I was impressed by the structure of the course and the range of materials, authors referenced and links provided. Valerie Khoo's instructions were practical and realistic about the multimedia world children and YA are living in today. Hearing what publishers are looking for was invaluable.
I loved the Writing Picture Books course, and I wanted to learn more about writing for children and young adults to see where I fit and what ages I'd like to write for. This course was an excellent introduction to writing for these age groups.
Stephen has a quiet manner and definitely knows what he is talking about. Stephen's commentary on everyone's work was instructive and encouraging, and it made learning from mistakes a positive experience. Overall, I found Stephen to be an excellent tutor and I would definitely enrol in a course, knowing he was the tutor.
I enjoyed the challenge of writing scenarios for each assignment. I didn't have a draft manuscript or any ideas coming in, but I'm leaving with an idea for a YA novel that I'm currently working on.
If you love writing and are interested in learning your craft, I highly recommend the AWC. My writing is improving and I'm growing more confident as a writer.
I wished to challenge myself to do something new and I thought this course sounded interesting. Little did I realise how intricate writing for young adults is!
I had to make myself just enrol before I thought about it too much! I have a habit of leaving things for later and then thinking that it's not worth it. But with this course, I decided to do it, I enrolled and then I couldn't back out.
I must admit that I was a little taken aback when I first realised that submitting my weekly assignment was posting on a chat feed for all my classmates to read! That took a bit of courage. But once I found that confidence, it was lovely to read other people's work and get their feedback every week.
Suzanne was excellent. Her feedback was always insightful and greatly improved my writing.
I now understand how to plan a story. It's given me a structure to just start writing!
Thank you for this opportunity. Now to do something with it...
Suzanne was fantastic. Really knowledgeable and sweet. I liked everything about it and I enjoyed connecting with other writers.
Really practical advice that will steer you in the right direction.
I enjoyed finding the voice of a character and plotting in point form for the climax of a story. It gave me some new insights on how to proceed with other stories I have in mind.
Good feedback provided by Suzanne. She is always polite and respectful yet offers good insight and constructive advice. I learned more about my writing and how to improve it. I also learned from her discussion of my peers' posts.
I enjoyed Suzanne's feedback the most, along with my peers' comments. That feedback is crucial for developing as a writer. Having an established writer and tutor suggest improvements and point out strengths and what works is inspirational.
I enjoy the community aspect, which I can access whenever I have the time, day or night; right where I am, especially during this pandemic.
I wanted to know more about writing for children and young adults. All the other courses I have done through the AWC have been really helpful and great.
The course was invaluable. I liked everything about it and I enjoyed connecting with other writers. Suzanne was fantastic. Really knowledgeable and sweet.
I will have to rework my manuscript but it's doable and I have a bit more direction now.
I had seen some reviews online by past students, and I was attracted by their experiences through this course, having then published a book afterwards, which would be an absolute dream for me.
I had hesitations about whether I would have enough time to do the assignments and also complete the lessons, but I found it really easy to listen to the audio lessons when it suited me, and I found the assignments pleasantly challenging. Stephen's feedback was excellent and he really understood very well what needed to be improved and gave great ideas about the direction of each story.
Thank you so much for this fantastic course. I am so glad I found you!
I am a new author and have been looking for a course to help me be a more confident author of children's books. Now I feel like I have some extra insight into what stories appeal to children, the voice and perspective to use, and extra insights into how a story structure works in general.
Stephen Hart was an excellent tutor, with thoughtful feedback and a great insight into what we needed to improve, but also encouraging in his direction of where the story needs to go next.
The most enjoyable part of the course was the assignments, because that's where I was most challenged and also got to do what I love which is creating stories. Getting feedback was also a great bonus.
I feel more confident as a writer, and will definitely consider studying further a course in writing picture books in the future.
I think it's a really important step in gaining confidence as a writer to be well informed about what children's and YA books need to include in terms of story structure and arc, as well as the voice and perspective it is written in. Also, to connect with other writers and get feedback on your writing.
Thanks again, I really enjoyed this course! I look forward to the Zoom meeting tonight regarding publishing, and hope to join the Facebook group as well.
I wanted to get back into writing and I liked that it was online and at a reasonable price.
The tutor was excellent. Provided excellent, spot on feedback which really stretched my thinking and increased my knowledge. Thank you!
I enjoyed writing again! Reading others work also. It improved my confidence and taught me many things I didn't know.
