AWC courses completed:
Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques
Ingrid’s tenacity and stubbornness to keep at it no matter how many rejections were thrown at her have paid off with the launch of her psychological thriller The New Girl published by HarperCollins imprint Avon Books UK.
Investing in skills
“I’d recently graduated university and was working full-time and living out of home for the first time. I’d written a couple of books at that stage, and there’d been some interest from agents, but I was unable to get much further than that. I knew from consistent feedback that I had some issues with plotting and pace, so I decided to invest some time in working on those skills.
“I also wanted to improve my writing skills, finish the book I was working on and make connections with other writers and people in the book biz. My ultimate goal was to land a publishing deal with a major publishing house.
“Taking an Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques course at the Australian Writers’ Centre helped me learn to look at my own work more critically and to let go of emotional attachments to parts that weren’t working. It’s still quite shocking to realise that’s happened now!”
It was during the course that Ingrid also met her critique partner/beta reader Sarah Epstein and says having the chance to critique and be critiqued by other writers proved the most valuable.
“Writing can be quite an isolating career so finding other like-minded people was pretty amazing and I ended up with the wonderful Sarah Epstein. We helped each and several years later after doing the course, we both got a publishing deal in the same year which was pretty cool.
“When I found out that I was being published I had a new baby just a few months old, and so I was juggling so many things. There was a lot of waiting with a lot of sleepless nights and not just because of the baby. I was lying there waiting for my phone to ping with emails from overseas. I think it was about 2am and my baby was sleeping so I was silently screaming!”
Writing is a craft
Ingrid highly recommends taking a reputable course that’s suited to your writing goals, whether you’re striving to get published or just want to finish that book you’ve been thinking about for years.
“Writing is a craft and, while some may be lucky enough to have a natural talent for it, ultimately I believe it can be taught. But you need to be open to criticism, and be prepared to look at your own work critically. Vanity will get you nowhere fast!
“Being published was a lifelong dream I was never able to let go of, no matter how many rejections were thrown at me! I’m so glad I was stubborn enough to keep at it.”
The New Girl is a gripping tale about a flat-share that goes horribly wrong. The book explores the dark depths of violent relationships, abuse and mental illness with a complex protagonist who finally turns her life around, but then realises that her closest ally might also be the most deadly.
What has the Australian Writers’ Centre done for Ingrid?
“Through the course at Australian Writers’ Centre, I changed the way I approach my writing and I learnt to reflect on my work critically. And I am now a published author.”
Congratulations Ingrid – we are looking forward to your next book.