Australian Writers’ Centre- Josephine Ulrick Prizes for Literature and Poetry & Melbourne Writers’ Club amp; Many Writing Classes

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Australian Writers' Centre

Sydney: (02) 9929 0088
Melbourne: (03) 9005 6737

 

In this issue

  • Want to work for the Australian Writers’ Centre?
  • TIP: How to use hyphens
  • Did you know? Hyphenated Americans
  • TIP: How to cite a tweet
  • WEBPICK: Bad Writing Advice from Famous Authors
Valerie Khoo

I’m back in Sydney this week to do some teaching (big HI to everyone in my class this week) but am heading back to Melbourne on the weekend to prepare for our upcoming courses there.

All this travel in trains, planes and automobiles means I’ve had the time to indulge in reading. On my recent plane trip, I re-read Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden. And I love seeing how stories for young adults have evolved since I grew up. When I was a teenager, I read books likeThe Hobbit and The Catcher in the Rye – with the oddSweet Dreams book thrown in!

These days, the stories that books tackle can be very different. They can be a lot edgier. And modern authors are tackling ideas and themes that would not have been considered back when Enid Blyton wrote about the adventures of the Famous Five.

If you’re interested in writing books for children and young adults, it’s vital to understand what works and what doesn’t in today’s environment. That’s why I love our course Writing Books for Children and Young Adults. You’ll discover:

  • Your first words – how to get started.
  • Finding the right voice – one that won’t alienate your readers (unless you’re writing about aliens that is…).
  • Creating characters and stories young readers will enjoy.
  • Talking the talk – how to write believable dialogue.
  • Common assumptions about writing for children and about young readers in general.
  • Ups and downs – how to structure a story that works.
  • Plotting and scheming – the secrets to plotting for different age groups.
  • Your next steps – everything you need to know aboutgetting into the Children’s and Young Adult publishing market.
  • …and MUCH more!

 

Writing Books for Children

Want to work for the
Australian Writers’ Centre?

We’re looking for a very special administration coordinator to help us with our expanding writers’ centre. The role will be part-time (around 3 days a week) to start and may lead to a full-time position. We’re after someone who is super organised and has the utmost attention to detail. If you love admin and filing and can’t stand spelling mistakes, then check out the full job description onWriting Bar.

Applications close Friday 1 February 2013. 


Melbourne Meet-up – see you there!

If you’re in Melbourne I’d love to catch up with you. The wonderful people at the Melbourne Writers’ Club are hosting a meet-up in February and they have kindly asked me to speak at it!

The Melbourne Writers’ Club is organised by Sandi Sieger (editor-in-chief of Onya Magazine) and it’s a great, informal network where writers can get together, share resources and stay connected. And now that the Australian Writers’ Centre has launched in Melbourne, we’re thrilled to become involved in the wonderful writing communities here. See you there!

Time: From 6pm
Date: Monday 4 February 2013
Where: The Honey Bar, 345 Clarendon Street,
South Melbourne
Cost: Free (but you buy your own drinks/food)
RSVP here:www.facebook.com/events/271623872965313


 

TIP: How to use a hyphen

While the hyphen is no longer as fashionable as it used to be – there was a time when even to-day had one – there are still some occasions when you should use it. One use for the hyphen is in some compound words, and it’s this usage that many people struggle with. Here’s how Oxford Dictionaries Online explains:

Hyphens are used in many compound words to show that the component words have a combined meaning (e.g. a pick-me-up, mother-in-law, good-hearted) or that there is a relationship between the words that make up the compound: for example, rock-forming minerals are minerals that form rocks. But you don’t need to use them in every type of compound word.

Compound adjectives
Compound adjectives are made up of a noun + an adjective, a noun + a participle, or an adjective + a participle. Many compound adjectives should be hyphenated. Here are some examples:

accident-prone (noun + adjective)
computer-aided (noun + participle)
quick-thinking (adjective + participle)

With compound adjectives formed from the adverb “well” and a participle (e.g. well-known), or from a phrase (e.g. up-to-date), you should use a hyphen when the compound comes before the noun:

well-known brands of coffee
an up-to-date account

but not when the compound comes after the noun:

His music was also well known in England.
Their figures are up to date.

