Australian Writers’ Centre- Best Australian Blogs Competition & Many Writing Courses

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Australian Writers' Centre
28 February 2013 Get Published newsletter
Sydney: (02) 9929 0088
 

 

  • TIP: How to use “In terms of”
  • Best Australian Blogs
    Competition is back!
  • Do we need a new
    punctuation mark
    ?
  • Plan ahead – Creative Writing
    Stage 2
  • WEBPICK: Granta
Valerie Khoo

These days, rarely a day goes by when I don’t open the pages of a magazine or newspaper to see the byline of one of our graduates. This week, I was reading Harper’s Bazaar and found a wonderful article by graduate Eden Riley; then I turned to Good Health and found a great article by graduate Jennifer Morton. Then I opened the pages ofMindfood to find a piece by Kelly Exeter.

I also know that Micky Stuivenberg has just been published in On the Road, and Lisa Schofield in Women’s Running magazine. These are just the articles I come across. I know there are a lot more out there written by former students who are kicking goals with their writing!

All these students are graduates of our course Magazine and Newspaper Writing. I love this course because it’s such a practical foundation for a career (freelancer or full-time) in writing. So many students end up published, many even eventually change careers to become writers.

You’ll discover:

  • Ideas – where to get them and which ones work.
  • The industry – understanding the magazine/newsmarket.
  • Styles – all the different types of feature articles.
  • Researching, structuring and actually writing
    your feature.
  • Interviewing skills – whether it’s a CEO or circus clown, rock star or rocket scientist, learn the questions you need to ask.
  • People power – who to approach to get the best subjects for your stories.
  • Editor expectations of freelance writers.
  • Selling your story – a step-by-step guide to successfully pitching your article or idea to a magazine.
  • and MUCH more!

 

TIP: In terms of

In terms of the English language, there are some phrases you should avoid. And many would argue that ‘in terms of’ is one of those phrases.

Oxford Dictionaries defines ‘in terms of’ as ‘with regard to the particular aspect or subject specified:replacing the printers is difficult to justify in terms of cost.’ In other words, it describes a precise relationship between two things, for example:

I don’t know what to do in terms of John’s problem.

Some writers, however, claim that the term has been so overused, and often in the wrong context, that it is now meaningless. We found one reference online (a style-guide for students at Penn State in the US) that claimed “we often hear it on the news and in bloated speeches, but ‘in terms of’ is really just a wordy and sloppy transition – usually an unoriginal disguise for a simple preposition, such as ‘in’, or a more elegant phrasing, such as ‘in relation to’. Do not use ‘in terms of’ or do so trembling.”

And Paul Brians, author of Common Errors in English Usagesuggests the following changes to sentences using “in terms of”:

“We have to plan soon what to do in terms of Thanksgiving.” (for)
“What are we going to do in terms of paying these bills?” (about)
“A little chili powder goes a long way in terms of spicing up any dish.” (toward).
“What do you like in terms of movies?” (What kind of movies do you like?)

If you do use ‘in terms of’ in your writing, make sure you use it correctly. If you’re not sure try an alternative, like the suggestions above.


Best Australian Blogs Competition

The Best Australian Blogs Competition is back!The 2013 competition opened for entries at 11am this morning. You can enter here. It takes two minutes. The competition hashtag on Twitter is #bestblogs13.

With a judging team of publishing and blogging veterans, special awards for outstanding posts and an optional People’s Choice round, there are heaps of ways to win in 2013.

There is over $18,000 worth of writing training, books and cash available to win. We’re delighted to welcome Random House as the 2013 competition sponsor.

The Best Australian Blogs Competition is one of Australia’s largest and leading blog competitions. The2012 competition saw 1024 blogs entered, and over 17,000 votes cast in the People’s Choice round.


Did you know? The origin of
the word “slimming”

Now that we are being bombarded with TV commercials for the next season of The Biggest Loser, we thought we’d look at the word “slimming”.

