Tag Archives: Writing Courses

The Writer Studio-Cash and Awards for Dyslexic Students & College Scholarships— $40,000 will be awarded in 2017 & Writing Classes

Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so. — Doris Lessing
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Update For Potential Students and Others Interested In Our School
Cash and Awards for Dyslexic StudentsYoung writers age 7-17 Creative Writing Awards. Deadline is January 21, 2017. Cash Prizes: http://www.dyslexicadvantage.org/dyslexic-advantage-karina-young-writers-awards/


Also, College Scholarships— $40,000 will be awarded in 2017: http://www.dyslexicadvantage.org/dyslexic-advantage-programs/karina-eide-awards/

A Good Week to Join Us For A Reading in NYCSunday, January 22, 2017, 7 p.m.

Writers Studio Level III and IV Students

Readings by Maria Galeano, Hani Omar Khalil, Corey Sabourin and Emily Stutz

KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street, New York

Free (1 drink minimum)

Complete calendar of readings here.

Last Call For Winter Classes
Click any underlined text for more info and to register or call us 212-255-7075 <you many enter a class up to two weeks late>Online I starts
January 14
January 17NYC I in the West Village starts
January 18
January 23 NYC I in Brooklyn starts
January 19 
Hudson Valley Workshop starts
January 17Tucson Workshop starts
January 17Amsterdam Workshop Started
January 9 < you may enter up to 2 weeks late>

Calling All Poets

If you have an MFA in Poetry or have taken four or more post graduate poetry classes, take one of these classes:

NYC Advanced Poetry in the West Village Started
January 9
You may enter either class up to 2 weeks late.  Use discount code onlinepo for $30 discount

Tutorials Start Whenever

More info is here.
Not Afraid

“The emphasis on the persona narrator keeps me focused on the emotion and not disconnected. Also I have learned to take risks and not be afraid to embarrass myself.” — Catherine Wolf, Online Advanced Poetry student

Read more student feedback here.

Forward to Someone
Inspiration, Opportunities
Events, Offers
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. — Martin Luther King, Jr.
NYC – Tucson – San Francisco – Amsterdam   Online – Kids Write – Hudson.

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The Writers Studio- Ben Marcus teaches, Mexican writers read, the library changes

Ben Marcus teaches, Mexican writers read, the library changes
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I like big doses of grief when I read:

Richard Yates, Flannery O’Connor, Kenzabaro Oe, Thomas Bernhard. — Ben Marcus

Ben Marcus has published in The New Yorker, Granta, The Paris Review, and Harper’s.He is a Guggenheim Fellow, the winner of three Puschart Prizes, and the fiction editor of the The American Reader.

Tonight he discusses his book, Leaving The Sea, with Philip Schultz in Craft Class. Attend and/or download all nine historic classes. Reading list is here. Register here.

Where Will All The Books Go?
Slate explores how the digital age is changing the library.

Our Writers Publish. So Can You.

Lisa Badner’s poem “Fuck Passover” is featured in five2onemagazine. Lisa is a student in the Master Class and the coordinator of The Writers Studio Tutorial Program.

Doris Cheng’s story “Hellion” was accepted in Calyx Journal and will appear in Summer 2017. Doris is a student in the Master Class and teaches Online Level II.

Rosalia Scalia’s story “Mother’s Dresser” was accepted in Ragazine. Her story began as an in-class exercise. Rosalia has been a student with Anamyn Turowski and Joel Hinman.

Janelle Drumwright’s short story “Smilestone” received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers for January/February 2016. Janelle teaches in The Writers Studio Tucson.

Reneé Bibby’s flash fiction “Rabbit or the Wheel” will appear in the August issue of Wildness, an imprint of Platypus Press. Reneé is director of The Writers Studio Tucson, where she teaches.

It’s This Week. Go.

This is the start of the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, featuring dozens of world-renowned authors, intellectuals, artists, and academics celebrating the literary culture of Mexico. The Writers Studio community gets a special 20% discount to all events. Discount code: WRITE2016. worldvoices.pen.org
It’s not too late for spring and not too early for summer.Register now to get the class you want and start living as a writer.
NYC – Tucson – San Francisco – Amsterdam –  Online – Kids Write – Hudson Valley
Copyright © 2016, The Writers Studio All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
78 Charles Street #2R, New York, NY 10014

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Australian Writers’ Centre 26 February 2015- Many Writing Workshops & Writing Tours & Caption competition winners & More

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Australian Writers’ Centre 5 February 2015- Win Nigel Bartlett’s King of the Road & Writing Courses & More


Australian Writers’ Centre  5 February 2015- Win Nigel Bartlett’s King of the Road & Writing Courses & More 
Both our presenters and our students are on fire this year. This month, our talented presenter Lisa Heidke released her fifth book, It Started With a Kiss (we gave away a copy of it in last week’s competition). I just know it’s going to be a hit – and it also shows that the genre of Popular Women’s Fiction is alive and well. It’s one of the world’s most popular genres, and who better to teach our own course than Lisa herself. 

