Short Course Schedule 2021

Please note, we are still loading the courses to the website and some courses may be subject to change. Most courses will be available to peruse by mid-late January 2021.

February

From 1 February – 28 February 2021

Once More With Feelings – Putting Emotion on the Page

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

Emotion is at the centre of romantic stories, and being able to communicate emotion to readers and make them feel for your characters is a crucial skill for successful authors in the genre. And it’s hard. Sometimes really hard. This course will look at how to show a full range of emotion on the page. We’ll talk about imagery, avoiding cliché, making the emotion feel real and then we’ll delve into creating engrossing emotional conflicts, heart-rending darkest moments and truly satisfying resolutions, so your characters and your story stay with your reader long after they’ve finished reading. If you want to make your readers laugh, cry, and fall in love with your characters so they keep turning the pages right to the end of your novel this course is for you.

Pre-course preparation

No firm pre-requisites, but this course would best suit participants with a current novel-in-progress.

Course type

Craft

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours/week

All material at beginning with regular forums

Presenters bio

Alison May is a novelist and short story writer and current Chair of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association. She writes romantic comedies and emotional fiction. Alison has been shortlisted in the Love Stories and RoNA Awards. Along with Janet Gover, Alison also writes as Juliet Bell.

Alison is also qualified teacher with a degree in Creative Writing and she runs regular novel writing workshops and courses. As a writing tutor Alison has worked with students who have gone on to have successful self-publishing careers, to achieving agent representation, and also to publication, with publishers including HarperCollins, Hachette and Head of Zeus.

You can find out more about Alison at www.alison-may.co.uk

Digital Self-Publishing 101

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

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

Basic Computer Skills (i.e. can use Microsoft Word, can navigate the web, can install programs on their computer).

Course type

Self-publishing

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors; Established authors

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours/week

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

March

From 1 March – 28 March 2021

The Secrets of Show, Don’t Tell

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

Do you find the adage ‘show, don’t tell’ a complete mystery? It doesn’t have to be! In this course, we’ll explore the concept of both showing and telling, and where they fit into your writing process. Learn to isolate telling in a piece of work, and develop some tools to uplevel your showing, thereby increasing tension, enhancing atmosphere and deepening that all-important connection to the reader.

Pre-course preparation

A smile, an open mind, and willingness to try new things.

Course type

Craft

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours/week

Presenters bio

Award winning and nominated author Samantha Marshall writes romance – as long as it’s got paranormal creatures, space odyssey features or anything in between she’ll be there writing happily ever afters to rule them all. When she’s not hiding in her dragon cave eating chocolate ice cream, Samantha can be found at www.sliceofsammy.com

Fixing English 1: Boost Your Grammar Skills

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

Ever felt you have a fabulous story inside you, but … you’re not confident you can do it justice? Perhaps your grammar and punctuation scores are pulling you down in writing competitions. Perhaps your knowledge of grammar and punctuation is patchy, and you’d like to be able to deliver a ‘clean’ manuscript. Perhaps you’re simply not as confident as you’d like to be about the standard of your written English.

‘Fixing English’ can help you improve your grammar and punctuation proficiency. You can opt for Part 1 (Boost you grammar skills) or Part 2 (Boost your punctuation skills), or you could choose to do both these four-week courses.

Anna has been fixing English since she first started teaching in 1991! By profession an English and humanities teacher, and more recently a literacy consultant for student teachers at Monash University, she now has her own business: Fixing English. The mainstay of her work is tutoring literacy to adults and editing writers’ manuscripts. If you want answers to some of your grammar and punctuation niggles, or if you simply want to improve how you write, then this is the course for you!

Pre-course preparation

Participants need to be able to speak and write basic English. This is not a course suitable for someone trying to learn English.

Course type

Technical

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors; Established authors

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours/week

Presenters bio

Anna Greene (who some of you may know as Lou Greene or Anna Foxkirk) is a qualified teacher with nearly thirty years’ experience teaching and tutoring at primary, secondary and tertiary level. Prior to setting up her own business in 2018, she was an associate teacher and English literacy advisor with Monash University’s Department of Education. She has taught English literacy to adults in class workshops and online. She is also available for one-to-one tuition and mentoring. Anna has recently brought her tutoring, editing and mentoring skills under one umbrella: Fixing English. You can find out more about Anna from her website: https://www.fixingenglish.com

April

From 5 April – 2 May 2021

Public Speaking for Authors

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

At some time in their career, an author will find themselves speaking in public. It might be over Zoom, or during an interview. They may be launching a book at a library, or presenting at a conference. While the thought of speaking in public leaves many people a quivering mess, you’ve got this, girl! Learn how to sound good, even erudite, in front of others. Learn the value of articulation, pitch variance and more. Includes a bonus section on proper microphone use and speaking in front of a camera.

Pre-course preparation

Ability to record and upload video and/or sound files. Smartphone recordings are perfectly acceptable.

