2021 Online One-on-One Courses

Cost: $165 members, $198 non-members

Monthly or bi-monthly start dates (see details below) with limited places due to more time spent on individual feedback so hurry and book now so you don’t miss out.

Please note, participants must be available and active in these courses for the month in which they enrol, as this is when presenters will expect to interact with them. Interaction between presenters and participants and access to materials may extend beyond the end date for the course, though this is at the presenter’s discretion.

One-on-One courses are a cross between a course and a mentorship with a set topic and personalised feedback from your presenter.

Record Your Own Audiobook

Heidie Wessman Kneale

Start dates: Monthly start Feb to Nov (excluding Aug)

Duration: 4-6 weeks

Ever wanted to record your own audiobook? Author and narrator Heidi Wessman Kneale demonstrates what it takes to produce an audiobook, including recording and editing, Quality Assurance (QA) requirements, and more. This course includes a recording project of your short story or a chapter that you can use for promotional purposes. This course is also applicable to podcast recording. 

Audiobooks are gaining in popularity. With distributors like Audible, Findaway Voices and more offering their services to authors, more and more books are being produced in audiobook format. Yours should be one of those books.

Author and narrator Heidi Wessman Kneale teaches you the elements of creating an audiobook. Learn about using your voice, the hardware and software used to produce quality recordings, achieving Quality Assurance requirements, the recording and editing process and more.

Also included in this course is a guided, hands-on production of an audio sample of the participant’s short story or chapter (approx 6000 words). This sample may be suitable for use for personal promotional purposes.

This course would be suitable for any author who wants to know the nuts and bolts involved in creating an audiobook and who are interested in creating their own “Narrated by the Author” audiobooks.  

Many of the sound engineering techniques I demonstrate are also applicable to podcasting.

Concept covered:

  • What to expect and not expect from yourself as a narrating author
  • Narration techniques, including how to produce the best, cleanest sound
  • Hardware, software, recording environment – narrators use the best microphone they can afford. Quality software can be free. A soundproof room is best, but a blanket fort may also work.
  • Sound editing – tips and tricks for clean editing so your files don’t sound “overedited”.
  • Quality Assurance – how to meet the quality requirements of Audible, Findaway, etc. Includes explanation of sound floors, hiss, dB (decibels), levels and more.
  • Where to go to get peer support, including feedback on performance, editing, and advice on your choice of hardware/software.

Presenter-participant interaction:

Feedback provided at every step of the project’s production. First, a ten-minute sample is recorded and feedback given to the participant regarding performance and recording quality. Next, the participant records their whole piece. Feedback offered, including info on fixing errors: re-record a section vs redo the whole piece, etc. Also: remember backups. Next, the editing passes. This may or may not include a sample run on the ten-minute sample before attempting to take on the full piece, if the participant wishes to have feedback on their preliminary technique. Next, once the participant is satisfied with their edit, I guide them through post-production and the creation of a final .mp3 audiofile. 

Presenter bio:

Heidi Wessman Kneale has a BA in Film and Music from the University of Utah, where she studied electronic acoustic and recording techniques, acting and voice training (she’s a mezzo-soprano). She has done narration work for indie and student films, professional radio and, naturally, an audiobook or four.

Booking link and further info: https://www.trybooking.com/BOBIS

Character Driven Plotting (which also works for pantsers!)

Kim Lambert

Start dates: Monthly start Feb to Sept (excluding Aug)

Duration: Up to 3 months

Got a great character concept, but no idea what sort of story to tell about that character? Or… want to write a story set in a specific context, but have no idea how to create sensible character plot conflicts within that setting? Do you struggle to come up with enough ‘incidents’ to fill your story line, while keeping character behaviour consistent?

If you answered yes to any of those, then this course is for you.

Step back from more traditional and complex seeming approaches to plotting, and try something different (that even works for pantsers!)

You will learn how to create a story / plot fast, easily, and in a way that will make your characters feel well rounded and deeply real.

The course will run over approx three months, and comprise an introduction plus 8 lessons (delivered as PDF with discussion), a conclusion and weekly zoom calls with each participant.

