At last, a masterclass for people who want to be incredibly rich.
Satirical comedy writing is a dreary affair of unimaginable pain and suffering. But it’s a good way to get incredibly rich quickly. Sure, writing a novel or a play or a blockbuster movie might be more psychologically satisfying, but only writing sarcastic barbs about the Prime Minister’s dog can buy you a harbourside mansion in Sydney.
If you’ve tried investment banking or stock trading and are dissatisfied with your eight-figure base salary, perhaps you should quit your career and instead concentrate on the big bucks of writing comedy for a living.
This course gives you all the tips and tricks that you need to quit your day job. Includes a look at the technical side of comedy, as well as tips on what to do with the mountains of cash that you’ll have to wade through each morning.
Date: Thursday 25 August Time: 1pm – 4pm Where: Byron Community Centre, Wategos 2. Upstairs at 69 Jonson Street, Byron Bay Cost: $85 General / $60 Members & Students
About the Facilitator
Charles Firth is a founding member of The Chaser and the inventor of the decimal system, and the co-host of The Chaser Report, a top-30 Australian podcast.
Charles is author of the bestselling non-fiction narrative, American Hoax (Picador, 2006). He is currently managing editor of The Chaser website and The Chaser Annuals.
Charles has produced television comedy for almost two decades. He was executive producer of ABC-TV’s daily news satire show The Roast and the comedy documentary Mr Firth Goes to Washington (nominated for Most Outstanding Comedy Logie). Before that he was the US correspondent for the Logie winning The Chaser’s War on Everything. He was a presenter and writer on CNNNN, The Chaser Decides and The Election Chaser. In 2020, he produced, and co-wrote The War on 2020 online series.
In recent years, Charles has starred in several live shows, including The Chaser’s Australia, The War on 2021 and The Anti-Expert’s Guide to the Pandemic. His latest show Spin, is touring nationally in 2022.
“The truth of the story lies in the detail.” – Paul Auster
The right details are what turn ordinary writing into extraordinary writing. They are what give our stories that element of recognition; they allow the reader to suspend belief. Whether it is fiction, non-fiction or memoir, the things we choose to put in are important, and we need to choose them wisely and consider what to leave out. If we are not writing about a subject which we know intimately, we are inevitably going to have to do some research to find the details which will make our writing come to life. What are these details and how do we find them? In this course we consider resources, places to look, ways to organise our research, ethical considerations and whether to separate this work from writing. We practice the art of looking closely and incorporating concrete detail in writing exercises.
Date: Thursday 25 August Time: 10am – 4pm Where: Byron Community Centre, Wategos 1. Upstairs at 69 Jonson Street, Byron Bay Cost: $145 General / $100 Members & Students
About the Facilitator
Eleanor Limprecht was born and raised in the US, Germany, and Pakistan before moving to Australia in her early twenties. She is the author of four novels: The Coast (Allen & Unwin, 2022), The Passengers (Allen & Unwin, 2018), Long Bay (Sleepers Publishing, 2015) and What Was Left (Sleepers Publishing, 2013, shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal). Her short fiction and essays have been published various places including Best Australian Stories, Sydney Noir, Griffith Review, Kill Your Darlings and The Big Issue. She’s been the recipient of various residencies, scholarships and grants including from the Australia Council, Copyright Agency and the Australian Society of Authors. Eleanor works as a lecturer in Creative Writing at UTS.
We are living through a golden age of life writing. Memoir is a booming publishing genre, while the internet has spawned the first-person industrial complex. There is much to celebrate about this trend. The explosion of life writing has allowed marginalised individuals to tell their stories and speak truth to power. It has diversified the literary world, built empathy and understanding, forged new communities, brought taboo topics into the spotlight, and reshaped the public conversation.
But memoir is not an unalloyed good. It can damage relationships, defame individuals, exploit writers and more. How can we avoid this harm to ourselves and others? And should we even be seeking to do so—is causing harm, in fact, sometimes justified? In short, what does it mean to write memoir ethically in the 2020s?
