About Carol

Carol A Major holds an undergraduate degree in psychology and literature and Master and Doctorate degrees in Creative Arts. She has taught creative writing at the University of Technology, Sydney and is an associate of Varuna (The National Writer’s House), and Ink to Screen. Carol works with authors across all narrative forms, including creative non-fiction, fiction, memoir and essay. Her skill is in drawing out the writer’s vision and matching it with crafting tools. She has also worked with writers from non-English speaking backgrounds. “Carol’s sensitivity to another culture, in particular the Chinese and its many idiosyncrasies, enriched my writing journey, and my writing. Her insight, frankness, and thought-stimulating discussions led to writing awards and fellowships. My confidence soared.” – Andrew Kwong Varuna Fellowship Winner and author of Snake Business
Carol has written professionally for over thirty years. She is author of countless articles on health and social policy, and was among the founding editors of Connexions Magazine, a trail-blazing journal tackling alcohol and other drug issues. Carol’s short stories and essays have appeared in Australian and Canadian literary journals and anthologies. Samples of her short-short fiction, written as part of the 1001 Nights Cast web performance can be viewed here. Carol completed the novels Parallax South and Pelagia’s Healing Therapies while working toward a Doctorate of Arts degree in creative writing at the University of Technology.

Over the years Carol has proved herself to be an innovative communicator from early days of creating the original wildlife segment for Behind the News to recent projects in ‘place-making’, whereby story informs the design of public spaces. Her approach has been used as a key strategy in redefining organisational culture. In this case she employs the narrative arc and power of metaphor to bind community and underpin organisational identity. Carol is also skilled at creating content for all aspects of organisational communication: including websites, video and print. Examples of her work can be seen at advancednarrative.com

 

“Carol’s sensitivity to another culture, in particular the Chinese and its many idiosyncrasies, enriched my writing journey, and my writing. Her insight, frankness, and thought-stimulating discussions led to writing awards and fellowships. My confidence soared.” – Andrew Kwong Varuna Fellowship Winner and author of Snake Business

“Even though the draft, a portion of which I presented to Carol, had already been culled and edited in a serious fashion twice over, she was able to indicate structure, or lack of, within. She explained that, “events happen in emotional time” and gave a wealth of good advice. I knew exactly what she was saying yet, in explaining herself so clearly, she took me beyond what I believed I knew. She said “Don’t tell me, take me!” -Martin Raphael, author of The Sideshow Theatre Company

“I worked with Carol on my second novel, Out of Place during a Professional Development Week at Varuna. She connected with the narrative immediately – skirted my clumsy attempts to make the novel fit my originally intended feminist theme and brought it back in line with the feelings that had given rise to it in the first place. If the proof is in the final work, certainly her advice was spot-on in that I find that the book is attracting as much comment and attention from men as it is from women. Carol has the uncanny knack of being able to get to the core of the story and reflect that central motif back to the writer.” -Tangea Tansley Author of A Break in the Chain, For Women Who Grieve, Out of Place. Joint-winner of the 2013 Todhunter Literary Award, shortlisted for the Julie Lewis and the A B Natoli and winner of the Launceston Tasmania Literary Award 2015.

“When Carol and I met Letters to the End of Love had been seen by one professional writer and several beta readers, but I was still wondering if its various complexities added up to a coherent whole. Carol’s reading of the manuscript was forensic, intelligent and empathic. Her detailed critique of my work covered all aspects of the manuscript (characterisation, plot, narrative arc, tone and style, syntax, historical accuracy, image and metaphor). Carol diagnosed a major issue with one narrative strand and gave me crucial insight into how I might go about fixing the problem. Her advice helped me strengthen that narrative strand and align it more firmly with the other two strands that made up the rest of the novel. Carol’s insights saved the novel from being presented to a publisher with a fundamental flaw. Carol reads like a writer and I believe any manuscript would benefit greatly from her expertise.” -Yvette Walker Author of Letters to the End of Love (Published by University of Queensland Press) Winner 2014 WA Premier’s Award (Emerging Writer) Shortlisted for 2014 NSW Premier’s Award (New Writing)

“Carol’s feedback on my short stories was honest and thoughtful. Using her questions and comments, I rewrote one of the stories, which then won a FAW prize. I think her drawing out of one of the themes really made this story work, and I found the whole experience extremely helpful.” -Claire Aman Winner of the Wet Ink, EJ Brady and Hal Porter prizes   “A light, a lap, a loving gaze, Carol has provided my manuscripts with all that. Her unconditional care and engagement with my writing, her insight into the characters, her critical dissection of the plot, while revealing to me, an unsuspecting writer, the subplots, made her an invaluable reader and added focus and depth to the story. When stuck, lost, needing some understanding, Carol unfailingly provided honest counsel and re-energised me with her love for writing, for story that needs telling and for writers.” -Loubna Haikal, writer, dramatist, essayist and author of Seducing Mr Maclean

“I approached Carol to ask for help with the writing of my first book, an academic text, The Anthropocene Lyric: An Affective Geography of Poetry, Person, Place (2015). Carol is very alert to discrete and idiosyncratic concerns of individual writers. Her in-depth focused feedback demonstrates a combination of insight and feeling. The intellectual project crystallised during our meetings. It would be a delight to work with Carol on another essayistic project.” –Dr Thomas Bristol, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, University of Melbourne

 

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