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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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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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Australian Writers' Centre Team

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

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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Crime fiction author and Australian Writers' Centre alumna Dinuka McKenzie smiling in floral shirt
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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 After finishing her first crime manuscript, she entered it in the Banjo Prize for unpublished fiction – and then came the extraordinary news that she had won!

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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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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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Australian Writers' Centre Team

From physiotherapist to published novelist

Megan White loved to write during high school and university, but always in a wishful way. It was only after taking the course Creative Writing Stage 1 that she realised she could take her love of fiction further.

Creative Writing Stage 1 taught me how to write a scene which instantly changed the way I looked at writing,” Megan told us. “Having a little knowledge in craft meant I could begin to take writing a little more seriously. It meant that becoming a writer felt more attainable as something you could learn and practice and less about being a natural prodigy.”

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Australian Writers' Centre Team

Samera Kamaleddine fulfils her publishing dreams

Samera Kamaleddine quit her job as editor of Women’s Fitness magazine to finally write the novel that was in her head – but she quickly discovered she had no idea where to start! After taking a course at the Australian Writers’ Centre, she found her writing rhythm and has now gone on to publish her debut young adult (YA) novel, Half My Luck.

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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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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.

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Australian Writers' Centre Team

Calendar of Australian writers’ festivals for 2022

With face-to-face events now back on the calendar, we’ve recently seen successful Writers’ Festivals staged in Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney, as well as many of the other lockdown-displaced festivals that were moved to earlier this year. But there are still plenty more to come. So, if you’re motivated to seek

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Australian Writers' Centre Team

Gifts for your writing mum

With Mother’s Day approaching, it’s time to think about getting something special for your mum (or the significant woman in your life). If your mum loves to write or dreams of being a writer, think beyond the flowers/slippers combo and offer her a gift that tells her that you love

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Author Al Campbell
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Australian Writers' Centre Team

Al Campbell: From full-time mum and carer to published author of ‘The Keepers’

Al Campbell knew she needed a creative outlet to balance her full-time responsibilities as a mother and carer. She enrolled in a creative writing course at AWC – and then another and another.

“Enrolling in those AWC courses made all the difference in the world, the best thing I ever did – I wouldn’t be published now if I hadn’t!” Al says. Her debut novel, ‘The Keepers’ published by University of Queensland Press is out now.

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light the creative spark in 2022
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Australian Writers' Centre Team

22 ways to reinvent yourself in the New Year

Are you feeling keen to shake up your routine this year? Perhaps you’ve just been through a big life change? A new career, the end of a relationship, a move to a different city? Everyone goes through stages of life where you become a bit unsure about who you are

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Australian Writers' Centre Team

What was your favourite book you read in 2021?

One of the best ways to discover something new is through ‘word of mouth’ recommendations. It could be a bottle of wine, a movie, someone to clean your gutters or even something great to read. We know for a fact that our community has read a lot of books this

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5 writing courses to gift this Christmas Australian Writers' Centre
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Australian Writers' Centre Team

5 writing courses to gift this Christmas

Forget the designer notebook and expensive pen. This year, why not give the gift of creativity to the writer in your life with an Australian Writers’ Centre gift voucher? It’s ideal for an aspiring writer to take the next step with their creative interests, whatever they may be. Valid for

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Australian Writers' Centre Team

Freda Chiu combines her creative talents with debut picture book ‘A Trip to the Hospital’

Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books

“My heart was pounding hard in my chest and I felt so elated and relieved that my childhood dream was finally coming true!”

That’s how Freda Chiu describes the moment she found out that her debut picture book, A Trip to the Hospital, was going to be published by Allen & Unwin. Although she was a successful freelance artist and educator, Freda wasn’t sure she had the skills to write her own picture book. But after taking the Writing Picture Books course with the Australian Writers’ Centre, Freda was unstoppable.

“I loved how structured and practical the Writing Picture Books course was,” Freda says. “I learned more in the two days I was at the AWC than in the few years prior doing self-research.”

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