It’s hard to know where to start when describing my experience on the Faber Writing Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course in Melbourne. Suffice to say, it has made me a better writer. It has also made me a better reader.
It was joy to spend one evening a week for six months in the company of the incredible Carrie Tiffany and my eight fellow writers. Carrie was endlessly insightful, patient, funny and wise. I left each class with my brain heavy, and itching to get back to my novel to explore what we’d discussed – as well as lists and lists of books to read!
Carrie’s writing exercises were always useful, and I know I’m not the only one who incorporated something that began in a writing exercise into their novel.
The regular workshops were a strong motivator to keep writing and (hopefully) writing well, and the time Carrie and the other course members put into giving thoughtful comments and suggestions was wonderful. Everyone on the course came to really care about each other’s novel and characters – so as the course went on we were all able to give considered suggestions – it was invaluable to see other people be excited about your story, to want to know what happened next, and have real opinions about how your characters would speak and act.
The guest speakers were always exciting; from inspiring novelists to editors and agents who could give us a perspective of the ‘other side’.
I’m so grateful to Allen & Unwin and everyone involved in the Faber Academy for giving me this experience. ‘Writing a Novel’ has given me the skills and confidence to finish my novel.
Clementine was a recipient of our Writing a Novel scholarship, and applications for both the 2015 scholarships and course are now open.
You can read some of her other reflections, linked below: