Upcoming workshops and events

All workshops require payment at time of booking. Bookings can be made by phone on 6262 9191 (Tuesday-Saturday), online or in person at the ACT Writers Centre office—Gorman Arts Centre, Ainslie Avenue, Braddon. The Writers Centre has credit card facilities and EFTPOS. If paying by cheque, make payable to ACT Writers Centre. Enrolment will not be confirmed until payment is received.


Advanced Creative Writing with Jenny Bond - POSTPONED

[Date TBC]

Perhaps you’ve completed a foundation course in creative writing, such as Basics of Creative Writing, and you’re eager for more. Or you might already have some writing under your belt and are looking for ways to improve your skills. Advanced Creative Writing is designed for those that have begun a piece of fiction and are keen to take their writing to the next step, completing their first draft.

During the course, technical aspects of fiction writing will be studied and put into practice in an encouraging, collaborative and nurturing environment.

Course topics will include:

  • Creating engaging characters: Making your characters well-rounded and believable, and ensuring their voices are unique and distinct.
  • The scaffold: Building an effective narrative structure in order for your story to move towards a satisfying climax and resolution.
  • The building blocks: Making every scene perfect, including dialogue, pacing, time and exposition. Achieving just the right balance of scene and summary.
  • The finishing touches: Proofreading, revising and editing your work once the first draft is complete.
  • Then what comes next?

The most effective way to enhance and hone your skills is to apply them. With this principle in mind, Advanced Creative Writing has been developed as a practical course where participants will be required to complete writing tasks that will then be discussed by the group in a workshop setting.

By the end of the four-week course you’ll improve your creative writing skills and have the confidence, motivation and inspiration to continue and complete your own short story or novel.

Passionate about the written word, Jenny Bond hopes to motivate others to harness their creativity. An ex English teacher and now an active author of historical fiction, Jenny is currently completing her fourth novel. In this course she will inspire budding novelists and writers to begin their work of fiction and will offer them the tools to see it through to the end. As a working mother of two young boys, Jenny understands the challenges involved in finding the inspiration and time to make this dream a reality.

Cost: $380 members, $353 concessional members, $445 non-members (includes 12 months of membership), $403 concessional non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Venue: E Block Seminar Room, Gorman Arts Centre (formerly ACT Writers Centre workshop room)
Bookings: You can book into this course online or by calling 6262 9191. If you have any queries, please email admin@actwriters.org.au.


How to Use History in Your Novel with Gillian Polack

10am-4pm Saturday 9 July             

This course takes the concepts and practical advice developed from twelve years of research into how fiction writers use history and condenses it into a single day of intensive learning.

At the heart of using history in fiction is the type of novel and the world it requires. In this course you will examine this, and then look at what kinds of history and historical research work best with what kind of novel. Gillian will discuss the differences between the past the reader sees and the one the historian knows and how writers can bridge this gulf (or choose not to). You will also look at writing techniques you can use to make history come to life.

Learning outcomes:
- An understanding of the relationship between history and the novel.
- An understanding of how the world of the novel impacts on the novel itself and how it can work to carry readers into the story.
- An understanding of writing and research techniques that can be used to help create novels.

Gillian Polack has five published novels, two anthologies, a co-authored book about the Middle Ages, seventeen short stories, and a historical cookbook. One of the novels (Ms Cellophane/Life through Cellophane) was a Ditmar Finalist, as was one of the anthologies (Baggage). She was awarded the Best Achievement Ditmar in 2010.

She has PhDs in Medieval History and in Creative Writing and advises writers on subjects ranging from grammar to the Middle Ages. She has recently finished a major project on how writers think of history and how they use it in their fiction. Gillian has received two writing fellowships at Varuna, arts grants, and is in demand at SF conventions because she carries chocolate most of the time. Some of the places she can be found: http://www.gillianpolack.com http://gillpolack.livejournal.com Twitter: @GillianPolack Facebook: Gillian Polack http://the-history-girls.blogspot.com.au/

Cost: $130 members, $105 concessional members, $195 non-members (includes 12 months of membership), $155 concessional non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Venue: E Block Seminar Room, Gorman Arts Centre (formerly ACT Writers Centre workshop room)
Bookings: You can book into this course online or by calling 6262 9191. If you have any queries, please email admin@actwriters.org.au.


Short Fiction Intensive with Irma Gold

2pm-4pm Saturdays: 16 July, 23 July, 30 July, 6 August, 13 August, 20 August  

So you’ve written some short stories, but you want to bring your writing to the next level. You want as much feedback as possible to help you develop your craft, and you’d like to meet other writers at a similar stage.

