This could be you

Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books
Reinvent Yourself
Having completed a picture book manuscript, Rebecca turned to the Australian Writers' Centre. “I knew it was worth taking the time to workshop it a bit and, serendipitously, an AWC Writing Picture Books course was starting the following week. I took the leap and signed up straight away,” Rebecca says. That manuscript became Facing the Wave and it has now been published by Larrikin House. “I was very excited to be published from my first pitch and I know that the things I learned through the AWC helped me be as prepared as possible.”
Jeanette Stampone, author of picture book Shadow and the Girl
Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books
Presenting to Kids
When Janette Stampone came across AWC's Writing Picture Books course, she was intrigued. She was on maternity leave and felt like the right time to take her writing seriously. “Enrolling on the course meant I had actually invested in myself and my dream,” Jeanette says. “While I was taking the course, I felt a strong sense of ‘this is what I should be doing’." Jeanette’s decision to invest in herself paid off and she can now call herself a published author. Her debut picture book Shadow and the Girl has been released by Red Paper Kite with illustrations by Demelsa Haughton.
Author Al Campbell
Courses taken at AWC:
Creative Writing Stage 1
Novel Writing Essentials
Write Your Novel
Fiction Mentorship
Inside Publishing: What You Need to Know to Get Published
Al Campbell knew she needed a creative outlet to balance her full-time responsibilities as a mother and carer. She enrolled in a creative writing course at AWC – and then another and another. "Enrolling in those AWC courses made all the difference in the world, the best thing I ever did – I wouldn't be published now if I hadn't!" Al says. Her debut novel, 'The Keepers' published by University of Queensland Press is out now.
Courses taken at AWC:
Writing Picture Books
Textile designer Sarah Jane Lightfoot was determined to be a published children's author and after creating a calendar based on a story idea, she was delighted to get a contract for a picture book with Affirm Press! But with the contract also came the doubt that she didn't quite know what she was doing. "I enrolled in the Writing Picture Books course to learn as much as I could about the industry I was entering and build on my confidence and capabilities as an author. I'm so incredibly grateful that I did." With her newfound skills, Sarah went on to publish her debut picture book 'Down the Road, Little Bee'.
Courses taken at AWC:
Writing Picture Books
Writing Picture Books Masterclass
Writing Chapter Books for 6-9 year olds
When Jacinta Froud came across the Writing Picture Books course at AWC, she jumped at the chance to learn the practical storytelling skills for children's fiction. "I loved the fact that it was online, self-paced and that I could complete the course around my family commitments," Jacinta says. "I made connections with the lovely writing community and more recently I secured a publishing deal with the amazing Larrikin House." Jacinta's debut picture book Jingle Belly will be published by Larrikin House in November 2021, with illustrations by Gabriella Petruso.
Courses taken at AWC: 
Novel Writing Essentials
The Story Doctor
Although he had a successful career as a freelance journalist, Gary turned to the Australian Writers' Centre to help hone his craft in writing fiction and creative non-fiction. The result is his first book, The Psychic Tests: An Adventure In The World Of Believers and Sceptics, published by Pantera Press. "The AWC was such a key part of that: meeting other writers, access to those who'd done it, the community that forms around those taking a course. Writing can be such a solitary pursuit for a gregarious, garrulous person like me! The AWC was the antidote to that."
Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books
"My heart was pounding hard in my chest and I felt so elated and relieved that my childhood dream was finally coming true!" That's how Freda Chiu describes the moment she found out that her debut picture book, A Trip to the Hospital, was going to be published by Allen & Unwin. Although she was a successful freelance artist and educator, Freda wasn't sure she had the skills to write her own picture book. But after taking the Writing Picture Books course with the Australian Writers' Centre, Freda was unstoppable. "I loved how structured and practical the Writing Picture Books course was," Freda says. "I learned more in the two days I was at the AWC than in the few years prior doing self-research."
