Learn from the best
With great courses comes great responsibility. Our amazing presenters not only possess truckloads of talent and experience, they're also great at sharing!
Meet them now.
Dr Pamela Freeman is the award-winning author of more than 35 books. Pamela has a doctorate in Creative Writing, is the director of creative writing at the Australian Writers’ Centre and has developed many highly regarded writing courses that have inspired and educated thousands of writers.
Her most recent book, published under the name of Pamela Hart, is The Charleston Scandal, which tells the story of young Australian actress Kit Scott as she gets caught up in intrigue and scandal on the stages of London's west end. In 2018, Pamela published her WWI historical novel, The Desert Nurse, which is set in Cairo and the Sinai, and in 2017 A Letter from Italy, a historical novel set at the height of World War I was released.
Kate Forsyth is the internationally bestselling author of 32 books, and has been published in 15 countries. She has been voted one of Australia's Favourite 25 Novelists 2013-2015 and has been called “one of the finest writers of this generation”.
Kate's most recent adult novel, Beauty in Thorns, a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty set amongst the wild bohemian circle of Pre-Raphaelite artists and poets, was published by Penguin Random House Books Australia in 2017. The fifth book in her children's fantasy adventure series, The Impossible Quest: Battle of the Heroes was released in 2015.
Cathie Tasker is a fiction editor with over 25 years’ experience. She has mentored many manuscripts to publication and guided and many motivated writers to develop their work.
Cathie works as a tutor for the Australian Writers’ Centre and in freelance editing and project management, notably for Magabala Books. She has worked as an editor and publisher with HarperCollins, Scholastic Australia and Koala Books. She also worked as Marketing Manager for Koala Books and as a Book Club Editor at Scholastic Australia. In her career, Cathie has edited and commissioned about 800 books, many of which went on to become bestsellers and win awards.
Judith Rossell is a full-time writer and illustrator of children's books. Over the past 15 years, she has written more than 10 books and illustrated more than 80. Her work has been translated into 16 languages.
Judith's latest books are Wakestone Hall, Wormwood Mire and Withering-by-Sea, three Victorian fantasy-adventure novels for young readers. Withering-by-Sea won the Indie Award for Children and Young Adults, the Australian Book Industry Award for Older Children, and was shortlisted for the Children's Book Council of Australia Awards and the Aurealis Awards.
Sue Whiting is the author of more than 60 books and has worked in the publishing industry for over 15 years. Sue's nature storybook, Platypus was a Notable Book in the 2016 Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Awards. Her junior novel Get a Grip, Cooper Jones was a Notable Book in the 2011 Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Awards, and her picture book, A Swim in the Sea, won Speech Pathologists Australia's 2014 Book of the Year.
Allison Tait is the internationally published bestselling author of seven middle-grade adventure novels.
Also known as A.L. Tait, Allison's latest book is The Fire Star: A Maven & Reeve Mystery published in 2020 by Penguin Australia. Her other children's book series are The Ateban Cipher (The Book of Secrets and The Book of Answers) and The Mapmaker Chronicles (Race to the End of the World, Prisoner of the Black Hawk, Breath of the Dragon, and Beyond the Edge of the Map). Her books have been shortlisted for numerous awards.
A multi-genre writer, teacher and speaker with many years’ experience in magazines, newspapers and online publishing, Allison is also the co-host of the popular So You Want To Be A Writer podcast.
Patti Miller has taught creative writing, with a particular focus on autobiographical writing, for more than 20 years. Her latest book Writing True Stories was published by Allen & Unwin in June 2017. She was included UQP's Reading the Landscape which was published in celebration of its 70th anniversary. Her latest Memoir Ransacking Paris was published by Penguin Books Australia in April 2015.
Candice Fox is the award-winning writer of Hush Hush her fourth book with iconic crime and thriller author James Patterson. Liar Liar, Fifty Fifty and her bestselling novel Never Never were also written with James Patterson. Described as “a brutal, action-packed and really hard-edged novel about a crime set in a FIFO mine in the outback,” Fifty fifty hit number 1 in the New York Times bestseller list and was released in 2016.
Crimson Lake is an edgy suspense novel published in 2017. Redemption Point is book two in the series (published in 2018) and her latest book, Gone by Midnight is number three in the series, published in 2019 by Penguin Random House Australia.
Angela Slatter's Verity Fassbinder supernatural crime series was published by Jo Fletcher Books/Hachette International, and she has recently signed a two-book deal with Titan UK for the gothic fantasies All These Murmuring Bones and Morwood.
