Penny Beeston 1 week ago

I thrived on Cathie Tasker's encouragement, support, advice, and nudging in the direction of my dreams. Cathie provided the right mix of all of the above to challenge me to take feedback on board and to take big risks with my writing. When I started this course, I had no concept of the book I would end up writing. Where I tiptoed, Cathie urged me to charge; where I was timid, Cathie said, 'Be bold', and where I held back, Cathie said, 'Let go'. The growth and change in how I approach my writing now fuels me with energy, enthusiasm, courage and the self-belief that I will eventually become a published author. It's been such a wonderful journey, and Cathie has been a fabulous influence, tutor and guide.

Our group became very close over the twelve months as we read and provided feedback on each other's writing. We are vested in each other's stories, and we know each other's protagonists and antagonists and care about what happens in the plot. It was great to catch up with each other in ZOOM meetings with Cathie, where we could ask questions about the craft of writing. AWC hosted a Discord chat room, which was an open conversation and a great sounding board. We got to know each other on this informal channel and could drop in and let our peers know if we were having a moment of self-doubt or if our protagonist was being difficult to wrangle into a scene. The learning videos and support materials are next level - professional and such great resources for our writing now and into the future.

I tiptoed into the course with concerns about being a fish out of the water, and twelve months later, I emerged with a first draft of a novel I could not have written before the course. I am now confident I will be a published author at some stage in the future, and I confidently refer to myself as an emerging writer.

Enrol today! The 12-month WYN and any of the short courses will propel you toward your desire to become an author. In WYN, you become part of a writing community; you have access to writing peers and many resources, including live ZOOMs with past students of AWC who are now published authors.

The entire AWC team was amazing, supportive, accessible, and helpful throughout the WYN Course, and I give a particular shout-out to Valerie Khoo, CEO, and Nicole Beaton, Customer Support & Systems Manager.

Diana Hibberson 1 month ago

I thoroughly enjoyed the course and found it inspirational and motivating.

I love Pamela's vibrant personality and her enthusiasm. She was extremely helpful with her feedback.

The course itself helped develop a good routine for writing my m/s. I really enjoyed “meeting” fellow students and hearing their ideas and feedback on my m/s as well.

I have now finished my debut novel ( well, maybe I still have a few drafts to go) and am determined to be a published author!

If you've been thinking about writing at all, just do it! AWC has so many courses to choose from there is something to suit everyone, and it's affordable. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Just want to add a huge “thank you”. The worst part of finishing any of your courses is that I miss it all - the audio lessons, the submissions, the feedback. So I'll probably have to enrol in another course, won't I?

Rosie McMahon 1 month ago

I have learned a huge amount doing this course. It has inspired me to not only finish the novel I'm writing but seek out more about the whole industry and learning much more.

Pamela provided useful feedback throughout the course, where to focus and what might be some potential stumbling blocks. She is an experienced author with lots of knowledge and an amazing resource.

I enjoyed workshopping with other aspiring writers, and the fabulous information that helped me to learn an enormous amount about what goes into writing a novel.

I knew very little about writing a novel before doing this course. I can't tell you how much the learning has helped me to understand so much more. Writing a novel has got technique, skill, craft, and so much more than just having an idea about a story. It is about entertainment, the reader, their experience and connection. I knew this as a reader but not as a writer.

Do the AWC courses - you can't go wrong. You will learn so much.

Mike Cullen 2 months ago

I think this is the third time I've done the course and I always gain more insights and pick up new tips.

The group this time around was fantastic. So many interesting stories and a variety of life experiences that made the group feel like we were all working together to get to the same place.

Pamela was great. She always had answers to any questions we had, and she had an eye for a plot hole like no one else.

Reading the other people's work was a highlight. I also liked getting to know everyone. The most enjoyable thing, though, was probably the increased confidence I got.

The feedback and insights have made me more confident about my writing ability. I know when I hit on the right idea, it will all be able to be worked out.

I've recommended the AWC to several people over the years. I told them if they're serious about writing well they may as well learn from the best.

Thanks for having me back. It was a blast.

Carolyn Bourke 2 months ago

Pamela is amazingly knowledgeable in a huge range of subject areas as well as writing. The feedback was always based in Pamela's extensive experience and has been extremely helpful.

The other students were very supportive and encouraging. I enjoyed finding my people - others who are as interested in getting a good story written as I am.

I finished my first and second drafts and have a really good idea of what needs to happen in the third draft.

