Master what you need to know to create a professional manuscript

This online course is ideal for: Fiction writers who want to ensure their writing is as polished as possible.

You will:
Master the art of punctuating dialogue correctly
Know how to avoid common formatting and style mistakes
Understand present, simple past and past perfect tense
Be confident you’re submitting a polished manuscript
Understand the right way to structure sentences

Fiction Essentials Grammar and Punctuation feature image
Where Starts Duration Presenter Price
Online Learn from anywhere at your convenience. On demand
Learn at your own pace
12 months Pamela Freeman $195

Overview of this course

More than just polishing your words

You have ideas, you’ve developed a great storyline – but you’re not a hundred per cent confident in your grammar and punctuation.

Perhaps you’re never sure where the apostrophe goes or how many commas you should have. Or the difference between simple past tense and past perfect tense.

You might think that publishers will fix your errors in grammar and punctuation. Well, yes – and no. While you don’t have to be an expert, it’s expected that you’ve reached a certain level of proficiency.

And, let’s face it, some publishers just won’t take your story seriously if your grammar and punctuation are not up to scratch.

So if you’re not quite sure you’ve nailed the grammar and punctuation in your fiction stories, this course is for you.

In this course, you’ll discover:

  • How to structure sentences correctly – and also when you can break the rules
  • The function of a subject, verb and object
  • The correct way to use phrases and clauses
  • When you should use colons, semi-colons, hyphens, em and en dashes, and more
  • What to do with run-on sentences and comma splices
  • The right way to use commas (most people get this wrong!)
  • How to ensure that you never misplace an apostrophe again
  • The correct conventions for punctuating dialogue in fiction
  • How to use the correct tense – every time

And much more!

At the end of this self-paced course, you will understand why your sentences may not have been grammatically correct, and have developed the skills to improve your writing – either in first draft or through editing.

Grammar and punctuation are not the heart of fiction – creativity, imagination and hard work are – but without them, your reader will be left confused, and the impact of your story will be lessened. (Not to mention that publishers and agents are simply not impressed by bad grammar and punctuation. They won’t take your story seriously.)

Don’t waste time second guessing your work. Fiction Essentials: Grammar and Punctuation is a resource you can turn to again and again whenever the grammar gremlins trip you up. It will provide you with life-long skills that you’ll use every day.

Note: This course focuses on grammar and punctuation techniques for fiction writers. If you want to improve your grammar and punctuation in a business context, we recommend Grammar and Punctuation Essentials and Professional Business Writing.

“It's a must for everyone – even just as a refresher on writing basics, it reminded
me to do simple things that make a huge difference.”

– Lauren Bolton

How our “self-paced courses” work

This is one of AWC’s 20+ “self-paced” online courses. But what does that mean? Allow us to explain:


Q: I already have fairly good grammar and punctuation skills. Will I learn anything new?
A: If you’re already a whiz at grammar and punctuation, great! However, if you’re not 100% confident that you are punctuating correctly (especially with dialogue), using tenses in the right way, and ensuring your grammar is spot on, then you want to acquire these skills. Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Your story may be awesome, but you don’t want publishers to be distracted by grammar and punctuation errors. Only a very patient publisher will overlook these things, while others will put you in the “too hard” basket. When you can polish your words, you give your story the best chance for success.

Q: Will there be any feedback, so I can tell if I’m getting things right?
A: You’ll be provided with comprehensive exercises and quizzes so that you can practice your newly acquired grammar and punctuation skills. Don’t worry, we’ll provide you with the answers! As this is a self-paced course, there is no one-on-one feedback.

Q: Will this course help me if I want to become a fiction copy editor?
A: If you want to pursue a career as a fiction copy editor, it’s expected that you would master the skills in the course at a minimum. So if you’re not confident that you have these skills, then this course is definitely a starting point.

Fresh learning is available right now. Transform your fiction writing by purchasing this self-paced course today!

Where Starts Duration Presenter Price
Online Learn from anywhere at your convenience. On demand
Learn at your own pace
12 months Pamela Freeman $195

About us

The Australian Writers’ Centre offers courses in creative writing, freelance writing, business writing, blogging and much more. Our practical and industry-proven courses will help you gain confidence and meet your goals faster!

Contact us

Phone: (02) 9929 0088
Head office: Suite 3, 55 Lavender Street, Milsons Point NSW 2061

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