Allen & Unwin » Faber Writing Academy

Toni JordanWriting a Novel - Stage 1
(Use the registration button below to join the waitlist

with Toni Jordan and Paddy O'Reilly

plus guests including leading industry agents/publishers

5 March - 28 May 2019 (3 months)

Allen & Unwin – Melbourne
406 Albert Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002
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Course Fee: Paddy O'Reilly
$3,250 / $2,760 alumni

$2,760 for those who sign up for Writing a Novel: Stage 2 at the same time

Write your novel, and write it well..

For aspiring novelists ready to leap in, this course will guide you through the process of planning and beginning your novel, developing skills in writing from scratch and establishing a writing practice. Using a combination of targeted writing exercises, group discussion and carefully selected examples, the focus of this course will be on your own writing, with the aim of ending the course with a substantial body of new writing, heading towards a first draft of your novel.

• Benefit from the structure of regular classes covering everything from the first conception of an idea through to getting words on a page, narrative structure and style.

• Learn from our experienced Course Directors, 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 2, 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. There is no better way to get on the road to publication than to meet the people who know how to make that happen.

Praise for Writing a Novel:

'This has been such a fantastic course and it has helped my writing immensely.' Stephanie, 2018

'You must make sure the course survives. It is an essential part of the landscape.'Jonathon, 2017

'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 McDonald, 2016 Rob McDonald's first novel is due to be published by Allen and Unwin in 2019.

'What the course has managed is to get me to stop worrying about writing a novel and to just start getting something – anything – down... Toni and Paddy have helped me to understand is that all this is fine and natural and a necessary stage to go through. They've given me the push I needed to get started and they've managed to make me believe that I will get this novel written.' - Michelle Wright, 2015. Read Michelle's post about this course

About the Course Directors

Toni JordanToni Jordan is the author of four novels. The international best-seller Addition was a Richard and Judy Bookclub pick and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin award. Fall Girl was published internationally and has been optioned for film, and Nine Days was awarded Best Fiction at the 2012 Indie Awards, was shortlisted for the ABIA Best General Fiction award and was named in Kirkus Review’s top 10 Historical Novels of 2013. Our Tiny, Useless Hearts was shortlisted for the Voss Literary Award and longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. Toni has been widely published in newspapers and magazines. Her most recent novel is The Fragments, published in November 2018.

Paddy O'ReillyPaddy O'Reilly is the author of three novels including The Wonders and two collections of short stories, most recently Peripheral Vision, which have been published and broadcast internationally. She has won a number of fiction awards and her books have been shortlisted for the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards and the ALS Gold Medal, as well as being nominated many times in best books of the year lists. She has been a recipient of Australia Council and Arts Victoria awards, as well as Australian and overseas writing residencies. Paddy has a PhD in English from Latrobe University and has won two prizes for excellence in teaching.

About the guests – watch this space. Previous guests include Steven Amsterdam, Chris Womersley, Sophie Cunningham, Steven Caroll, Wayne Macauley, Clare Forster, Aviva Tuffield and Mandy Brett.

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 6:30 to 8:30pm) + 3 x full-day sessions (Saturdays 10:00am to 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 directors and Faber Writing Academy at Allen & Unwin.

Session 1: Tuesday 5 March

Session 2: Tuesday 12 March
Types of prose, showing and telling.

Session 3: Tuesday 19 March

Session 4: Saturday 23 March
Characters major and minor.

Session 5: Tuesday 26 March
Place and setting.

Session 6: Tuesday 2 April
Point of view.


Session 7: Tuesday 23 April

Session 8: Saturday 27 April
Guest speaker and more on character.

Session 9: Tuesday 30 April

Session 10: Tuesday 7 May
Narrative drive.

Session 11: Tuesday 14 May
Rhythm and pace.

Session 12: Saturday 18 May
Exercises and workshopping.

Session 13: Tuesday 21 May
Guest speaker.

Session 14: Tuesday 28 May
Guest speaker.

Writing a Novel: Stage 2 (16 Jul – 24 Sep) is designed to build on Writing a Novel: Stage 1 but each may be taken as a stand-alone course. Talk to us if you need guidance on which course is best for you. If you sign up for both courses at the same time you receive a discount. See ‘How to Make a Booking’ below.

How to Apply

N.B. You will not be charged at this stage of the application. If you are successful in securing a place on the course, we will email you a link to pay the deposit online.

When you apply you will be asked to separately forward a cover letter briefly stating any writing experience and an overview of the idea for the novel identifying its present stage of development. Applicants are also required to submit a 1,500-word sample of prose. This process ensures that all applicants are applying for the course best suited to their needs.Please include your name and ‘Sydney’ or ‘Melbourne’ in the title of all documents that you submit depending on where you would like to complete the course. Email material

Payment details

Successful applicants will be asked to pay a deposit of $1,100 (Faber Writing Academy Alumni are entitled to a 15% discount off the course fee and will pay a deposit of $610*). The balance of the course fee, a further $2150, will be payable in two further instalments of $1075 on 1 April and 1 May respectively. In the week leading up to these dates you will be sent a link for payment options. Refunds are not not available to students who miss sessions or drop out of the course.

* A NOTE FOR NON-ALUMNI: If you wish to also sign up for Writing a Novel: Stage 2 (16 Jul - 24 Sep) at the same time, you will be eligible for the alumni discount on Stage 1 as well as Stage 2 (a double discount). Please tick the relevant box when you apply. If your application is successful, you will pay an additional $610 deposit for the Writing a Novel: Stage 2 course, i.e. a total of $1,220. If you later decide, after completing Writing a Novel: Stage 1, not to proceed to Writing a Novel: Stage 2, your deposit for Writing a Novel: Stage 2 is non-refundable.

Applicants will be advised by early February (one month before the course starts) on the success of their application. If your circumstances require you to find out before then please let us know.

For further information contact Faber Writing or phone (02) 8425 0171.


We are offering one free place on the Writing a Novel: Stage 1 course in 2019. The deadline for scholarship applications is midnight on 14 December 2018 and the winner is announced on 15 January 2019.

HOW TO APPLY: Alongside the regular requirements for applying to the course (see 'How to Apply'Make above), you need to email a one-page statement outlining why you should be considered for the scholarship. This might include information on your financial circumstances, literary talent or merit (prizes and shortlistings). For further information, please see the terms and conditions at the bottom of the scholarships information page.