It’s important to use hyphens in compound adjectives describing ages and lengths of time: leaving them out can make the meaning ambiguous. For example, 250-year-old trees clearly refers to trees that are 250 years old, while 250 year old trees could equally refer to 250 trees that are all one year old.

Creative Writing Stage 1
Whether you’re a total novice
or already have some writing experience, Creative Writing Stage 1 is the ideal starting point on your road to creative enlightenment. And we have plenty of options to suit your schedule! Join us and learn how to turn your ideas into engaging fiction. You’ll discover how to kick-start the creative process, how to draw from everyday experiences for inspiration and how to give structure to your writing.Five-week course
starting Wednesday
30 January 2013

Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Find out more


ONLINE COURSE:
Creative Writing Stage 2
If you’ve completed our Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 and want to take your writing to the next level, then join us for Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2. In this course you’ll take those skills you’ve learnt in stage 1 and really start to put them to good use. This course is packed with practical exercises that will give you a chance to workshop your writing in a collaborative and positive environment.Five week online course starting the week beginning Monday 4 February 2013
Time:
 Whenever it suits you
Cost: $395


Magazine and Newspaper WritingWe’re so excited about launching the Australian Writers’ Centre in Melbourne and will be kicking it off with our most popular course –Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1. If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing your name in print in your favourite magazine or newspaper, then this is the course for you. Over two days you’ll learn all you need to know to research, write and publish great feature articles. We’ve distilled years of knowledge into an intensive and information-packed course that will give you the skills to get paid for your writing. You’ll be learning from Melbourne journalist Claire Halliday, who has been published in everything from The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and theIndependent on Sunday (UK).Weekend Intensive course Saturday 9 & Sunday
10 February 2013

Time: 10am – 4pm
Cost: $395


Josephine Ulrick Prizes for Literature and Poetry

You have just one week left to get your entry in for the 2013 Josephine Ulrick Prize for Literature or Poetry. The Josephine Ulrick prizes for literature (a short story of 1000 – 3000 words) and poetry (up to 200 lines for a poem or suite of poems) are among Australia’s most generous writing awards. Established in memory of the writer, poet and patron for the arts in South-East Queensland, the prize money this year is worth $30,000.

Both the literature prize and the poetry prize will offer $10,000 to the best short story or poem, with a second prize of $5,000 for both. Entries close on Thursday 31 January 2013 and you can download an entry form and conditions of entry here.

Check out the shortlisted and winning entries for previous years here.


Did you know? Hyphenated Americans

Still on hyphens, did you know that in the early 20th century, foreign-born citizens of the US were called “hyphenated Americans”? The term was first used in the late 1880s and by WWI was a derogatory name for anyone who called the US home but was born overseas – think Irish-American or German-American. In 1915 Theodore Roosevelt said in a speech, “When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all.”

According to Joe Kloc who wrote in themorningnews.org, adding the hyphen removed the status of Irish or German as an adjective. Where an Irish American is an American person born in Ireland, an Irish-American is “an unsavoury mix of Irish and American blood whose loyalties still rest with his or her motherland.”

With the power to relegate American citizens this way, it’s no wonder the hyphen is falling out of favour.


TIP: How do you cite a tweet?

We’ve all heard the complaints about text speak finding its way into essays, or students quoting from Wikipedia rather than citing a reliable source. Even tweets are now being quoted in academic papers! And now the Modern Language Association has established a standard way to cite tweets in academic papers. Here’s what they suggest:

Begin the entry in the works-cited list with the author’s real name and, in parentheses, user name, if both are known and they differ. If only the user name is known, give it alone. Next provide the entire text of the tweet in quotation marks, without changing the capitalization. Conclude the entry with the date and time of the message and the medium of publication (Tweet). For example:

Athar, Sohaib (ReallyVirtual). “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” 1 May 2011, 3:58 p.m. Tweet.

You can read about it here.

Plan ahead – How to Write a Business Book MELBOURNE

Attention Melbourne entrepreneurs and business owners. I’ll be bringing my half-day seminar, How to Write a Business Book, to your wonderful city on Friday 8 February. This seminar will show you how you can turn your expertise into a powerful vehicle for lead generation and credibility.

