Course Title: Writing for Novel and Screen

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Writing for Novel and Screen

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2012

Course Coordinator: Dr Lisa Dethridge

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9855

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 36.04.08

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

It is expected that you will have existing expertise in writing fiction or in writing for the screen.

Course Description

This course develops your ability to conceptualise, write, analyse, revise and rewrite your own novel or feature film script. Throughout the course there will be an emphasis on the art and craft of novel writing and feature film scriptwriting. You will regularly be asked to present your writing to your peers and to give and receive feedback.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course develops both your written and oral communication skills.

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Analyse and identify strengths and weaknesses within your own novel-writing and scriptwriting practice as well as being able to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the writing of other students in the group.
  • Identify the major technical problems in your novels and screenplays and be able to offer technical solutions to those problems.
  • Research the theoretical and technical aspects of novel writing and screenplay writing as a means of solving the major problems you are encountering in your own writing.
  • Research and discuss the style of your own novel and screenplay in relation to the major styles of contemporary fiction and scriptwriting.
  • Define the difference between revising and rewriting.
  • Identify a marked improvement in your novel writing or screenplay writing ability as demonstrated by a comparison between the before-workshopping draft and the after-workshopping draft of an extract from your writing.
  • Research and identify the potential market for your finished novel and screenplay.

Overview of Learning Activities

It is expected that you will write about a thousand new words of fiction or screenplay each week, which you will then bring to class to workshop. The workshop process allows for peers and the lecturer to provide feedback and an opportunity for you to offer an analysis of your own writing. One of the main strengths of the workshop process is for you and your writing group to engage in problem-solving.

Overview of Learning Resources

There is not a prescribed text for this course. However the following books are highly recommended: The Writer’s Reader edited by Brenda Walker and Writing your Screenplay by Lisa Dethridge. In addition, you are encouraged to read literary magazines such as HEAT, Meanjin and Overland.

Overview of Assessment

You will receive critical feedback from your peers and lecturer. The aim at this postgraduate level is to assist you to make the transition from being a hobbyist writer to becoming a professional writer. One of the aspects of this transition is to encourage you to analyse and offer solutions to writing problems that you encounter in both your own writing and in the writing of others in the class. Three assessment tasks have been created in order to assist you to create new writing and to reflect upon that process of creation.

Please refer to Part B:Course Detail Guide for further information on assessment.