Short Course Schedule 2022

Cost: $55.00 RWA Members, $66.00 RWA Non-Members

Please note, to get the most out of the courses, participants should be available and active in the course during the month in which it is to run. Presenters will also be active and available to answer questions and provide feedback on course activities during that time. Interaction between presenters and participants beyond the course end date will cease, though participants will have access to course materials for a further month. Also, to enable the registration process to be completed in a timely manner, course enrolments will close FIVE days before the official course start date. 

Download the Short Course Calendar

Please note, to get the most out of the courses, participants should be available and active in the course during the month in which it is to run. Presenters will also be active and available to answer questions and provide feedback on course activities during that time. Interaction between presenters and participants beyond the course end date will cease, though participants will have access to course materials for a further month. Also, to enable the registration process to be completed in a timely manner, as of June, course enrolments will close five days before the official course start date. 

September

From 5 September to 2 October 2022

Master Emotive Story Telling and Showing

Booking Link: https://www.trybooking.com/BXGFH

Master Emotive Story Telling and Showing – Short Course

Master Emotive Storytelling and Showing: How to combine showing action with effective telling. This workshop is for fiction writers who want to decipher the contradictions in the old ‘show don’t tell’ adage so they can avoid author intrusion and maximise evocative actions and sensory details. Both showing and telling are valid tools. Showing creates drama and movement while telling conveys information succinctly and poetically. I will help you find a balance between action and brevity that will captivate readers. Active showing is one of the fastest ways to improve your writing and get your stories noticed because it’s about creating quality prose filled with active drama, evocative and relevant details.. My goal is to change the way you view showing and telling, so you feel more confident when making stylistic decisions. You’ll have emotive prose in no time!

This workshop will give you the skills to:

 Understand the differences between showing and telling.

 Determine when to show and when it’s okay to tell.

 Use demonstration and discovery to express the story and engage readers emotionally.

 Recognise and banish information dumps.

 Make active word choices and avoid ambiguity.

 Select relevant and meaningful details to infuse your story with visceral elements.

 Use secondary characters and the antagonist to show who the protagonist really is.

Pre-course preparation

A basic ability to write English is expected.

Course Type

Craft 

Hours of Commitment

5 – 10 hours

Presenters Bio

Sandy Vaile is a motorbike-riding daredevil who isn’t content with a story unless there is a courageous heroine and a dead body. She writes romantic-suspense for Simon & Schuster US and empowers modern writers to produce commercial quality fiction. Sandy is an experienced course presenter with a decade of experience in the industry and prides herself on providing a nurturing learning environment that enables participants to truly absorb the material and apply it to their own work. In her spare time, Sandy composes procedures for high-risk industrial processes, judges competitions, runs The Fearless Novelist Facebook group, and offers critiquing and coaching services to aspiring authors. Connect with Sandy here: https://linktr.ee/fearlessprose 

Digital Publishing 101

Booking Link: https://www.trybooking.com/BXGFK

Digital Publishing 101 – Short Course

Master Emotive Storytelling and Showing: How to combine showing action with effective telling. This workshop is for fiction writers who want to decipher the contradictions in the old ‘show don’t tell’

Digital self-publishing is a lucrative industry that is growing rapidly, and it is an increasingly attractive option for both new and established authors. There are no gatekeepers, authors have complete control over their own work, royalty rates are significantly higher than in traditional publishing, and successful self-published authors frequently appear on the bestseller lists.

Digital self-publishing is also remarkably quick and easy—once you know how to do it. In this course you will learn how to go from a simple Word document to an eBook, step by step. Topics include editing, cover design, eBook creation, distribution, pricing and marketing. It is not necessary for participants to have a completed manuscript to undertake this course. However, those participants who do have a manuscript are welcome to use it as we work through the steps so that by the end of the course they have an eBook ready to publish!

Pre-course preparation

Nil.

