Which course is right for you?

In writing circles, people often describe where they are in their writing journey using levels. We likewise use levels to help you find the right Writing NSW course, identify skills you need to improve, and consider your development as a writer.

Defining these levels can be tricky, in large part because many organisations use the same word to describe different levels of achievement. You may also find you fit more than one category. For example, if you’ve published several successful children’s books and then started writing poetry, this would make you an established children’s author and an aspiring poet. If you’re applying for a grant, mentorship or competition, always check to ensure you fit the eligibility requirements.

Many Writing NSW courses are helpful for writers at all stages, while others are targeted. Courses aimed at aspiring writers won’t presume you have a steady writing practice, whereas those aimed at emerging or developing writers will assume you’re committed to one or more projects and have a working knowledge of your genre.

Use these guidelines to help you determine your level.

Aspiring

You’re just starting to find your feet in the writing world. You may have taken some writing courses, or not. You haven’t yet developed a steady writing practice. You may have started submitting to literary publications and competitions, but you haven’t been published. You’re here because:

  • You want to find your community, perhaps by joining a writers’ group
  • You’d like to learn more about the craft, take courses, and get feedback
  • You need information about the publishing industry

Emerging

You’ve had some writing published, you’re entering competitions, and you may be actively involved in your writing community. You’ve attended writing-related events and festivals. You’re here because:

  • You’d like to learn more about the craft through courses and manuscript assessments
  • You’d like to apply for writing grants
  • You want to build new connections with other writers
  • You want to learn more about the publishing industry

Developing

You’re a new author with perhaps a full-length book published or several long-form pieces in established journals, and a portion of your income may come from writing. You’ve attended and may have spoken at writing-related events and festivals, you’re active in the writing community, and you’re committed to becoming an established writer. You’re here because:

  • You’d like to further develop specific skills and/or learn from more established authors
  • You’d like to learn more about promoting your own work and other business skills
  • You’d like to apply for writing grants
  • You’d like to expand your network and readership
  • You’re looking for professional opportunities

Established

You’ve published two or more full-length works or equivalent (for instance, a body of longform pieces in established journals) and a portion of your income is from writing. You may have taught or lectured on writing, and you may have spoken at writing events or festivals. You’re here because:

  • You’d like to further develop specific skills and/or learn from specific authors
  • You’d like to diversify your income by teaching or mentoring
  • You’d like to expand your network and readership
  • You’re looking for author advocacy 

And maybe, having had some success as a developing or established author, you’re looking to branch out into new genres. For more on that, see aspiring. The journey begins again!

Level summary descriptions

Aspiring: You’re just starting to find your feet in the writing world and haven’t yet developed a steady practice.

Emerging: You’ve formed a writing practice, had some writing published and may be actively involved in your writing community.

Developing: You’re a new author with perhaps a full-length book published or several long-form pieces in established journals, and a portion of your income may come from writing.

Established: You’ve published two or more full length works or equivalent and a portion of your income is from writing.

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