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History, Mystery and Magic

Bring "once upon a time" to life…

Keen to rewrite history, unravel a mystery or cast a spell on your readers? Learn the tricks to creating a familiar world where unfamiliar events unfold. More detail

Upcoming course dates


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Location Sydney
Ground Floor
55 Lavender Street
Milsons Point NSW 2061

WhenSaturday and Sunday classes
(2 consecutive days)


Presenter Kate Forsyth

Booked Out

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

Course description

Explore the romance of history, mystery and magic

  • Do you want to write novels filled with the romance of the past?
  • Or with the page-turning compulsion of a suspenseful mystery?
  • Maybe you want to tell a story with that extra twist of magic and wonder?

Take your readers into another world

Stories set in the past can take your readers into another world. But what tools and techniques can you use to capture their imagination? If you want to explore the romance of history, mystery and magic… this is the course for you!

You’ll learn how to use techniques drawn from different genres to create compelling stories. Many writers have leapt into the bestseller lists with their cross-genre tales of history, mystery, romance and magic. These include authors such as Isabel Allende, Philippa Gregory, Diana Gabaldon, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Joanne Harris and Juliet Marillier.

They write stories that stir the imagination, touch the heart and keep readers turning the pages long into the night.

The rules of the genre

Each genre of fiction has its own conventions and characteristics, which can sometimes seem like unbreakable rules. By combing different elements of different genres, however, the writer can create ground-breaking novels of great freshness and originality.

Whether you are writing a medieval supernatural thriller, or a time travel romance, or exploring the cobwebby corners of forgotten history and mythology … you’ll discover a whole new world of writing in this course. In fact, if you are interested at all in history, mystery and magic, then Kate Forsyth can help you discover your story.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • The key conventions of the world’s most popular literary genres (including historical fiction, crime and mystery, romance, horror, fantasy and magic realism).
  • What rules to keep and what rules can be broken.
  • Storytelling patterns and structures.
  • What kind of research you need to do to make your story credible.
  • The importance of voice, and how to find it.
  • Suspense and the art of surprise.
  • And much more!

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

  • Kate Forsyth

    Kate Forsyth, Sydney

    Kate Forsyth is the internationally bestselling author of 27 books, and has been published in 15 countries. She... View Profile

Graduate testimonials

  • "Kate was wonderful - her insights were exactly what I needed, and have been looking for, for years! I've studied a Masters of Communication, and learnt more in two days with Kate than I did during the two years it took me to complete my Masters. She's engaging, informative, and so friendly and approachable. I cannot speak highly enough of her. The entire course was wonderful. I particularly enjoyed the sessions on character and setting development, as well as plotting and rising tension. It really is the perfect way to reignite your passion for writing, to inspire creativity, and to really learn practical tips on the craft of writing."

    - Sally Wood

    "Kate Forsyth's depth of knowledge was just amazing. She is powerfully engaging and inspirational! Thank you so much, Kate."

    - Sandie Naumann

    "Kate Forsyth's presenting was so inspiring. Her generosity in sharing her process, writing techniques, and the depth of her knowledge was amazing. Definitely worth the money and the ability to choose courses on specific writing styles/genres that interest you is a fantastic advantage. History, Mystery and Magic was a wonderful experience. The course was inspiring, and discovering how one of Australia's best writers works was an amazing privilege. Thank you."

    - Shane Tartakover

    "I really loved the manner in which Kate Forsyth inspired each individual member of the class through attempting to understand and provide individual assistance and support to everyone in their writing journey. Amazing! Kate created a very strong sense of community amongst us all as writers and fellow (to use her words) 'kindred spirits.'"

    - Christina Bulbrook

    "I loved Kate of course! I don't know who could have presented this course any better. The course itself was the best one I have done at the centre. It covered so many areas of writing and has helped me so very much. Kate is an absolute treasure, she is engaging and funny but enormously intelligent and interesting. She was generous with her advice and spoke often of her own experiences which brought a personal touch to her teaching and has helped me put some new routines and ideas into action. For me it was the relevance of 'the inciting moment'. It made me realise that I am starting my novel at the wrong point and I'm sure this will have a huge impact on my chances of success. I highly recommend the Australian Writers' Centre. The location is beautiful and close to get to by train."

    - Kim Pennings