The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

The 2017 Deborah Cass Prize for Writing has been awarded to Rafeif Ismail, a 23-year old Perth woman from a Sudanese background.

We are making some improvements to the way we communicate with you. In 2018, we will be dedicating more time to strategic planning to ensure our communications are as effective and engaging as they can be.

As part of this change, from January, the WV e-news will be sent fortnightly. Don’t worry, we will still be bringing you all of the stuff you love, writing advice, Q&As, comps and opps, and more! There’ll still be heaps of great content on website and our social channels too.

Prologue: One Year Ago

 

“There are too many ghouls in the forest. We need you,” said Kolya.

The poor kid was exhausted and pale. Silvie gave him a second fruit bun, figuring there was no harm in a little petty crime.  The buns weren’t selling; besides, it was depressingly likely that she’d have to resign from the bakery before the day was over.

“I’m not due back at the barracks for another week,” she said.

“Bd hr d—” Kolya paused, swallowing his mouthful before trying again. “But you’re the best, and we need you.”

Today is a muggy Melbourne day that threatens with sunshine and rain, yet inside St Kilda café Galleon, fans sweep cold air and Ella Fitzgerald croons smooth and slow from the radio. Today, I’m meeting writer Bram Presser, who arrives on the dot of 3.30, folds a bookmark into ‘The Standing Chandelier’ by Lionel Shriver, orders a green juice and sits down to talk.

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.

Jane Godwin headshot

When writing a picture book, "The idea doesn’t have to be original, but the author's way of treating it does," says tutor Jane Godwin. Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Jane about how picture book writing isn't as simple as it seems.

Wayne Macauley headshot

"In a short story everything has to be working towards exploring and illuminating your central idea with the minimum words and maximum intensity," says tutor Wayne Macauley. Ahead of his upcoming workshop, we talked to Wayne about what makes a short story great.

Andrew Nette headshot

Done well, crime fiction can be one of the most effective genres for talking about social issues and the problems of society, says tutor Andrew Nette. Ahead of his upcoming workshop, we talked to Andrew about what makes crime fiction so thrilling.

Ellie Marney headshot

When choosing to self-publish, "People often assume that you can slap something together and hit Publish," says tutor Ellie Marney. Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Ellie about the importance of being organised, doing the research, and most importantly, writing a book that readers will love.

Shivaun Plozza headshot

"What connects an intellectual understanding of story to the ability to construct one," says tutor Shivaun Plozza, "is tied up in soliciting and digesting quality feedback." Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Shivaun about how to give an receive feedback effectively, and the role it can play in fine-tuning your writing.