C.S. (Carmel) Sealey’s lifelong dream of completing and publishing her first novel, Equilibrium, finally came true.
Making writing a priority
Not long ago, Carmel was stuck in a non-creative role at work. “I had no time to work on my book and not much motivation to make time,” she recalls. “It was stagnating in a folder on my computer with a long to-do list and in much need of some TLC!”
That TLC was provided by AWC. When her husband finally convinced her to get serious about her writing, Carmel enrolled in a creative writing course at the Australian Writers’ Centre. “The course was really great in that the tutor was an expert within the area. Bouncing ideas off like-minded people really gave me the inspiration to go home and do something about the book.”
The course helped Carmel develop her characters, the world, and the tone of her book – as well as introducing her to valuable feedback via other members in the class. “Just being surrounded by so many people who are also trying their hardest to succeed, it’s so inspiring and it motivates you.”
Taking the next step
The course taught Carmel guidelines on how to approach a publisher, and the new avenues available in the publishing industry as a whole.
“I knew the industry was changing rapidly with the rise of ebooks and I needed help understanding the ins and outs,” she explains. Those ins and outs were subsequently found through two courses at the Australian Writers’ Centre on how to get published.
“It seems strange that only a couple of years ago I considered writing just a hobby. The suite of courses I did thoroughly motivated me to take the manuscript further, develop it into something I was proud of and enlightened me as to how I could publish!”
Rewriting her future
Today, Carmel has a two-pronged writing life. Her new day job as a sub-editor allows her to use her writing skills on a daily basis, while her personal writing endeavours have also borne fruit. “I can happily say that after many, many manuscripts sent out to practically every publisher in Australia, I was picked up by Momentum!” (Then part of Pan Macmillan.)
“When I got that confirmation email… my jaw dropped to the floor… it was such an amazing feeling!” Her debut novel Equilibrium was released digitally in six parts in 2015. And there’s more to come.
From uninspired worker to published writer, Carmel had nearly given up her dream of taking writing beyond a hobby. But a few life-changing short courses later and now she faces that exciting and scary reality of the public reading her novel on their devices. “I couldn’t think of a place I would rather be than seeing my work in people’s e-readers. It’s thrilling, scary, and fantastic all at once!”
And one final piece of advice from C.S. Sealey for anyone hoping to make that leap?
“Just do it! The course really broke down all those walls and it was fantastic to just write again.”