Allen & Unwin » Faber Academy

Carrie TiffanyWriting a Novel


with Carrie Tiffany and guests including Sophie Cunningham

Course begins 11 March 2014

Allen & Unwin – Melbourne
406 Albert Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002

Course Fee: $5,950 (inc. GST)

Maximum of 10 students


Writing a Novel is an intensive, practical course for writers ready to make the leap into creating a full length work of fiction. Over six months, this course will focus on the joy of novel writing using a combination of writing exercises, readings and discussions, and should lead to the development of a full draft of a novel.

Beginning in March 2014, students will attend weekly evening workshops designed to develop novel writing skills from the first conception of an idea through to getting words on a page, narrative structure and style and re-writing. In addition, there will be six full-day sessions to take place on one Saturday each month.

Most of the classes will be led by Course Director Carrie Tiffany – but there will also be guest seminars given by well-known writers and publishers.

Apart from the writing classes, students will be expected to devote as much time as possible between sessions to developing their work, with the aim that by the end of the six months they will have created a body of material towards the first draft of a full-length novel.

Towards the end of the course there will be an opportunity to discuss next steps, time management for the writer, and presentation of work for agents, publishers, and so on.

About the Course Director

Carrie Tiffany is the author of Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living, which was published in the UK, US, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia. In 2006 it was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Victorian Premier's Literary Award, the Orange Prize for Fiction, and the Guardian First Book Award, and was the winner of the Western Australian Premier's Fiction Prize.

Her second novel, Mateship with Birds was published in 2012 and won the inaugural Stella Prize for fiction as well as the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards. It was also shortlisted in the Encore Award (Best Second Novel), Western Australian Premier's Book Awards 2013, Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction 2013, Miles Franklin Award 2013, Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2012 and the Melbourne Prize for Literature - Best Writing Award 2012.

Carrie has a MA in Creative Writing from RMIT and has taught at the University of Melbourne and RMIT. Her essays and short stories have appeared in The Times, The Age, Australian Book Review, Overland, Penguin Summer Stories, HEAT and The Griffith Review.

About the guest lecturers

A range of guest lecturers including well-known writers, publishers and literary agents will conduct workshop sessions to share invaluable information from their relevant experience.

Sophie CunninghamSophie Cunningham has worked in publishing for twenty-five years and her journalism has been published widely. She is the author of two novels, Geography and Bird, as well as the non-fiction book Melbourne. She is currently working on her third novel, This Devastating Fever, about Leonard Woolf's years in Sri Lanka and her non-fiction book, Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy, will be published in August 2014. Sophie is also the Chair of the Literature Strategy Panel of the Australia Council and was a founding member of the Stella Prize. She will be a guest tutor on Faber Academy's Writing a Novel course in Melbourne in 2014.

Please note in the event of unforeseen circumstances, courses - including tutors and venues - may be subject to cancellation or change.

Course Program

The course consists of:

22 x evening sessions


6 x full-day sessions


PHASE ONE: Generating

Session 1: Tuesday 11 March
Introductory Session: Course Outline/Goals and Inspiration
Learning to articulate your project.

Session 2: Tuesday 18 March
Point of View: The first second or third person

Session 3: Tuesday 25 March
Tense: Using past, present and future tenses and what these different modes do for your work

Session 4: Saturday 29 March

Session 5: Tuesday 1 April
Showing not Telling
Session 6: Tuesday 8 April


Session 7: Tuesday 29 April
Developing Your Characters

Session 8: Tuesday 6 May
More on Character

Session 9: Saturday 10 May
Landscape and Animals

Session 10: Tuesday 13 May
Writing Detail

PHASE TWO: Crafting

Session 11: Tuesday 20 May
Pacing Your Novel

Session 12: Tuesday 27 May
Guest Speaker

Session 13: Saturday 31 May
Finding Your Voice

Session 14: Tuesday 3 June
Writing Dialogue

Session 15: Tuesday 10 June
Guest Speaker

Session 16: Tuesday 17 June
Research (and how to incorporate it into your work)

Session 17: Saturday 21 June
Using the Self in Work

Session 18: Tuesday 24 June
Finding your Voice


Session 19: Tuesday 15 July
Guest Speaker

Session 20: Tuesday 22 July
The Ending of a Novel and the Maintaining of Momentum

Session 21: Tuesday 29 July
Guest Speaker

Session 22: Saturday 2 August
Writing the Passage of Time

PHASE THREE: Completion

Session 23: Tuesday 5 August
Editing your own Work

Session 24: Tuesday 12 August

Session 25: Tuesday 19 August July

Session 26: Saturday 23 August
Assistance with particular problem/issues

Session 27: Tuesday 26 August
Writing Blurbs
Getting Published

Session 28: Tuesday 2 September

How to Apply

All course applicants for Writing a Novel are required to forward a cover letter briefly stating any writing experience and an overview of the idea for the novel identifying what stage it is presently at. Applicants are also required to submit a 1000 word sample of prose. This process ensures that all applicants are applying for the course best suited to their needs.

Please send applications to

or by post to:
Faber Academy Manager
Allen & Unwin
PO Box 8500
St Leonards NSW 1590

The closing deadline for all applications is Friday 7 March 2014.

Successful applicants will be asked to pay a non-refundable deposit of $2,000 by Friday 7 March 2014. (Those paying by Friday 10 January 2014 will pay a discounted deposit of $1,700). The balance of the course fee, a further $3,950, will be payable in four further instalments of $987.50 on 1 April, 1 May, 1 June and 1 July 2014 respectively. No refunds will be given to students who miss sessions or drop out of the course.

Student access to e-mail is essential for the smooth communication of course materials.

Please note in the event of unforeseen circumstances, courses - including tutors and venues - may be subject to cancellation or change.

The 2013 Writing a Novel Anthology

The new Faber Academy 'Writing a Novel Anthology 2013' is now available as a free ebook from Kindle. Search 'Writing a Novel Cunningham' or click here

Faber 2013 Writing a Novel Anthology