Courses taken at AWC: 
Reinvent Yourself
Freelance Writing Stage 1
Build Your Author Platform
2 Hours to Scrivener Power
As a budding writer, Fiona Murphy had a slew of writing ideas, but felt she lacked the confidence and skills to make them come to life. After taking a few freelance writing courses with the Australian Writers' Centre, something clicked and she started successfully pitching stories. That momentum led to the start of her career as an essayist and has culminated in the release of her memoir The Shape of Sound, published by Text Publishing in March 2021. "Signing the contract was an out-of-body experience—it was both thrilling and terrifying! It took weeks for it to sink in."
Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books
Congratulations to AWC graduate Bec Nanayakkara who has landed a publishing deal for her debut picture book – which is based on an idea she workshopped in our Writing Picture Books course with tutor Zanni Louise just a year ago! "I wrote a story for one of the assignments, and soon after the course, I polished it up and submitted it to Affirm Press. It was my first picture book submission to a publisher," Bec told us. "Six months later they got in touch, and I have just signed a contract with them. They will be turning my manuscript into a real live story book in 2023!"
Courses taken at AWC: 
Creative Non-fiction
With an outline for her book, Anika secured a contract with Pan MacMillan to write about her experiences of climate change as a scientist and farmer. But after months of writing, she knew she needed some expert advice to shape her thoughts into a coherent book. She enrolled in the Australian Writers' Centre's Creative Non-fiction course. "As I worked my way through the course, I began to feel more confident as a writer. And once I completed the course, I was so eager to dive back into my manuscript and apply all my new learnings." Anika's debut book Our Sunburnt Country is out now with Pan Macmillan.
Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books
When Sandhya Parappukkaran quit her food technology job to pursue her creative dreams, she originally turned to arts and crafts. But while reading with her son, Sandhya's childhood love of books was rekindled. After completing the Writing Picture Books course, her debut picture book The Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name has been published by Hardie Grant Children's Publishing.
Courses taken at AWC: 
Write Your Novel
Writing Picture Books
Whenever Rebekah Campbell told people the story of how she met her husband, they would lean in and ask for more. That's when she knew she had to write a book about her three-year search for love. So when she saw the Write Your Novel six-month program at the Australian Writers' Centre, she felt it was the push she needed to write the book she'd been putting off for years. Doing the course paid off. Rebekah's book 138 Dates has now been published by Allen & Unwin.
Courses taken at AWC: 
Life Writing
Pitch Your Novel: How to Attract Agents and Publishers
Retiring from corporate life was the perfect opportunity for Gabriella Kelly-Davies to pursue her passion for biography. After completing Patti Miller's popular Life Writing course at the Australian Writers' Centre, Gabriella went on to write the biography of Professor Michael Cousins AO, a trailblazing Australian pain medicine pioneer. Gabriella then followed on with the Pitch Your Novel: How to Attract Agents and Publishers course to learn how to get the book published. "I followed AWC's advice to the letter, attracting a publisher within weeks," Gabriella says. Her debut biography Breaking Through the Pain Barrier: The Extraordinary Life of Dr Michael J. Cousins has now been published by Hawkeye Publishing.
Courses taken at AWC: 
Travel Writing
Creative Writing Stage 1
Novel Writing Essentials
After taking several courses at the Australian Writers' Centre, CJ gained the confidence to write a book about her experiences of living in Japan and the cats she met along the way. "These courses provided me with the skills I needed to develop my writing further and to meet like-minded people, so we could grow and nurture our creativity together," CJ says. CJ's uplifting memoir The Cat with Three Passports is out now with Silver Vine Press, and it was an award-winning finalist in the Animals/Pets: Narrative Non-Fiction category of the 2021 International Book Awards.
Courses taken at AWC: 
Reinvent Yourself
Laugh Out Loud
Writing Picture Books
Craig Sheather is a freelance writer and journalist specialising in the great outdoors. But when travel restrictions limited his writing opportunities, he decided to reinvent himself – taking the Reinvent Yourself course at the Australian Writers' Centre. Feeling inspired, he went on to do two courses for writing for kids: Writing Picture Books and Laugh Out Loud. Craig has now published his debut picture book The Incredible True Story of Sparky the Wonder Puppy, about a puppy who survived the bushfires.