Course type

Business

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors; Established authors

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours/week

Presenters bio

Heidi Wessman Kneale has a varied career speaking in front of people of all ages. With a background in narration, theatre and teaching, she’s willing to share her tips and tricks for speaking in front of others so you don’t dissolve into a babbling mess.

Unlock Your Creativity

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

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

None.

Course type

Craft

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors;

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours/week

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.

May

From 3 May – 30 May 2021

Fixing English 2: Boost Your Punctuation Skills

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

Ever felt you have a fabulous story inside you, but … you’re not confident you can do it justice? Perhaps your grammar and punctuation scores are pulling you down in writing competitions. Perhaps your knowledge of grammar and punctuation is patchy, and you’d like to be able to deliver a ‘clean’ manuscript. Perhaps you’re simply not as confident as you’d like to be about the standard of your written English. Fixing English’ can help you improve your grammar and punctuation proficiency. You can opt for Part 1 (grammar boost) or Part 2 (punctuation boost), or you could choose to do both these 4-week courses. Anna has been fixing English since she first started teaching in 1991! By profession an English and humanities teacher, and more recently a literacy consultant for student teachers at Monash University, she now has her own business: Fixing English. The mainstay of her work is tutoring literacy to adults and editing writers’ manuscripts. If you want answers to some of your grammar and punctuation niggles, or if you simply want to improve how you write, then this is the course for you!

Pre-course preparation

 Participants need to be able to speak and write basic English. This is not a course suitable for someone trying to learn English.

Course type

Technical

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors; Established authors

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours/week

Presenters bio

Anna Greene (who some of you may know as Lou Greene or Anna Foxkirk) is a qualified teacher with nearly thirty years’ experience teaching and tutoring at primary, secondary and tertiary level. Prior to setting up her own business in 2018, she was an associate teacher and English literacy advisor with Monash University’s Department of Education. She has taught English literacy to adults in class workshops and online. She is also available for one-to-one tuition and mentoring. Anna has recently brought her tutoring, editing and mentoring skills under one umbrella: Fixing English. You can find out more about Anna from her website: https://www.fixingenglish.com

June

From 7 June – 4 July 2021

Preparing to Publish

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

Do you want to help bullet proof your manuscript submission? This online practical editing and manuscript prep course will help you edit and prepare your draft, as well as provide hints and tips for creating professionally presented manuscripts for publication.

Pre-course preparation

Students must all have a completed or almost completed draft of their manuscript – minimum 5 pages of text.

Course type

Editing / Publishing

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors;

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours/week

Presenters bio

Gabiann Marin is a professional writer and editor with 5 years editorial experience for a number of Australian Publishers. She is also a published author and knows the game on both sides of the publishing fence.

Whirlwind Romances – how to make your romantic novel a page-turner

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

Whatever the genre, producing a page turner requires a very particular set of skills and romance writing is no exception. Award-winning author Jan Henderson, will guide you from initial idea to finished manuscript in ten practical, innovative steps. Expect tips, tricks and unique insights into crafting a fast paced masterpiece. Jan will share over 20 years of writing experience and his own unique insights, presented in a clear and easy to understand way, with exercises, author feedback and a downloadable course book.

Pre-course preparation

The course is for beginners through to experienced writers. No prerequisites, or prior knowledge is required of participants.

Course type

Craft

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors; Established authors

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours/week

Presenters bio

Jan-Andrew Henderson (J.A. Henderson) is the author of 31 teen, YA and adult novels and non-fiction books. He has been published in the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Germany and the Czech Republic by Oxford University Press, Collins, Hardcourt Press, Amberley Books, Oetinger Publishing, Mainstream Books, Black and White Publishers Mlada Fontana, Black Hart and Floris Books. He has been shortlisted for thirteen literary awards in the UK and Australia and has won the Doncaster Book Prize and Royal Mail Award – Britain’s biggest children’s book prize. He recently emigrated to Australia. He holds an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh and runs The Green Light Literary Breakdown Service, offering advice, editing, workshops and talks to budding writers. https://www.janandrewhenderson.com https://www.greenlightliteraryrescueservice.com

July

From 5 July – 1 August 2021

Media Savvy

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

Author branding and marketing is an important tool in any writer’s kit. However, online and print media is another great source of free publicity – if you know how to use it to your advantage. This course will help you put together a press release and media kit, as well as figure out who to send it too. Mainstream media can help boost your profile and open up a whole new source of promotion, both online and in print publications.

Pre-course preparation

None

Course type

Business

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors; Established authors

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours/week

Presenters bio

Tanya Nellestein is a freelance journalist, media liaison and author who has written for a variety of publications. Her speciality is romance journalism, and she’s keen to see as many romance writers out in the media as possible. To find out more: tanyanellestein.com

Polish Like a Pro

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

“It’s not you–it’s me.” It’s time for you to break up with your manuscript, get out that red pen and polish like a pro. This four-week course will cover some self-editing techniques to ensure your book is the very best it can be before you send it to either a professional editor or a publishing house for submission. This course will cover effective book break-up techniques, the index card revision system, editing for the senses, the question and answer technique and more to help you take you book from good to great. Join experienced editor and presenter Lauren Clarke in this four-week course.

