Tag Archives: writers

 Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter- WriteNow! 2017 Conference “Writer Quest: Conquer the Publishing Jungle”

The Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter invites you to our annual WriteNow! 2017 Conference “Writer Quest: Conquer the Publishing Jungle”


Featuring Keynote Speaker, International Bestselling author




CLIVE CUSSLER will share his techniques, secrets and strategies for conquering the literary jungle. The conference will also feature New York Times Bestselling author LEE GOLDBERG, and ROBIN BURCELL, who co-writes a book series with Mr. Cussler.


Publicist, social media pro and brand manager, DANA KAYE, specializes in coaching clients on how to establish their personal brand.


Also on hand, literary agent JILL MARR from the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency will take pitches. Developmental editor HOLLY LORINCZ will provide editing sessions. [The pitch and editing sessions are an additional fee and you must register for WriteNow! to be eligible to submit materials.]




Friday Evening Reception: August 11, 2017, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013


Full Day Conference: Saturday, August 12, 2017, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Embassy Suites, 4415 E. Paradise Valley Parkway South, Phoenix, 85032


The conference is open to the public and suitable for all genres of interest, will include the aforementioned speakers, panel discussions, as well as the opportunity for attendees to buy the speakers’ books and have them signed. Lunch and snacks are included. A silent auction will be held, plus a free drawing for a loaded Kindle.


For COMPLETE DETAILS and to REGISTER, please click HERE.

Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter

  • Desert Sleuths Writers Conference Flyer

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Ruminate Magazine- William Van Dyke Short Story Prize

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Writers Studio March 2015- News & Writing Courses & Published Writers Studio Writers

Writers Studio March 2015- News & Writing Courses & Published Writers Studio Writers

like the cold weather

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Australian Writers’ Centre July 30, 2014- Many Writing Courses & So you want to be a writer podcast & Caption Competition Winner & More

  • Australian Writers’ Centre  July 30, 2014- Many Writing Courses & So you want to be a writer podcast & Caption Competition Winner & More
31 July 2014
Les Miserables
I recently went to see Les Misérables in Melbourne. I have to admit, I love this musical. From the ominous character of police inspector Javert to the inspiring student leader Enjolras and the cheekiness of Gavroche, it’s a show that always has me gripped from the very beginning until the final curtain call. 

My poor neighbours have been suffering the aftermath of this as they have been subjected to endless renditions of One Day More (with me attempting the Jean Valjean role!).

This production is an awe-inspiring performance. Importantly, it was also a reminder of how important it is to be creatively inspired. Even as a writer, I encourage you to take yourself out on a “creative date” from time to time –  whether that’s to a play, art exhibition, musical or even a craft show. Witnessing and appreciating creative genius can inspire us to reach similar heights in our own work. Okay, so I know I’ll probably never star in a musical (as do my neighbours!), but immersing myself in moments like these pushes me to go further, take more risks and hone my craft to become a better writer. 

I encourage you to seek out these creative moments too. And once you’ve had your fill of art, plays and singing Frenchmen, explore our website’s Creative Hubfor a writing course to spark your personal interest. But now if you’ll excuse me, I think I hear the echoes of beating drums… 

Have a melodious week! 


What our students are saying


We could rabbit on all day about our courses, but sometimes it means more coming in from fellow students! Here’s this week’s selection: 
“I have been writing professionally as a journalist for 18 years but there was so much I didn’t know until I attended this course. I left on the final evening feeling inspired rather than scared about writing fiction.” 
– Michael Smith (Creative Writing Stage 1) 

“Grant was excellent. His passion for writing in this style filled you with enthusiasm to return to work and get started. You definitely felt you had all the information you needed.” 
– Helen Stanley (Writing for the Web)

Q&A: So be it


This week, reader Gueza had the following question…

Q: Hi AWC, help! I’m utterly confused about the difference between “sow” (sown, etc) and “seed” (seeded).  When do we use one, when the other? e.g.  When a mighty oak comes crashing down in the forest, a thousand acorns are (sown?/seeded?) in silence… 
A: Hi Gueza. The real question is did the mighty oak make a sound if no-one was around? Anyway, sown and seeded are the past participles of verbs “sow” and “seed” respectively. The difference is that’s ALL “sown” is, whereas “seeded” has many lives – most commonly as an adjective (seeded bun, seeded funds etc) or in sports tournaments (“Roger Federer is seeded number 3” etc). So “seeded” is potentially more open to ambiguity.

