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Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques

Let your creativity soar!

This is perfect if you want to take your fiction further and fast track your writing. (This course was formerly called Creative Writing Stage 2.) More detail

Upcoming course dates

StartsMonday 12 October 2015

Location Online
New module released each Monday.
You can complete the module any time during that week.
All you need is an internet connection.
Learn from anywhere.

WhenFive-week online course


Presenter Cathie Tasker

Book Now

We run this course Online every month (or so). Click here to be the first to know about new dates!

StartsThursday 5 November 2015

Location Sydney
Ground Floor
55 Lavender Street
Milsons Point NSW 2061

WhenThursday evening classes
(once a week for five weeks)


Presenter Jeni Mawter

Book Now

We run this course in Sydney every three months (or so). Click here to be the first to know about new dates!

StartsNew date to be announced soon

Location Perth
Wembley Hotel
344 Cambridge Street
Wembley WA 6014

WhenSaturday and Sunday classes
(2 consecutive days)


Presenter Natasha Lester

Booked Out

We run this course in Perth every six months (or so). Click here to be the first to know about new dates!

Course description

  • Keen to continue your writing momentum?
  • Want practical feedback and relevant exercises to help you get there?
  • Need that extra push to fully develop and finish your short story or piece of creative fiction?
  • Eager to recapture that awesome creative vibe by learning from the best in a nurturing environment?
  • Have you done a foundation course with us – and want more?

(Please note that this course was previously called “Creative Writing Stage 2”.)

Welcome to Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques. If you’ve completed a foundation course, congratulations! You’ve not only learnt the skills of good storytelling, but you’re actually keen for more. Alternatively, this course would suit you if you have some creative fiction under your belt and are looking to take it one step further. Well folks, step this way…

By understanding the principles of storytelling, you’re ready to make some great creative fiction – if it was a cake, all the ingredients would be lined up on the bench ready to go. Now it’s simply about getting the quantities right, mixing, chopping and whacking this thing in the oven. So ask yourself: “Do I want my finished piece to be delicious or half-baked?”.

Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques is the ultimate sequel – action-packed, full of interesting characters, amazing dialogue and (obviously) well written! Hands on with exercises to complete in class and at home, it’s more of a workshopping process – discovering your strengths and weaknesses and bouncing them around the room. This creates a hugely collaborative and positive environment – guaranteed to fast track your writing!

In a nutshell

This course is all about nailing the essential elements of YOUR story. These elements include:

  • characters: getting more out of your main ones and making your minor character ‘extras’ more believable
  • ensuring each character’s voice is unique and distinct: putting yourself in the shoes of the reader and seeing what they see
  • how to keep those pages turning through effective structuring of your story
  • climax and resolution: how they shape the final story and how to write them
  • scene development: the engine room of your fiction, including dialogue, pacing, manipulation of time, character interaction and managing exposition
  • fine-tuning: successfully editing and proofreading your story and its structure, with examples from published and student work

Perhaps you’ve always dreamt of writing, but don’t know where to start. Perhaps you don’t think you’re disciplined enough to complete your book or short story. Perhaps you just want to give it a go. Whatever your motivation, you’ll find plenty more when you join us over this enriching five-week journey.

Practice makes perfect sense

The focus of Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques is practical and specific knowledge – tackling the technical aspects of your writing. (For this reason, we recommend completing Creative Writing Stage 1 or any of our Creative Writing Foundation courses first). Each week, you’ll receive different tools and techniques to help make your creative writing shine. And by the end of the course, your characters, storyline and scenes will be strongly developed – almost as strong as your skills!

Many people can take the first step. It’s the next ones that count. This course is the perfect way to finish what you started and get your creative work over the line. So grab those ingredients and let’s get cooking!

A new chapter in your life

Just as the first line in a book is crucial, so too are your first steps. Even if you haven’t written in years, all you need is the desire – we can help you as we’ve helped many others get an inspiring start. Our professional and talented presenters are all published writers themselves and are always on hand to offer feedback or advice. Add in fellow students and a supportive, constructive environment and you’re in great hands!

By the end of the course you’ll improve your creative writing skills and have the confidence to pursue your own writing projects. You’ll not only gain an understanding of how to write a compelling story, you’ll have the inspiration and skills to write your short story or the motivation to start writing your novel.

Course content and outcomes are consistent, regardless of which presenter or format you choose.

We are sticklers for consistency and quality in our courses, so you’ll achieve the same outcomes regardless of which presenter you have. Naturally, each presenter brings their own insight to the course, but you can be assured that the content is consistent across the board.

You’ll also achieve the same outcomes regardless of whether you enrol in our online or classroom course!

So unlock your writer’s block and hop aboard Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques – igniting your writing dreams and helping share your creativity with the world.

Prefer learning at home? Learn online!

If you have an internet connection, you’ve come to the right place! With our online courses, you get the same juicy content as the classroom course PLUS backstage passes to Q&As, assignments and feedback direct from your outstanding online tutor! You could be anywhere on the planet, or you could be just round the corner. Either way, you’ll be joining thousands of online graduates from here and overseas who’ve already had an awesome time learning online. Check out our demo today.

Online or classroom course – which one is better?

