Category: Alumni/Student success stories

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.

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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

How Sandhya Parappukkaran followed her creative curiosity to become a published picture book author

Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books
When Sandhya Parappukkaran quit her food technology job to pursue her creative dreams, she originally turned to arts and crafts. But while reading with her son, Sandhya’s childhood love of books was rekindled. After completing the Writing Picture Books course, her debut picture book The Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name has been published by Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing.

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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Kell Woods finds international success after courses at Australian Writers’ Centre

After studying a suite of courses, starting with Novel Writing Essentials, and including History, Mystery and Magic and Plotting and Planning, Kell’s publishing dream came true when she landed a two-book deal with publishing powerhouse Tor US. Kell’s debut novel, After the Forest, was published in 2023, with international publication by Titan Books in the UK and HarperCollins in Australia/New Zealand.

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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Seth Haddon scores his dream book deal

Seth took all the skills and tips that he learned in that class and has gone on to forge a career as a writer in the gaming industry. He has also published three books with Blind Eye Books and his latest novel, Volatile Memory, is being published by Tor Books. “I absolutely believe I wouldn’t be where I am without having attended the Write Your Novel course,” Seth says.

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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Shankari Chandran: From lawyer to award-winning author

When Shankari Chandran took time out of her career as a lawyer to have her fourth child, she turned her hand to writing in between baby feeds and family demands. This pastime has turned into a new career and Shankari has now released her first novel The Barrier, a futuristic fast-paced thriller that has been compared to the works of Michael Crichton and Matthew Reilly.

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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

AWC courses helped Kyra Geddes become a published author

Kyra had built a successful ten-year career in marketing and was also raising her children. When the family moved to Melbourne for her husband’s work, Kyra took the opportunity to return to university and study English. She also began taking creative writing courses to continue learning her craft, including Reinvent Yourself and 2 Hours to Scrivener Power at the Australian Writers’ Centre.

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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

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

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/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Bec Nanayakkara is a published picture book author

Congratulations to Australian Writers’ Centre(AWC) graduate Bec Nanayakkara whose debut picture book Grow Big, Little Seed has been published by Hardie Grant. Her second picture book The Book Star is out in June published by Affirm Press. It’s based on an idea she workshopped in our Writing Picture Books course with tutor Zanni Louise just a year ago!

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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

From police force to published author

Kerryn Mayne was on maternity leave from her job on the police force when she returned to her high school love of writing. She soon realised that her professional experiences of crime and policing could be useful when penning her own stories, so she fired up her computer and got down to work. With an outline for a new book idea, Kerryn enrolled in Creative Writing Stage 1 online at the Australian Writers’ Centre, so she could learn about the writing process and connect with other aspiring writers.

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Alumni/Student success stories
Australian Writers' Centre Team

How Amy Tan gained confidence to write her first novel

Amy Tan had always been interested in creative writing and, although she works as a copywriter, she wasn’t confident in her fiction skills. So she turned to an Australian Writers’ Centre course. One of the exercises that she worked on during that course eventually evolved into part of her debut novel, Katie Goes to KL. This has now been published in Australia and Singapore by Penguin under her pen name Su-May Tan.

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