The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

CS Pacat writes about the development of her graphic novel series, 'FENCE', and in particular, her relationship with artist Johanna the Mad.

Collaboration – between marginalised creators and concerned publishing professionals – is at the heart of all grassroots movements that aim to eradicate the kinds of systemic biases that keep people from Indigenous and diverse backgrounds (including people of colour, people living with physical, physiological or neurological difference and people who identify as LGBTIQA) from telling their own stories, in their own words and pictures.

The first time I used the Internet, I was reluctant. So I could just type in any subject, and articles or photos would magically appear? A technophobe at heart, I hid my intimidation behind scorn. ‘Who would want that?’ I remember asking. ‘It won’t last.’

Back in July 2012 a group of disparate strangers gathered at Writers Victoria to start a six-month novel-writing course taught by award-winning author Carrie Tiffany. We were to varying degrees anxious and excited, waiting for the first words from our teacher. Carrie’s unhurried and considered teaching cultivated our skills and knowledge, inspiring us to develop something more meaningful.

As the daughter of a writer, I know all too well what a writing life is like – full of impressive highs and lows, years of determination and grit, the monotony of writing, writing, writing and the constant fear of failure. Readers’ letters inspire joy and make a writer remember why they do this job. Royalty payments! Short-listings! Awards! And then, bad reviews. Goodreads. Slow sales.

Writers Victoria encourages local writers of all ages and abilities to prepare for this year’s Words from the Surf Coast Arts Trail by registering now.

Fine art wilderness photograph of Refuge Cove, Wilsons Promontory National Park by Elisa McTaggart

This season, Writers Victoria reflects upon the subtleties and complexities of ‘place’ and the important role it plays across a variety of genres.

Photo of James Cristina

James Cristina talks to Writers Victoria about his debut novel 'Antidote To A Curse'.

In her debut true crime book ‘Waiting for Elijah’, award-winning investigative journalist Kate Wild examines the events around the police shooting of a mentally ill man, 24-year-old Elijah Holcombe, in June 2009.   

You started investigating the fatal shooting of Elijah Holcombe as part of a segment for the TV show ‘Four Corners’. When did you know you wanted to investigate the story more deeply with a full-length book?

Portrait of Lyndel Caffrey

It can be tricky navigating roadblocks in our writing, perhaps even more so with literary fiction. Often, as literary fiction writers, we head completely off the map, or we experiment with turning traditional story frameworks and structures on their heads. We chatted to Lyndel Caffrey ahead of her Winter School workshop, Problem-Solving in Literary Fiction, about problem solving specific to literary fiction.