Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Win a writing course at the Fibro!

Well, here we are. January 27. The Fibro's blogoversary. Twelve months of fun, frivolity and making new friends. Not to mention some fearsomely hard graft.

To celebrate this milestone, I'm extremely (and I do mean extremely) excited to be having my first ever (and perhaps only) giveaway. And what a giveaway.

You may remember my interview a few months ago with Valerie Khoo from the Sydney Writers Centre (and my former deskmate from CLEO)? (If not, pop over here and refresh your memory - she offers three fabulous tips for would-be freelance writers). She had such a good time in the Fibro, that the Sydney Writers Centre has donated an amazing prize to celebrate the Fibro's blogoversary.

Deep breath.

One lucky winner will receive a 5-week Online Course at the Sydney Writers' Centre. Let me just repeat that. One lucky winner will receive a 5-week Online Course at the Sydney Writers' Centre. He or she will be able to choose from EITHER Magazine Writing Stage One OR Creative Writing Stage One. Each course is valued at $395. The winner may also, if he or she chooses, come back to the Fibro to guest post about their experience once they've done the course.

Features or Fiction? You get to choose. And because they're online, you can do your course from anywhere. The Sydney Writers' Centre takes great care to choose presenters who are well-respected and active in their fields (for example, new features writing presenter is veteran editor/publisher Marina Go).

The excitement!

This is a brilliant opportunity for anyone hoping to join the ranks of freelance writers, or get that headstart on the novel they've always wanted to write. Or even just to hone your writing skills to take your blog to the next level.

All you have to do to enter is to follow the Fibro if we're not already friends, and then leave a comment on this post telling me WHICH course you'd like to do and WHY it should be you who wins. Think of it as a pitch (visit this guest post at The Red Dress Club for some tips on pitching) - keep it short and very sweet, and be sure to visit the links above to get a full idea of each course so that you can give it your best shot. 

The winner will be chosen by Valerie Khoo and the team at the Sydney Writers' Centre from a shortlist chosen by me. I'm looking for angle, originality and voice. Competition closes Friday 4 February, with the winner announced in the Fibro's Monday 7th February post. Be sure to check back to see if it's you!

This contest is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered!

The fine print:
*competition closes at 11.59pm, Friday 4 February
*winner announced on Monday 7 February (and contacted by email if you've left me one)
*course must be booked in by June 30, 2011.
*only one entry per person.
*sorry, family members cannot apply. :-)

PS: Feel free to grab the button and spread the word!


  1. We're officially divorced! Can I enter now?

    Robbed I tells you!

    How do we get the button? I suppose I will promote this unfairly non-family-member-including AWESOME giveaway at my place...

  2. Ooh! How exciting! I'd love to enter to win Magazine Writing Stage One. I think this course could be the exact boot up the bum I need to help me starting earning money from freelance writing. As someone who transitioned careers herself, I think Valerie would be able to offer me the guidance I need. This would be particularly true when it comes to pitching ideas as that is the scary bit. Why me? Because I'll guarantee you I'll use it. If I'm the lucky winner I'll send a link to your blog with my first published article if it is available on-line. Also, I’m saying please!

  3. I love the idea of the Magazine Writing Stage One course, despite the fact that I have an extremely low tolerance for celebrities. I figure at some stage I might have to stop winging it and actually develop some sort of solid foundation. And I've written a post on treating rejection letters as trophies. Which is an awesome plan, even if I do say so myself and highly necessary in freelance-land. And I could use your help in forcing the universe's hand.

  4. Errrr, best giveaway I have ever chanced upon, in the blogging world? Yep, I think so!

    Happy Blogiverary Al. Well done, and many happy return visits...

  5. Creative Writing. Because while I've studied it in the past, the only thing I'm creative at these days is snot-wiping, dessert-hiding, and diaper-wrangling. Valuable talents, to be sure, but there's more out there, right?

    PS: Happy Anniversary!

  6. Oh my gosh! This is exactly what I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED to be doing! Exactly! This year I am dedicating to my writing and blogging. I want to take it to the next level and have been procrastinating about doing this for way too long. The Magazine Writing Stage One would be the most perfect kick start to my year. I HAVE to do it! Have to!!!!!! xxxx pleeeeease? (I'm now scraping off the gravel and tending to my gravel rash after that big grovel)

  7. According to the fine print (which I may be the only person to read) I'm ineligible to enter. Which is a shame as I had a really good pitch for a story on Big Foot all ready to go... x

  8. Oh, my Lordy! Great giveaway, hon.

    I'd love to do the Creative Writing Stage One course. I used to adore writing fiction in my youth, and since posting my (kinda dodgy) Dance of Revenge series each week, I think the stirrings of returning to such writing is resurfacing. Of course, I'd go with a far more original story line this time should I be the lucky recipient. Promise.