She is also a master of short stories and has authored nine short story collections, including The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales, Sourdough and Other Stories, The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recounting, Black-Winged Angels, Winter Children and Other Chilling Tales and A Feast of Sorrows: Stories.
Nicole Hayes is an award-winning author of books for children and young adults. Her latest project, Little Legends, celebrates the great game of AFL, a sport that Nicole loves. She is also a writing instructor who has taught with the Australian Writers' Centre for more than eight years, as well as at universities, TAFEs and schools around Australia. She currently teaches Creative Writing at Deakin University and Sports Media at Swinburne.
Lisa Heidke is a Sydney-based author with six published novels. Her most recent novel was It Started with a Kiss.
Claudia's Big Break was listed in The Sydney Morning Herald as one of the Top 10 Australian Bestsellers. It was also a finalist in the Favourite Contemporary Romance category of the Australian Romance Readers Awards.
Lisa's other novels include Stella Makes Good, What Kate Did Next, Lucy Springer Gets Even and The Callahan Split.
Bronwyn Parry is an Australian author of seven novels. Her novels have been published in Australia, the UK, Germany and the Czech Republic and have won and been shortlisted for several major awards.
Bronwyn's novel Storm Clouds is the first romantic suspense novel to be shortlisted for the Davitt Awards for crime fiction by Australian women. Her novels Dark Country and Dead Heat were finalists in the Romance Writers of America RITA awards – the Oscars of romance writing – and in the Daphne du Maurier Awards. Her manuscript for her novel As Darkness Falls won a prestigious Golden Heart Award from the Romance Writers of America. Three of her novels have won the ARRA award for Favourite Romantic Suspense.
Zanni Louise is a CBCA long-listed author, with five published children's books, and another seven in production.
In Australia, Zanni is published with Scholastic, Walker Books, Hardie Grant Egmont and Five Mile. From 2018, Zanni's books will be found in 18 countries across the world, including the US, UK, China, Japan and Germany.
Zanni has years of experience, sharing her love of writing with kids and adults at festivals and writing colleges. She is passionate about helping writers create compelling stores and reach their writing goals.
Tim Harris is one of the most exciting children’s authors in Australia with several laugh-out-loud series for kids to his name, including Toffle Towers, Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables and Exploding Endings. The first book in the Exploding Endings series, Painted Dogs & Doom Cakes, was awarded Honour Book at the 2017 KOALAs. His second series, Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables, contains his trademark quirkiness, mixed with a touch of poignancy.
Natasha Lester is the award-winning author of five novels. Her latest, The Paris Seamstress, is set in the male-dominated world of 1940s New York fashion and begs the question, how much will a young Parisian seamstress sacrifice to make it? Her novel, Her Mother's Secret, is a story of love and ambition set in England and Manhattan between 1918 and 1939 and was released in March 2017 by Hachette Australia.
A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, set in the Jazz Age in New York, was released by Hachette Australia in 2016 after a bidding war between publishers. Her previous novels are If I Should Lose You (2012) and What is Left Over, After (2010).
Thriller author L.A. Larkin has been described by James Phelan as ‘a world-class thriller writer' and likened to Michael Crichton by The Guardian and Alistair MacLean by The Times. Her novel, Prey, reintroduces the feisty and resourceful investigative journalist Olivia Wolfe who was described by Sue Turnbull in The Age as “a new breed of female heroine bounding into the hitherto masculine preserve of the action thriller.”
Larkin is author of The Genesis Flaw, Thirst, and Devour, and also writes humorous mysteries as Louisa Bennet. She is a popular festival panellist and radio guest and was on the organising committee for the Ned Kelly Awards.
Bernadette Foley has worked as an editor and publisher for over 30 years, receiving the George Robertson Award for Service to the Australian Publishing Industry in 2015. She was a publisher of fiction and non-fiction for Hachette Australia for 10 years, working with such authors as William McInnes, Gabrielle Lord, Graeme Blundell, Lian Hearn, Inga Simpson and Pamela Freeman.
Annabel Smith is a Perth-based author with two published novels. Whisky Charlie Foxtrot was published by Fremantle Press in 2012. In the US, it was published in 2015 under the title Whiskey & Charlie where it sold in excess of 60,000 copies. Annabel's debut novel, A New Map of the Universe, was published by UWA Publishing in 2005.
Alexandra Spring is a journalist and editor. The former features director of Vogue Australia, her stories have appeared in Elle Australia, Guardian Australia, Sunday Life, InStyle Australia, Vogue UK, Vogue Girl, GQ Australia, The Walkley Magazine and Your Garden, as well as online for NRMA, Primped, The Hoopla and The Knot. She is currently Commercial Editor at Guardian Australia, working on the Discover Culture project.
Cindy MacDonald is deputy editor of The Saturday Paper, where she commissions and writes a range of features on news, books, lifestyle, social issues, the arts and more. Prior to this, she had a long career in journalism, including deputy editor at the award-winning Good Weekend magazine.
David Leser is an award-winning feature writer who has worked for The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, HQ, The Bulletin, Good Weekend, The Australian Women's Weekly, Vanity Fair, Newsweek and The Daily Beast. He is the author of Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing (2019, Allen & Unwin) and has also worked as a Washington and Jerusalem-based correspondent.
Bernadette Schwerdt has trained over 5,000 people in the art of writing words that sell. She is the author of the bestselling manual Writing For Profit.
She has a Bachelor of Business in Marketing and is an accredited MBTI and NLP practitioner. She was also an account director with advertising agency Wunderman Cato Johnson, and the marketing reporter on Channel 9's The Small Business Show. Currently, she's the producer and host of The Sydney Morning Herald's online video series, Secrets of Aussie Online Entrepreneurs, and her book of the same name was published by Wiley in May 2015.
She has trained individuals and teams from a wide range of companies including AMP, Red Cross, Coles, McDonalds, Australian Conservation Foundation, Médecins Sans Frontières, Scoopon and dozens of others.
Bernadette teaches Copywriting Essentials, How to Build a Successful Freelance Copywriting Business and SEO Copywriting.
Carli Ratcliff established and has led the UX writing team at Qantas for many years. She now also advises on UX digital content and best practice for clients including SBS OnDemand, and advises Adobe on the design of their ‘Writing for Voice' platform. Carli is an award-winning editor, journalist, digital content specialist and UX writer.
Sue White is a freelance features and travel writer whose stories have featured in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Vogue Australia, Travel + Leisure (Australia), Sun Herald Travel, Women's Health, Vogue Entertaining + Travel, CNN Traveller, the South China Morning Post, Good Health, various ABC outlets, Green Living, Green Lifestyle magazine and numerous other publications in both Australia and overseas.
Valerie Khoo is an award-winning feature writer who is also CEO of the Australian Writers’ Centre. She writes for a range of corporate and consumer publications and was previously a regular writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age for over 15 years. Valerie is also the author of seven books. Her latest books are So you want to be a writer (co-authored with Allison Tait) and Power Stories: The 8 Stories You MUST Tell to Build an Epic Business.
Kate Hennessy is a professional writer who splits her time between corporate writing, travel writing, journalism, editing and communications consulting.
As a travel writer, Kate's travel stories can be seen regularly in The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Vice/Noisey, The Saturday Paper, The Australian Financial Review (Life & Leisure), The Australian, The Wire, The Quietus, AWOL, Wellbeing Magazine, CEO Magazine, Get Lost Magazine, Marie Claire, A Hotel Life and more!
Deb Doyle is a consultant who runs three businesses: Editorial Training Services, Living Proof – Book Editing, and Draw On. She specialises in publication editing as well as in training company and government employees to improve their skills in grammar, punctuation, writing, editing, proofreading and plain English. She's conducted courses for AMP, Police NSW, the Productivity Commission, the RTA, and many other corporate and government entities in Sydney and Melbourne.
Michelle Guillemard is an award-winning freelance writer specialising in corporate training and communication. Her clients include insurers, government departments, not-for-profit organisations, tech companies, digital agencies, hospitals and healthcare groups.
Ky Chow has over a decade of journalism experience as a reporter for Australia's top news brands such as SBS, Sky News, the Australian Financial Review and the ABC. As a specialist in business and finance journalism, Ky can share how to write persuasively on business topics both simple and complex.
Kath Walters is a business writing trainer, journalist, feature writer, editor and book coach. Over her career at Fairfax Business Media and beyond, her stories appeared in the Australian Financial Review, Smart Company, Business Review Weekly, Business Spectator, Women's Agenda, ANZ Bluenotes and Company Director.
Dean Koorey is a freelance copywriter and Content Manager at the Australian Writers' Centre. He originally trained as a graphic designer before working as an Art Director for worldwide advertising agency Draft FCB in Auckland, New Zealand. While there, he helped create many award-winning campaigns for print, radio, online, billboards and television. (And played a lot of pool.)
Linda Diggle is an expert in self-publishing. She helps professionals, entrepreneurs, speakers, coaches and market leaders decode the complex world of self-publishing and bringing their book to market.
