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 in Wet Ink. Your tutor will guide discussions and review your writing submissions. There will also be optional Zoom sessions during the course, which will take place on Tuesday evenings. These Zoom sessions are a chance to ask your tutor questions and discuss your manuscript progress with peers. The Zoom dates will be announced closer to the course start date. These Zoom sessions are optional, so it is not a requirement to attend them if you enrol in the course.

Q: Are there any live meetings or specific times I need to be available?
There will be optional Zoom sessions which participants can join if they have anything they would like to discuss or delve into more deeply. Along with these, there will be other Zoom sessions where participants will have the opportunity to hear from industry professionals. All of these Zoom sessions will be optional. Once the course begins, you will be sent more information about the exact dates and times, but they will take place on Tuesday evenings.

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 a minimum of three to four hours to coursework each week, noting that the time needed for reading, responding to discussions, writing, revising and providing peer feedback will vary from person to person.

You will also be encouraged to spend time writing your novel during the course. It’s up to you how much time you spend writing and planning each week, but you will benefit more from the course if you are setting aside time to work on your novel in conjunction with completing the course exercises and 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 have experience with using Zoom or similar software like FaceTime or Google Hangouts you should be able to do this course.

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

Q: Can I enrol in a separate phase, rather than the full course?
A: Yes, you can enrol in individual phases if you would prefer.

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 by 10am, our program officer will send you an email with a link to join the online classroom. Because this is a tutor-led course, you can’t join the online classroom until the course start date. 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. You’ll receive an invitation to join the course on the start date between 9:30-10am AEST.

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 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 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 program officer to discuss your concerns via our online contact form.

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