    *crosses fingers*

    Thank you!

  9. Wow!! This is soooooo exciting!!!!! I would love to do the Creative Writing course because I'm working on a Novel (fiction) and this course couldn't be available at a time better than this!!! I'm sure it'll give me a lot of wonderful and helpful tips about how to approach my writing and help me make my novel better.

    I'm going to keep my Fingers Crossed!!

    Thanks a lot for hosting this! :)

  10. P.S. My e-mail is

  11. Congratulations Allison on your one year anniversary. I look forward to more wonderfulness from you.

    Obviously, I'm not eligible for the writing course after using that word. But if I could be, perhaps I should try using words that are proper words (and not in the Crosby Dictionary).


  12. Dear Pink Fibro

    You might know my girl Donna? She blogs over at NappyDaze.

    Copyright precludes me from giving away my true identity but I’m feeling compelled to repay a good deed. You see, she recently spent some time creating captivating “AHA” posts dedicated to yours truly in an attempt to get the universe to notice her and secure tickets to this little shindig that I recently brought to old Sydney town? You might have heard of it? Something about Aussie Adventures of an “Ultimate” nature…

    Anyway, as I always say “luck is preparation meeting opportunity” and wouldn’t you know what the Gods offered up out of the blue last night? A link on her website to the Sydney Writers Centre 5 Week Magazine Writing Stage 1 – a discovery that sent her pulse racing with potential. And then along came your blog competition to compliment the fortuitous find… It.Must.Be.Fate!

    She’s practicing what I preach; that “you become what you believe”. And she believes she has what it takes to be successful in this course so PLEASE, help a sister fulfil this DREAM. Pick Donna. Please!

    Yours in all things “O”-mazing (and on behalf of Donna),

    Oxxxx Wxxxxxx (nudge nudge, wink wink!)

    PS Best contact her directly on as I tend to be a tad busy these days with a few of my "OWN" things going on...

  13. Now this is a really exciting giveaway.

    Both of those courses sound fantastic and both would be great for me; however I’m going to ask for the Magazine Writing Stage 1 please.

    I have been trying for a while to get magazine articles published, but I really do lack the knack, and you need the knack to get an editor to reply back. Besides, if I could sell some magazine articles I could afford the creative writing course!
    The online course is perfect for me as I just happen to live on the opposite end of the planet to where the course would otherwise be held – so the commute would be much more manageable.

    Fingers crossed – Glen.

  14. Best giveaway ever. Seriously.

    I would choose Creative Writing Stage One course. As a teen I wrote through my depression, mostly horror. Then, my husband came along and made me, of all things, happy and I couldn't write because all I knew was sad, dark stories.
    Now, I am ready to jump in and write the good things and this is JUST what I need.

  15. Thanks so much for offering this incredible giveaway!!

    I would love the Creative Writing Course. I feel I have a natural talent for creative writing, but it is very raw and unpolished. I know that I need guidance to take my writing to the next level. My deepest love (apart from my husband and children) is playing with words, creating sentences, building paragraphs and moulding a story out of the cloud of thoughts and imaginings that swirl in my mind. When I write, I feel like I am transported to a place where I can be me. It honestly feels like magic.

  16. Ok, I'm not going to enter this - because I want somebody else to win. Why?

    I have already done about three courses at the Sydney Writers Centre - all with Valerie. She is SO generous with her knowledge, her passion. All of her courses are really informative and inspiring.

    One day, I will do the memoir one that she holds in Paris. Yes I will.

    Fantastic giveaway!

  17. Of course, I meant "Writer's Centre."


  18. Wow, this is a really exciting giveaway! Doing the creative writing course has been on my bucket list for some time now. I've started writing a novel about 5 times in the past year but I keep getting stuck and I need a helping hand (or a kick in the pants) to help me over this hump!

  19. I read this last night and was so feverishly excited that I forgot to blow my party whistle for the Fibro's first birthday. Toot toot! Congratulations! Happy One!!
    (I will be back to toss my pitch at you - I'm getting my throwing arm ready).