Q: So in my example, you’d go with “sown”? 
A: Sure. Although, the main match-up here should be sown versus sowed. Both being past tense variations of “sow”. There are situations where “sowed” is needed: “Yesterday I sowed the lawn”. But anywhere “sown” can live, “sowed” could work too. (BTW, “yesterday I seeded the lawn” still doesn’t really sound right.)

Q: But what about “to sow” things (seeds, ideas, wild oats etc) vs “to seed” things? 
A: Well, if you’ve got the word “seeds” in the sentence, you should go with “sow” as to use “seed” would double up. (“To seed the seeds” = fail.) Often non-agricultural things find “seed” appealing: “seeding ideas”, “seeding capital” etc, but generally we recommend sown/sowed when it’s past tense (“he sowed his wild oats”, “she had sown elements of doubt” etc). Usage of “seed” as a verb form of the noun is definitely on the rise – it’s a modern trend (“to mentor”, “to Google” etc), but be careful using it where “sow/sown/sowed” works fine. It can sound gimmicky.

Q: I think I’m more confused now. 
A: It’s a so-so answer for a sow-sow question. Happy to help!

Podcast: Episode 22


In Episode 22, Valerie and Allison plumb the depths of character names, explore libraries in pubs, discuss the origins of words, and chat to Newsmodo founder Rakhal Ebeli on the service that is set to “disrupt the practice of journalism”. Ooooh… 

You can listen to the podcast here or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here.

Courses starting soon

You’ll find a course starting soon to suit your writing goals:


Enrol now!
Your online course starts: 
Monday 11 August 2014

Have suitcase, will write. 
Book now

#Trending: Commonwealth


The Commonwealth Games are currently taking place in Glasgow, Scotland (or as we call it here in Australia, “shooting gold-medal-shaped-fish in a barrel”). The word “Commonwealth” in this sense is related to Britain and its former empire, yet it can also describe any independent state, grouping or community

Australia is the only country to use it formally – our official name being “The Commonwealth of Australia”, federated back in 1901. (We could have called ourselves the “United States of Australia” but “USA” was already taken…) Speaking of USA, a few states there call themselves “commonwealths” (this is sometimes capitalised, sometimes not). In fact, any grouping of shared interests can be termed a commonwealth (uncapitalised), and the word’s original meaning (now obsolete) is unsurprisingly: “the general good”.

Caption competition winner
We had some great captions for this picture, many of them picking out her impressive biceps, generic looking laptop or one even assuming she was celebrating the confirmed delivery of the bottom half of her body?!! (Thanks for a preview inside your mind, Catherine B!) But the winner of Geena Leigh’s book, Call Me Sasha, is Selina N of NSW, with her entry:


“Woohoo! Another healthy treat (that I’ll never actually make) pinned to Pinterest. Better go have another Tim Tam to celebrate!”


We’re pretty sure there are a few of us who can relate to that one Selina! Well done, the book is on its way to you.

SLIP HAZARD: Deep-seeded vs deep-seated
While we were talking about sowing and seeds earlier, it reminded us of a commonly misused term. Many people refer to ‘a deep-seeded hatred; when in fact, they should be using “deep-seated” – its definition being to have a strong fixed position, unlikely to change easily. (In a way, “deep-seeded” makes sense, as a seed sown deep will unlikely be going anywhere. But it’s wrong!)


The only place you’d get away with using “deep-seeded” would be if you somehow wrote something like:

“The tennis match between these two deep-seeded rivals – ranked 130th and 195th in the world – was amazing.”

AWC poll


How do YOU write a punchline drum sound-effect?


a) Badoom-chish

b) Dadoom-shish

c) Bada boom

d) Chish boom

e) Bing bam boom crash wallop

f)  Something else – tell us!


Reply to this email, changing the subject to “DRUM” and let us know your thoughts. Go on, do it now!

