Writing and editing are solitary professions, but they needn’t be lonely.
As writers and editors ourselves, we know that even the most introvert practitioner benefits (even enjoys!) face-to-face gatherings to learn, air concerns and share wisdom.
Our courses respond to the needs of our writing and editing community.
As you can see below, we teach on both sides of the fence – to writers and editors, which means our background understanding runs deep. From writing craft to tips and tools for manuscript development, our workshops make learning relevant, personal and fun.
We offer half-day to full-day workshops all around Australia on a range of topics. See below for our current offerings. If you don’t see what you need, get in touch to suggest a topic. (You never know, there might be something in the air!)
We’re also keen to meet you on your own turf. Why not gather a group together (minimum 5), make a time and place, and we’ll come to you.
This July we're off to Ann's home state, Tasmania!
Lost the plot? Never had one? Fear not!
These two plotting workshops will sort your narrative in no time …
Plotting Backwards - Introduction
What's the best narrative arc?
To discover the best narrative arc for your story, we use the technique of starting with the end. It means the steps along the way make sense, according to the story you’re telling.
This full-day (and we mean full!) session covers the basics that ensure writers’ choices about structure are consistent with the story ideas. This saves time! Topics include:
- Choosing a story question
- Using the protagonist’s journey to devise the best climax
- Plotting backwards from the climax
- Checking in with the plot, according to the protagonist’s misbelief.
You will finish the day understanding the most credible driver of your story and use this to establish the spine.
Plotting Backwards – Introduction is good for writers with an undeveloped or not-at-all-developed idea and those who are stuck in their story so need to reimagine the best way to go.
*For early or emerging writers, or experienced writers starting a new project.
Plotting Backwards - Intensive
A foolproof way to write a pacey story
If you know the climax of your novel, short story or creative non-fiction project, by the end of this workshop you’ll have structured the rest of your story. Really!
In this two-day session, we question the stuffing out of your climax to come up with ideas to take the story there. Big, small, likely, unlikely, logical, lateral or outta the box, we explore them all and choose the best.
Be prepared to let go in order to see clearly. We use brainstorming, interrogation and collaboration plus prompts and responsive activities to build a narrative arc that fits the aims, themes and characters of your fiction or non-fiction work.
If you’re writing great scenes, but can’t seem to piece them together, Plotting Backwards helps invent the best way to link them. It starts to structure the story and provides a way of checking that you’re on the right track.
Plotting Backwards – Intensive is for emerging and experienced writers with a good idea of the climax of their story. To ensure it works, places are limited to four participants.
Please let us know if you’re interested and we’ll alert you when we plan the next one. (If you have a group of four already, we might be able to come to you.)
Making A Scene - Learn how to write a scene from scratch
Evoke emotion. Bring in the senses. Show, don’t tell.
All good writing advice. But if you’ve got thousands of words of summary and no scenes, most readers are going to turn away to watch the tellie (which is choc-a-block full of scenes).
In Making A Scene, we take you through a creative process to build your understanding of what a scene is and what a scene does. We’ll show you examples, practise writing scenes and share our developing understanding in a safe, small group of writers at a similar stage to you.
Half day: $195
Blogs and Beyond
You're proud of and passionate about the work you do. And you know you need to write about it to get the story out there.
But it's not happening.
Blogs and Beyond is one-third professional development, one-third personal development and one-third a map to make your business communication ready, real and right.
It’s so hands on, there’ll be times when your writing hand actually gets sore!
Using brainstorming, respectful challenges and group smarts, we’ll list all of the reasons 'why not' and let them dangle there, while we get on with consolidating your 'why'.
Well gather enough content to last for months and tap into a template to write your first blog, and the next one and the next … Then we’ll create your schedule for the rest of the year.
Because from little blogs big things grow. (Thanks, Paul and Kev.) Blogs:
- Force us to distil our thinking
- Help us learn to write succinctly
- Develop our 'voice'
- Are small, doable and achievable in short timeframes. (No. More. Excuses!)
And last, but by no means least, collate a year’s blogs and you’ve got a series of articles for your industry's journal or the first draft of your very own book!
Blogs and Beyond is suitable for people of all levels of business and writing experience, from entrepreneurs with a business idea to practitioners of many years. If you’re not actually writing yet, this will set you on track.
Want an active, fun and empowering start to your business-writing phase? Blogs and Beyond is it.
The Vital Link - Manuscript development and story coaching
Most editors do it without even knowing. But at A story to tell, we’ve put a name to the role.
Story coaching occurs mostly between manuscript development and copy editing. But once a story coach, always a story coach! So helping authors develop their manuscript to its potential can happen at any stage of the work, including right at the start with ideas.
In this 4-hour workshop, we practise, discuss and debate tricks of the trade. It’s a practical, conversational session that draws on the brains trust in the room just as much as the facilitator’s own insight and experience.
If you like working with the people behind the words, story coaching is where the fun really begins!
Half day: $195
The Other Side – Creative writing for editors
You’d like to have a go. Maybe even dabbled every now and then. But you’re an editor, not a writer ... Still, you’re curious.
This workshop is a safe place to have a go. During this 4-hour session, you will be challenged and supported to take off the editor hat and wear the creative writing hat for a while. You might find you like it. Then again, you might not! Either way, you’ll be a better editor for having explored the other side…
Half day: $195