Yarra Bend Press

Subject Outlines

Year One Subjects

BWP111 Writing Short Fiction Semester One

Students are introduced to the exciting world of short fiction. They develop skills in narrative structure and an understanding of the theory that underpins the short story form. The works of contemporary Australian and International practitioners are explored with a critical investigation of their relevance to the students’ own practice. 

Focus: the thematic and compositional elements of the contemporary short story and introduction to the craft and theory of fiction writing. Students will be introduced to, and practice a range of foundational fiction writing skills, including the use and manipulation of language, narrative voice, character development, theme and dialogue. 

Concurrently, students will be exposed to a range of contemporary Australian and international writers and their works. Through these, students will be guided to identify the craft-skills they apply to their own writing.  Through critical reading of texts, knowledge of literary contexts and terrains; and practical writing skills, students will develop knowledge of short fiction as a unique form of fiction writing, and be able to apply this knowledge to their own writing practice. Each class will notionally focus on the craft of short fiction writing, coupled with a particular writer and their work. Classes will take place in four hour blocks, and consist of: lectures on the craft of short story writing; tutorials that explore published short fiction; writing time in which students will apply their craft-based knowledge; writing workshops in which students will critique each other’s work.

BWP112 Journalism and Media Semester One

Students undertake a critical investigation of the media with a focus on the Australian media. Ethical research methodologies  underpinning the practice of Journalism are explored, and the impact of the digital realm examined. Students develop effective and powerful skills in creative nonfiction with a particular focus on writing for magazines.

Focus: an understanding of the media with a focus on the Australian media. They will acquire rigorous skills in research including the identification of sources, accurate collection of information and professional interviewing techniques. Students will develop an understanding of the laws and codes of ethics relevant to the media in general, and to journalism in particular, and of the nature of ethical behaviour. The impact of digital media will be examined – including social media and its implications.  

Students will explore the styles of nonfiction writing including creative nonfiction and longer works, then focus on magazine writing and the acquisition of the core skills necessary to creating clear and powerful articles. They will develop an understanding of the magazine as a contemporary object, as well as of its historical context and future in the digital realm.

BWP113 Writing for Performance Semester One

Students investigate performance writing skills, including audio and visual elements, scripting techniques and narrative devices. Contemporary Australian and international performance writers of performance poetry, lyric writing, playwriting, screenwriting, oral storytelling, writing for radio and podcasting are critically examined for their relevance to the students’ own creative practice.

Focus: an understanding of writing for performance across a range of forms including: performance poetry, lyric writing, playwriting, screenwriting, oral storytelling, writing for radio and podcasting. 

Students will be introduced to and practice a range of foundational performance writing skills, including but not restricted to, the audio and visual components of performance writing, scripting techniques and narrative devices for performance writing. Concurrently, students will be exposed to a range of contemporary Australian and international performance writers and their works and will be guided to identify the craft-skills they apply to their own writing. By gaining experience in critical reading of text, knowledge of literary contexts and terrains, and practical writing skills, students will develop knowledge of writing for performance as a unique form, and be able to apply that knowledge to their own writing practice.

BWP114 Publishing I Semester One

Students are introduced to the dynamic world of publishing. An historical overview of key figures and events is undertaken, and of the scope of publishing in the 21st Century. Current publishing practices are explored and stake-holders in global publishing identified, allowing students to contextualise their place in the industry. 

Focus:  an introduction to publishing and the publishing industry. It will provide an historical overview of key events and significant figures in publishing, and of changing industry roles. It will examine the scope of publishing in the 21st Century, and provide knowledge of current publishing practices, and of significant stake-holders in global publishing.

BWP121 Novel Writing Semester Two

The fascinating craft and theory of novel and novella writing is explored and students introduced to the forms’ generic and compositional elements. Students develop skills in critical reading through an exploration of the works of contemporary Australian and international novelists. Relevant skills are then applied to the students’ own writing. 

Focus: the craft and theory of novel and novella writing. Students will be introduced to the generic and compositional elements of novels and novellas, and practice a range of fiction writing skills. 

Students will be exposed to the works of contemporary Australian and international novelists and identify and apply relevant skills to their own writing. Students will gain experience in critical reading of text, knowledge of literary contexts and terrains, and practical writing skills, and will develop knowledge of novel and novella writing as a unique form of fiction writing.

BWP122 Writing for Illustrated Text Semester Two

Focus:  the relationships between text and illustration in conveying narrative and other information. Forms include graphic novels, comic books, cartoons, illustrated novels, texted and textless picture storybooks. 

Students will acquire an understanding of graphic writing through to contemporary times via an historical overview of illustrated narrative that is inclusive of various cultural perspectives. The overview will range from Cave paintings and illuminated manuscripts, through to enhanced ebooks and tablet applications.  Students will develop skills in creating graphic-text narratives and in identifying publishing opportunities for projects undertake.

