The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

When I tell people that I’ve written a verse novel they often look at me blankly and ask what that means exactly. I explain that it’s a novel written in verse, in poetry. According to the Australian Poetry Library, ‘A verse novel tells a long and complex story with many characters, much as a prose novel would, through the medium of narrative verse. The verse may be blank verse in the manner of Shakespeare, or free verse, or (less often) formal rhymed verse of any type.’

Nada Kirkwood, outgoing Committee of Management (CoM) member, reflects on the experience on being on the CoM, and offers advice to those intending to nominate ahead of this year's AGM.

Italian-born Mark Brandi graduated with a criminal justice degree and worked in the justice system before changing careers and becoming a writer. His debut novel Wimmera won the British Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger and was named Best Debut in the 2018 Australian Indie Book Awards. It was also shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards Literary Fiction Book of the Year and the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year.

Writers Victoria is delighted to announce Melbourne-based writer Nancy Langham-Hooper as the recipient of the first Only Connect Digital Writer Residency for Carers for 2019.

Nancy has lived in the USA, UK and Australia and holds a PhD in art history. She is the primary carer for a child with a disability.

Girls are funny. I say that because my female pals can lighten up even the heaviest of days. I say that because, when I teach and visit schools, I witness girls making each other laugh until they cry.

Before you are a debut author, you spend all your time hoping that you’ll become one – that all your toiling away, locked in a little room with your paper and pen, or your laptop, will finally produce a work of art that a publisher will read and think, ‘yes, we simply must to publish this’.

The recent increase in online mentoring and pitching events has opened new pathways for Australian writers to gain exposure to overseas industry contacts and expand their writing community. But, as with all opportunities, it’s important to ensure it’s right for you and your work.

The years between writing my books and having them published are quite far apart. The first draft of ‘Ida’ was written in 2011 and the book was published in 2017; ‘Highway Bodies’ was written in 2013 and has just been published. The writing of both first drafts was very similar, but the editing processes were very different.

Trophy

Welcome to our monthly brag about our Writers Victoria community members who have won awards, been shortlisted or longlisted for writing prizes or received industry recognition.

Collective Celebrations

Margaret River Press has announced the shortlist for the 2019 Margaret River Short Story Competition. Among the shortlist are:

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.”