Courses taken at AWC: 
Novel Writing Essentials
Graci Kim has worked as a diplomat, cooking show host and even made kids toys – but it was when she sat down to reread her favourite childhood novels that she discovered her passion. "It hit me – none of the books I read and treasured as a child had people like me in them. All the books I'd loved were about white people. I had been invisible on the page my whole life," Graci says. She signed up for a course at the Australian Writers' Centre and started writing books about Korean diaspora kids having magical adventures. Graci's debut middle-grade novel, The Last Fallen Star, has now been published by Disney Hyperion (Rick Riordan Presents) and the trilogy has been optioned by the Disney Channel for a live action television series.
Courses taken at AWC: 
Write Your Novel
Plotting and Planning
How to Write for Children and Young Adults
Build Your Author Platform
Novel Writing Essentials
Freelance Writing Stage 1
Sam Buckerfield knew he wanted to make a career out of writing, but he was initially held back by his own self-doubts. "Although I was ambitious, I didn't know for certain that I had the seeds of an author in me," he says. That was until presenter Pamela Freeman invited him to join the Write Your Novel program at the Australian Writers' Centre. "It was in that very moment that I felt believed in by a professional," Sam says. "And I, in turn, believed that I had the capacity to be a published author." Sam's first published book is Generation Alpha, co-authored with Mark McCrindle and Ashley Fell, and it is out now with Hachette Australia.
Courses taken at AWC: 
Life Writing
Write Your Novel
Write Your Novel Masterclass
Self-publish your Novel on Kindle
Writing and publishing a memoir was never going to be easy for Sandie Jessamine. Living with borderline personality disorder meant that she could be one person at the start of a sentence and another by the end. Having suffered trauma, abuse and devastating loss, Sandie wanted to write her story to help her process her past. She turned to the AWC to give her the structure she needed. "I turned into a writer," Sandie says about the period that followed her decision to enrol in the Write Your Novel program with Pamela Freeman. "During Pamela's course, I put all my attention and energy into completing a draft novel. The writing gave me a safe space to retreat into away from the emotional pain but eventually I began to write within the pain until the pain was writing itself" Her extraordinary story, Borderline, has now been published by Bad Apple Press..
Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books
Writing Chapter Books for 6-9 year olds
Build Your Author Platform
MOJO MONTH
Never in a million years did Amy Adeney think that she would be a published author one day. She had a varied career as a fitness instructor, PR executive, and primary school teacher before finally discovering her creative side. She has now published seven books for children – and it all started with a writing exercise during a course at the Australian Writers' Centre. "My debut picture book, Turning Cartwheels (EK Books, 2021), actually began its life as an exercise in the AWC Writing Picture Books course!" Amy says. Her tutor, Cathie Tasker, provided Amy with feedback that made her realise that her story idea had potential. "Cathie's feedback became part of my pitch for the book, and even formed the basis of the book's description in the EK Books catalogue."
Courses taken at AWC: 
Creative Non-fiction
Creative Writing Stage 1
Fiction Essentials: Characters
2 Hours to Scrivener Power
Make Time to Write
Inda Ahmad Zahri likes to keep busy. As a working surgeon with a young family, she can now add 'published author' to her repertoire of achievements with the publication of her debut picture book Salih, out now with Ford Street Publishing. "I've wanted to be a published author since I was a little girl with my nose stuck in a book for most of the day (and night!). Writing was always an outlet for me," Inda says.  Inda is a self-confessed course junkie and knew that she would need structure, deadlines, and the best training available to make her publishing dreams come true. That's why she turned to the Australian Writers' Centre for its creative writing courses and community.