  20. there was a young lass who had two little peep's constantly in tow
    of writing and being published was a burning wish,
    but on the priority it sat down below,

    until a parker pen wand was penned,
    armed by a red-haired maiden, idea's so bright
    offered a comp to re-ignite the light

    this young lass, now poised with pen in hand, dummy in the other
    is out to prove, she can be both writer and mother.

    Magazine writing stage one PLEASE
    to sit, online, and learn with ease

    thankyou dear fibro girl


  21. Happy Bloggy Birthday, Al!
    And what a fantabulous pressie for the lucky winner!

  22. Creative Writing.

    I started a course in this many years ago, but never finished because a fellow student fell in love with me.

    Oh, and me being married with a child did not seem to bother her. Nor the fact that I was, um just not a lesbian.

    So winning this eliminates the whole stalker problem I had last time. Plus, this a completely awesome prize.


  23. Dammit, Bern, how do I follow that pitch?!?!

    Congrats, Al - fabulous blog, so glad I ran into it almost a year ago myself!!

    Okay, if I *wish, wish* were to win the giveaway, I'd go for the Magazine Writing course. Firstly, because I already registered interest in that particular course with SWC - thanks for the email reminders and great info on other courses I'd like to do! Secondly, because although I'd LOVE to do the course, I have not been able to scrape together the money to pay myself. I have a few magazines in mind to pitch to, but I know the importance of first impressions with many of these Eds. I don't want to pitch until I'm sure I'll be offering them articles that fit right in with what they're after at any given time of the year - info that I know I'll be able to glean after taking this course.

    Thanks and best of luck to everyone - awesome giveaway!!

  24. Oh yes indeed I would like the Creative Writing Course because I once enrolled in a Creative Riding Course by accident where I had to do hand-stands on horses and that is several hours of my life I will never get back.


  25. First of all - congrats on your blog anniversary - well done :)
    Second - I was shocked that for some reason I was not following your blog but am now!
    Third - love the Creative Writing Course as I really want to get my creative vibe happening a little more this year. I love to write and I need a little more of a challenge and the idea of someone helping with that is totally AWESOME!
    Naomi x

  26. When I was in high school, nearly twenty years ago, my creative writing teacher wrote on my end of term report card, "If she's not a published author within the next five years, it will be because she gave up, not because of lack of ability."

    And now, 18 years later, I did my first NaNoWriMo last November and remembered how much I loved writing fiction. I'd spent the past decade blogging endlessly about realia and minutiae, neglecting the imaginary world. I'd forgotten what an amazing, limitless place it is!

    My pitch is simple: I want to write. I need some guidance. I have a head bursting with possibilities. I'm not going to let them go to waste this time.

    PS I follow you on Twitter. I am @koangirl

  27. I'm not entering, because I've been a magazine feature writer, and also written fiction, (though not a novel) and I think this should go to one of our up and coming writers, not an old hack like myself. But just wanted to say thanks to you and the writer's centre (and Valerie and Marina) for offering up this opportunity and good luck to all).

  28. Did I ever tell you how ridiculously good looking you are? Or how your blog is my FAVOURITE blog out there? Or that I aspire to have a blog that inspires others the way you do? That makes people laugh the way you do? Or that yours is BY FAR the prettiest? Or that you're boys are most definitely the best looking little boys around? And that you generally just rock my world? And that if I was to enter a competition on a blog to win a writing course I'd go for the Magazine Writing Stage one? And that I should win because I'm terrified about the career change that is creeping up on me in this new city but at the same time am desperate to be that person that took that giant leap and never looked back? And did I mention that you are ridiculously good looking?

    I'm just sayin'.....

  29. Fabulous giveaway! And I shall enter even though I never win anything - I shall hold out hope of my luck changing!

    Definitely the creative writing course. As I move away from the life that I thought I would have [giving up ttc after 11 long years], I'm ready to embrace new adventures and really throw myself into something I'm passionate about - writing.

    I'm looking at applying to University to develop my writing more, so this would be a brilliant place to start!


  30. Hi,

    Fantastic give away. I saw this because I follow you on Twitter and now follow the blog.

    Creative writing pitch:

    Far into the future males have died out and women have created a Utopia society where there is no war, poverty or need for money. Through genetic modification with IVF programs, everyone is also beautiful.

    But beauty is only skin deep and beneath the surface of this "perfect society" something ugly is lurking.

    This is my work in progress and it's sitting at 12,000 words. I'm trained as a journalist, not a creative writer, and I would love to undergo the course so that I can develop this story further. I am particularly interested in working on my story stucture, dialogue and character use.

