I have been doing a lot of editing, and I needed a switch of focus from that to creativity and storytelling. This seemed like the perfect short course to extend that idea.
Cathie was great. Very astute and insightful, and has so much experience in the industry. I actually didn't expect to get as much as I did get out of the course. The information and feedback were both brilliant.
Do it: it's worth it for understanding what you actually have to do.
Cathie was very constructive and helpful. She pointed out things that I had never thought of or considered which was really valuable.
It inspired me to go to the CYA Conference in Brisbane. I had never heard of this conference before, and it was only after I read the success stories of the authors who had completed this course.
I would say that the AWC is extremely helpful and is an essential part of the writing process.
I enjoyed all of it! More, more, more please! I loved the weekly story task - they pushed us to keep growing and feedback was excellent. It was really important that it wasn't the same story. I loved the transparency of learning from everyone else and reading their feedback.
It was an excellent course - enlightening, humbling, inspiring and practical!
I have been writing and submitting for a long time but unsuccessfully. I wanted to learn and have guidance from experienced editors, to allow me to be a successful picture book author. I am confident that I will achieve that now, following Cathie's suggestions and advice.
Fantastic course. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning about the craft of writing picture books.
Cathie was great. All feedback was relevant to improving your writing skills and story.
I enjoyed listening to the weekly audio lesson and exercises to practice the information. Encouraged me to write more and put what I've learnt into practice.
Highly recommend to help improve your writing and make the journey more enjoyable.
Cathie was great and provided wonderful feedback and was honest and to the point. No holding back, which is what you need - honest feedback.
I enjoyed the assignments and getting feedback directly on them. It was also great to be able to ask questions both of Cathie, but also of the other students in the class.
Before, I was simply writing a story that came to my head. This was great for ideation, but I know now that these stories would never have had a chance of being published. They didn't have the right structure and lacked the required emotional beat. I have learned so much in this course that I can now apply to my stories to give them a fighting chance of being considered.
I'd say it is well worth the investment in time and money. There is so much gold in there that you'll come away overwhelmed with information... but in a good way!
I enjoyed Cathie's straightforward approach to feedback. She is very experienced so it was amazing to get such in-depth feedback.
There were many parts of the course I enjoyed but in particular, the way that the feedback was provided by video with Cathie outlining areas of improvement to my work.
It has given me the confidence to see that I have the ability to write and the tools to improve my writing. Now that I have completed this course and even though I have a long way to go, I have the ability to get better at it.
I would say that this course is a comprehensive foundation for someone wanting to learn how to develop their writing. The course contains in-depth information and a combination of videos, written material and video feedback from the tutor which makes learning more enjoyable. The recommended work needs to be done to get the most out of the course.
I've always enjoyed writing and when I was young wanted to be an author. I have been considering taking this course for a long time and am currently on maternity leave with my second child and decided I wanted to do something for myself and finally take the plunge.
I thought Cathie delivered very clear and helpful feedback. She was honest and kind in her delivery. The course content was well written and easy to understand.
The fact that the modules can be listened to make it so easy to get through the content so I was able to listen and re-listen to the modules whilst I was breastfeeding.
Now when I read a picture book with my kids, I always read the dedication because it makes me consider how much hard work has gone into writing the book. I'm a lot more conscious reading the language and analysing just plot points.
The fact that you listen to the modules makes the content more achievable to get through. The course is really practical and contains the perfect amount of content. The tutors are very established in your field and the way they deliver feedback to you makes you feel like you're on your way to achieving your writing dreams!
I really enjoyed the course and found Cathie to be a wonderful tutor with so much expertise.
I'm a retired teacher with grandchildren. I'm currently immersed in children's picture books and enjoy them. I needed a challenge. The course outline was enticing.
Having done a number of academic degrees in my past, I was pleased to see the rigour in the course design and the professional industry focus.
I gained a much greater appreciation of contemporary publishing in this genre. I was impressed with the very comprehensive information and detail provided. The realities of contemporary publishing were comprehensively explored and I really appreciated that.
The courses are intelligently designed, with a comprehensive coverage, and genuine professional insights into the industry. They give value for money. For me, the online option is gold. My health doesn't allow attending multiple conferences and courses as I have done in my more youthful past.
I'd completed several AWC courses and they were all amazing, so I knew - when I had an idea for a picture book - that I had to sign up for this course!
I wondered if it was really necessary to take the course as, after all, how hard could it be to write a children's book? I was wrong! There are many principles and lessons to learn to plan, structure and write a picture book. There is also a lot to learn about pitching your manuscript to publishers and the production processes involved, including the importance of trusting the illustrator to enhance your story through "show don't tell".
I really appreciated Cathie's voice of experience, and practical observations and advice, as a picture book editor and publisher, as well as a judge of prestigious picture book competitions.
Completing the assignments was my favourite part of the course... firing up the creative juices and trying to put myself into the mindset of the children and their gatekeepers.
Since completing the course, I can read published picture books more analytically, noting what works particularly well, gaining insights and greater confidence in my own writing as a result.
Whatever writing genre you're considering, don't hesitate signing up to an Australian Writers' Centre course. Just do it. You'll be so glad you did!
Thank you Cathie, Valerie and the team at the AWC. Your courses and podcasts are so enriching for aspiring authors!
