journal Writing. A trained psychotherapist, Stephanie has taught writing in a number of settings for many years. She brings to her teaching a highly responsive, undogmatic style, and regards writing as "a privileged voyage of discovery" for every genuinely committed writer.

Books by Stephanie Dowrick

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:

7 x evening sessions

6pm-9pm Mondays

1 x full-day session

10am - 4.30pm Saturday

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: Monday 20 April
Finding your voice (and way): writing with new depth and fluency.

Session 2: Monday 27 April
What your writing reveals: curiosity, content, intent. 'Listening' to what's on the page.

Session 3: Monday 4 May
Shaping your work: pace, clarity, precision, detail, depth, persuasiveness.

2 WEEKS OFF – COURSE STARTS AGAIN 25 MAY *

Session 4: Monday 25 May
Senses, including sense(s) of time, urgency, possibility, presence and freedom.

Session 5: Monday 1 June
Deep looking. Re-writing. Editing. When is 'enough' enough?

1 WEEK OFF – COURSE STARTS AGAIN 15 JUNE *

Session 6: Monday 15 June
Yourselves as writers: valuing and exploring obstacles; using strengths creatively.

Session 7: Monday 22 June
Capturing a reader's interest; sustaining your own.

Session 8: Saturday 27 June
Writing into the future.

The emphasis on this concluding day will be on the writing practices that can sustain you beyond The Writers' Workshop. Your own work and writing ambitions will be centre stage on this day with maximum time allowed for each participant. We will also be sharing and consolidating ideas about enhancing your "life of the mind" – on the page and beyond it – as well as consolidating and affirming your writing achievements and commitment.

*Please note the two 'breaks' in the course schedule. These give participants an invaluable opportunity to develop their writing and consolidate their skills, before returning to learn and achieve more.


Further student testimonials

‘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 (The Writers’ Workshop 2014)

‘Stephanie is an inspirational tutor and, more than that, a mentor and guide. She also has excellent practical suggestions and observations on technique.’ Penelope (The Writers’ Workshop 2014)

‘I thought Stephanie was wonderful and insightful, warm, caring, funny, delightful. The discussions were very thought provoking. The course exceeded my expectations.’
Katy (The Writers’ Workshop 2014)


How to Make a Booking

Applicants are asked to submit a one page outline of what they are likely to be working on (it doesn't matter if you change your mind between applying and beginning the course!) and what their writing goals are, together with the application form. This application material will not necessarily be used to exclude participants but to tailor the course to requirements. The deadline for applications is 10 April.
*We would like you to note that this course is filling fast and that we have strictly limited numbers.

To secure your booking, please email your application material to: faberwritingacademy@allenandunwin.com

or post to: Faber Writing Academy at Allen & Unwin, PO Box 8500, St Leonards NSW 1590

For further information contact:
faberwritingacademy@allenandunwin.com or (02) 8425 0171

Download the application form (PDF)

Payment details
Applicants will be asked to pay a non-refundable first instalment of the course fee of $680 upon registration. The balance of $1420 will be payable in two instalments of $710 each on the 1 May 2014 and 1 June 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.