    I would love to come back and blog about what I learnt and how it helped my writing.


  31. Congrats on your anniversary. Thanks for making me smile each day (or two - depending on how often I get enough peace to read your blog).

    Seeing as I'm already starting to writing for magazines, it would be good to know what I'm doing! In other words, I'm not going to be clever, I'm going to be desperate! Magazine Writing please.

  32. Oh, my, Allison! Firstly, congrats on the big 1st blogoversary. Most impressive - especially the 467 followers. And secondly, what an extraordinarily generous giveaway.

    I'd love to win the 'Creative Writing Stage One' course.

    After practising law for 16 years, I'm now doing the SAHM thing with our 3 children under 6. I've 'fallen out of love' with the law and am now looking to change careers.

    My blog is the possible start to something new and I 'd really love to take it to the next level. The ultimate would be to earn a living out of it which would fit in around our little family. This course could give me the confidence I need. J x

  33. I'd love to win the Magazine Writing Course - I am currently writing a novel but really need to start earning some real dough with my writing to support my family. I am afraid my daughter will throw the tin at me, should I serve beans on toast just one more time.
    See, you could save a whole family...

  34. I feel as though I have a good command of the English language but what I really want to master is story telling, carefully crafting compelling narratives. It is for this reason that I would love the opportunity to take the Creative Writing Stage 1 course offered by the Sydney Writers Centre.

    I find myself in a slightly precarious time in my life, 'between jobs' as it were (what a lovely euphemism), eager to learn and extend myself - and express myself. The Sydney Writers Centre has a wonderful reputation for providing excellent courses and I feel that through my use of the Internet and social media websites I'd be able to utilise the skills I'd learn and that, hopefully, this would be a stepping stone for a better future.

  35. Happy 1st! What a year it's been.

    What a fantastic giveaway. I'm not entering but what a great prize. You're going to be spoilt for choice!

    Here's to the next year!

  36. Features

    And ME BECAUSE the blog-o-verse absolutely requires that I structure, research and plan a post rather than randomly spilling everything from my head onto the page.

    The bonus is that if the online course can tame and retrain me than it will be an excellent ongoing advertisement of their skills. Don'tchathink!?

    PLUS 'Do a writing course' is actually on my list of things to do this year. Serendipity, me thinks. Fated. Destined...! Don't fight it.

  37. Al, this is a bit exiting to discover. In my new world and new life, I had wanted to focus on myself and the creative side of myself. I have published 4 books for the YYCA as resources for disadvantaged families and now really want to do a book on my own. This would be a dream to do a creative writing course and I have the concept for the book and plans (of course of which I will keep secret), but I would devulge to you....but this is awesome! I have worked on books and worked and written for two magazines, with NO me....I live in the middle of no where and I need the skills to make the dream come to life...

  38. 50 odd years ago my father travelled from Hamburg to Dar es Salaam with a motor bike and side car.

    Along the way he did many amazing things. He worked on the Aswan Dam project in Egypt. He climbed the pyramids when you still could and has the photos to prove it. He drove through 8 foot high elephant grass in the congo to dodge the borders and to dodge a war. He got stuck in desert surrounded by sand for as far as you could see.

    Eventually his passport ran out, and he found himself stuck on the border of Tanzania and Kenya.

    My father is in his mid seventies. This is a story that needs to be told. It needs to be told while he is still happy, healthy and lucid.

    He would like me to help him tell the story. To do that I need the skills.

    To get these skills I need to do a creative writing course. So please choose me!

  39. Five reasons to please pick me

    Because in high school and earlier I loved creative writing and regularly wrote. Because I then got lazy whilst at uni. Because a career in criminal law turned every written piece into an argument and the subject matter grim and grisly. Because I would love to sidestep into something where writing is the end rather than the means to. Because my brain is slowly fusing being at home all day. Pretty please?

    (This is an entry for the Magazine Writing Course).

  40. As a stay-at-home mum to four kids under six (including 2.5-year-old twins and a 6-week-old baby) and with a husband who works odd hours, I just can't get out of the house to attend events or courses or workshops. The Magazine Writing Stage One course would be oxygen for my creative lungs. A tiny portion of space and time in my life that is purely for me - where no-one calls me 'Mum' - would give me the boost I need to keep on keeping on :)

  41. Oh, and happy anniversary, Pink Fibro! I've thoroughly enjoyed dipping into your life over the past year - thanks for sharing.

  42. Oh please oh mighty writing gods let me win a Creative writing course. Something to galvanize a creative gift I have let languish and tarnish under the ruthless weight of a thing called life.

    I'm afraid that without something like this to snap me into action I shall end up a sad old hag with no teeth left and hole in my heart.

    Now as a new mother I see writing an even more distant shore, please let me seize this writing gig by the guts and get over myself. As a blogger, as a writer and as a mama. I owe it to myself and my child to fess up to this itch.

    This may just offer the self-confidence I've needed for years.

  43. Oh, thank you for the opportunity to enter. I would be so grateful to be able to do the Magazine Writing Stage One, online course.

    I have only just started writing, I buried writing to the bottom of my being, because I always thought I had nothing to write about and my grammar is shocking.

    Recently I have had some inspiring and interesting people on amazing journeys, enter my life.

    I would love the opportunity to take there stories and put them into writing.

    That is my pitch and hope that it is the winning one, but good luck to all.

    Thank you

  44. I've been putting off and putting off this comment to do a kick arse pitch why I should win... I've looked at the course outlines.. took notes.. did a draft comment.. you know the deal..

    Well, I'm not a writer. In fact so incredibly far from it its kind of sad really. I'm a photographer/designer that likes to dribble and loves to blog.

    I'd love for my blog to be better written. I'd love to do some articles about PND to help others. I'd love to write articles for parenting magazines about the reality of parenthood. I'd love to write articles for craft mags on 'how to' this and that, I'd love to write about photography and design for a magazine. I'd love to write what I am passionate about...

    I love the sound of the magazine writing course.

    Nuff said.. wish me luck!!

  45. The writing drought has broken in my house: words and ideas are raining down on the tin. But there’s a leak in the roof! Rain is seeping through the ceiling in a constant, rhythmic drumming. I’m frantically trying to catch the drips in buckets and bowls, but what I really need is to patch that leak and install a tank to catch all of that glorious rain.
    In my big picture dream, I collect these ideas and make them work for me, and the Features Writing Course will give me the skills to ‘Do-It-Yourself’.

    Thanks for the fab opportunity, Mrs Fibro.

  46. Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

    She’d always enjoyed writing, with various journals and saucy stories sustaining her through her largely uneventful teenage years.
    Years later, when her teenage son passed away unexpectedly, she turned to blogging to help her make sense of life. It was enormously therapeutic and it helped her remember how much she enjoyed writing.
    She knew that with a little help - like a Creative Writing Course - she could have a chance to make a living from writing; fulfilling the promise to herself (and her son) that she would change her life: do things that made her happy, things that actually mattered.


  47. OK, move aside all you young whippersnappers and let a pro show you how it’s done.

    I’m no grumpy old woman, but I’ve paid my dues. I’ve worked tirelessly for arts/cultural organisations for over 20 years for poor money - writing content for annual reports, documentary production stories, newsletters, grant applications, grant acquittals, board reports and marketing collateral. How many more ways can you say “this festival will be the biggest and best yet”? You get my drift…

    It’s now time for me to have fun. Leave the drudgery behind. Why, I’ve half a mind to write a book - and probably will (apologies to Groucho Marx).

    Goodby cruel arts world. Creative Writing here I come.

  48. I have spent many years studying and learning various things. None of them involved creative writing. I then spent still more years being a wife and working mum. Still not much creative writing involved.

    I used to be able to write but I feel like this ability got lost. I think this course could help me find it.

  49. Happy blogoversary! How did I miss this post?!!

    I'd love to enter, but have a severe case of writer's inadequacy after reading the other entries. So I'll step away from wanting the Features Writing course, and sit here still wishing I could earn more money from my writing. Sigh. One day :)

  50. Happy Blog Anniversary, although I dont comment on here much I would love to win the price cause writing my own story is something I've been thinking about a lot lately to leave something behind for my husband to remember me by when I leave this world cause of my medical condition.

    (((( Hugs )))) XXXX Kisses XXXX

  51. Happy Blogoversary!

    I would be so grateful to win the Sydney Writers' Centre's Magazine Writing Stage One Course. To have Marina Go guide me would be a wonderful honour.

    You see, I'm a trained newspaper journalist. A Business Reporter by trade. Give me a newspaper article or news feature to write and I can do it. Recently, I tried my hand at writing for a local magazine and had a couple of articles published, but the Editor tore at my copy and stomped on my confidence. Consequently, I stopped writing for her and haven't attempted to pitch magazine articles since. I started my blog, bigwords, instead mainly to experiment with different writing styles and claw back at my confidence. I also recognised I needed to grow a thicker skin.