This masterclass will explore these questions through discussion, case studies and personal reflection. We won’t come up with any definitive answers, but we will gain a deeper understanding of the issues at stake and develop tools to apply to our own writing practice.
Date: Thursday 25 August Time: 9.30am – 12.30pm Where: Byron Community Centre, Wategos 2. Upstairs at 69 Jonson Street, Byron Bay Cost: $85 General / $60 Members & Students
About the Facilitator
Dr Yves Rees (they/them) is a writer and historian based on unceded Wurundjeri land. They are a Lecturer in History at La Trobe University, the co-host of Archive Fever history podcast, and the author of All About Yves: Notes from a Transition (Allen & Unwin, 2021). They are also co-editor of Nothing to Hide: Voices of Trans and Gender Diverse Australia, forthcoming with Allen & Unwin in September 2022. Rees was awarded the 2020 ABR Calibre Essay Prize and a 2021 Varuna Residential Fellowship. Their writing has featured in the Guardian, The Age, Sydney Review of Books, Australian Book Review, Meanjin and Overland, among other publications.
This workshop is about the audacity of honesty. “Only connect,” E.M. Forster once wrote, which is particularly important when it comes to writing in a personal capacity. Participants will look at examples of powerful personal writing that connect through the courage in their honesty; Nikki will also be talking about the craft of writing, the refuge of anonymity, tricks for bravery in writing, personal protectiveness as well as pathways to publication.
There will be time to write your own short pieces, be that fiction, non fiction, poetry, playwriting – whatever you want to explore. All that’s required is a laptop or a notepad and pen, and a willingness to dive deep. This will be a nurturing, supportive space to create something special. The only prerequisite is a passion for reading and writing, and an appreciation of the power of honesty and vulnerability. No pressure, just a lot of fun – that’s the aim of the day as the group looks at tuning forks for their own writing.
Nikki Gemmell has been ‘writing the personal’ for over three decades now, in her fiction, creative non fiction and her weekly newspaper column.
Date: Wednesday 24 August Time: 10am – 4pm Where: Byron Community Centre, Wategos 2. Upstairs at 69 Jonson Street, Byron Bay Cost: $145 General / $100 Members & Students
About the Facilitator
Nikki Gemmell is the bestselling author of 13 novels and four works of non-fiction, including The Ripping Tree, Shiver, After and The Bride Stripped Bare. Her latest book is Dissolve. Her books have been translated into 22 languages. She was born in Wollongong, New South Wales, and lived in London for many years, but has now returned to Australia. The French literary magazine Lire included her in a list of the 50 most important writers in the world – those it believes will have a significant influence on the literature of the 21st century. Gemmell also pens a weekly column for The Weekend Australian Magazine.
In this half-day masterclass, Stella Prize-winner Emily Bitto will take you on a deep dive into theme, symbolism and imagery, and how these interact with and influence one another. The course is ideally suited to writers who have a project on the go, no matter how big or small. With a mixture of tuition, examples and exercises, Emily will help you to understand the macro-level themes at the heart of your project and how to use these as a way of generating plot, character, and scenes, as well as enriching your prose on the level of the sentence and image. The aim of this empowering course is to provide you with valuable techniques you can continue to use and develop into the future.
Date: Wednesday 24 August Time: 9.30am – 12.30pm Where: Byron Community Centre, Wategos 2. Upstairs at 69 Jonson Street, Byron Bay Cost: $85 General / $60 Members & Students
Supported by Faber Writing Academy
About the Facilitator
Emily Bitto is an award-winning writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. She has a Masters in Literary Studies and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. Her debut novel, The Strays, was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, and the published novel went on to win the 2015 Stella Prize. The Strays was published in the US, UK, Canada and Portugal, and rights for a television adaptation are currently under option. Her second novel, Wild Abandon, was published in October 2021 by Allen and Unwin. It is currently longlisted for the 2022 ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year award and shortlisted for the 2022 ALS Gold Medal. Emily has been teaching creative writing for over a decade, and is currently a teacher and course advisor at the Faber Writing Academy. She is also the co-founder of Melbourne wine bars Heartattack and Vine and Shabooh Shoobah.
