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Writing Life

Writing Life is unique program to help you write your life story. It is designed to get your words on the page and on the path to getting published. The program is for beginners and intermediate writers, for doodlers and the committed and to those in between. It can also improve writing skills for those interested in other genres eg short story writing. I have perfected a technique after 13 years of teaching that helps tackle writer's block.

 

You can choose to get away from it all and come on a retreat where nature inspires and renews creativity. Within five days you will be producing 3-5000 words of polished words.

 

Or join me online for a six-week course. Sign up when you are ready to begin and we will work on a finished polished draft.

 

If you have completed a retreat or have an existing project (fiction or nonfiction) you can sign up for a three or six-month mentorship which will help in your goal of becoming a writer. Either way your work will always receive my one-to-one attention to develop and hone your skills.

 

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Writing Retreats

Retreats:

  • help you to gain confidence to tell stories that have shaped your identity.
  • connect you with your inner voice to express your own foibles, fears, love and passion.¬†
  • help you to craft your writing in an engaging and readable way.
  • get you 'to commit to the page' and to stop procrastinating.
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Great writing needs inspiration. Retreats can evoke a powerful connection with your past life. In these retreats you work through writing exercises to tap into your past. Over the course of five days, you learn how to develop a cohesive story with a strong narrative voice; how to use literary tools to make a compelling narrative and, above all, dedicate yourself to the discipline of writing extended pieces. I have never had a student encounter writer's block.

 

Writing is therapy.  My role is the midwife to help you to express past experiences as readable, accessible, stories that resonate as real stories to attract the attention of publishers or encourage you to publish your own work in a genre that is increasingly attracting attention. Retreats often act as a powerful catalyst for change in your life.

 

 

Online six-week courses

Sign up for a six-week commitment to embrace your writing career:

Memoir Writing and Travel Writing.

Both courses teach you the skills from the literary toolbox. At the end of six weeks, you will have written a polished piece of 2-4000 words based on a series of exercises sent out to you for the first three weeks. The exercises should be timed and spontaneous. and are designed to tackle 'writer's block' as well as shift you from your usual pattern of writing. The final three weeks will be spent polishing your work followed by an individual session on Skype or phone for one hour. In six weeks you should have the confidence to tackle writing in any genre as the same literary toolbox applies to all good writing.

 

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three-month mentorship

You have an existing project on the go and would like some help? After all that research you are not sure where to start or your writing has reached an impasse and you can't continue? With a three-month mentorship, you will be able to write with confidence, get continuing feedback on your work as well as taking part in individual sessions on Skype or phone when necessary. We begin with 20-pages of feedback for those with an existing project. Learn how to structure your work; how to use scene sets as plot and improve dialogue skills as well as redrafting and other skills from the literary toolbox. See your words change into dynamic prose as you learn how to adopt a professional approach to becoming a writer and deliver to deadline. Open to all genres of writing. I have taught Creative Writing as well as Creative Nonfiction over my 13 years as an academic. This is also an excellent option for those who have completed a retreat and are seeking to shape their work further.

 

 

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SIX-month mentorship

The six-month mentorship is offered to students who are committed to a larger project. If you have finished a three-month mentorship and want to continue getting regular feedback, or you have a project underway and want continuing support to be mentored in structuring; honing literary techniques; bringing the story alive on the page, then a six month mentorship is for you. Developing a synopsis and working on pitching the project to a publisher is also included and will help you map out the manuscript into a manageable project.

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Getting Published

My students have produced some excellent work to a publishable standard. Some have appeared in The Griffith Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian. Others have won awards, for example one of 10 winners in the prestigious One Book Many Brisbanes.

 

Many of my students have had no previous writing experience, but they have one thing in common: the desire to write. I have taught former police officers, midwives, primary school teachers, child protection workers, public servants and naturopaths among other professions to help them to make sense of their life and to capture lasting memories on the page. 

 

Why Writing Life?

Too many writing courses do not offer intensive feedback as a tried and true method to enhance your writing. I bring my skills as a published author of nine books, an academic of 13 years experience (which includes founding two postgraduate writing programs) and my 12 years journalistic experience on The Sydney Morning Herald. All of this, plus my publishing connections, helps my students along the path of the long sought after goal of becoming a writer.