For Toni, writing novels is just heaven.
Toni credits her entire career so far to PWE. Famously, she had not written one word of fiction until she started the course. ‘I never would have written one novel, much less five, without PWE.’
‘There’s this rubbish argument about whether creative writing can be taught. Well, I know it can be taught, because I’d never done it before and they taught me how to do it, and I did it. Really.’
Toni learnt the art and craft of novel writing from the wonderful Olga Lorenzo.
No one ever said to Toni, ‘This is brilliant!’ She got bad feedback quite often, which is an important part of the process. Toni just absolutely loved what she was doing. That’s been a big development for her – the continual movement from external validation to internal validation.
Other special elements of the course were the camaraderie with students and the way everyone bonded together as a group. Also, the feedback – every single person in class, every bit of feedback she received had an impact on her work. The lectures were engaging. She can’t think of a better way to teach PWE.
The whole course gave her exactly what she needed. Toni finished at the end of 2004, kept working on the manuscript of Addition all through 2005, while working pretty much full-time, and then sold it in 2006. She says she felt entirely equipped to do that, all because of RMIT’s PWE.
Toni appreciated the subject called Industry Overview, where publishers and other industry professionals came in and talked about how they work. She’d never even met a writer before. She was living in the suburbs. She was a scientist. Truly, every single thing she knew about writing at that point came from the PWE course.
Toni is the author of five novels - Addition, Nine Days, Fall Girl, Our Tiny, Useless Hearts and The Fragments. She also writes short fiction, essays and articles.
Find out more about Toni at tonijordan.com.
This profile was written and researched by Ann Bolch from A Story To Tell.