Course Type

Publishing

Hours of Commitment

10 – 20 hours

Presenters Bio

Novalee Swan has PhD in Creative Writing and is an Amazon bestselling author. She writes paranormal and contemporary romance, including the Shifter Town series. She has taught writing at the university level since 2014, and she is both traditionally and self-published under various pen names. www.novaleeswan.com 

October

From 3 October to 6 November 2022

Get Organised, Get Writing

Booking Link: https://www.trybooking.com/BXHNH

Get Organised, Get Writing – Short Course

The world has changed. Writers today not only have to write: we juggle friends, family, work commitments, stress levels, promotional and marketing efforts, social media and running our own business, not to mention finding time to relax and refill the creative well. This course will focus on goal setting to achieve your writing needs – we will discuss what you want to write and how to plan it into your day, how to write effective goals to get words on the page, which writing methods are best for you, and how to avoid getting derailed with everyday life interruptions.

Pre-course preparation

Basic knowledge of English

Course Type

Mindset

Hours of Commitment

5 – 10 hours

Presenters Bio

Paula Roe is an experienced presenter and has been writing and delivering workshops, tutorials and talks for RWA, ARRA, community colleges, libraries, and writing groups for over 20 years. A former office manager, workplace trainer and fitness instructor, she has been extensively involved in RWA since its inception – as Secretary, Contest Co-ordinator, Conference Co-ordinator, contest judge, Vice President and as RWA’s longest-running Hearts Talk editor. She has received RWA’s prestigious Lynne Wilding Award, is a RBY finalist and double-ARRA winner. She’s a recovering contest addict, published nine novels with Harlequin, released a non-fiction historical biography under her alternative writing persona, has a Diploma in Graphic Design and is the owner of The Wordable Writer, a resource for writers. She frequently juggles lots of spinning plates. Her website is at www.paularoe.com 

Pain-Free Plotting

Booking Link: https://www.trybooking.com/BXHNI

Pain-Free Plotting – Short Course

Started writing a story but hit a wall after the first few chapters? Not sure what your characters are doing? Or have you completed a novel and now need to edit or revise? With low-confusion and high-creativity, multi-published author Paula Roe will help you create the framework for your novel using a unique A3 plotting storyboard. No matter if you’re a plotter, pantser or scener (or a mix of all) this visual writing method will work for you!.

Pre-course preparation

Basic knowledge of English

Course Type

Craft

Hours of Commitment

5 – 10 hours

Presenters Bio

Paula Roe is an experienced presenter and has been writing and delivering workshops, tutorials and talks for RWA, ARRA, community colleges, libraries, and writing groups for over 20 years. A former office manager, workplace trainer and fitness instructor, she has been extensively involved in RWA since its inception – as Secretary, Contest Co-ordinator, Conference Co-ordinator, contest judge, Vice President and as RWA’s longest-running Hearts Talk editor. She has received RWA’s prestigious Lynne Wilding Award, is a RBY finalist and double-ARRA winner. She’s a recovering contest addict, published nine novels with Harlequin, released a non-fiction historical biography under her alternative writing persona, has a Diploma in Graphic Design and is the owner of The Wordable Writer, a resource for writers. She frequently juggles lots of spinning plates. Her website is at www.paularoe.com 

The Dozen Steps of Self-Publishing Your Novel – Short Course

Booking Link: https://www.trybooking.com/BXHNM

The Dozen Steps of Self-Publishing Your Novel – Short Course

There’s no better joy to an aspiring romance author than the arrival of the first book baby. Holding a debut book in your hands, flipping the pages, rubbing the cover and staring at your author picture may seem surreal. Advancements in technology make it possible for you to simply self-publish – if you know how.

The dozen steps of self-publishing

  1. Write
  2. Drafts and Edits
  3. Register
  4. Market
  5. Layout
  6. Book Cover
  7. Proof
  8. Last Edit
  9. Print
  10. Distribute
  11. Social Media
  12. Website and other marketing

This course includes tasks, checklists and templates. As an indie author of four romance novels, How to Self-Publish in Oz and successful freelance writer, Donna Munro can show you how to take the steps. After working in publishing as a book marketing publicist and learning the ropes, she transitioned to self-publishing while working full-time. There were pitfall but the enjoyment of learning to self-publish professionally outweighed any doubts. She helps other writers achieve their goals by providing newsletters, websites, book design, book covers and additional guidance. 