Discover how to plan and structure your book, how to score a publishing deal and how to use your book to take your business to new heights. I’ll be sharing all the secrets to creating your business bestseller, as well as strategies for getting maximum results from your own business book.

How to write a business book

Oops word

This double apostrophe fail was posted by @GrammarMonkeys on Twitter.

Sigh… I suppose we should give them some credit for realising there is supposed to be an apostrophe in this sign. But it’s in the wrong spot – you use an apostrophe to indicate possession NOT to create a plural. So the sign should read “Patrick’s Pizzas”.


WEBPICK: Bad Writing Advice from Famous Authors

We all look to the experts for advice, and most times they get it right. But Flavorwire has put together their selection of bad advice offered, surprisingly, by some of our favourite authors.

Some of the quotes chosen probably don’t really deserve to be in the list. After all, Ray Bradbury’s advice that “quantity produces quality” is useful for many writers, even if it wasn’t for Harper Lee. But there are also plenty of quotes here that may lead budding authors astray if they’re taken literally. Such as Ernest Hemingway’s suggest to “Write drunk; edit sober.” Or Robert A Heinlein who suggests, “You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.” And the worst of the lot comes from Charles Bukowski – he simply says, “Don’t try.”

Check out the full list here.


“If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favour.”Words of wisdom from – Edgar Rice Burroughs

Other upcoming courses

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White/Allison Tait
When: Week beginning Monday 28 January 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When: Week beginning Monday 28 January 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
When: Week beginning Monday 4 February 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When: Week beginning Monday 4 February 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

New dateOnline Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/
Pamela Freeman

When: Week beginning Monday 4 February 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 4 February 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

New dateOnline Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with
Sue White/Allison Tait

When: Week beginning Monday 18 February 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

New dateOnline Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson
When: Week beginning Monday 4 March 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

New dateOnline Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When: Week beginning Monday 4 March 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Melbourne coursesSeminar: 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: $295Weekend 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: $395Weekend 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

Weekend course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When: Saturday 13 April and Sunday 14 April 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Weekend course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Kylie Ladd
When: Saturday 13 April and Sunday 14 April 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

New dateWeekend course: Travel Writing with Julietta Jameson
When: Saturday 13 April and Sunday 14 April 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Sydney coursesDaytime seminar: Blogging for Beginners with Jen Bishop
When: Wednesday 30 January 2013 (two-hour daytime seminar)
Time: 10.00 am – 12.00 noon
Cost: $85Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 30 January 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395Daytime 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: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When: Thursday 31 January 2013 (two-hour evening 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

Daytime seminar: Build Your Profile Using Twitter with Kerri Sackville
When: Wednesday 6 February 2013 (two-hour morning seminar)
Time: 10.00 am – 12.00 noon
Cost: $85

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 – FULL
When: Thursday 14 February 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

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

New dateDaytime intensive course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Kate Forsyth
When: Monday 25 February to Friday 1 March 2013 (5 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 12.00 noon
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

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go
When: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 5 March 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

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

New dateSeminar: Blogging for Beginners with Kim Berry
When: Monday 11 March 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

New dateSeminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When: Wednesday 13 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

Weekend course: Food Writing with Carli Ratcliff
When: Saturday 16 March and Sunday 17 March 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Writing About Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett
When: Monday 18 March and 25 March 2013 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $175

New dateWeekend course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman
When: Saturday 23 March and Sunday 24 March 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Self-publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When: Monday 25 March 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Jeni Mawter
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 27 March 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

New dateSeminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When: Wednesday 27 March 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

New dateSeminar: How to Create and Sell Your eBook with Anna Maguire
When: Thursday 28 March 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Plotting and Planning with Kate Forsyth
When: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 2 April 2013 for two weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $175

Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 4 April 2013 for six weeks
Time: 10.00 am – 12.00 noon
Cost: $450

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 9 April 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 2 with Valerie Khoo
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 1 May 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding
When: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 11 June 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

New dateWeekend course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
When: Saturday 29 June and Sunday 30 June 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Program: Write Your Novel with Pamela Freeman
When: Every Monday starting Monday 1 July 2013 for six months
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $2150

Wishing you much writing success,

Valerie Khoo

About Valerie:
Valerie Khoo is a journalist, author of six books and founder of the Australian Writers’ Centre. Valerie writes regularly for

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