I have written posts now on writers centres in every Australian state and territory, but there is also, would you believe, an Australian Writers’ Centre. Who are they, and where do they fit in?
It seems like they are primarily a provider of writing courses. When you click on the About link on their website, the first thing you read is:
Welcome to the Australian Writers’ Centre
We’re Australia’s leading provider of writing courses and we’re so excited that you’ve found us at last!
If you’d like to improve your writing skills or simply find your inspiration, this is the place.
They say that they offer courses in “in creative writing, freelance writing, business writing, blogging and much more”, and that people love their courses “because of their affordability, short duration and accessibility – a risk-free way to gain new writing skills in a supportive environment”. Their courses are “created by experts who are active in the industry”. They run in-person courses (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane) and online ones.
They sound and look highly self-promotional, but who teaches their courses? Well, there are some well-known names there, including published (many of them internationally successful) Australian authors, such as Kate Forsyth (best-selling author of fantasy, primarily); Alison Tait (best-selling author, particularly of children’s books); Nick Earls (popular writer of books for adults, young adults and children, and who has appeared here); novelists Annabel Smith (who has also appeared here a few times) and Natasha Lester; plus others including Valerie Khoo, and various journalists and free-lance writers. I notice, for example, that Annabel Smith’s Creative Writing course that started today is sold out.
They also offer other free “resources” or activities:
- Newsletter: contains news and promotions, but also fun challenges and tips. (I don’t always read it, but really, it has something for all interesting in reading and writing, including their “Word of the Week”, Teasers, and Q&As on wordy things.)
- Podcasts: So you want to be a writer, Murder and mayhem, Magic and mayhem.
- Blog: announces awards and competitions, alumni news, and tips and hints such as this one on self-editing.
- Furious fiction: a monthly competition which earns the winner $500.
So, as far as I can tell, the AWC is primarily an organisation offering courses and other resources for writers, both fee-based and free. Unlike the state-based centres it is not a member organisation, but I can’t find anything on their site, not even their FAQs, about their history or governance. (Wikipedia’s article on Valerie Khoo says she founded it in 2005.) This sort of information is not essential, of course. If they are providing a needed and appreciated service, that’s the important thing. But, I’m a librarian-archivist, and I do love it when organisations provide some history on their sites. It’s not hard to do.
A novel works its magic by putting a reader inside another person’s life. (Barbara Kingsolver, from AWC Newsletter, 6/2/20)
Exactly why I love to read (notwithstanding there are some lives I may not want to be in) … what about you?