For writers

Masterclass – October 15

Next Level Masterclass (with Jill Dawson)

Are you ready to step up to the next level in your writing career? Want to know how to get that extra spark to get you further? Whether you’ve published your first book and need to make the next one stand out; or you’ve finished your first novel and want to know how to give it the best possible chance of success – how to get your ideal agent to take notice, or get publishers biting – this unique international masterclass is for you.

Acclaimed authors Jill Dawson and Kathryn Heyman will talk you through the crucial elements you need to get you to the next level. Writing the perfect synopsis, connecting with the right publishers, utilising your strengths to create a buzz around your book, presenting your work in public and how to talk about your work: we’ll look at the elements that can make all the difference in your public writing life.

You’ll discover how to write the perfect agent submission letter and how to hone your opening chapters so that they’ll long for more. We’ll finish off with a top London agent who will help you understand what you need to do to get to the top of their pile, and to get your agent working for you.

You’ll finish this dynamic masterclass with a clear understanding of what you need to do to get to the next level, and a new set of tools to get you there.

Bookings: https://immersionwriting.com/next-level/


‘I started mentoring with Kathryn with nothing more than a flimsy first draft. Her attention to every word, rhythm, and motivation made me accountable and that, more than any course or book, turned me into a writer. Less than a year later, I had a powerful manuscript, an agent and a three book deal.’
– Paula Tierney, author of Jamie Reign, Spirit Warrior (HarperCollins)

After many years mentoring writers in the UK, Kathryn Heyman founded the Australian Writers Mentoring Program in 2009 to help new and emerging writers develop their full potential.

In a Vogue article explaining her passion for mentoring, Kathryn writes:

‘The Greek philosopher Aristotle observed three forms of knowledge: techne, practical skill; episteme, intellectual knowledge; and phronesis, perhaps most closely described as practical wisdom. It is a balance of craft or technical skills with deep knowledge that leads to this deepest form of wisdom. That’s what mentoring aims for. Let’s say you’re trying to write your first novel, or a memoir. You tap away at at the keyboard, with only the sound of your own breath to keep you company, and every so often you read the words out to your writing group over cups of tea. They adore it. You’re brilliant, they glow. Yet, you know the book isn’t ready, that something is missing. You can almost imagine it, can almost see yourself standing with the published book in your hands. If only you could get from here to there. But how?   You  can sense it isn’t quite enough merely to practise these skills in isolation. You know there is something more to becoming a true artist, but what? A mentor takes on the role of practised guide, passing on the practical wisdom that they’ve acquired through thousands of hours of flying time.

‘Mentors don’t necessarily offer intellectual knowledge of critical work, though they may. Nor do they instruct in the detailed technical capabilities of craftwork, though they may. What mentorship offers, above all, is this practical wisdom, this phronesis, which may well be unavailable by other means. Mentoring assumes that there is a gap between where you are and where you want to be. In that way, it’s similar to therapy, or teaching. Unlike therapy, though, in mentoring there is an assumption that the mentee can see what’s on the other side of the gap. I want to be a successful screenwriter. I want to publish a novel. I want to run my own company. Mentoring is aspirational, in that it acknowledges a desire to move forward. It’s a model of learning which works for teenagers and octogenarians, for creatives and corporates alike.’

Read the full article here.

‘I would not have published my short story collection, nor won my BAFTA, without her influence. I owe her big time.’
– Raymond Soltysek, BAFTA winner and author of Occasional Demons

Note that in the UK, Kathryn mentors exclusively for Gold Dust, taking on a very small number of talented writers. Other writers should apply through the Australian Writers Mentoring Program.

Heyman Mentorship Award

Kathryn Heyman, founder of the Australian Writers Mentoring Program, has teamed up with Catherine Milne of HarperCollins to offer the Kathryn Heyman Mentorship Award for a writer from a background of social and economic disadvantage. The successful writer will be mentored by Kathryn Heyman, under the auspices of the Australian Writers Mentoring Program, for six months. At the conclusion of the mentoring program, the writer will receive a full read and editorial report from HarperCollins.

Applications for the award have now closed, but watch out for future opportunities.


Australian Writers Mentoring Program

Are you working on a full length book of fiction or non-fiction?
Need help getting to the end, or seeing the shape of your story?
Kathryn Heyman offers mentoring to a small group of Australian writers through the Australian Writers Mentoring Program.

The program runs with a small number of writers, usually twice yearly, and applications are accepted throughout the year.

All information on the program including fees and application processes can be found at writermentors.com.

Mentoring is personal, and focused, and works best when there is a good fit between the mentor and the new writer; it also works best when the new writer is ready to move to the next stage with their work. If you’re not accepted into the program, we’ll let you know why, and suggest other ways forward.

‘The structure of the Curious Incident owes a great deal to Kathryn Heyman, with whom I was teaching a course some years ago. She was talking to the students about structure… as she spoke, the heavens opened, angels sang…’
– Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

‘Kathryn is an inspirational and charismatic teacher. With her trademark energy, humour, and profound understanding of story structure, she encouraged me to ask the hard questions. With her help, within my target year I had a completed novel..and an agent.
– Jane Rusbridge, author of The Devil’s Music (Bloomsbury, London), Longlisted for Impac International Award

‘Kathryn coupled an unfailingly positive encouragement with a keen, constructively critical eye… she is passionate about the work of those she guides. She is a fantastic teacher, a methodical organiser – I cannot think of anyone more qualified as a mentor. I would not have published my short story collection, nor won my BAFTA, without her influence. I owe her big time.’
– Raymond Soltysek, BAFTA winner and author of Occasional Demons

‘Kathryn is a highly skilled, brilliant and dynamic mentor. The author of 6 wonderful novels, she was able to communicate from a deep understanding of the writing process and guided me as to what was important, what worked, what didn’t.
This was mentoring at its best, which I will always treasure.’

– Sienna Brown, whose book, Master Of My Fate, is published by Vintage Australia.

Dr Kathryn Heyman has taught Creative Writing for the University of Oxford, the University of Glasgow and the University of Sydney, for whom she’s also been an external examiner. She was the Scottish Arts Council Writing Fellow for the University of Glasgow and the Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Westminster College, Oxford. As Royal Literary Fund Fellow in Australia she worked with Karrayili Adult Education Centre on story projects with indigenous communities in and around Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley. She is a graduate of the MA in Writing at Sheffield Hallam University and has a Doctorate in Creative Arts from the University of Technology, Sydney.

A regular tutor for the Arvon Foundation, she was the founding director of the Fiction Program for Faber Academy at Allen & Unwin. She has led writing courses in Bali, Fiji, Athens, Oxford, Edinburgh, Sydney, Perth, Singapore, Darwin and Hong Kong and is acknowledged as being particularly skilled in helping writers understand story structure.

Visit the website.