Writing a Novel Stage 1

w/ Kristina Olsson + confirmed guests authors, Trent Dalton and publisher Aviva Tuffield.

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.

2 March – 18 May 2021 (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.

• 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 Director, as well as guest tutors including top authors, and agents/publishers.

• Receive a personalised consultation 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.

Read Kristina Olsson’s blog here.



Graduates of Writing a Novel Stage 1 and Stage 2 will have the opportunity to be published in the annual Faber Writing anthology.

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…

Trent Dalton

Trent Dalton has received worldwide acclaim and many awards for his best-selling novels Boy Swallows Universe (2018) and All Our Shimmering Skies (2020). His novels have won and been shortlisted for numerous literary and industry awards including the Indie Book Awards, the International Dublin Literary Award and the Queensland Literary Awards. He is also a two-time…

Aviva Tuffield

Aviva Tuffield has worked in publishing for twenty years, including as deputy editor of Australian Book Review and a publisher at Scribe Publications, Affirm Press and Black Inc. She was a co-founder of the Stella Prize and its inaugural executive director from 2014 to 2018. She is currently a publisher at the University of Queensland…

Course outline

The course consists of:

11 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 2 March

Session 2: Tuesday 9 March
Types of prose, showing and telling

Session 3: Tuesday 16 March

Session 4: Saturday 20 March
Characters major and minor

Session 5: Tuesday 23 March
Point of View

Session 6: Tuesday 30 March
Guest Speaker


Session 7: Saturday 10 April
Exercises and workshopping

Session 8: Tuesday 13 April

Session 9: Tuesday 20 April

Session 10: Tuesday 27 April
Rhythm and pace

Session 11: Saturday 1 May
Guest speaker and more on character

Session 12: Tuesday 4 May
Narrative drive

Session 13: Tuesday 11 May
Guest Speaker

Session 14: Tuesday 18 May
Place & Setting

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?” Participant, 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. ‘ Krissy Kneen, Avid Reader

‘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.’ Amanda Lay (2021)

How to Apply

This is a past course.