The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

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.”

Lee Kofman is a Russian-born, Israeli-Australian writer. She wrote the critically-acclaimed memoir ‘The Dangerous Bride’ (Melbourne University Press, 2014), co-edited the anthology of personal essays ‘Rebellious Daughters’ (Ventura Press, 2016), and her short works have been widely published in Australia, UK, Scotland, Israel, Canada and US, including in ‘Best Australian Essays 2012’; and her blog was a finalist for Best Australian Blogs 2014. Her latest release is the creative non-fiction book ‘Imperfect’ (Affirm Press), published...

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.