Creative Writing - How to Write a Novel

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Course description

Learn how to write a novel in Sydney.

Do you have a novel started on your computer? In a notebook bulging with post-its and scraps of paper? In your bottom drawer, or even in your head? If so, this is the course for you!

During this Novel Writing Essentials Course we look at developing your novel through tried-and-true techniques involving character, plot and dialogue, as well as trouble-shooting tricky areas like structure, scenes and story arc. Incorporating weekly exercises as well as peer-workshopping, Novel Writing Essentials offers something for advanced writers looking to prepare their novel for publication, as well as writers just starting to develop their work.

All novel approaches are welcome – literary or genre, mainstream or experimental. If you want to write a novel that readers will not forget, why not learn from an award winning novelist with a PhD in Creative Writing and almost ten years teaching experience in Sydney and overseas?

Course content
  • Structure and plot
  • Character
  • Scene
  • Point of view
  • Dialogue
  • Setting
  • Revision and editing
  • Publication

In addition to in-class work and optional weekly exercises to hone their practice, you will have the opportunity to present excerpts of your novel for both instructor critique and peer workshopping during the course.


Focusing on developing projects and receiving feedback from the instructor and classmates, this course helps writers sharpen their skills and work toward completion of publishable work. Through the completion of in-class and take-home exercises, writers will improve their understanding of novel structure, story drivers, strong characters, narrative strategies and dialogue techniques. Writers will become comfortable with the critiquing process as well as the revision and editing of their own work in order to produce the best, and ultimately most publishable work possible, whatever the genre.

About your tutor

Jenny (JS) Breukelaar is the author of the acclaimed novels American Monster (Eraserhead Press), Aletheia (Crystal Lake Publishing), and the short-story collection War Wounds (CLP, Forthcoming 2017). Her award-winning short fiction has appeared in Gamut, Lamplight Magazine, Fantasy Magazine, Prick of the Spindle, Juked, Opium magazine and others, and included in literary as well as dark fiction anthologies.

She has a PhD in literature and creative writing, which she teaches at the University of Western Sydney and online at, where she is also a columnist. Visit her at Thelivingsuitcase and Twitter.

Before the class – please organise:
  • A notebook with removable pages and something to write with
  • Laptops (optional)

Avoid disappointment – enrol early

Please ensure you have given a valid e-mail address and mobile number as all course changes will be communicated via sms or e-mail.