    Writing is a craft and I need to widen my skills. After being out of the workforce for four years, since having my three children. And after my disastrous attempt to forge a new career as a freelance magazine writer, the time is right for me to commence this course.

    I need it for me. I also have this driving desire to submit a brilliant article to the competing magazine. A bit of an "up yours" to the other Editor. Not mature, not positive, but it will definitely give my confidence a boost. Please help me.

  52. I have a secret. A few, actually. Spell check is my best friend. I start sentences with the word 'and'. I don't really know how to structure a post/article/letter/birthday card. And (see!) somehow in the past 6 months I ended up being an Editor.

    Sometime soon, someone is going to figure me out... so I best stop winging it and actually learn how to write. Properly.


    I'd love to have a go at the Magazine Writing Course Stage One. Like love! I'm a magazine junkie - have piles of magazines at home because they're too good to throw away. I remember magazine writers like they're celebrities (oh yes, ask Alex how sad I am!) It would be a dream come true.

    Happy anniversary Al! You made it. x

  53. Wow, what a huge list to work through Allison. We're so glad you're selecting the short list! I spent a very happy morning exploring a lot of the commenter author's blogs, and there is definitely some impressive writing around!

  54. An education is just what I need. I have been told I have the talent, people are enjoying my blog, but I want to be able to call myself a freelance journalist. A writing course would be an excellent first step, non?

    I currently don't have a job (due to illness) and am well on the road to recovery and building a whole new life doing what I love, communications and spreading the light. Check out to see my blog & my commitment to writing, it's just 4 weeks old!

    A candle loses nothing in lighting another candle..this is my motto. Light my candle and I'll spread the light!

  55. Thanks for this opportunity.
    I would like to enter for Magazine Writing Stage 1.

    Bill Harper told me about Valerie Khoo's writing courses, and it was that moment when I fell in love with what she does. There are a million girls who proudly claim themselves as "magazine hoarders" and want to work for fashion magazines. I am one of them as well - but I know it don't want it for the fame and glamour. I want it for the hard work and the consequent result. Holding a freshly printed magazine and smelling it beautifully scented pages is the ultimate bliss.
    I want to do this course because I want to make my dream and aspirations come true. I want to Valerie's brilliant knowledge. Why chose me? Because I know I will make this worth every cent. I want to be part of your brilliant list of "graduates" (if you may call them so). I want to know what editors want from us.
    I want to start my journey from this course and I know it will be a well-cherished one.

  56. I'd like to win the creative writing course because I think it's about time Australia was the one with the next J.K. Rowling or Stephanie Meyer and I think it could be me (my maiden name is even Myers!). As a magazine editor and journalist, I want to make the transition to novel writing but first I need to learn some valuable skills in making stuff up.

  57. As a wise person said to me recently, "Get your bum into gear and stop being a wuss". Or something like that.

    So, here I am not being a wuss.

    I'm eyeing off the Magazine Writing course, because I'd love to do some freelance work and learn how to write a great feature article. I really do think I'd be good at it and enjoy it, partly because I'm a nerd and love structuring and researching. Also, because one of the people running the course used to work for a magazine I'd really love to be in, so she'd be a great resource.

    Also, to learn to write better pitches and quote wise people more accurately.

  58. From sea shells to cow bones
    From convenience to planning
    From clean car to dust box
    From grass to mud
    From six-foot fence to barbed wire
    From worms to snakes
    From goldfish to cats, dogs, cows, kangaroos, chooks, ducks, horses (eventually)
    From squashed to spacious
    From theirs to ours
    From anonymity to community
    From gridlock to gravel
    From noise to peace
    From conflicted to contented
    And, perhaps with a little luck, from blogger to writer.

    Allison, you are presenting me with an opportunity to find parts of my new life to match some old words I know and CREATIVELY set them up on a page. That would be a marvellous challenge. It really would. Congratulations on your anniversary. That's a challenge in itself. gxo

  59. No limits.

    There are no restrictions on what you can achieve in this life, this is the motto our family live by. Set the bar high, then reach up and grab it with both hands. If you dangle for a while, or cannot find the strength to pull yourself over, drop. You can always try again later. However, if you push through and make it over, then the view from the top is amazing and you will feel more alive than ever before.

