The urge to write fiction can strike at any time – and in anyone’s life. But if it’s your first time, you probably need to get answers, and a bit of direction, to some of the problems you’re discovering. And you will probably want to test your writing on a genuinely engaged audience. But it can be nerve-wracking to throw yourself and your writing into an arena full of feisty, experienced practitioners. This six-month-long gentle critique course is designed for first-time fiction writers over 25. The group will meet for two hours at Wollongong Library on the second Saturday of every month from September 2021 to February 2022. It is designed to take you through the essentials of fiction writing with the intention of creating an ongoing ‘gentle critiquing and guidance’ group that will provide you with an ongoing home in this new land of fiction writing. The course is co-taught by Alyssa J Montgomery, a published fiction writer and Dr Rosemary Montgomery, a published non-fiction writer and successful fiction-writing tutor (no relation – our names just worked out that way). They will offer respectful guidance for the most common writing problems, and for some of the problems you have already thought about. It also introduces the art of useful, non-invasive critiquing: ‘No sneers. No putdowns. No flame-throwing.’ (Ursual Le Guin).