Pre-course preparation

A manuscript (it does not need to be complete yet)

Course Type

Craft

Hours of Commitment

5 – 10 hours

Presenters Bio

As an indie author of four women’s fiction novels, and the bestselling non-fiction How to Self-Publish in Oz, freelance writer, Donna Munro can show you how to take the steps. After working in publishing as a book marketing publicist and learning the ropes, she transitioned to self-publishing. She helps other writers achieve their goals by providing newsletters, websites, book design, book covers and additional guidance. Skills include multiple computer platforms and apps (mostly while working for RWA as Administrative Officer), 18 years in the printing industry, writing diploma, graphic design, publishing, administration, marketing and event management. Find her at www.donnamunroauthor.com

November

From 7 November to 6 December 2022

Unlock Your Creativity

Booking Link: https://www.trybooking.com/BXHNO

Unlock Your Creativity – Short Course

This workshop is all about letting go and putting words on the page. If you struggle with ideas, this is the one for you. Learn to tap into your creative juices with tons of writing exercises, tips and tricks—while drawing on new and exciting writing techniques. You’ll learn to think up big premises for novels and whittle them down to scenes, as well as littler ideas for short stories. Discover how to burst with inspiration on cue. You’ll walk away with a Word doc full of ideas and the skill to know which ones have the most potential. 

Pre-course preparation

Nil

Course Type

Craft

Hours of Commitment

5 – 10 hours

Presenters Bio

Sarah Gates romance author, copywriter and content marketer. She is the author of Love Elimination (Harlequin Australia) and a freelance writer published with Junkee, Voiceworks and InDaily. Sarah teaches writing workshops at high schools, libraries and state writers centres, and has appeared on panels at National Young Writers Festival and Sydney Writers Festival. She can be found at sarahgates.com.au.

Turn Books into Audiobooks

Booking Link: https://www.trybooking.com/BXHNY

Turn Books into Audiobooks – Short Course

Want to turn your books into audio, but don’t know where to start? Frustrated with lack of access to ACX.com? RWA’s Turn Books Into Audiobooks is specifically for Australian authors. Experienced Aussie narrator, Amy Soakes, demystifies the jargon and processes, explains the costs and returns, and gives you the knowhow required to move your work towards audio with confidence. Get it right the first time, with Turn Books into Audiobooks.

Pre-course preparation

Nil

Course Type

Publishing

Hours of Commitment

Less than 5 hours

Presenters Bio

Amy Soakes has produced and narrated over 70 audiobooks across three narrator names, including narrations for Penguin/Random House, Harlequin, Dreamscape, Scribd, Bee Audio, White House Sound UK and Deyan Audio. Her clients have included eight USA Today Bestselling Authors, including Queensland cozy mystery novelist, Morgana Best, and NSW romance author, Kelly Hunter. (Amy narrated Kelly Hunter’s ‘Maggie’s Run’, ARRA’s 2018 Favourite Australian Romance Winner). With a background in television presenting, acting and TV production, Amy brings truth and integrity to her work, revelling in translating an author’s vision on the page into realistic and interesting individuals in audio. She loves the challenge of voicing quirky and off-beat characters of various ages and nationalities, and thinks she has the best job in the world. Amy also runs several websites that provide authors and narrators with audiobook production resources and marketing: NarratorList.com, AussieNarrator.com and AudioFreebies.com. You can learn more about Amy at AmySoakes.com.

Previous Courses

Workshop Your First Chapter

Booking Link: https://www.trybooking.com/BXFSZ

Workshop Your First Chapter – Short Course

Get the most out of your first chapter and hook the reader—or the publisher—on the very first page. In this course, you’ll workshop your first chapter to develop your characters, plot, themes, style and tone. Learn what makes a great first chapter and how to achieve it for yourself, as well as how to avoid the common pitfalls, in the week 1 webinar. Spend the next three weeks workshopping—just like you’d do in a university creative writing class. Receive one-on-one advice on your story in the form of marked up edits and comments from the presenter and your peers, and learn how to give feedback to others. This workshop involves a high level of participation. You’ll not only need to submit your own first chapter, but you’ll be reading and providing feedback on every else’s.

Pre-course preparation

Must have a first chapter ready to be workshopped.

Course Type

Craft / Editing

Hours of Commitment

10 – 20 hours

Presenters Bio

Sarah Gates romance author, copywriter and content marketer. She is the author of Love Elimination (Harlequin Australia) and a freelance writer published with Junkee, Voiceworks and InDaily. Sarah teaches writing workshops at high schools, libraries and state writers centres, and has appeared on panels at National Young Writers Festival and Sydney Writers Festival. She can be found at sarahgates.com.au.

