Writing a Novel Stage 2

w/ Kristina Olsson, Emily O'Grady + guests

Write your novel, discover your readers

This three-month course builds on the work started in Writing a Novel Stage 1 and is suitable for writers who have completed that course, or who have a substantially completed a rough or first draft of a novel-in-progress.

19 July – 4 October (3 months)

Avid Reader – Brisbane

Avid Reader
193 Boundary St
West End QLD 4101

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$3,250 / $2,762.50 alumni

Writing a Novel Stage 2 will 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.

In addition to dedicated course work, students who complete both stages of 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.

In Writing a Novel Stage 2, you will take part in the ‘Anthology Assembly’. 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.

Based inside Australia’s leading independent publishing house, this course gives you invaluable access to the literary community and practical industry connections. This is a skills-based 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 directors will provide you with:

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

• The chance to continue to workshop your novel-in-progress in a supportive small-group setting with limited participant numbers. The connections made during this course will support and foster your work for years to come.

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

• A two-part editorial bootcamp – the Anthology Assembly – where you will meet the editor who will work on the Faber Writing Anthology and receive a professional copy-edit on the work you intend to submit.

Please note that students completing Writing a Novel Stage 1 will have first preference for places in Writing a Novel Stage 2. Places for new students can only be offered if an existing student chooses to discontinue. We will advise new applicants of the availability of places as soon as possible.

Graduates who complete Writing a Novel Stage 1 & 2 will have the opportunity to be published in the annual Faber Writing Anthology.

The Faber Writing Anthology is distributed to publishers and literary agents across Australia and the United Kingdom.

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:

10 x evening sessions (Tuesdays 6.00pm to 8.00pm AEST) + 3 x weekend face-to-face sessions, including lunch and afternoon writing time (Saturdays 10am to 4pm) + a two-part online editorial process on a 2000 word sample of writing.

Session 1: Tuesday 19 July
OUTLINE and course breakdown

Session 2: Tuesday 26 July
OBJECT AND DETAIL: Language, description, metaphor. How
to use ornament, from the pared back to the baroque.

Session 3: Saturday 30 July
PLOT AND STRUCTURE: What happens next? How to build a
compelling narrative.

Session 4: Tuesday 2 August
BEGINNINGS: Your first pages are an invitation that can’t be

Session 5: Tuesday 9 August
GENRE AND ANTI-GENRE : What is ‘genre’? And which one are you
working in? The good, the bad and the ugly of different literary forms.

Session 6: Tuesday 16 August
THEMES AND SYMBOLISM: The thing you’ve come to say, and
how to say it.

Session 7: Saturday 20 August
RE-DRAFTING BOOTCAMP: Writing, writing, writing. And

Session 8: Tuesday 23 August
RESEARCH AND BELIEVABILITY: How to incorporate research into
authentic narrative.

Session 9: Tuesday 30 August

Session 10: ANTHOLOGY ASSEMBLY: Wednesday 31 August: Meet the Faber Writing Anthology Editor

Session 11: Saturday 3 September

Session 12: Tuesday 6 September

Session 13: Tuesday 13 September

BREAK + ANTHOLOGY ASSEMBLY: During this break you will partake in the copy-editing process on your piece for the Faber Writing Anthology with a Senior Editor. This work will be done via email.

Session 14: Tuesday 4 October
Celebratory dinner class

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.

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

Praise for this course

“It is a fabulous experience unlike any other writing course I have ever done. The warm and nurturing environment created by Kris was priceless. I felt part of an engaged and committed writing community.” (2021)


How to Apply

To apply your will need to submit in a single document:

  • A letter briefly stating any writing experience
  • An overview of the idea for your novel and its present stage of development
  • A 1,500-word sample of prose.

This process ensures that all applicants are applying for the course best suited to their needs and allows the tutor to familiarise themselves with your work.

Enter your application for Writing a Novel Stage 2 here.

Course fee: $3,250 / $2,762.50 alumni

Payment information for successful applicants:

Once you receive the offer of a place in Writing a Novel Stage 2 you will be sent a payment link to pay a deposit of $ 500/$ 425 alumni or the full course fee $ 3,250/$ 2,762.50 alumni.

If you pay the deposit only, two further payments of $ 1,375/$ 1,168.75 will be required, the first by 19 August and the second by 16 September 2022.