FAQs

Frequently asked questions

If you're looking for help navigating your online training, check out our 'Need Help' page.

General
Why haven't I received my confirmation email or login details yet? (Or any kind of email, for that matter!)
Where are you located?
Will you be opening centres in Brisbane, Adelaide or other cities in Australia?

Is there an age restriction on your courses?
What is the main difference between your online courses and the courses taught in the classroom? Which one is better?
What if I miss a class or a week? Can I make it up either online or in the next course?

Course-related questions
What’s the difference between Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 and Travel Writing? Is there much overlap? Should I do both, and if so, which should I do first?
I’m a beginner. Which is the best course for me?
What if I’ve already written something or have had some writing experience?
Your site says the course is booked out?
What if I can’t attend my course?
Do you offer concession rates for your courses?

Online courses
How do the online tutor-led courses work? What time commitment is involved?
How do the on-demand online courses work? What time commitment is involved?
What internet connection is required?

Why haven't I received my confirmation email or login details yet?

Oh no! Our email may have been caught up by your "inbox bouncer". Here are some tips on whitelisting us in your inbox. Once you've done that (and if you haven't found us in your spam or junkmail folder) just drop us a line and we'll organise for the emails to be resent.

Where are you located?

We have centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

In Sydney:
Ground Floor, 55 Lavender Street
Milsons Point NSW 2061

In Melbourne:
The Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067

In Perth:
3/185 Eighth Avenue
Inglewood WA 6052

Will you be opening centres in Brisbane, Adelaide or other cities in Australia?

At this stage, we have centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. While we would love to open a centre in every single city, well, it’s just not possible at this stage. I mean, we do have plans for global domination, but that’s one of those “future” goals.

If you live in a city where we currently don’t have a centre, please do check out our online courses. We have a huge supportive community who learn online. In fact, 50% of our students choose to learn online. You’ll cover the same materials and course content as students experience in our wonderful in-person courses.

We think you’ll love them!

Is there an age restriction on your courses?

Yes! You must be 17 years or older to complete one of our courses. This restriction is in place for a number of reasons - the pace of our courses and that we occasionally touch on topics more suitable for adults.

If you’re looking for a course to suit someone younger, we recommend asking their teachers or their school. There a number of great programs being run for different age groups across the country.

What is the main difference between your online courses and the courses taught in the classroom? Which one is better?

Both “online” and “in-person classroom” courses cover the same material. So regardless of which one you choose, you’ll be receiving the same quality teaching and access to resources.

We have three different types of courses to choose from:

  • Online course with tutor. Here, the course runs over a number of weeks and has a designated start and end date, however all classwork and feedback is provided through our online classroom. You can learn from the comfort of your own home.
  • Classroom course with tutor. This runs over a number of weeks or over an intensive weekend and has a designated start and end date. These courses are pretty much identical to our tutor-led online courses, but everything is very life-like. You can even reach out and touch the presenter! (Although we recommend asking for permission first). All jokes aside, it is your more classic style of learning, where you have the presenter at the front of the room and you get to listen, take notes, and get homework.
  • On-demand online courses. With these, you gain access to the materials as soon as you purchase so you can go through the course at your own pace. You have access to the materials for a full 12 months from your date of purchase, so you can also go back through the course as many times as you like. However, the self-paced courses do not include any one-on-one tutoring.

We work to keep the courses consistent no matter what the format – so you can be sure that a classroom course is going to cover the same detail as it does online. Of course, each of our talented presenters brings their own unique experience and flavour to the lesson material, but the core lessons feature the same quality content.

As for which is better?
Well, it all comes down to personal preference and what fits best into your schedule!

For example, with our our online tutor-led courses, the weekly lessons and handouts are downloadable so you can complete them when you have free time during the week. You can also keep them forever to refer to after the course ends.

With the online on demand self-paced courses, you can complete them whenever you like within your 12 month-window, without a weekly schedule to adhere to.

In our classroom courses there is going to be a little more interaction and you’ll meet your classmates in person. You will have the time blocked out each week and you’ll only have to worry about the homework tasks outside of the lessons.

Ultimately it just comes down to which format will suit you better, both for your learning style and your location.

What if I miss a class or a week? Can I make it up either online or in the next course?