I learnt that I can actually write something that other people enjoy reading. It's hard to know until someone actually reads it...

If you are serious about learning to write better, willing to listen to feedback and want to hang out with some very interesting people - this is your course.

Renee Mangan 2 months ago

It was exactly what my manuscript and I needed!

I enjoy Pamela's forthrightness. Her honesty. Her curiosity. Her knowledge (seemingly endless!) and the interest she took in everyone's story, including mine.

Understanding structure and full scenes after the modules in this course has been a game changer. I will approach my next manuscript in a wildly different way!

Do it. It's an investment for yourself that you won't regret.

Dominic 2 months ago

The materials provided through the course did offer genuine value beyond what I had from a full bachelor's degree in creative writing.

I liked Pamela's attitude and approach right from the start. Throughout the course, she spoke to us like peers - there was no difference in talent between any of us, the only thing that set her apart was her experience.

I enjoyed discovering more about my writing habits - I'd never really committed to an extended project like this before, so I hadn't had the opportunity to find out what kinds of writing work for me. This course provided the opportunity to experiment, with guidance and suggestions for techniques I might want to try.

I think my manuscript would still be a handful of notes buried in an old hard drive if I hadn't taken a leap of faith and started this course. Now, whenever I get that little voice in my head saying, "you're not REALLY a writer", I can remind it that I'm 100,000 words closer to creating an actual book and have the tools I need to take it the rest of the way.

The information is valuable, the structure is practical, the explanations are clear, and the people are delightful. Two character-specific notes I received fundamentally changed the shape and direction of my novel, probably saving me two whole drafts of work.

Brigitte Kelle 3 months ago

I needed direction on how to progress my novel. Structure, discipline and deadlines. The course met my expectations, and my expectations were very high. I wanted it to dig me out of a very deep hole - and it did!

Bernadette was fantastic. For me, just the right kind of personality - having the authority of years of working in the industry but exuding a true love of books, writing and writers. Her advice was direct, practical, genuine and always kind. She made me feel I had something worthwhile to contribute and, further, that every writer in the course had something worthwhile to contribute. For some reason that dissolved a big defensive barrier in my brain - letting in a community of writers and letting myself out amongst them.

I discovered that I can write, that I deserve to write, that my novel is entertaining, to believe in myself, trust my ideas. And that there as so many writers out there just like me, writing away. I felt alone before, but now I know I'm part of a pod in a big ocean.

Two big takeaways: That having your drafts read by other writers/readers and getting their feedback is invaluable. And, that the first draft is simply 'writing the story', and then there is time and a process for turning the story into a novel after that.

Don't hesitate, just do it, your writing will improve. Life is short and novels take time to write.

Rose Costa 3 months ago

Write Your Novel made me feel like a writer. It was experiential not just information. The workshopping as well as working on my manuscript was a lot but it absolutely works in changing how you think about your manuscript.

I was amazed at the quality of the feedback from the group. Everyone put so much effort into it. Thank you Bernadette for all your hard work and hours reading and providing feedback. Know it was really appreciated.

When Bernadette gave me feedback that my manuscript 'reminds her why fiction is vital in our society-it can shine a light on real issues that we should think about and act on, in a way that's not threatening or dull, but manages to draw readers in.' I found this so motivating and grounding, it was exactly what I set out to do in the beginning.

I really liked the audios. I loved being part of a small group of new writers. The others in the course were so supportive and constructive. I really enjoyed workshopping and reading the different genres. I looked forward to the group's feedback and I've taken it on board as well as Bernadette's.

I loved the Zoom meetings. They made me feel like it wasn't just online. Discord was great. It helped to get to know the others in the group. I'm thrilled that our group has joined a new Discord chat. I love that we can stay in touch and keep supporting each other.

I enjoyed the tutorials. They were encouraging yet clear about what needed to be achieved. I've saved the great handouts and I'm sure I will be referring back to them regularly.

The course and its feedback have left me so clear about what I need to do in my next draft, much clearer than I thought I would be. And it's left me with the confidence that what I've written is good and can now be even better. Our group hasn't got to the point yet of the pitch or submitting our manuscripts to Jo Mackay but I'm very excited about the opportunity and will make sure my next draft is as cooked as I can make it.

Absolutely do the Write Your Novel course and create a world for your characters that you'll know is taking your manuscript on a journey of discovery. It's worth the time and financial commitment.

