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The Year Your Book Gets Written

Writing a book is an enormous undertaking. Don’t do it alone!

Get the support you need! This year-long course will lead you through the task of planning, writing, developing, and editing a full-length book. Do you want to write a book, but need the one-on-one support, professional guidance, and encouragement a writing mentor can provide? Then this course is for you! Group classes will develop your writing knowledge and teach you exercises to improve your skills. Private sessions will help you understand what makes your story work and help you advance personally as a writer. Peer camaraderie will keep you motivated along your journey and allow you to meet likeminded people.

Accelerate your learning! Explore and learn about genre, themes, character, point of view, conflict, voice, setting, dialogue, structure, self-editing, pacing and world-building. Get critical feedback on your writing, peer critiques, the expertise of a professional tutor, and plan how you’ll actually publish what you write.

Fixed and flexible! Group classes are mostly on the second Tuesday of each month, 6-8pm. If you can’t attend a session due to illness or holidays, however, your tutor can teach you what you missed in your next mentoring session. All 10 hours of your one-on-one mentoring allocation are flexible and tailored to your individual needs across the year. Simply organise what you need with your tutor, Zena Shapter, who will guide you every step of the way.

Value for money! The total value of this course is $2300. This includes 10 hours of one-on-one mentoring, which usually costs $1200; and 11 × 2hr group classes, which usually cost $1100. The actual cost of the course is $1500, meaning you get to save $800!

Stop procrastinating! Gift yourself this commitment and make 2019 your year!

11 × 2hr classes + 10 hours of one-on-one mentoring*

Class dates**:

7 May
4 June
2 July
6 Aug
10 Sept
1 Oct
29 Oct
3 Dec
11 Feb
3 Mar
7 Apr held at Mosman Art Annex

*5 hours of mentoring time must be used per student in the first half of the year; 5 hours in the subsequent half
**subject to change due to tutor illness or emergencies; dates may also be changed if required by the class and both tutor and college can accommodate.

About the Tutor

Zena Shapter is a Ditmar award-winning author, creative writing tutor and mentor, freelance editor, copywriter and social media consultant. She has won ten national writing competitions and is published in magazines such as “Midnight Echo” and anthologies such as “Award-Winning Australian Writing”. She writes close-to-reality books of the unexplained and adventures that get you thinking. She also founded and leads the widely attended Northern Beaches Writers' Group, whose collaborative writing has also won multiple awards. Read her through the links on her website at


“Zena's class is a perfect first step in writing for everyone from hobbyists to aspiring novelists. Her infectious enthusiasm, constructive tips and support make the lessons a treat. One-on-one sessions give you the time to take an in-depth look at your writing and help develop your unique writers voice, while ironing out kinks and bad habits. Through Zena's course, I've been able to turn the fragments of a story that were brewing in my head into a novel that I'm excited to finish. I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking to explore a passion for writing.” Alex Garner, writer.

“Under Zena's tutelage, it's been a brilliant year for writing my book. Right from the get go, I have been given down to earth, practical advice on how to develop my structure and writing in order to tell a story that would connect with readers. Learning how to build character and setting has proved indispensable and being able to keep to a monthly word target invaluable! For every word, page and chapter, Zena has been alongside as personal or class mentor, and has always offered unflagging support, motivation and feedback.” Juliet Clarke, writer.

“I embarked on Zena Shapter's course – The Year To Write Your Book with an idea, zero experience and not a great deal of confidence. From the first class I was able to get started on my book. Zena offers a fantastic balance of positivity, practical advice and easy to understand exercises to move your writing project along. I really enjoyed the group classes and also gained a great deal from our private sessions. I am happy to say that I am on track to completing the first draft of my book by the end of the year. Deciding to write has been a life-changing experience. Thank you very much to Zena! I highly recommend any course she offers.” Angelica Klages, writer.

“I have been a student of Zena Shapter, who teaches creative writing. English is not my native language and I came to Australia when I was 34 years old. Therefore I have a lot of problems with speaking and writing in English in my old age. Zena understood all of my problems and has encouraged me to write my life history, even with my wrong grammar! She has been a wonderful teacher to me. She always answered emails straight with kindness and understanding. Her mentoring sessions on my writing helped the direction of my writing, which was very helpful as a beginner. I appreciated her efforts toward me as her student. Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to learn!” Jae Won Kim, autobiographer.

“I would encourage anyone who is interested in writing to commit to Zena Shapter's course 'The Year Your Book Gets Written'. I found myself looking forward to the monthly meetings, where we went over our homework, set new goals and got to see different styles of writing from fellow class mates. I found the homework exercises challenging and hugely beneficial in my development as a writer. The discipline of the course largely depends on the students' commitment and I believe this to be the most important aspect I took away from the class. No one else can write your story for you. Zena as a mentor is encouraging and enthusiastic, and planning your mentor sessions with her throughout the year is something else I would encourage. There is so much available in this course for the student to take advantage of, providing they put in the time and the effort, and, if you are reading this review then I imagine you might just want to. Good luck fellow writers!” Emeli Cassell, writer.

“Zena's year-long writing course gave me the confidence to start writing. I particularly liked the development of our scripts that Zena helped with, and the hints as to how to get round tricky situations. Also the exercises that we wrote in class… helped flesh out what sort of writers we were and our own style compared to others. I found this very helpful. Zena's ability to classify what we were writing into a pigeon hole was great. I had no idea mine was sci fi! This then lead to how many words we would need to write for our book and whether there would or could be a series of books from the one idea. Zena was also able to handle writers at different stages of their work in the one class, which meant that all of us could benefit from the one class. I do not think anyone in the class felt that it was not aimed at them. What was also great was that we each got 10 hours of personal coaching and Zena could then concentrate on our individual work. She is a discerning woman with a great memory, a quick wit and a way of writing that can get round problems. She is good at ordering your thoughts so that you can order your work!” Claire Cavanaugh, writer.

“I found Zena's course very helpful and it certainly matched my expectations. It provided a clear pathway to writing my novel. The practical, easily understood writing tips, which every writer can apply to whatever works they choose, were excellent. I valued her feedback greatly to help me improve as a writer.” Peter Fagan, writer.

"Twenty-five years ago, I wrote my first book and submitted it to five London publishers, complete with a marketing promotion proposal… After completing Zena’s excellent writing course, I understand it lacked both drama and good structure. She gave me the structure and skills to craft a new book that I yearned to complete. Zena is an excellent guide who is experienced in giving budding writers the structure, skills and challenges to complete the book lurking in their being. Such is my enthusiasm

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

Contact us

Narrabeen Annex: 1525 Pittwater Road,
North Narrabeen NSW 2101
Office Hours: 8.30am to 4.30pm, Mon to Fri

Brookvale Campus: Level 1, 14 William St, Brookvale NSW 2100
Office Hours: 8.30am to 4.30pm, Mon to Thur

Post: NBCC Reply Paid 1966, Dee Why NSW 2099

Phone: 02 9970 1000

Registered Training Organisation Code 90113