Building Believable Characters

Booking Link: https://www.trybooking.com/BXFTB

Building Believable Characters – Short Course

Strong, memorable characters drive successful popular fiction, and this course takes a deep dive into what makes your characters tick. By creating your very own Character Universe blueprint, you will discover who your characters are, what they need and fear, how they achieve their goals and how this affects your story. This is a hands-on course so bring your ideas, enthusiasm and a drive to write!

Pre-course preparation

Basic knowledge of English.

Course Type

Craft 

Hours of Commitment

5 – 10 hours

Presenters Bio

Paula Roe is an experienced presenter and has been writing and delivering workshops, tutorials and talks for RWA, ARRA, community colleges, libraries, and writing groups for over 20 years. A former office manager, workplace trainer and fitness instructor, she has been extensively involved in RWA since its inception – as Secretary, Contest Co-ordinator, Conference Co-ordinator, contest judge, Vice President and as RWA’s longest-running Hearts Talk editor. She has received RWA’s prestigious Lynne Wilding Award, is a RBY finalist and double-ARRA winner. She’s a recovering contest addict, published nine novels with Harlequin, released a non-fiction historical biography under her alternative writing persona, has a Diploma in Graphic Design and is the owner of The Wordable Writer, a resource for writers. She frequently juggles lots of spinning plates. Her website is at www.paularoe.com 

Master Story Point of View (POV)

Master Story Point of View (POV) – Short Course

Master Story Point of View: Recognise and write inside the heads and hearts of your characters. This workshop is for fiction writers who want to choose and use the right Point of View to showcase the emotional drama and intrigue in their story. Industry professionals are quickly put off by head-hopping and breaking POV and yet it is one of the most problematic subjects for many authors. The narrator’s perspective affects story structure, shapes the way readers experience the events and how they connect with the characters. During this workshop we will unravel the sometimes-difficult choice of which POV to use and how to deliver it consistently. Your POV delivery will be flawless in no time!

This workshop will give you the skills to:

  • Recognise the different POV types and understand their benefits and drawbacks.
  • Choose the POV that’s right for your story and author style.
  • Write in first person.
  • Write in third person limited.
  • Write in third person omniscient.
  • Use Deep POV to increase readers’ emotional connect to your characters.
  • Handle POV changes and multiple viewpoints with ease.
  • Understand the effect of POV on narrative distance and genre.

There will be plenty of opportunities to apply what you’ve learnt to your own work, examples, colourful handouts to keep and detailed feedback on your story.

Pre-course preparation

A basic ability to write English is expected.

Course Type

Craft

Hours of Commitment

5 – 10 hours

Presenters Bio

Sandy Vaile is a motorbike-riding daredevil who isn’t content with a story unless there is a courageous heroine and a dead body. She writes romantic-suspense for Simon & Schuster US and empowers modern writers to produce commercial quality fiction. Sandy is an experienced course presenter with a decade of experience in the industry and prides herself on providing a nurturing learning environment that enables participants to truly absorb the material and apply it to their own work. In her spare time, Sandy composes procedures for high-risk industrial processes, judges competitions, runs The Fearless Novelist Facebook group, and offers critiquing and coaching services to aspiring authors. Connect with Sandy here: https://linktr.ee/fearlessprose

Painting the Picture…Use of the Five Senses in Your Writing

Painting the Picture...Use of the Five Senses in Your Writing – Short Course

If you have ever stood in an Art Gallery and looked at a painting, you will see that what the artist has done is captured a moment in time. You will sense the mood that the painting is intended to convey by the use of the colours, by the expressions on the subject’s faces and from their body language. But you will not be able to smell the painted roses or the smoke from the cigar and you will not be able to touch the bark of the tree or hear the sound of the children laughing.

A painter, however good he or she is, can never portray anything more than a two-dimensional representation.

