Category: Fiction writing

Alumni/Student success stories
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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Fiction writing
Australian Writers' Centre Team

5 ways writing can help reduce your teen’s anxiety

Anxiety is better recognised and understood than ever before, but for parents of teenagers struggling with anxiety it can still be hard to know how to help. One great way is to encourage them to express themselves via writing.  Bestselling parenting book author Michael Grose shares with us some practical

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Fiction writing
Guest Writer

5 ways to engage readers in your young adult book

By Anna Morgan. The latest book by YA writer and bookseller Anna Morgan is Before the Beginning. Here she reveals her top five ways to engage readers in your young adult book. Do strengthen your plot. One of the most common pieces of feedback I’ve heard from readers is: ‘Once

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Fiction writing
Australian Writers' Centre Team

5 things illustrators should know about writing picture books

Image above: By Judith Rossell Multi-award-winning author and illustrator Judith Rossell teaches Writing Picture Books and How to Write for Children and Young Adults at the Australian Writers’ Centre, and has been writing and illustrating children’s books for nearly 20 years. She was an illustrator first before adding writing to

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Fiction writing
Australian Writers' Centre Team

5 must-dos to turn your thriller into a bestseller

British-Australian crime and thriller writer L.A. Larkin – who teaches the Australian Writers’ Centre’s popular Crime and Thriller Writing course –  is an expert in the art of building suspense and high stakes in a thriller novel. Read on for her top 5 ways to turn your thriller into a

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Fiction writing
Guest Writer

Five tips for writing mystery stories for kids

By R.A. Spratt. The latest book from R.A. Spratt is The Peski Kids 5: The Final Mission, a mystery story for kids. We get her to spill five tips on how to write a great mystery story for children. 1. Plot backwards I usually come up with the big reveal

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Writer with pencil and notepad having fun
Fiction writing
Guest Writer

Make writing fun again

By award-winning author, Allison Rushby. We’ve all been there. It’s Sunday. Your chores are done. Everyone else in the house has gone out. The dog/cat/ferret has been walked/played with/whatever you do with a ferret. You’ve got a few hours up your sleeve. Uninterrupted time! You were all set to write

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Alumni/Student success stories
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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Fiction writing
Australian Writers' Centre Team

5 key mistakes to avoid when self-editing your manuscript

For writers, self-editing is a crucial skill, especially if you’re planning to send your finished manuscript off to a publisher or enter it in a competition. Whether or not you have friends who can help you as beta readers, you need to be able to edit yourself well.   The Australian

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Alumni/Student success stories
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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Fiction writing
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Bestselling children’s author Tim Harris: How he got his big break and why he loves writing for kids

Looking at Tim Harris’ body of work, it would be easy to think he had planned it all out in advance. After spending 15 years as a primary school teacher, he picked up a pen and started writing for that same age group: less than a decade later, he has 11 children’s novels under his belt along with a pack of literary awards, and he’s an in-demand presenter at primary schools across Australia.

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Fiction writing
Guest Writer

How to write during a pandemic

By Adrian Beck, author of the Derek Dool: Supercool series.
Making time to write is tough.
Making time to write when you have kids is an even bigger challenge.
But making time to write when you have kids (doing remote learning) whilst in the middle of a pandemic is MISSION IMPOSSIBLE! Well, nearly. But like Tom Cruise, I’ve found a way. And I also do all my own stunts.

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Fiction writing
Guest Writer

Write across the ages – from junior fiction to young adult

Deciding whether a story is YA, Junior Fiction or Middle Grade comes down to the fundamentals of all writing. That is: story, idea, setting, language, character, voice, structure, length… All these factors help shape what sort of story you’re writing. But in making this decision, possibly the most important thing to decide is… Who is your reader?

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Fiction writing
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Breaking the rules: A picture book collaboration

Some rules are meant to be broken. When author Deborah Abela and illustrator Marjorie Crosby-Fairall came up with an idea for a picture book, they were also acutely aware of the unspoken rule that publishers DO NOT like authors and illustrators to work or pitch together. But, flying in the

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Alumni/Student success stories
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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Fiction writing
Australian Writers' Centre Team

3 ways to encourage a love of writing in your teen

Teenage writers are bursting with creativity and fresh perspective, but between the structure of the English curriculum and all their other work, sometimes writing falls by the wayside. If you have a talented teen you’d like to support as a writer – or you’re wondering how to get your teen

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