Our Creative Writing Courses

What’s your story?

Email info@brisbanewriters.com to book your seat!

2018 Courses

In Character: Archetypes, Psychology & the Hero’s Journey

Saturday, 21 July: 2.30-5.30pm; Sunday, 22 July: 10am-2.30pm @ Bunya House, 1167 South Pine Road [near Francis Road], Arana Hills All Levels Welcome | Small Group | $220 incl. GST 
“The writer’s job is to get the main character up a tree, and then once they are up there, throw rocks at them.” – Vladimir Nabokov
Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, organic characters are the pillars of the story form. This workshop, driven by group discussion, writing exercises explores the rich terrain where literature and psychology converge. We’ll incorporate insights from Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Carolyn Myss, and Carl Jung’s views on archetypes vs. stereotypes. We’ll use psychological models to help track how certain character styles integrate or disintegrate through a story arc. We will:
— Read excerpts & experiment with character styles.
— Consider ‘hubris’ and the power of character flaws.
— Explore how characters act ‘in character’ for authentic character arcs.
— Track character healthy integration & unhealthy disintegration patterns.
— Explore the concept of identity as we track what makes good characters great.
Join author/editors Lauren Daniels, Josh Brockbank & Geneve Flynn for lively discussions, writing exercises, morning and afternoon teas. Please pack a lunch.

Intro to Creative Writing: Light My Fire

Sat, 4 Aug: 2.30-5.30pm & Sun, 5 Aug: 10am-2.30pm @ Bunya House, 1167 South Pine Road [near Francis Road], Arana Hills All Levels Welcome | Small Group | $220 incl. GST 
“It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.” -Ernest Hemingway
Grow your skills with this small-group course presented by Lauren Daniels & Joshua Brockbank. Highly recommended as a starter course or a writing refresher, this workshop is suitable for budding writers across all genres: poetry, short stories, novels, memoir, travel writing, even ‘how to’ and personal development articles. We welcome beginners but don’t treat you like one. Our topics aim to open new doors, lift your awareness around your strengths, invite freshness into your technique, and bolster your knowledge. We will:
— Practice literary techniques/devices through writing exercises.
— Explore common issues like ‘purple prose’ and ‘show don’t tell’.
— Discuss focus & perspective.
— Sharpen our authentic, active voices.
— Unwrap theme & character & models for structure & plot.
— Discuss why all the great writers study fiction & poetry.
— Deconstruct a classic working story.
Developed for those with a desire to push ideas into more workable drafts, this course provides the petrol and the launch pad. Morning and afternoon teas included. Bring your lunch on Sunday.

Speculative Fiction: Myths & Madness

Saturday, 18 August: 2.30-5.30pm; Sunday, 19 August: 10am-2.30pm @ Bunya House, 1167 South Pine Road [near Francis Road], Arana Hills All Levels Welcome | Small Group | $220 incl. GST
“The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.” -Ursula K. Le Guin
Shout-out for writers and time travellers to join us for a weekend of space stations and hungry ghosts! This unique course is homegrown for aspiring writers of sci fi, horror, fantasy, superhero and supernatural fiction. While the term ‘speculative fiction’ dawned in the 20th century, fantastic elements in fiction have been popular since Euripides and Shakespeare and frankly, audience appetites have drawn this genre right smack into the mainstream. Let’s help you meet their expectations. Our course is intensive and delivers a comprehensive survey of the crucial elements you’ll need for this genre. We unpack:
— The history, purpose & passion of spec fic.
— Psychology & spec fic.
— Killer opening lines, world building & kick butt fight scenes.
— Tropes & clichés…heroes & villains.
— The resonance of myths & legends.
— Writer’s resources & markets.
If you need some support from savvy editor/authors who love this genre as much as you do, join Lauren Daniels & Geneve Flynn for this fantastic weekend.

Travel Writing: Blogs, Articles & Books

Saturday, 1 September: 2.30-5.30pm & Sunday, 2 September: 10am-2.30pm @ Bunya House, 1167 South Pine Road [near Francis Road], Arana Hills All Levels Welcome | Small Group | $220 incl. GST 
“Not all who wander are lost.” -JRR Tolkein
With a travel writer/editor as your guide, join this expedition into one most the most popular of genres. Whether you want to amp up your blog, compile a travel memoir, organise your memories for friends and family, or sell commercial pieces to magazines, take this workshop with you. Our itinerary includes:
— From articles to books, commercial to personal accounts, the writing skills are identical and intend to captivate readers and armchair travellers.
— Strengthening our styles & matching it to publication & audience.
— Do & earn more from your travel experiences.
— Inspiration & writer’s block: Find your own path.
— Writing with impact: Strong openers; carefully selected details & killer angles from sources like The Guardian and Granta.
— Structural & style variations.
— Portraits: Capturing characters.
— Publishing myths & realities.
— A word on photos.
Travel adventure & disaster tales welcome. Absolute beginners to advanced writers will create this supportive atmosphere. Trading trekking tips encouraged. Morning and afternoon teas included but pack a lunch for Sunday.

