FAQ: Year of the Novel

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Q: Why does this online course have a specific start date?
A: This is a tutor-led course. This course takes place using a combination of Wet Ink and Zoom. Wet Ink is an online learning platform created specifically for writing courses. A new lesson will be posted in Wet Ink every week. You will respond to questions, discuss with your peers and post assignment submissions. The tutor will guide discussions and review your writing submissions. There will also be four optional Zoom meetings on every second Tuesday during this course. You can see information about this below.

Q: Are there any live meetings or specific times I need to be available?
Every second Tuesday evening during the course, there will be an optional Zoom session which participants can join if they have anything they would like to discuss or delve into more deeply. Along with these, there will be two more Zoom sessions where participants will have the opportunity to hear from industry professionals. If you would like to join the Zoom sessions, you need to be available at 6:30-7:30pm AEST. Once the course begins, you will be sent more information about this.

The rest of the course material will be shared on Wet Ink, which you’ll be able to work through in your own time. There will be deadlines for assignments and peer feedback.

Q: How much time will the coursework take?
A: Please expect to dedicate three to four hours to coursework each week. This includes reading, responding to discussions, writing, revising and providing peer feedback.

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 have experience with using Zoom or similar software like FaceTime or Google Hangouts you should be able to do this course easily.

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, or read more about Zoom here.

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! In fact, a novella that was workshopped in our first online short story course in 2016 went on to be an award finalist and is now published by Spineless Wonders.

Q: Who can enrol? 
A: Anyone who is writing in English. We have live meetings on Zoom, so if you would like to join these, you will need to be available on Tuesdays at 6:30pm-7:30pm AEST.

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 your writing, give and receive feedback, and discuss with your classmates, all on elegant and simple webpages.

The live component of this course will take place on Zoom.

Watch the video below to familiarise yourself with Wet Ink.

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 an email with a link to access your archive. This will include all the course material, including lessons and your writing and feedback. For more information about this, go here.

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. To get support with starting a writing group, contact us or read our free resource sheet.

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.

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