    Our lives have been full of these challenges, but the one closest to my heart is the story of our life with Autism. For this reason, I am putting in this pitch for the Online course: Feature Writing for Magazines and Newspapers. I yearn to write my oldest son’s story and tell it to the world, let people know that an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis does not mean the end of dreams, merely the beginning of others. I want to educate, inform and let people into our world where prognosis does not equate absolute certainty. To let people see that grief, pain and anger are all honest emotions you need to work through then put to good use.

    No limits. Isn't that what feature writing is all about?

  60. The more I write, the harder it gets. Doesn’t practice make perfect? What the deal with that? The more I write, the more I want out of the words. I need more. The perfect line. To say much with little. Connecting with personal emotion in a universal way. The more I write, the harder it gets. That’s what I hate about writing, and what I love about writing.

    Both the Magazine Writing Stage One and Creative Writing Stage One offer valuable learning experiences to me. However, right now, the Magazine Writing Stage One would assist me to capitalise and structure my ideas into feature articles I could use both on my blog, and in an external capacity.

    I’m torn, feeling both depressed because of my shortcomings and thrilled by the forever challenge of writing. Learning may be a uniting key to push me forward. Then, to be able to guest post on “The Fibro” would...rock.

    I'm beginning to believe practice does not make perfect when it comes to writing but learning and growing makes it tangible and alive.


  61. It would be an absolute lifeline, should I be chosen to do the Magazine Writing Stage One course. I have recently been asked to write for a magazine, and have realised there is a big difference between blogging and journalism.
    I can guarantee that I would put what I learn in this course to good use, and the opportunity to guest post on "The Fibro" would be the icing on the cake!
    Thank you for hosting such an amazing and unique competition, and congratulations on your "blogaversary".

  62. Living here in Belgium, I'm so hungry for English I read the side of Tim Tam packets and vegemite tubes that lovely backpacking visitors leave for me. The more I learn Dutch, the more I want to use my English. I crave the time to read and write, to use big words and to communicate with people in my mother tongue.

    I'd choose the Magazine Writing course. And I would try hard not to write about Tim Tams too often.

    Happy Blogervarsary Allison!
    Gelukkige Blogverjaardag!

  63. She sat and watched. The cursor blinking away at her, almost winking and smugly saying 'you can't do this'. Her mind whirled and twirled with tales all banging on her skull to get out of her brain, but that damned cursor just kept blinking. Each blink like a jackhammer to her self confidence. Chip, chip, chipping away.

    All she needs is someone to help her open the flood gates and drown that blasted cursor in creative words, sentences and stories.

  64. It's the best giveaway in history and I'm not saying so to suck up, I promise! There are some brilliant entries above and I am adding mine to the mix.

    I would love to win the creative writing course. In actuality I will do the course anyway because I am weary beyond words yet words are the only way I have of making sense of things and they are the only thing keeping me from falling apart completely. I need, in your words, to be brave. I need to breathe and I need to write. That is all.

  65. I just found Pink Fibro! Look what I've been missing :)

    As I approach my 30th birthday, slowly rotting away in my cushy cookie cutter corporate job,I've realised that I've avoided trying to establish a career in what I love. Dissapointing.

    So this year, my 30th one, I'd like to get cracking on feature writing.

    I blog which is a great distraction but it would be such a huge kick up the bum if I could get coached by the experts on where/when/how I should start on the "write" track.

  66. Hellooooooo Mother Theresa of the writing world! So glad and indeed pleased to find you, and just in time too. Hope your cherished gift sweeps my way, for in truth I fall into a daydream quicksand for the better part of day, a dream that could be turned into mulla mulla, dosh dosh money honey! So what do you say? Help plunge this daydreaming athlete into the narrative,possibly a book,and study, online of course! Well, don't want to give face to the potential humiliation! Pink really does not suit me. Well, you asked us to keep it sweet & short, Hey! I'M SHORT and can be VERY SWEET!, don't enjoy being soured....wink, wink!

  67. No matter what happens, whether anyone ever read a single thing I ever wrote - I simply must write.

    Somehow writing has saved me...after boiling the kettle for tea, it's the first thing I do every morning. It's a habit that soothes me, that changes my focus on life and no matter how crappy things get, it's like that last kiss I plant on my children's face at the end of the day. As they sleep peacefully I feel myself smiling and tell myself tomorrow will be wonderful.

    Writing does that for me too and it's become an addiction. In my spare time, when I am not writing, I am thinking about writing or about what someone else wrote or staring into spaces watching words form into metaphors that I can't wait to record.

    Then when I read about people making a living from writing I have this beastly rage inside me, like a shot of jealousy and the questions in my mind are why them? How them? And why do I have to teach?

