Our Creative Writing Courses

What’s your story?

Email info@brisbanewriters.com to book your seat!

2019 Courses

Venue: Bunya House, 1167 South Pine Road, Arana Hills, Queensland, AUSTRALIA. Fees: $229 unless otherwise noted. Variations in venue or cost listed below. All Levels Welcome | Small Groups | Custom Experience | Qualified Author/Editor Presenters

Bunya House courses are small group workshops and may sell out/be postponed, depending on demand.

Author Talk @ Mitchelton & Corinda Libraries

Sat, 13 July: 11am-12pm, 37 Heliopolis Parade, Mitchelton, Queensland. Tues, 23 July: 10.30am-11.30am, 641 Oxley Road, Corinda, Queensland. Story is a powerful healer. As writers, we’re compelled to collect that which is in danger of being forfeit or forgotten. Some of us seek to capture truths about the human condition that might otherwise evade expression. We might use fables, fairy tales, magic realism and speculative fiction to unfold the heart of difficult or even taboo stories. With a bit of imagination, we can frame our questions about the world and allow others to explore even the most harrowing of adversaries from a safe distance. We can examine resilience, courage, even trauma and the profound growth that follows the darkest of moments. We can, through telling and reading stories, encounter ourselves. Meet Lauren Elise Daniels, author of Serpent’s Wake: A Tale for the Bitten and editor of over 80 published titles for a friendly, informal chat about fiction, writing and gathering our lives and wisdom into story form. All writers and readers welcome. Register here to claim your seat with Brisbane City Council.

Shaking the Tree: Magic Realism @ 2019 Whistler Writers Festival

Sat, 19 October @ Whistler Fairmont Hotel, Whistler, British Columbia CANADA: 11.30am-1pm. $38CAN Is your writing…different? Are you drawn to social issues and extraordinary ways to explore them? Magic realism conjures the imagery of Frida Kahlo and Henri Rousseau and is something Salman Rushdie calls “a newish name for a very old thing.” We’re talking Kafka, Woolf, Márquez, and Murakami. Linked with Latin American writers of the ‘50s, magic realism has deep roots for storytellers. Like myths, fables, folk and fairy tales, these naturalistic stories are both grounded in reality and threaded with fantastic elements to convey visions that may be confrontational. Magic realism is a way to tell the truth, when truth is drowned out by force. It explores gender, diversity and power disparities. If you want to write with purpose, imagination and true grit, come hang out with awarded author/editor, Lauren Elise Daniels and shake the tree. Bring a notebook or a tablet, for some wild writing sessions.

Person & Place: Character & World Building

Sat, 9 Nov: 10.30am-12.30pm, Caloundra Library. Register HERE. $40 p.p. For fiction and non-fiction, characters are the pillars of a good story. Through discussion and writing exercises, we explore where literature and psychology converge. Drawing from Joseph Campbell, Caroline Myss, and Carl Jung, join Lauren Daniels to examine how transformation and character arcs drive a story. We will:
— Trace the arcs of the hero & heroine’s journeys.
— Consider ‘hubris’ and the power of character flaws.
— Contrast archetypes with stereotypes.
— Examine psychological models as character blueprints.

Intro to Creative Writing: Light My Fire [SOLD OUT!]

Sat, 16 November: 2.30-5.30pm & Sun, 17 November: 10am-3pm, Bunya House.  Grow your skills with this small-group course presented by Lauren Daniels & Joshua Brockbank. A popular starter 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 drafts, this course provides the fuel. Morning and afternoon teas included. Bring your lunch on Sunday.

Memoirs & Family Stories [SELLING OUT!]

Wed, 20 Nov: 10am-12pm, Nambour Library. Register HERE. $35 p.p. Everyone has stories to tell. The secret’s in applying the literary techniques of fiction and a strong focus. A core theme structures memories into one cohesive story that will resonate with readers as literary elements draw them alive. Join Lauren Daniels to connect your experiences. Through readings, discussions and writing exercises, we:
— Frame personal meaning within universal themes through literary techniques.
— Reflect upon integrity, emotional truth & the unreliability of memory.
— Discuss the power of research & reconstruction.
— Enjoy freewriting exercises that practice technique & pan for gold.

Self Editing for Creative Writers with 3 Industry Professionals

Sun, 1 December: 10am-4pm, Bunya House. As you may know, first contact with an editor can point you to publication. A vetting process often begins as editors consider suitable publishers, so you want your manuscript to shine. Sometimes, however, writers expect editors to teach them the basics, but it’s just not their role. Manuscripts littered with common mistakes also communicate that writers haven’t educated themselves and look daunting to industry professionals. This course teaches you what you need to know before spending a cent on editors or assessments. Our qualified, experienced author/editors show you how to:
— Apply the editing cycle from structural editing right down through copyediting & proofreading.
— Establish & access a style sheet, the most essential tool for your proofreaders.
— Resolve common errors considered ‘earmarks of the amateurs’.
— Professionally format your work for submission.
— Compile a market savvy synopsis that gives the editor & publishers precisely what they want.
— Hone your expectations of an editor to get the best return.
— Read, manipulate, accept/reject & apply ‘Track Changes’ left on your draft by an editor.
— Access top resources like style manuals, etc.
Join author/editors, Lauren Daniels & Josh Brockbank, & author/publisher of Hawkeye Books, Carolyn Martinez for lively discussions and morning and afternoon teas. Pack a lunch!