Pre-course preparation

Nil

Course Type

Craft

Hours of Commitment

A three-hour one-off course

Presenters Bio

Alison Stuart writes historical romances and short stories set in England and Australia and across different periods of history. She is best known for THE POSTMISTRESS and THE GOLDMINER’S SISTER, stories set in the Victorian goldfields in the 1870s. She also writes historical mysteries as A.M. Stuart and her popular Harriet Gordon mystery series is set in Singapore in 1910. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and a geriatric cat. In a past life Alison worked as a lawyer across a variety of disciplines including the military and emergency services. She has lived in Africa and Singapore and, when circumstances permit, travels extensively – all for research of course! www.alisonstuart.com

Social Media 101: Curating Creative Content

Social Media 101: Curating Creative Content – Short Course

Not sure how to engage your audience online? Stumped for what content you should be producing? It all begins with your author brand and identity, and this is key to nailing your marketing.

As such this workshop will explore your author brand and how to make content that works to your advantage whilst also delving into the latest trends and how you can use these to engage with your target market.

Pre-course preparation

Basic understanding of social media

Course Type

Publishing / Marketing

Hours of Commitment

5 or less hours

Presenters Bio

Keighley Bradford is an Australian writer and creative industries professional based in Newcastle NSW. She has a background in writing, editing, publishing, marketing, and arts administration. Keighley has previously volunteered in various capacities in her local arts/literary community through writing organisations, writers’ festivals, and student media. Her short fiction pieces have won several awards, with her non-fiction articles also published in several publications. Her debut novel, “Once We Were”, was released late last year as part of her postgraduate studies at the University of Newcastle. Learn more at: www.keighleybradford.com.au 

The Magic of Finding Your Story

Booking Link: https://www.trybooking.com/BXEAN

The Magic of Finding Your Story – Short Course

This course will focus on helping participants to connect deeply to their intuition so that they may find the perfect story to write. We will begin by exploring different ways of discovering story ideas, including the use of short, guided meditations and creative-writing exercises. By deepening our connection to our own inspiration, we encourage ideas to flow effortlessly.

Next, we’ll practice sifting through ideas to find the gem and learn how to turn that idea into an interesting storyline. We will compare plotting and pantsing and trial both approaches.

Finally, we will learn how to develop believable characters so that our story can shine. Each week, we will gather in a zoom call to discuss the week’s content and to encourage and inspire each other with our own experiences.

At the end of the course, participants will be invited to submit a piece of writing of up to 2000 words for feedback. From here, this well-developed story idea has the best chance possible of going on to become a powerful writing project.

Pre-course preparation

Just to be open to trying meditation as a way of finding inspiration for story ideas. (There is no need for previous meditation experience before starting the course)

Course Type

Craft

Hours of Commitment

5 – 10 hours

Presenters Bio

Karyn Sepulveda is an author, podcast producer and creator of short, guided meditations. Through writing about characters triumphing over adversity, interviewing women about their strengths and designing meditations that help the listener tap into their own creativity, Karyn hopes to spread compassion and connection. www.karynsepulveda.com

Taming Scrivener: Scrivener for Beginners

Booking Link: https://www.trybooking.com/BXEAT

Taming Scrivener: Scrivener for Beginners – Short Course

Scrivener is now well established as a powerful tool in the writing world. However many writers can be daunted by the apparent complexity of the interface and its many, many bells and whistles. This well tried and tested course from Scivener fan, Alison Stuart, will introduce writers of all experiences to the Scrivener interface and walk them through the process of beginning a project in Scrivener through to compiling the finished project into a Word document for submission to an editor.

Pre-course preparation

Participants will be required to have Scrivener loaded to their computers. It should be clear this is Scrivener for Mac and Windows NOT Scrivener for IOS

Course Type

Technical

Hours of Commitment

5 – 10 hours

Presenters Bio

Multi published author, Alison Stuart, writes historical romances and short stories set in England and Australia and across different periods of history. She is best known for THE POSTMISTRESS and THE GOLDMINER’S SISTER, stories set in the Victorian goldfields in the 1870s. She also writes historical mysteries as A.M. Stuart and her popular Harriet Gordon mystery series is set in Singapore in 1910. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and a geriatric cat. In a past life Alison worked as a lawyer across a variety of disciplines including the military and emergency services. She has lived in Africa and Singapore and, when circumstances permit, travels extensively – all for research of course! She has been using Scrivener for over ten years in all her writing and has taught this beginners Scrivener class many times.