Creative Writing Courses 2017 in Brisbane, Australia

400dpiLogoI love sharing creative writing tips and when quality courses come along, I want to share them with you.

If you’re based in Brisbane and have been looking for a group of creative writers that will help you to develop your skills, I recommend checking out Brisbane Writers Workshop courses.  They will help you to develop valuable writing skills and inspire your creative ideas and develop them into stories.

Brisbane Writers Workshop courses are kept small to meet your needs and their presenters are experts in their fields with current publishing and editing experience.

So, I thought I’d share their 2017 schedule of courses which I put up on Weekend Notes.

Check out this mini-trailer above to see what the classes are like. This was the Fiction Blitz class from 2016 but it’ll give you a great idea of how cosy and cool the Brisbane Writers Workshop classes are.

Here’s the brief list of the courses on offer from April through to September 2017:

Intro to Creative Writing: Light Your Fire [4 Seats Left]
Saturday, 8 April: 2.30-5pm; Sun, 9 April: 10am-2.30pm

Intro to Creative Writing: Light Your Fire will inspire you to begin work on your creative story ideas.  Sometimes you have a piece of the puzzle of your story whirling around inside your head and may need a little help getting it to bloom. You may want to work on developing your author’s voice or want to understand the basics of story structure.  If that’s where you’re at, then this intro course will be a great start.

This course will give you the foundation information and inspiration to get cracking on your story!

Here’s the blurb from BWW on this course:
Spike your skills with this small-group course presented by Lauren Daniels. Developed for those with a desire to push ideas into more workable drafts, this course provides the petrol and the launch pad. Practice literary techniques, play with writing exercises, and build upon your strengths. Explore common issues from strengthening focus and omitting purple prose, to the crafting solid scenes with a focused perspective and an authentic, active voice.

Speculative Fiction: Myths & Madness [Filling Up!]
Saturday, 27 May: 3-5.30pm; Sun, 28 May: 10am-2.30pm

Speculative Fiction: Myths & Madness is going to be an course filled with ghost, ghouls, vampires and characters inspired by the myths of the world.  I can’t wait to go to this course. I enrolled the minute I found out about it.

Here’s the blurb from BWW on this course:
Got ectoplasm on your laptop and fire-breathing carnies on the brain? Got Rowling, Gaiman, Rice, King, Bradbury and Tolkien on your shelf?

While the term ‘speculative fiction’ dawned in the 20th century, the angle of alternative and inventive angles that synthesise magic realism with the supernatural dates back to Euripides and Shakespeare.

Our challenge is to bypass the cliche and stay fresh. If you need some support from savvy editor/authors who love this genre as much as you do, join us…

Travel Writing: Articles to Books
Sat, 3 June: 3-5.30pm; Sun, 4 June: 10am-2.30pm

Travel Writing: Articles to Books is a course for those who love to travel and write stories about your experience.

Here’s the blurb from BWW on this course:
With a travel writer and editor as your guide, join this expedition into one most the most popular of genres. The itinerary includes resources, publishing tips and how to highlight your experiences in a marketable fashion as short pieces of writing for periodicals as well as full-length works.  Travel adventure and disaster tales welcome.  Beginners to advanced writers will create this supportive atmosphere. Trade trekking insights and tips with like-minded friends.

Polish & Publish: The Insider’s Guide
Sat, 15 July: 3-5.30pm; Sun, 16 July: 10am-2.30pm

Polish & Publish: The Insider’s Guide is a course filled with tips on how to bring your writing up to publication standard.  I had a very positive experience when I attended this course. It was brilliant and kicked off a second rewrite on my own novel.

Here’s the blurb from BWW on this course:
Bring up to 2000 words of your writing to collect gentle and constructive feedback, discover your strengths, define opportunities for improvement, and get the inside scoop on publishing.  This course will enhance your writing and you’ll be inspired by passionate industry pros to join the ranks of writers who take these workshops and get published. At the Polish & Publish workshop you’ll feel empowered to edit your own work with verve and learn how to run productive writing groups.