2020 Courses

Brisbane courses held @ Bunya House, 1167 South Pine Road, Arana Hills, Queensland, AUSTRALIA.

All Levels Welcome | Small Groups | Custom Experience Fees: $229 unless otherwise noted. Bunya House courses are small group workshops. They may sell out or be postponed, depending on demand.

Fantasy, Sci Fi, Horror: Otherworldly Writing

Sat, 11 Jan: 2.30-5.30pm; Sun, 12 Jan: 10am-3pm, Bunya House.  This unique course is homegrown for aspiring writers of sci fi, horror, fantasy, superhero and supernatural fiction. While ‘speculative fiction’ has gone more mainstream, let’s help you meet your readers’ expectations. Our course is intensive and delivers a survey of the crucial elements you’ll need for this genre. We unpack:
— The history & styles of spec fic.
— Psychology, motivation & character arcs.
— Killer opening lines, world building & kick butt fight scenes.
— Tropes & clichés…heroes & villains.
— Myths & legends as inspiration.
— 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.

Writing for Children & Young People: Picture Books to YA

Sun, 19 Jan: 10am-4pm, Bunya House. Meet with author/editor, 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 Trouble for Toby, Granny Rags, The Ruby Bottle — titles listed with the 2018 & 2019 Victoria Premiers’ Reading Challenge.
Find out more about good storytelling techniques for young readers and how to earn the regard of your audience. Includes light morning & afternoon teas. Bring your lunch.

The Hero & Heroine’s Journey: Blueprints for Writers @ QWC

Sat, 25 Jan: 10am-4pm, Queensland Writers Centre, State Library, South Brisbane. Cost: $100-$190: Early Bird Rates end 22 Dec. Register with QWC HERE. In both fiction and non-fiction, characters are the pillars of a good story. This workshop, driven by discussion and writing exercises, explores where literature and psychology converge. Drawing from Joseph Campbell, Maureen Murdock, Caroline Myss, and Carl Jung, we examine character flaws, tests, and transformations and the satisfying storylines these create. We trace the classic hero and heroine’s journeys as psychological templates and contrast archetypes with stereotypes as we unpack these compelling story drivers. Perfect for both fiction and memoir writers as a way to unleash the resonant power of your narratives. We will:
— Understand hero and heroine’s journeys as surpassing gender and embracing the human experience.
— Incorporate the hero and heroine’s journey into both fiction and nonfiction works.
— Integrate the power of character flaws into authentic characterisation.
— Create engaging and entertaining main and secondary characters for fiction and memoir.
Understand clearly how story and character arcs work together to serve our narratives.
For Beginner, Intermediate and Emerging Writers.
Cost and registration details with QWC to come and will be posted HERE.

Intro to Creative Writing: Light My Fire

Sat, 1 February: 2.30-5.30pm & Sun, 2 February: 10am-3pm, Bunya House.  Grow your skills with this small-group course presented by Lauren Daniels & Joshua Brockbank. A popular starter 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 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’ as we sharpen our authentic voices.
— Discuss focus & perspective.
— 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 drafts, this course provides the fuel. Morning and afternoon teas included. Bring your lunch on Sunday.

Travel & Lifestyle Writing: Blogs, Articles & Books

One-Day Workshop: Sunday, 16 February: 10am-4pm, Bunya House. With seasoned author/editor, Lauren Daniels as your guide, join this expedition into one most the most popular and elastic approaches to writing. Whether you want to start a travel/lifestyle blog, compile your experiences into a cohesive draft, or pitch articles to magazines, take our workshop with you.  From blogs to books & across commercial articles, the writing skills are universal and set out to captivate your readers. We will:
— Strengthen our voices & match our writing to an audience.
— Explore how to do & earn more with your professional, personal & travel experiences.
— Unpack inspiration & the truth about writer’s block.
— Examine strong openers, strategic details, & killer angles.
— Try out structural & stylistic variations to enhance our stories.
— See portraits & interviews as pivotal as we capture characters with economy.
— Review publishing myths & realities & offer a word on photos.
Bloggers seeking more clout and authenticity are encouraged to join us. Absolute beginners to advanced writers create our supportive atmosphere. Morning and afternoon teas included but pack a lunch for Sunday.

