University Lecturing

As a teacher of creative writing to university students my purpose is to inspire a new generation of writers.

It’s a place of privilege.

As a writer, myself, I’d like to share my experiences and feelings about one part of the writing process, a process I liken to smoke wrestling …

Smoke Wrestling

There’s a moment between creating a work, months, years, after the worrying and working of it through, when you have to put it out there. And you wait. For me it’s a breath-holding time, a waiting for the executioner time, a time when limbo seems kind. At least in limbo you know where you stand, you haven’t quite made it and you haven’t quite not, but being the eternal optimist that you are, the very fact that it’s not a NOT, gives you hope.

And that’s where I stand.

Correction, crouch.

This week I sent a YA manuscript to a publisher.

This week I placed my head on the chopping block.

Now in my heart, deep in my reason, I know it won’t matter either way. Whether well-received or rejected I know I’ve given my all. Seen the illusion and wrestled it onto a page. So deep down inside, if anyone asked, I’d say I was satisfied. Proud of being able to wrestle smoke. Not the greatest of lifetime achievement awards: Occupation ‘Smoke Wrestler’, but an award just the same.

Macquarie University

Writing for Young Adults
Writing for Young Adults

Macquarie University – CWPG818: Writing Young Adult Fiction

Postgraduate Unit Study Schedule

Department of English

Taught by a professional writer of young adult (YA) fiction, this unit focuses on the writing of fiction for young adult readers in the genres of novel and short story; and critical and analytical discussion and writing about the YA genre. It is suitable for students with some experience in narrative writing, who want to develop their knowledge and practice of YA fiction. Students devise their own writing projects and are encouraged to write across a range of YA genres that might include for instance, comedy, speculative fiction, or verse forms.

Students read a range of international and Australian contemporary YA fiction, including work that experiments with the YA form, and which explore new developments in publishing such as e-books. Assessment is based on the student’s creative work and reflection, and critical writing about the set texts.

Students are encouraged to reflect upon and interrogate their writing and writing practices, to explore new methods in relation to craft and technique or genre, and to link this work to analysis of texts both theoretical and creative. The readings and our discussions are structured so that students can make productive links between recent narrative theory and their own writing. We do this by meeting weekly in a writing workshop to discuss each other’s creative work, and to appraise and critique the course readings.

In this semester, students will explore new methods or approaches to the writing of YA fiction. Students read texts they are not familiar with, and are often challenged to think and read in new ways. For these reasons, all students are encouraged to give sufficient time to their work for Writing Young Adult Fiction.

For a full breakdown of the course I taught open the link below:

Writing Young Adult Fiction CWPG818 Study Schedule


The University of Sydney

ENGL6959  Children's Writing Workshop
Children’s Writing Workshop

A brief course outline of the course I taught includes:

Sydney University ENGL 6959 -­‐ Children’s Writing Workshop Introduction (Week 1) Module One – (Weeks 2, 3 and 4) Story and Meaning Social and Literary Constructions Genres (Realistic Fiction, Historical, Fantasy) plus Humour and Adventure Module Two – (Weeks 5 and 6) Poetry Visual Literacy Picture Books Module Three – (Weeks 7, 8 and 9) Elements of Story Voice, Point of View, Character, Dialogue, Setting, Time, Plot, Openings Module Four – (Weeks 10, 11 and 12) Young Adult Fiction Writing for Performance Getting Published ASSIGNMENT ONE – 40% Due Week 6 (12/04/10) 2000 words of creative writing (6 – 10 poems) or critical analysis of your choosing. ASSIGNMENT TWO – 60% Due Week 12 (24/05/10) 3000 words of creative writing (10 – 15 poems) or critical analysis of your choosing.

For a more detailed outline of ENGL6959 press the link below:

The University of Sydney ENGL6959 Course Outline (2010)