Teenage Creative Writers’ Program is ideal for teenagers who love to write and want to discover the key skills for creating compelling stories.
Develop outstanding skills in character-building, description, structure and storytelling
Understand how to use a stimulus to develop an engrossing story
Receive feedback and guidance from an award-winning author on three pieces of writing
Learn creative techniques they can easily apply at school
Have fun exploring their imagination!
“My online tutor was wonderful. When she reviewed my writing and gave me her feedback, it was really positive and was the first feedback I’ve received from someone who is a professional in this field. When I showed the feedback to my mum, she had tears of pride for me. If you enrol in the Australian Writers’ Centre, I one hundred percent guarantee that you will not be disappointed.”
– Joshua, Teenage Creative Writers’ Program graduate
Whether your teen is a total novice or has already been writing for a while, the Teenage Creative Writers’ Program for budding authors is the ideal starting point on their road to creative development and skills building. They will learn how to kick-start the creative writing process, tap into their imagination and build a framework on which they can add memorable characters, plot, dialogue and more.
Paired with an award-winning author mentor, they will work one-on-one in a safe and secure environment, developing their skills and their understanding of the writing process.
Teenagers are founts of creativity and potential: all they need is help to harness that and channel it into amazing stories. Perhaps they are a budding author, seeking professional guidance in developing the skills which will propel them into their career. Or maybe they just want to have fun, and explore their creativity which is crucial to so many areas in both school and life.
Writing is an engrossing, exciting, and fulfilling activity. It builds on itself, so the satisfaction of creating pushes the writer to create more and more. But without guidance, new writers (adults included) can flounder, not satisfied with their work but not knowing why, or how to make it better. That’s why the Teenage Creative Writers’ Program is an emerging author’s secret weapon.
Jo Riccioni, author of young adult novel The Branded, is passionate about mentoring teenagers.
In the Teenage Creative Writers’ Program, teenagers work one-on-one with their mentor, an award-winning author. It’s the perfect program for passionate young writers eager to learn fiction techniques from an industry professional and receive personalised feedback on their writing along the way.
Whether they’re in Year 7 and just starting out, or in Year 12 and taking their writing more seriously, their mentor will help them develop their writing skills from their present level.
All high school students have to write stories – but the people teaching them are usually not professional writers. (Whereas art and music are typically taught by specialists…) The Teenage Creative Writers’ Program fills that gap.
This course is designed both for teens who just want to have fun and explore their creativity, and for those who want to improve their narrative writing for assignments and exams.
“The Teenage Creative Writers' Program taught me everything I was curious about in creative writing, including common tricks authors use to make their stories interesting and satisfying to read. The course has made me so much more confident in any creative writing I do and now I feel fully equipped to reach my goal of writing a young adult fiction book.”
Eden, Teenage Creative Writers' Program graduate
We take a craft-based approach, to help new writers think about their writing in a new way, using a deeper understanding of how writing really works from a practitioner’s point of view. And, of course, we’ll be giving lots of opportunities to practise those skills.
During the 10-week program, teens will be able develop their writing skills through optional exercises and assignments. The optional exercises can be done at any time – but taken together, in the right order, they will build the skills and the content which will help create a great story.
The Teenage Creative Writers’ Program includes processes professional writers use, and the kind of stimulus-based writing prompts used in exams. Students will be guided in how best to assess and respond to stimuli quickly in order to create imaginative and well-crafted stories.
Or, they can ignore these exercises and just let their imagination roam free!
Either way, they will gain both knowledge and practice in writing, and be guided by an award-winning author to find their true potential.
Participants will end up with a full gamut of writing tools and techniques at their fingertips. The audio programs, handouts and exercises will be downloadable, so can be revisited at any time during their writing career.
[Note: this course is not suitable for those writing poetry. But if there is a poet who needs mentoring, contact us and we may be able to help.]
How do students interact online?
Teenagers participating in the 10-week program will complete the weekly modules at their own pace and interact solely with their mentor, who has had a Working With Children check and has had significant experience teaching teens to write.
All of the teenager’s details are kept securely, and their work will not be shared with others. For teen protection reasons, this course does not have any opportunity for participants to interact with each other. Note that AWC staff who have Working With Children checks will have access to the course and may be on hand to answer any technical questions about how the platform works.
How does the online course work?
The online tutor-led course has ten modules, and we release one module each Monday of the course. Each module consists of audio lessons and handouts. There are no set class times – you can complete each module whenever it suits you.
In Modules 1, 5 and 10, the student is invited to complete a short assignment which is due by midnight Sunday (Sydney/Melbourne time) of that week. Your online mentor gives personalised feedback on each assignment submitted.
How much time should teens set aside to complete the program?
We suggest that 2-3 hours be set aside each week to complete the module, read the handouts and complete the assignment or exercises. Most writing activities can be completed in 30-60 minutes, except for the final short story. There are some exercises which have specifically been designed to match the 45 minutes high school students are often given to write a narrative in an exam.
Of course, teens may take more or less time on some exercises/assignments depending on their level of enthusiasm or the complexity of their story – one thing we know about budding authors is that once they start, it can be difficult to stop!
Do you need to log in at a set time each week?
Not at all. We all lead busy lives, so modules can be completed at any pace during the week. However each of the three assignments will have a due date and need to be submitted by the deadline. When these are submitted by the due date, the participant will receive their feedback from the mentor.
Will there be homework?
There will be three small assignments to complete during the 10-week course and the mentor provides the student with feedback for each one. We won’t hound the student about their assignments, and if your teen really does not want to submit their writing, that’s fine – it’s entirely up to them. However, they won’t receive the full benefit of the course if they miss receiving this valuable feedback from their mentor. The course also offers a series of optional exercises to help them build their writing skills. These exercises can be completed anytime and don’t include mentor feedback.
My child is 11/12 but loves to write. Can they do the course?
The Teenage Creative Writers’ Program has been specifically developed for teenage writers in high school. But we do have a great course designed for younger writers aged 9-14: Creative Writing Quest for Kids with children’s author Allison Tait.
My teen is 13/14 but they’re not a confident writer. Is this course suitable?
We have been very careful in constructing the course to make sure it’s suitable for a whole range of teenagers. Remember teens will be interacting only with their mentor, so there is no chance of feeling out of place with an advanced class. Our mentors have taught children of all ages, so a ‘young’ 13-year-old will be treated gently and appropriately. But, if you’re concerned, you may be interested in our other children’s writing course, Creative Writing Quest for Kids which is focused on storytelling for 9-14 year old writers.
My teen is 18/19. Are they too old for the course?
The course is aimed specifically at helping high school students, although the content of the course would be useful to any aged writer. If an 18/19 year-old wants to learn the fundamentals of fiction writing, we recommend they do our Creative Writing Stage 1 course which is the equivalent course for adults.
If your teen is still at school, and wants help with writing for their final exams, we would recommend this Teenage Creative Writers’ Program, as it has a number of exercises designed to help exam-style writing.
Can students write fan fiction?
Fan fiction is a wonderful way to develop the skills you need to write. Character, dialogue, setting, pace and structure, as well as editing. Many very successful authors (including our own Pamela Freeman) started out writing fan fic. Teens won’t be able to publish a fan story professionally, but it’s well worth them writing it. Apart from anything else, writing should be fun, and there’s nothing more fun than writing fan fic!
Are there further courses my teen can do?
We have a number of creative writing courses for students aged 17 years and over, designed to further hone their fiction writing skills. Some of these include the Fiction Essentials self-paced course which are targeted to different areas of storytelling, such as characters, dialogue, point of view and grammar and punctuation.