Pre-course preparation

None

Course type

Editing

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors;

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours/week

Presenters 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.

September

From 6 September – 3 October 2021

Get Organised, Get Writing

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

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

None

Course type

Mindset

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors; Established authors

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours/week

Presenters bio

Paula Roe is an experienced presenter, devising 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

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

Choose and use the right Point of View to showcase the emotional drama and intrigue in your story.

Nothing puts a potential agent/judge/editor/publisher off faster than head-hopping borne of poor POV understanding, or not using a POV that makes the most of the story structure and emotional drama.

The voice of the character who is telling a story, shapes the way readers connect with the action and participants, and during this workshop you will unravel the sometimes difficult choice about which POV(s) is best for your story and how to deliver it consistently.

Your POV delivery will be flawlessly in no time!

This workshop will give you the skills to:

  • Recognise the different POV types and applications.
  • Be able to choose the POV that’s right for your story and author style.
  • Be able to write in first person, third person limited or omniscient.
  • Handle POV changes and multiple viewpoints with ease.
  • Understand the effect of POV on distance, tense and genre.

Sandy Vaile is passionate about making sure participants fully understand concepts, so there will be plenty of opportunities to apply what you’ve learnt to your own work, examples, colourful handouts and free resources.

Pre-course preparation

None

Course type

Craft

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors;

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours/week

Presenters bio

Sandy Vaile is a motorbike-riding daredevil who isn’t content with a story unless there’s 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. She 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 mentoring and critiquing services. www.fearlessprose.com

October

From 4 October – 31 October 2021

Shape Your Ideal Author Career

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

A course for aspiring authors who want to stop feeling overwhelmed by the publishing industry and map the most efficient route to their publication dreams.

This workshop will transform the way you approach your author career, whether you are still writing that first manuscript or are published and want help to plan a viable career.

Do these sound familiar?

  • Feeling overwhelmed by all the things you’re supposed to do to succeed and all of the conflicting information out there.
  • Doubting you’ll ever have what it takes to make it in this industry.
  • Not knowing what information is relevant to you at which stage of your career.
  • Lacking confidence to put your work out there. Then you’re not alone.

I have walked in your shoes and understand what you’re going through, and I’m going to share the things I’ve learnt during a decade-long journey of trial, error and scraped knees.

Go from wishing for publication, to having a practical plan to achieve it.

This workshop will give you the skills to:

  • Demystify the publishing process, terminology and concepts.
  • Clarify what you really want from an author career.
  • Show you how to embrace the resilience mindset.
  • Appreciate the pros and cons of various publication pathways.
  • Develop a personalised author career plan.

Pre-course preparation

This workshop suits all fiction writers from absolute beginners to published authors, who want to understand the publishing industry and figure out the most efficient route to their publication dreams.

Course type

Mindset / Publishing

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors; Established authors

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours/week

Presenters bio

Sandy Vaile is a motorbike-riding daredevil who isn’t content with a story unless there’s 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. She 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 mentoring and critiquing services. www.fearlessprose.com

Writing a Series – it’s just like coming home

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

We are told publishers love a series. Readers do too. This course with multi-award winning author Janet Gover looks at all the S words – series, sequel, and standalone. They are not so far apart as they might seem. We’ll look at how to create a series arc as well and a character arc. How to give your reader that feeling of coming home to family and old friends every time they pick up one of your books. Practical issues such as keeping a series bible and ensuring consistency will sit alongside discussions of what readers and publishers are looking for and how to meet those expectations. Exercises and Q&A sessions will help you craft your series.

Pre-course preparation

A work in progress – but it need not be finished.

Course type

Craft

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors;

Hours of commitment

10 – 20 hours

Presenters bio

Janet Gover is the author of the multi-award winning Coorah Creek series. She has 14 published books under two names – and has twice been shortlisted for a RuBY Award. She is a much sought-after writing tutor, running retreats and courses in both Australia and the UK, where she also leads the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme. In her ‘other life’ she is a bit of a computer geek and qualified in online adult training. She is also a well-trained cat servant and a not-entirely-awful cook. Her website is www.janetgover.com and you can find her on twitter @janet_gover and Fb https://www.facebook.com/janetgoverbooks

November

From 1 November – 28 November 2021

Workshop Your First Chapter

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

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

Have written a first chapter to a novel.

Course type

Craft / Editing

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors;

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/BOFPY

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, 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

Writing tools.

Course type

Craft

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors;

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours

Presenters bio

Paula Roe is an experienced presenter, devising 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, Paula is RWA’s longest-serving Hearts Talk editor, a Lynne Wilding Award recipient, RBY finalist and double-ARRA winner. She’s a recovering contest addict, published nine novels with Harlequin, released a non-fiction historical biography under an 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