In Character: Archetypes to the Enneagram
Sat, 19 August: 3-5.30pm; Sun, 20 August: 10am-2.30pm

In Character: Archetypes to the Enneagram is a brilliant course!  When I went to this course I learned so much about how to  integrate archetypes into my characters. And I learned how to use the Enneagram to further develop my characters personalities. It was an awesome experience. If you’re receiving feedback that your characters are two dimensional, then I recommend getting along to this course.

Here’s the blurb from BWW on this course:
Examine character through an array of lenses including Carl G. Jung’s archetypes, Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey motif, and the personality model of the Enneagram as exemplary creative tools in character and plot development. Read excerpts and experiment with character styles. Explore the concept of identity as you track what makes good characters great. Join author/editors Lauren Daniels, Josh Brockbank and Geneve Flynn for lively discussions, writing exercises, morning and afternoon teas.

Writing for Children & Adolescents: Picture Books through YA
Sat, 16 September: 3-5.30pm; Sun, 17 September: 10am-2.30pm

Writing for Children & Adolescents: Picture Books through YA is yet another course I’ve attended with BWW.  It was another excellent quality course filled with relevant information for authors seeking to write for children and YA.

It is amazing how much work goes into creating a picture book. And children are a tough audience, so the insights I received from the editors were pure gold.

Here’s the blurb from BWW on this course:
Meet with a team of editors — Anna Bartlett and Lauren Daniels — and award-winning, guest author Janet Reid to glean tips on what children’s and young adult [YA] publishers seek and how to prepare professional submissions. Find out about good storytelling techniques for young readers and how to earn the regard of this tough audience.

To find out more about the Brisbane Writers Workshop courses, check out their website.

Thanks for reading my blog and thanks for liking my posts too.

Happy creative writing!

Learning the Art and Craft of Fiction

The Misadventures of Tuppence Weatherstom Manuscript - Phase 1My first novel manuscript has had an assessment by the brilliant editors from Brisbane Writers Workshop, and I couldn’t be happier with the guidance I have received.

I’ve received layers of feedback on the overall story, the plot, the theme, the characters, scenes that don’t do the story justice and those that do, and so much more.  This feedback is gold and it will assist me to become a much better fiction writer.

I have a great deal of work to do on developing my showing and not telling skills.  And there is a theme in my story that was identified that I hadn’t been aware of.  I’ll be focusing on bringing that out as I rewrite.  I’ll also be reworking scenes to stick to a tight plot and not go off on any tangents.

I’ll be taking all of this valuable feedback into account and pacing myself as I work through each part of the process rewriting my story.

You see, I believe that editors are brilliant people and professionals because they save writers from making fatal mistakes in our manuscripts before the story goes to publication.  Editors see things that I can’t see, and I like to think of them as an author’s guardian angel as they help us writers bring out the best of the story for the reader’s pleasure.

Sometimes feedback stings a little but it’s always meant to be of assistance to improve the manuscript for an audience.  I think it’s important to listen to expertise to create the best story I can write.  So, I’ve been swimming in my story, thinking about all the feedback and considering how I can put it to best use and chisel away the dross to create the best piece of art on the page that I can.

Today, I’ve also finished my first six-week writing course with Dean Wesley Smith – Depth in Writing. This course challenged and stretched my creative writing skills and reoriented my thinking as I learned a new way to approach writing story openings.

I learned how to use the five senses and character opinion to focus the depth in an opening.  This course was so beneficial to learning the art and craft of writing, and I’m so pleased I invested in it.   I’ll be saving up to do more courses with Dean Wesley Smith in the near future. Maybe sometime in 2017.  I’d like to do the Character Development, Plotting with Depth, and Writing Mysteries courses, just to name a few.

