March 18

Copywriting, editorial and consulting


Writing Consultant
In brief

Good writing makes business sense. It’s shorter. It’s quicker. It’s unambiguous. And it can be learned, provided we first unlearn the bad habits acquired from old-fashioned bosses or ill-trained bloggers.

Sydney-based writing coach Stephanie Oley offers several tried and tested frameworks designed to lift your writing techniques. Workshops range from in-house to public and motivational.

Drawing on her background in magazine journalism, radio and copywriting, Stephanie’s original courses include marketing, business, media and presentation writing, complete with original workbook.

Any course can be customised. All come with rigorous upfront client consultation and post-workshop feedback.

Did we mention?

When not consulting, Stephanie is creative partner at The Offices, where you’ll find her latest copywriting across a range of media. Offline, Stephanie stays busy exploring her passion for design, culture and community, and rambling about Sydney with her young family. She has several fiction manuscripts in progress.


Scribbles from Stephanie's notepad 


Stephanie offers a mix of in-house and public writing workshops, all replete with her original textbooks. Talk to her about customised writing, speaking and editing gigs too.


1. In-house workshops

Got six or so people in need of training? Or a very specific brand voice, project or goal to develop? Ask about the bespoke workshops, where Stephanie’s core presentations are adapted to carry examples from your organisation or industry.

Email moc.yeloeinahpetsnull@olleh to request a brochure on copywriting for marketers, writing for business, writing for the media and delivering a presentation. Rates are shown for full-day, half-day and hourly training.

2. Public workshops

Since 2006, Stephanie has presented several full-day writing workshops at The University of Sydney’s Centre for Continuing Education. Click on the links below for course descriptions, rates and upcoming dates.

Persuasive Marketing Materials

Effective Business Reports

Write and Promote a Media Release

3. Speaking

Whether you need a presentation for humour, hype or help, Stephanie’s extensive public speaking experience places her comfortably in front of any audience. Perhaps you want your people to get excited about writing better, or need a workshop on effective emails or better online bios? Just ask about the possibilities.

4. Writing

Long and short, content and catch-lines, websites and wobblers: Stephanie’s writing folio spans various formats and styles. See a selection of work here. Visit The Offices to browse her latest work, or download her portfolio below.


Stephanie Oley






The rise of the storyteller


Storyteller's maskWrote a story that didn’t win recognition, and gloomily wondering how it’ll ever relate to real life? Here are five things for you to know.


Late last year, I immersed myself in the world of storytelling for a month when I agreed to help a team of English teachers review their school’s annual literary journal. From the trenches of World War One to the complexities of teen relationships and the deepest Australian outback, the settings of these high school students’ poems, short stories and essays were vast and varied.

Reading the pieces brought back floods of my own high school memories. Of course, I was a certified bookworm and relished every chance to write. My more science-minded classmates were less than happy with that part of school.

However, now that I help clients daily in communicating complex messages, I can honestly say that no matter your career plans, good storytelling skills will set you apart from your peers.

So, in no particular order, here are five ways you might do that.


Rhythm, rhyme, word play and alliteration all gave life to the students’ thoughts, and those efforts never go unnoticed on the reader’s senses. Same goes for sophisticated sentence links that enhance logic and build momentum. And let’s not forget the basics: punctuation. How would colleagues respond to a workplace memo that introduced their new teammate as: ‘Danny, who likes cooking his family and his dog’? Just one little comma, and all would be saved.

If you’ve ever read illogical instructions or puzzling policies, you’ll know that writing craft isn’t just important for sectors such as law or the creative industries. It’s equally important in manufacturing, engineering, hospitality, services and finance.


Planning, pace, dialogue, tension, resolution: the Seven Steps to Writing Success are being taken to heart at schools across Australia, primary and high school alike. The strongest stories in this particular anthology displayed narrative skills that were well beyond the students’ years. If you didn’t already know that storytelling is a full-time occupation at trailblazing firms such as Atlassian and Apple, then take a look around the worlds of law, marketing, business, stakeholder engagement, government and other persuasion-heavy sectors. You’ll agree that this art is more relevant than ever.


Writer’s block? There’s no such thing, when you’ve done your research. Historical episodes, personal dramas, the backstory of an artwork, or the engineering smarts of a submarine: such details are the fuel of a good story. Research skills include listening, summarising and organising. They’re essential to almost every career, whether it’s customer service, finance, business, market research, health sciences or anything else.


The poets among you can take concepts rich in meaning – darkness, certain animals, heartbeats – and push them to the very edges of the metaphors they suggest. While in reality few of us will go on to become working poets, written nuance is something you’ll see in most professional sectors, from advertising to corporate coaching. And no HR practitioner can be blind to the connotations of a sentence like, ‘we need to talk about your future’. See what I mean about nuance?


As all TED fans will know, a close exploration of someone’s fears, passions, past and future is compelling stuff. Thanks to the questions these students had already asked and conversations they’d already had in their lives, their stories presented highly plausible characters: dementia patients, fearful refugees, lonely teens, brazen adventurers and more. Having an ability to gauge different personalities is also what sets apart standout scientists, psychologists, doctors and all the other professions I’ve mentioned so far.

If you’ve ever done creative writing and it didn’t get published, awarded or shared, then take heart. Keep trying. Good writing craft takes time to develop. The stronger writers out there probably write or tell stories more often than you realise – they are the diarists, Facebookers, jokers and talkers among you.

So start small, practice often, and never stop learning how to write better.


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