The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

True Grit program

True grit. Fortitude. Perseverance. Moxie. Call it what you will, writers need it, and in good supply. 

 With our 2019 program, we want to celebrate the courage, resolve and resilience it takes to confront the blank page, to apply yourself to a project on days you just don't want to, to take constructive criticsim on the chin, and withstand the inevitable rejections that are a writer's lot.

Hazel Rowley outdoors

Eight Australian writers have been shortlisted for the 2019 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship worth $15,000.  

The Fellowship, now in its eighth year, has attracted a field of high-quality proposals from biographers across Australia.

“I’m so encouraged by the range and quality of the proposals we received,” said Della Rowley, sister of biographer Hazel Rowley. “Hazel would have been impressed and excited to read about these fascinating subjects.”

Photo of Arnold Zable

Advocacy is very often about telling stories that struggle to be heard. An experienced advocate and storyteller both, Arnold Zable spoke to Deanne Sheldon-Collins about some of the issues he was to cover in his February 2015 workshop, including the importance and complications of writing for social justice.

A portrait of Anna Snoekstra

ERG: Can you talk a little about how you came to be a crime writer? Have you always been a fan of the genre?

AS: I’ve always loved suspenseful films. For a long time, I was infatuated with Film Noir, and loved trying to pick apart the ways tension was built and released in a story. I have always been a big reader, but was never really interested in crime novels. I think this is because I always saw them as very male and very conventional: a dead woman, a detective, a bad guy. It didn’t interest me.

A portrait of Kathryn Heyman

2019 Summer School: Writing Your Way to the End: Plotting, Momentum and Re-Drafting

CJ: Your first memoir is coming out soon. Has the process of finding narrative structure or ‘plot' in your memoir been different to that of your novels?

A portrait of Lee Kofman, seated at a table next to a vase of flowers

Ahead of her Summer School Workshop: Writing the Body, Lee Kofman spoke honestly and openly about her sexuality, her relationships, and how both inform her writing. 

a portrait of Dave Drayton

2019 Summer School: Experimental Writing

NB: What first inspired you in the direction of experimental writing?

A portrait of Claire Gaskin

In this deep dive interview with Christy Tan, Claire Gaskin introduces her theories about language, becoming, and the sensory experience of poetry.

A portrait of Richard Holt

Richard Holt knows about making every word count. Ahead of his Summer School workshop on micro-fiction, he answered some of Nikki Bielinski's questions.

A portrait of Nicole Hayes, three-quarter length, leaning on a wall

'Show, don't tell', is a mantra of good writing, but what does that actually mean? How can you tell when you're telling, and how do you know when you're showing? Steph Downing asked Nicole Hayes to enlighten us.