Australian Writers’ Centre – New Name New LOOk and Expanded to Melbourne Old Name Sidney Writer’s Centre

Australian Writers’ Centre – New Name New Look and Expanded to Melbourne Old Name Sidney Writer’s Centre

Welcome to our new name and new look. Did you recognise us? We’ve been leading up to this name change for weeks and, this week, we finally did it! We’ve changed our name to the Australian Writers’ Centre because we’ve now expanded to Melbourne (with other states to follow). We’re so excited to be holding courses in Melbourne starting February 2013 – people are already booking in!

We have a great team of presenters in Melbourne and can’t wait to start serving the writing community there.

We’ve also changed our name to reflect the fact that we are serving students from all over Australia. In fact, 40 per cent of you learn with us online. We love our online writing community!

I hope you’re all gearing up for the silly season. It’s a crazy time and I hope you get a chance for a break. This is the perfect time of year to start thinking about your new year writing goals. It’s also the ideal time to consider
Travel Writing – and you can learn with us online or in
the classroom.

The course will cover:
the different types of travel articles and why they suit different markets
how to speak the language – understanding the industry lingo
how to develop the right angle for your travel story so it doesn’t resemble a six-hour holiday slideshow
structuring your articles, using photos and trip notes effectively
how to research travel stories, plan your itineraries and find interview subjects on the road
writing without ever getting on a plane – discovering your hometown or state
how to stay out of trouble by following travel
writing ethics
the best way to approach editors and pitch your story to perfection
and MUCH more!

TIP: Why you shouldn’t nominalise

One of the symptoms of passive writing, as opposed to active writing, is nominalisation – turning verbs into nouns. This tends to make your writing sound more formal and abstract and you’ll often see it happening in academic or corporate writing. Knowing how to recognise nominalisations will help you to avoid slipping into passive voice when you shouldn’t.
For example:
‘Rambo was walked by his owner.’
(walked is the noun form of a verb)

‘Rambo’s owner took him for a walk.’
(walk is the verb)

Notice the difference in tone? The second example is much more conversational and clear. Here are a couple more examples I found online, with the active version highlighted in red:

‘The implementation of the plan was successful’
‘The plan was implemented successfully.’

‘Crime was increasing rapidly and the police were becoming concerned.’
‘The rapid increase in crime was causing concern among the police.’

Student Success – Shannon Meyekort

More good news from one of our former students this week. This time it’s from Shannon Meyekort, who’s been busy writing since she did a course with us last year. Here’s what she wrote to us:
I did the Online course in Magazine Writing early in 2011. It was fantastic and set me up with some great practices.

I am happy to announce that this year, along with the arrival of Baby Number 3, I was able to publish two feature articles, one in the Australasian Dental Magazine, and more recently a piece on dads and miscarriage in the Summer 2012/2013 issue of My Child.

Congratulations Shannon! We look forward to hearing about more publishing success in 2013.
Did you know? Xmas

‘Tis the season! From now until very late on 24 December we’ll be bombarded with ads from retailers reminding us that it’s Christmas – or Xmas. We don’t really think much about this widely used abbreviation – Xmas – but it seems it’s quite a touchy topic for some people. There have been suggestions that retailers have deliberately ‘taken Christ out of Christmas’ to make the festive season a more secular event.

In fact, the word Xmas doesn’t exclude Christ at all. Using ‘X’ as an abbreviation for Christ goes way back to Constantine’s reign. In Ancient Greek, the first two letters of Christ are chi and rho, written as X and P respectively. This led to the Christian monogram still used today of . X has also been used for centuries as an abbreviation for Christ. Xmas has been in use since at least the fifteenth century with the advent of the Gutenberg printing press. Back then, typesetting was very expensive and the church used many abbreviations in their printed material – including Xmas to mean Christmas.

So it’s not such a modern invention after all.

ONLINE COURSE:
Writing Books
for Children and
Young Adults
Want to know what makes Harry Potter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid or The Hunger Games so great? Join us for our first online course of 2013 – Writing Books for Children and Young Adults. In this course you’ll learn the secrets to writing stories that will engage and entertain younger readers. You’ll discover what today’s young people are reading and what publishers are looking
out for.
Five-week online course
starting Monday 7
January 2013
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Indulge your passion for food with this two-day intensive course on the art of writing about food. This was one of our most popular courses in 2012. Food writer Carli Ratcliff, whose writing appears regularly in publications such as the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Living, The Age’s Epicure, and SBS Food, will show you how to write delicious food reviews, feature articles and recipes.
Weekend course:
Saturday 12 and Sunday
13 January 2013
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00pm
Cost: $395

Creative Writing Stage 1
We’re so excited about taking our courses to Melbourne and will be kicking off with our most popular course – Creative Writing Stage 1. Over two days Melbourne author Kylie Ladd will guide you through the craft of writing great fiction. Whether you’re interested in writing a novel, memoir or short stories, this course will help you get started on your writing.
Weekend course:
Saturday 9 and Sunday
10 February 2013
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Oops Word – When apostrophes attack

Thanks to @alexander_lindy who spotted this sign in her local supermarket.

Wow. We’ve said it before but it seems we need to say it again – you don’t use an apostrophe to create a plural! This particular sign-writer really has gone all out with his/her apostrophe use here, but there’s no need for any of them to be in this sign.

