Live Creative Writing Courses - Sydney

For over 20 years, the Writers' Studio has worked with everyone from award-winning professionals to complete beginners to help them realise their creative dreams. 

We offer face-to-face courses in our Sydney based Bronte Studio for those interested in writing novels, short stories or screenplays.

Overview of our Live in Studio Writing Program

We all need to find our own way in the writing process. For some of you, our 4-Week Unlocking Creativity Live program will be all you need to kick start your creative writing journey.

Please note: This course is a pre-requisite for all of our other programs and must be completed before moving to any other course.

After completing Unlocking Creativity, you may choose to join one of our 6-Week Online Short Story courses.

If you are ready to commit to the longer form and have a passion to write your novel or screenplay, you can join our inspiring 10-Month Novel & Script First Draft Live course where you work with Roland Fishman and Kathleen Allen to complete your first draft in 10 months.

On completion of the First Draft Live course, you can decide to do further drafts with us or continue on your own. If, like many writers, you thrive on the structure, support and discipline our courses provide, you can choose to work through the entire process with us. We suggest you take it one step at a time and see what works best for you.

Unlocking Creativity Live

Our pre-requisite 4-Week Unlocking Creativity writing course is a totally practical creative process where you learn tools and techniques to unlock your creative potential and make your writing come alive on the page.

You will also gain a practical understanding of how to use character development and story structure to create profound and dramatic stories.

We run this inspirational course throughout the year for a maximum of 20 writers per course. It will dramatically improve the quality of your writing from the very first class.

And the learning doesn't end in the classroom. You work online between sessions and receive constructive feedback from your tutor and fellow writers.

Unlocking Creativity is suitable for absolute beginners, professional writers and anyone in between.



6-Week Short Story Online Courses

Our intermediate 6-Week Online writing courses are for those of you who have completed Unlocking Creativity, wish to keep the creative process alive and further develop your writing and storytelling skills.

In these courses you are critiqued on every exercise and story you post.

The courses also offer ideal preparation for the 10-Month Novel and Script First Draft Live Course.

Each of the three Intermediate 6-Week Online Courses are run only once per year:

  • Writers' Gym in February
  • Character & Critique Short Story Course in June
  • Genre Short Story Course in October


Novel & Script First Draft Live 

Do you dream of writing your novel or screenplay but are overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, especially if you're working full-time?

Even if you don't have a clear idea for a story, this course provides you with a step-by-step process that breaks the writing of your novel or screenplay into manageable bite-sized chunks, enabling you to complete your first draft in 10 months.

You will develop a deep understanding of the art and craft of storytelling and character and receive the structure, accountability and support you need to write the best story you are capable of writing.

Roland and Kathleen run the live classes together. They are committed to helping you learn the craft, ensuring that everyone has a great time and leaves each session feeling inspired. The course commences every March and September with a maximum of 20 writers per course.



Beyond First Draft Novel & Script

The Second Draft Course provides a step-by-step process that allows you to work through the re-writing and re-structuring of your first draft systematically so that it works dramatically and logically from beginning to end.

The course is significantly different to the First Draft. You have more control over your story and are able to delve much deeper into your characters and add many more layers.

Most people totally transform their stories, taking them to a whole new level when they get the action, character arc and theme all working together. You can expect at least a 200 per cent improvement from your First Draft.

The Third Draft Course is where you focus on the writing and learn the art and craft of re-writing and editing. It is where all the hard work from the First and Second Draft courses starts to pay off as you see your writing come alive on the page, an extremely satisfying part of the process.

Scriptwriters go to straight to Pathway to Production for Scriptwriters.


Testimonials Unlocking Creativity

  • Karen M. Davis

    "After two unsuccessful manuscripts I was searching for a creative writing course I could do to give me the confidence and tools needed to find a stronger voice and allow me to tap into my imagination. Unlocking Creativity did all this and more. I walked away from this course feeling much more confident in my own abilities as well as full of motivation to start my next manuscript, which turned into my first fictional crime novel Sinister Intent."
  • Lia Weston

    "During one of the Unlocking Creativity exercises, I ended up developing a character who became the basis of my second novel, 'Those Pleasant Girls'. I'm delighted to say that 'Those Pleasant Girls' is being published with Pan Macmillan. If anyone is in doubt about whether to seriously pursue their writing, I'd encourage them to try this course—you never know where it's going to lead!" Those Pleasant Girls, published April 2017
  • Vanessa Stubbs

    "Before I did the Unlocking Creativity course I knew I loved to write creatively but had no idea how I might start to channel that into something like a novel. The course teaches the basics of storytelling in a really accessible and inspiring way. Things like the importance of sensory detail in scene setting, writing a character’s emotion and conflict on every page.‘The techniques really worked for me and I’m still a little bit amazed I was able to write a book and have it published using them. I refer to the notes I took during Unlocking Creativity even while
  • Ashley Hay

    Winner of The Sydney Morning Herald and Banjo Patterson awards for short fiction. "The course got me to push myself in a completely different direction at an exhilarating speed. And the writing followed." Her most recent novel, The Railwayman’s Wife, was published to critical and popular acclaim. It won the 2014 Colin Roderick Prize and the People’s Choice Award at the 2014 NSW Premier’s Prize, and was also long-listed for the Miles Franklin and Nita B. Kibble awards.
  • Helen Thurloe

    Helen submitted a story she developed from the guided short story she wrote in the final week of our Four Week Unlocking Creativity Course and on the strength of that, won the prestigious Varuna Scholarship in 2014. Update: Helen's story was further developed into her debut novel 'Promising Azra' being launched & published by Allen & Unwin, July 2016.
  • Ali Whitelock

    "I loved Unlocking Creativity so much, I returned and did it a second time and will definitely do it again (and again). The support and encouragement from Roland, Kathleen and your fellow writers is inspirational and hugely motivational. It’s the best thing I did for my writing and the best thing I did for myself."
  • Caroline Roessler

    "I can’t believe how much I’ve loved this course. How much I’ve looked forward to coming every week, despite some initial anxiety that I’d be a complete failure. It’s made me feel quietly proud that I’ve actually made this commitment to start writing.The doing of it is so wonderfully fulfilling. A really empowering experience. Brilliant." ( Rest in Peace C)
  • Yasmin Boland

    "Reading back over my first novel, I'm aware of a change at the point where I started doing the Writers' Studio course (Unlocking Creativity). It's where my descriptions went from run of the mill to, I think, much more visual.No one can give you a secret formula for 'how to write', but the Writers' Studio seems able to unleash the wild writer beast in us all!"
  • 1