Course Title: Contemporary Writing and Publishing

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Contemporary Writing and Publishing

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018

Course Coordinator: Ms Tracy O'Shaughnessy

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3155

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will explore the historical, political and economic factors of Australian writing and publishing industries and how that sits within a global context.

Issues to be explored include the future of the publishing industry for all stakeholders, from author to bookseller; the effects of technological change and globalisation for writers and publishers; the legal and business responsibilities for publishing professionals; and changing industry practices. You will gain a critical understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the Australian publishing community, including books, magazines and electronic publications, and what the future may hold.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Critically analyse and address the future directions – opportunities and challenges – for writing and publishing.
  • Acquire and apply knowledge of local and international perspectives and issues about contemporary writing and publishing practice.
  • Undertake research into contemporary writing and publishing theory and practice to explore possible industry and career directions. 

 Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Critically analyse the principal operations and functions of specific sectors of the Australian writing and publishing community through historical, political and economic lenses.
  • Investigate and analyse the legal and business issues and responsibilities associated with writing and publishing.
  • Investigate and report on global and local aspects of the writing and publishing industry.
  • Make practical judgements about the business of Australian publishing and the future directions of the industry.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in learning that involves a range of activities such as studios, project work, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, individual and group activities.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

The University Library has extensive resources for Writing and Publishing students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies

The Library provides guides on academic referencing: and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment may include presentations, projects and may be done individually and in teams.
Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: Assessment

Assessment Tasks

Assessment in this course is assignment-based with a blend of written, oral and visual delivery. The following assessments address various stated program and course learning outcomes. Each individual assessment handout during the semester will stipulate the Course Learning Outcomes assessed in the assignment. 

1) An assessment addressing contemporary writing and publishing opportunities and challenges (15%)

2) Industry report that investigates a contemporary issue of relevance for writers and publishers in both a local and global context (60%)

3) Creative reflection on professional practice (25%)