When you’re fresh out of university, you’re no longer looking to commit years of your life to learning about writing. A full-time job might be demanding your attention while all your outside time is committed to trying to get published. You might be unable to commit to blocking out set times and days for in-person courses and events. But, even then, it is so important that you continue to regularly upskill, especially when you feel like you’re getting nowhere in your writing career.
Here is my say on some of the absolute legend online course runners that have made my life easier to work and study:
Australian Writers’ Centre
These guys are fantastic. I originally went in thinking the courses might be catered more towards complete beginners. I was proven wrong. While the Australian Writers’ Centre caters to newer writers, they also provide fantastic insights for intermediate writers. They talk about parts of the writing industry that I never even got to learn while undertaking my writing and publishing degree. They talked about invoicing, how to approach editors [why, why is this not talked about more in university??], working with clients—all that real-life business that is integral to getting started as a writer. They also don’t skimp on critiquing your writing as needed to make sure you’re not losing your reader.
Their platform is super easy to navigate. Forget about needing to block out set times during the week: their modules are run weekly with audio/video material available to access at any time. Most of their courses run for five weeks each and the value you get from them is enormous.
Their courses include:
Freelance Writing (e.g. Freelance Writing Stage 1, Travel Writing)
Copywriting (e.g. SEO Copywriting)
Creative Writing (e.g. Short Story Essentials)
Business Writing (e.g. Content Writing)
Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd)
Considering the increased emphasis on writers being able to edit their own writing, it’s important us writers learn the fundamentals behind publishable writing. The Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) is the main editing association between Australia and New Zealand for becoming accredited in editing. I have learnt so much from this institution, including how to rephrase awkward writing and how to correctly punctuate my sentences. IPEd also offers memberships (including ones for students/concession holders!). These memberships make it easier to not only participate in presentations for cheaper, but you can also get a hold of some of their past pre-recorded events for later viewing. This institution might not be for all writers, but for those who love to learn the mechanics behind beautifully written writing, these are the guys to go to.
IPEd offers a range of online Zoom events where participants can book in advance to get real time listening and asking questions to fully qualified editors. If you prefer in-person events, then good news! IPEd has a branch in each state and they often run in-person events around the city area.
Their courses/presentations have included:
Refreshers on grammar
How to edit specific genres
Kill Your Darlings
An awesome find. Kill Your Darlings (KYD) now runs a workshop platform where a bundle of renowned Australian authors host online courses based on all aspects of creative writing. Some notable hosts include Julie Koh (author of Portable Curiosities) on experimenting with short fiction and Sisonke Msimang (author of Always Another Country) on life writing. Be it short fiction, memoir, manuscript, or experimental, they’ve got it for you. Open for an unlimited time and no set assignments—just a great debriefing on the subject and a variety of exercises to try at your own efforts.
There are more than 20 courses you can select from the Kill Your Darlings website. All courses contain an introduction to the author presenting as well as different modules combing through the topic at hand. Learning is both written and audio based, and you have lifetime access to the course (no time constraints!). You can also get a 10% discount to courses if you enrol to become a Kill Your Darlings member.
Their courses include:
Manuscript Essentials with Kate Goldsworthy
Getting Published with Hannah Kent and Rebecca Starford
Science Fiction, Fantastical, Supernatural with Angela Meyer
Crafting Gripping Plots in Novels with Jock Serong