The lessons are provided up front, so that the participant can work through them at their own pace, but the weekly calls will focus on each lesson in order, making sure that the participant has completely ‘got’ each part. The final two weeks calls will be very feedback and ‘next steps focused’, working with the participant to take their book plan and add in the story structure layer, so that they will be completely ready to start writing (or revising, if they have been compulsively writing bits as we go….)

Whilst weekly calls will need to be at a mutually agreed set time, pretty much everything else is flexible, to suit the participants working style, and speed of taking action.

The introduction covers the principles on which the course is based – why should characters drive your plotting, what impact does doing this have on the consistency of characterisation throughout your story, and on the alignment of character actions with personality, why does taking this approach make plotting easier and quicker, why does this work for people who have traditionally been pantsers. Also a very quick definition – this is not ‘another story structure type’ – this is a methodology for getting to a plot, which can be overlaid on almost any story structure that you might want to use.

The lessons after that cover the following:

  • Defining story context – what world do these characters live in?
  • Choosing your characters – who are they?
  • Refining your characters’ backgrounds
  • Understanding their strengths, weaknesses, goals and motivations, within the context of both the world they live in, and their backgrounds (Assignment 1 happens after this lesson, and involves the participants submitting a short character definition for their two main characters. (approx 1000 words total) Feedback will be provided by email, and in discussion on a call.
  • Assessing how those goals etc might bring them together / put them in conflict, and beginning to capture ideas for possible plot incidents
  • Refining those plot incident ideas, and getting a feel for how many of them might fit together in a single story
  • Do these characters / this context lend itself to a series?  if it does, what ideas might you reserve for a later book? Reviewing the ideas you have identified as suitable for being in a single story, and working out how to intensify those ‘incidents’ in a way which leverages the characters’ personal qualities for greater drama or conflict.
  • Creating a ‘book plan’ from what you have done, which will still allow full flexibility for pantsers, yet provides a solid, believable, consistently ‘in character’ story with a satisfying ending, and no plot holes or continuity issues. (assignment 2 happens after this lesson and asks participants to submit their book plan (approx 3000 to 5000 words) for comment and detailed instructor feedback)

The conclusion sums up what has been learnt, and what the next steps from this are, to overlay this technique on common story structures.

Presenter-participant interaction:

  • PDF content via Moodle
  • Weekly zoom calls
  • Assignment 1 involves the participants submitting a short character definition for their two main characters. (approx 1000 words total) with feedback provided by written comments and in discussion on a call.
  • Assignment 2 asks participants to submit their book plan (approx 3000 to 5000 words) for comment and detailed instructor feedback

Presenter bio:

Kim (who writes regency as Arietta Richmond – more than 40 books so far, and has two other fiction pen names, in other genres) has published more than 100 books, most her own, but also some non fiction for Australian business people, and also does editing, formatting and cover creation for others as a business. She also provides mentoring services for those who wish to have detailed one on one support on launching themselves into publishing.

Both her non fiction books on writing, and her regency fiction books have won awards. She believes that it is possible for anyone to succeed with writing – but that to do so involves finding the tools and methodologies which align with how you, as an individual, think. The Character Driven Plotting course is a result of that belief – it is one of a series of courses, each focussing on one narrow aspect of writing, and dealing with new approaches, to help writers get ‘unstuck’ in the writing process.

Booking link and further info: https://www.trybooking.com/BOBWR

Perfect Pacing: One on One

Lauren Clarke

Start dates: Monthly start Feb to Nov (excluding Aug)

Duration: 4 weeks

Pacing is defined as the speed and rhythm with which you tell your story—but is yours perfect? As an author, this can be one of the hardest things to get right in your book.
Join Lauren Clarke for a one-on-one course where we delve into the intricacies of pacing. This course will involve written material and personalised feedback on your work in the form of both a synopsis and scene sample. 

This will be a one-on-one intensive on pacing that incorporates the question and answer technique, the intricacies of language choice, and other different tools authors can use to help finesse their pacing and make it truly shine. 

Presenter-participant interaction:

Written comments via Moodle with feedback provided on a synopsis and scene sample.

