A Novel Journey

Date and time: 10th April 2016 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Location: Moonah Arts Centre, 23-27 Albert Rd, Moonah Tasmania 7009

A Novel Journey

Get a grasp of the fundamentals and wrangle your manuscript into shape as you take A Novel Journey in 2016.

A collection of expert tutors including Robyn Mundy, Terry Whitebeach, Toni Jordan, Cameron Hindrum and Danielle Wood will take you on the journey, covering all the major aspects of writing a novel over nine monthly sessions.

Beginning with structure, narrative, character and setting, we will get your story flowing ready for a mid-course full day plotting workshop with Melbourne-based author Toni Jordan. Then we will move towards finessing your work with sessions on style, rhythm and pace, dialogue and polishing your manuscript. Our final sessions will be devoted to getting your manuscript ready to send to publishers, with an industry expert who can share their tips and hints.

There will be opportunities for participants to network during the course as well. And if you sign up for the whole course you will receive a special discount for our three Writers’ Toolbox weekends with agents, publishers and social media experts.

Sessions are held on Sunday mornings at the Moonah Arts Centre.


Date           Time             Topic/Tutor

10 Apr       10am-2pm      Structure – Robyn Mundy (inc. lunch and chat)

24 Apr        10am-1pm      Narrative – Cameron Hindrum

1 May        10am-1pm       Setting and Place – Robyn Mundy

29 May      10am-1pm      Character – Terry Whitebeach

26 Jun        10am-4pm      The Unpredictable Plotter – Toni Jordan (full day inc. lunch)

31 July       10am-1pm      Style Rhythm & Pace – Cameron Hindrum

28 Aug       10am-1pm      Dialogue – Terry Whitebeach

25 Sept      10am-1pm      Polishing & Review -Danielle Wood

30 Oct        10am-1pm      Getting Published – Publisher


Full course: $650 for TWC Members; $800 for Non-members

Any unfilled spots will be available as casual enrolments after 1 March:

Casual rate $77/99 per session, except for Plot: $110/150

Book a ticket online

You can also book by phone on (03) 6224 0029

Session Details:

STRUCTURE 10 April with Robyn Mundy

In this introductory workshop we’ll consider your vision for your novel, what drives you to write, how and where to begin, and strategies to keep your narrative moving. We’ll introduce aspects of craft that form the all-important structural scaffolding of the novel: point of view, voice, setting, character, dialogue, theme and plot. We’ll consider the collaborative approach to writing, where reviews from trusted readers, and revision, are essential components of successful writing.

We will wrap up this introductory session with a scrumptious lunch and an opportunity to get to know each other and chat about your writing project.

NARRATIVE 24 April with Cameron Hindrum

Who is telling your story? Can they be trusted? How will the reader know?

Narrative decisions will form the backbone of your novel, in many ways. They may influence character, plotting, point of view, structure and style. This workshop will focus on developing and refining your story through considering (and perhaps reconsidering) the main ways in which you, as the author, are relating events to your readers. We will consider concepts such as close or distant focalisation, first/second/third person narration, unreliable narration and what factors are considered in choosing narrative threads for your work.

SETTING AND PLACE, 1 May with Robyn Mundy

The landscape and setting of your novel is an important tool to develop plot and character, and to ground your work in something that feels real no matter what your preferred genre may be. This session will explore techniques to evoke a real sense of place.

CHARACTER 29 May with Terry Whitebeach

Creating Characters We Care About.

Love them, hate them, despise them, laugh at them, weep for them – characters in successful novels engage readers fully and live on in the imagination. What is the knack of creating a memorable character? How do characters in a novel develop? Explore these and other issues, as they relate to memorable characters of literature as well as to the characters in your own novel, and try out a few exercises to fine-hone your skills.


Your novel-in-progress might have a fine voice and terrific characters, but what on earth is going to happen? A surprising and riveting plot is one of the best ways to keep your reader turning the pages. Plot shouldn’t be a creative afterthought: instead, it’s an intrinsic part of your manuscript and interconnects with theme, pace, character development and voice.

Plot must have a relationship with the protagonist’s conflict, so we’ll begin by analysing your protagonist in depth. We’ll also unpick your theme, discuss genre conventions and decide on the nature and quality of your ideal ending, which will generally be two-pronged. In the afternoon, we’ll work on specific plot points like the inciting incident, crisis and climax. Once we work out what they should be in terms of your particular story, we’ll discuss where they should sit, architecturally. We’ll finish up with discussion of various helpful models, like the three-act structure and Hauge’s six-act structure. Expect lots of writing exercises. You’ll also be required to explain your characters’ motivations to the group and nut out the implicit promises you’re making to readers.

Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, this practical workshop will have your characters twisting and turning. (from NSWWC website)

STYLE/RHYTHM/PACE 31 July with Cameron Hindrum

What constitutes style in a novel? How, and for what reasons, do we control rhythm and pace?

Using examples from a variety of different texts, this workshop will explore these questions and others to identify these factors in writing. Participating writers will then reconsider or perhaps rewrite a very small section of their manuscript to experiment with varying rhythm or pace in several ways.

DIALOGUE, 28 August with Terry Whitebeach

What he said, what she said, and what they didn’t say.

Written dialogue is a condensed and highly constructed artifice which conveys the impression of real speech, while advancing the narrative, revealing character and informing the reader and at the same time appearing natural and inevitable.  It is closely connected to effective characterisation and is one of the trickiest skills for a writer to master. We will look at the pitfalls and possibilities through a series of exercises involving good, bad and indifferent dialogue – our own and other people’s.

POLISHING AND REVIEW, 25 September with Danielle Wood

So you’ve finished your first draft, but how do you turn the manuscript into something that sparkles enough to catch the eye of a publisher? In this workshop you’ll learn how to identify problems and weaknesses with your manuscript and build up its strengths.

GETTING PUBLISHED, 30 October with a Publisher

Meet with a publisher from a leading publishing house to learn the ins and outs of the publishing industry, and how to pitch your work to a publisher.


Photo courtesy Kirsty Pilkington
Photo courtesy Kirsty Pilkington

Dr Robyn Mundy is the author of two novels, The Nature of Ice published by Allen & Unwin, and Wildlight published in 2016 by Picador. She is co-author of the young readers’ non-fiction adventure book Epic Adventure: Epic Voyages, while her short fiction appears in Australian and USA literary journals, and in The Best Australian Stories.

Robyn holds a PhD in Writing and a Master of Arts in English. In Hobart she works as a sessional university lecturer in creative writing, and runs workshops with the Tasmanian Writers Centre. Robyn also works seasonally for Aurora Expeditions as an Assistant Expedition Leader on eco-tour voyages to the polar regions.

Robyn is enthusiastic and encouraging in her teaching roles; she loves helping writers—whether emerging or established—to achieve their writing goals. Visit Robyn’s website at: writingthewild.net

cameron hindrum

Cameron Hindrum is a teacher and writer living in Launceston. Since 2003, he has coordinated the annual Tasmanian Poetry Festival, and for nearly 20 years he has organised spoken word events, readings, literary events and poetry slams for a variety of organisations including the Australian Poetry Slam, Tasmanian Living Writers Week, the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre and the Junction Arts Festival. His novel The Blue Cathedral (Forty South Books) was published in late 2011, and this was followed in 2012 by two volumes of poetry, Private Conversations Volumes 1 and 2 (Another Lost Shark and Walleah Press respectively). He completed an MA in Creative Writing in 2013, a residential fellowship at Varuna in NSW during January 2016 and is continuing work on a Doctorate in Creative Arts through the University of Wollongong, for which he is working on his second novel.

Terry Whitebeach

Terry Whitebeach has been teaching creative writing for over three decades in schools, tertiary institutions and communities in all states of Australia and in the USA. Her published work includes poetry, novels, biography, children’s picture books, radio plays, essays and reviews. She has a BA in English Literature and Philosophy, MA in English Literature and Creative Writing and PhD in History – Biography. Terry has edited a number of collections of writing and is currently a mentor for the Australian Society of Authors and a manuscript assessor and workshop facilitator for the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre.

toni jordan

Toni Jordan‘s debut novel, the international best-seller Addition, was published in 2008, chosen for the Richard and Judy Bookclub and longlisted for the Miles Franklin award. She is also the author of Fall Girl, which was published in Australia, the UK, France, Germany and Taiwan and has been optioned for film, and Nine Days, which was awarded Best Fiction at the 2012 Indie Awards, was shortlisted for the ABIA Best General Fiction award and was named by Kirkus Review in the Top 10 Historical Novels of 2013. Her newest novel is Our Tiny Useless Hearts. Toni has been widely published in newspapers and magazines and teaches workshops and masterclasses around Australia. She was named Outstanding Sessional Teacher of 2014 at RMIT University.


Danielle Wood began her writing career with the Vogel’s Prize winning novel The Alphabet of Light and Dark, which followed with the short fiction collection Rosie Little’s Cautionary Tales for Girls and Mothers Grimm, and the biographyHousewife Superstar: the very best of Marjorie Bligh. Along with fellow Tasmanian writer Heather Rose, she is ‘Angelica Banks’, author of the internationally successful Tuesday McGillycuddy Adventure trilogy for children. She has a keen interest in the history of Tasmanian literature and, along with Professor Ralph Crane, edited the Tasmanian short fiction anthology Deep South. When she isn’t writing, she lectures in creative writing at the University of Tasmania.