Courses taken at AWC:
History, Mystery and Magic
How to Write for Children and Young Adults
Pitch Your Novel: How to Attract Agents and Publishers
Laugh Out Loud
Explaining Australia's federal voting system seems like strange inspiration for a picture book – but that's exactly what Krys Saclier did for her second book Vote 4 Me, illustrated by Cathy Wilcox, and published through Wild Dog Books. Krys is a graduate of several AWC courses, including History, Mystery and Magic, How to Write for Children and Young Adults, and Pitch Your Novel: How to Attract Agents and Publishers. Her debut picture book, Super Nova, was published in 2019 through Ford Street Publishing with illustrations by Rebecca Timmis.
Courses taken at AWC: 
Write Your Novel
Build Your Author Platform
Enrolling in the Write Your Novel program was just the push that Theresa Miller needed to finish the draft of her first fiction manuscript. There's nothing like a deadline to motivate you to finish a project! That book, The Spin Doctor's Wife, is out now through Critical Mass.  "The Write Your Novel program helped me finish and publish my novel – which is something I've wanted to do since I learned to read," Theresa says. "[The program] had a huge impact!"
Courses taken at AWC:
Life Writing
Plotting and Planning
Fiction Essentials: Characters
Nicole Webb was a trained journalist and newsreader, with a wealth of writing talent. But when she sat down to write her memoir of life in China, she knew she needed to learn and utilise a whole new set of skills. After taking three courses at the Australian Writers' Centre, doing hundreds of interviews, writing thousands of words, and doing many rewrites, her debut China Blonde is out now with Brio Books. "Without doing those courses, I really don't think I would have had the knowledge or know-how to start a book properly, let alone finish a book," Nicole says.
Courses taken at AWC:
Writing Picture Books
James Antoniou was in the middle of a haphazard gap year when he decided to enrol in Writing Picture Books at the Australian Writers' Centre. He had always wanted to be a published author, had studied English at Oxford, and was ready to launch his writing career. But it was the course at the AWC that gave James the practical tools he needed to finish his manuscript. 
AWC courses completed:
Anatomy of a Crime: How to Write About Murder
Build Your Author Platform
Sonya Bates was a speech pathologist who dabbled in writing on the side. But when she had the idea for her thriller Inheritance of Secrets, she knew it was time to take her writing seriously. She signed up for the Anatomy of a Crime: How to Write About Murder course at the Australian Writers' Centre to get the skills and confidence she needed. Sonya is now proud to call herself an author with her debut adult novel, Inheritance of Secrets, out now through HarperCollins.
AWC courses completed:
Writing Picture Books
Writing Picture Books Masterclass
How to Write for Children and Young Adults
Build Your Author Platform
As a mum and a primary school teacher, Brooke Graham knew the value of good children's books. Reading to kids was one of the most enjoyable parts of her job. Then after completing the Writing Picture Books course at the Australian Writers' Centre, Brooke became hooked on writing and was determined to write her own. Her debut picture book Go Away, Worry Monster! has now been published by EK Books.
AWC courses completed:
Writing Picture Books
Creative Writing Stage 1
Sitting in darkness feeding her newborn daughter each night, Felicity McVay began to dream up the character of a boy who loves to burp. After taking two courses at the Australian Writers' Centre – Writing Picture Books and Creative Writing Stage 1 – Felicity is now a published author, with her picture book The Boy Who Burped released by New Holland Publishers. "I feel a great thrill when I tell people that I'm a writer," Felicity says. "The courses at AWC gave me a sense of legitimacy."
After more than 20 years as a solicitor and legal academic, Penelope Janu thought it was high time she finally followed her creative impulses. She completed a short course at the Australian Writers’ Centre (AWC), which gave her the confidence to pursue a creative writing degree – and led to her first novel, In at the Deep End, being accepted for publication. She has since gone on to publish several more popular romance novels.
Courses taken at AWC:
Write Your Novel program
Freelance Writing Stage 1
Writing for the Web and Mobile
2 Hours to Scrivener Power
Build Your Author Platform
Sarah Clutton never thought she had the staying power to write a novel – two published books later, she's proven herself wrong, and says she'd couldn't have done it without the Australian Writers' Centre. Sarah's debut novel, Good Little Liars, was published by Hachette UK imprint Bookouture in 2019; Bookouture also published her second novel, The Daughter's Promise in 2020, and she's now working on her third novel.