Actually, our next Popular Women’s Fiction course is happening THIS weekend – across both days. I thoroughly recommend it. You’ll learn all about the genre, why it’s so popular and what successful authors have in common. You will also understand how important your characters are and how to make readers fall in love with them. Plus creating conflict, maintaining interest, editing, steps towards publishing and more – all in just one weekend! It’s not too late and it could change your writing life.

And if you needed more proof that it works, take a look at Sara Donovan’s story. She did the course and will tell you first hand how it helped her to get published. 

All these successes. I think I need a lie down. (But seriously, we love hearing about them – let us know yours here.)

Have a successful week!

Courses coming up


Turn February into “Febulous” by enrolling in one of our upcoming courses. Just making that decision to enrol can be a real buzz, so imagine how great the actual course is going to be!

Enrol now!
Your course is on:
Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 February 2015

Danger, action and adrenaline-pumping tension
Book now

Enrol now!
Your course starts:
Thursday 12 February 2015

Your writing future, take 1…
Book now

I want to…write like Diana Gabaldon or Joanne Harris
Book now!


Our course in History, Mystery and Magic will help you bring the romance of the past to life, with a guide to crafting seamless historical fiction, mysteries, horror or fantasies filled with castles and magic. For writing that takes in a bunch of genres, unlock the secrets to making it cohesive on the weekend of 7-8 March 2015, with 2015 American Library Association Prize winner Kate Forsyth as your presenter. If you’re serious about getting published some day, THIS is the place to be.

Book now!

Announced today: Macquarie’s word of 2014 winner
Word of the year
Hot off the press this morning, Macquarie Dictionary announced its two “words of 2014”. The winning public vote went to “share plate“… (noun: a serving in a restaurant designed as multiple small portions so that several diners can share the same dish). An odd choice (wait, isn’t it two words?), but hey, that’s democracy!


Their committee pick was “mansplain” (which is a man explaining something to a woman in a patronising way) – another unusual choice! A little more accessible were the honourable mentions, including “binge watch” (again, two words!), “selfie stick” (um, two words) and “lifehacking”.

Let us know – what do YOU think of Macquarie’s choices? (just reply to this email)

“What’s your favourite word and why?”
competition winner
The Castle
Last week, to coincide with Macquarie Dictionary’s search for their 2014 words, we cast the net much wider and just wanted you to submit your favourite word (or words) of all time, and WHY you loved them so much.


In they poured, a plethora of sesquipedalian entries. A phantasmagoria of scrumptious discombobulated marmalade. A zephyr of serendipity and a cacophony all at once, a kind of perpendicular lackadaisical epiphany. There were too many to mention – thank you for sending them in!

Congrats to our three winners, each receiving a Macquarie book pack:
Melanie D: silhouette
“Why? The sound it makes,the shape your mouth makes as you say it, the shape of the letters, the image it evokes and also that its own silhouette, would be a perfect blend of rounds and long slender lines.”

Cherie G: uproariously
“I love the sound of it, and it conjures up a wonderful picture in my mind of someone laughing totally without constraint – loudly, with their entire being.  Something we should all probably do a bit more of :-)”

Rosie D: bollocks
“Because it is a highly effective, tension-reducing yet PG-rated method of expressing a variety of unpleasant emotions – from mild disappointment to extreme disapproval.”

We’ll be in touch to get your books to you! (And YES, we will be asking for least favourite words in a future newsletter.)

