Australian Writers’ Centre- Student Success & Many Writing Courses & Writing Tours

Australian Writers’ Centre- Student Success & Many Writing Courses & Writing Tours
29 August 2013 Sydney: (02) 9929 0088
Student success
TIP: 58 AD or AD 58?
Wordwise: Literally
Plan ahead – Grammar and Punctuation Essentials
WEBPICK: Joe Wikert’s Digital Content Strategies

When I was a teenager, I worked in a newsagency after school to earn some pocket money. I did this throughout high school and, by the time I left Year 12, I had an intimate knowledge of all the magazines and newspapers available at the time. I watched certain issues fly off the shelves, while others stagnated. And I always had conversations with customers about why they bought certain publications.

That’s where my love for magazines was born. It was a great job because I got to read all the magazines for free. To this day, I still remember specific articles and turns of phrases that inspired me to become a writer. Like The National Times (now defunct) article on Bruce Springsteen in 1986. And the article that appeared in Vogue about actress Diane Lane – I can almost recite it word for word.

At 14, I dreamt that my byline would appear in those pages one day. When that finally happened, I could not contain my excitement. I had a day job but I freelanced on the side.

Today, it’s even easier to get published than it was back then. There are more publications, in print and online, to pitch to. And I get just as excited when I see our students getting paid for their articles as I did when I saw my first article published.

If you’re interested in writing for magazines, you’ll love our course Magazines and Newspaper Writing. You’ll discover:
Ideas – where to get them and which ones work
The industry – understanding the magazine/news market
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: Is couple plural or singular?
One of our regular Get Published readers emailed us about a recent tip. We mentioned “a couple of tweets” and she wanted to know if we should have used the singular is or the plural are with couple. Here’s the sentence:

“Just to reassure you that hyphens really are useful, here are a couple of tweets from Grammar Monkeys.”
It’s a good question! Should we be treating the word couple as a plural or singular noun? That depends on which meaning of couple you’re using.
In our example, we’re referring to “a couple of tweets”, or “a small number of tweets”. In this instance you should treat couple (or, “a couple of”) as a plural, so it would take the plural verb are. For example:
There are only a couple of cupcakes left.
So, “here are a couple of tweets” is correct.
However, if you were talking about a couple as a collective noun, you’d treat it as singular and therefore use is. For example:
The newly married couple is moving in next week.

Here’s a handy hint from Grammarphobia on how you can determine whether you’re dealing with a singular or plural noun:

If the word in front of a collective noun is the then the noun is usually singular. If the word in front is a especially when the noun is followed by of then it’s usually plural. So you’d say, “A couple of defendants are charged with counterfeiting” but, “The elderly couple is charged with counterfeiting.”

Student Success – Stephanie Holland

Congratulations to Stephanie Holland who this week had her article, “True Brew”, published in Wellbeing magazine. Stephanie completed the Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing and the Online Course: Travel Writing, and has had loads of publishing success since.
So we’re thrilled to see this beautiful 3-page article in one of Australia’s biggest magazines.
Well done, Stephanie!
TIP: 58 AD or AD 58?
Another Get Published reader question… This one was prompted by our tip last week on en and em dashes. We used an example of 52 BC – 80 AD, which prompted this response:
The abbreviation AD is usually placed before the year – following Latin usage for a Latin abbreviation.
We checked the Australian Style Manual on this and it actually says you should place AD after the year, to match the placement of BC, CE (Common Era) and BCE (Before Common Era). But that’s just one Style Guide. Other grammar resources online agree that AD should be placed before the year, as AD is a Latin abbreviation (of Anno Domini), while BC (Before Christ) is English and is therefore placed after the year.

So this one has become more a style issue than a grammar one, as usage isn’t consistent. If you’re writing documents that use AD and BC make sure you check your style guide for the preferred usage.

Creative Writing Stage 1
Need some inspiration for your short stories, or want to get started on that novel you’ve always dreamed of writing? Well, our Creative Writing Stage 1 course starts soon and this five-week course will show you how to turn your dream of writing into a reality. Learn about what makes great fiction and how to apply these skills to your own writing.
Five week course starting Tuesday 3 September 2013
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Screenwriting Stage 1
Have a great idea for a movie but aren’t sure how to get the script written? Join us for our five-week Screenwriting Stage 1 course with experienced screenwriter Tim Gooding. You’ll learn the basics of screenwriting and get lots of feedback on your script. By the end of the course you’ll be well on your way to seeing your own film in production.
Five week course starting Tuesday 3 September 2013
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

How to Create and Sell Your eBook
It’s possible to achieve great success publishing your own eBook, but if you’re embarking on e-publishing, you need to arm yourself with the knowledge and skills to give your book the best chance. Join Anna Maguire for this two-hour seminar on all things eBook. You’ll learn which format is best for you, where you can sell your eBook, how to promote your eBook, and much more.
Evening seminar on Thursday 5 September 2013
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Wordwise: Literally
There’s been quite a lot of fuss in the world of words in the last couple of weeks, all over a tweet that claimed, “We killed English!” Whoah! Killed English? What heinous vocabulary crime could have prompted such an accusation?
Google’s definition of literally, apparently. More precisely, this definition:
Used to acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling.
That tweet prompted an army of pedants to rail against this definition, and articles popped up all over the world claiming the new definition was only recently added to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Actually, that’s not true. According to OED themselves, the non-literal definition of literally was added way back in 1903, and they’ve since found examples of literally used in this way as long ago as 1769. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary also updated their definition – in 1909.

The online edition of the Macquarie Dictionary also lists literally as an intensifier – though it does offer this disclaimer:

The emphatic use of literally is regarded by many as non-standard, where the application to a figurative meaning often has a comic effect. However, this usage is gaining frequency as the intensifier is applied for rhetorical effect without any sense of the underlying meaning.

While dictionaries have accepted the informal use of literally for over a hundred years, it’s probably best to avoid using the non-literal form of literally in your writing.

Plan ahead – Grammar and Punctuation Essentials
Why do I need an apostrophe for “kids’ books” and not “books for kids”? What’s the difference between which and that? Where should I put the comma? Do I even need the comma?

Grammar and punctuation can seem overwhelming but once you know the basic rules, you can confidently approach almost any writing task. Our one-day seminar Grammar and Punctuation Essentials is an intensive and interactive day that will leave you with knowledge you can apply immediately. No longer will you need to fear apostrophes!
This week on Writing Bar

Have you been to visit Writing Bar recently? We’ve had lots going on there. We’ve launched our At My Desk series – where authors tell us about their writing space – with bestselling crime writer, Barry Maitland. You can read all about his desk here.

We also spoke to Magazine and Newspaper Writing presenter Sue White about which three books she’d take if she were forced to flee her home in the event of a worldwide cataclysm. You can read her Books to Read in the Apocalypse here.

We also spoke to debut author Nelika McDonald, about her book The Vale Girl. Nelika’s getting loads of attention for her debut novel and we spoke to her about the process of writing and publishing her first book. You can read more here.

In fact, we have one copy of The Vale Girl to give away. If you want to win a copy, just tell us, what’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given? Email your answer to courses [at] writerscentre [dot] com [dot] au by 5pm Friday 6 September, and remember to include your postal address.

WEBPICK: Joe Wikert’s Digital Content Strategies

Okay, so the title of this blog may not sound like the most exciting place to visit online, but if you’re interested in how our new digital world is changing the way we read newspapers and books, then you should check this out.

Joe Wikert has many years’ experience in publishing and here describes himself as an “industry critic”. He takes a close look at everything from subscription models for newspapers to how eBook covers will evolve. It’s a blog with a strong American focus, but much of the content is relevant for readers, writers and publishers here in Australia too. And it’s surprisingly fascinating!

“Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.”
Words of wisdom from – Annie Dillard

Upcoming courses

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When: Week beginning Monday 2 September 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
Online Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – FULL
When: Week beginning Monday 2 September 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 2 September 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
Online Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – FULL
When: Week beginning Monday 9 September 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 9 September 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Cathie Tasker
When: Week beginning Monday 9 September 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 9 September 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395
Online Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When: Week beginning Monday 16 September 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Weekend course: Life Writing with Patti Miller – FULL
When: Saturday 31 August and Saturday 7 September 2013 (2 Saturdays)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450
Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 3 September 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman
When: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 3 September 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
Seminar: Blogging for Beginners with Kim Berry
When: Wednesday 4 September 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 5 September 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 11 September 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85
Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 12 September 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 12 September 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
Seminar: Build Your Profile Using Twitter with Kerri Sackville
When: Wednesday 18 September 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85
Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When: Thursday 19 September 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450
Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 25 September 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395
Seminar: Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle
When: Thursday 26 September 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450
Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When: Wednesday 2 October 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450
Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle
When: Thursday 3 October 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450
Weekend course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When: Saturday 5 October and Sunday 6 October 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395
Course: Fantasy, Science Fiction and More with Pamela Freeman
When: Saturday 12 October and Sunday 13 October 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395
Weekend course: Writing About Food with Carli Ratcliff
When: Saturday 12 October and Sunday 13 October 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395
Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding
When: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 15 October 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
Seminar: Self-Publishing: How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When: Wednesday 16 October 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 17 October 2013 for six weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $495
Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 17 October 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
Weekend course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie
When: Saturday 19 October and Sunday 20 October 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 19 October and Sunday 20 October 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395
Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 23 October 2013 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Kate Hennessy
When: Wednesday 30 October 2013 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395
Course: History, Mystery and Magic with Kate Forsyth
When: Saturday 2 November and Sunday 3 November 2013 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395
Daytime seminar: Blogging for Beginners with Kim Berry
When: Thursday 14 November 2013 (two-hour morning seminar)
Time: 10 am – 12 noon
Cost: $85
Course: Writing About Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett
When: Tuesday 19 November and 26 November 2013 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $175
Course: Plotting and Planning with Kate Forsyth
When: Wednesday 4 December and 11 December 2013 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $175

OVERSEAS WRITING TOURS
Writing in Oxford with Kate Forsyth – NEW TOUR
When: Sunday 7 September to Sunday 14 September 2014
Memoir Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – FULL
When: Thursday 24 October to Saturday 9 November 2013
Writing About Food in Vietnam with Carli Ratcliff
Dates for 2014 TBC
Writing the Senses in Bali with Patti Miller
Dates for 2014 TBC

About Valerie:
Valerie Khoo is a journalist, author of six books and founder of the Australian Writers’ Centre. Valerie writes regularly for smh.com.au, theage.com.au, brisbanetimes.com.au, watoday.com.au, canberratimes.com.au and businessday.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).

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

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