On Writing

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

A portrait of Michael Shanks

Writer, director, actor and visual effects guru Michael Shanks wears many hats. Ahead of his Writing for YouTube workshop, WV intern Nicola Wetzel caught up with him to talk about the pleasures and perils of doing it all yourself.


Photo of Toni Jordan

For Toni Jordan, writing is all about timing and empathy. WV intern Nicola Wetzel caught up with Toni ahead of her workshop on dialogue and character to talk about how to keep readers engaged, and why she’ll always be a hopeless romantic.

Photo of Maxine Beneba Clarke

According to Maxine Beneba Clarke, short fiction is about searching for a vision of perfection. WV intern Nicola Wetzel caught up with her ahead of her Short Story Bootcamp to talk structure, voice, hope and writing to create change.

Portrait of Dave O'Neil

You have to play to your audience, says Dave O’Neil. Ahead of his upcoming comedy writing workshop. WV intern Nicola Wetzel caught up with Dave to find out all about his approach to writing comedy.

Photo of John Marsden

John Marsden says he’s always been suspicious of ‘inspiration’. Ahead of his workshop on plot, people and language, WV intern Nicola Wetzel asked him about writing, educating and beating writers block.

Photo of Angela Savage

For Angela Savage, great crime writing depends of pacing and suspense. WV intern Nicola Wetzel interviewed Angela ahead of her Crime writing workshop in partnership with the Castlemaine State Festival to find out more.

When I first joined Writers Victoria and started attending events, there was very little in the way of genre fiction covered. But over the years, the organisation has steadily increased its offerings. 

Given that there are so many topics and genres out there, I don't envy WV the job of trying to cater to such diversity! Especially those genres that aren't as popular or mainstream as others. To be serious, and honest, I think the team at WV does an excellent job with what they put together each year, and the vast range of topics and genres they cover.

A portrait of Michael Pryor in a top hat

With the pace of technological, political and social change rapidly increasing, it's little wonder more writers are exploring forms of speculative fiction. We talked to Michael Pryor ahead of his upcoming Science Fiction and Steampunk workshop about Sci Fi's turn towards history, and what he looks for in new speculative fiction stories.

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 

Writers often dream of being published and getting their work ‘out there’. I am no exception. My second novel has just been published, but it’s been a long road to publication. This manuscript has had at least three reincarnations with a change of title each time. Each version has its own merit and has taught me something valuable about the craft of writing. The novel, ‘Something Missing’ began life as ‘Hens Lay, People Lie’: my artefact for my PhD at Swinburne University.