Writing a Novel Stage 1

w/ Kristina Olsson, Emily O'Grady + guests

Write your novel, discover your readers.

For aspiring and emerging novelists ready to dive in and commit to completing a full manuscript, this course will guide you through the process of planning and plotting your novel, while developing essential skills in writing, and establishing a dedicated writing practice.

1 March – 31 May 2022 (3 months)

Avid Reader – Brisbane

Avid Reader
193 Boundary St
West End QLD 4101

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$3,250 / $2,762.50 alumni
or $2,762.50 for those who sign up for Writing a Novel: Stage 2 at the same time.

This is a past course.

Using a proven combination of craft-focused tuition, targeted writing exercises, group discussions and carefully selected readings, the focus of this course will be on your own work, with the aim of ending the course with a complete first draft of your novel.

Based inside Australia’s leading independent publishing house, this course gives you invaluable access to the literary community. Writing a Novel Stage 1 is a targeted program specifically designed to help you find the focus you need to stay the distance and finish your manuscript draft.

For three months, your Course Director will provide you with:

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

• Dedicated guidance from your experienced Course Director, as well as guest tutors drawn from a community of highly respected authors.

• A personalised individual consultation on your project from your Course Director.

• The chance to workshop your novel-in-progress in a supportive small-group setting with limited participant numbers.

• The ability to connect with fellow committed novelists, building a close-knit community of trusted readers. The connections made during this course will support and foster your work for years to come.

In addition to course work, students who complete both stages of Writing a Novel will be invited contribute to the Faber Writing Anthology, a professionally edited and printed showcase of student work. At the end of these two programs, an extract of your manuscript should be in perfect shape to submit to our anthology, which is then sent out to an extensive list of leading literary agents and publishers in both Australia and across the United Kingdom.

Read Kristina Olsson’s blog here.

Writers you'll be working with:

Kristina Olsson

Kristina Olsson is an award-winning writer of fiction, non-fiction and journalism. Her 2013 memoir, Boy, Lost, garnered multiple national awards. Her most recent  novel, Shell, is set in Sydney against the backdrop of the building of Sydney Opera House and Australia’s entry into the Vietnam War. It launched the legendary Scribner Australia literary imprint and was shortlisted…

Emily O’Grady

Emily O’Grady is a writer from Brisbane. Her debut novel, The Yellow House won the 2018 Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award and was shortlisted for the 2019 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction. Her work has been published in Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings, The Big Issue fiction edition, and New Australian Fiction 2021.  She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Queensland University of Technology,…

Course outline

The course consists of:

12 x evening sessions (Tuesdays 6.00pm to 8.00pm) + 3 x full-day sessions (Saturdays 10am 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 director and Faber Writing Academy at Allen & Unwin.

Session 1: Tuesday 1 March

Session 2: Tuesday 8 March
Types of prose, showing and telling

Session 3: Tuesday 15 March
Sentences and tense

Session 4: Saturday 19 March
Characters major and minor

Session 5: Tuesday 22 March
Point of View

Session 6: Tuesday 29 March April
Guest Speaker

Session 7: Saturday 2 April
Exercises and thoughts on structure

Session 8: Tuesday 5 April


Session 9: Tuesday 26 April

Session 10: Tuesday 3 May
Rhythm and pace

Session 11: Saturday 7 May
Guest speaker and more on character

Session 12: Tuesday 10 May
Narrative drive

Session 13: Tuesday 17 May
Guest Speaker

Session 14: Tuesday 24 May
Place & Setting

Session 15: Tuesday 31 May
The creative mind

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

Praise for this course

“Kris was phenomenal. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher. She’s insightful, humble, practical and curious. What more could you want?” 2021

“Kristina Olsson is an amazingly generous and insightful teacher. I have seen her lead these workshops with the kind of tender helping hand that an emerging novelist needs. Her own writing is fierce and sharp and meticulous and in these workshops Kristina directs the students to examine their own work with the same kind of forensic detail. If anyone can whisper a great book out of a messy first draft or a hesitant author it is Kristina Olsson. 100% recommend her to any one starting out in this industry. ” 2021

“It’s a great way to show your work when you have no idea if it’s even worth reading, Kris has created a wonderfully supportive and caring environment that helps those with L plates gain some confidence.” 2021

How to Apply

This is a past course.