After a highly successful series last year, established author and editor Irma Gold will once again guide these six small-group workshopping sessions to help develop your writing, editing and critiquing skills. You will receive extensive feedback on your work, from both Irma and the group, and the opportunity to develop your critiquing skills in a supportive group environment. This workshop is suitable for emerging and developing writers who are serious about advancing their craft, and are willing be actively involved in thoughtful and respectful discussion.

Participants are asked to bring two short stories (between 2,000 and 6,000 words) to workshop with the group. Please email them as Word documents to admin@actwriters.org.au in advance.

Irma Gold is an award-winning author and editor. Her short fiction has been widely published in literary journals, including Meanjin, Island, Westerly, Review of Australian Fiction and Going Down Swinging, and in anthologies, most recently in Australian Love Stories, edited by Cate Kennedy. Her critically acclaimed debut collection of short fiction, Two Steps Forward, was shortlisted for or won a number of awards. Irma is also the author of three children’s picture books, with a fourth, Seree’s Story, forthcoming from Walker Books. Irma is the editor of a number of anthologies, including The Invisible Thread, an official publication of the National Year of Reading 2012 and the Centenary of Canberra 2013. In 2014, Irma received a special one-off award for Outstanding Service to Writing and Publishing in the ACT and Region. She is currently Editor at Melbourne publisher Inkerman & Blunt, Convener of Editing at the University of Canberra, and Ambassador for the 2016 ACT Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge.

Cost: $330 members, $300 concessional members, $395 non-members (includes 12 months of membership), $350 concessional non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Venue: E Block Seminar Room, Gorman Arts Centre (formerly ACT Writers Centre workshop room)
Bookings: You can book into this course online or by calling 6262 9191. If you have any queries, please email admin@actwriters.org.au.


Writing Science Fiction with Ian McHugh

10am-4pm Sunday 17 July             

This practical workshop is aimed at writers with an interest in science fiction or who are already developing their craft in the genre. Covering the key aspects of the genre it includes segments on world-building, creating alien creatures and characters, future and alternate technology, turning science into stories.

Ian McHugh’s debut short story collection, Angel Dust, was a finalist for the 2014 Aurealis Awards and is available from Ticonderoga Publications. You can find more of Ian's stories, which have appeared in professional and semi-pro magazines, webzines and anthologies in Australia and internationally, at ianmchugh.wordpress.com. His stories have won grand prize in the international Writers of the Future contest and been shortlisted five times at the Aurealis Awards, winning in 2010.

Cost: $130 members, $105 concessional members, $195 non-members (includes 12 months of membership), $155 concessional non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Venue: E Block Seminar Room, Gorman Arts Centre (formerly ACT Writers Centre workshop room)
Bookings: You can book into this course online or by calling 6262 9191. If you have any queries, please email admin@actwriters.org.au.


Writing for Newspapers, Magazines and Online with Chris Sheedy

10am-4pm Saturday 23 July             

A one-day masterclass in journalism, blogging and content marketing, run by an expert who has lived and breathed professional writing for the last 20 years. If you thought it was impossible to earn a great living from freelance writing, think again.

Almost everything you see on the internet, receive in the mail, read in the newspaper or enjoy in a magazine has been written by a professional writer. The most pure and purposeful form of professional writing, many would argue, is journalism. But these days journalism takes so many forms, from news writing to content marketing. This Canberra writing course will give attendees a good idea of how they might be able to move forward with making professional writing their career, including a strong grounding in several vital tools of the trade.

Chris Sheedy is one of Australia's busiest and most successful freelance writers. He has been published regularly in The Sydney Morning Herald, Virgin Australia Voyeur, The Australian Magazine, GQ, In The Black, Management Today, Men's Fitness and countless other big-brand publications. For over two decades Chris's writing has taken him around the globe. He has been commissioned to write feature articles, travel stories, blogs, books, Q&As, profiles, web copy and more for publications and businesses in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and UK. Chris teaches the most important steps professional writers must take in developing, pitching and producing excellent content. Along the way he shares vital knowledge about the industry.

Cost: $130 members, $105 concessional members, $195 non-members (includes 12 months of membership), $155 concessional non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Venue: E Block Seminar Room, Gorman Arts Centre (formerly ACT Writers Centre workshop room)
Bookings: You can book into this course online or by calling 6262 9191. If you have any queries, please email admin@actwriters.org.au.


