FAQ: Online courses

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Q: Why does this online course have a specific start date?
A: This is a tutor-led course. A new lesson will be posted every week. You will respond to questions, discuss with your peers and post assignment responses. The tutor will guide discussions and review your writing submissions. Submissions and tutor and peer feedback are visible to all participants. By considering tutor comments across a range of submissions, you’ll learn faster what to pay attention to in order to sharpen your own work.

Q: Are there any live meetings or specific times I need to be available?
No. Each week, you complete the lessons in your own time. Assignments will have due dates, but otherwise the material is yours to work through at your own pace.

Q: How much time will the coursework take?
A: Please expect to spend a minimum of three to four hours per week on the course, noting that the amount of time needed to read, respond to discussions, write, revise and critique will vary from person to person. To get the most out of this course, we recommend logging in at least once a week. You don’t need to log in at a specific time. 

Q: What level of computer skills do I need for this course? 
A: You’ll need basic confidence using computer software. If you can log in and navigate a website like Facebook, and you know how to copy and paste text, you should be able to use our online classroom.

If you’re unsure if you have the right level of computer skills for this course, you can contact us to chat with our program officer about your capabilities. You also might like to watch this video which will familiarise you with Wet Ink.

Q: If I workshop a draft in this course, am I able to submit it to publishers, journals or magazines for possible publication? 
A: Yes! One of the realities of being an engaged writer is sharing your work with other writers, receiving feedback and reworking through multiple drafts. We hope you’ll go on to have the writing you’ve workshopped in our online courses published – and we’d love to hear about it when you do!

Q: Who can enrol? 
A: Anyone, anywhere who is writing in English. Please note, the minimum age for enrolment in Writing NSW courses is 16, unless otherwise specified. Writers aged 16 or 17 wishing to enrol in courses other than those specifically designed for young people must make a request to Writing NSW at least two weeks prior to the course start date. Enrolment will be at the discretion of Writing NSW and cannot be guaranteed.
Please note, submission deadlines for online courses are based on the time zone for Sydney NSW (either AEST or AEDT, depending on the time of year).

Q: Does this course accept unlimited enrolments, or is there a maximum?
A: As this is an interactive course, there are limited places. Book early to avoid missing out.

Q: What website does this course use?
A: Our online courses take place on Wet Ink, a website designed specifically for writers. Wet Ink allows you to post our writing, give and receive feedback, and discuss with your classmates, all on elegant and simple webpages. Watch the video below to familiarise yourself with Wet Ink.

Q: What are the community guidelines for participants?
A: Writing NSW is committed to fostering an inclusive and safe environment across its courses and other programs for writers. As a participant, you are expected to contribute to this by respecting the diverse backgrounds and experiences of other members of our community, (including race, gender, class, sexuality, faith, ability, etc.). When sharing work or making comments in forums, you should be careful to avoid anything that might have a harmful impact on your fellow participants. Writing NSW reserves the right to remove any submissions or comments that do not adhere to these guidelines. You can contact us if you are concerned about any situation that may have arisen.

Q: Should I be concerned about plagiarism?
A: Plagiarism is actually rare in the industry, and we’ve never had a complaint about it related to any of our classes. In fact, workshopping a draft in an online class is a good way to protect your ideas: it means you’ve got a whole group of people, including the tutor, who witnessed you post that work first.

Q: Can I use my smartphone or tablet for this course? 
A: Technically yes, but for the best experience we recommend you complete it on a laptop or desktop computer.

Q: Does this course require any social media accounts? 
A: No, this course is a self-contained online classroom.

Q: I’m enrolled in an online course. How do I find the website?
A: On the day the course starts, our program officer will send you an email with a link to set up your profile in Wet Ink. Once you have created a profile, you can access the course. Throughout the course, you can log in at wet.ink/writingnsw

Q: After I enrol, when can I access the course?
A: Our courses are tutor-led and take place on a set schedule. For our instructional courses, you’ll receive an invitation to join the course on the start date.

Q: What happens at the end of the course?
A: At the end of the course, you will receive a PDF package that includes all the course material, including lessons and your writing and feedback.

Q: Is it possible to form an online writers’ group with fellow writers after the course ends?
A: Absolutely. Several of our courses have led to informal online writers’ groups that generally involve peers exchanging drafts for feedback on a schedule that suits them. Writing NSW is also planning to provide more formal online writing group options in the near future.

Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: Please choose your course carefully. Your enrolment is non-refundable. If you should wish to withdraw from a course, you must inform the Writing NSW at least 14 days in advance of course commencement to receive a full credit. Withdrawals up to seven days prior to course commencement will be eligible for a 50% credit. Withdrawals in the week prior to the course are ineligible for credit.

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