Ha! It’s a trick question… they both have the same high quality – it just depends on how you learn and sometimes where you live. In fact, we’re fanatical about consistency across all our courses, so rest assured that when a class begins in Perth (or Sydney, or Melbourne), it’s going to cover the same ground as its online cousin. Now, we’re not talking robots here. Each one of our talented presenters does, of course, bring their own unique flavour, but the core lesson material remains the same.

What internet connection is required?

To participate in any of our online courses, you will need high-speed internet. For us, high-speed internet means ADSL or Broadband/Cable, with a speed of 128kBps or higher.

Dial-up connections or using the internet on your phone are not recommended — you may find that the audio in the online course will pause, skip or completely stop.

Previous students have let us know that they have had no problems accessing our courses using Satellite internet or wireless broadband, but it depends on each connection.

If you’re not sure what kind of internet connection you have, there are two things you can check:

  • Speed – If you can play a YouTube video from start to finish without issues, your internet should be fast enough.
  • Download limit – We recommend contacting either the person who takes care of your internet, or your internet provider directly to see what your download limit is. Each week there will be 40-50MB worth of materials to download, so you need to make sure your internet connection will allow for that (times five for each week!) without speed limitations or excess charges.

If your connection is not fast enough but you’d still like attend the course, we recommend checking with your local library to see if you are able to download the files there.

If you can do that, you’d just need to pop them onto a USB drive and then take them home with you to listen to later.

Exclusive access to our AWC Graduates’ Club

Want to know where all the cool kids hang out? The Graduates’ Club of course! Now, calm down – there’s no cigars, leather armchairs or loud ticking grandfather clocks here. But it IS exclusive invitation only (on completion of a course) and it’s free!  Meet other writers online and share successes, seek help or just get something off your chest. Many students believe this ‘legacy learning’ is one of the most valuable things about our AWC community, and who are we to argue?

So if you want to receive feedback, support and a heads-up on opportunities … join the Club!

Your presenters

  • Cathie Tasker

    Cathie Tasker, Online, Sydney

    Cathie Tasker is a fiction editor with over 25 years’ experience. Her specialisations are in children’s and young... View Profile

  • Jeni Mawter

    Jeni Mawter, Sydney

    Jeni Mawter, sometimes known as J.A. Mawter, is the children’s author of the Freewheelers series: Extreme! (2008), Launched! (2007) and Unleashed!... View Profile

  • Pamela Freeman

    Pamela Freeman, Online, Sydney

    Dr Pamela Freeman is the award-winning author of more than 28 books. Her most recent book, published under... View Profile

  • Natasha Lester

    Natasha Lester, Online, Perth

    Natasha Lester is the award-winning author of two novels If I Should Lose You (2012) and What is Left... View Profile

Graduate testimonials

  • This course has done wonders for me. I procrastinated at starting this course after completing Creative Writing Stage 1, yet I finally bit the bullet, getting back into it at what I feel has been the perfect time.
    I have been working on my novel for close to six months. It's been a struggle; full of doubt and insecurity. I am grateful for Cathie's assignment feedback and the push to rewrite some of my work has been invaluable.

    - Belinda Mallouk

    "The course took the process of writing to a deeper level and Pamela is a passionate word lover, which I found inspiring. I have learnt to survey my work more closely, and to think about the whole process from a deeper perspective."

    - Sharna Bryant

    "So I thought, ‘Well, I just need to… if I want to give this a go, I’ve got to just put myself in this writing world’. That’s why I approached you guys. I was a little bit nervous, and I was traveling at the time with Matt, my husband, so I signed on the dot for the online creative writing course. That was a great way to start because I felt anonymous and I wasn’t throwing myself out there. But what was really great, because I’m a procrastinator and I like to go back to things a lot, was that as people posted their work, it was there, so I could go back and read it again, I could read the teacher's comments. "I could see what she was picking up on, what was working, and what wasn’t. That helped. In a lot of ways it gave me extra confidence in what I was doing or would send up a flag, you know? ‘Okay, that’s a bad idea’. Things like that. I think more than anything just being in that kind of environment, where it’s actually okay to want to pursue something like this, and everyone’s really passionate about it, that was really a good start. "And so I thought, ‘Well, if I really want to keep going with this I just need to keep myself in this world.' I can’t let myself out of it in a way. So I signed up to do the second course in creative writing and I did that in person. So then I was coming in once a week and I was surrounded by 10 other people who were writing and passionate about it and we were just talking through stuff. At that time I sent out my manuscript and it was during that course that I actually got picked up by an agent. It was great because it was just the right environment for me to be in and it worked really well."

    - Jessica Shirvington

    "It's a wonderful place to advance your writing skills and get to know other writers, both published and unpublished. I loved every second of it, and the fact it was online was fantastic. I would never have been able to do the courses otherwise."

    - Laura Ogden

    "I enjoyed the opportunity to get feed back from someone as knowledgeable as Pamela. Sharing my work with like-minded people has really given me the courage to move forward with my book. Pamela is amazing. She is very generous with her knowledge and experience. She also has a very keen editor's eye and can sum up pretty quickly what you need to work on. The Australian Writers’ Centre is a great place to come if you want to write but need some help getting started, or if you have something written but you need help to get to the next stage."

    - Hera McCaffery