Cathie provided constructive and insightful feedback. I felt supported throughout the whole process.
I feel invigorated about writing for children. I can see ideas everywhere - it's just about learning more about the 'craft' of writing.
This course offers lots of inspiration, and the module handouts are invaluable, and something I will refer to constantly.
Every aspect of this course served to motivate and support anyone who is interested in writing for children. I really enjoyed it. Thank you!
I appreciate the honest feedback to help improve my writing. I learned that you need to get the character to do something to create a good story and how you should show and not tell.
A good starting ground to launch your interest in writing.
I have been looking at classes with AWC for quite a while. I'd had a particularly bad day at work as a neonatal nurse and bought a laptop on the way home from work and signed up for this course by the time I went to bed that night. I started it with plans to write a book for my nephews for Christmas.
I was concerned I would be out of my depth. I am a nurse and have never studied any literature or early childhood courses, but the course exceeded my expectations.
Cathie is a fabulous tutor. Her feedback on the assignments has been invaluable and also encouraging.
I loved all of it - both the content and the assignments.
I am writing every day since starting this course. This course has helped me to develop my ideas into stories. It has shown me the importance of show don't tell in picture book writing.
The course is well thought out and easy to complete around other life commitments. The feedback you receive during the course is invaluable for your writing progress.
I knew I wanted to write a children's book; other than the idea, I didn't know where to start.
This course exceeded my expectations. Having actual tutor feedback on my writing was invaluable. She was very patient, very thorough, very quick!
I enjoyed completing my assignment, sitting on it, letting it rest, submitting on Sunday. Waiting for my next lessons, waiting for my Loom feedback session!
I am determined to continue with my journey to be a published author.
I have joined the Furious Fiction writing, I'm listening to your podcasts, I've joined your Facebook pages. I'm getting very involved and very excited! The AWC is a great spot to find a course to help in any aspect of writing that needs it.
I have always wanted to write children's books but felt stuck, so thought a course might help. This short course seemed good quality and covered the things I wanted to learn.
Jude is very knowledgeable on all aspects of what we covered - illustrating, writing and publishing. She was very down to earth and engaging. I really enjoyed seeing Jude's works in progress and comparing them to the final product. It made it feel more doable and not just a distant, unachievable dream.
I think I used to procrastinate writing because it seemed so unrealistic that I could actually create a book. But I feel motivated now and I feel like it's possible.
I already knew it in theory, but I really 'got' the idea that you have to draft and then refine, and keep going through that process, rather than starting and editing it before you have even finished a draft. I would end up being so put off by the thought of a publisher seeing my crappy draft that I would never finish anything!
People do this course for all kinds of reasons, but for me it helped me get unstuck. If you feel like you want to write a picture book but for whatever reason you just don't do it, then it's definitely worth doing this course.
Fantastic opportunity to learn the foundations of picture book writing from an expert. The Convent in Abbotsford was perfect.
Judith Rossell is a natural teacher. The group worked well together under her guidance. We shared out writing exercises and the feedback was incredibly constructive. It made me think about my stories in different ways. I learnt how to develop the story from different POVs and how to analyse and cut/tighten up my work. I would highly recommend enrolling in this course with Judith.
I now feel confident that I have the skills to put my work out there.
Don't hesitate to sign up. If you want to take your writing further, in a supportive learning environment, these courses are invaluable.
This course is very methodical and very comprehensive. Very easy to do online. I am pleased I finally made the leap to follow my dream.
Cathie was very supportive and encouraging. There is a lot to learn, but Cathie gave some good tips. I would like to meet her personally. One day, perhaps!
I enjoyed the challenge of self-discipline - doing the course each week helped with gaining momentum. Now that I have finished I want to invest more in my writing and in more courses.
More, More, More! I want to learn and do more. Thank you AWC! Your emails just keep coming and I knew one day, I would jump in! I am so glad I did. You make it seem easy, but you don't sugar coat it. I have a lot of work to do, but I know you are there for encouragement, support and ongoing learning opportunities.
I absolutely recommend AWC. You have a wide range of courses that suit so many. So accessible and flexible.
I was most impressed with the course and feedback. I enjoyed how the modules built on each other, linking to new material.
I have given myself the challenge to write daily and in a couple of months enrol in the picture book masterclass.
Just do it, you won't be disappointed.
Thanks to Cathie for all of her learnings and feedback. I have learnt so much and I'm extremely excited to continue on my writing journey. She was very specific even down to grammar which helped me immensely to finesse my writing.
I have learnt the structure of how to make an impact when writing a picture book. It has given me the confidence to continue writing and, after some more courses, to send out my manuscripts.
If you are considering doing the course, do it. It's great value for money and you learn so much.
The course was very informative and has given me the confidence and knowledge to work on my own drafts and hopefully submit them in the coming months.
Cathie's feedback was welcomed. It was clear to me how knowledgeable and established she is in the picture book world, and I was happy to take her comments on board.
I liked that it pushed me. I liked that there were two module tasks that made me come up with two manuscripts. I liked that within a relatively short period of time, following submission and feedback, I was able to come up with two manuscripts that I was happy with.
I am motivated to pursue this dream of having a published picture book.
Do it! If you have a passion for children's literature, give it a go.