The Middle Dutch adjective “slim” meant “distorted” or “awry”, and when the word was applied to people, it meant “crafty: or “sly”. In modern Dutch, “slim” also means “meagre, inferior, small”. And when used in English in the 17th century, a “slim customer” was a “cunning, artful fellow”; and a “slim jest” was a “malicious joke”.

Of course, now the most common use of the word “slim” is the one derived from “meagre, inferior, small”. So in your quest to be slim, just remember that if you stay true to the origins of the word, you might actually end up looking “distorted”!
(Source: English Down the Ages)

ONLINE COURSE:
Creative Writing Stage 1

Boost your creativity and get those ideas for a story out of your head and onto the page. Our five-week ONLINE Course: Creative Write Stage 1 will show you how to write a compelling story. You’ll learn all about character, voice and structure, and discover new ways to kick-start your imagination, in an interactive and encouraging online classroom.

Five week online course starting the week beginning Monday 4 March 2013
Time:
 Whenever it suits you
Cost: $395


Professional Business Writing

Making the best first
impression means ensuring all your company’s written communication is top notch.
If you’re working on proposals, reports or tenders, but aren’t sure you’re getting your message across, join us for our one-day Professional Business Writing seminar. We’ll show
you how to create powerful
and persuasive documents every time.

Thursday 14 March 2013
Time:
 9am – 5pm
Cost: $450


Writing About Food

Want to learn how to turn your passion for food into a paid freelance writing career? Join us for this two-day course with food and travel writer Carli Ratcliff. She’ll show you how to write riveting food reviews and the ingredients and methods you need to write great recipes. You’ll also discover how to communicate the ‘flavour wheel’ to your audience and where and how to get your work published.

Weekend course starting Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 March 2013
Time: 10 pm – 4pm
Cost: $395


Do we need a new punctuation mark?

Over use of the exclamation mark has long been a problem in English, but it seems with the advent of social media, text messaging and email, the situation has really gotten out of control. As Rob Walker at Design Observer noted, “the function of the exclamation mark has changed: It no longer connotes remarkable enthusiasm; it just signals a sort of general friendliness and baseline cheer, the equivalent of saying “Howyadoin?” in a chipper voice.”

So what’s the solution to our chronic enthusiasm for the exclamation mark? A new punctuation mark, of course, something that conveys “roughly half the level of exclaiming” of an exclamation mark – an ElRey mark.

You can read the full post here.


TIP: When should you use an ampersand?

We’re often asked when it’s ok to use an ampersand. If you’re not sure what this is, it’s the symbol for and: “&”. Yes the “squiggle for the word and” as we’ve heard it referred to.

The short answer is: almost never. It’s acceptable to use it when it’s part of a name like:
* sass & bide (clothing label)
* Johnson & Johnson (health company)

While you may see the ampersand used in SMS or Twitter messages and on signs (in order to save space), it should generally not be used to replace the word “and” in everyday letters, websites, books and so on.

Plan ahead – Creative Writing Stage 2

Enhance and extend your fiction writing with our next Creative Writing Stage 2 course. This is the perfect course for anyone who has completed any of our creative writing courses – including Writing Books for Children and Young AdultsThriller Writing and How to Write a Chick-Lit Novel.

Designed to help you continue your writing momentum and help you develop your short story or novelCreative Writing Stage 2 is a chance for you to get practical feedback on your work. You’ll learn more about characters, voice and structure and fine-tune your writing. This course is also the perfect preparation course forIntroduction to Novel Writing with Pamela Freeman.

Book now

This week on Writing Bar

There’s lots happening on Writing Bar this week. First, we take a trip to Vietnam! Our Writing About Food in Vietnam tour is proving very popular so we thought we’d tell you a little more about this tantalising trip. Read all about it here.

For anyone interested in the inner workings of a large literary mag, you can read about John Freeman’s chat with literary editor, Stephen Romei. John is the editor of the prestigious Granta magazine and he was recently in Australia to talk about his role and his new book, How to Read a Novelist. Read about it here.

