Creative Writing Stage 1

Our popular course in storytelling and creativity

Creative Writing Stage 1 is ideal for writers of all levels who want to learn the secrets to writing compelling fiction.

You will:
Indulge your creativity
Learn the key skills needed to write engaging stories
Receive direct feedback on your own writing
Enjoy access to experts who are active in the industry
Unlock your storytelling potential!

“As a new writer I found the course perfect for me. It’s given me confidence to continue with my first novel. The course inspired and motivated me – and what you learn is invaluable. My writing improved considerably and my confidence levels increased too.”
– Deb Kelly, Creative Writing Stage 1 graduate

See more reviews
Key information
Key information:
This is an online course
Duration 1 This is an online course

Opens:
Monday 27 May 2024
Start any time during the week

Opens:
Monday 27 May 2024
Start any time during the week

Duration:
5 weeks
Allow 3–4 hours per week

Duration:
5 weeks
Allow 3–4 hours per week

Feedback:
Weekly

Feedback:
Weekly


$450

Creative Writing Stage 1 – an overview

This online course teaches you the foundation techniques needed to create compelling stories. By understanding and using these building blocks, you will become a better writer.

Lessons include:

  1. Creating compelling characters

    Discover how to master memorable characters, filling in their backstories and body language, appearance and other quirks to keep readers captivated. You’ll receive feedback on your characterisation and dialogue.

  2. Finding your narrative voice

    First person? Third person limited? Omniscient narrator? Explore the various types of points of view with which you can tell a story – they all have their advantages and disadvantages! You'll complete exercises and receive feedback on your narrative voice.

  3. How to create gripping scenes

    Scenes are the building blocks of stories, so learn the secrets of scene construction and editing – how to write descriptions that allow your readers to feel like they’re there. In this lesson you’ll create and receive feedback on an authentic scene that captures this.

  4. Building stories with form, structure and plot

    Learn how to apply simple techniques to stop your stories from unravelling and, instead, hold a structure that keeps reader interest high from start to finish. You'll explore the vital points of a narrative and receive feedback on writing in different points of view.

  5. Putting it all together

    Reveal a map through the wilderness of creative writing, with clear instructions for where to go to succeed in the next part of your writing journey. You'll receive feedback on a scene that incorporates all of the techniques you've mastered.

Watch this video to find out why you should enrol in this course now.

Enjoy the benefits of your online classroom

  • This course gives you access to your own online classroom, where you’ll be able to connect with other classmates and share your stories with each other in a supportive environment – with people who share your passion!
  • Your class also has its own online tutor – on hand and online for any questions you may have and to provide personal feedback on your work. Our tutors are experienced experts with years of knowledge to draw on. They’re your secret weapon!
  • Each Monday we’ll release a new learning module in the form of audio lessons, along with handouts and other resources. You can choose to save the audio and listen to it later – perhaps during your favourite walk or in the commute in the car. It’s up to you!
  • A fan of 9am starts? Easy. 2pm before the kids get home? Sure. 10pm? 5am? You choose the time and place that best suits your schedule. A practical weekly assignment (assessed by your tutor) will help you stay on track and gauge your progress along the way.

How does the online course work?

When you enrol:
  • You’ll receive login details to access your online course
  • Your course contains five weekly modules, each with audio lessons and handouts
  • Each week, you can submit a small assignment and receive feedback from your tutor
  • There are no set class times – complete each module when it suits you during the week
  • We suggest allowing 3-4 hours per week to complete each module and assignment
  • You can post questions and comments in the classroom and get to know your classmates
  • You’ll be able to enjoy access to the course for a full year – plenty of time to revisit your lessons and refresh your knowledge whenever you need.

3x monthly Zoom sessions with an award-winning author

Enjoy regular support and writing guidance – even after you've completed your five-week course.By joining Creative Writing Stage 1, you'll be eligible to attend The Write Direction live sessions. These are bonus classes held each month on Zoom, with award-winning author Pamela Freeman.
  • Connect with fellow classmates in real-time.
  • Receive Pamela's professional advice on how to pursue your specific writing goals.
  • Enjoy access to these bonus sessions for three months from your course start date.

The Write Direction is free to attend and exclusively for Creative Writing Stage 1 students.

Joanna completed Creative Writing Stage 1

“The course was the absolute nuts and bolts approach I was looking for. I loved the logical step-by-step approach to the craft of writing. It sounds strange but although I’d been a voracious reader all my life, I’d never stopped to consider how a book was actually written, or even that it was divided into a series of scenes with a defined structure. It’s obvious now, but at the time I thought I’d discovered radium!”

