Category: Alumni/Student success stories

Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Astrid Scholte: Now an award-winning author of young adult fiction

Courses taken at AWC:
Creative Writing Stage 1
Novel Writing Essentials
History, Mystery and Magic
Blogging for Beginners

Astrid Scholte had always hoped to be published. In fact, she had the lofty goal of being published before she was 18. “I was a little ambitious! While it took me a lot longer I’m so happy to have achieved this dream of mine. I cannot wait to hold my book Four Dead Queens in my hands early next year, I’m sure there will be plenty of tears!” says Astrid.
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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Emma Pei Yin’s journey to publishing success

“I rolled up my sleeves, signed up for as many courses as I could with AWC and just went from there,” Emma told us. 

After fine-tuning her skills, Emma perfected her manuscript and her pitch, and received offers from five literary agents before signing with Laurie Robertson at Peters Fraser Dunlop.

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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Judy Wollin’s creative collaboration leads to her middle grade novel

When Judy Wollin heard young family members say they didn’t like reading, she decided to write something they would love! As an education professional, she knew that she could benefit from learning the practicalities of how to write a novel, and so she turned to the Australian Writers’ Centre.

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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

AWC alumna Brooke Graham’s picture books 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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Crime fiction author and Australian Writers' Centre alumna Dinuka McKenzie smiling in floral shirt
Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

AWC alumna Dinuka McKenzie is an award-winning published author with her crime thrillers

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/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Amy Hutton scores two book deals

When television producer Amy Hutton decided she wanted to switch careers and become a writer, she went all in.
After making such a decisive move, Amy knew she had to learn the craft of writing if she were to succeed. She liked the variety of courses on offer at the Australian Writers’ Centre and she jumped in, learning the essentials of Fiction and Grammar, Plotting and Planning and how to Pitch Your Novel.

Fast forward a few years and Amy is now a published author, with her debut novel Sit, Stay, Love released in 2023 and the follow up Love From Scratch out in 2024, both published by Simon & Schuster.

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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Liz Foster on the steps she took to get published

Liz Foster always imagined being a published author one day. She says: “Imagine being the key word there.” But it was while doing courses through the Australian Writers’ Centre that she learned the difference between writing well and writing well for an audience. “I literally would be nowhere without AWC’s

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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Vikki Conley’s path to becoming an award-winning children’s author

Courses taken at AWC:
Writing Picture Books

Vikki Conley dreamed of writing for children and, over the years, that little voice telling her to write books got louder until she simply couldn’t ignore it. She threw in her marketing job, enrolled in an Australian Writers’ Centre course and started writing. Within two years, she has already established herself as a prolific author, with the publication of seven picture books and contracts with four publishers. Her most recent book is the CBCA shortlisted Amira’s Suitcase, while Milly and the Mulberry Tree and Where the Lyrebird Lives will be released in 2022. Vikki’s other publications include Tomorrow Girl, Little Puggle’s Song, The Lost Moustache and Ella & Mrs Gooseberry.

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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Michelle Upton goes from school teacher to successful author

A few years ago, Michelle Upton made the life-changing decision that she wanted to be a writer. So she focused her efforts on learning about the craft and getting as much practical experience as possible. This included entering literary competitions, enrolling in the Romance Writing course at the Australian Writers’ Centre and taking part in the Centre’s Furious Fiction competition.

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Author Madeline Te Whiu working at her desk, surrounded by editorial notes and bookcases.
Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

How Madeline Te Whiu became a fantasy author

Her perseverance paid off with the completion of her first draft for The Assassin Thief. But over 50 rejections later, she knew she needed to try a new approach. Madeline enrolled in Creative Writing Stage 1 at the Australian Writers’ Centre to nail the basics of her story, then went on to edit her manuscript with Cut, Shape, Polish. After taking Pitch Your Novel: How to Attract Agents and Publishers, she was ready to send out her novel again – and this time she was snapped up by New Dawn Publishing.

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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Karina May is set to be the Next Big Thing in rom-com writing

Karina May was working in digital marketing when she started dabbling in creative writing just for the fun of it – but she soon found herself hooked on the craft of storytelling. She voraciously attended courses at the Australian Writers’ Centre, including two rounds of Write Your Novel with Pamela Freeman, which gave her the structure to complete her first manuscript. After signing a two-book deal with Pan MacMillan, Karina has now released her novel Duck à l’Orange for Breakfast.

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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Zewlan Moor launches her career as an author with two picture books!

When Dr Zewlan Moor started her training to become a general practitioner, she had two goals: to complete her GP fellowship and to write a novel for National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo). It might seem like an unusual combination, but Zewlan was determined to follow her passion for writing alongside her medical career. She was drawn to Writing Picture Books at the Australian Writers’ Centre and is now delighted to announce that she will be publishing two picture books in 2023.

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