On the blog: Ask Valerie!
Ask Valerie


This week, be sure to check out our new feature on the blog, our fortnightly “ASK VALERIE” posts. The first one covers a tricky topic for all freelance writers –dealing with editor rejections! And if YOU have a question for Valerie to tackle on the blog, please drop us a line.

Plan Ahead: “Aaaaand action!”
Enrol now!

The credits roll. You sit there for half a moment thinking “seriously? THAT got made?”… You could write better. You CAN write better! So what now?Screenwriting Stage 1 is what.

With professional screenwriter Tim Gooding (30-year veteran of TV, film and stage, in both comedy and drama) at your side, you’ll learn the essentials to writing for the screen. It’s a different discipline and you need the right tools to build a script that engages audiences through characters and story. Get everything you need in this exciting five-week course! 

“I definitely came away with knowledge of a process that I did not possess when I first started. I also have a broad overall knowledge of how to go about writing a script. Tim has plenty of industry knowledge and his editorial skills are excellent.” 
– David Owens 

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When: Every Thursday for 5 weeks from Thursday 4 September 2014
Time: 6.30–8.30pm
Picture This
Caption this


Competition: Set the scene

This week, in fewer than 30 words we want you to describe this scene from your own (imaginary) novel. Give him a name, get descriptive, what’s going on? Where is he? What’s he thinking? First person, third person? Etc. We’re looking for something memorable, something that grabs us as a reader!


Chasing the Ace

Your reward for being our favourite and best will be to win a copy of “Chasing the Ace” by Nicholas J. Johnson and of course we’ll publish it (right here) for the world to enjoy.


Simply reply to this email by midday Tuesday 5 August 2014 with your short scene, changing the email subject to SCENE. Don’t forget to include your postal address so we can mail your prize to you. Good luck!

WEBPICK: AWC Pinterest!

Remember how we were talking at the beginning of this newsletter about places to go to get inspired creatively? Well this one doesn’t even require you to buy a ticket or even getting out of your pyjamas. Take a look at our Pinterest page and see which inspirational rabbit-hole you disappear down…


You can also pin anything from our main website to your own boards if something strikes you as particularly pintriguing… 
So get pinning!

Here’s the list.

Upcoming course dates

Online courses


Online course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman – NEW DATE 
Week beginning Monday 11 August 2014 for five weeks



Online course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Allison 
Week beginning Monday 11 August 2014 for five weeks


Online course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Cathie Tasker 
Week beginning Monday 11 August 2014 for five weeks


Online course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker 
Week beginning Monday 11 August 2014 for five weeks


Online course: Travel Writing with Julietta Jameson 
Week beginning Monday 11 August 2014 for five weeks




Online course: Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman 
Week beginning Monday 18 August 2014 for five weeks





Sydney courses 
Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge 
Starting Thursday 24 July 2014 for five weeks 

Course: Food Writing with Carli Ratcliff 
Saturday 26 July and Sunday 27 July 2014 (2 consecutive days)



Course: Plotting and Planning with Kate Forsyth 
Saturday 2 August 2014 (one-day course)


Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Alexandra Spring 
Starting Monday 4 August 2014 for five weeks


Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett 
Monday 4 August 2014 (two-hour evening seminar)


Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter 
Starting Wednesday 6 August 2014 for five weeks


Weekend course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Claire Scobie 
Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 August 2014 (2 consecutive days)


Course: Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle 
Monday 11 August 2014 (one-day course)


Course: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle 
Thursday 14 August 2014 (one-day course)



Course: Business Writing Essentials with Kate Hennessy 
Tuesday 2 September 2014 (one-day course)


Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker 
Starting Tuesday 2 September 2014 for five weeks 

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding 
Starting Thursday 4 September 2014 for five weeks


Seminar: Blogging for Beginners with Kim Berry 
Saturday 13 September 2014 (two-hour morning seminar) 

Weekend course: Fantasy, Science Fiction and More with Pamela Freeman 
Saturday 13 September and Sunday 14 September 2014 (2 consecutive days)


Course: Professional Business Writing with Kate Hennessy – NEW DATE 
Wednesday 17 September 2014 (one-day course)