BWP123 Multi and New Media Semester Two

Focus: plan and produce new and multi-media content to support and expand students’ writing. 

Students will be introduced to a range of multimedia including audio, video, photography, blogging and apps. The historical use and development of these media will be reviewed, as will the impacts of new and multi-media on writing and publishing. Students will consider new and multimedia in the context of improving and promoting their own writing practice.

BWP124 Publishing II Semester Two

Focus: deepened knowledge of contemporary practices in both traditional and innovative publishing forms and extended understanding of the roles of the publishing team. 

Ethical and legal considerations that arise within publishing will be considered, with a focus on publishing as a cultural practice. Students will further develop their critical thinking skills to enable a critique of the cultural, social and political significance of the local, national and global publishing industries. Students will gain a broad overview of the following aspects of contemporary publication: communication planning, writing and editing, designing and illustrating, legal and compliance, project production and evaluation.

Year Two Subjects

BWP211 Commercial Writing Semester One

Focus:  a range of corporate communications used in contemporary business practice. The modes of written, verbal and nonverbal communication supportive of effective and efficient communications, both in a workplace context and in the broader employment arena are developed. 

The subject examines the writing of resumes and cover letters; pre and during employment interview techniques; positive, negative and persuasive communication structures; formal and informal verbal presentations; specific writing skills such as those required for tenders, grants and reports; and appropriate use of workplace technology including email, websites and social media.

BWP212 Writing Life, Self and the Other Semester One

Focus:  a range of reflective non-fiction writing forms including memoir, biography and auto-biography, travel writing, personal and creative essays, diary writing, blogging and auto-ethnography. They will develop the skills to identify these forms in published works and use them in their own writing practice. 

Students will consider the ethical and literary scope and boundaries of each form, and their publishing opportunities. As well, students will engage with a range of contemporary Australian and international reflective non-fiction writers and their works.

BWP213 Editorial English Semester One

Focus:  an introduction to the skills required by a professional editor. Students will explore key grammatical concepts while becoming familiar with the common principles and practices of copyediting and proofreading in both print and electronic editing environments.

Students will develop skills in editing and gain experience in applying these rules and conventions in practical exercises to enable them to undertake basic non-specialist editing and proofreading in a professional context.

BWP214 Pre Press Publishing I Semester One

Focus: an introduction to the design functionality and business potential of the relevant operating system (OS) and its related desktop publishing software suite with the aim of developing graphic and typographical skills. These skills will be applied to book, newspaper, magazine, web and digital delivery. 

The current industry standard software for creating graphics-intensive documents will be examined, with a focus on programs that offer precision and control as print and electronic document production tools. Students will review the workspace and set up publications, import graphics and text, edit graphics, construct complex tables, and apply precise typographic control with the multi-line composer. Students will explore the efficiency of master pages, type-fitting techniques, layers, hanging indents and styles.

BWP221 Creative Project I Semester Two

Focus: a completed first draft of a major writing project that can be new or in process. Projects may be fiction or non-fiction, and include but not be limited to the following forms: short fiction, an essay collection, memoir, script, graphic novel and novella. All projects will require approval prior to commencement as part of this subject. 

This subject focuses on the project’s conceptualisation and creation, with editing limited to broad notions of overall structure and form. Students will acquire the skills to manage their writing and writing projects in accordance with set timelines, and to bring their projects to a state appropriate to that of a first draft.

BWP222 The Writers Life Semester Two

Focus: the structures and requirements of a “writing life”, addressing the needs of student-writers who will undertake professional writing practice beyond the tertiary environment. The subject focuses on both the theoretical (literary and historical) and the practical (craft and practice-led) aspects of the “writing life”. Students will reflect on their own writing practice and the practices of established creative and commercial writers.

BWP223 Editing Practice Semester Two

Focus:  the more advanced skills and practices required of professional editors in both print and online editing, and in their roles as writing project managers. 

Students explore the context and role of an editor, including the editor’s management of and liaison with writers. The editorial skills of copyediting and proofreading, as well as structural/substantive editing will be developed, as will the skills to work with illustrations and tables.

Students will develop an understanding of the importance of style guides and of consistency in prelims, end matter, references and indexes, and of managing documents and files, both in hardcopy and online. They will become familiar with the role and skills of a proofreader including proofreading marks and mark-up methods, and the role of the editor as part of publishing company and as a freelancer.

BWP224 Pre Press Publishing II Semester Two

Focus: the application of the design and layout techniques initiated in Pre Press Publishing I (BWP214). Students will engage in real work production by developing structure and layout for the annual ‘Time To Write’ anthology publication—or similar project(s)—in both digital and traditional print formats.

Students will also examine the importance of portable document formats (eg. PDF). They will perform online document reviews and distribute documents to clients and commercial printers through detailed instruction on appropriate software. Students will engage in project directed and related activities in the classroom and in the Yarra Bend Press space to complete the project(s).

