Think you’ve got a book or blog in you, but you’re not sure how to begin? Learn about where to start, how to keep going, what makes great prose and how craft enhances art. Plot, character, setting, theme, pace, style, editing and revision: have your questions answered on all these topics, and more, while also developing a practical and productive writing routine. Suitable for new and emerging writers.
Five principles underpin my approach to teaching writing:
1) I like to "give the imagination a task" with regular exercises (in class + homework assignments) to inspire free and easy writing, and build momentum.
2) I like to illustrate good writing practice with regular hand - outs showcasing examples of great prose - for discussion, and as inspiration for associated exercises - and I make use of quotes (well chosen words from others) to re - phrase the points of theory and good practice I'm making. Because...
3) I consider words (language itself) a ready source of inspiration for writing. Hence the on - going "Dictionary Habit" exercise, and some other alphabet-based tasks.
4) I aim to create a 'safe' environment in which to work on and share writing with others. Students are encouraged to read from their exercises in class/homework but are NEVER obliged to do so. Constructive feedback and learning is always the intention behind sharing work.
5) I stress the role of Focus & Flow. I encourage writers to find and know their focus - this is the power of selection. I believe it is necessary for a writer to drop down into a state of 'flow'/get into 'the zone' in order to find what is deeply known. Only then can you access your best and most honest material: the one true thing you really have to say. Good writing results from deep thinking; deep understanding/knowledge; deep and heartfelt emotion and experience.
What's been said about previous courses:
“I hung on every word Janet said... She has a penetrating intellect and a generous nature. The wealth of information she provided was like getting a mini masters degree on the subject.”
“Janet is a ‘live wire’ and kept everyone interested all the time.”
Janet is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, reviewer, essayist and poet who has an MA in Writing and has been teaching creative writing for more than 15 years. Her short stories (general fiction, romance, science-fiction) have appeared in various magazines and newspapers (eg. Woman’s Day, The West Australian) and her novel ‘Only Myself’ was published by HarperCollins. Janet studied English & Communication (BA), Librarianship (DipLib) and Writing (MA) at university, as well as script - writing at the AFTRS, and spent many years working in library management, public relations and corporate communications (including speech - writing) before turning to fiction and teaching. Janet runs her courses, seminars and workshops independently as well as through libraries and community centres and as an occasional guest presenter at universities. She was born in the UK, spent her adolescence in NZ, and, following a period of travelling the world, moved to Australia in 1989. Apart from books and writing, Janet’s other passions include the arts, wildlife and conservation, travel and gardening. She divides her time between Sydney and the Blue Mountains where she currently lives and where the play and novel she is writing are set.