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Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

PUB3002 Book Culture: the Public Life of Writers

Semester 2, 2019 Online
Short Description: Book Culture
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 100705 - Written Communication
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 23 May 2019


Examiner: Dallas Baker


Enrolment is not permitted in PUB3002 if CWR3003 has been previously completed.


Contemporary professional writers must do more than create literary works: they must also build and maintain a range of professional relationships with publishers, agents, booksellers and distributors, conference and festival organisers, librarians, school teachers, fans, reviewers, and more. Writers are often called on to act as public intellectuals, or even as ‘celebrities’, to talk about and/or perform their work, to comment and offer advice on writing as a practice, or to comment on the publishing industry and the broader issues of the day. Given this, it is important to develop a critical understanding of the role of the writer as a public figure. Furthermore, being a writer now requires a range of skills, including participating in critical friendships, writing speeches or scripts, speaking ‘off the cuff’, and maintaining a public profile through various social media. This course prepares students for the para-life of a professional writer by examining what it really means to be a working writer in the 21st century.


This course focuses on the notion of the writer as a media figure and public intellectual. This third year course also introduces students to a wide range of essential professional skills for contemporary writers. These skills include participating in critical friendships, publicly discussing their work, performing their work at readings and festivals, commenting on writing as a practice at conferences or in the media, writing speeches or scripts, writing and speaking about literature and publishing, and maintaining a public profile through various social and other media.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. identify, analyse and discuss aspects of the public life of writers
  2. design and implement a strategy for building a public platform for their writing career
  3. successfully participate in a critical friendship and work collaboratively to develop their writing
  4. apply practical skills in discussing writing as a practice, aspects of book culture and their own literary works
  5. apply knowledge of the different models and approaches to communicating, promoting and networking as part of a writing career
  6. apply practical skills in selecting, adapting and performing excerpts of their own writing in a public setting.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Building a profile: choosing a platform and networking 20.00
2. Entering into community: writers’ groups, book clubs and critical friends 20.00
3. Managing relationships: agents, editors, publishers and readers 20.00
4. Going public: communication, social media and promotion 20.00
5. The writer as performer: conferences, festivals, readings and interviews. 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Vandermeer, J 2009, Booklife: Strategies and survival tips for the 21st century writer, Tachyon Publications, Chicago.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Readings may be made available as downloads on the Study Desk for the course.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 105.00
Private Study 60.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 40 20 Aug 2019 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 40 29 Oct 2019 (see note 2)
ONLINE DISCUSSION 100 20 07 Nov 2019 (see note 3)

  3. To successfully complete this assessment item, students will be required to actively participate in online tutorials and discussion forums, as outlined in the assessment task.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with the Harvard (AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (APGS) style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. This guide can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.

Other requirements

  1. Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access t
    o UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.