    I imagine a world where writing is what I do for a living but it feels like an impossible dream. Maybe its not? Maybe anything is possible with some help and some coaching and some good advice. I would like to make a career out of writing so maybe magazine writing stage 1 would be my first choice.

    Thankyou for the opportunity to dream and all the information about SWC. I'm inspired.

  68. There's a novel I need to write and if I don't get on with it soon, it will slip away from me. At the end of the month, my two little ones will start childcare for one day a week, even though we can't really afford it and even though I could probably be talked out of it very easily. Mondays are going to be all mine - the writing day - but I'm a little nervous: it's been a while since I faced a blank screen, my hands cupping a coffee, with several uninterrupted hours ahead of me. I think I might need some help, a bit of guidance, some structure. I think I might need to win this competition.

    Creative Writing Stage One

  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

  70. OK. You've probably figured out that I'm a Limey. I'm not even sure if I'm eligible but, hey, if you don't try you never know.
    So here's the pitch.
    My bid for Creatve Writing Stage One.
    I'm a single mum, mostly housebound and totally brassick (that's Yorkshire speak for 'poor'). The chances of me ever being able to afford an online writing course are about the same as me discovering I'm Nicole Kidmans sister.
    I simply just want to write and to write well. The former I already do but the latter needs a bit of help.
    Thanks for reading and good luck to everyone.

    twitter @coffeewithkate

  71. I have a burning desire (and I'm pretty sure it's not an STD).

    I want to take over the internet.

    I know, it's not world peace but who's to say once I have the internet in submission that I won't turn my attention toward the Middle East?

    It's a simple goal built on a three pronged attack: be me (check), be unique (I am a little snowflake after all) and woo everyone to my brilliance.

    I'll be honest my plan for internet domination has hit a few rocky patches of late... turns out content really is King. (Here I thought that was just propaganda put out by Content's followers...)

    I can be the unique little snowflake all I want but if I can't use words (or proof read) to make people realise that then all is lost in this online medium.

    But, there is a ray of sunshine on my horizon and it looks a lot like a pink fibro.

    I would be ever so grateful to win the opportunity to do the Magazine Writing Stage One course at the Sydney Writer's Centre so that I could continue on my quest to be the greatest blogger since Dooce.

    Please don't stand in the way of greatness.

  72. To be completely honest with you, I would be chuffed with any of the courses on offer. I am a new blogger, I love to learn and am open to any advice on offer. Although at this stage of my life, with the demands of the little people - I believe the Magazine Writing Stage One course would most suit my needs, and personality. I believe that at the end of the day, that's what I'm about and that's what my readers appreciate about me. Words fade. It's the way you leave people feeling that allows you to get your point across to the audience and keep them coming back! I would appreciate the opportunity to potentially reach a much larger audience! So respectfully, pick me, pick me!!

  73. Ok, here goes.

    I love telling stories. More than that, I love telling other peoples stories. I love the extraordinary in the every day ordinary - and by ordinary I mean the average Jo Blo. Because beneath every Jo Blo is a cauldron of life and love experiences. And I want to get them down.

    My favourite thing in the world? Strangers.

    I want to capture their stories. The extraordinary in the ordinary. I want to translate them so their experiences sing and bounce off the page.

    It's a very specific goal I have. Whilst I can write about personal experiences and observations ( ), it is the other voices that I want to do justice to.

    Magazine Writing Stage 1. That's the one for me. I'd be thrilled for whoever scores this ripper of an opportunity. But for me, there is a goal and purpose. I need to know that the voice I give to other stories is structured, presented and pitched in ways that make others want to embrace them.

    I need to learn. And then I want to 'say'.


  74. Fibrotown and the Journey to The Circle of Magic

    The Girl waited. Waited for her ideas to grow. Notebooks of Ideas. Cupboards of notebooks. She was sure The Book would come. A children's book. Exquisite drawings and her name etched upon the cover.

    But Ideas were not enough. The Book did not appear.

    Within Fibrotown lay a chance. A portal leading to a virtual world full of envied beings who possess more than creativity. Beings who understand discipline. Beings like PF.

    Will PF and her Circle of Magic allow The Girl to draw on memories? Will she tap into her imagination? Discover the importance of structure?

    Will the wait finally be over?"

    This is an entry to the Creative Writing course. Thank you for a wonderful opportunity! And Happy Blogoversary!

  75. I wonder if that's 11:59pm your time or my time here in Brissie?


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