Although Sandie Docker always imagined she would be published one day, she knew it required a lot of self-belief and determination. But after studying at the Australian Writers' Centre, Sandie finally found the confidence and passion to keep going until she reached her dream of becoming a women's fiction author. She has now published three books with Penguin, including The Kookaburra Creek Cafe, The Cottage At Rosella Cove, and The Banksia Bay Beach Shack.
AWC courses completed:
Writing Picture Books
Fiction Essentials: Characters
Stef Gemmill used the few minutes she had each morning before her family woke up to work on her creative writing. With a background in music journalism, Stef was no slouch at writing, but knew that she needed guidance to really hone her picture book manuscripts. After signing up for the Australian Writers’ Centre’s Writing Picture Books course, Stef got the valuable feedback she was looking for. Her first picture book, A Home for Luna, has now been published by New Frontier Publishing and it won the 2020 International Rubery Book Award (children's category).
Courses taken at AWC:
Crime and Thriller Writing
Write Your Novel
Anatomy of a Crime: How to Write About Murder
Make Time to Write / Creative Writing 30-day Bootcamp
Petronella McGovern came to the Australian Writers' Centre hoping to prioritise her fiction writing. She had always wanted to publish a novel but was struggling to find the time and motivation to keep writing. Now, her debut novel Six Minutes has just been published by Allen & Unwin, and she spends her mornings writing fiction, working on her next novel.
Courses taken at AWC:
Popular Women's Fiction>
Build Your Author Platform
2 Hours to Scrivener Power
Self-publish Your Novel on Kindle
When Kaneana May, a stay-at-home mother living in regional NSW, took a trip to Sydney to do Popular Women's Fiction with the Australian Writers' Centre she came away inspired, motivated with new ideas and a new direction. Today she is a published author and her debut novel The One, published by Harlequin hit the bookshelves in July 2019.
Courses taken at AWC:
Creative Writing Stage 1
Novel Writing Essentials
History, Mystery and Magic
Blogging for Beginners
Astrid Scholte had always hoped to be published. In fact, she had the lofty goal of being published before she was 18. “I was a little ambitious! While it took me a lot longer I’m so happy to have achieved this dream of mine. I cannot wait to hold my book Four Dead Queens in my hands early next year, I’m sure there will be plenty of tears!” says Astrid.
Shankari Chandran The Barrier Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens
When Shankari Chandran took time out of her career as a lawyer to have her fourth child, she turned her hand to writing in between baby feeds and family demands. This pastime has turned into a new career and Shankari has now released her first novel The Barrier, a futuristic fast-paced thriller that has been compared to the works of Michael Crichton and Matthew Reilly.
It wasn’t so long ago that Sydney mum Penny Morrison would have laughed off suggestions that she could be a published picture book author. She never thought of herself ever writing books. However, now with half a dozen books to her name, including an industry recognition, she has no plans to stop anytime soon.
Tamsin Janu published her award-winning book Figgy in the World after completing a course at the Australian Writers’ Centre. After taking the book world by storm, she followed up with a sequel, Figgy and the President and Figgy Takes the City. Her latest books are Blossom and Winston and the Wondrous Wooba Gymnastics Club.
And it all started when she enrolled in a writing course that would change her life. “On the second day of the course I remember that's when I came up with the idea for my first book!” said Tamsin.

Meet our Freelance Writing graduates

Courses taken at AWC: 
Write a Business Book
Travel Writing
Blogging for Beginners
When global events affected her travel and business plans, Gaiti Rabbani thought it was the perfect time to channel her energy into writing a business book. She enrolled in the Write a Business Book course at the Australian Writers' Centre – and just one year later, she not only wrote the book, but secured a publishing deal as well. Gaiti's book Curious About Culture is out now with Major Street Publishing.
