Our Creative Writing Courses

Click HERE to book a seat or express your interest!

Author Talks: Writing Groups, Book Groups, Schools, and Libraries

In person or via Zoom. Meet Lauren Elise Daniels, author of Serpent’s Wake: A Tale for the Bitten, editor of 100+ published books, Aurealis Award nominated/winning editor, and Australian Shadows Award finalist, for a chat about writing or a workshop tailored to suit your needs. Lauren is a literary judge [IP Picks, Hawkeye Publishing] and co-author of the bestselling Winning Short Story Competitions: Essential Tools for the Serious Writer. She’d love to join your group to discuss a genre/topic of your choice, a judge’s perspective on competitions, what to expect from editors and the publishing industry, and how to write with power and authenticity.

2024 Courses

Bunya House courses from $239 @ 1167 South Pine Road, Arana Hills, QLD, AUSTRALIA.
Queensland Writers Centre and Council courses vary in fees/location.
Schedule changes subject to demand. 10% discount offered for multiple bookings.
Full refunds for cancellations 21 days prior to course date. Course transfer/changes 7 days prior incur $99 fee.
For writers experiencing financial difficulty, email scholarships@brisbanewriters.com

Writing for Children & Young People: Picture Books to YA with Industry Professionals [2 SEATS LEFT]

Sunday, 19 May 2024: 10am-4pm, Bunya House. Course Fee: $239. Click HERE to BOOK. Meet with author/editors, Lauren Daniels and Charmaine Clancy 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.
  • How to structure picture books with seasoned author, editor and educator, Charmaine Clancy.

Intro to Creative Writing: Light My Fire [2 SEAT LEFT]

Sunday, 16 June 2024: 10am-4pm, Bunya House. Course Fee: $239. Click HERE to BOOK. Grow your skills with this small-group course presented by Lauren Elise Daniels. 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.

Beyond Beginnings: Excerpt Clinic for Fiction Works-in-Progress [4 Attendees Max: 1 Seat Left]

Sunday, 14 July, 10am-2pm, Bunya House. Course Fee: $249. Click HERE to BOOK. 

Join awarded editor, best-selling author and short story competition judge, Lauren Elise Daniels as we learn how to provide, discern, and accept literary feedback like a pro. You’ll need a working short story draft or novel excerpt [fiction only; 5k words max.] to workshop with attendees. We’ll learn how to:

  • Provide feedback for works-in-progress based on the Emerson College MFA workshop model.
  • Ensure our critique is evidence-based and empowering through the diplomatic language of suggestion.
  • Avoid defensive posturing in favour of a productive approach.
  • Discern opinion from technical, more objective feedback staked in literary devices and elements.
  • Offer responses that ‘do not write the piece’ for the writer or interfere with creative integrity.
  • Apply contemporary publishing standards to our feedback and approach to editing.
  • Read and critique inside and outside our genres to strengthen our writing skills.
  • Note how our own work improves by applying these methods.

ONLINE SPECIAL: Exploring Poetry: A Gentle Approach [Booking Now]

Three Consecutive Saturdays via ZOOM, 20, 27 July and 3 August, 9am-11am Brisbane Time. Course Fee: $189. Small group only. Click HERE to book! Every writer–regardless of genre–thrives when they study poetry. Yes, we’ll die on that hill. Join award-winning poet, Lauren Elise Daniels for practical lessons in strengthening our voices and well as in the economy, cohesion, theme potency, and use of transformation in small spaces and see your prose gain more traction. For this workshop, our emphasis is less about forcing our voices into sonnets and more about finding authentic and distilled means of expression. It’s more about our message and less about the rhyme. Through readings, discussions and writing exercises, we:

  • Explore a variety of structures and take our pick with nothing forced.
  • Refine our precision and focus and sharpen our words to lift our messaging.
  • Coax our words into the sublime to express layers of meaning with more potency.
  • Consider transformation from the tiny turns of a haiku to the silent bomb of a romantic or horror poem.
  • Surprise ourselves with ideas and embrace the notion that poets write what others cannot say.
  • Escape forced rhyme while we focus on the rhythm of our thoughts.
  • Please use headphones to control noise/feedback. Good internet connection essential.

