Australian Writers’ Centre- Qantas Soya Written Word Award & Writing Picture Books & Many More Writing Courses

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  • TIP: Themself and reflexive pronouns
  • QANTAS SOYA Written Word Award
  • WORDWISE: Backronym
  • Plan ahead – Writing Picture Books
  • WEBPICK: Said to Lady Journos
Valerie Khoo

“Just Google it”

These days we spend so much time searching for and consuming information online that it’s hard to imagine life before the internet. If you need to communicate with customers, prospects or your community online, it’s important to understand the key principles of Writing for the Web.

People read differently online. So it’s important to make sure your writing is structured in the best way for this medium. If you want to master this skill, you’ll enjoy our seminar Writing for the Web.

You’ll discover:

  • the differences between print and online writing
  • what constitutes good content
  • how to write concisely while focusing on usabilityand ‘scannability’
  • how your readers engage with web content
  • the golden rules of information design
  • contextual links and keywords for search
    engine optimisation
  • style guides and why you need them
  • and much more!

TIP: Themself and reflexive pronouns

For a word that’s been acknowledged in the Oxford English Dictionary since the 1400s, there seems to bea lot of angst around the use of ‘themself’. (In fact, when I type ‘themself’, Word will automatically correct it to ‘themselves’.)

Themself is a singular reflexive pronoun, words that always end in ‘self’ or ‘selves’. You use a reflexive pronoun when you refer back to the subject of a sentence or clause. It’s generally agreed that there are 8 reflexive pronouns – myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself (all singular); and ourselves, yourselves and themselves (plural). Many grammar references and style guides will insist that the singularthemself should be avoided, and the Macquarie Dictionary notes that it’s usually used in more informal writing.

So is it ever okay to use themself? Well, at Oxford Dictionaries online, one writer says yes, but beware. He notes that themself was the normal form untilthemselfs came into use around 1500, withthemselves eventually superseding both forms. Its use does crop up in modern writing, often as a gender-neutral term to replace himself or herself, and theMacquarie Dictionary also notes this.

Even though themself may be enjoying a small resurgence in use, it’s still a word you should be
wary of using so where possible avoid it, or refer to
your style guide.


QANTAS SOYA Written Word Award

Let your creativity fly with this fantastic opportunity
for young writers. If you’re aged 18 – 30 the
QANTAS Spirit of Youth Awards (SOYA) want
to hear from you
.

On offer is $5000 worth of travel with QANTAS and a professional mentorship with author and Melbourne Writers Festival director, Lisa Dempster. There’s also $5000 cash on offer!

Entries in any style are welcome – fact or fiction, poetry or prose, short stories or journalism, and even scripts or novel excerpts. (There are also awards for visual arts and film.) You must send your entry through the SOYA website and entries for the Written Word Award close at 2pm on Tuesday 7 May 2013.

Click here for more information.


WORDWISE: Backronym

An acronym is a word derived from the initial letters of a phrase, and a backronym is the exact opposite – it’s a phrase constructed so that the acronym fits an existing word.

The backronym, or reverse acronym, is a relatively new phenomenon and the word has only started popping up in dictionaries in the last few decades. Its first printed use is said to have been in the Washington Post in 1983, when a reader described a backronym as ‘the same as an acronym, except that the words were chosen to fit the letters”.

Backronyms do have a useful purpose, especially in mnemonics (a learning technique that applies a letter to certain words or phrases) but they’re most often used humorously. Here are a few examples we found online:

Microsoft’s ‘Bing’ – Because It’s Not Google
Golf – Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden
Fine – Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional

In some cases backronyms can be so convincing they worm their way into general knowledge and are accepted as truth. For example, the word posh is now part of everyday language. People used to (wrongly) think it stood for “Port Out, Starboard Home”, a part of the ship where only the wealthiest travellers could book a cabin. Also, “Wiki” has been wrongly assumed to mean “What I Know Is”, when in fact it’s derived from a Hawaiian term, “wiki wiki”, meaning fast.

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 online course in 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 the week beginning Monday 18 March 2013
Time:
 Whenever it suits you
Cost: $395


Business Writing Essentials
In business writing, it’s not just what you say – it’s how you say it. And knowing the golden rules of good business writing means you’ll always be able to make a great first impression. Our one-day Business Writing Essentials seminar will show you how to ensure you make the right first impression every time. You’ll be given valuable templates that you can use when structuring letters and emails and learn the rules you need to write clear and concise business documents.

One-day seminar on Wednesday 20 March 2013
Time:
 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395


Creative Writing Stage 1Creative Writing Stage 1 is our most popular course so we’ve scheduled plenty of dates! This means, you’ll be able to find a course to suit you no matter what your schedule. If you want to boost your creativity and get started on your fiction writing, this is the course for you. Whether you’re joining us for a weekend intensive, an evening course, or an online course, you’ll learn all the skills you need to craft great fiction from industry professionals who’ve been there themselves.

Weekend intensive on Saturday 23 & Sunday
24 March 2013
Time
: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Five-week evening course starting Wednesday 27
March 2013
Time
: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Life Writing with Patti MillerThursdays starting
Thursday 4 April 2013
10.00am – 12noon
Only 3 places left


Blogging for Beginners

Evening seminar on
Tuesday 9 April 2013
6.30pm – 8.30pm
Only 5 places left



TIP: Among or amongst?

We’re often asked what the difference is between among and amongst, and when you should use one over the other. Well, the answer is simple – they’re pretty much interchangeable. But be careful, there is a preference for the more modern
sounding ‘among’.

Both words are prepositions meaning ‘in or into the midst of; in association or connection with; surrounded by.’  For example:

He set the cat among the pigeons.
She was amongst the last to leave the party.

You’ll rarely see amongst used in American English and generally only in formal writing in British English. It’s really best to avoid it if you don’t want to sound old-fashioned, and many style guides will suggest you don’t use it.


Plan ahead – Writing Picture Books

Think writing a picture book is simple? Well, maybe not. Writing an engaging book that will capture the imagination of young readers actually requires a lot of skill and technique. And that’s what we plan to show you in our five-week Writing Picture Books course.

Editor and picture books expert, Cathie Tasker, will show you the secrets to writing a wonderful picture book. Whether you’re writing or illustrating, this course will teach you how to use language and rhythm, how to find the right voice for your book and how to structure and pace your picture book. You’ll also learn more about what publishers are looking for and how to get your book noticed.

Book now

Best Australian Blogs Competition

Don’t forget to enter the Best Australian Blogs Competition. There is over $18,000 worth of writing training, books and cash available to win.

The Best Australian Blogs Competition is one of Australia’s leading blog competitions. The 2012 competition saw 1024 blogs entered, and over 17,000 votes cast in the People’s Choice round.


Oops word

Thanks to @sharlivingstone who tweeted us this spelling doozy.

Strickly?! Of course, they mean ‘strictly’. Sadly, this is not the first time we’ve seen this attempt at phonetic spelling. It seems many people don’t hear the ‘t’ when ‘strictly’ is spoken. Even so, ‘strickly’ doesn’t even look like a word!


WEBPICK: Said to Lady Journos

If you’re a female journalist, you’ll possibly (though we hope not) relate to this tumblr. It’s a collection of sexist quotes (everything from vaguely suggestive to downright insulting) submitted by women who work in the media. Sadly, it seems the media can still be a bit of a boys’ club!

All of the quotes are submitted anonymously and none are attributed to any one person or organisation. The purpose of Said to Lady Journos is simply to document what people say to female journalists. So it makes for sobering reading. But if the quotes are too much, check out the recent International Women’s Day posts which feature successful, fearless and respected female journalists, including Marie Colvin, Joan Didion and Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times.

Check it out here.


“I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.”Words of wisdom from – Tom Clancy

Upcoming courses

Online 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: $395Online 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

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When: Week beginning Monday 18 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 25 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 25 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 1 April 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Sydney coursesSeminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When: Friday 15 March 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450Weekend 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 – FULL
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

Course: 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: 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

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Holly Nott
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 4 April 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

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

Seminar: 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

Seminar: How to Create and Sell Your eBook with Anna Maguire
When: Thursday 18 April 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

New dateSeminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When: Friday 19 April 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

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: 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 dateSeminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When: Thursday 2 April 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: 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

New dateDaytime seminar: Blogging for Beginners with Jen Bishop
When: Friday 10 May 2013 (two-hour morning seminar)
Time: 10 am – 12 noon
Cost: $85

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: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When: Thursday 16 May 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: 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

New dateSeminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When: Tuesday 28 May 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

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

OVERSEAS WRITING TOURS
Writing About Food in Vietnam with Carli Ratcliff
When: Saturday 6 April to Sunday 14 April 2013

Writing in the Senses in Bali with Patti Miller
When: Saturday 10 August to Saturday 17 August 2013

Memoir Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – FULL
When: Thursday 24 October to Saturday 9 November 2013

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).

Courses Our Blog Podcast Twitter Facebook Contact

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

1 Comment

Filed under Call to Authors and Contests, Workshops & Conferences

One response to “Australian Writers’ Centre- Qantas Soya Written Word Award & Writing Picture Books & Many More Writing Courses

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