Writing for Children & Young People: Picture Books through YA

Sunday, 9 September: 10am-4pm @ Bunya House, 1167 South Pine Road [near Francis Road], Arana Hills All Levels Welcome | Small Group | $220 incl. GST 
“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” -Lewis Carroll
Meet with a team of editors — Anna Bartlett, Lauren Daniels — and award-winning author/teacher, Janet Reid to glean tips on what children’s and young adult [YA] publishers seek and how to prepare professional submissions. We welcome beginners but don’t treat you like one as we cover a range of topics to open new doors, invite freshness to your technique, and bolster your knowledge. We will:
— Unpack industry standards & publishing trends of picture books & YA novels.
— Review the best literary techniques that engage & delight young readers.
— Take on some writing exercises to test our strengths.
— Examine conflict & tension as opportunities in good fiction.
— Cover developmental psychology models & the insights they offer into the motivation, capacity & existential exploration across age groups.
— Discuss why children are the toughest audiences & how to win them over.
— Hold a Q&A with local YA author, Janet Reid, about her process in writing, developing and publishing Granny Rags and The Ruby Bottle.
Find out more about good storytelling techniques for young readers and how to earn the positive regard of your audience. Includes light morning & afternoon teas. Bring your lunch.

Family Ties & Life Stories: A Memoir Weekend

Saturday, 3 November: 2.30-5.30pm; Sunday, 4 November: 10am-2.30pm @ Bunya House, 1167 South Pine Road [near Francis Road], Arana Hills All Levels Welcome | Small Group | $220 incl. GST 
“We write to taste life twice.” -Anaïs Nin
Everyone has stories to tell. The secret’s in using the literary techniques of good fiction and having a sharp focus. Join us to explore ways to connect and frame your personal stories. Through readings, discussions and writing exercises, we will:
— Transform memories into memoirs by applying an array of literary devices and structures.
— Cite the differences between a diary entry and a personal essay.
— Explore the differences between the autobiography and the memoir.
— Trace the path to grow short works into longer ones.
— Enjoy freewriting exercises that practice technique and pan for gold.
— Emphasise focus as the key to good memoir and discover and strengthen the central focus our our stories.
Join seasoned author/editor, Lauren Daniels for a weekend of exploration and experimentation. Bring pen, paper and your own brand of moxie. Morning/afternoon teas included. Pack a lunch on Sunday.

Intro to Creative Writing: Light My Fire

Sat, 17 November: 2.30-5.30pm & Sun, 18 November: 10am-2.30pm @ Bunya House, 1167 South Pine Road [near Francis Road], Arana Hills All Levels Welcome | Small Group | $220 incl. GST 
“It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.” -Ernest Hemingway
Grow your skills with this small-group course presented by Lauren Daniels & Joshua Brockbank. Highly recommended as a starter course or a writing refresher, this workshop is suitable for budding writers across all genres: poetry, short stories, novels, memoir, travel writing, even ‘how to’ and personal development articles. We welcome beginners but don’t treat you like one. Our topics aim to open new doors, lift your awareness around your strengths, invite freshness into your technique, and bolster your knowledge. We will:
— Practice literary techniques/devices through writing exercises.
— Explore common issues like ‘purple prose’ and ‘show don’t tell’.
— Discuss focus & perspective.
— Sharpen our authentic, active voices.
— Unwrap theme & character & models for structure & plot.
— Discuss why all the great writers study fiction & poetry.
— Deconstruct a classic working story.
Developed for those with a desire to push ideas into more workable drafts, this course provides the petrol and the launch pad. Morning and afternoon teas included. Bring your lunch on Sunday.

Polish & Publish: The Insider’s Guide

Two Consecutive Sundays in 2018: 10am-1.30pm; @ Bunya House, 1167 South Pine Road [near Francis Road], Arana Hills All Levels Welcome | Very Small Group Limited to 6 | $220 incl. GST  “The professional writer is the amateur who didn’t quit.” -Richard Bach Bring 2000-4000 words of your writing to collect gentle and constructive feedback, discover your strengths, define opportunities for improvement, and get the inside scoop on publishing. We will learn how to: — Provide evidence-based editorial critique with confidence & accuracy — Self-edit with more precision through guided practice — Provide editorial insight by citing technical issues without ‘writing the work’ or contaminating another’s creative process — Practice diplomatic editorial skills in a positive setting — See & nurture your own strengths & areas for refinement more clearly — Gather feedback on your own work from several other writers & editors — Read outside of our usual genres as powerful lessons in objective literary critique — Write a professional synopsis, query letter and submission package — Run a respectful, goal-oriented writing group. Enhance your writing with passionate industry pros, Lauren Daniels & Josh Brockbank and join the ranks of writers who take our workshops and get published. Here, we empower you to edit your own work with verve and to run productive writing groups. Morning teas included. Pack a lunch.