Land • Sea • Air Poetry Workshop Series with Lizz Murphy

10am-1:30pm on the following Saturdays: 6 August,  20 August,  3 September         

Three poetry workshops facilitated by Lizz Murphy on the themes of Land • Sea • Air:
discover new lands, make a sea journey or a sea-change, navigate the air. Themes will be explored broadly.

Lizz Murphy's workshops include writing exercises and discussion with an emphasis on generating ideas and meeting new challenges. There is guidance on developing poems and setting goals to help you continue on.

For aspiring, new and developing poets and anyone else with an interest in a stimulating writing space and finding the next poem.

Lizz Murphy has published 12 books of different kinds. Her seven poetry titles include Portraits: 54 Poems and Six Hundred Dollars (PressPress), Walk the Wildly (Picaro), Stop Your Cryin (Island) and Two Lips Went Shopping (Spinifex). Her eighth poetry title Shebirds is forthcoming (PressPress). She is widely published in Australia and overseas. Lizz was born in Ireland and has lived in the rural village of Binalong near Canberra for a long time. Lizz’ awards include: 2011 Rosemary Dobson Poetry Prize (co-winner), 2006 CAPO Singapore Airlines Travel Award, 1998 ACT Creative Arts Fellowship for Literature, 1994 Anutech Poetry Prize. Recent special mentions include: Highly Commended - 2013 Blake Poetry Prize; finalist - UK’s 2013 & 2014 Aesthetica Poetry Competitions.
She blogs at: lizzmurphypoet.blogspot.com.

Cost (each workshop separately): $130 members, $105 concessional members, $195 non-members (includes 12 months of membership), $155 concessional non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Cost (all three workshops): $350 members, $285 concessional members, $415 non-members (inlcudes 12 months of membership), $345 concessional non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Venue: E Block Seminar Room, Gorman Arts Centre (formerly ACT Writers Centre workshop room)
Bookings: You can book into this course online or by calling 6262 9191. If you have any queries, please email admin@actwriters.org.au.


Fact into Fiction Masterclass with Valerie Parv

10am-4pm Sunday 7 August

"There's no fiction or nonfiction, there's only narrative," says literary legend, E L Doctorow.

But where does this narrative come from? In 4 steps, Valerie Parv shows you how to get from "how it happened" to "how it might be used."

Through enjoyable writing exercises and discussion, this Masterclass explores narrative choices, timing and chronology and the importance of composite characters - essentially, how to write about your billiards-playing aunt without getting disowned.

Valerie Parv was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours List for significant contributions to the arts as a prolific author, role model and mentor. An Australian Society of Authors Medal recipient, Valerie is one of Australia's most successful authors with more than 29 million copies of her books sold, translated into 26 languages and as ebooks. The State Library of NSW collects her literary papers and she mentors new writers through the Valerie Parv Award created in her honour by Romance Writers of Australia. Valerie holds a master of arts from QUT and is the first Australian author to receive a Pioneer Award from RT Book Reviews, New York. At her blog, www.valerieparv.wordpress.com she holds First Monday Mentoring to answer writing-related questions. On Twitter @ValerieParv and Facebook.

Cost: $130 members, $105 concessional members, $195 non-members (includes 12 months of membership), $155 concessional non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Venue: E Block Seminar Room, Gorman Arts Centre (formerly ACT Writers Centre workshop room)
Bookings: You can book into this course online or by calling 6262 9191. If you have any queries, please email admin@actwriters.org.au.


From Memories to Memoirs with Rae Luckie

10am-4pm Saturday 13 August

Suitable for beginning writers, this practical workshop will include writing exercises and resources to jog your memory and inspire your creativity. Whether you want to write life stories, family history or fiction based on life, the workshop will be adapted to meet the specific needs of participants.
Participants need to bring smooth writing paper and flowing pen/s (preferably with a wide barrel) and coloured textas or pencils. Bring a photo that has a tree in the background or foreground—and an object/memento about which you would like to write.

Course outcomes:
- Drawing from everyday experiences and memories, participants will explore various
techniques and exercises used in creative life writing.
- Participants will gain an understanding of the breadth and possibilities of 'life writing'.
- Participants will gain an insight into how research can enhance writing.
- Participants will gain confidence in their ability to write creatively and expressively, and
have first drafts and writing ideas for further development.

Rae Luckie is an experienced writing mentor and workshop facilitator—passionate about the value of creative writing, the preservation of life stories, and interested in all genres of writing. Awarded a PhD in auto/biographical writing and literary theory from UWS in 2006, she has facilitated creative writing workshops throughout NSW and mentored writers including Dr Ted Freeman (Doctor in Vanuatu); Deb Hunt (Love in the Outback); Geraldine Fennell (Dandelion in the Wind); Alastair Stewart (Somersaults in the Sand); Carol Preston (Suzannah's Gold); and Christine Maher's (Came the Captain: Richard Brooks, Master of Convict Ships).

