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February 2, 2011 / Siobhan Argent

Breaking into writing, editing and publishing

Published 2009 by

Beginning your career in any industry is difficult. With the multitude of information implanted in various websites, pamphlets and training centres, it can be difficult to condense the best resources into one document. Luckily, Arts Hub have done the job for you and collected the best information on how to break into the writing, editing and publishing industries.




Various writer’s centres around the country offer short courses aimed at improving your writing and editing skills. Writer’s centres are generally happy to allow anyone in to their workshops; however these functions are cheaper with a membership. See the contact details below for more information about memberships and workshops.

Luckily, the writing, editing and publishing sector is amenable to distance-learning courses. Given that some universities in some states do not have the ability to provide courses for this industry, this type of opportunity is particularly useful to those looking to start a career in writing, editing or publishing:

Distance Education:

  • Byron Employment training offers a Diploma in Editing and Publishing.
  • ACS Distance Education offers various creative writing, publishing and editing courses.
  • The University of Southern Queenlans provides a Graduate Certificate in Editing and Publishing.
  • Macquarie University in Sydney offers a Master of Arts in Editing and Publishing.
  • is a US-based site which allows you to complete courses online as a member.
  • Cengage Education (formerly Thomson Education Direct) offers editing and writing courses.
  • Open University Australia offers courses online from various well-known Australian education institutions

There is a great range of creative writing, editing and publishing courses available at universities, TAFE institutions and colleges nationwide. The list below is not exhaustive and provides just a few of the courses offered by selected institutions.


  • Monash University; postgraduate publishing and editing; communications and media programs.
  • The University of Melbourne; offers a range of postgraduate writing, editing and publishing courses in the form of a Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or Masters.
  • La Trobe University; offers a Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Creative Writing; Graduate Diploma in Media Studies.
  • RMIT has a highly respected creative writing and editing program; this includes a Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing.

New South Wales:

  • Macleay College; Diploma in Book Editing and Publishing.
  • The University of Technology in Sydney; Graduate Certificate in Editing and Publishing.
  • The University of Sydney; offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses related to editing, publishing and creative writing, including a Master of Publishing and Graduate Certificates in Creative Writing, and another in Publishing.
  • The Australian Film, Television and Radio School in Sydney; a Graduate Diploma in Editing and a Masters of Arts Honours program.
  • Macquarie University in Sydney offers a Master of Arts in Editing and Publishing.


The University of Queensland; offers writing, editing and publishing majors as part of its Master of Arts program, and also offers a Graduate Certificate in Editing and Publishing.

Australian College QED; offers various publishing, editing and writing courses.

South Australia:

The University of South Australia; courses in Editing and Publishing, and Advanced Editing and Publishing. These are part of the Professional and Creative Communication Program.

The Adelaide Centre for the Arts; courses in the Advanced Diploma of Arts (Professional Writing) which deals with editing. This university also offers undergraduate majors/minors in publishing and editing.


Please see the Tasmanian branch of the Society of Editors and Writer’s Centre for more information regarding NT-based writing, editing and publishing courses.

Australian Capital Territory:

Australian National University; offers a Professional Development program which provides courses related to creative writing and editing in the workplace.

Northern Territory: Please see the Northern Territory branch of the Society of Editors and Writer’s Centre for more information regarding NT-based writing, editing and publishing courses.

Western Australia:

  • Edith Cowan University; writing and editing units/courses
  • Fremantle Arts Centre; sometimes runs editing/writing courses
  • Jean Hollis Weber; sometimes comes to Perth to give training in writing/editing
  • Murdoch University; Graduate Diploma in Creative Arts; Bachelor of Arts (English and Creative Arts)
  • Tuart College; offers short courses
  • University Extension (short editing courses run by Society of Editors WA, and other writing and self-publishing courses)
  • University of Western Australia



There are numerous resources for a writer/editor/publisher, ranging from books to journals to websites. All of these resources can be used by anyone looking for a career in any of the three industries, although some resources cater more specifically to one area, as will be shown by their titles.




  • Writer’s Marketplace
  • Australian Bookseller and Publisher website
  • Journals: Meanjin, Voiceworks, Overland, Australian Author
  • Style Guide published by John Wiley and Sons Australia
  • Dictionary – Generally Macquarie dictionaries are the standard editing dictionaries in Australia.
  • Successful Self-Publishing – Making and Selling Your Own Book, by Sheryl Clark. Published by Hale and Ironmonger.
  • Publish for Profit – How to Write, Market and Promote Your Own Book by Cyndi Kaplan. Published by Cyndi Kaplan Productions.

Useful Websites:

ACS Distance Education is a UK site which has some useful information on the fields of writing, publishing and editing

Arts Hub Australia:

Australian Bookseller and Publisher in a fantastic resource for those who like to keep up to date with the latest industry news

Australian Writers’ Guild

Authonomy Online

Copyright Agency Limited

Copyright Council

Digital Women

Editor and Publisher

Editorial Freelancers Association

Editred is an online community for short story writers of almost any genre

E-publishing Australia

Freelance jobs and directory of freelance talent

HTML Writers Guide

Internet Industry Association

Internet Resource for Travel Writers

Magabala Books  (Broome)

National Library of Australia services for publishers

Old Mountain Press – sample contract

Publishing Edge

Small Business Development Corporation

Success Print

The Arts Law Centre of Australia has helpful information on copyright, defamation and contempt laws

WA Internet Association

Web design

Webzine for writers, editors


Writing for money, internet resource for freelance writing

Writing World, although not Australia, offers some useful tips on how kick-start your writing career:

Relevant Associations:

Australian Publishing Association

Victorian Writers Centre

Sydney Writer’s Centre

S.A Writer’s Centre

Queensland Writer’s Centre

NSW Writer’s Centre

ACT Writer’s Centre

NT Writer’s Centre

Fellowship of Australian Writers Western Australia

Romance Writers of Australia

Tasmanian Writer’s Centre

Booranga Writer’s Centre (Charles Sturt University)

Writer’s Guild

Fellowship of Australian Writers

Australian Society of Authors

The Institute of Professional Editors

Canberra Society of Editors

Society of Editors (Queensland)

Society of Editors (New South Wales):

Society of Editors (Northern Territory)

Society of Editors (South Australia)

Society of Editors (Tasmania)

Society of Editors (Western Australia)

Internships: Australian Publishing Association publishes a list of selected internships offered for the year. Internships for this year have now closed, but it is always worthwhile to keep an eye on this site for updates. You can also subscribe to the APA mailing list to receive information about new internships as they become available.

Hopefully this list will provide you with the most useful tips and hints you need to break into a career in writing, editing and/or publishing. Good luck!


One Comment

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  1. Michelle / Aug 4 2013 9:12 PM

    Hi there! I know I’m a little late on this but as your article is really helpful I was wondering if you had any idea which Masters course in Victoria was the most highly regarded. I like the fact that the Melbourne Uni one has a writing component (and lots of electives) but I was wondering if it was as in depth as the Monash one when it comes to editing and publishing and whether one in particular was more helpful when it comes to finding employment. I can’t seem to find much info on this to help me choose. :S

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