Seriously Short: A Weekend Short Story Clinic

Saturday, T.B.D.: 2.30-5.30pm; Sunday, T.B.D.: 10am-2.30pm @ Bunya House, 1167 South Pine Road [near Francis Road], Arana Hills All Levels Welcome | Small Group | $220 incl. GST
“I would also suggest that any aspiring writer begin with short stories. These days, I meet far too many young writers who try to start off with a novel right off, or a trilogy, or even a nine-book series. That’s like starting in at rock climbing by tackling Everest. Short stories help you learn your craft.” – George R.R. Martin
Martin says precisely what editors and publishers are thinking. It’s what we learned at school. Practice. Start small. Observe the nuance of literary technique. In this course, join Lauren Daniels, Josh Brockbank & Geneve Flynn to examine and practice the elements of taut narrative and sharp characterisation. We’ll discuss and observe the literary pattern of rising action to climax to falling action so we can do it beautifully ourselves. We’ll cover:
— Conventions of short fiction from flash fic to novellette.
— Why write short fic before grappling with the novel.
— What makes short fic great? Citing amateurish errors and rising above the average.
— What calls characters alive on the page? What makes a plot rock?
— Writing exercises & sample critique.
— Writer’s resources: markets, submission guidelines, industry formatting, comps & publishing
— Self editing & finding good writing groups.
Morning & afternoon teas included; bring lunch on Sunday.

Creative Writing II: Burn, Baby, Burn

Saturday, T.B.D.: 2.30-5.30pm; Sunday, T.B.D.: 10am-2.30pm @ Bunya House, 1167 South Pine Road [near Francis Road], Arana Hills All Levels Welcome | Small Group | $220 incl. GST 
“He knew everything about literature except how to enjoy it.” -Joseph Heller
In this advanced workshop set to challenge you and build upon our Creative Writing I: Light Your Fire course, we take things further to keep your passion and insight burning bright. We will:
— Explore & practice advanced literary techniques through writing exercises.
— Deconstruct challenging, layered pieces of fiction, a short story, & non-fiction, a personal essay.
— Articulate feedback on another writer’s work citing evidence & technique.
— Undertake & respond to critique of your work professionally.
— Self-edit with more precision.
— Run supportive, respectful, goal-oriented writing groups.
Have some fun. Devote time to your writing and stoke the flames before the holidays. Join editors, Lauren Daniels, Josh Brockbank & Geneve Flynn for this creative writing experience and come away more confident in your knowledge of the craft. Afternoon teas included. Pack a lunch for Sunday.

Fiction Blitz: Weekend Course with Three Editors

Saturday, Date TBD: 2.30-5.30pm; Sunday, Date TBD: 10am-2.30pm @ Bunya House, 1167 South Pine Road [near Francis Road], Arana Hills All Levels Welcome | Small Group | $220 incl. GST  Whether it’s a novel or short stories you’re polishing, we can help. Spread over two days to help you absorb the info, this workshop gets rave reviews for its practical approach on what makes fiction stand up in today’s market. Our team of editors [as well as published writers] tackle: — What publishers like Penguin Random House seek in a hook, plot, character — The anatomy of a scene — Metaphor, symbolism & motif — Unpacking show don’t tell — The elements of appealing fiction — Conflict & character — Rhetorical devices — Narrative & POV — Cutting cliches and striving for authentic prose. Join Lauren Daniels, Josh Brockbank and Geneve Flynn for lively discussions, energising writing exercises and morning and afternoon teas. Pack a lunch for Sunday!

Seasons and Symbols: Writing the Inner Journey

Dates TBD | $220 incl. GST “Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.” -Yoko Ono A weekend for writers of all ages and levels, we’ll explore our stories by exploring the richness of our own experience. With two guest speakers — a Jungian dream interpreter and a certified Seasons (TM) Companion — we’ll ‘write what we know’ through exercises and discussions. Sharing 500-1000 words of a writing project for positive critique is optional on Day Two. Morning & afternoon teas included.

Women Who Write: Back by Popular Demand

Dates TBD | Sat-Sun | $220 incl. GST  “Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely necessary.” -Jessamyn West Designed to refresh and energise, this workshop explores women’s writing in order to cultivate our own craft and confidence. Alongside contemporary and ancestral writers, explore perspectives of identity, spirituality, sensuality and philosophy in an evolving world. Gain momentum with your writing and enjoy the camaraderie. Come for the voices, writing prompts and cake. Morning & afternoon teas included.

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