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Express Year Of The Novel 2023 with Nike Sulway (Toowoomba)

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Event description

Make 2023 your year – get the tools and support you need to complete the first draft of your novel, with Queensland Writers Centre's flagship program for emerging writers.

Join celebrated writer and experienced mentor Nike Sulway for Express Year of the Novel. Attend five day-long workshops across the latter half of 2023, during which you’ll be offered insights, inspirations, challenges, and feedback designed to help you deepen and grow your writing toolkit, and advance your work-in-progress. The workshops will combine lessons on core concepts crucial to getting your writing going, writing exercises and discussion, and structured workshopping of your pages.

Flexible payment plans are available.

Thanks to generous donations, a select number of places in the course will be made available at partial or full subsidy via Queensland Writers Centre's Fellowship & Access Fund, which supports members from diverse backgrounds and financially disadvantaged situations to access programs and services. To apply, please contact Queensland Writers Centre at for further information.


Course dates/times

  • 10:30am - 4:30pm, Saturday 5 August
  • 10:30am - 4:30pm, Saturday 2 September
  • 10:30am - 4:30pm, Saturday 7 October
  • 10:30am - 4:30pm, Saturday 4 November
  • 10:30am - 4:30pm, Saturday 2 December


Course structure

Workshop One: First pages. During the first workshop, we’ll explore opening lines and first pages. The workshop will include a whole-of-group discussion of the first pages of each of the workshop participants.

Workshop Two: Character & Voice. During this workshop we’ll focus on characters and voice. We’ll ask the Big Questions: whose story is this? Who is telling this story? To whom?

Workshop Three: Narrative structure. During this workshop we’ll focus on the relationships between story, plot, and structure. We’ll map the superstructure of our works in progress, and experiment with mixing things up. We’ll also dig deep into breaking a novel down into chapters, scenes, and beats.

Workshop Four: The World on the Page. During this workshop we’ll focus on setting, or worldbuilding. We’ll consider the context in which your story takes place (setting is so much more than place!), and how that impacts on the story’s structure, the character’s lives and choices, and more.

Workshop Five: Problems & Possibilities. The final workshop will be partly designed by you. During Workshop Four, you will contribute to a master list of unanswered questions, problems, challenges, etc. Nike will use these to design a final workshop that focuses on your questions, and your needs as writers.


Format/other notes

This is an intensive and collaborative 5-part course with a focus on craft; it will be held in-person at Toowoomba City Library. It is a level 2 course for committed writers. Each session will combine explicit teaching of skills and techniques, interactive discussion and writing exercises, and roundtable workshopping of works in progress. All participants will receive personal feedback from the tutor on up to 10 pages of their work.


About Nike

Nike Sulway is a novelist, short story writer, poet, and writing mentor. She has a PhD in Creative Writing, is a graduate of the Clarion South Writers Workshop, and has been mentoring writers and teaching writing for more than twenty years. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in Lightspeed, Shimmer, Interzone, Fantasy Magazine, Review of Australian Fiction, Meanjin, Liminality, Southerly, Verity La, Cordite Poetry Review, ASIM and more. She has also had works included in a range of anthologies, including The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, vol. 10 (edited by Jonathan Strahan), The Best of Shimmer, Letters to Tiptree, and Mythic Resonance.

As a novelist, she strays across speculative fiction and realist narratives. Her novels include The Bone Flute, The True Green of Hope, Rupetta, and Dying in the First Person, as well as two children’s books: What The Sky Knows (illustrated by Stella Danalis) and Winter’s Tale (illustrated by Shauna O’Meara). Her books have been shortlisted for and won a range of awards, including the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award, The Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards, the Aurealis Awards, the Norma K Hemming Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Best First Book), the Rhysling Award (for poetry) and the IAFA Crawford Memorial Award. Her novel, Rupetta—a novel about a queer automaton—was the first work by an Australian author to win the Tiptree Award (since renamed the Otherwise Award). Rupetta also won the Norma K Hemming Award, and was shortlisted for both an Aurealis Award and the IAFA Crawford Memorial Award.

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Refunds are available up to 14 days prior to the event