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Year Of The Novel 2024 with Ashley Hay

Event description

Make 2024 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.

Year of the Novel returns in 2024 so you can follow through with your New Years' resolution to get that book out of your head and onto the page. Attend five full-day workshops throughout the year, each detailing the steps you need to take when writing the first draft of your novel. Hosted by award-winning Brisbane writer, editor and mentor Ashley Hay, this course will provide practical advice and inspiration so you can maintain your writing pace and finish the year by writing 'the end'.

You’ll also receive written feedback on 10 pages (up to 3,000 words) of your work-in-progress at the time of your choosing throughout this process.


Learning outcomes

You will hone your writing skillset and focus and work to draft a full-length novel through practical exercises, group discussions, critique sessions, and homework that covers the key areas listed below:

  • Develop your personal skills in the craft of narrative writing;
  • Learn techniques to generate and pre-draft ideas;
  • Structure your narrative on a macro and micro level;
  • Craft engaging characters with their own goals and flaws;
  • Build your novel's world and setting;
  • Find your voice and writing style;
  • Hone your focus and discipline; and
  • Develop an appreciation for the business of writing and publishing.


    Course dates

    • 10:30am - 4:30pm, Sunday 18 February
    • 10:30am - 4:30pm, Sunday 14 April
    • 10:30am - 4:30pm, Sunday 9 June
    • 10:30am - 4:30pm, Sunday 18 August
    • 10:30am - 4:30pm, Sunday 20 October



    This is an intensive and collaborative five-part course with a focus on craft; it will be held in-person at Queensland Writers Centre. It is a course for dedicated writers of all levels; beginner, intermediate and emerging. Each session will combine explicit teaching of skills and techniques with interactive discussion and writing exercises and roundtable workshopping of works in progress.

    Flexible payment plans are available for this course. Please contact Queensland Writers Centre at admin@qldwriters.org.au or call (07) 3842 9922.


    About Ashley

    Ashley Hay’s work has been praised for its ‘intelligent scrutiny of the human psyche’, ‘a tenderness that is deeply compelling’ and an appreciation of ‘the natural world as we must all experience it, with deep love and respect’. 

    A novelist, journalist and essayist whose work includes The Railwayman’s Wife (2014), A Hundred Small Lessons(2017) and Gum: The Story of Eucalypts and Their Champions (new edition, 2021), she is also a former editor of Griffith Review (2018–2022).

    She is grateful to to live and work in Meganchin/Brisbane, on the lands of the Yugarabul, Yuggera, Jagera and Turrbal people. Ashley works as a mentor, facilitator, consultant and editorial advisor around the business of finishing her own new novel.


    Photo credit: Shaun Charles


    For more information about Queensland Writers Centre’s Program of Events and answers to FAQs, please visit: www.queenslandwriters.org.au/program-info

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    Refund policy

    Refunds are available up to 14 days prior to the event