Fantasy, Sci Fi, Horror: Otherworldly Writing [Booking Now]

Sunday, 4 August: 10am-4pm, Bunya House. Cost: $239. Click HERE to BOOK. 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. With awarded author/editors as your guides, Lauren Elise Daniels and Geneve Flynn will offer you a survey of the crucial elements you need to succeed. Join us as 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.

ONLINE SPECIAL: Family Ties & Life Stories: Exploring Memoir [Booking Now]

Three Consecutive Saturdays, 31 August, 7 & 14 September 2024 via ZOOM: 9am-11am Brisbane Time. Course Fee: $189. Click HERE to book! Everyone has stories to tell. The secret’s in using the literary techniques of good fiction along with a sharp focus and clear intention. Join Lauren Elise Daniels and Emma Rennison to explore ways to frame your journeys across three Saturdays. 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.
  • Please use headphones to avoid noise/feedback. Good internet connection essential.

Intro to Creative Writing: Light My Fire [5 SEATS LEFT]

Sunday, 8 September 2024: 10am-4pm, Bunya House. Course Fee: $239. Click HERE to BOOK. Grow your skills with this small-group course presented by Lauren Elise Daniels. 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.

Family Ties & Life Stories: Exploring Memoir In-Person Workshop [4 SEATS LEFT]

Sunday, 22 September 2024: 10am-4pm, Bunya House. Course Fee: $239. Click HERE to book! Everyone has stories to tell. The secret’s in using the literary techniques of good fiction, a sharp focus, and a clear intention. One core theme can also 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.

Seriously Short: Short Fiction Workshop [6 SEATS LEFT]

Sunday, 13 October 2024: 10am-4pm, Bunya House. Course Fee: $239. Click HERE to BOOK. “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. Practice. Start small. Observe the nuance of literary technique. In this course, join acclaimed authors, Lauren Elise Daniels and Pamela Jeffs, whose short fiction shortlisted for multiple awards, including the Aurealis and Ditmar. We examine the elements of taut narrative and sharp characterisation and trace 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.
  • Basic critique [OPTIONAL] on your working draft up to 1k words.
  • Self editing & finding good writing groups.

ONLINE SPECIAL: Exploring Poetry: A Gentle Approach, Part II [NOV. SESSION SOLD OUT]

Three Consecutive Saturdays via ZOOM, 2, 9, 16 November 2024: 9am-11am Brisbane Time. Course Fee: $189. For part II of our online poetry series, award-winning poet, Lauren Elise Daniels shares practical lessons to ripen our voices and confidence with precision, accuracy, and theme in distilled works of poetry. Course outlined furthers Part I’s foundation. Small group only.

Fiction Blitz: Crash Course with 3 Published & Awarded Authors [6 SEATS LEFT]

Sunday, 3 November 2024: 10am-4pm, Bunya House, Course Fee: $239. Click HERE to Book. If you’re polishing short stories or a novel, we can help. Our Fiction Blitz gets rave reviews for its practical approach on what makes fiction stand up in today’s market. Our acclaimed team of published authors–Lauren Elise Daniels, Geneve Flynn, & Pamela Jeffs–will tackle:

  • Anatomy of openers and scenes.
  • Lifting your game with literary devices.
  • World building with texture and purpose.
  • Conflict, character, and dialogue that drive story.
  • Water-tight narratives.
  • Enhancing your self-editing practice.
  • Working with editors.
  • Professional formats and submission opportunities.
  • Dealing with publishers and tips on contracts.

Writing for Children & Young People: Picture Books to YA with Industry Professionals [Taking Bookings]

Sunday, 10 November 2024: 10am-4pm, Bunya House. Course Fee: $239. Click HERE to BOOK. Meet with author/editors, Lauren Daniels and Charmaine Clancy 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.
  • How to structure picture books with seasoned author, editor and educator, Charmaine Clancy.

Secrets of Publishing with Two Industry Professionals

Date TBD: 10am-4pm, Bunya House. Cost: $239. Click HERE to BOOK. If you’re polishing up a manuscript and the publishing industry looks daunting, this course is for you. Let us share our experience with you so you can choose the path that best suits your ambition. Join two qualified industry experts–Lauren Elise Daniels and Kylie Fennell–who offer 25+ years of experience each in traditional and independent publishing. We highlight what you need to know to make informed decisions and to succeed in this business. Join us to:

  • Demystify traditional, independent, hybrid, and self publishing models.
  • Identify predatory presses and competitions.
  • Unpack what social media and sites like Amazon’s Author Central and Goodreads.
  • Discover where to start with your elevator pitch, query letter, synopsis, character outline, and marketing platform.
  • Find out how to source reviews and blurbs pre-launch.
  • Set the stage for a successful launch your book.
  • Delve into sustainable marketing activities.

Creating Characters: Conflict, Flaws, Psychology & the Hero’s & Heroine’s Journey

Sunday, Date TBD: 10am-4pm, Bunya House. Course Fee: $239. Click HERE to BOOK. In both fiction or non-fiction, characters are the pillars of a good story. Together, we explore where literature and psychology converge through Joseph Campbell, Caroline Myss, Carl Jung, and K.M. Weiland. Join awarded author/editors Geneve Flynn and Lauren Elise Daniels as we examine motivation, transformation, and how personalities imbue your story with humanity. We contrast archetypes with clichés and stereotypes and use psychological models to track how characters integrate or disintegrate through a story arc. Join us as we:

  • Experiment with character styles.
  • Trace character arcs and find out how to adapt and apply the hero & heroine’s journeys.
  • Consider how flaws and weaknesses make our cast human.
  • Explore what it means to act ‘in character’ for authentic plot points & transformations.
  • Track defense mechanisms, healthy integration & unhealthy disintegration patterns.
  • Examine what makes good characters great.
  • Learn how knowledge of the Enneagram enhances realistic motivation, authentic stress responses, and the organic development of your cast members.

Join us for lively discussions and writing exercises. You can read Lauren’s blog post for the course HERE.

ONLINE SPECIAL: Magic Realism for Rebels: Shaking the Tree with L.E. Daniels

2024 via Zoom. Course Fee: $169. Click HERE to BOOK. 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. Launched at the ‘19 Whistler Writer’s Festival in Canada to a full house and online in ’20 with the Queensland Writers Centre, Magic Realism for Rebels is designed for fiction writers with a mission. Laced with writing prompts and exercises, we’ll investigate this very special genre in the following ways:

  • Magic realism explores gender, diversity and power disparities. What voices do we hear that need to be shared through our stories and how can we capture them?
  • Magic realism is a way to tell the truth, when truth is drowned out by force. We’ll explore point of view as an intrinsic and fluid aspect of this genre’s structure.
  • Like myths, fables, folk and fairy tales, these naturalistic stories are grounded in reality and threaded with fantastic elements to convey visions that may be confrontational. How do we balance such forces in our writing?
  • Transforming the wisdom of our experience into cohesive prose is a mean feat. How does our place of origin and the events that have grown us translate into stories readers will care about, and even see playing out in their own struggles?

If you want to write with purpose, imagination and true grit, tune in with awarded author/editor, Lauren Elise Daniels and shake the tree. Have your cuppa and snacks on standby and prepare for some wild writing sessions.

