Writing a new chapter

Peter Dewar had a successful business career, climbing the professional ladder until he made managing director. When the company he worked for was sold, it was time to explore other career paths.

I can't speak highly enough of VU's Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing which instilled in me the rigour that's required of good writing. Subjects were practical with loads of opportunities to hone our skills. All teachers were experienced writers and editors; their dedication to writing was contagious.

From poetry to non-fiction, teachers encouraged students to get their work published and connect to the wider writing community. One entire core subject was devoted to working in the industry: writers and editors of local publications were routinely invited to class as guest speakers. A few years ago, the PWE department published a magazine of its own, which meant students were in print alongside well-known writers.

In my second year, I completed a placement with Japan in Melbourne, a print and online publication, which gave me interviewing confidence and experience working with an editor. We were also encouraged to volunteer to join the selection committee for the popular Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose competition, a feature of the Williamstown Literary Festival.

My greatest writing achievement would be winning the 2015 The Westsider's citizen journalism grand prize award. And I loved writing feature articles for Maribyrnong News, the local council's blog. My aim is to keep churning out articles and submitting to blogs, online newspapers and the like, and to carve out a niche as a freelancer.

Course studied

Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing