AWMonline writers' fun and games

There are a few writing courses available online, but not many of them are free. Small wonder the free taster of new QWC Online Writing Workshops filled up fast. A few places are still available for anyone interested in Year of the Novel Online with Kim Wilkins, or Introduction to Creative Writing with Kate Eltham. It will be interesting to see how these online courses are picked up by aspiring writers living nationally and internationally over the year. Apparently, the free taster will regularly available in coming months – stay tuned.

Things that blow my mind: Did you know that Charles Darwin ‘establish[ed] an evolutionary sense of time that allowed science-fictional ideas to flourish’?! To mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Origin of the Species, Tangled Bank Press is producing an online anthology of speculative fiction, artwork, and poetry. Create your beasties and let them run free through The Tangled Bank!

The Miles franklin Award has released their longlist for this year. Expect the shortlist announcement on 16 April, and the winner to be announced on 18 June 2009.

For residents of Western Australia, Maj Monologues have released their theme for the year: Suburban Mayhem. WA playwrights have until 24 April to submit their 8-15 minute piece.

And in Adelaide tomorrow night, poetry-lovers can get along to the Friendly Streets Poets Inc New Poets Launch at the SA Writers Centre

AWMonline Writing Race Word count to date: 7925. Celebrity Guest Writer Racer next Tuesday: Belinda Jeffrey.


6 Responses to “Fun and games”

  1. Creative Writing Courses Speakeasy =BB Blog Archive =BB Fun and games «,

    […] Speakeasy ? Blog Archive ? Fun and games By Meg Small wonder the free taster of new QWC Online Writing Workshops filled up fast. A few places are still available for anyone interested in Year of the Novel Online with Kim Wilkins, or Introduction to Creative Writing with Kate Eltham. … Speakeasy – […]

  2. Paul Squires,

    A quick google of free online writing courses reveals 42,000,000 possibilities, including ten universities. I am stunned that anyone could imagine charging for them.

  3. Paul Squires,

    Especially $400 and $130. And this is being charged by an organisation that also has fees for membership and receives Government funding. Meanwhile creative writers in Australia can’t make a living. Administrators and editors are doing quite nicely though.

  4. Meg,

    Hi Paul,

    Charging for good quality writing courses doesn’t seem controversial to me, especially when you look at the pathways to publication (and income) they create for writers. I’m sure you’ll find these online courses are more about making QWC writing courses available to regionally or socially isolated writers, than about making a quick buck.

    Hey I just checked out gingatao – nice wordcraft!


  5. Paul Squires,

    Thankyou, that is very kind. “I’m sure you’ll find these online courses are more about making QWC writing courses available to regionally or socially isolated writers” who also have $400.00 to spare. Do you expect to be sharing this information with many unemployed people, factory workers, single parents or indigenous people? Surely you are receiving membership fees and government grants to provide this kind of information to writers. Do you really need to charge them for it too and in so doing restrict “the pathways to publication (and income) they create for writers” to a tiny tiny section of the population, not necessarily the best writers but those who can afford to pay for it? And finally, is this sentence true? “There are a few writing courses available online, but not many of them are free.” No, it’s not.

  6. The Empty Page,

    Hey Paul,

    You also left this comment on QWC’s blog ‘The Empty Page’. And this is what TEP has to suggests:

    The internet is an undeniable resource, and QWC frequently directs our members to great resources on the web – especially ones that cover areas we don’t provide.

    Over at The Empty Page, we’ve thinking about your comment in regards to why QWC would enact a payment scheme for our online courses, and it’s pretty much the same reason why your book of poetry ‘The Puzzle Box’ is available for a fee online. Because a) you deserve to be paid for your work and b) you have fair costs to recoup to provide that quality product to market.

    QWC believes strongly that writers should get paid, as in any other profession, and we pride ourselves on paying our tutors ASA rates. If you were doing a finance course, an aromatherapy course or a tae kwon do course etc you would pay a fee in exchange for your supervised participation.

    In the case of QWC’s online programs, they are a quality product that you buy, built on a system whereby the writer/tutor is paid for their skill-sharing, knowledge and expertise. We want our participants to get the most out of all our programs to assist their writing, and we work hard to ensure a fair and valuable pricing structure – for both the participant and the Australian Tutor/writer.

    It all ties into QWC’s missinon to to support and promote a writing culture in Queensland by contributing to the professional development and practice of writers locally, and by advancing their recognition nationally and internationally. Part of QWC’s business strategy for the online writing workshops is employing Queensland writers to develop and teach great content for us.

    So just as there’s a cost to us in putting on face to face workshops (the major one being paying the author/presenter for their time and skill) there’s a similar cost in putting on online workshops.

    Additionally, as a not-for-profit organisation, everything we do feeds back into Queensland. Regional engagement is a top priority for QWC, with initiatives like the Varuna Longlines Program, and Q150 Writers’ Train that engage primary school aged children in writing.

    In response to your enquiry about working with unemployed people, Indigenous people, and people from disadvantaged backgrounds, there are a number of QWC projects in the pipeline that will engage in community development. QWC has a strong history of working with communities and it’s something we strive to continuously expand and improve. Take a look at our involvement in the Varuna Longlines Program which exists specifically for regional, remote and Indigenous writers.

    I think the question you’ve got to ask yourself, Paul, is what is the most appropriate method of engaging with community? For Indigenous communities, exploring writing might not be appropriate to learn via the internet. They may prefer a mentoring scheme, or some kind of face to face relationship. For single parents, they may need a program that incorporates their kids. So you see, in these cases, workshop based models or a longer term community cultural development project may be appropriate.

    Different people communicate in different ways, and you’ll find that QWC facilitates specific grant funding for community building initatives tailored to what the communities want for themselves.

    I’m a great believer in listening to what a community wants, rather than just going ahead with a project – and just as specific regional communities have requested high-quality online programsfrom QWC, we also have other communities that have requested meaningful projects on the ground.

    So there is no “one size fits all” approach.

    And I’ll finish by saying that whichever way an writer wants to improve or explore their skills, they need to make that decision for themselves based on what’s right for them.

    To find out more, stay tuned to throughout the year to find out more, or subscribe to The Empty Page blog.

    Good luck Paul.
    The Empty Page

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