If you miss a face-to-face class just drop us a line we’ll email you the handouts and any related homework. All of our presenters are happy to answer your questions next time you see them in class.

If you miss a week in your online courses, you will still be able to access the materials for that week, but you will be unable to have your assignment assessed.

Students are unable to repeat the class in another course date (either online or in person), and it is up to you to ensure you catch up on any items missed.

What’s the difference between Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 and Travel Writing? Is there much overlap? Should I do both, and if so, which should I do first?

The Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 course and the Travel Writing course are very different courses and many students benefit from doing both.

If you are interested in earning money from writing about your travels, the Travel Writing course is essential. Many students find it beneficial to do the course in Magazine and Newspaper Writing first, because this teaches you the fundamentals of writing for magazines, newspapers and online publications. It also teaches you what you need to know in order to pitch your ideas successfully to editors. The course even contains templates and scripts to help you in dealing with editors.

However, when you want to pitch several travel articles – and maybe even work as a travel writer – it's vital to understand the nuances and subtleties of the travel writing industry. There is a lot of unspoken etiquette that is covered including how to approach tourism bodies for familiarisation tours and media junkets. Travel articles also follow certain formulas that are not typical in regular (non-travel) feature articles.

If you are concerned that there is overlap between the two courses, rest assured that ALL the examples used are different and we estimate that 95% of the course is completely different. The 5% in common relates to the basics on how to analyse a target publication.

I’m a beginner. Which is the best course for me?

Many of our courses are suitable for beginners and have been designed with beginners in mind. Depending on your interest you could begin with:

Many people who enrol in these initial courses have had little or no writing experience and have never done a writing course before. If this describes you, then we recommend you start with one of these foundation courses.

If you’re interested in writing in a particular genre you can begin with:

What if I’ve already written something or have had some writing experience?

There are a number of courses designed for graduates of Australian Writers’ Centre foundation courses. If you’ve written part of a novel or have some creative or script writing experience, courses you could consider include:

Your site says the course is booked out?

Many of our courses are very popular and often fill early, so it’s best to enrol as soon as possible once a date you can attend is advertised.

If your chosen course has filled, you can call the Australian Writers’ Centre national office (regardless of which state you’re in) on (02) 9929 0088 to go on our waitlist. We’ll then contact you if a place becomes available.

What if I can’t attend my course?

Whether you course is online or in the classroom, our enrolment conditions clearly state that if you can’t attend a date you’ve enrolled in, you must advise us in writing two weeks before the course starts.

If this happens you’ll receive a credit note for the full value of the course or be enrolled in the next available date.

In exceptional circumstances, special consideration may be given for withdrawals or transfers within the two week period. If this occurs, you will be charged a $50 administration fee and a credit note will be issued for the outstanding amount. Exceptional circumstances are defined as serious personal considerations or illness (documentation is required). The Australian Writers’ Centre cannot accept responsibility for changes in work commitments.

Once the course has commenced, there are no transfers or refunds in the event you are unable to attend.

Do you offer concession rates for your courses?

There are no concession rates for our courses.

How do the online tutor-led courses work? What time commitment is involved?

Our online courses have five modules, and we release one each week (on a Monday).

Each module consists of 2 to 3 audio files, PDF handouts and, for some courses, supporting videos. Each week, you are asked to complete a small assignment (under 500 words) which is due by midnight Sunday (Sydney time) of that week.

We suggest you set aside roughly 2 to 3 hours each week to listen to the audio, read the handouts and complete the assignment. The online tutor assesses the assignments and gives feedback the following week.

There are no set class times – you can listen to the audio whenever it is convenient for you during the week. There is also an online forum where you can post questions and comments, and interact with your fellow students.

Please note: the above applies to online courses where you have a tutor - if you're thinking about our on-demand online courses, please click here.

How do the on-demand online courses work? What time commitment is involved?

In our on-demand online courses, you gain access to the course content immediately after your purchase. You can start and finish the course in your own time -- whether that’s in a weekend binge or over several months!

Once you purchase, you have access to the course for 12 months after your purchase date so that you can take your time to go through the materials and refresh your knowledge at any time during this period.

The main difference is that there is no one-on-one tutoring in these courses -- however the course materials reflect our usual high standard, making it easy to learn.

If you're thinking about online tutor-led courses, please click here.

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.

Can’t find your question in the list? Just drop us a line!