Category: Graduate success videos

Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

How Rashida Tayabali became a freelance writer and author

Rashida Tayabali had always wanted to write, but had been discouraged from studying journalism at university. While working as a marketing coordinator, she decided her maternity leave would be the perfect opportunity to rediscover her old passion. Inspired by a colleague who had done courses at the Australian Writers’ Centre, Rashida enrolled in Freelance Writing Stage 1 – and immediately her life changed.

Courses completed at AWC:
Freelance Writing Stage 1
Creative Writing Stage 1

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Crime fiction author and Australian Writers' Centre alumna Dinuka McKenzie smiling in floral shirt
Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

AWC alumna Dinuka McKenzie becomes an award-winning published author with her book ‘The Torrent’

Courses completed at AWC:
Anatomy of a Crime: How to Write About Murder
2 Hours to Scrivener Power
Build Your Author Platform

Dinuka McKenzie was a busy working mum when she decided to start writing as a creative outlet. The more she wrote, the more she loved it, so she decided to complete a few courses at the Australian Writers’ Centre to hone her craft. After finishing her first crime manuscript, she entered it in the Banjo Prize for unpublished fiction – and then came the extraordinary news that she had won!

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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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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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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Petronella McGovern’s dream of becoming a fiction author comes true with her thrilling debut novel

Courses taken at AWC:
Crime and Thriller Writing
Write Your Novel
Anatomy of a Crime: How to Write About Murder
Make Time to Write / Creative Writing 30-day Bootcamp

Petronella McGovern came to the Australian Writers’ Centre hoping to prioritise her fiction writing. She had always wanted to publish a novel but was struggling to find the time and motivation to keep writing. Now, her debut novel Six Minutes has just been published by Allen & Unwin, and she spends her mornings writing fiction, working on her next novel.
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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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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

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

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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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Catherine Rodie: overcoming dyslexia to become a successful writer

Catherine Rodie never thought she would become a writer. This limiting belief, coupled with her experience with dyslexia, meant that she hadn’t considered that writing could be a real career for her. But after completing a course at the Australian Writers’ Centre, that all changed. And now, she’s not only become one of the most prolific freelance writers in Australia, she’s laid the foundations to pursue a career in publishing, recently scoring a coveted part-time role at Bauer Magazines.

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Rob Grant: From nine-to-five corporate cubicle dweller to exotic adventures as a travel writer

Rob Grant loves travelling. But it can be hard to satisfy your wanderlust when you’re consumed by a nine-to-five corporate career. That’s exactly the position Rob was in until he discovered the Travel Writing course at the Australian Writers’ Centre. Now he’s swapped his corporate job for his new path in life – working part-time as a travel writer and part-time as a marketing consultant.

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

How Susannah Hardy’s new year’s resolution turned into a new career

One new year’s day, Susannah Hardy made a decision that would change the rest of her life. She decided she wanted to earn money from writing. Already working as an actor, Susannah then enrolled in a course at the Australian Writers’ Centre. That set her on a path where she now has dual careers – as an actor, as well as a successful freelance writer, published in Australia’s top magazines and newspapers.

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