Year Three Subjects

BWP311 Creative Project II Semester One

Focus: the extension of the project planned and drafted in BWP221 Creative Project I, or a substantial draft of a project initiated elsewhere, or a collaboration with another student on an existing project draft.

Students will focus on the critique, re-writing, re-structuring, drafting and editing stages of the project’s development.  They could notionally write, draft and edit their own individual writing projects; work in pairs on a particular student’s writing project; or work in pairs where they assume editorial roles for each other’s manuscripts, or other configurations dependant on the existing project draft. Delivery varies between different configurations of editing/proofing time, drafting/rewriting time and workshopping where considered and critical feedback is exchanged.

BWP312 Writing for Further Study Semester One

Focus: an introduction to the critical exploration of writing with reference to academic practice.  Via engagement with cultural, literary and theoretical texts, students will analyse the stages of the writing process; develop key literacies including academic and literary lexis, and improve their own writing practice and craft.

As part of a critical-creative approach to fiction, students will encounter topics such as: establishing practice through different types of reading; form and structure from Aristotle to contemporary times; subject, voice and style including folktale, myth, realism, modernism, and postmodernism; and the foundations of fiction from mimesis to speculation.

BWP313 Web and Digital Publishing Semester One

Focus: the knowledge and skills to function as an informed producer in the digital realm. Through theory and practice, students extend their understanding of the material production of ideas, and actively engage in the ‘digital age’ production of these ideas. 

Students explore the various options in and forms of electronic publishing and the various platforms for online publishing, including dedicated sites and content management systems, as well as different types of eBooks. Historical aspects will be explored where relevant to current and future directions, and to understanding the present limitations of technology.

BWP314 Magazine I Semester One

Focus: the knowledge and understanding of management issues and strategies in contemporary magazine publishing. Students will gain a detailed understanding of both traditional print and digital magazine production including the development of editorial style; organising and managing an editorial team; scheduling, design, prepress, print production, digital delivery; and brand awareness including marketing strategies, sales and distribution. 

Students will develop a portfolio of publishing work and expand their industry-based experience. They will work as individuals or in groups on several publishing projects within Yarra Bend Press.

BWP321 Creative Project III Semester Two

Focus: the development of the project from WP221 Creative Project I and WP311 Creative Project II, with the focus moving from writing and editing to pre-press and publication. Students identify the mode of publication best suited to their work, the readiness of their draft and their capacity to publish within the semester. 

In view of this subject’s focus on pre-press and publication, students may work on their individual projects or the individual projects of other students; collaborate on one or more projects, or work as a class on a particular selection of projects. Publications could consist of individual works or a collection/anthology of works, and may be presented in any published form appropriate to the genre of the content.

BWP322 Tender and Pitch Semester Two

Focus:  the transition from student writer/publisher to professional writer/publisher. Students explore the range and scope of funding and development opportunities available to Arts practitioners in Australia and elsewhere, and develop the tools and knowledge  to launch a viable career in the creative industries. 

Documents necessary for self-promotion include pitches, synopses, proposals, cover letters, sample chapters and chapter plans. In addition, students will research and explore the opportunities available to emerging writers and publishers, including residencies, grants, funding and competitions.

BWP323 Yarra Bend Press and Industry Engagement Semester Two

Focus:  an industry engagement or publishing studio project(s) or a combination.

Industry Engagement:  students may choose to engage with industry via a range of authentic learning projects to be auspiced by Yarra Bend Press (the publishing imprint of the Bachelor of Writing and Publishing), or via internships and volunteerships – either within publishing enterprises, writing and publishing organisations, or writing festivals. 

Students will negotiate tasks, timelines, outcomes and reporting (including a critique of the project’s strengths and weaknesses) with their industry employer and the responsible lecturer. For assessment purposes, this is a semester length subject and assessable tasks must be completed within the semester, however the relationship may continue beyond the end of the semester.

Publishing Studio: Yarra Bend Press will offer the opportunity for students to engage in authentic projects with commercially defined outcomes, and will facilitate industry and peer to peer consultation including workshops, functions, seminars and reverse internships. The aim of the ‘reverse internship’ is to generate interaction between students and professionals in-house while encouraging networks to develop further business opportunities. Reverse internships involve external publishers working in-house on specific projects and involving the students in appropriate activities.

BWP324 Magazine II Semester Two

Focus: building on BWP314 Magazine I, students will continue to develop a portfolio of publishing work and expand their industry-based experience. Students will work as individuals or in groups on several industry-relevant publishing projects in Yarra Bend Press. 

These projects will draw on the full range of publishing skills from project management to editing and design and production, including but not limited to working on linkage projects with industry partners; producing a major work, project managing an eZine, magazine or similar publication.

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Last Modified: 26th May 2016