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Category: AWC alumni

AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Craig Sheather reinvents his career to become a picture book author with ‘The Incredible True Story of Sparky the Wonder Puppy’

Courses taken at AWC: 
Reinvent Yourself
Laugh Out Loud
Writing Picture Books

Craig Sheather is a freelance writer and journalist specialising in the great outdoors. But when travel restrictions limited his writing opportunities, he decided to reinvent himself – taking the Reinvent Yourself course at the Australian Writers’ Centre. Feeling inspired, he went on to do two courses for writing for kids: Writing Picture Books and Laugh Out Loud. Craig has now published his debut picture book The Incredible True Story of Sparky the Wonder Puppy, about a puppy who survived the bushfires.
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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Graci Kim becomes a published children’s author with her middle grade adventure ‘The Last Fallen Star’

Courses taken at AWC: 
Novel Writing Essentials

Graci Kim has worked as a diplomat, cooking show host and even made kids toys – but it was when she sat down to reread her favourite childhood novels that she discovered her passion.

“It hit me – none of the books I read and treasured as a child had people like me in them. All the books I’d loved were about white people. I had been invisible on the page my whole life,” Graci says. She signed up for a course at the Australian Writers’ Centre and started writing books about Korean diaspora kids having magical adventures.

Graci’s debut middle-grade novel, The Last Fallen Star, has now been published by Disney Hyperion (Rick Riordan Presents) and the trilogy has been optioned by the Disney Channel for a live action television series.

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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

Sandie Jessamine becomes a published memoirist with her powerful story ‘Borderline’

Courses taken at AWC: 
Life Writing
Write Your Novel
Write Your Novel Masterclass
Self-publish your Novel on Kindle

Writing and publishing a memoir was never going to be easy for Sandie Jessamine. Living with borderline personality disorder meant that she could be one person at the start of a sentence and another by the end. Having suffered trauma, abuse and devastating loss, Sandie wanted to write her story to help her process her past. She turned to the AWC to give her the structure she needed.

“I turned into a writer,” Sandie says about the period that followed her decision to enrol in the Write Your Novel program with Pamela Freeman. “During Pamela’s course, I put all my attention and energy into completing a draft novel. The writing gave me a safe space to retreat into away from the emotional pain but eventually I began to write within the pain until the pain was writing itself”

Her extraordinary story, Borderline, has now been published by Bad Apple Press..

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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

Multi-talented Amy Adeney finds success as a children’s book author

Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books
Writing Chapter Books for 6-9 year olds
Build Your Author Platform
MOJO MONTH

Never in a million years did Amy Adeney think that she would be a published author one day. She had a varied career as a fitness instructor, PR executive, and primary school teacher before finally discovering her creative side. She has now published seven books for children – and it all started with a writing exercise during a course at the Australian Writers’ Centre.

“My debut picture book, Turning Cartwheels (EK Books, 2021), actually began its life as an exercise in the AWC Writing Picture Books course!” Amy says. Her tutor, Cathie Tasker, provided Amy with feedback that made her realise that her story idea had potential. “Cathie’s feedback became part of my pitch for the book, and even formed the basis of the book’s description in the EK Books catalogue.”

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Shankari Chandran’s newest manuscript acquired by Ultimo Press

We’re thrilled to hear that Shankari Chandran has had her latest novel Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens snapped up by Ultimo Press. Shankari is one of our superstar alumnae who found publishing success with her debut novel The Barrier after the Crime and Thriller Writing course at the Australian Writers’

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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Inda Ahmad Zahri achieves her childhood dream to become a published author

Courses taken at AWC: 
Creative Non-fiction
Creative Writing Stage 1
Fiction Essentials: Characters
2 Hours to Scrivener Power
Make Time to Write

Inda Ahmad Zahri likes to keep busy. As a working surgeon with a young family, she can now add ‘published author’ to her repertoire of achievements with the publication of her debut picture book Salih, out now with Ford Street Publishing.

“I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was a little girl with my nose stuck in a book for most of the day (and night!). Writing was always an outlet for me,” Inda says. 

Inda is a self-confessed course junkie and knew that she would need structure, deadlines, and the best training available to make her publishing dreams come true. That’s why she turned to the Australian Writers’ Centre for its creative writing courses and community.

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Alumni news
Guest Writer

5 tips for finding your ‘write’ people

It took me a while to find my people, but when I did things really started happening…fast! 
I went from my world of “one” where no one other than my non-writing family and friends knew about my creative writing projects – to sharing my work with a community of like-minded writers. Here’s how you can fast track your way to finding your people…

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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Teacher Krys Saclier publishes a picture book about Australia’s electoral system!

Courses taken at AWC:
History, Mystery and Magic
How to Write for Children and Young Adults
Pitch Your Novel: How to Attract Agents and Publishers
Laugh Out Loud

Explaining Australia’s federal voting system seems like strange inspiration for a picture book – but that’s exactly what Krys Saclier did for her second book Vote 4 Me, illustrated by Cathy Wilcox, and published through Wild Dog Books.
Krys is a graduate of several AWC courses, including History, Mystery and Magic, How to Write for Children and Young Adults, and Pitch Your Novel: How to Attract Agents and Publishers. Her debut picture book, Super Nova, was published in 2019 through Ford Street Publishing with illustrations by Rebecca Timmis.
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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

AWC graduate Theresa Miller publishes debut novel ‘The Spin Doctor’s Wife’

Courses taken at AWC: 
Write Your Novel
Build Your Author Platform

Enrolling in the Write Your Novel program was just the push that Theresa Miller needed to finish the draft of her first fiction manuscript. There’s nothing like a deadline to motivate you to finish a project! That book, The Spin Doctor’s Wife, is out now through Critical Mass. 

“The Write Your Novel program helped me finish and publish my novel – which is something I’ve wanted to do since I learned to read,” Theresa says. “[The program] had a huge impact!”

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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

From newsreader to published author: Nicole Webb publishes debut memoir ‘China Blonde’

Courses taken at AWC:
Life Writing
Plotting and Planning
Fiction Essentials: Characters

Nicole Webb was a trained journalist and newsreader, with a wealth of writing talent. But when she sat down to write her memoir of life in China, she knew she needed to learn and utilise a whole new set of skills. After taking three courses at the Australian Writers’ Centre, doing hundreds of interviews, writing thousands of words, and doing many rewrites, her debut China Blonde is out now with Brio Books.
“Without doing those courses, I really don’t think I would have had the knowledge or know-how to start a book properly, let alone finish a book,” Nicole says.
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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

The turning point that led to James Antoniou becoming a published picture book author

Courses taken at AWC:
Writing Picture Books

James Antoniou was in the middle of a haphazard gap year when he decided to enrol in Writing Picture Books at the Australian Writers’ Centre. He had always wanted to be a published author, had studied English at Oxford, and was ready to launch his writing career. But it was the course at the AWC that gave James the practical tools he needed to finish his manuscript. 
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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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Congrats to the AWC alumni shortlisted for the 2020 Banjo Prize

HarperCollins Australia has released the shortlist for the 2020 Banjo Prize and we’re so proud that all four are from the Australian Writers’ Centre community. The 2020 Banjo Prize shortlist: The List by Megan Albany The Tuesday Afternoon Murder Club by Karli Florisson Roses of Budapest by Rachael Keene Flood

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