Writing a Novel Online

w/ Carrie Tiffany and guests

For emerging novelists ready to dive in and make the commitment to complete a full manuscript, this rigorous course will guide you through the process of planning and beginning your novel, developing essential skills in writing and composition, as well as establishing a dedicated writing practice.

28 February – 26 September 2023

 $5,525 / $4,696.25 alumni


Using a proven combination of targeted writing exercises, group discussions and carefully selected examples, the focus of this course will be on your own work, with the aim of ending the course with a substantial body of new writing, heading towards a complete first draft of your novel.

In the second half of the program you will continue to develop craft and technical skills required to turn a rough draft into a work of art. Using exercises focused on your own work, you’ll finish the course with a deep understanding of the novelist’s craft and how it applies to your own novel. These are lessons you can carry with you throughout your writing life.

Presented by Australia’s leading independent publishing house, Writing a Novel: Online is a targeted program specifically designed to help you find the focus you need to stay the distance and finish your manuscript draft throughout the year. During this time, your Course Director will provide you with:

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

• Dedicated guidance from your experienced Course Director, as well as industry guests.

Personalised individual consultation on your project from your Course Director.

Support to progress your novel through classroom learning and close reading exercises. Outside of your workshops, you will be encouraged to devote as much time as possible between classes to writing.

• The ability to connect with fellow committed novelists, building a close-knit community of trusted readers.

• The opportunity to establish valuable industry connections with key insiders from the Australian publishing. There is no better way to get on the road to publication than to meet the people who know how to make that happen.

In addition to dedicated course work, students who complete Writing a Novel will be invited submit to the Faber Writing Anthology, a professionally edited and printed showcase of student work, sent out to leading literary agents and publishers in both Australia and the United Kingdom. During the course, you will meet with the literary editor who works on the anthology and have the chance to see an extract of your novel professionally edited.

Writers you'll be working with:

Carrie Tiffany

Carrie Tiffany was born in West Yorkshire and grew up in Western Australia. She spent her early twenties working as a park ranger in Central Australia and now lives and works in Melbourne. Her first novel, Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Guardian First Book…

Course outline

The course consists of 22 x online evening sessions (Tuesdays 6.30pm to 8.30pm AEDT) + 6 x half-day sessions (Saturdays 1.00pm to 4.00pm).

Session 1: Tuesday 28 February

Session 2: Tuesday 7 March
The workshop process

Session 3: Tuesday 14 March

Session 4: Saturday 18 March

Session 5: Tuesday 21 March
Point of View

Session 6: Tuesday 28 March

Session 7: Saturday 1 April
Guest author and introduction to dialogue

Session 8: Tuesday 4 April
Dialogue – tension and subtext


Session 9: Tuesday 2 May
Dialogue exercises

Session 10: Saturday 6 May
Place and setting

Session 11: Tuesday 9 May

Session 12: Tuesday 16 May
Introduction to character

Session 13: Tuesday 23 May
Author guest and more on character

Session 14: Tuesday 30 May
Establishing your writing practise


Session 15: Tuesday 18 July
Project check in and writing exercises

Session 16: Tuesday 25 July

Session 17: Tuesday 1 August
Introduction to plot and structure

Session 18: Saturday 5 August
Pattern and design in narrative

Session 19: Tuesday 8 August
Backstory, time shifts and narrative time

Session 20: Tuesday 15 August
Research, ethics and appropriation

Session 21: Saturday 19 August
Editing your work & guest editor

Session 22: Tuesday 22 August
Editing processes & modelling exercise

Session 23: Tuesday 29 August
Synopsis, blurbs & pitches

Session 24: Saturday 2 September
Reading your work – voice coach

Session 25: Tuesday 5 September
Titles and covers

Session 26: Tuesday 12 September
A&U editor guest – anthology Q&A

Session 27: Tuesday 19 September
Literary agent guest

Session 28: Tuesday 26 September
Final readings. Where to from here? Advice for completion.

Please note 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.


Praise for this course

‘The course has, to date, been a very enriching experience. It has met and exceeded my expectations.’ 2022

‘Carrie’s teaching is excellent – consistently thought provoking, highly detailed and targeted. It’s evident that Carrie is very passionate about teaching the course and that she cares about our work.’ 2022

‘Carrie Tiffany was an exceptional instructor. She is one of the most intelligent and thought provoking people I have met who has indisputably improved and impacted my writing like nothing else.’ 2021

‘Carrie was just brilliant. She set up the class norms very clearly early on, and fostered a wonderful culture of openness, respect and critical yet constructive feedback.’ 2021

‘Our tutor was always committed to our continued improvement and success. We were also lucky to have a lovely group of people in our class, all of whom were supportive and caring.’ 2021

‘It’s better than a Masters in Writing course at Swinburne which is the same cost. Far more relevant.’ 2020



How to Apply

In the first instance we encourage all applicants to consider applying for a Faber Writing Scholarship which allows the recipient to undertake the Writing a Novel program for free. Your scholarship application can also act as your general course application – just check the option to be considered for a paid place.

To apply, you will need to submit:

  • An online application answering several questions asked by our Writing A Novel tutors
  • An attachment with a sample of up to 1,000 words of prose

Applications can be submitted here. This selective process ensures that all applicants are applying for the course best suited to their needs and allows the tutor to determine your readiness for the course.

Payment information:

The total cost of the course is  $5,525 / $4,696.25 alumni

Once you have been offered a place in Writing a Novel you will be asked to pay the first monthly instalment as a deposit by the end of February 2023.

Any student who chooses to pay the full course fee by the end of February 2023, will be offered the alumni rate of $4,696.25. Students who choose to pay monthly instalments will commit to 10 monthly payments of $552.50 / $469.60 to be made at the end of each month from February – November.

Please contact us if you wish to discuss further payment plan options via email or phone (02) 8425 0171.