Writing Tips and Tools

Get tips, tricks and tools on the craft of writing.

Photo of AS Patric

"We should always be evolving and searching for ways to keep opening our sense of literary possibility," says WV tutor Alec Patric.

Alec's debut novel ‘Black Rock White City’ won the 2016 Miles Franklin Award. He is a winner of the Ned Kelly Award and the Booranga Prize, and is the author of ‘Las Vegas for Vegans’, a story collection shortlisted in the Queensland Literary Awards.

Photo of Alice Robinson

"I think beginning writers should come to terms fast with the truths they already possess about the world," says WV tutor Alice Robinson, "not with a view to exploit them, but to understand what it is they can speak about with authority."

Alice is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. Her debut novel, ‘Anchor Point’, was longlisted for the 2016 Stella Prize, the 2016 Indie Book Awards (debut fiction), and was named one of 25 Best Book Club Reads in the Herald Sun. She has a PhD in Creative Writing focusing on climate change in Australia.

Photo of Jo Case

"If you don't risk anything, there's no point writing memoir," says WV tutor Jo Case.

Jo Case’s first book, ‘Boomer and Me: A memoir of motherhood, and Asperger’s’ (2013) was shortlisted for the inaugural Russell Prize for Humour Writing. Her personal essays have been published in the anthologies ‘Mothermorphosis’ (MUP, 2015) and ‘Rebellious Daughters’ (Ventura Press, 2016), and in ‘The Age’.

Photo of Sonia Orchard

"Strong prose and a clever idea is not enough. Writing should move a reader," says WV tutor Sonia Orchard. "And if your writing doesn't move you, it certainly isn't going to move anyone else."

Sonia is a freelance writer, creative writing teacher and the author of two books: a memoir, ‘Something More Wonderful’ and a novel, ‘The Virtuoso’, which received the Independent Booksellers Award for Best Debut Fiction.

Illustration of Oslo Davis

"Think of two or three people whose opinion, taste and sense of humour you really like and write (or draw) just for them," says WV tutor Oslo Davis.

Olga Lorenzo. Photo by Tania Jovanovic.

"Always give yourself permission to write badly," says WV tutor Olga Lorenzo.

Olga is the author of ‘The Light on the Water’, described in 'The Age' as a “brave and memorable book” with “a surprising lightness, like the light touch of a cello when playing the most sorrowful of songs”, and ‘The Rooms in My Mother's House’, which was shortlisted for the Vogel's Literary Award and the NSW Premier's Prize.

Photo of Paddy O'Reilly

"Take a page of your work and sort the sentences alphabetically," suggests WV tutor Paddy O'Reilly.

Paddy is the author of three novels and two short story collections. Her work has won awards and been published in Australia, the UK and the USA.

Photo of Jackey Coyle

"Whether you're at your best early in the morning or late at night, use that time and energy for your own dream, not someone else's," says WV tutor Jackey Coyle.

Photo of Dmetri Kakmi

"The way you approach your material is as important as the material itself," says WV tutor Dmetri Kakmi.

Photo of Jane Godwin

WV tutor Jane Godwin quotes American writer Barbara Bader: "A picture book is text, illustrations, total design; an item of manufacture and a commercial product; a social, cultural, historical document; and, foremost, an experience for a child."

Jane is a publisher and highly acclaimed author of over twenty books for children. Her work is published internationally and she has received many commendations. Jane writes her own books but much of her time is spent in encouraging and supporting authors with whom she works.