Category: Success stories: Fiction and memoir

AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Sonya Bates: Speech pathologist finds license to thrill with debut novel

AWC courses completed:
Anatomy of a Crime: How to Write About Murder
Build Your Author Platform

Sonya Bates was a speech pathologist who dabbled in writing on the side. But when she had the idea for her thriller Inheritance of Secrets, she knew it was time to take her writing seriously. She signed up for the Anatomy of a Crime: How to Write About Murder course at the Australian Writers’ Centre to get the skills and confidence she needed.

Sonya is now proud to call herself an author with her debut adult novel, Inheritance of Secrets, out now through HarperCollins.

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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Sarah Clutton carves out a career as a published author and freelance writer

Courses taken at AWC:
Write Your Novel program
Freelance Writing Stage 1
Writing for the Web and Mobile
2 Hours to Scrivener Power
Build Your Author Platform

Sarah Clutton never thought she had the staying power to write a novel – two published books later, she’s proven herself wrong, and says she’d couldn’t have done it without the Australian Writers’ Centre. Sarah’s debut novel, Good Little Liars, was published by Hachette UK imprint Bookouture in 2019; Bookouture also published her second novel, The Daughter’s Promise in 2020, and she’s now working on her third novel.
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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Victoria Mackinlay achieves her childhood dream to become a published author

Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books
Creative Writing Stage 1
Freelance Writing Stage 1

When she was a child, Victoria Mackinlay assumed she would grow up to be an author. And now, with the release of her picture book Ribbit Rabbit Robot and more on the way, Victoria’s dream has come true. To top it off, Victoria has won the State Library of NSW Award for Emerging Children’s Author.
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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Sandie Docker: Successful women’s fiction author

Although Sandie Docker always imagined she would be published one day, she knew it required a lot of self-belief and determination. But after studying at the Australian Writers’ Centre, Sandie finally found the confidence and passion to keep going until she reached her dream of becoming a women’s fiction author. She has now published three books with Penguin, including The Kookaburra Creek Cafe, The Cottage At Rosella Cove, and The Banksia Bay Beach Shack.

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

An amazing year of published books by AWC alumni and presenters

Nothing makes us prouder here at the Australian Writers’ Centre than seeing writers reach their publishing dreams. Over the years, our students have published hundreds of books, and 2019 has been another amazing year of success. From short stories to novels, picture books to picturesque romances, non-fiction, historical fiction, contemporary

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Laura Waters’ trek into travel writing success

Courses taken at AWC: Online Travel Writing Freelance Writing Masterclass Laura Waters walked over 3000 kilometres across New Zealand to conquer her anxieties and find her true passion: writing. After finishing the Australian Writers’ Centre Travel Writing course, Laura turned her hobby into a profession and now writes travel articles

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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Richell Prize for Emerging Writers 2019 Longlist Announcement

We’re thrilled that five Australian Writers’ Centre alumnae have been announced on the Richell Prize Longlist for 2019. Congratulations to Jennifer Carlisle, Lauren Draper, Kylie Orr, January Gilchrist, and Sarah Fiddelaers. All super talented writers! Over 700 entries were received and 21 writers have been announced on this year’s longlist.

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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Petronella McGovern’s book launch for ‘Six Minutes’

Congratulations to AWC alumna Petronella McGovern who launched her debut novel Six Minutes at Berkelouw Books in Mona Vale in Sydney last week. With over 160 people attending, it was so popular, the event had to relocate across the road to the Memorial Hall. Launched by bestselling author Liane Moriarty,

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Petronella McGovern’s dream of becoming a fiction author comes true with her thrilling debut novel

Courses taken at AWC:
Crime and Thriller Writing
Write Your Novel
Anatomy of a Crime: How to Write About Murder
Make Time to Write / Creative Writing 30-day Bootcamp

Petronella McGovern came to the Australian Writers’ Centre hoping to prioritise her fiction writing. She had always wanted to publish a novel but was struggling to find the time and motivation to keep writing. Now, her debut novel Six Minutes has just been published by Allen & Unwin, and she spends her mornings writing fiction, working on her next novel.
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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Kaneana May: From TV scriptwriter to published author

Courses taken at AWC:
Popular Women’s Fiction>
Build Your Author Platform
2 Hours to Scrivener Power
Self-publish Your Novel on Kindle

When Kaneana May, a stay-at-home mother living in regional NSW, took a trip to Sydney to do Popular Women’s Fiction with the Australian Writers’ Centre she came away inspired, motivated with new ideas and a new direction. Today she is a published author and her debut novel The One, published by Harlequin hit the bookshelves in July 2019.
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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

2018 Australian Romance Readers Awards finalists announced

Voting has opened for the 2018 Australian Romance Readers Awards and we are delighted to announce that Pamela Hart (aka Pamela Freeman, AWC’s Director of Creativity) and AWC creative writing alumni Penelope Janu and Joanna Nell are amongst the finalists.   Pamela is a finalist in the Favourite Historical Romance

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Congratulations to Frances Chapman winner of the 2018 Ampersand Prize

We are delighted to announce that AWC graduate Frances Chapman has won the prestigious Hardie Grant Egmont 2018 Ampersand Prize for her ‘vibrant’ debut YA novel, What it Takes. From the Hardie Grant website: Selected from nearly two hundred submissions, What It Takes is a beautifully written own-voices LGBTQ novel

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Joanna Nell: From GP to published author with her feel-good debut novel

Courses taken at AWC:
Creative Writing Stage 1
Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques
Novel Writing Essentials
Build Your Author Platform
Pitch Your Novel: How to Attract Agents and Publishers

An unexpected incident led Joanna Nell to the Australian Writers’ Centre and the subsequent publishing of her feel-good debut novel The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village (Hachette Australia).
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