Linda Jackson 3 months ago

Bernadette was a great tutor and I found her feedback very helpful. The workshopping with other writers was also very good. We're all at different levels of capability and in different places in our writing journey so it works well that sometimes you are helping others and sometimes others are helping you.

Bernadette's feedback was timely and resonated with me. She is able to capture a number of different types of issues and help you to see them more clearly. She was very encouraging, knowledgeable and reliable.

Even though I've done this class before I was still learning new things and had a couple of great light bulb moments which have improved the quality of my writing.

I had a real light bulb moment around my work being overwritten and now understand what that looks like so I can avoid it! I now have an online community of other writing buddies to continue to workshop with - something I've been trying to get going for years.

I've done quite a few courses through the AWC over the last 5-6 years and I've learned so much. I finally feel like I know what I'm doing when I write fiction. I'm 52; it's never too late!

If you want to learn different tools and skills to write fiction and stay motivated to get it done, then AWC is for you!

Trish 4 months ago

I like that we have a live tutor. Self-driven courses don't work for me. I can download as much material as I like, doesn't mean I'll do anything with it.

Bernadette is always lovely. She's kind and thoughtful.

I feel really good about the manuscript I'm working on this year. I feel hopeful that I might actually get it to publication.

If you need a goal driven / deadline driven course, with feedback from fellow aspiring authors, and interested and empathetic tutors go with AWC.

April Whitehead 7 months ago

I wanted the structure and accountability to finish a full draft of my novel. I had completed Novel Writing Essentials previously and wanted to go more in depth to build my writing skills. The 12-month course was a good option for me, as I work full time. There was a good balance of audio modules, workshopping and accountability to manage my own writing schedule.

I enjoyed workshopping and building connections with other students. It's great to have new writer buddies to continue on this journey with. The course content has resources I'll come back to again and again as I keep writing.

As someone who's been trying to write a novel for about 10 years, this course is the thing that's actually got me there! A lot of work ahead in revisions, of course, but getting a whole draft down feels like such a big win.

If you're serious about your writing, you need to invest in yourself and your craft. I've done a number of AWC courses and got so much out of every one.

Thanks for a great course!

Cat Jones 7 months ago

The Write Your Novel 12-month course was worth every cent. I started the course with 50k of unpolished words, a vomit draft now that I look back on it. My aim was to add 30k more words, but instead, the course challenged and inspired me to punch up my writing at both the structure and line level. I ended up throwing away 40k of dreadful cliches, and adding 70k much better new words.

I needed the external accountability of regular submissions and other people's eyes on my work, in order to finish it. The tutor (Cathie Tasker) feedback on my excerpts was incredibly useful, but I learned just as much reading her feedback on other people's work, and giving feedback myself. Having three other people read my entire finished novel was added inspiration to complete it by the deadline.

The 12-month course gave me a bit of breathing space, but it's still a mountain of work to finish a novel. It was made much more fun by the friends made along the way. Everyone should write their first novel in this course. Can't recommend it highly enough.

My book is so much better. I am much more confident. I feel like a real writer.

Pat Jacobson 8 months ago

I honestly didn't expect to learn as much as I did, especially regarding novel structure.

I was rather nervous having Pamela as our tutor, given how accomplished she is as a published author. But she was warm and bubbly during the Zoom meetings and happy to answer any questions we might have. Her feedback was always direct and clear, and each time it made me take a huge step back from my writing to see it as it truly was, and what I then needed to do to improve it. Most of the time I felt like it was one step forward and ten steps back, but I've finished the course with something a thousand times better than what it was by following Pamela's advice.

I had no idea how technical the structure of a novel had to be in order to keep the tension rising, and the reader wanting to keep turning those pages. Of course when it was explained it all made perfect sense, but then adapting my own novel to suit was a whole new challenge!

Enrolling in the AWC courses has been such an invaluable learning experience. The weekly handouts and lessons guide you step by step through the writing process while you workshop with your fellow classmates, providing encouragement and feedback on their submissions, as well as receiving it on your own. Together with the feedback and guidance from the online tutor, you'll finish the course much more confident in your own writing ability, and with a wealth of knowledge to carry you on through the redrafting process.

Just a huge thank you to Pamela for all her support and guidance throughout this course.

Jane Newman 8 months ago

Pamela was 100%! Her feedback was astute and didn't beat about the bush. I learnt a great deal from listening to her feedback on other writers as well.

