Lindy Alexander was working as a social worker two days a week when she decided to take the course in Magazine and Newspaper Writing at the Australian Writers’ Centre. She says it’s the single most important thing she’s done in her life to turn her dream of becoming a writer into reality.
At the time, she was also six months pregnant. “I’d always wanted to write. And I found the course and wanted to do it immediately,” she says.
Lindy hit the ground running and has now been published in a host of magazines and newspapers including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Sunday Life, Essential Kids, Essential Baby, Practical Parenting, Jetstar magazine, Stellar magazine, Dumbo Feather and Modern Farmer, an American publication.
The course fast-tracked Lindy’s career by 15 years
“I think one of the most valuable things that I got out of the course was I felt like I jumped a lot of years and a lot of steps very quickly in four or five weeks; that I’d got all this knowledge about how to break into this industry, how to pitch to editors, how to formulate your ideas and how to write up a story very quickly. And I think if I had done that by myself it would have taken me 10 or 15 years to harness that knowledge,” says Lindy.
It’s not just the skills she learnt in the course that Lindy found valuable. “The graduate community that exists has been such a fantastic support at recognising what people are doing.”
The Australian Writers’ Centre graduate community is a dynamic place where graduates help each other, providing information and support on opportunities available in the writing industry. “People are incredibly generous within that community and that’s been wonderful,” says Lindy.
Although Lindy’s course was only five weeks, it was packed with practical information about how to get into the industry. Lindy says: “It’s been a bit of a shock actually to have achieved what I have … So I’m not sure what the future holds really, but that’s quite exciting for me, just watching the landscape change at the moment and knowing that it’s possible.
“I think that’s the real thing that’s changed for me, knowing that whatever you want to do, if you want to be published, you can do it. If someone was thinking about the course I would say ‘go for it’. It has been probably the single most important thing in my life that I’ve done in terms of getting me from dreaming about being a writer to being a writer.”