Don’t miss this week’s competition, where we’ve given you the title and want you to invent a synopsis…

Bumper Q&A: There’s vs There are
Q: Hi AWC, this is going to be a long Q&A today, so please get comfortable.
A: How do you know it’s going to be so long?
Q: I read ahead of course. Now, take a look at this picture sent in by alert reader Jessica T…
A: It looks like a billboard near Sydney airport.
Q: Wow, yeah. How did you know that?
A: You named the file billboardnearsydneyairport.jpg
Q: Ah okay, fair enough. So anyway, Jessica sent it in to the newsletter for our Oops Words section, because it contains something that really gets on her nerves.
A: Yes, spotted it. But first, kudos to Industry Superfunds for getting its hands to cradle the “Left Lane Ends” sign so perfectly.
Q: Good point. But now to the culprit. Or IS it a culprit? At first glance, it seems okay. What’s the verdict on this one?
A: Yeah, there are many issues around this.
Q: Not to be confused with “there’s many issues around this”?
A: Precisely. And yet the incorrect usage is popping up everywhere.
Q: Say it isn’t so!
A: Exactly – “say” is the key here. When we speak to each other, we’re typically talking fast, not fully thinking things through from start to finish, and in casual conversation opt for colloquialisms and contractions like “there’s” for “there is” and even “there’re” for “there are”.
Q: Surely “there’re” is not a valid contraction?
A: Officially, no. However, in speech it does get used (a kind of slurred “there are”). But more commonly, people will look to shorten “there are” to “there’s”. We are talking about informal chit-chats here, not State of the Union speeches.
Q: Well, that’s speech. But writing should be a little less “Wild West” than that, surely?
A: In the USA, not really.
Q: Home of the Wild West. Makes sense.
A: True. They have built quite the reputation for cutting as many corners as possible with the English language. (To be fair, often for logical and consistency reasons that leave the British looking frightfully pedantic.) So, it’s quite common to see “there’s” as the accepted contraction form for both “there is” and “there are”, individual style guides notwithstanding.
Q: And in UK English, and Australia?
A: We disagree with the American “dumbing down” of the rule. For us, it’s actually pretty simple. If it’s singular, use “there is” / “there’s” and if it’s a plural, use only “there are”. So in the billboard example above, purists would argue that it should read: “There are over 5 million of us out here.”
Q: But then purists would probably say “five” instead of “5”, right?
A: Yep.
Q: Yeah, it’s tricky I guess.
A: Unless you are purposefully writing in a colloquial way (dialogue or perhaps on an informal blog), we recommend that you always use “there are” for plurals. We’d argue the authors of the billboard were hoping to appeal “to the people” with a more relaxed approach. Or they could have simply made an error – we’ll never know because they’ll always claim it was the first reason!
Q: Can you give me an example of this whole dilemma in the form of a song?
A: Sure. Take John Lennon’s famous song “Imagine”. The start of the first verse says “Imagine there’s no heaven” and that’s okay because heaven is the singular. But the start of the next verse goes on to say “Imagine there’s no countries” – which technically should have been “Imagine there ARE no countries”, but no one’s going to argue with a dead Beatle.
Q: Too soon?
A: Probably. Basically, while the rules have loosened somewhat, it’s still NOT acceptable to write “there’s” for plurals, such as “there’s three cats playing Scrabble”. And technically it IS wrong if you’re being black and white about it.
Q: More like fifty shades of grey.
A: That’s in cinemas next week.
Q: I can’t wait. I’m taking my 95-year-old grandmother. She’s a fan. Actually, that reminds me, she phoned earlier to confirm our matching leather outfits.
A: A little too much information…
Q: Anyway, and I hadn’t spoken to her for a while, so I said “how’s things?” – does that fall into this, because technically should it be “how are things?”
A: Sorry, just removing that mental image from earlier. Yes, that’s exactly right. Some people write this, but it’s technically wrong.
Q: So WHY are people writing “there’s” incorrectly so often?
A: Experts suggest we hedge our bets with “There’s” because, even in writing, we often begin a sentence without fully knowing where it’s going to go. If it becomes plural, we should go back and fix it, but sometimes people don’t. Even though they should!
Q: I often begin my day without fully knowing where it’s going to go. Recently I ended up on a flight to Beijing after reading a magazine article in a doctor’s waiting room about a cool international sporting event they were hosting. Turned out the magazine was from 2008.
A: Yes, waiting rooms really need to work on that.
Q: So what about “a lot of” in these examples – like “There’s a lot of…” vs “There are a lot of”?
A: It’s pretty straightforward. We’ve talked about mass and count nouns before – “a lot of” covers both. So if it’s something you can count, it should really be plural. “There are a lot of jelly beans in this jar.”
Q: How many?
A: Sorry?
Q: How many? It’s a fundraiser.
A: But it was our examp— Oh never mind. 427?
Q: Not even close. 653. Please continue.
A: Right. So, if it’s a mass noun, that can be considered singular. “There’s a lot of furniture in this room” or “there’s a lot of tension in your neck” etc.
Q: There’s just a few more questions to answer. Oh, wait, there ARE just a few more questions. Wow, these pop up all the time. So can “there’s” be anything other than “there is”?
A: Yep. It can also be a contraction of “there has” – as in “there’s been a mistake”.
Q: How do you decide between “there has” and “there have”?
A: It’s the mass nouns vs count nouns again – “there has” for singular/mass nouns, “there have” for plurals/countable nouns. And the same issues pop up with people using “there’s” instead of “there have” – e.g. incorrectly saying “there’s been some changes to the itinerary”…
Q: So back to “there are”… you wouldn’t recommend writing “there’re”?
A: No, we wouldn’t. It just looks clumsy. And don’t use “there’s” as an alternative. You might want to use a contraction, but there really isn’t one. The exception would be if you are writing dialogue for a character and want to illustrate that they merge their words together.
Q: There are a lot of aspects to this area.
A: Indeed, there are.
Q: There is a correct way to do it though.
A: Indeed, there is.
Q: Are we fighting a losing battle with the Americans on this one?
A: Well, people have been using the singular “there is” for plurals for over 400 years. It may not make the billboard right, but it makes it hard to fight. Just be consistent in using the correct form and probably learn to choose your battles when pointing out the mistake. Billboard: yes, make the effort to get it right. Facebook post: turn a blind eye …
Q: Good advice. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a doctor’s appointment.
A: Grab your passport, just in case…

