Creative Writing Course: Novel Writing

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Learn the techniques of writing a novel with our creative writing courses in Sydney.

The interactive live online course will be delivered via Zoom platform, with a small class group.

Have you tried to start writing a novel and gotten stuck somewhere in the middle? Do you have a burning desire to get that story out of you and onto the page, and don’t know where to start? Or perhaps you’re plodding along with your novel, and you’re not sure if you’re doing it right…?

This practical course is designed to give you the skills to write engaging novels. It doesn’t matter what stage of writing you’re at, whether you’ve got the glimmer of an idea and can’t figure out where to start, or whether you’ve started and just need some guidance on the next step toward completion and publication, this course will give you the fundamental bricks for building your fiction novel, one word at a time.

Wherever you’re at, this course may help launch your writing career. On completion, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of fiction novel writing, along with a writer’s toolkit jam-packed with techniques and tips for creating engaging, must-read fiction. You’ll also have gained valuable insights into the world of publishing from an experienced, published author.


By the end of this novel writing course, you will:

  • have learned how to develop and craft compelling characters your readers will cheer for
  • understand and know how to draft plot outlines and story plans
  • know how to use scene and sequel to draw a reader along in the story
  • be able to optimise reader experience by using point of view, dialogue and setting to your advantage
  • know how to hook editors, agents and readers by creating an engrossing read they can’t put down
  • understand the steps involved to prepare a finished novel for submission or publication
  • gain valuable industry insights beyond the secret doors of publishing, and understand the process from story concept through to publication

Ideal for...

This course is suitable for beginners and students with some creative writing experience.

Course outline – in-class delivery

  • Week 1: Character - how to build compelling heroes, villains and supporting characters with objectives, motivation and conflict, and understand character interactions and their roles within the story
  • Week 2: Structure, plot & hooks - how to plan your story, develop an outline, ensure conflict is sustainable, and hook reader interest all the way through until "The End"
  • Week 3: Scene & sequel, tension & pacing - how to engage action and reaction, character insights and pivots, to create drive and direction, and assess the structural merits of a scene, and how to raise the stakes and ratchet the tension and control the pace of your story
  • Week 4: Point of view, dialogue & setting- how to utilise deep point of view and dialogue to conceal and/or reveal, and use setting as a character in your story
  • Week 5: Revision & editing- how to objectively assess your story for structural integrity, fix any issues, and edit and polish your story until it shines
  • Week 6: Synopses, submissions and publishing - how to write a synopsis, research editors, agents and publishers and prepare your manuscript for submission

Course outline – online delivery

Please note: The online course is a modified version of the full course, so the content and learning outcomes will be reduced to suit online delivery and the shorter course duration.

Please bring to each class...

  • a notebook with removable pages
  • pen or pencil
  • a laptop or tablet if this is what you prefer to write on (optional)

This course has no current classes. Please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join Waitlist

This course has no current classes. Please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join Waitlist

Course testimonials:

  • said: An excellent course for beginners and for those with some writing experience... Shannon Curtis knows her stuff, has published many books and imparts her experience, strength and hope with a minimum of fuss. Great value and a terrific tutor. Well done Sydney Community College - another happy client.

  • said: I loved this course! As an avid reader, I adore novels and wanted to shift my focus from being the reader to the writer. Our tutor, Shannon Curtis, not only provided us with extensive and relevant information on how to write novels but she also taught us how to apply it to our own work. I can not commend her enough for her wonderful teaching and plethora of knowledge. I have already recommended this course to my book club! I thoroughly enjoyed this course and if there was a “Novel Writing- continued...” course, I’d be there! Thanks for the worthwhile experience!

  • said: Learned a lot more than I thought I would. Shannon was great.

  • said: It was great to get the insights from a well-published author who has 'been there and done that'... lots of excellent advice for budding authors and excellent at finding solutions on the fly for those who were stuck. A couple of improvements... use more novel examples and more collaborative writing in class... Overall, an enjoyable learning experience, thank you Shannon.

  • said: I really enjoyed this course, and found it very interesting. Shannon was awesome! Heaps of practical advice and experience, plus the lollies every week.. It could be longer to take more time over the plot elements...