Category: Success stories: Freelance and non-fiction

AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Gary Nunn: From freelance journalist to published author of ‘The Psychic Tests’

Courses taken at AWC: 
Novel Writing Essentials
The Story Doctor

Although he had a successful career as a freelance journalist, Gary turned to the Australian Writers’ Centre to help hone his craft in writing fiction and creative non-fiction. The result is his first book, The Psychic Tests: An Adventure In The World Of Believers and Sceptics, published by Pantera Press.

“The AWC was such a key part of that: meeting other writers, access to those who’d done it, the community that forms around those taking a course. Writing can be such a solitary pursuit for a gregarious, garrulous person like me! The AWC was the antidote to that.”

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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

How Sam Buckerfield’s passion for writing led to a publishing deal with Hachette Australia

Courses taken at AWC: 
Write Your Novel
Plotting and Planning
How to Write for Children and Young Adults
Build Your Author Platform
Novel Writing Essentials
Freelance Writing Stage 1

Sam Buckerfield knew he wanted to make a career out of writing, but he was initially held back by his own self-doubts.

“Although I was ambitious, I didn’t know for certain that I had the seeds of an author in me,” he says. That was until presenter Pamela Freeman invited him to join the Write Your Novel program at the Australian Writers’ Centre.

“It was in that very moment that I felt believed in by a professional,” Sam says. “And I, in turn, believed that I had the capacity to be a published author.”

Sam’s first published book is Generation Alpha, co-authored with Mark McCrindle and Ashley Fell, and it is out now with Hachette Australia.

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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Gaiti Rabbani becomes a published business book author in just one year

Courses taken at AWC: 
Write a Business Book
Travel Writing
Blogging for Beginners

When global events affected her travel and business plans, Gaiti Rabbani thought it was the perfect time to channel her energy into writing a business book. She enrolled in the Write a Business Book course at the Australian Writers’ Centre – and just one year later, she not only wrote the book, but secured a publishing deal as well. Gaiti’s book Curious About Culture is out now with Major Street Publishing.
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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Danielle Norton’s journey from teacher to travel and food writer

Courses taken at AWC:
Travel Writing
Food Writing
Freelance Writing Stage 1
Copywriting Essentials
Freelance Writing Masterclass Program
Creative Writing Stage 1

Danielle Norton was half way through the AWC’s Food Writing course when she managed to sell her first two recipes to an online magazine. Not bad for a former school teacher who, by her own admission, was naive about the media industry. Now a veteran of six AWC courses, Danielle is an established freelance writer and copywriter, and she is sought after by editors for her travel and parenting articles.
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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 fulltime. She is also a published author with Bewildered, the incredible story of her extraordinary hike, out now with Affirm Press.

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

How vision impaired Graham Frizzell gained the confidence to become a successful freelance writer

Courses taken at AWC:
Freelance Writing Stage 1
Travel Writing
How to Build a Successful Freelance Copywriting Business
Copywriting Essentials

Living with profound vision impairment (Graham is legally blind) and growing up prior to the advent of the adaptive technology that has so enriched his life today, Graham felt completely lost when it came to mainstream employment. He had finished a Certificate IV in Professional Writing & Editing qualification at Melbourne Polytechnic TAFE but felt it was geared predominantly to fiction writing. So he decided to enrol into AWC’s online Freelance Writing Stage 1 course, and has never looked back.

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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Brad Kelly: From history teacher to full-time freelance writer

AWC courses completed:
Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1
Freelance Writing Masterclass Program
Copywriting Essentials
Profile Writing
The Business of Freelancing
Writing Australian History

After a 15-year career as a history teacher, Brad Kelly was ready for his next challenge. With a keen interest in the world of writing, he completed a course at the Australian Writers’ Centre. “I had always been drawn to long form journalism and features, and I wanted to learn the nuts and bolts of the trade,” says Brad.
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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Joy Adan: Living her dream as a freelance writer

AWC courses completed:
Writing for the Web and Mobile
Freelance Writing Stage 1
Freelance Writing Masterclass Program
Profile Writing
Reinvent Yourself
Creative Writing Stage 1
Make Time to Write
Life Writing

Even though Joy Adan dreamt of becoming a writer, she initially didn’t have the confidence to pursue this passion. “I had a recurring voice in my head – that sounded a lot like my mother – that kept telling me that the only people who could call themselves writers were either really lucky or really poor. That I should do the responsible thing – and set aside my creative ambitions in search for a secure, well-paying job.”
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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

How Jennifer Johnston gained the confidence to become a freelance writer

AWC courses completed:
Travel Writing
Profile Writing
Copywriting Essentials
Freelance Writing Masterclass Program (current member)

Jennifer Johnston is living proof that you never stop learning – in fact, she has built a career on it. Having completed a postgraduate certificate in creative industries, she realised that while she had a lot of theory, there were many gaps with regard to practical skills. On the long-time recommendation of a friend, she chose a short online course in Travel Writing at the Australian Writers Centre – and wished she had taken her advice sooner!
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Melanie Dower: Freelancing from Finland

When Melanie Dower (pictured) relocated from Auckland, New Zealand to Helsinki, Finland to join her husband in his dream job, it turned her whole world upside down. Here, on the other side of the globe, she struggled to find a job on par with her previous field as she wasn’t

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Michaela Fox: Blogger turned successful freelance writer

As a blogger, Michaela Fox was already loving being able to write while at home, but it was almost too comfortable. The idea of working as a freelance writer and earning a living really appealed.

“Being able to freelance from home is just the ideal situation for me,” she says. “I get to still be at home with my kids, which is really important for me. I want to be involved in their lives – they’re only young.”

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

How part-time lawyer Libby Hakim carved out a successful career as a freelance writer

Libby Hakim had a simple goal: to see her byline in a magazine or newspaper. After completing a course at the Australian Writers’ Centre, she not only achieved that – she’s now been published in many top publications.

Working as a part-time lawyer, Libby first completed a five-week online course in Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1. That changed the course of Libby’s life. “Before I started the course I actually had the goal of getting published, I wanted to see my byline in a magazine or a newspaper,” says Libby, who was working part-time as a lawyer.

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