Julia Kuris works with self-published authors to create beautiful covers that sell! She is the founder of Sydney based design and branding studio designerbility.com.au. Julia has designed covers for some of Australia’s leading authors and entrepreneurs as well as designing covers for Finch Publishing, an independent publishing house based in Sydney. She regularly speaks and teaches about cover design and is passionate about helping authors connect with their readers.
Julia teaches Book Covers That Sell.
Kim Berry is a blogging veteran. She is a journalist by trade and writes about the environment for Thomson Reuters. She jumped on the blogging bandwagon in 2003 and settled in at allconsuming in 2006. She writes about her life in urban oblivion raising four boys, cooking all the time and trying to be fit by 40.
Nicole Avery is one of Australia's most popular parenting bloggers and was named one of Melbourne's most influential bloggers by The Age Melbourne Magazine.
Nicole's blog, Planning With Kids, focuses on organising the chaos of family life to make sure there is time for fun. Her book of the same name was published in 2011 by Wright Books (Wiley). She has also created several e-products, which are sold from the blog and has a top selling iPhone app.
James Roy is the author of 34 books. James's latest novel for children, One Thousand Hills (written with NoÃ«l Zihabamwe) won the Young People's Literature Award in May this year. It also won the Young People's History Prize at the NSW Premier's History Awards in 2016.
Previous titles include Miss Understood, Anonymity Jones and Edsel Grizzler: Rescue Mission. Captain Mack and Billy Mack's War both received Children's Book Council Honours, and Town received the 2008 NSW Premier's Award.
Stephen Hart's most recent publication was a middle-grade novel, The Lighthouse at Pelican Rock, a time-slip story set on the south coast of NSW, published by Eagle Books to great reviews.
He has just finished working on a musical adaptation of Pamela Freeman's children's classic Victor's Quest, for which he has written the songs.
His current writing project is a children's book about a boy who is trying to convince his parents to let him have a pet python.
Over the years, he has also been an archaeologist, university tutor, librarian, computer game programmer and musician. He is one of the world experts in the exceedingly obscure field of Edomite pottery, quite knowledgeable about 18th century Thieves' Cant and also plays the saxophone.
Pamela Cook is an author and teacher. She has had four novels published with Hachette Australia, Blackwattle Lake, Essie’s Way, Close To Home and The Crossroads and has also published her first independent title, Cross My Heart.
Pamela is an experienced tutor and has taught writing courses and workshops for the last 15 years. She is the co-host of two podcasts, Writes4Women and Writes4Festivals. She is a Writer Ambassador for Room To Read, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes literacy and gender equality in developing countries. When she’s not writing Pamela wastes as much time as possible riding Rio, her handsome quarter horse.
Margaret Morgan is an Australian author and script-writer. Her novel, The Second Cure, is a contemporary political thriller with a dash of speculative fiction published by Penguin Random House. It was shortlisted for a number of prizes, including the Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.
Margaret has written and script-edited many of Australia’s most beloved television dramas, including A Country Practice, G.P. and Water Rats. Her short fiction has been published in many literary journals, including Meanjin. Margaret collaborated with composer Andrew Ford on two chamber opera works and a song cycle. Their one-man-show, Night and Dreams: the death of Sigmund Freud, was performed to acclaim and full houses at the Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide arts festivals.
Having degrees in law, arts and science, Margaret has practised in criminal law, published research in genetics, has previously taught at university, and won an international popular science-writing award judged by Professor Richard Dawkins. She is currently writing a psychological crime thriller set in inner-West Sydney, rural NSW, the Yorkshire Dales and Orléans.
Suzanne O'Sullivan has been an editor and publisher for seventeen years, specialising in books for children and young adults.
She has worked in-house at Hachette, Walker Books and Scholastic. As a publisher, her credits include Jessica Townsend’s Nevermoor series, Rules of Summer and Cicada by Shaun Tan, The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon, A.L. Tait’s Mapmaker Chronicles series, Hark! It’s Me, Ruby Lee! by Lisa Shanahan and Binny, Mick Elliott’s Squidge Dibley series, and many others. Some of these books won awards, some became bestsellers, and some achieved the greatest success possible for a kids’ book: becoming a child’s favourite.
Amanda Hampson is a best-selling author of fiction and non-fiction books. Her six adult novels are published by Penguin Random House: The Olive Sisters, Two for the Road, The French Perfumer, The Yellow Villa, Sixty Summers and Lovebirds. Her books have been translated into German, Turkish, Slovenian, Czech and Italian and made into audio-books.