Event Registration


March 6th, 2022 11:00 AM — March 6th, 2022 5:00 PM



March 6th, 2022 11:00 AM — March 6th, 2022 5:00 PM


With a mixture of tuition, examples and exercises, Emily Bitto will help you to understand the macro-level themes at the heart of your project and to use these as a way of generating plot, character, and scenes, as well as enriching your prose on the level of the sentence and image.

Ideally suited to writers who have a creative project on the go, no matter how big or small, join us for a deep dive into theme, symbolism and imagery, and how these interact with and influence one another. We will begin with the ‘macro level’ topic of theme, and look at how the ‘big ideas’ that preoccupy you as a writer can help you generate content and understand your project in a deeper and more sophisticated way. We will then look at how these themes translate on the ‘micro’ level into symbolism and imagery, and how you can improve the way in which these levels work together to make your writing rich and complex.

This empowering masterclass will provide you with valuable techniques you can continue to use and develop into the future.


Participants will learn:

  • To better understand how theme, symbolism and imagery function in writing
  • How to identify and make use of the themes operating in your own and other people’s work
  • How theme can be used to generate ideas and material for your writing
  • To use symbolism and imagery in a more effective way to enrich your work
  • Techniques that you can continue to use on your own to improve your writing


The Writers' Studio is presented in association with Adelaide Writers Week.


About Emily Bitto

Emily Bitto is an award-winning writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. She has a Masters in Literary Studies and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. Her debut novel, The Strays, was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, and the published novel went on to win the 2015 Stella Prize. The Strays was published in the US, UK, Canada and Portugal, and rights for a television adaptation are currently under option. Her second novel, Wild Abandon, was published in October 2021 by Allen and Unwin. Emily’s work has appeared widely in Australian publications including Meanjin, The Age, The Monthly, The Saturday Paper and The Big Issue. She has been teaching creative writing for over a decade, and is currently a teacher and course advisor at the Faber Writing Academy. She also co-owns Carlton wine bar Heartattack and Vine, and a new bar in Brunswick West called Shabooh Shoobah.


WSA Member $130 / Non-member $205

Venue: State Library of South Australia*


—All staff, speakers, and attendees of in-person events must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or hold a current medical exemption, in order to attend; and must comply with any precautionary measures Writers SA puts in place. We may request proof of your vaccination status or medical exemption upon entry. See our full policy here.

—Writers SA members must be logged in to receive the member discount. The Writers's Studio series is exempt from program credits (first draft and manuscript incubator). If you would like to use a cancellation credit to book in, please contact [email protected] at least five working days before the workshop commencement date. Our staff don’t work full time and we don’t want you to miss out!

*Venue is subject to change. This series may be taken online, participants will be contacted accordingly.


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