FAQ: Online: Year of the Novel

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Q: How does Online: Year of the Novel work?
A: Online: Year of the Novel takes place on a user-friendly website designed specifically for writing courses, in combination with Zoom sessions. Each week you will log in to work through course materials online at your own pace. In the live weekly Zoom sessions you will discuss your learnings with Emily Maguire and the rest of your class.

Q: What happens during the weekly Zoom sessions?
A: Participants can ask the tutor questions during the weekly Zoom sessions. There will also be special Zoom events in which participants will hear from a guest speaker about their writing life. Zoom sessions will take place on Wednesday evenings 6:30-7.30pm AET. See the dates of your Zoom sessions here.

Q: What does the online course content cover?
A: Each week during the course, a new lesson will be posted online. Participants will have the week to work through the content and post responses to exercises designed to put the theory you’re learning into practice. Participants will engage in giving and receiving peer feedback on writing exercises and receive some limited tutor feedback.

Q: What website does Online: Year of the Novel use?
A: Online: Year of the Novel takes place on Wet Ink, a website designed specifically for writers. Wet Ink allows you to post your 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: 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 professional development 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: 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: How much time will the coursework take?
A: Please expect to spend a minimum of three 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. You will also be working on your novel throughout the year. 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 for the online content. 

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: 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: Are course dates, times and tutors subject to change?
A: Advertised dates and times of courses may change or be cancelled without warning. If this is the case, all reasonable attempts will be made to contact you via email and telephone. However, confirmation of starting time remains the responsibility of the student. Occasionally, due to unforeseen circumstances, we may have to replace a tutor with another experienced presenter. If this is the case, attendees will be notified in advance.

Q: Who can enrol? 
A: Anyone who is writing in English.

Q: Is there a minimum age to enrol?
A: The minimum age for attendance in our courses is 16 unless otherwise specified. Writers under 18 wishing to participate in any course must provide two weeks’ notice.

Q: Are your courses accessible to writers with disability?
Writing NSW seeks to make its programs accessible to writers with disability. Please contact us to discuss your access needs on (02) 9555 9757 or via our contact form.

Q: Is it possible to form a writers’ group with fellow writers after the course ends?
A: Absolutely, several of our courses have led to groups of participants forming their own writers’ groups, many of which still meet regularly. You can find out more on our website.

Q: What is the maximum number of participants in a course?
A: In general, we have a maximum of twenty people in this course.

Q: Can I enrol with only partial payment?
A: All participants must book and pay the course fee in advance to secure their place in the course. Anyone who has not enrolled and made payment prior to the course commencement date will not be permitted to attend.

Q: Can I enrol in a separate phase, rather than the full course?
A: If the full-course is not sold out prior to the commencement of Phase One, the individual phases will be made available for separate enrolment. Please note that the full-year course has generally sold out prior to commencement in recent years, and it has not been possible to open individual phases for bookings.

Q: If I workshop a draft in this course, am I able to submit it to publishers? 
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! If your manuscript is published after taking this course, please contact us to let us know.
In the third phase of this course, you will receive some information about publication avenues once you have a completed draft.

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: 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 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.

Community Guidelines

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. Please contact us if you are concerned about any situation that may have arisen.

If you’re not sure if our online courses are right for you, please email our professional development officer to discuss your concerns via our online contact form.

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