Online: Writing Conflict

Cate Kennedy

28 August to 18 September 2023, online

Full Price: $410
Member: $305
Conc Member: $265

This course has finished. Sign up for our waitlist here to find out when it’s running again. In the meantime, check out our list of current courses or sign up for our Newsbite weekly newsletter for updates.

This online writing conflict course with Cate Kennedy takes place online.

We hate it in real life, but in realistic narrative fiction which involves characters a reader can care about, it’s a necessity. In this two-week online writing workshop, Cate Kennedy will help writers explore how to take characters not where they want to go, but where they need to go: into the vortex of conflict.

This online workshop is designed for writers who want their work to feel enlivened with greater dramatic tension and compelling storylines. The group will look at how a story’s shape is structured around a central conflict, and how external and internal conflict interact in a story to create a satisfying sense of unity and momentum.

Is this online workshop right for you? Read our FAQ before enrolling>>

Internet access and confidence using basic computer software are essential for this program. This interactive online course has limited places. Book early to avoid missing out. 

From the ancient Greeks to what’s on Netflix, this workshop will take a long-range look into what galvanises a plot and what a character struggles with in their rocky path to transformation.  To develop these insights and skills, participants will engage in writing and rewriting scenes during the weeks.

Expected Learning Outcomes

  1. An understanding of how a story’s structural integrity is built around a character in conflict.
  2. The usefulness of studying and integrating the three arenas of conflict in fiction, and an inclusive approach to integrating ‘dark’ material into storylines while acknowledging that this a process which challenges us to dig deeper.
  3. Some keys and prompts to creating fiction which is naturalistic, plausible and compelling.

Participant Requirements

Internet access and confidence using basic computer software are essential for this program. There are no live meetings. Please read our FAQ before enrolling.

You do not need to log into the course at a specific time and there are no live meetings. You will receive an email with an invitation link to join the online classroom by 10am on the day the course starts.

  • Participants will work through several lessons, which will open sequentially over the first few days of the course (see course dates in the blue box above).
  • You can complete the lesson material in your own time.
  • This course includes short writing assignments and the opportunity to give and receive peer feedback and some tutor feedback.

Please expect to spend a minimum of 3-4 hours on each week of the course, noting that the amount of time needed to read, respond to discussions, write, revise and critique will vary from person to person. We recommend allocating an hour a day to the course while it is running. By setting aside this time, you will get the most out of the course, and be able to engage with other participants and the tutor.

You can find out more about the course by reading our frequently asked questions.  If you have any questions, please contact us.


‘Excellent course – perfect for my current learning needs. The combination of Cate’s well presented content and the well aligned assignments with peer and teacher feedback.’ – Rachel

‘It was good to have well-explained tasks with realistic deadlines. Having fellow-writers critique each others’ work was a fantastic idea. Cate’s feedback was incredibly well-considered. Reading her feedback to all the works was where the lessons were translated into practice. The lessons were gold and I know my writing has benefited. I’m already unpicking my earlier stories, rewriting for conflict, tension and drama. I’m very happy!’ – Claire

‘The material was incredibly detailed and specific and this was the most useful aspect of the course. I really appreciated how the techniques provided to create conflict were so explicit. It’s exactly what I needed to learn. Having to then interpret those lessons in your own attempts at writing short pieces made the exercises very valuable.’ – Susan

‘This was the best writing course I’ve done. The content was excellent, Cate’s feedback was encouraging and inspiring. I was very impressed.’ – Peta

‘Hands down it’s the best class I’ve done through the writing centre. The lessons were so well thought out, and the writing exercises were really hard, which is good, it means I’m getting out of my comfort zone and thinking about what and why I’m writing. I will be coming back, and back again to those assignments, polishing and re-writing.’ – Fran

More from Writing NSW

Check out our full range of online creative writing courses and our feedback programs to see how we can help you on your writing journey. Find out about our grants and prizes, as well as writing groups across NSW, and sign up to our weekly newsletter for writing events, opportunities and giveaways.

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This course has already taken place.