I enjoyed struggling through the same issues as everybody else and sharing in the learning process. Writing can be a lonely journey and I enjoyed being part of a cohort. I had to force myself to actually finish the manuscript instead of drifting on for longer and longer. I also realised how important writing was to me, and it has caused a major rethink in my life priorities.

Just do it! The investment will be worth it in overcoming procrastination and actually getting that book written, and along the way you'll learn the right way to go about it and avoid so many of the traps and pitfalls.

I love AWC! Thank you!

Shirlene Clark 8 months ago

I had completed Novel Writing Essentials and enjoyed the motivation provided from that course through tutor feedback and workshopping. I had made a decent start on my novel during that course and wanted to keep the momentum going so signed up for the Write Your Novel - 6 month program. As an inexperienced writer I wanted expert tuition and guidance to set me on the right path.

The expert tuition and guidance from Pamela meant the world to me. She provided moments of affirmation and encouragement sprinkled with the tough love only a respected mentor can provide. I know without a doubt that Pamela has had a lasting impression on me as a writer. The best teachers/mentors journey with you and help you be the best you can be.

I have always dreamt about being a writer. Now, I am a writer!

Don't overthink it. Don't procrastinate. If you want to be a writer, throw your heart and soul into a course with AWC. You won't regret it.

Jo Morgan 10 months ago

It was a great experience, with a lovely bunch of people and a really experienced tutor. Thank you very much for putting it together and I’ll return to AWC writing courses in future and recommend them to others.

I enjoyed the feedback, both giving and receiving. The full manuscript feedback at the end was exceptional, and I was very lucky to have a superb reading group.

Coming into the course, I had quite a lot of chapters written, but was still completely unsure about what kind of book it was. Cathie helped me enormously on that. During the course, I've also rewritten almost every chapter, and added new ones. Interestingly, the chapters that really resonated with my final reading group were the ones I've only written since joining the course, which indicates that I'm both on the right path with the decision to make it more personal, and that my writing has really improved in recent months. Also, while I'd shared the first few chapters with quite a few people, the other chapters had never been seen by a soul. So having these really comprehensive feedback rounds has been a wonderful experience that makes the idea of this thing being published one day feel a lot more real. Finally, it's been really great practice for me to build writing (or feedback) time into every week. It almost killed me as I was working on it on the train to work and in lunch breaks, but it was just such a valuable practice that now feels part of my life.

I would say do the year long course for the discipline of a regular writing practice, the great feedback (both giving and receiving) and the professional advice. You come out a better and more disciplined writer for it, and you meet lovely people along the way.

Megan Tudehope 10 months ago

I was glad I participated in the "Write Your Novel" course, because there was so much theory I didn't know and was able to apply this when redrafting.

The tutor was fantastic! Bernadette is so experienced in her field. She provided invaluable critical advice, while still being encouraging.

I enjoyed the interactions with Bernadette and other classmates. It was a talented and supportive bunch.

Do it! Worth every cent.

Ace Colhoun 10 months ago

Bernadette is a treasure. She gives clear feedback that can be immediately helpful, and gives long term advice about how to guide a writer on their journey. However, the best thing about Bernadette is that she is willing to change her mind. She advised against my number of point-of-view characters, but then said it was a good choice after reading the work. I agree 30 is too many.

I feel I can take a few steps back and move forward in a better direction with more confidence.

All of the online material is very helpful, and the guided feedback really sets you on the right path. They will not simply praise you, but honestly help you get it right.

Michelle Wills 10 months ago

The tutor was fabulous. She was honest and the feedback extremely valuable. I wish we had more time to pick her mind about the publishing world!

Overall, I really loved building up a relationship with the other students and sharing their stories. Personally, I was so excited I got so much of my novel completed. The most valuable thing was the feedback.

I have always loved writing, and always wanted to write a novel. Now I really want to call myself a writer. I think about writing all the time. I really want to publish, as I see it as the ultimate goal. I am now excited about a second novel I am planning to write. I am also considering courses in screen writing... just for fun!

Undertaking the AWC courses was the best decision I ever made. It gave me the confidence to write a novel. A dream I have had since I was a child. The support to reach my goal was there at every stage, and I am so grateful to be part of the graduate group of the Centre. I couldn't imagine any better structured course in writing.

I am sad the course is over. Our tutor was incredible, and I hope I have more contact with her in the future. I am excited that almost everyone from our group are staying in contact. I hope one day I get to have every one of their books on my shelf!

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