Seasons & Symbols: Writing the Inner Journey

2024: 10am-4pm, Bunya House. Course Fee: $239. Click HERE to BOOK. “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

An event for all creative pursuits, we explore our lives through the richness of our stories and experiences. 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.
  • Discover ways to refresh ourselves by tracing our own stories of growth and transformation.

A writing workshop with a gentle but focused approach, this workshop is run by an author/editor, not a counsellor. Bring your desire to write and tap into the wellspring of your experiences. A rewarding course for anyone seeking a respectful place to reflect on our own emerging stories. Bring your lunch for outdoor, undercover dining.

ONLINE SPECIAL: Self-Editing Tools for Creative Writers with Two Industry Professionals

2024: 9am-12.20pm via ZOOM. Course Fee: $199. Click HERE to BOOK. 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 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 awarded author/editors, Lauren Elise Daniels & Geneve Flynn for this informative Zoom. Includes two ten-minute breaks.

Lifestyle & Travel Writing: Our Experiences in Blogs, Articles & Books

2024: 10am-4pm, Bunya House. Course Fee: $239. Click HERE to BOOK. With seasoned author/editor, Lauren Elise 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:

  •  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 and vloggers seeking more clout are encouraged to join us. Absolute beginners to advanced writers create our supportive atmosphere.

Polish & Publish: Guided Critique Session for 4 Speculative Fiction Writers, 4 General Fiction Writers, or 4 Memoir Writers

2024. Small group of 4. Seeking four writers of specified genres with a work-in-progress to join a supportive, one-day critique. Short stories or novel excerpts welcome.

Submit up to 3000 words of your writing to collect constructive and supportive feedback, discover your strengths, define opportunities for improvement, and get the inside scoop on publishing. We will:

  • Raise the status of our own writing skills & habits by critiquing others’ work.
  • Work specifically in your genre for targeted market & audience insight.
  • Gather targeted feedback from skilled writers who are becoming trained beta readers.
  • Identify & apply literary terminology without ‘writing the work’ or contaminating another’s creative process.
  • Provide evidence-based editorial critique & practice diplomatic editorial skills in a positive setting.
  • Self-edit with more precision.
  • Compose a professional submission package.
  • Learn what to expect from editors & publishers.
  • Run your own respectful, goal-oriented writing groups beyond this course.

Enhance your writing with our passionate editor/authors and join the ranks of writers who take our workshops and get published. Submissions must be vetted to ensure a good match for the group.

Person & Place: Character & World Building: 2.5 Hour Workshop

2024. 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:

  • 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.

Editorially Savvy with Two Professional Editors

2024. Course Fee: $239. With award-winning editors and seasoned pros, Lauren Elise Daniels and Geneve Flynn, learn what to expect when navigating the editing world, including how to format your work, contrasting your original draft with editorial suggestions, how to negotiate editorial advice and invent organic solutions alongside critique, and much more. A powerful workshop for emerging authors trying to understand what they have to do and how to do it, and how to tell a good editor from a dodgy one. Our qualified, experienced author/editors show you how to:

  • Cite the differences between mentors & editors.
  • Navigate the editorial loop from developmental editing through line editing, copy editing & proofreading.
  • Define the scope of your manuscript & what you as an author need.
  • Explore the different publishing paths available to authors today.
  • Spot the hard & soft skills that make a good editor.
  • Gauge current rates of pay for professional editors.
  • Find a good editor & converse with them professionally.
  • Navigate copyright & non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
  • Keep your voice & writing goals during & after the edits.
  • Tap into publishing resources, social media networks, convention links & writers’ groups.

ONLINE: Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction for Teens

2024 via ZOOM. Learn the secrets of speculative fiction in this crash course & sharpen your writing skills. If you are an aspiring writer of sci-fi, fantasy, superhero or supernatural fiction, this is for you! Be guided through a range of writing exercises to improve your world building and character development with editor and author, Lauren Daniels. This workshop is hosted on Zoom by Lauren Daniels, in partnership with Council Libraries.

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