The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

Photo of Shastro Deo

Shastra Deo's debut poetry collection 'The Agonist' won the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize last year and has been described as ‘full of the beautiful music of fracture and repair’. As part of our Subscriber-thon series, we talked to Shastro about her writing process.

'Soon' is the story of the death of a haunted town, and the plight of the people who either won’t or simply can’t abandon all they have ever had. You spent six years driving around Australia in a homemade 4WD truck, writing letters home about the people you met along the way. Did any of these people inspire characters in your debut novel ‘Soon’?

Your much-loved and award-winning novel 'The Bone Sparrow' was about a child in a refugee camp. 'The Ones That Disappeared' is about three trafficked children searching for freedom and hope. When you get an idea for a book, what come first – the issue or the characters?

'Her' begins in 1909 and spans ten years. The book explores a dark side of history, especially women and girls battling poverty and violence. What drew you to write this tale?

'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.

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.

Round 1 of the Neilma Sidney Travel Fund received 205 applications, requesting a total of $1,215,738.38 in grant money.

The judges (Robert Watkins from Hachette, Warren Bonnet from Embiggen Books and writer Toni Jordan) were thrilled with the quality and scope of the applications. They awarded $49,967 to 10 applicants.

Rajith Savanadasa

Today I meet writer Rajith Savanadasa at the Malthouse Theatre. It’s afternoon tea time, and the Malthouse café is busy with actors letting off steam and directors reading over their notes. A small school group climbs up and down the staircase, sparrows flit in and out through the open windows; the place is a hive of activity. Suddenly alighting from the staircase is Rajith, content and calm. He buys a cup of coffee and we sit in the middle of the crowd to chat.

“It devastated me,” says Sofie Laguna of Nick Broomfield’s film about American serial killer Aileen Wuornos, who was convicted of killing six men and executed by lethal injection in 2002. It wasn’t, however, the obvious discomfort such a film would provoke that disturbed Laguna, instead it was the grim, desperate, dreadful childhood that Aileen endured.

Indulge Apartments, Mildura

The winners of all the Subscriber-thon 2017 prizes have been drawn. The winners have all been contacted and staff are working hard to get their prizes out to them. All the winners were very excited with many saying, 'Really? But I never win anything!' Well they can't say that anymore.

Congratulations to:

1st Prize: PH

2nd Prize: GL

3rd Prize: EH

Special student prize: RF

5 weekly prize packs: LB, LG, TM, PS, AM.

 

Once again, Writers Victoria is having a Subscriber-thon for the whole month of October 2017.