Fiona McIntosh and Jess Hodgson

Are you an emerging writer? Are you up to the challenge?

Fiona McIntosh and Jess Hodgson

Fiona McIntosh and Jess Hodgson who believes: “Fiona, you are not only an inspiration, you are a catalyst”

Fiona McIntosh, author of the Lavender Keeper and many more wonderful novels, is one of my writing idols. She can write up to three books a year and it’s all thanks to Bryce Courtenay. Fiona attended a MasterClass on writing run by Bryce, some fifteen years ago and, as you will read, it changed her life.

If you haven’t heard the tragic news, Bryce is very unwell and last weekend he ran his last Writing MasterClass, with Fiona helping him. During the last day he publically “passed the baton” to her. Her challenge? To nurture Australia’s emerging writers by keeping these classes going.

I only wish I had known of these workshops when I was first starting out.

Fiona has stepped up and accepted the baton. Let her help you. These are the details…


When the student is ready, the teacher will appear…

Last week was filled with emotion as I participated in the final masterclass that Bryce Courtenay was hosting in Canberra.  Essentially we were farewelling one of Australia’s brightest stars and arguably its favourite storyteller over the past quarter of a century or more.

Bryce was his usual amazingly motivating self and it felt surreal to be standing in front of a room of throbbing talent, all emerging writers, with the same expression that I had a dozen years ago sitting in a similar room in front of the same man.  I experienced the life changing epiphany and became a novelist from that day; I think most of the participants in Canberra experienced a life-altering moment too and whether they go on to become full time writers we shall see but they certainly left our care feeling inspired and motivated.

After two powerful days, the maestro did not let me off the hook either.  He made a public announcement and show of passing the baton thus winning from me a gulping promise to a dying man.  As a result I will be hosting my new Popular Fiction Masterclass over 5 days in Adelaide, kicking off on the Anzac Day weekend in 2013. This is going to be an intensive, challenging week for participants.

I’m postponing a novel to do this so I’m committing fully…can you?

I haven’t got firmed up details yet but I know a few things i.e. (a) I am limiting the class size to 15 so everyone gets lots of attention. (b) It is only for people looking to write commercial fiction and (c) it is best suited to people who are already dedicated to their writing but are looking for the ‘catalyst’.

I do believe in the adage: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. So if you know of anyone feeling ready and looking for the extra motivation and/or inspiration as I did 12 years ago, perhaps this is the week for them?

They can privately message me at Facebook with an email address that I will not pass onto anyone but then I can contact that person with further details. Or, people can feel free to drop by my website at and email me from there if they prefer.

It’s not going to be cheap – but rarely anything worthwhile is and I remember making a similar investment all those years ago and never regretting a cent and it’s my intention that people leave the course feeling confident, prepared and filled with passion to tackle their big project.

Good grief….I’ve done it.  The Autumn 2013 Popular Fiction Masterclass is official!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *