Australian Writers’ Centre- New Oxford Dictionaries Online Words & Writing for the Web & Many Writing Courses

Australian Writers’ Centre- New Oxford Dictionaries Online Words & Writing for the Web & Many Writing Courses

5 September 2013 Sydney: (02) 9929 0088

In this issue
TIP: Can whose be used to refer
to things?
Student success
Wordwise: What does verbal mean?
New Oxford Dictionaries
Online words
Plan ahead – Writing for the Web
WEBPICK: Get Caught Reading
Lately, we’ve been surrounded by picture books here at the Australian Writers’ Centre. That’s because one of our most popular courses is Writing Picture Books. Since we’ve offered this course, I’ve learnt so much about the craft of writing picture books myself. It’s extraordinary to get into the mind of a child and write a story that they will relate to. But that’s not where it ends.

You also need to keep in mind that children are often not the ones who control the purse strings. Parents, teachers, librarians and so on play a huge part in determining the picture books that are bought – and read – by kids. So you need to consider them when you’re writing your story as well. If you’re interested in Writing Picture Books, here’s what you’ll learn:
Understanding the nature of children’s picture books
Working with illustrations
Language and rhythm
What’s so different about the picture book?
Point of view, structure and pace
Finding the right voice
Choosing your topic
The industry: market, gatekeepers, legal and financial considerations
and MUCH more

TIP: Can whose be used to refer
to things?
Are you one of those writers who ties themselves in knots trying to avoid using the pronoun whose to refer to things? We know it can be used for people, but there’s a common misconception that it can’t be used at all for inanimate things.

The Macquarie Dictionary defines whose as “of, belonging, or relating to whom or which”. In other words, whose is the possessive form of whom OR which. For example:

This is the pen whose ink has run out.
This is Aimee, whose book I’ve borrowed.

This usage isn’t new. It’s been recorded as far back as the 800s, when hwæs was used as the genitive case for who and what. But its easy association with the word who, which can only apply to people, means many of us simply assume whose must follow the same rules.

Well, it’s not the case. If you’re using whose as a relative pronoun, you can use it to refer to people or things.

But be careful – when whose is used as an interrogative adjective it can only refer to people. For example:

Whose book did you enjoy most?

Student Success –
Trisha Wilson, Lindy Alexander
This week we heard from a very excited Trisha Wilson. She completed the Online Course: Travel Writing just a few months ago and has just had her first article published in The Weekend Australian’s travel section. That’s a great achievement for a first pitch. Congratulations, Trisha!

Congratulations also to Lindy Alexander. She completed the Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing in 2011. I was thumbing through the Sydney Morning Herald’s Sunday Life on the weekend and came across… Lindy’s byline! Well done, Lindy.

Check out all the week’s student success stories on Writing Bar.
What are you reading this Spring?
With winter behind us, we’re faced with a conundrum here at the Australian Writers’ Centre. The sun is beaming most days so curling up on the lounge, with its fluffy cushions and cosy blankets, is losing its appeal as our haven for reading.

So, we’re dusting off our bookshelves, arming ourselves with prose and hunting for the best places to read a book this season. Spring reading is the name of the game. If you know of Australia’s best reading hot spots – or simply where you love to read – be the first to share your knowledge. Better yet, take a snap and tag it #awcspringreading on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and join in!
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 five-week online course in Writing Books for Children and Young Adults. You’ll learn the secrets to writing stories that will engage and entertain younger readers. You’ll also discover what today’s young people are reading and what publishers are looking out for.
Five week online course starting the week beginning Monday 9 September 2013
Time: Whenever it suits you
Cost: $395

Creative Writing Stage 2
If you’ve completed Creative Writing Stage 1, Writing Books for Children and Young Adults or any of our other creative writing courses, then you already know the essential elements of a good story. But maintaining your motivation and inspiration is also an important part of your writing journey and that’s where Creative Writing Stage 2 comes in. This course will give you the chance to put into practice what you’ve learnt and get invaluable feedback from your presenter Pamela Freeman, and your classmates.
Five week course starting Thursday 12 September 2013
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
Magazine and Newspaper Writing
Want to see your articles published in a magazine or newspaper? It’s easier than it sounds, you just need the knowledge and tools to do it. Our five-week Magazine and Newspaper Writing course will give you those tools and the confidence to pitch your article ideas to editors. You’ll learn how to generate story ideas, how to structure your feature article, how to pitch to editors and, importantly, how to get paid for your writing.
Evening seminar on Thursday 12 September 2013
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
Wordwise: What does verbal mean?
Did you know that the word verbal can apply to written communication as well as spoken? It actually means “of or relating to words”, and therefore can refer to spoken or written words.

The trend these days seems to be to use verbal when referring to spoken words and written for the, well, written ones. In fact, the original meaning of verbal, which dates back to the mid-1500s, was “composed of words”. It comes from the Latin verbum, meaning words. So when used in this sense, verbal can easily apply to written or spoken words. For example:

The test covers verbal and numerical reasoning.

But it wasn’t too long after, not even a hundred years, before the more commonly known meaning for verbal – “expressed in spoken words; oral rather than written” – came into regular use also. For example:

We had a verbal agreement, but nothing in writing.

While the Macquarie Dictionary’s definitions will support you if you choose to use verbal in its original sense – applying to written and spoken words – you’re probably best erring on the side of caution and sticking with the more common usage and assuming readers will think verbal refers to spoken words.

New Oxford Dictionaries Online words
If last week’s piece on the figurative use of literally made you squirm perhaps you shouldn’t read on…

Oxford Dictionaries Online have released their latest additions, and a few of them are causing some consternation among Oxford’s fans. The latest words include some social media favourites – squee, selfie, and the initialisms TL;DR (too long, didn’t read) and FOMO (fear of missing out).

The one that really seems to be upsetting people though is srsly, for the abbreviated and informal form of seriously. But, according to the Oxford Dictionaries Online definition, the origin of srsly can be traced back to the 18th century, when it was first recorded in a manual on shorthand.

Still, if srsly seriously upsets you, don’t worry – there are plenty of real words in the latest list of additions to the online dictionary.

Check them out here.
Plan ahead – Writing for the Web

Writing for the web is very different to writing for print. You want your website copy to be clear, concise and engaging and you also want to ensure your copy is scannable. In this one-day seminar you’ll learn the golden rules of writing for the web and develop an effective framework for your own website.

During this practical seminar you’ll learn how to engage your readers through good web copy, discover guidelines for concise writing and learn how to use keywords for search engine optimisation.

This week on Writing Bar

There’s lots happening again this week on Writing Bar. We visited Summer Land, blogger and author, at her desk and spoke to her about finding her voice and writing a memoir at the age of 25. You can read our chat here.

We also have a guest post from graduate Lisa Schofield. She’s written a great profile on successful blogger and freelance writer Megan Blandford, another Australian Writers’ Centre graduate. Check out the profile here.

There’s loads more to read at Writing Bar this week, including some advice from me on how to make the most of your freelance career. Read more here.

And now for this week’s book giveaway. We had a chat to Melbourne author and academic Maria Takolander recently (also featured on Writing Bar) about her first collection of short stories, The Double. This collection has been getting a lot of attention and we’re sure it’s a worthy addition to any book lover’s collection. And it just so happens, we have one copy to give away! So tell us what your favourite short story is and why. Email your entires to courses [at] writerscentre [dot] com [dot] au by 5pm Friday 13 September, and remember to include your postal address.
WEBPICK: Get Caught Reading

Did you know that 4 September was National Indigenous Literacy Day? Okay, so we’re a day late, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get involved.

Get Caught Reading is one way the Indigenous Literacy Foundation is raising funds to promote literacy throughout Australia. So far, many of Australia’s best authors have been caught reading – they’ve donated to the Foundation and uploaded a photo of themselves reading their favourite book. Hannah Richell, Graeme Simsion, Andy Griffiths, Anita Heiss and Tara June Winch have all taken part, as have hundreds of their readers. And you can too!

Check it out here.

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.”
Words of wisdom from – Sir David Frost

Upcoming courses

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: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman
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
Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When: Week beginning Monday 30 September 2013 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

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
Seminar: Blogging for Beginners with Kim Berry
When: Tuesday 8 October 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85
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
Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When: Wednesday 4 December 2013 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85
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

Thanks for signing up to this newsletter.
Wishing you much writing success,
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

Leave a comment

Filed under Workshops & Conferences

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s