Calling all creators of comic books and graphic novels!


 Comics Mastermind™ is delighted to roll out the first stage of its 2019 short course program for aspiring and emerging comics creators, as well as cartoonists, authors and illustrators who want to cross mediums and learn more about writing comic books and graphic novels.

CM Mechanics of Visual Storytelling Pic 1.jpeg

THE MECHANICS OF VISUAL STORYTELLING: Mastering the Comic Book and Graphic Novel Script

DATE: Tuesday 26 March and Tuesday 2 April 2019

TIME: 6:30 to 8.00pm (AEST – Sydney / Melbourne time)

DURATION: 1.5 hours x 2 weeks (3 hours)

PRESENTER: Jason Franks

This short course for beginners will provide you with the tools for getting started in comics, and give you insights into:

  • Understanding visual narrative (the “comics” medium), as well as its genres, styles and publishing categories (including graphic novels!)

  • Becoming acquainted with comics jargon

  • Understanding the writing process from outline to page / panel breakdown to FULL script… and how to communicate ideas clearly and concisely to your artist and publisher

  • Utilising visual storytelling tools appropriately to serve the narrative and the character journey

  • Translating story structure into comics formats

  • Controlling pacing through your story

  • Establishing panel points of view (AKA shots) effectively

  • Understanding the fundamentals of dialogue

  • And other important rules of visual storytelling.

For more information please visit:

Visual Storytelling Success System Button.jpeg

VISUAL STORYTELLING SUCCESS SYSTEM: How to Write Comic Books and Graphic Novels

DATE: Tuesday 9 April to Tuesday 28 May 2019 

TIME: 6:30 to 8.00pm (AEST – Sydney / Melbourne time)

DURATION: 1.5 hours x 8 weeks (12 hours)

PRESENTER: Julie Ditrich

This short course provides you with a step-by-step system that will get you started as a visual storyteller, and will give you insights into:

  • Visual Narrative Techniques

  • Characterisation

  • Story Structure

  • Plotting and Dialogue

  • Show and Don’t Tell

  • And other important aspects of graphic narrative.

For more information please visit:


The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is a partner organisation, and members qualify for special discounts off the short courses program.

The Inspiration of Finn's Feather with keynote speakers Rachel Noble and Essie White

A touching observation from Roving Reporter, Shaye Wardrop during the SCBWI 2019 Conference Dinner Dance on the special relationship with US agent Essie White and Australian author Rachel Noble.

Rachel Noble

Rachel Noble

Never ignore the stories that come from your heart,’ says author Rachel Noble as she tells us the story behind the publication of her debut picture book Finn’s Feather.

I don’t think there’s a dry eye in the room as Rachel talks about the heartbreak of losing her darling boy, Hamish, and her passion and determination to honour him through her words.

After exploring different genres and using writing as therapy, the idea for Finn’s Feather came in a perfect moment. After rushing home to write it down, Rachel tells us she found a feather waiting for her on the front step and she knew she had found the story she was searching for.

My throat is full of rocks and tears well in my eyes as I listen to Rachel speak. She is passionate and strong and brave and amazing, and Finn’s Feather is a powerful and special picture book that helps kids understand death and loss in the most gentle and heart-warming way.


It is a book for every home, every school, every library, and I urge you to find a copy and experience the powerful and magical story for yourself.

Rachel introduces the crowd to her literary agent, Essie White, of Storm Literary Agency, and Essie tells us how she met Rachel and her work.

Essie says, ‘stories can heal’ and ‘the importance of good literature cannot be understated’, and the crowd nods in understanding, knowing exactly what she means.

Essie tells us she ‘believes so much in the transformative power of literature’, that ‘an authentic story will help you heal’, that ‘stories help kids navigate emotions’.

She is so right, and we all sit quietly and ponder on these insightful words as she talks about her experience and extensive involvement in children’s literature over her career, about her love of books and her belief in the power of books to teach and guide children through their lives.

Essie leaves us with one more thought — one more piece of advice I will never forget.

Essie says,

this isn’t a profession; it’s a vocation. Do your best work because the best people in the world are waiting.’

Thank you Rachel for sharing your journey with us all, and thank you Essie for your amazing insights and powerful advice.

Shaye Wardrop