Courses taken at AWC:
Travel Writing
Food Writing
Freelance Writing Stage 1
Copywriting Essentials
Freelance Writing Masterclass Program
Creative Writing Stage 1
Danielle Norton was half way through the AWC's Food Writing course when she managed to sell her first two recipes to an online magazine. Not bad for a former school teacher who, by her own admission, was naive about the media industry. Now a veteran of six AWC courses, Danielle is an established freelance writer and copywriter, and she is sought after by editors for her travel and parenting articles.
AWC courses completed:
Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1
Freelance Writing Masterclass Program
Copywriting Essentials
Profile Writing
The Business of Freelancing
Writing Australian History
After a 15-year career as a history teacher, Brad Kelly was ready for his next challenge. With a keen interest in the world of writing, he completed a course at the Australian Writers’ Centre. “I had always been drawn to long form journalism and features, and I wanted to learn the nuts and bolts of the trade,” says Brad.
AWC courses completed:
Travel Writing
Profile Writing
Copywriting Essentials
Freelance Writing Masterclass Program (current member)
Jennifer Johnston is living proof that you never stop learning – in fact, she has built a career on it. Having completed a postgraduate certificate in creative industries, she realised that while she had a lot of theory, there were many gaps with regard to practical skills. On the long-time recommendation of a friend, she chose a short online course in Travel Writing at the Australian Writers Centre – and wished she had taken her advice sooner!
As a blogger, Michaela Fox was already loving being able to write while at home, but it was almost too comfortable. The idea of working as a freelance writer and earning a living really appealed. “Being able to freelance from home is just the ideal situation for me,” she says. “I get to still be at home with my kids, which is really important for me. I want to be involved in their lives – they’re only young.”
Catherine Rodie never thought she would become a writer. This limiting belief, coupled with her experience with dyslexia, meant that she hadn’t considered that writing could be a real career for her. But after completing a course at the Australian Writers’ Centre, that all changed. And now, she’s not only become one of the most prolific freelance writers in Australia, she’s laid the foundations to pursue a career in publishing, recently scoring a coveted part-time role at Bauer Magazines.
Rob Grant loves travelling. But it can be hard to satisfy your wanderlust when you’re consumed by a nine-to-five corporate career. That’s exactly the position Rob was in until he discovered the Travel Writing course at the Australian Writers’ Centre. Now he’s swapped his corporate job for his new path in life – working part-time as a travel writer and part-time as a marketing consultant.
One new year’s day, Susannah Hardy made a decision that would change the rest of her life. She decided she wanted to earn money from writing. Already working as an actor, Susannah then enrolled in a course at the Australian Writers’ Centre. That set her on a path where she now has dual careers – as an actor, as well as a successful freelance writer, published in Australia’s top magazines and newspapers.
“Eighteen months ago, if someone had said to me you’re going to be doing freelance writing, I probably would have brushed it off and said ‘no way’…” And yet today Josefa Pete, busy mum to two boys, proudly calls herself a freelance writer, without a moment’s hesitation. So what changed?
After becoming a first time mum, Megan Blandford, then 34, surprised herself. She didn't feel compelled to return to her human resources role in the corporate world.
Her company wanted her to return to work full time. "I remember sitting in front of my computer one day and thinking: 'what do I do?'" she says. "I always wanted to try writing since I was a little girl and I got caught up in this sort of sensible path of the mainstream thing people do. So I sat there and thought, right it’s now or never."
Courses taken at AWC:
Creative Writing Stage 1
Freelance Writing Stage 1
Grammar and Punctuation Essentials
History, Mystery and Magic
Deadlines. Celebrities. Breaking stories. And a growing audience of women who are clamouring for more digital content. That’s the world of Avi Vince, Managing Editor of iVillage Australia, which is part of the Mamamia Women’s Network. Both iVillage and its sister site Mamamia have carved a firm niche in the Australian publishing landscape, driven by magazine-turned-digital-publishing supremo, Mia Freedman.