Do you have a grammar gripe or punctuation puzzle that you’d like our Q&A to explore? Reply to tell us all about it!

Podcast: Episode 46


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.

Competition: Win Nigel Bartlett’s King of the Road


Remember last week when Valerie was raving about Nigel’s new novel, King of the Road?

This is what she said: “I was gripped from the first page and then I had to cook dinner but I just couldn’t put the book down” (and she also said some other stuff about onions and bolognaise sauce…)

So this week, here’s YOUR chance to win a copy of this riveting thriller. In Nigel’s book, the title refers to its main character, David Kingsgrove, literally hitting the road to try and clear his name. So that gave us an idea:

If YOU had a novel titled KING OF THE ROAD, tell us what YOUR synopsis would be to for it. Probably no more than 50 words (but we won’t be strict). Get creative and bring the title to life!

Really looking forward to seeing what you come up with – you’ve got two key words to play with, so let’s see some creative thinking! Our favourite synopsis will be featured next week and win a copy of Nigel’s book. To enter, reply to this email, changing the subject to KING and entries close 11:49pm Monday 9 February. Good luck!

Hot off the press: Killing two birds
Killing two birds


American author Harper Lee famously wrote just one book – To Kill a Mockingbird. But now (much to the disdain of pub trivia quizmasters everywhere), that’s all going to change.

Go Set a Watchman, was written by Lee in the 1950s and features many of the same characters from To Kill a Mockingbird. She had thought the manuscript had been lost, but it turned up last year, attached to the back of her original typed version of Mockingbird. She is now 88 and had never released anything after her award-winning 1960 debut for fear it wouldn’t be as successful. (We think she’s secretly been sitting on it for 55 years, waiting for JUST the right moment…)

Our favourite tweet was from George R.R. Martin, author of the Song of Ice and Fire series (i.e. Game of Thrones), and famous for writing very slowly…


Webpick: WWVKD?

This week’s Webpick was created by an anonymous VK fan. Put it in your favourites. Essential reading for writers. Essential reading for everyone, really.


The final word:
The final word


(Time to have some courage and take the plunge – choose your adventure from the list below!)

Upcoming course dates


Online courses

Online course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman – NEW DATE
Week beginning Monday 9 February 2015 for five weeks


Online course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Allison Tait – NEW DATE

Week beginning Monday 9 February 2015 for five weeks


Online course: Copywriting Essentials with Bernadette Schwerdt – FULL

Week beginning Monday 16 February 2015 for five weeks


Online course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
Week beginning Monday 16 February 2015 for five weeks


Online course: Travel Writing with Sue White

Week beginning Monday 23 February 2015 for five weeks


Online course: Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques with Cathie Tasker/Pamela Freeman – NEW DATE

Week beginning Monday 23 February 2015 for five weeks

Online course: Copywriting Essentials with Bernadette Schwerdt

Week beginning Monday 2 March 2015 for five weeks

Online course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge

Week beginning Monday 16 March 2015 for five weeks


Online course: Write Your Novel with Pamela Freeman – FULL

Week beginning Monday 16 March 2015 for six months


Online course: Write Your Novel with Cathie Taser

Week beginning Monday 4 May 2015 for six months




Sydney courses

Seminar: Blogging for Beginners with Kim Berry – FULL
Thursday 5 February 2015 (two-hour evening seminar)