Cost: $130 members, $105 concessional members, $195 non-members (includes 12 months of membership), $155 concessional non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Venue: E Block Seminar Room, Gorman Arts Centre (formerly ACT Writers Centre workshop room)
Bookings: You can book into this course online or by calling 6262 9191. If you have any queries, please email admin@actwriters.org.au.


Grammar and Punctuation Primer with Pippa Carron

10am-4pm Sunday 21 August

The interesting thing about creative writing is that the best authors break the rules of grammar and punctuation, but they do it with full knowledge of what they are doing, and they follow a different set of unwritten grammar 'rules' that novice writers don't know about.

This workshop will cover the foundation rules of the English language (the parts of speech, the power of verbs, the rules of sentence construction, and punctuation rules), plus reveal the secret conventions used by skilled writers to break these rules in order to produce a more compelling narrative. With plenty of exercises, this course is suitable for anybody at any stage of writing fiction or non-fiction. An easy, fun day, and participants are welcome to bring their manuscripts.

Dr Pippa Carron is a freelance nonfiction writer, editor, trainer, facilitator and consultant. She currently works for a range government and private sector clients, delivering training courses in writing skills and providing high-level writing and editing services through her company Yelsel International P/L and under the business name Writing in the Gap (see www.writinginthegap.com).

Pippa's writing and editing experience includes ebooks, government reports, academic papers, theses, high-level correspondence, conference papers, speeches, handbooks, training manuals and workbooks, issues papers, précis, business plans, magazine articles, travel articles, promotional flyers and brochures. She has also been writing fiction for the last few years. Pippa has a PhD in animal ecology (ANU 1985) and her main areas of technical subject expertise include medical and agricultural biotechnology, health and medicine, agriculture and rural affairs, forestry, the environment, science, industry, technology, innovation and R&D. However, she is able to write efficiently and effectively on any topic. She is a member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Canberra Society of Editors and the ACT Writers Centre.

Cost: $130 members, $105 concessional members, $195 non-members (includes 12 months of membership), $155 concessional non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Venue: E Block Seminar Room, Gorman Arts Centre (formerly ACT Writers Centre workshop room)
Bookings: You can book into this course online or by calling 6262 9191. If you have any queries, please email admin@actwriters.org.au.


The Mysterious Craft of Ghostwriting with Jeff Apter

10am-4pm Saturday 17 September

This workshop sets out to introduce the many aspects of ghostwriting, including:
* How to find your subject's 'voice';
* Determining the correct structure for a book (chronological / non-traditional, etc);
* Finding the right working method — what type of interview works best; does the subject want to be part of the writing process; how do you get the actual writing done?
* The pros and cons of ghostwriting — how deeply should you get involved?
* The ethical responsibilities involved with ghostwriting.

In order to address all these issues, Jeff will be drawing heavily on his own experiences, citing the many and varied projects he's 'ghosted'. Accordingly, it would be good for those attending to bring along their own questions about the process, and have some familiarity with his work.

Participants are asked to bring along a 'wishlist' of subjects for whom they'd like to 'ghost', with explanations of why they've chosen this person / these people.

Jeff Apter is the author of more than 20 books. He has co-written and/or ghostwritten bestselling memoirs by the musicians Kasey Chambers (A Little Bird Told Me, Harper Collins 2011) and Richard Clapton (The Best Years of our Lives, Allen & Unwin 2014), the music manager Michael Browning (Dog Eat Dog, Allen & Unwin 2014), the boxer-turned-soldier Paul Warren (The Fighter, Allen & Unwin 2015) and the cricketer Michael Slater (Slats, Random House 2005). He also ghostwrote the memoir Somebody That I Used to Know: Love, Loss and Jack Thompson, by Bunkie King (Five Mile Press 2015), which was the bestselling nonfiction title in Australia on the week of its release. His latest book is Tragedy: The Sad Ballad of the Gibb Brothers. www.jeffapter.com.au

Cost: $130 members, $105 concessional members, $195 non-members (includes 12 months of membership), $155 concessional non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Venue: E Block Seminar Room, Gorman Arts Centre (formerly ACT Writers Centre workshop room)
Bookings: You can book into this course online or by calling 6262 9191. If you have any queries, please email admin@actwriters.org.au.


 

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