The week after next, David Farland will be here in Australia. He’s teaching a couple of writing courses, including Writing Million Dollar Outlines which equates to how to write stories that sell.

I’m pretty excited because I’ll finally have an opportunity to meet David Farland face-to-face.  I’ve been studying writing with him since December 2014 and what I’ve learned has been beneficial to developing my own creative writing style.  I’ve learned how to plot a story, flesh out characters, develop settings, think about theme and consider treatment too.

Then, on 9th October, I will have another opportunity to attend a course with Brisbane Writers Workshop as they will be holding a Polish and Publish course.  This course has a maximum of 4 to 6 people and will focus on giving each participant time to polish 1500 words of their work-in-progress manuscript.  I can’t wait for this course as it will really help me with my manuscript.

And, quite a few months ago, I signed up to another online writing course with Margie Lawson, called Visceral Rules: Beyond Hammering Hearts.  This course starts 1st October, and is designed to teach the importance of visceral responses in writing and helps writers to move beyond cliches.

One day, I hope to have a story that will be published and people will truly enjoy reading.

Until then, I’ll keep learning the art and craft of fiction writing.  And when the hard moments hit and I want to turn away from the course I’ve stepped upon, I’ll continue because I do love to create and I love to write.

Fiction Blitz with Brisbane Writers’ Workshop

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Image from Brisbane Writers’ Workshop

On Sunday 28th August 2016, I’ll be heading off to a Fiction Blitz workshop with Brisbane Writers’ Workshop.

I’m pretty excited because every time I attend a course run by Lauren Daniels and Josh Brockbank, I come away with a sense of creative delight, new ways of approaching story and practical tools that I can apply immediately to whatever I am working on.

Over the years, as I have continued to study how to write stories that pull a reader deeper and deeper into the life and conflicts of my characters, I have picked up numerous practical tips from the Brisbane Writers’ Workshop.   I’ve found that they make you feel welcome and your stories are valid and worthwhile no matter what you’re creative writing passion.

If I’ve not understood an aspect of the world of writing fiction, I found I could safely ask my questions of Lauren and Josh, and they were more than happy to help me develop my understanding.  They give lots of relevant examples and help writers pick up skills to apply to their creative writing projects.

Since attending one day courses with Brisbane Writers’ Workshop, I’ve learned so much, it’s hard to list out.  But here’s a few of the things I’ve pick up along the way:

  • The basics of writing a novel with rising action and tension.
  • How to unleash my own creative voice through simple writing prompts.
  • How to bring characters to life on the page by exploring their flaws and exploiting them, then writing those flaws into scenes where the characters are faced with the very thing they don’t want to admit about themselves.
  • How to use the enneagram to create complex character behavioural traits that live on in the minds of readers long after the last page has been read.
  • How to take an archetype and go beyond writing cliche characters.  Actually, this was one of the most interesting writing exercises I’ve done in a while and it sparked my imagination in new ways.  I’ve thought a great deal about ways I could use archetypes to write fulfilling characters in my own stories since doing this exercise.
  • And, I’ve learned about characterisation, voice, point of view, theme, narration, character roles, and heaps more.

Lauren Daniel and Josh Brockbank have introduced me to new ways of thinking about creative writing and helped me to grow into my own creative writing style.  Thanks so much for their ongoing support and dedication to creative writers.

So, yeah, I’m really looking forward to attending the next course in August because I always come away from the Brisbane Writers’ Workshop with a lively sense of excitement and creative drive that filters into my stories as I actively apply what I’ve learned from the course.

This next course, Fiction Blitz is going to focus on how to write hooks and style, and literary devices. And we’re going to examine the subtlety of rhetorical devices which is a relief because I really need to learn about that!  Especially as I’m close to finishing a novel and starting on the editing phase.

Anyway, if you’re interested in attending a Brisbane Writers’ Workshop or want to find out more, I suggest you check out their website.

Happy writing.  May your characters live long in the minds of your readers!