Weekend course: Crime and Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin

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

Weekend course: Popular Women’s Fiction with Lisa Heidke

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


Course: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle

Thursday 12 February 2015 (one-day course)


Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding

Starting Thursday 12 February 2015 for five weeks

Weekend course: Food Writing with Carli Ratcliff

Saturday 14 February and Sunday 15 February 2015 (2 consecutive days)

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – NEW DATE

Starting Wednesday 18 February 2015 for five weeks

Course: Writing Australian History with Pamela Freeman

Saturday 21 February 2015 (3-hour half-day course)


Course: Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques with Jeni Mawter
Starting Tuesday 24 February 2015 for five weeks


Course: Professional Business Writing with Kate Hennessy 

Tuesday 24 February 2015 (one-day course)


Course: Writing for the Web with Grant Doyle

Thursday 26 February 2015 (one-day course)


Course: Profile Writing with David Leser – FULL

Saturday 28 February 2015 (half-day course)


Weekend courseWriting Picture Books with Cathie Tasker

Saturday 28 February and Sunday 1 March 2015 (2 consecutive days)


Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Alexandra Spring – NEW DATE
Starting Thursday 5 March 2015 for five weeks


Course: History, Mystery and Magic with Kate Forsyth

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


Seminar: Blogging for Beginners with Kim Berry – NEW DATE
Tuesday 10 March 2015 (two-hour evening seminar)


Course: Business Writing Essentials with Kate Hennessy – NEW DATETuesday 10 March 2015 (one-day course)


Course: What Publishers Want with Bernadette Foley

Saturday 14 March 2014 (half-day course)


Seminar: How to Create and Sell Your Ebook with Anna Maquire

Monday 16 March 2015 (two-hour evening seminar)


Course: Screenwriting Stage 2 with Tim Gooding

Starting Tuesday 17 March 2015 for five weeks


Course: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle

Wednesday 18 March 2015 (one-day course)


Course: Plotting and Planning with Kate Forsyth

Saturday 21 March 2015 (one-day course)


Weekend course: Fantasy, Science Fiction and More with Pamela Freeman

Saturday 21 March and Sunday 22 March 2015 (2 consecutive days)


Seminar: Self-publishing: How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
Thursday 26 March 2015 (two-hour evening seminar)


Weekend course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie
Saturday 28 March and Sunday 29 March 2015 (2 consecutive days)


Seminar: Blogging for Beginners with Kim Berry – NEW DATE
Wednesday 1 April 2015 (two-hour morning seminar)


Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller

Saturday 11 April and Saturday 18 April 2015 (2 consecutive Saturdays)


Course: Profile Writing with David Leser – NEW DATE

Saturday 18 April 2015 (half-day course)


Course: Introduction to Novel Writing with Pamela Freeman

Starts Wednesday 22 April 2015 for six weeks


Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge

Starts Thursday 23 April 2015 for five weeks


Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker – NEW DATE

Starts Thursday 23 April 2015 for five weeks


Weekend course: Travel Writing with Sue White
Saturday 2 May and Sunday 3 May 2015 (2 consecutive days)


Course: Writing About Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett

Wednesday 6 May and Wednesday 13 May 2015


Weekend courseMagazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with
Sue White

Saturday 9 May and Sunday 10 May 2015 (2 consecutive days)


Course: Life Writing with Patti Miller
Starting Friday 24 July 2015 for six weeks





On-demand courses available online

Start and finish in your own time. All you need is an internet connection.


Course: The Business of Freelancing


Course: Book Covers That Sell


Course: Blogging for Beginners


Course: Reinvent Yourself


Course: 2 Hours to Scrivener Power


Overseas writing tours – 2015

Writing in Oxford with Kate Forsyth

When: Sunday 21 June to Monday 28 June 2015

Memoir Writing in Paris with Patti Miller
When: Thursday 22 October to Saturday 7 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


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Writers Studio New Jan 27, 2015- Riding Out The Storm & Writing Workshops & Reading Series

  • Writers Studio New Jan 27, 2015- Riding Out The Storm & Writing Workshops & Reading Series


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Writers Studio January 13, 2015- Reading Series & Writing Courses

Writers Studio  January 13, 2015- Reading Series  & Writing Courses 


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Writers Studio- Quietly helping writers reach their potential

       Writers Studio- Quietly helping writers reach their potential

Dec 23, 2014

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