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Category: AWC alumni

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

AWC alumna Brooke Graham’s debut picture book helps kids with anxiety

AWC courses completed:
Writing Picture Books
Writing Picture Books Masterclass
How to Write for Children and Young Adults
Build Your Author Platform

As a mum and a primary school teacher, Brooke Graham knew the value of good children’s books. Reading to kids was one of the most enjoyable parts of her job. Then after completing the Writing Picture Books course at the Australian Writers’ Centre, Brooke became hooked on writing and was determined to write her own. Her debut picture book Go Away, Worry Monster! has now been published by EK Books.
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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

How Felicity McVay reignited her creative passion to become a published picture book author

AWC courses completed:
Writing Picture Books
Creative Writing Stage 1

Sitting in darkness feeding her newborn daughter each night, Felicity McVay began to dream up the character of a boy who loves to burp. After taking two courses at the Australian Writers’ Centre – Writing Picture Books and Creative Writing Stage 1 – Felicity is now a published author, with her picture book The Boy Who Burped released by New Holland Publishers. “I feel a great thrill when I tell people that I’m a writer,” Felicity says. “The courses at AWC gave me a sense of legitimacy.”
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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Penelope Janu: Meet the lawyer who became a bestselling romance novelist

After more than 20 years as a solicitor and legal academic, Penelope Janu thought it was high time she finally followed her creative impulses. She completed a short course at the Australian Writers’ Centre (AWC), which gave her the confidence to pursue a creative writing degree – and led to her first novel, In at the Deep End, being accepted for publication. She has since gone on to publish several more popular romance novels.

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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

Charlotte Barkla rediscovers her dream to become a successful author

Courses taken at AWC: Writing Picture Books How to Write for Children and Young Adults Freelance Writing Stage 1 Engineer-turned-maths teacher Charlotte Barkla never imagined she’d become a published writer – but three children’s books later, she’s thrilled to have rediscovered her passion. Charlotte signed a contract for her first

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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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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Write Your Novel. And again. And again…

There are few things more satisfying than completing a manuscript. And there are few things more challenging and isolating than the process of writing that manuscript! The act of writing a book is usually a lonely experience, immersing yourself deep in your story and your own mind. But you don’t

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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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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Writing Picture Books in Perth

It was a hot weekend in November when we held our Writing Picture Books course in Perth, the last for 2019. Five students from across the city got together to spend two days learning about the craft of picture books with award-winning author Judith Rossell. In fact, one particularly eager

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