‘We sculpt a version of us and a version of the world and how we operate in it. Suffering, then, is when our patterns no longer fit. Suffering eases or ceases when we create new patterns, when we’ve landed on the further shore with a new coherent story.’ (From The Power of Suffering by David Roland)
When our life is turned upside down by the death of a child, diagnosis of a life-threatening illness, natural disaster, chronic illness, financial loss, job loss, a tragic accident, sudden disability, divorce, or any other intense loss we have the opportunity to create a new life story, a growth story that takes us beyond our suffering and into new territory. How do we find and write this story?
Date: Tuesday 23 August Time: 10am – 4pm Where: Byron Community Centre, Wategos 2. Upstairs at 69 Jonson Street, Byron Bay Cost: $145 General / $100 Members & Students
About the Facilitator
Dr David Roland brings warmth, humour and insight to his work as a writer, presenter and psychologist drawing on his lived experience as well as his professional training. For more than twenty years David worked as a clinical and forensic psychologist in the treatment and assessment of clients ranging from children to adults. David’s latest book The Power of Suffering: Growing through life crises (Simon & Shuster, 2020) draws together the real-life stories of 11 incredible people who survived their crises and grew in transformative ways.
‘No-one is boring if they tell the truth,’ said Quentin Crisp.
You might have a deep need to heal and ‘set the story straight’ or simply want to make a record of your life for family and friends. But finding the best way to tell your story can be the hardest part of writing it, and ‘the truth’ of your life is often challenging and elusive.
Is the story you want to tell really the story you need to tell? What is the difference between the ‘truth’ and the ‘facts’? How do you decide what to put in and what to leave out? Is memory reliable? How can you reconstruct events and conversations which often took place many years ago? And how do you write honestly about your life without hurting those closest to you?
Based around practical writing exercises and constructive feedback in a supportive environment, this workshop will help you make people, places and important life events come alive on the page. Importantly, we will also address the ethical and moral issues involved in writing truthfully about the real people your life.
Date: Monday 22 August Time: 10m – 4pm Where: Byron Community Centre, Wategos 2. Upstairs at 69 Jonson Street, Byron Bay Cost: $145 General / $110 Members & Students
About the Facilitator
Alan Close has been writing for over forty years, during which time he has published fiction, poetry, short stories and creative non-fiction. He has written widely in the national print media, including a column on men and relationships for Good Weekend magazine. His most recent book is Before You Met Me: A Memoir Of One Man’s Troubled Search For Love. He edited the anthology Men Love Sex, which remains a benchmark of men writing about love, sex and relationships. He lives in Mullumbimby and earns a living working on other people’s manuscripts and as a writing mentor and teacher, both face to face and online.
Whether you’re an aspiring or established writer, you can now ‘go publish yourself’, on equal footing with the mainstream industry players. Join Debbie Lee from IngramSpark to learn about print-on-demand and global distribution, and how these services are turning the publishing world on its head. Co-presented with Graham Davidson, CEO of Rack & Rune Publishing.
Supported by IngramSpark
Date: Wednesday 24 August Time: 1pm – 3.30pm Where: Byron Community Centre, Wategos 2. Upstairs at 69 Jonson Street, Byron Bay Cost: $35 General / $25 Members & Students
About the Presenters
Debbie Lee is the Senior Manager with Ingram Lightning Source and works with publishers large and small, to make titles available print-on-demand, for distribution to a worldwide market.
Graham Davidson is the founder and CEO of Rack and Rune founder. A professional creative with over 40 years’ experience, Graham has won dozens of national and international industry awards for his work in advertising, particularly as a director and animation designer.