Allen & Unwin » Faber Writing Academy

Toni JordanWriting a Novel

with Toni Jordan and Paddy O'Reilly

plus guests including Aviva Tuffield, Mandy Brett and Clare Forster

10 March - 8 September 2015

Allen & Unwin – Melbourne
406 Albert Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Get directions

Course Fee: $6,500 (inc. GST)

Write your novel, and write it well.

Paddy O'ReillyThis comprehensive six-month course gives you the opportunity to learn to write with the best. It will provide you with the structure and support you need to write the first draft of your novel.

You will benefit from regular workshops that will take you from the first conception of an idea through to getting your words on a page with a focus on narrative structure and style, and the process of re-writing. Writing Your Novel 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.

Learn from the Best with our renowned Course Directors, as well as guest tutors including top authors, editors, agents and industry professionals.
Receive Personalised Tuition and Feedback through one-to-one sessions with an experienced tutor.
Get it Done by engaging fully in the writing process through regular workshops and devoting as much time as possible between classes to writing.
Present Your Work to other committed novelists for invaluable feedback.
Start Your Career with unrivalled access to editors, publishers, agents and people who know how to start the journey to publication.

Praise for Writing a Novel:

'Excellent. 10 out of 10… It was a privilege and a pleasure.' Stephen, 2014

'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, 2013

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

About the Course Directors

Toni JordanToni Jordan's debut novel, the international best-seller Addition, was published in 2008, chosen for the Richard and Judy Bookclub and longlisted for the Miles Franklin award. Her second novel, Fall Girl, was published in Australia, the UK, France, Germany and Taiwan and has been optioned for film. Her latest novel, Nine Days, was awarded Best Fiction at the 2012 Indie Awards, was shortlisted for the ABIA Best General Fiction award and was named by Kirkus Review in the top 10 Historical Novels of 2013. Toni has been widely published in newspapers and magazines. She also teaches creative writing at RMIT University.

Paddy O'ReillyPaddy O'Reilly is the author of three novels and a collection of short stories which have been published and broadcast internationally. Her most recent novel The Wonders, published in August 2014, has garnered much critical acclaim and will be published by Simon and Schuster in the USA in February 2015. 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

Aviva Tuffield is Publisher at Affirm Press.
Mandy Brett is Senior Editor at Text Publishing.
Clare Forster is a Literary Agent with Curtis Brown Australia.

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:

22 x evening sessions (Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30pm) + 6 x full-day sessions (Saturdays from 10am – 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 10 March
Introductory Session: course outline; goals and Inspiration

Session 2: Tuesday 17 March
Types of Prose: showing and telling

Session 3: Tuesday 24 March
Tense: using past, present and future tenses and what these different modes do for your work


Session 4: Tuesday 14 April
Point of View: the first, second or third person

Session 5: Saturday 18 April
Guest Speaker

Session 6: Tuesday 21 April
Developing Character

Session 7: Tuesday 28 April
Writing Dialogue

Session 8: Tuesday 5 May
More on Character

Session 9: Saturday 9 May
Guest Speaker

Session 10: Tuesday 12 May
Pacing your Novel

Session 11: Tuesday 19 May
Landscape, Setting and Detail

Session 12: Tuesday 26 May
Voice in Fiction

Session 13: Saturday 30 May
Plot and Structure

Session 14: Tuesday 2 June
Guest Speaker

Session 15: Tuesday 9 June
Narrative Drive

Session 16: Tuesday 16 June
Research and Believability

Session 17: Tuesday 23 June
Writing Sex


Session 18: Saturday 18 July
Guest Speaker

Session 19: Tuesday 21 July
The Ending of a Novel

Session 20: Tuesday 28 July
Themes and Symbolism

Session 21: Tuesday 4 August
Guest Speaker

Session 22: Saturday 8 August
Guest Speaker

Session 23: Tuesday 11 August
Editing Your Own Work

Session 24: Tuesday 18 August

Session 26: Tuesday 25 August

Session 26: Saturday 29 August
The Next Draft: time planning; motivation

Session 27: Tuesday 1 September
Synopses: learning to articulate your project Getting Published: permissions/agents

Session 28: Tuesday 8 September

How to Make a Booking

All course applicants for Writing a Novel are required to forward a cover letter briefly stating any writing experience and an overview of the idea for the novel identifying what stage it is presently at. Applicants are also required to submit a 1000 word sample of prose. This process ensures that all applicants are applying for the course best suited to their needs.

Please send applications to
or by post to:
Faber Writing Academy Manager
Allen & Unwin
PO Box 8500
St Leonards NSW 1590

Download the application form

Successful applicants will be asked to pay a non-refundable deposit of $2,200 by Friday 6 March 2014 (those paying by Friday 9 January 2015 will pay a discounted deposit of $1,900). Faber Writing Academy Alumni are entitled to a 15% discount ($975) off the course fee and will pay a deposit of $1,225 *. The balance of the course fee, a further $4,300, will be payable in four further instalments of $1075.00 on 1 April, 1 May, 1 June and 1 July 2015 respectively. No refunds will be given to students who miss sessions or drop out of the course.

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

*Talk to us about becoming an Alumni. We now offer a Start to Write 1-day course for the bargain price of $150. Not only do you receive a great day's intensive teaching, you get to try us out and receive discounts off future courses.

Writing a Novel SCHOLARSHIP

Faber Writing Academy offer one scholarship position on the course every year. Scholarship winners for 2015 were recently announced - read more

Writing a Novel Anthology 2014


The 2014 Writing a Novel Anthology

The Faber Writing Academy 'Writing a Novel Anthology 2014 is now available as a free ebook from Kindle.