Category: Success stories: Fiction and memoir

Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

AWC graduate Penny Morrison: Published picture book author

It wasn’t so long ago that Sydney mum Penny Morrison would have laughed off suggestions that she could be a published picture book author. She never thought of herself ever writing books. However, now with half a dozen books to her name, including an industry recognition, she has no plans to stop anytime soon.

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Tamsin Janu’s award-winning start in children’s fiction

Tamsin Janu published her award-winning book Figgy in the World after completing a course at the Australian Writers’ Centre. After taking the book world by storm, she followed up with a sequel, Figgy and the President and Figgy Takes the City. Her latest books are Blossom and Winston and the Wondrous Wooba Gymnastics Club.

And it all started when she enrolled in a writing course that would change her life. “On the second day of the course I remember that’s when I came up with the idea for my first book!” said Tamsin.

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Sally Fawcett: Shaping her picture book future

Primary school teacher, illustrator and mother of three Sally Fawcett is immersed in the world of young children on a daily basis (you could almost call it an occupational hazard). So this provided the perfect foundation to getting her first picture book published. Post-baby creativity The journey began soon after

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Author C.S. Sealey shares her story

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!”

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Penny Harrison: Finding success in magazines and picture books

When journalist Penny Harrison made the switch to writing feature stories, little did she know it would lead to the publication of her first picture book. “I had been working as a local newspaper journalist for 10 years and was just thinking about returning to work after my first baby,”

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Gwen Wilson: the reluctant retiree publishes her first memoir

Back in 2005, around the same time as the Australian Writers’ Centre was first opening its doors, Gwen Wilson, then 50, was making the first scribblings for what would become her debut memoir, I Belong to No One. “I can trace its beginning to 2005, and it evolved through numerous

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Elizabeth Farrelly: From journalist to author

It’s not just new writers who find worth in an Australian Writers’ Centre course. Elizabeth Farrelly is one of Australia’s most respected journalists and columnists, but when she stepped outside her usual writing realm, she sought specific industry advice from the Australian Writers’ Centre to help her write and publish

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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Nine questions with Daniel Brako, author of Doors

Today we’re chatting with Australian Writers’ Centre graduate Daniel Brako, asking him some questions about his new book, and how it has quite literally opened up doors for him.   Hi Daniel, tell us about your book, Doors, in 89 words or less. A psychologist, Dr David Druas, encounters a client who sees imaginary

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Jennifer Smart: “Write what you know” yields debut novel

“There’s a story here. There’s definitely a story here.” That was Jennifer Smart’s hunch, having worked behind the screens in film and television for many years, including five years on Home and Away. And she was in a position to know – having even penned two scripts of the hit

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Lisa Venables: Memoir unearths a love of writing

Telling stories is what it’s all about here at the Australian Writers’ Centre. And for Lisa Venables, recounting a very difficult time in her family’s life provided her with both an emotional and creative outlet. That outlet became her book, Saving Zali – telling the story of her infant daughter’s

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Caro Was Here. And so was Elizabeth Farrelly.

A few weeks back, we spoke with established author Elizabeth Farrelly on the release of her first young fiction book, Caro Was Here. Elizabeth completed a course at Australian Writers’ Centre that provided inspiration for this one, and she chats about that and the book right here… So, tell us

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Sara Donovan: Published life begins at 50

Many people might get to the age of 50 and look at their successful career, grown-up kids, stable life – and happily put their feet up. But not Sara Donovan. In fact it was this rather domestic alignment of the planets that saw her come to revisit a lifelong feeling.

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Chris Muir: Ad man writes action thriller

For author and AWC graduate Chris Muir, writing the fictional adventure thriller A Savage Garden, set in Africa, was a natural progression for the life-long passion he’s had for the country. But when you read this book, you realise that Chris’ experiences in Africa are anything but ordinary. And on

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Jessica Shirvington: Living her dream

A true example of turning a writing dream into reality, Jessica Shirvington’s career continues to go from strength to strength. Author of the popular young adult series, The Violet Eden Chapters, Jessica has also delved into the world of picture books recently with Just the Way We Are (HarperCollins, 2015). Her

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