– Joanna Nell, now a published author, whose lead character for her debut novel The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village was developed in week 1 of her course…

Joanna has now also published The Great Escape From Woodlands Nursing Home and The Last Voyage of Mrs Henry Parker.

Samera Kamaleddine Graduate of Australian Writers' Centre, author of The Sideways Orbit of Evie Hart and Half My Luck

Megan White Graduate of Australian Writers' Centre, author of The Anatomy of Songs

Shankari Chandran Graduate of Australian Writers' Centre, and winner of 2023 Miles Franklin Literary Award

“Is this course for me?”

Creative Writing Stage 1 suits a wide range of people at various stages of life. These include:

Want to write a novel? It all starts here

If your goal is to write a novel, AWC offers three stages of creative support and guidance to help you get there. Creative Writing Stage 1 kicks things off – giving you a solid understanding of how to build your story. In Novel Writing Essentials and Write Your Novel, you will workshop your actual manuscript and take it from its beginnings to completion.

How to write your novel with AWC​

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: I'm totally new to all this. Is this the right course for me?
A: Absolutely! It's been designed to give you the foundation skills you need to start writing great fiction –  no previous experience required.

Q: I did creative writing a long time ago, but feel pretty rusty. Should I do this course?
A: Yes, we have a lot of people who complete Creative Writing Stage 1 to refresh their skills (and learn plenty of new things). It will provide you with the solid foundations for fiction writing – perfect preparation if you continue on with later courses.

Q: Do I need to have a story or book idea before I start?
A: Not at all. This course is about the fundamentals of fiction, common to all good stories. You'll learn the techniques that go into good storytelling and write small scenes each week to cement your skills.

Q: How many others will be in the class – and are they all experienced writers?
A: The online classroom is a supportive learning environment and we purposefully keep classes small to make everyone more comfortable (no more than approx 20 per class). Everyone is there to learn and no experience is necessary, so you don't need to worry about being out of your depth.

Q: How does the online tutored class work exactly?
A: Each Monday, a new course module will be made available. You can choose any time that week to go through it – there is no set class time. Through the online learning hub, you can chat to classmates and your online tutor and get feedback on your weekly assignments (due each Sunday night).

Q: I'm a busy parent and work full-time. Can I fit this in?
A: Most of our students are busy people just like you. This course is flexible so that all you need to find is a few extra hours in the week, not necessarily all at once. You've totally got this!

Q: This is Stage 1… So what is Stage 2?
A: Depending on your writing goals, we offer Writing Workout where you can complete exercises to strengthen your core skills over six fortnightly sessions. Or, if you're ready to dive into your own book, our ten-week Novel Writing Essentials course is ideal. Note that with both courses we recommend you've completed Creative Writing Stage 1 first.

Q: Which one is the creative side of the brain again? I'm always getting it wrong.
A: The right side is where the creative magic happens (but hey, the left is important too).

By the end of this course, you will have:

KNOWLEDGE:of all the important elements that work together to create engaging fiction.
CONFIDENCE:in your writing abilities and as a creative human being. Knowledge is powerful stuff!
INSPIRATION:from your online tutor, other classmates and the fabulous creative community. You’ll be buzzing with new ideas, techniques and insight into creating compelling fiction – that you can immediately apply to your own writing.
MOTIVATION:to pursue further writing goals such as short stories or to write the next great novel. You’ll also have the momentum to succeed, thanks to plenty of online resources and 12 months' access to all online course materials.

Reviews of Creative Writing Stage 1

“It's an extremely practical writing course, excellent understandable content and so much fun. I've remembered how much enjoyment I get from writing.”

Lisa Crane

“I enjoyed the connection with others doing the course and the fact we had a shared goal in mind. I now look at the world in a different way and look forward to writing every day. A great way of developing your writing skills on your own terms.”

Penny Flannery

“Creative Writing Stage 1 was the beginning of my writing career with all its valuable tools, tutors and feedback. Novels are a series of rich scenes with fleshed out characters in vivid settings. This course teaches you exactly that.”

Megan White, author of The Anatomy of Songs

“I think your course is brilliant and it has opened up an opportunity I would like to pursue. I have never really written anything in my life and I have always wanted to do this. It has only taken me about 20 years to work up the courage to have a go. So thanks.”

Peter Downs

Key information
Key information:
This is an online course
Duration 1 This is an online course

Opens:
Monday 27 May 2024
Start any time during the week

Opens:
Monday 27 May 2024
Start any time during the week

Duration:
5 weeks
Allow 3–4 hours per week

Duration:
5 weeks
Allow 3–4 hours per week

Feedback:
Weekly

Feedback:
Weekly


$450

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