The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

Part of the role of being a good agent is to stay on top of what publishers are looking for – the publishing trends. It is not as easy as looking at the bestseller list, however, because by the time a trend reaches the reader, agents and publishers are already looking for the next big thing.

A few years ago a wit wrote a piece describing the grief that would be heaped on Charles Dickens by his publishers if he were he writing in today’s market. The imagined dialogue went along these lines: ‘So, Charles, what are you working on now? A sequel to ‘The Pickwick Papers?’’ The writer imagined the increasing dismay of modern publishers confronted by the bleak social satire of ‘Oliver Twist’, followed by historical fiction and even – horrors – a ghost story.

The architect enters the room

Wearing a black velvet blazer

Crisp white shirt, skinny leg jeans

A caricature – oozing ‘starchitect’ cool

In July this year ‘The Super Moopers’, a kids’ book series created by Scott Edgar, Sally Rippin and myself, was unleashed on the world. Watching the small army of smiling faces crowd into the Little Bookroom to support us on our launch day was a humbling and emotionally overwhelming experience. 

The internet didn’t invent fan fiction. It’s been flourishing for sixty years in the form of the regency romance novel. In this time-span much has happened in the genre.

On being released from a Turkish prison recently, writer Yusuf Karataş said ‘whether we are inside or outside, we will continue to speak the truth’. These words are emblematic of the ongoing courage of writers who dare speak truth to power.

As writers, we spend a lot of time looking at our screens and our notebooks. But writing is as much about the world outside the page as the words we scrawl on it. Great writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum – we need to look outwards to invigorate our imaginations, question our assumptions and become better writers.

George Ivanoff headshot

Writing for the education market, says tutor George Ivanoff, has lead to a career filled with variety and ongoing learning. Ahead of his upcoming workshop, we talked to George about following briefs, meeting deadlines, and comparing boats to blue whales!

Deborah Cass

Writers Victoria and the Deborah Cass Prize Committee are pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2017 prize.

The Prize is for unpublished migrant writers and was established in the memory of Deborah Cass (1960-2013), an established Australian lawyer and aspiring writer, whose grandparents were Jewish migrants from Eastern Europe.

Dan Cass, brother of Deborah, said ‘The quality and number of entries shows the wealth of stories waiting to be told about the migrant experience.’

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