Online Writing Workshop Program

The South Coast Writers Centre presents their new Online Writing Workshop Program for writers stuck at home during COVID-19. With this lineup of award-winning and experienced Australian authors, poets and publishers, the SCWC invites writers of all skill levels from across Australia to hone their writing craft from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

The global pandemic is a tragedy that in Australia we have mostly managed to curb so far, but not without suspending work for an entire industry of artists. With this online program, the SCWC hopes to provide work to authors and artists, and the opportunity to stay focused and learning to our community during this difficult (and still dangerous) time.

Scroll down for the details and booking links for all the workshops in the series. SCWC members get access to reduced prices, so if you're not a member already, consider joining here.

If you've ever thought about writing a memoir, or you've started and got stuck, the beginner's workshop is for you. The intermediate workshop is for those who've taken the plunge and embarked on writing their memoir. Manuscript assessment will be available if arranged during the workshop. Each workshop by Mike will be run over Zoom in 3x45 minute sessions. Participants are welcome to book for both workshops. If you've attended a previous memoir writing workshop by Mike, it is recommended that you book for the Intermediate workshop.

Tickets: $60 per workshop (3 sessions) for SCWC members (full price $75)
Dates & Times: 1pm-1.45pm on Sundays
Beginners: 7 June + 14 June + 21 June
Intermediate: 5 July + 12 July + 19 July

Mike Cavanagh is a prolific South Coast writer who has produced two highly-rated memoirs. His Beginners Memoir course returns to the South Coast Writers Centre due to popular demand. Previous participant’s responses were overwhelmingly positive: they “loved his presentation” and described it as “awesome”, “valuable”, “wonderful”, “helpful and motivating”. If you’ve got a memoir in you; don’t miss out!

Book here.

You've got some words down on the page, now what? Where does your story want to go? What's working, and what isn't? What does the editing process look like, and how does workshopping (i.e. seeking feedback) from peers form part of this process? This series is for anyone who has some words down (a paragraph or a whole piece), and wants to figure out what to do next, and find a group of like-minded people to continue workshopping with.

This critique group will be run over Zoom, but is limited to eight participants, so get in quick!

Tickets: $200 for SCWC members (full price $250)
Dates & Times: 2pm-4pm on Saturdays from 13 June to 18 July (6 sessions)

Chloe Higgins writes about the things we’re all afraid of: death, sex, love, and how we feel about our mother. Chloe is the Director of Wollongong Writers Festival, and her debut memoir The Girls was recently announced as the winner of the People’s Choice Award at the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

Book here.

Good dialogue is the power source of fiction as well as drama: it's the writer's main tool to work with the energy of the story and keep readers immersed in the characters' lives. In this three-hour workshop, you'll learn and practice techniques for writing crackling dialogue, and start applying them to your own writing.

Tickets: $60 for SCWC members ($80 full price)
Date & Time: Sunday 14 June, 3pm-6pm

Laura E. Goodin has been writing professionally for nearly forty years. Her stories have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies including the Review of Australian Fiction, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Adbusters, Wet Ink, The Lifted Brow, and Daily Science Fiction. She has taught creative writing at Deakin University, and delivers workshops internationally and online to writers of all ages. She serves as an editor-in-chief for Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research, and as an editorial advisor of the journal Science Fiction: A Review of Speculative Literature.

Book here.

In the lead up to the Olga Masters Short Story Prize, join Hayley Scrivenor - former director of the Wollongong Writers Festival, and founder of its Short Story Prize - for a series on preparing short stories for submission. Through a program of readings, live online presentations and exercises, work on an existing idea or develop a 2000-4000 word story from scratch. Covering topics from formatting to why vivid and compelling short fiction matters, you'll also learn common pitfalls to avoid, while developing your work and receiving feedback in a supportive environment.

This course is aimed at people wanting to take their short fiction to the next level, and there will be required readings which will be provided as a PDF before the course starts. All participants will receive personalised feedback on their story from Hayley in two batches - once after class three, and once after class six. This accelerated six-part series will run over three weeks, and finish in time for participants to submit to the Prize:

Tickets: $150 for SCWC Members ($190 full price)
Dates & Times:
1) Getting started - what's the story? Wednesday 17 June 7-8pm
2) Using scenes - Thinking about plot Saturday 20 June 4-5pm
3) Finding a voice - Thinking about character Wednesday 24 June 7-8pm
4) Establishing place - Thinking about space Saturday 27 June 4-5pm
5) Making it fresh - Language and image Wednesday 1 July 7-8pm
6) Am I done yet? - Questions to ask before submitting Saturday 4 July 4-5pm

Hayley Scrivenor is a writer, academic and former Director of Wollongong Writers Festival, which runs in November every year. Hayley’s fiction and non-fiction has appeared in TEXT, Seizure Online, SCUM, Mascara Literary Review, Phantasmagoria Magazine, SWAMP and Verity La and she was shortlisted for the Overland Story Wine prize. She was awarded the 2019 Ray Koppe/ASA Fellowship for her novel-in-progress The Push Back, about a young girl who goes missing from a small country town. In March 2020, this manuscript was shortlisted for the Penguin Literary Prize.