Presenter Bio:

LAUREN CLARKE loves words. She is an editor, author coach and content creator specialising in the romance industry. With more than 15 years’ experience under her belt, Lauren has edited and coached a host of traditionally and independently published authors, some New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers amongst them. In 2019, her work on the book Long Shot with Kennedy Ryan garnered her a RITA Award.

Booking link and further info: https://www.trybooking.com/BOBXM

Pen a Kick-arse Short Story Masterclass

Libby M Iriks

Start dates: Monthly start Feb to Nov (excluding Aug)

Duration: 4 weeks (with some flexibility to extend dates if required)

How hard can it be to write a short story? It has to be easier that writing a novel because, well, they’re short … right? But just because there are less words in a short story, it doesn’t mean it takes any less skill to engage and satisfy your reader.

Short stories do, however, take less time to write. So if you’re struggling to learn the ins and outs of how to write a novel, try penning a short story first and take the time to practise your craft before attempting a longer work.

Learning how to write a submission-worthy short story means you’ll develop the skills you need to create well-rounded character arcs and construct interesting and well-paced plots. You’ll also learn how to make every word count—so much so that it’ll become second nature to know when to show and when to tell. It goes without saying, then, that you’ll keep your reader hooked and turning pages until the very end.

Offered as a short group course in 2020, this masterclass option of Pen a Kick-arse Short Story in 9 Easy Steps gives participants the chance to work one-one-one with Libby M Iriks to develop a short story from beginning to end. Not only will you receive plenty of crucial feedback in the planning stages, but Libby will also provide developmental feedback on an early draft and give the manuscript a second developmental pass and light proofread once revisions have been made.

Week 1 – Planning: idea conception, character sketches, POV, character development and plot outline. Participant to submit character sketches and character development and plot outline for detailed feedback.

Week 2 – Drafting: tracking word count, hooking the reader, showing and telling, satisfying the reader. Participant to submit first line.

Week 3 – Editing: developmental editing, line editing, copyediting, proofreading. Seeking feedback. Participants submit their manuscript for developmental feedback.

Week 4 – Revise and polish: choosing a title, analysing/implementing feedback, final revisions and corrections. Participants submit revised manuscript for second developmental review and light proofread.

Presenter-participant interaction:

Participants will submit five assignments, most as uploaded Word documents via Moodle. Feedback will be given using Word’s commenting tool.

Presenter bio:

Libby M Iriks is a specialist romance editor. She is dedicated, supportive and professional, and enjoys nothing more than helping authors shape and polish their manuscripts until they shine.

With in-house experience as a commissioning romance editor, Libby knows what readers want. In a competitive market, romance stories must meet readers’ genre expectations, so who better to edit your romance manuscript than a professional who knows the genre?

Libby writes contemporary romance stories set in small towns where the chemistry sizzles and love is forever. Her debut novella, The Game of Love, is available now. Find out more about it on her author website: https://libbymiriks.com.

When she’s not reading, writing or editing stories about people falling in love, you can find her trying to keep her small collection of house plants alive or listening to the soft snores of her cat, Poppy.

Libby offers romance manuscript assessments, and editing and mentoring services. Contact her today at http://perfectpearediting.com to find out how she can help you polish your manuscript and become a better writer.

Booking link and further info: https://www.trybooking.com/BOBYH

Story Doctoring – First aid for your manuscript

Libby M Iriks

Start dates: Monthly start Feb to Nov (excluding Aug)

Duration: 4 weeks (with some flexibility to extend dates if required)

Not sure what isn’t working in your manuscript? Overwhelmed by the idea of tackling the second draft? Need professional help to improve the story but can’t afford an assessment? Look no further!

Part-course, part-mentorship, Story Doctoring is a unique opportunity to work one-on-one with an editor to identify the developmental and structural elements of your manuscript that most need improvement. Participants supply two sample scenes and complete a detailed questionnaire to help editor and course presenter Libby M Iriks diagnose your manuscript’s malady. From there, Libby will provide feedback and suggest a treatment plan, made up of three lessons, to address areas of concern.