It will give you amazing insight and knowledge about writing for children and young adults. Definitely recommend it!
The tutor's comments on my assignments were spot on each time. He was diplomatic but direct.
I enjoyed reading other students' works and having a deadline to work to.
The course has given me insight into story structure and into the specific nuances of writing for children and YA.
The course content is relevant and to the point. Do it!
I was interested in learning more about how to write for children, to learn more about how it is done, and to get feedback on some of my writing attempts. I was also keen to have a chance to flex my creative muscles again after letting them atrophy for many years while at home taking care of my young son.
It has been a long time since I have done any creative writing so I was worried that I might not be very good at it. And I was a little worried about submitting assignments each week when my skills might not be excellent. But since the course was online, that did make it a bit easier to submit writing without embarrassment.
The course was excellent and I learned a lot. It inspired me to start writing more regularly and to commit to carving out time to write.
The feedback Stephen gave me regarding my assignment on identifying the climax of my story was hugely helpful and gave me such a great insight into how to better structure this part of my story and other stories I might write. That was a real 'aha' moment for me.
I enjoyed it all. I loved learning about how to write for children, and I enjoyed sitting down to write the assignments and also getting feedback on how to improve my writing.
It has inspired me to sit down and actually write regularly, rather than just dreaming about maybe writing someday when I might eventually have the time and when I've come up with the perfect idea.
The course was fabulous. The content was great. It gave me lots of useful information about how to write for children, including structure and voice. And it was wonderful to be able to listen to the modules at any time that suited me, and to complete the small, manageable assignments in my own time. It was incredibly useful to get feedback on my writing. But for me, the best thing was, it forced me to actually sit down and start writing. For a long time, I've wanted to write but have been waiting to find the perfect idea, or have enough free time to do it. But life is so busy, there was never time. This course forced me to actually make time for writing and to just sit down and get started.
I though Suzanne was the perfect mix of encouragement whilst also finding something that needed improvement with each piece we submitted. It felt like her responses were thoughtful, like she cared about us getting the most we could out of the course.
I enjoyed getting feedback from such an amazing professional. I felt really lucky to have that guidance. Although I was scared about putting my work out there, I really enjoyed getting that feedback and seeing other people’s work and feedback too. Great learning experience.
After receiving Suzanne’s feedback there’s a fire lit in my belly. I believe with hard work that I can do this now. That I can write a book. It’s an incredible feeling.
Suzanne was great. The course work really made me examine my skills as a writer. I enjoyed the overall process of creating the characters and story. It helped me to hone the skills that I have and be willing to be open to change.
I've always been interested in children's fiction and was keen to learn more about how to write it myself.
My only concerns are time management; with a job, kids and other commitments, I was worried I wouldn't be able to dedicate the time it deserved, but I found it easy to fit in the lessons and assignments because they were short and reasonable.
Allison was helpful and approachable and answered questions in a timely fashion. She gave helpful, honest feedback and lots of suggestions.
I enjoyed listening to the lessons and feel like I learned so much from them.
The course has made me think about writing in a different way and to look at my scenes and characters from different angles, to consider what every gesture, word and reaction actually means in terms of character development and reveal. This has helped me to deepen my story and to really get to know my characters, even the minor ones. The way to consider an opening scene was also extremely helpful.
The Children's and YA course exceeded my expectations and provided me with tools and knowledge that I was able to put to use straight away. The feedback was incredibly helpful and highlighted my weak spots, allowing me to improve and work on those areas. I now feel as if I have the ability to finish my YA novel to a higher (hopefully publishable) standard than I did before. Thank you so much.
The Australian Writers' Centre offers courses, both tutored and online, that can help anyone achieve their goal of publication or better writing. They're reasonably priced, well thought-out and informative. Go for it!
Allison's feedback was very clear and also provided examples when needed. She was encouraging as well as helpful, acknowledging when we were on the right track, but making it clear when some element wasn't working.
I enjoyed reading the other classmate's assignments and feedback. We all had different voices and ideas. I feel they taught me a great deal.
I feel so much more confident with the basic elements, and now feel I know where to begin. 'One day' now feels like 'today' when I think about my manuscripts.
Thank you so much, I am off to do some of the other courses now! Addicted!
I didn't really know what to expect but was really impressed with the materials provided and the audio modules.
The tutor was excellent, with great feedback for everyone. She really did think about each person's piece and was able to give constructive feedback without it sounding patronising.
