Start to Write: Fiction

w/ Gretchen Shirm and James Bradley

You’ve got a great idea for a story. What do you do next?

Start to Write is the writing series at the Faber Writing Academy designed to kick-start your writing life.

Tuesday 10 November, Wednesday 11 November and Thursday 12 November 2020

3 evenings, 6.30-8.30pm AEDT

Course fee: $ 195/$ 165.75 alumni

This is a past course.

Over three nights, you’ll get the hands-on teaching you need to start writing from acclaimed tutor and novelist Gretchen Shirm, with a guest appearance from James Bradley.

• Discover the tools you need to start writing.
• Overcome common problems shared by emerging writers.
• Understand the fundamentals of fiction.

Writers you'll be working with:

Gretchen Shirm

Gretchen Shirm is the author of a collection of short stories Having Cried Wolf, for which she named a 2011 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist. Her first novel Where the Light Falls, published by Allen & Unwin, was shortlisted for the 2017 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards….

James Bradley

James Bradley  is an award-winning writer and literary critic. His books include the novels Wrack, The Deep Field, The Resurrectionist and Clade, a book of poetry, Paper Nautilus, The Penguin Book of the Ocean, The Change Trilogy for young adults and his latest novel, Ghost Species which was published in 2020. His articles and reviews have appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian,…

Course outline


  • Ideas: where do they come from and how are they generated
  • Starting with an idea: the first stages of writing with an idea
  • First thoughts: how to start when you don’t have a clear idea
  • Writing exercises focused on getting started


  • Speaking to books: what books do we love, and why?
  • All about story: some archetypal story structures to help you plan your writing
  • Momentum: how to maintain enthusiasm for a writing project
  • Writing exercises focused on constructing a story


  • What am I writing? thinking about where your writing fits into the broader picture
  • Revision: what to look for in the redrafting phase
  • Troubleshooting: some common structural mistakes early writers make
  • Writing exercises focused on revision

Praise for this course

“Really practical tips to get started which was great, and what I was hoping for.” (2019)

How to Book

This is a past course.