Plan ahead – Vietnam

In 2013 we really are spreading our wings. Not only are we bringing you more courses in Sydney and Melbourne, we’re holding our first ever Food Writing tour to Vietnam. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to take your love of food writing on the road. For nine days you’ll be shown the best of Vietnam, and take part in our Writing About Food course with Carli Ratcliff.

Starting in Hanoi you’ll take part in a unique and exciting itinerary that will include private cooking classes, a guided tour through old Hanoi and instruction from some of Vietnam’s best food experts. This will be an unforgettable culinary journey and you’ll come away with the skills and tools you need to make your food writing dream a reality.

We’ve already taken bookings for this fantastic tour, so don’t miss out. You can download a full itinerary here.

On Writing Bar this week

We’re coming over all festive this week so it’s not surprising Writing Bar features so much Christmas joy! If you’re wondering what to read over your holiday – or what book will make the perfect gift – check out our Christmas reading list. These are our favourite books for 2012, so check out the list and tell us what you’ll be reading.

Looking for some Christmas decorating inspiration? Like any good writers’ centre, we love books. So we were thrilled to discover another use for them – replacing the Christmas tree. Check out the quirky and creative ‘book trees’ we came across here.

WEBPICK: Underground New York Public Library

If you’re one of those people who’s fascinated by what others are reading on the train or bus to work, you have to check out the photo series Underground New York Public Library. It’s a visual library featuring the “Reading-Riders” of the New York subway. It’s a fascinating insight into the reading lives of New Yorkers, and a glimpse into their otherwise very private lives.

The series has been photographed and created by Ourit Ben-Haim. He says he’s “fascinated by how we apply ourselves to stories and discourse.” Each post is a photo of a reading commuter and the title and author of their book. The photos are surprisingly poignant and just a little addictive – this is a lovely way to while away a lunch hour.

“The less you write, the better it must be.”
Words of wisdom from – Jules Renard

Other upcoming courses

Online courses:

Online Course: Travel Writing
with Sue White
When: Week beginning Monday 7 January 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395 Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When: Week beginning Monday 7 January 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White/
Allison Tait
When: Week beginning Monday 7 January 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395 Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When: Week beginning Monday 7 January 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson
When: Week beginning Monday 7 January 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
Melbourne courses:

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When: Friday 8 February 2013
(half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 1.00 pm
Cost: $295 Weekend course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Claire Halliday
When: Saturday 9 February and Sunday
10 February 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395
Course: Weekend course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Kylie Ladd
When: Saturday 9 February and Sunday 10 February 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395
Sydney courses:

How to Create and Sell Your eBook with Anna Maguire – FULL
When: Thursday 13 December 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85 WEEKEND course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When: Saturday 12 January and Sunday
13 January 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395
WEEKEND Course: Food Writing with Carli Ratcliff
When: Saturday 12 January and Sunday 13 January 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395 Daytime intensive course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When: Monday 14 January to Friday 17 January 2013 (5 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 12.00 noon
Cost: $395
Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 16 January 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395 Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller – FULL
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 17 January 2013 for six weeks
Time: 10.00 am – 12.00 noon
Cost: $450
Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 17 January 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395 Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 17 January 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395
Weekend course: Travel Writing
with Sue White
When: Saturday 19 January and Sunday 20 January 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395 Daytime intensive course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman
When: Monday 21 January to Friday 25 January 2013 (5 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 12.00 noon
Cost: $395

Seminar: How to Create and Sell Your eBook with Anna Maguire
When: Monday 21 January 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85 Seminar: Blogging for Beginners with Kim Berry
When: Tuesday 22 January 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85
Daytime intensive course: Magazine
and Newspaper Writing Stage 1
with Sue White
When: Tuesday 22 January and Wednesday 23 January 2013
(2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395 Seminar: Successful Freelancing with Gayle Bryant
When: Tuesday 22 January 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85
Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 29 January 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395 Daytime seminar: Blogging for Beginners with Kim Berry
When: Wednesday 30 January 2013 (two-hour daytime seminar)
Time: 10.00 am – 12.00 noon
Cost: $85

Daytime seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When: Wednesday 30 January 2013 (two-hour morning seminar)
Time: 10.00am – 12.00 noon
Cost: $85
Daytime seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When: Thursday 1 February 2013 (two-hour morning seminar)
Time: 10.00am – 12.00 noon
Cost: $85
Weekend Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie
When: Saturday 2 February and Sunday 3 February 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395 Weekend Course: Write a chick-lit novel with Lisa Heidke
When: Saturday 2 February and Sunday 3 February 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395
Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin
When: Every Monday starting Monday 4 February 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395 Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When: Every Monday starting Monday 4 February 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
Seminar: Writing for the web
with Grant Doyle
When: Monday 4 February 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450 Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith
When: Thursday 7 February 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395
Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When: Tuesday 12 February 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450
Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When: Thursday 14 February (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450
Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When: Friday 15 February 2013
(half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 1.00 pm
Cost: $295 Course: Introduction to Novel Writing with Pamela Freeman
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 21 February 2013 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $495
Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 21 February 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395 Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When: Thursday 28 February 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When: Wednesday 6 March 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85 Seminar: Editing Essentials
with Deb Doyle
When: Friday 15 March 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

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