How to make a living through teaching your craft

Putting the 'work' into workshop: Geelong Writers Inc.

Putting the ‘work’ into workshop, Geelong

This year, in my endless quest to try to make a living as a writer, I’ve branched out into teaching writing skills.

Teaching as such isn’t new for me: I tutored at Melbourne university in the early 1990s, worked for years in sexual and reproductive health education, and helped design training units for emergency relief workers in Victoria in the course of completing my Certificate 4 in Training and Assessment.

But teaching writing is special as it enables me to get paid for doing something I love. So far this year, I’ve tutored in ‘Introduction to Fiction Writing’ at Monash University; run a course on Setting for Writers Victoria as part of their First Draft: Novel in a Year series; tailored the Setting course for crime writers as part of Crime Fest in Adelaide; and delivered a full-day workshop on Structure for Geelong Writers.

Plotting short story structure, Geelong

Plotting short story structure, Geelong

In preparation for a training the trainers course I’ll be running for Writers Victoria in November aimed at teaching other writers how to teach writing, I was recently interviewed for an article by Madeleine Dore at ArtsHub, How to make a living through teaching your craft. With permission, I am sharing an extract, with a link to the article:

Writers Victoria employs more than 250 writers and industry expert to deliver workshops and literary services. With the latest research reporting the average income for an author in Australia is just $12,900, Kate Larsen, Director, Writers Victoria said ‘teaching is one of the key ways that writers can sustain themselves and their practice.’

‘Writers are jugglers. We all do a lot of different things to make ends meet. Writing is a skill. Talking about writing at festivals or events is a different skill. Teaching writing to others a different skill again. It’s important to know where your strengths lie.’

Melbourne writer Angela Savage said teaching writing enables her to get paid for doing something she loves, in addition to writing.

‘As I don’t make enough from writing to earn a living, necessity is part of it, too.’

‘Teaching has become a key income stream for me in the past 12 months as a supplement to my PhD scholarship and small income from writing. I could see it becoming a dominant income stream for me in future if the work is available.’

Read the complete article here.

Here’s the blurb for my upcoming Train the Trainer workshop:

Writing might be a solitary pursuit, but training is not. This Train the Trainer workshop will introduce you to a range of training methods designed to engage participants in the learning process; and to enable you, as a trainer, to make the most of the experience and expertise in the room. The course will include tips and tools for meeting the needs of different learners, and creating an enjoyable learning atmosphere.

See here for bookings and further information.

About Angela Savage

Angela Savage is a Melbourne writer, who has lived and travelled extensively in Asia. She won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript, and the Scarlet Stiletto Award short story award. Her latest novel is, Mother of Pearl, published by Transit Lounge. Angela holds a PhD in Creative Writing, is former CEO of Writers Victoria, and currently works as CEO of Public Libraries Victoria.
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10 Responses to How to make a living through teaching your craft

  1. Felicity says:

    Such a good idea, Angela. Might try and get to your course myself.
    Missed you at CrimeScene!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fe, you are kind, but I don’t think there’s anything I could teach you about writing. That said, you’d be an awesome addition to any course for the insights you could bring.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Felicity says:

        I’m doing more and more teaching and would love some extra tips. But alas, I think my attendance might be a pipe-dream – unless I can persuade Mick that it’s imperative we go to Melbourne on a business trip!


  2. Jo says:

    Oh, another reason to wish I was in Victoria…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Margot Kinberg says:

    Oh, this is a brilliant idea, Angela! And there are so many different directions you could go with this. I admire your ingenuity and perseverance.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh, I hear you, Angela!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: How to make a living through teaching your craft | Angela Savage | Toni Kennedy : A Writing Life

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