I loved how easy the portal was to access the resources and audio modules and also to submit assignments and chat to other students and the tutor. I also really like the little comments that come up each time you log in - just puts you in the right frame of mind to be creative.
It's fantastic! Even if you aren't intending to write the next bestseller, it opens your mind and gets the creative juices flowing!
I've always had an interest in children's stories and always dreamt of writing one, I've just never known the ins and outs of writing.
Allison has been excellent in how she has helped me really understand my strengths and weaknesses as a writer through her feedback. I felt it was a good mix of praise and constructive criticism, and anything Allison felt I needed work on she would go into detail about how I can fix it or simply make it better.
The course has shown me how to properly put together my ideas for stories, emphasised important details about writing that I felt I needed to understand and also given me confidence that writing, as challenging it can be, is something I'm capable of if I really put the effort in.
The course I completed helped me see things in my writing I wouldn't have even thought to look at, and I'm a better writer now than I was when I started.
I very much enjoyed working with Sue. I enjoyed the very helpful, practical recorded modules and the ability to be able to go back and review.
I have focused mostly on adult fiction to date, but am now looking at how I can split my time (and personality! Just kidding!) to write something manageable for children.
It’s an approachable, practical and hands-on course that is both motivating and hugely helpful.
I have been working on the same middle grade/YA novel during NaNoWriMo for several years and have got stuck. I wanted something specifically to give me skills/knowledge for the age group AND give myself a kick in the backside.
There were so many aspects to writing for children/YA that I hadn’t considered. I had many “lightbulb” moments doing the course.
Stephen’s feedback was extremely helpful. Seeing his feedback of other people’s writing as well as my own was useful. I started to see the things I was doing in the other students’ writing too, which helped me to recognise where I needed to improve my own.
Online learning is great for me because I’m in a rural location and can’t easily get to the city for courses. Also, being able to listen to the audio repeatedly helps to cement things for me.
The feedback provided was excellent and thought provoking. It was really helpful to hear comments on both my own work and that of other participants. Lots to reflect upon and to go back and review in future.
I enjoyed challenging myself weekly with an assignment, reading the assignments others submitted and hearing the feedback on all of our work.
It gave me a starting point and a structure and was the catalyst for setting out ideas for a first story.
I was thrilled with the understanding and emphasis on diversity and representation as well as the care taken with that which made it clear it wasn't a performative thing; it was a genuine recognition of what is needed in modern society.
I feel validated in what I've got and motivated to actually see it through for once!
AWC exceeded my expectations and I was very impressed with their vast knowledge in many areas and the care and thoughtfulness of what goes into their curriculum and feedback.
Pamela was a great tutor and provided a lot of insights.
I enjoyed getting feedback on my assignments - although daunting and nerve-wracking, it was really helpful for me to see where my strengths and weaknesses were.
The course helped me to see the children's books industry in a way I've never seen before, and removed my misconceptions.
I would say it is very informative, teachers are very helpful and the workshopping is invaluable.
I really looked forward to receiving feedback from my tutor, Stephen Hart, about the previous week's writing assignment. I looked forward to each week's new challenge. I also appreciated listening to and responding to the learning opportunities provided by the audio lessons.
Stephen Hart is a terrific tutor. I found him to be intelligent, knowledgeable, thoughtful and personable. Thank you, Stephen, l take on board your suggestions and appreciate your words of wisdom!
I believe the combination of the following worked really well for me:
- Combination of theory (audio tutorials) and practice (assignments)
- Learning in a supportive group of writers
- Provision of an expert tutor to provide weekly feedback.
I feel more confident to keep writing. I have resources to assist and don't feel isolated. Feedback from Stephen following the first week's writing assignment meant a lot to me. Thank you.
Take the opportunity to do this course! I felt really supported along the way and now have a sense of enrichment and confidence to follow my writing ambitions.
Thank you to the team at AWC. I appreciate your expertise in putting together this course.
The exercises were fun and the information about YA writing was invaluable. I feel I have gained more of an understanding about the differences between audiences of various ages.
Very helpful if you are serious about writing. It has helped me to be a more organised writer.
I was a bit concerned about time (juggling a baby and work) but found that the audio really helped with this and it was nice to have a reason to set time aside for the reading and assignments.
Allison was great - her feedback was always clear and helpful and she always offered suggestions or different directions to try.
It has pushed me back into a writing routine. It's a great way to learn new skills and get your writing on track.
I have been wanting to refine and improve my skill as a writer in this genre. I had no idea how little I knew, very grateful.