Seasons & Symbols: Writing the Inner Journey

Sat, 29 February: 2.30-5.30pm; Sun, 1 March: 10am-3pm, Bunya House. “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 all ages and creative pursuits, we explore our stories through the richness of our own lives and experiences. With Eveylyn Brennan, a Jungian dream interpreter as a guest speaker, we’ll ‘write what we know’ through exercises and discussions. We will:
— Discuss memories and dreams as wellsprings of creativity and insight.
— Draw our stories into form through exercises and gentle exploration.
— Explore the repeating themes, mythologies, and challenges that have served as guideposts for our growth.
— Play with the concept of our lives as allegory, stories lined with symbols and universal truths.
A great and rewarding course for writers, readers and those seeking a place to reflect on their own emerging stories. Morning & afternoon teas included. Please pack your lunch.

Family Ties & Life Stories: A Memoir Weekend

Sat, 14 March: 2.30-5.30pm; Sun, 15 March: 10am-3pm, Bunya House.  Everyone has stories to tell. The secret’s in using the literary techniques of good fiction along with focus and intention. Like Ariadne’s golden thread guiding us through the labyrinth, one core theme can structure the wealth of our memories into a cohesive story. Join us to explore ways to connect and frame your journeys. Through readings, discussions and writing exercises, we:
— Transform memories into memoirs through an array of literary devices & structures.
— Explore broader contexts to frame personal meaning within universal themes.
— Reflect upon integrity, emotional truth, subjectivity & the unreliability of memory.
— Cite the differences between a diary entry & personal essay; autobiography & memoir.
— Cultivate trust between reader & speaker.
— Trace the path to grow short works into longer ones through research & reconstruction.
— Enjoy freewriting exercises that practice technique & pan for gold.
— Emphasise focus as the key to good memoir & strengthen the central theme of our stories.
Join seasoned author/editors, Lauren Daniels and Margie Riley for a weekend of exploration and experimentation. Morning/afternoon teas included. Pack a lunch on Sunday.

Fiction Blitz: Weekend Course with 3 Editors

Sat, Date TBD: 2.30-5.30pm; Sun, Date TBD: 10am-3pm, Bunya House. 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 editor/authors tackle:
— What publishers seek in a hook, plot, character.
— Anatomy of a scene.
— Metaphor, allusion, symbolism & motif.
— Show don’t tell.
— Elements of appealing fiction.
— Conflict & character.
— Rhetorical devices.
— Narrative & point of view.
— Cutting cliches & striving for authentic prose.
— How to format your work for professional submission.
Join Lauren Daniels, Josh Brockbank and Geneve Flynn for lively discussions, energising writing exercises and morning and afternoon teas. Pack a lunch for Sunday!

Seriously Short: A Weekend Short Story Clinic

Sat, DATE T.B.A.: 2.30-5.30pm; Sun, DATE T.B.A.: 10am-3pm, Bunya House.  “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 discuss and observe the literary pattern of rising action to climax to falling action so we can do it beautifully ourselves. We cover:
— Conventions from flash fiction to novella.
— Why writing short fic first is key to long-term success.
— What makes short fic great: citing amateurish errors & rising above the average.
— What calls characters alive & how structure 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.

Polish & Publish: The Insider’s Guide

Two Consecutive Sundays in 2020: 10am-1.30pm, Bunya House.  “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.
— Cite technical issues of a piece without ‘writing the work’ or contaminating another’s creative process.
— Practice professional, diplomatic editorial skills in a positive setting.
— Nurture our own strengths & opportunities for refinement.
— Gather feedback on our 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.

The Character Arc: Psychology, the Hero’s & Heroine’s Journey

Sat, Date TBD: 9.30-1.30pm; Sun, Date TBD: 9.30am-1.30pm, Bunya House.  In both fiction or non-fiction, characters are the pillars of a good story. This workshop, driven by group discussion and writing exercises, explores where literature and psychology converge. Drawing from Joseph Campbell, Ann Davin, Maureen Murdock, Caroline Myss, and Carl Jung, we examine transformation and how people evolve within a story. We also contrast archetypes with cliches and stereotypes and use psychological models to track how characters integrate or disintegrate through a story arc. We will:
— Read excerpts & experiment with character styles.
— Trace the arcs of the hero & heroine’s journeys.
— 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.
— Examine what makes good characters great.
Join author/editors Lauren Daniels & Josh Brockbank for lively discussions, writing exercises, morning and afternoon teas. Please pack a lunch.

Women Who Write

2020, Bunya House.  “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.

Creative Writing II: Light My Way

Saturday, Date TBA 2020: 2.30-5.30pm; Sunday, Date TBA: 10am-3pm, Bunya House. “If it sounds like writing, rewrite it.” ~Elmore Leonard Developed to follow on from Creative Writing I: Light Your Fire, 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. — Demystify narrative & point of view. — Self-edit with more precision. — Articulate feedback on another writer’s work citing evidence & technique. — Undertake & respond to critique of your work professionally. — Run supportive, respectful, goal-oriented writing groups. Have some fun. 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.

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