Course: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle 
Thursday 9 October 2014 (one-day course)


Course: Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques with Jeni Mawter 
Starting Thursday 9 October 2014 for five weeks 

Course: Introduction to Novel Writing with Pamela Freeman 
Starting Monday 13 October 2014 for six weeks


Weekend course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie 
Saturday 1 November and Sunday 2 November 2014 (2 consecutive days)


Weekend course: Popular Women’s Fiction with Lisa Heidke – NEW DATE 
Saturday 1 November and Sunday 2 November 2014 (2 consecutive days)


Course: Writing About Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett 
Starting Wednesday 5 November 2014 for two weeks


Course: PR and Media Releases That Get Results with Catriona 
Thursday 6 November 2014 (one-day course)


Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding 
Starting Monday 10 November 2014 for five weeks


Seminar: Self-publishing: How to do it with Geoff Bartlett 
When: Thursday 13 November 2014



Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller

Starting Friday 16 January 2015 for six weeks


Course: Write Your Novel with Pamela Freeman 
Starts Monday 2 February 2015 (6 month program)


Course: History, Mystery and Magic with Kate Forsyth – NEW DATE

Saturday 7 March and Sunday 8 Sunday March 2015 (2 consecutive days)




Overseas writing tours – 2014

Writing in Oxford with Kate Forsyth 
When: Sunday 7 September to Monday 15 September 2014


Memoir Writing in Paris with Patti Miller 
When: Thursday 23 October to Saturday 8 November 2014



Overseas writing tours – 2015

Writing in Vietnam with Carli Ratcliff – NEW DATE 

When: Friday 11 September to Saturday 19 September 2015


Memoir Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – NEW DATE 
When: Thursday 22 October to Saturday 8 November 2015

Best wishes, 
Valerie Khoo 
National Director


Australian Writers’ Centre 

Sydney and Online: (02) 9929 0088 
Melbourne: (03) 9005 6737 
Perth: (08) 9468 0177

Australian Writers’ Centre | National office: Suite 3, 55 Lavender Street Milsons Point, New South Wales 2061 Australia 02 9929 0088

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WRITERS WHEEL MAGAZINE ISSUE I Spring: Books for Writers, by Writers, from a Company Run by Writers

WRITERS WHEEL MAGAZINE ISSUE I Spring – Books for Writers, by Writers, from a Company Run by Writers

I thought you might be interested in a free new magazine for writers: WRITERS WHEEL MAGAZINE ISSUE I Spring, FINAL.  Enjoy!

It’s published by Compass Books http://www.compass.net, which offers a list of helpful titles on practical tips for writers, all written by writers from a company run by writers.  The most recent title we have published is THE WRITER’S GROUP HANDBOOK.  All the titles are available internationally.

If you would like the next issue of the magazine e-mailed to you, join our mailing list.

We’re also looking for new authors and have a range of imprints they could fit into at http://www.johnhuntpublishing.com.

Feel free to share this information with anyone who may benefit.  And feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Dielle Ciesco

Author & Editor, John Hunt Publishing


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The National Writers Union Tucson- May 19, 2014 Open Mic

The National Writers Union Tucson- May 19, 2014 Open Mic

The National Writers Union will be hosting an open mic on Monday, May 19, starting at 6:15 or shortly thereafter. The open mic is for spoken word only but is open to all forms of spoken word (fiction, essays, poetry, articles, polemics, etc.). So bring something to read!

The event will be held in our new location, the Maker House at 283 N. Stone Ave., two blocks north of the downtown branch of the Pima County Public Library. There is free parking after 6 p.m. in the Franklin lot, right across the street from Maker House, as well as some parking along Stone Avenue itself (remember, metered parking is also free in the evenings). Anybody with mobility issues should use the main, East side building entrance off of Stone. For a map of both the location and the available parking, go to the bottom of the Maker House’s homepage at http://www.makerhouse.org. Also please note that the Maker House does not serve meals, but does offer a full range of drinks, including wine and beer. Since there will be no meal, we will be meeting at 6 p.m. instead of 5:30 as we did at Fronimo’s.

National Writers Union
(UAW Local 1981/AFL-CIO)
Tucson Unit

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