Book here.

Children's and YA publishing is one of the most diverse, lively and creative areas of the book industry, and accounts for half of all book sales in Australia. Whether for young children, middle-grade readers or young adult readers, it's a rewarding and absorbing field for writers, with many opportunities. In this series of three interlinked workshops-Writing Picture Book Texts; Writing Middle-grade Fiction; and Writing YA Fiction (each part of which can be taken separately, depending on your particular interest) award-winning author and acclaimed publisher Sophie Masson AM will guide you through the hows and whys of writing for young readers today, and what publishers are looking for in each area.

Tickets: $75 for SCWC members ($90 full price)
Dates & Times: 11am-1pm on Saturdays
Writing for Picture Books: 20 June
Writing Children's Fiction: 4 July
Writing YA Fiction: 18 July

Sophie Masson is the award-winning and internationally-published author of over 70 books for children, young adults and adults. Her writing has received many awards, and she holds a PhD in Creative Practice from the University of New England (NSW) and was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge (UK) in 2017. A former Chair of the Australian Society of Authors, Sophie is the current Chair of the New England Writers’ Centre. In 2019, Sophie received an AM (Member, General Division) award in the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2019 honours list. Her citation read ‘For significant service to literature as an author, publisher, and through service to literary organisations’.

Book here.

As part of the South Coast Writers Centre's Online Writing Workshop Program, publishing industry expert Sean Doyle presents an 8-session workshop on how to get your written work ready to send to publishers. Featuring hands-on instruction, short writing exercises and writing samples, Sean will guide participants through the process of writing, including finding your motivation, identifying your audience, and structuring your work.

Tickets: $200 for SCWC Members ($250 full price)
Dates & Times: 5pm-7pm on Mondays and Thursdays from 22 June to 16 July

Sean Doyle is the author of the forthcoming travel memoir, 'Night Train to Varanasi', to be published by Bad Apple Press in August 2020 (virus permitting). He joined the publishing industry as a book editor in 1999, working in-house with New Holland Publishers and Finch Publishing for a total of six years before going freelance. Since 2007 he has been Director of Lynk Manuscript Assessment Service. In this role, Sean has guided over 1500 authors through the assessment and/or copy-editing process, many of whom have gone on to secure trade-publishing contracts. He has also presented writing and editing workshops to writers’ groups in Northern and Mid-North Coast NSW. He is a registered mentor with the NSW Writers’ Centre.

Book here.

Award-winning author Heather Rose will explore the process of writing a novel with a small group of students. Live and interactive two-hour sessions over five weeks will cover both the craft and the psychology of writing a novel. How do we develop good characters? How do we create convincing settings? How do we write a first draft? But equally, how do we overcome our fear, master commitment, harness our imaginations and learn the endurance necessary to develop a completed manuscript?

You may have a novel half completed. It could be for children, young adults or adults. You may have a few chapters sitting in a drawer, or an idea floating about that won't let you go. This course is designed to give you a kit of tools to get you well underway and to keep you heading in the right direction.

Tickets: $500 for SCWC members ($550 for non-members)
Dates & Times: 7pm-9pm on Thursdays from 2 July to 30 July

Heather Rose is the award-winning Australian author of eight novels, her newest being the bestselling political thriller Bruny, which won the 2020 ABIA General Fiction Book of The Year, and has been shortlisted for the 2020 Independent Booksellers Awards. Heather writes for both adults and children across a range of genres, and her seventh novel, The Museum of Modern Love, won the 2017 Stella Prize, Christina Stead Prize and the Margaret Scott Prize.

Book now.

Here’s an online course writers can do from the comfort and safety their own home. The program is designed to improve participants’ writing by showing how Ron and other members respond to their poems, and to develop their critical skills through responding to other members’ poems. Now, you can write to the beat of your own creativity, and find out what works best for you—all while refining your craft with one of the most accomplished Australian poets out there. Sign up to be a part of this friendly, encouraging environment, and get to where you need to be.

Tickets: $110 for SCWC members ($165 full price)
Dates & Times: Mondays 13 July to 14 September (this workshop series will be run over email with Ron over 10 sessions)

Ron Pretty has been writing for over forty years, and has taught writing to participants in schools, universities and community groups. Ron Pretty’s most recent book of poetry, his eighth, The Left Hand Mirror, was published by Pitt Street Poetry in 2017. The third edition of his Creating Poetry was published by Pitt Street Poetry in 2015. He published 230 books by Australian poets between 1987and 2007 as publisher for Five Islands Press. He won the NSW Premier’s Special Prize for services to literature in 2000 and received an AM for services to Australian literature in 2001. He judged the Ron Pretty Poetry Prize (sponsored by Five Islands Press) in 2014 and 2016.

Book here.

Posted on May 14, 2020