Finally, some very exciting news from one our presenters. Patti Miller, who teaches our Life Writing course and also leads tours to Paris and Bali, was long-listed in the inaugural Stella Prize. Patti has been long-listed for her memoir, The Mind of a Thief. Read all about the prize and Patti’s book here.


Sydney meetup – Only a few spots left so book now!

We’re holding our next informal networking event on Tuesday 5 March – and you’re invited!

This is your chance to get together with fellow graduates and the wider community of the Australian Writers’ Centre, hear from a great presenter, and hopefully leave just that little bit more inspired to achieve your writing dreams.

Date: Tuesday 5 March 2013
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.00 pm
Where: The Kirribilli Club, Milsons Point
(right next door to us)
Who: Journalist and magazine/newspaper editor, Cindy MacDonald, who will share her insights on how to stand out from the crowd as a feature writer, tips on what you MUST include in your stories, the biggest mistakes that new freelancers make and much more.

Tickets cost $10 each to cover venue costs. Any excess funds will be donated to the Doggie Rescue charity. Numbers are strictly limited!

You can buy your tickets here.
Can’t wait to see you there!


WEBPICK: Granta

Forgive us if we seem a little obsessed with Grantathis week, but it was so interesting to hear from the editor himself that we thought we should definitely bring their website to your attention. While you need to subscribe to Granta to receive their 4 issues a year, you can read plenty of their ‘new writing’ on the website. There’s plenty here to keep you going – essays and memoir, interviews, podcasts and poetry. You can also browse the Granta bookshop and check out back issues of the magazine. Go on, you know you want to.

Check it out here.


“For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.”

Words of wisdom from – Catherine Drinker Bowen

Upcoming courses

Online 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

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When: Week beginning Monday 4 March 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 4 March 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 4 March 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 4 March 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 11 March 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 18 March 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 18 March 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Sydney coursesCourse: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
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

Seminar: Blogging for Beginners with Jen Bishop – FULL
When: Monday 11 March 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: 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: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When: Thursday 14 March 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

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: Writing about Food 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

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith
When: Wednesday 20 March 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle
When: Thursday 21 March 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Daytime seminar: Blogging for Beginners with Jen Bishop
When: Wednesday 22 March 2013 (two-hour daytime seminar)
Time: 10.00 am – 12.00 noon
Cost: $85

Weekend 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

New dateCourse: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 27 March 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

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

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When: Thursday 28 March 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: 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

New dateSeminar: Build Your Profile Using Twitter with Kerri Sackville
When: Tuesday 2 April 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

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

Weekend Course: Write a Chick-Lit Novel with Lisa Heidke
When: Saturday 6 April and Sunday 7 April 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When: Monday 8 April 2013 (two-hour morning seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When: Every Monday starting Monday 8 April 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

New dateSeminar: Blogging for Beginners with Jen Bishop
When: Tuesday 9 April 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

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

Seminar: Successful Freelancing with Gayle Bryant
When: Tuesday 16 April 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie
When: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 23 April 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
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 1 with Tim Gooding
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 1 May 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

New dateCourse: Introduction to Novel Writing with Pamela Freeman
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 9 May 2013 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $495

Course: Plotting and Planning with Kate Forsyth
When: Every Monday starting Monday 13 May 2013 for two weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $175

New dateSeminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard
When: Thursday 23 May 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 5 June 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

Weekend 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

Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 18 July 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Thanks for signing up to this newsletter.

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 smh.com.autheage.com.au,brisbanetimes.com.auwatoday.com.aucanberratimes.com.au andbusinessday.com.au. The Australian Writers’ Centre runs a range of popular writing courses in Sydney, Melbourne and online. She is author of Power Stories: The 8 Stories You MUST Tell to Build an Epic Business (Wiley).

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Australian Writers’ Centre
Suite 3, 55 Lavender Street Milsons Point NSW 2061
www.WritersCentre.com.au

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