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Steps to Becoming a Creative Writer in Melbourne

Home > Melbourne > Art | Conventions | Festivals | How To | Workshops
by Amelia Warrandyte (subscribe)
Walker. Coffee drinker. Writer.
Published October 5th 2016
So you've started writing a poem, or a novel, or a short story, or a comic, or some other form of creative writing. Your mother read it and said it was incredible and you're the most talented person in the world. Now you're dreaming of a pile of your published books in a real life bookstore.

Well, let's be honest here. Your mother has to say that. And actually getting published takes years and years of time, energy, disappointment, and struggle.

However, I hope I haven't turned you off already. Creative writing is also one of the most rewarding and fulfilling hobbies any human can have. It's a way to express your mind, be heard, and understand yourself.

Creative writing has no boundaries. You can be 15 years old, or 95 years old. You can be a male, female, or something else. You can write about anything, in any way. And there's no better place to join the writing community than in Melbourne - Australia's capital of the Arts.

books library melbourne becoming a creative writer victoria writers centre fiction novel poetry short stories
Image: Emma Jane Warren

Read contemporary Melbourne literature

If you don't read fellow writers' work, don't expect fellow writers to read your work.

Reading work by local artists is a way to become inspired and to understand the type of writing that has been published nearby to you. Below is a small list to get you started on who to be reading. Here is a much larger list that includes poets from all over Australia

Melbourne-based Poets: Jordie Albiston, Lisa Bellear, Joel Deane, Elizabeth Campbell, Brendan Ryan.
Melbourne-based Novelists: Max Barry, Ash Lieb, Lili Wilkinson, Alexandra Grace.
Australian Poets: Les Murray, Graham Jenkin, John Millet.
Australian Novelists: Tim Winton, Thomas Keneally, Kate Grenville, Markus Zusak.

Join Writers Victoria

Writers Victoria is your gateway to the writing community in Melbourne. By joining, you will be allowing yourself to grow as a writer and have the chance to potentially publish work in the future. The purpose of Writers Victoria is to bring unsolicited and professional writers together, so that everybody can experience writing to its fullest.

Membership costs $75 per year for an average individual. Concessions can get a discount, so it equates to $55 per year. Alternatively, you can get a two year membership for $135, or $100 as a concession. There are also other applicable discounts listed here.

More than 3,200 Victorian writers are currently members with Writers Victoria. You will not only be benefiting yourself, but supporting the Australian writing industry as an entirety.

When you become a member you will be able to: receive issues of the Victorian Writer Magazine; get discounts on courses, workshops, manuscript assessments, mentorships, and writers' studios; be invited to exclusive member-only events; have the chance to enter competitions; and more.

Check in at writing festivals

Many events take place in and around Melbourne every single year that are all about creative writing. By attending festivals, conferences and activities, you will allow yourself to be surrounded by other members of the community that love and appreciate reading & writing. You can explore what has been written in the state, make new companions, and learn how to improve and perfect your own work.

The Australian Literary Festival Calendar highlights almost every event creative writing event taking place in the country. More specifically in Melbourne, some of the largest and most popular events include: ArtsHub Conference, Dromkeen Literary Festival, Queenscliffe Literary Festival, and WordFest.

The Melbourne Writers Festival usually occurs towards the end of August. It is Victoria's premier literary event, with many free and priced events happening during.

Study creative writing

Completing a course in creative writing is a good way to further your understand on how to make your work appeal to an audience. It allows you to obtain feedback from professional writers and share your work with a class. Having a qualification will make publishers consider your writing more seriously.

RMIT University have a Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing) course that takes three years to complete, and Victoria University have a similar Bachelor of Professional and Creative Writing course.

The most popular online course is with Open Colleges. Their Certificate in Creative Writing can be completed in your own time, at your own pace. There is a maximum of 18 months to finish the course.

If you are looking for a shorter or cheaper option, consider doing just a short course. RMIT University have some creative courses that go for approximately six weeks.

books library melbourne becoming a creative writer victoria writers centre fiction novel poetry short stories
Image by Johannes Jansson/, CC BY 2.5 dk,
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Why? Establish yourself in this positive, creative industry
When: Events take place throughout the year.
Where: Victoria
Cost: It doesn't cost to write, but there are membership fees associated with Writers Victoria. Some events may also have entry fees.
Your Comment
Some great ideas, Emma - well done on your 20th!
by Elaine (score: 3|7765) 1516 days ago
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