Suggested lessons, targeted to your specific needs, will be chosen from those below:

  • Characters revisited – nail the GMCs of the main characters
  • The big picture – outline the protagonist’s journey and the plot’s development using a three-act structure
  • The deep dive – practise deep immersion into a character’s POV to foster reader-character connection
  • Superb scene structure – use cause and effect to structure scenes that will engage the reader
  • Kickstart your roadmap – plot the opening scenes, from the setup to the second turning point (all of Act 1).

Upon completion of the course, participants should not only have a clear vision for how to tackle revisions and/or subsequent drafts, but they should also have the confidence to do so.

Presenter-participant interaction:

Participants will submit five assignments, most as uploaded Word documents via Moodle. Feedback will be given using Word’s commenting tool.

Presenter bio:

Libby M Iriks is a specialist romance editor. She is dedicated, supportive and professional, and enjoys nothing more than helping authors shape and polish their manuscripts until they shine.

With in-house experience as a commissioning romance editor, Libby knows what readers want. In a competitive market, romance stories must meet readers’ genre expectations, so who better to edit your romance manuscript than a professional who knows the genre?

Libby writes contemporary romance stories set in small towns where the chemistry sizzles and love is forever. Her debut novella, The Game of Love, is available now. Find out more about it on her author website: https://libbymiriks.com.

When she’s not reading, writing or editing stories about people falling in love, you can find her trying to keep her small collection of house plants alive or listening to the soft snores of her cat, Poppy.

Libby offers romance manuscript assessments, and editing and mentoring services. Contact her today at http://perfectpearediting.com to find out how she can help you polish your manuscript and become a better writer.

Booking link and further info: https://www.trybooking.com/BOBYY

Focus on the First Five Pages

Samantha Bond

Start dates: Monthly start Feb to Nov (excluding Aug)

Duration: 4 weeks (with some flexibility to extend dates if required)

Are you ready to submit your work to an agent or publisher? Want to ensure your work has the best chance to impress? Then you’d better make sure your first few pages “sing”. We all know that publishing professionals receive thousands of submissions each year and they’re often so busy that if your work fails to grab them in that first page or two, they won’t persist past that. Sending your work out into the world is a harrowing experience, but if you get those first five pages right, it has a far better chance of success.

The object of this course is to get those first five pages in top shape. My years of mentoring at the TAFE and university level have shown me the best way to improve written work is to focus on the individual writer. Group activities are great, but individual feedback is for serious writers. You’ll learn not only how to improve your first pages, but will learn lessons applicable to your whole manuscript.

This course starts with a technical lesson on what the writer needs to do in the first five pages. The macro elements concentrate on issues such as character, genre, setting, time period, introductory hook, introducing the romance, posing the story question and whether to include a prologue or not. The micro aspects teach elements of style to polish your work until it’s shiny-bright.

You’ll undertake one lesson per week, submit exercises for individual feedback and, at the end, you’ll submit your first five pages for an in-depth critique on what you’re doing well and what could use some work.

Once your first five are as focused, impressive and as  unput-downable as can be, they’re ready for release into the publishing domain…

Course breakdown:
PART 1: The big picture

1.         Hook—what is a hook, and have you included one to make your reader desperate to continue reading your story and find out what happens next?

2.         Where to start—what is in medias res, and how much set-up should you include?

3.         To prologue or not to prologue?—a discussion of the pros and cons of prologues, what a prologue should accomplish. Even if you have a prologue, should you include it in your opening pages submission?

4.         Characters—what makes the reader connect with and want to spend time with your protagonist/s? Have you captured your reader from the get-go?

5.         Conflict—what conflict/s is your character going to face in your story? This should be clear in those opening pages and also go some way to establishing genre.

6.         Love interest—if you’re writing romance, how should you handle this in the opening? When do you either make it clear this is a romance or have the hero and heroine meet?

7.         Setting, time period, and world building—immerse your reader in the world of your story in your first few pages.

PART 2: Polishing the craft of writing

1.         Point-of-view, Part 1—the first question a writer must answer before writing the first word.

2.         Point-of-view, Part 2—Who is telling the story, and whose story is it?

3.         Point-of-view, Part 3—In whose skin is the reader experiencing the scene?

4.         Do you filter your fiction?—What is a filter, and why is it bad?

5.         Writing in 3-D: dialogue—Let your readers hear realistic conversations between realistic characters.

6.         Writing in 3-D: description—Let your readers see your characters and setting.

7.         Writing in 3-D: despair—Let your readers feel what your characters feel.

8.          Internal vs. external emotion—Dig deeper into your characters emotions and bring the readers deeper into your characters.

9.         Final words—10 lessons I’ve learned about writing.

There are four lessons with multiple exercises in each, which are to be submitted to me for feedback. The major submission is the first five pages at the end of lesson four. Participants will receive a critique and report on their first five and another opportunity to resubmit their first five following this feedback for a final assessment. Students should expect to put in 10-20 hours of work and be ready to re-work their drafts. The focus is on in-depth feedback for the individual, which is why one-on-one works best for this course.

Presenter-participant interaction

I provide feedback on comments on the first three weeks of assignments. Often, this is about assisting the student to find their focus and where their story should start. So, in addition to my comments on homework, I often pose questions back to the student and will have email exchanges about this. These preparatory exercises assist me to understand what the student intends to achieve and whether this comes across in their work and how they could do things differently. After this initial exchange, students will often rework their opening pages and send me their draft. I provide an in-depth critique (often 2-3 hours input from me on this part alone) and then invite the student to review and resubmit for a final critique.

Presenter bio:

Samantha Bond is a reformed corporate lawyer, now freelance writer and public servant. Her creative work has been published in numerous national literary journals, anthologies and magazines. She’s also been a freelance reviewer and writer for Indaily and Glam Adelaide since 2008, and is kept ultra-busy during Adelaide’s “Mad March” Fringe and Festival season.

Samantha has mentored students in the Advanced Diploma of Professional Writing, as well as at Flinders University, has taught classes at her local community centre for years, and online for RW Australia, RW America and Savvy Authors. She is super proud that some of her students have gone on to achieve publishing deals with major publishers.

Samantha’s passion (besides chocolate, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and her children) is creative writing and teaching others the craft of writing. She loves books containing heartbreaking and humorous characters, a plot that keeps her guessing right till the end and lots of lovely romance.

https://samanthastaceybond.com/

Booking link and further info: https://www.trybooking.com/BOBZA

The New Indie Author – Your Author Newsletter – CANCELLED

Bree Yardley

Start dates: First day of Feb, Apr, Jun, Sep and Nov

Duration: 4-6 weeks

Your Author Newsletter will give you practical help to set up not only your newsletter, but also your signup forms and welcome emails, and get you started with building your newsletter audience.

Part 1: Setting up your Newsletter
(a) Discussion on the best platform for the individual author
(b) Setup of audience and signup form
(c) Discussion & exercises on developing content
(d) Setup of newsletter template

Part 2: Setting up a Welcome Sequence
(a) Discussion of organic/non organic audiences
(b) Welcome sequence email examples/templates
(c) Plotting a welcome sequence
(d) Setup of welcome sequence

Part 3: Building an Audience
(a) Discussion on audience sources
(b) Newsletter swaps
(c) Setup of reader magnet on BookFunnel
(d) How to find opportunities

The course will proceed at the author’s pace – so there are not 4 weeks of specific instruction, there are 3 parts, and as one part is completed, we would move on to the next part.

Presenter-participant interaction:

Feedback on content development, newsletter setup, welcome sequence setup and BookFunnel setup given as those milestones are reached. These are coaching sessions – so will be used for direct instruction AND to offer feedback on work undertaken. The course materials are an 80 page booklet, there will be 4 coaching sessions, and feedback will be given on the things that need to be set up. 

Presenter bio:

Bree Yardley grew up on a diet of epic fantasy, tea and crumpets, dancing, Regency novels, swashbuckling adventure and musicals. It’s no wonder she has ended up writing. It’s surprising she ever thought about doing anything else. Certified business coach, author and trainer Bree Yardley loves nothing more than helping other authors achieve their dreams.

Booking link and further info: THERE ARE NO MORE DATES AVAILABLE FOR THIS COURSE