On Writing

Writers, editors, agents, publishers and more share their thoughts, experiences and stories.

Erik Jensen

 Erik Jensen's new book for Black Inc.’s ‘Writers on Writers' series explores the life and influence of the Australian writer, Kate Jennings. As part of our Subscriberthon series, we talked to Erik about his writing process.

'Wish You Were Here' is Sheridan Jobbins' memoir of a broken heart and a crazy dash across America in a red spotty dress and a shiny red sports car. As part of our Subscriberthon series, we talked to Sheridan about her writing process.

 
 
Photo of Emily Brewin

Emily Brewin's novel 'Hello, Goodbye' was sparked by her aunt’s story of being single, pregnant and Catholic in the 1960s. As part of our Subscriberthon series, we talked to Emily about her writing process.

 

‘Parting words’ is the much-awaited second novel from writer Cass Moriarty, that asks: how well do we really know our parents? As part of our Subscriberthon series, we talked to Cass about her writing process.

'The Girl From Munich' is Tania Blanchard's debut historical fiction novel. It tells the story of Lotte who grew up indoctrinated, at school and through The League of German Girls, to give her all to the Third Reich. As part of our Subscriberthon series, we talked to Tania about her writing process.

One of the most interesting areas of change in literature over the last fifty years has been in non-fiction. Creative non-fiction is a term that seeks to encompass its shifting boundaries. Much of the excitement in literature is happening at the intersection of fiction and non-fiction, so that what the writer invents, with the reader’s cognisance, becomes integral to the narration and creates a wholly satisfying whole, where ‘satisfying’ involves some aspect of engagement that spills over into enjoyment.

ALAA agent Jacinta di Mase answers some common questions about literary agents.
 

What does a literary agent do?

A literary agent is a writer’s representative in the commercial world: their manager, their business representative, protector of their copyright, the one who weighs in on the side of the author/illustrator in all dealings. 

There are certain ‘signposts’ that, if I see them in a Young Adult (YA) manuscript submission pitch, they can tell me all I need to know about how much an author actually understands YA literature and the readership they purport to be writing for. 

1. YA is not a genre 

Royalties* are very important. They are, after all, the primary source of an author’s income. Royalties compensate you, the author, for your work. Good royalties, proper royalties, will increase your income.

Australian Literary Management was established in 1980 by Caroline Lurie. I joined the company some ten years later and in 1993 became the sole owner. The mainstay of the agency was Australian literary fiction. We also represented a few children’s authors, biography authors, historians and academics. As far as popular fiction went, it mainly consisted of a couple of crime authors.