The tutor was honest and careful in reading our assessments. Very good.
I learned a lot about how important it is to keep up with the times when writing children’s literature.
I am interested in writing upper primary and YA novels and thought this would be a great and informative course to do. I have also completed Creative Writing Stage 1 so I knew that this would be a high-quality course.
Allison provided wonderful and helpful feedback for my written pieces. I think what I enjoyed most was interacting with others and getting a wide variety of perspectives.
This course has made me want to begin writing my novel. It was the push I needed. The AWC is a wonderful place where you not only learn, but gain invaluable feedback from actual writers!
The lessons were great and very engaging. I have done a year of creative writing at uni and I found this course much more practical.
It has helped me have the confidence to go on to one of the novel writing courses. Also helped understand more of the work of writing.
The AWC is a great place to start on your writing journey.
Allison's feedback felt insightful, fair and clear. Her experience was evident and impressive. The module podcasts were excellent and more in-depth than I expected. The assignments were fun.
It has given me the confidence to continue novel writing. I have more self-belief that - with further learning and experience - I will get there.
If you're serious about writing, you'll definitely come away from a course with new knowledge.
I've wanted to know about writing for middle grade and young adult readers. I thought having Allison as a tutor would be great.
It was wonderful to get constructive and encouraging feedback from a great tutor.
I enjoyed having fun with writing again. I've had a break for a few years. I've reconnected with my writing voice and my creativity.
I think the pacing was good. The fact that it wasn't an intense, time consuming course meant I had time to think about each exercise and take in the lectures.
The lectures are relevant for today's industry and the environment is very supportive.
I'm glad I could do this course during our harsh, Melbourne lock-down. It gave me a ray of hope and a guiding purpose in this difficult time :)
I am about to start writing my second middle grade novel and thought it would be a good idea to go into this one with a good sense of the fundamentals before I start... a bit of procrastination I know, but worthwhile.
I appreciated the course content, assignments, and the level of feedback Allison provided. Also the number of students felt right. I enjoyed reading everyone's assignments and learned so much from Allison's feedback on all. I appreciated Allison's feedback on my assignments and agreed with her feedback on all assignments throughout the course. In each instance, it reassured me that I am on track with my learning and writer’s journey.
I enjoyed reading everyone's assignments. There is so much talent in this group and everyone has such a unique voice. I looked forward to reading the assignments every week and will miss that the most. I also enjoyed reading Allison's feedback on all our assignments.
I will write my middle grade novel with a strategy in mind. I will finish it and edit the drafts. And ultimately I will save time with less revisions because I feel like I have a good handle on the fundamentals going into it.
I recommend AWC all the time. I always tell people it's a good idea to take a course from AWC before they get too far into their writing journey - it helps set the stage. I have done this for picture book writing and now I will recommend this one as well. I would like to thank Allison for being a wonderful tutor and also let her know that I appreciated her speedy feedback.
I enjoyed applying the content that I learned. It's taught me many things about writing and spurred me to persevere with a story.
Good chance to learn and gain momentum writing. Thanks! I'll probably see you again.
I thought the feedback provided by Pamela was very helpful. Listening to the feedback for all students, as opposed to just my own, gave me further insight that I think will be useful going forward.
It's nice knowing you are on the right path. The other students seemed to like the characters I am developing. You always have doubts when you are working in your own little bubble. Also knowing there are other people at the same point as me feels kind of nice.
This is the second course I have done and I'm sure I'll be back for more.
Sue is obviously very experienced and picks on one or two specific things that will make a difference to your work.
The content was all really relevant. Unlike some other courses I have done, there wasn't any content that I thought was not relevant to my current writing project.
It made me approach my first chapter completely differently. And gave me confidence that my character's voice was strong.
Being forced to re-write our first few paragraphs. I didn't think I needed to do it but after I did it, it made all the difference.
If you are considering a course with AWC, you should absolutely do it. Not only is the course content excellent, the online delivery is good, and the tutors are experienced in the field. The price is also very reasonable compared to other courses.
Great. And very efficient! Feedback was fast and clear.
The ability to listen to the audio file while reading along - or not. This made it flexible so I could multi-task while listening if I wanted to.
It's got me writing again by focusing on a specific task or technique - the idea of practising writing, rather than always writing for your project.
Give it a go. Very welcoming and fun, plus learn real skills. Thanks so much for a very enjoyable course. It's lovely to reconnect with this community again - will be hanging around :)