The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

An image of an open notebook and a person writing

A creative writing PhD looks pretty good on paper. A research adventure into a topic you find fascinating, mentoring from expert supervisors, immersion in a creative community and in some cases a scholarship to go with it, all with the aim of adding something new to the literary landscape.

But is it right for you?

PhD island can be a lonely one. You’ll be spending several years at the precipice of a research project that only you can complete. Just you, your laptop, your Endnote library and your over-full brain.

Deborah Sheldon is a writer from Melbourne, Australia. Some of her latest releases, include the dark literary collection 300 Degree Days and Other Stories, the bio-horror novella Thylacines, the dark fantasy and horror collection Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories, and the bio-horror novel Devil Dragon.

In her powerful and candid memoir, ‘Eggshell Skull’, Brisbane-based writer Bri Lee recounts her year working as a judge’s associate in the Queensland District Court. During this time, she witnessed numerous instances where victims of sexual offences were denied due justice.

A photo of Dulcie Stone Writing Award winners Jessica Tomkins (left) and Jennifer Tomkins (right) with Dulcie Stone. Photo: Paul Dunn

Six writers have been named as the winners of this year’s Dulcie Stone Writing Awards at a recent ceremony at The Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. The awards for writers with intellectual disability are presented by VALiD and Writers Victoria, and in their second year attracted more than sixty written and illustrated stories on the theme ‘Community – Here I Come!’

Judges Paul Dunn from VALiD and Writers Victoria’s Write-ability Coordinator Harriet Gaffney were impressed by the ability of the entries to draw the reader into the authors’ worlds.

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

Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton have their ‘Treehouse’, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, the ‘Illuminae Files’. Heck, even father daughter writing duo Tom and Meg Keneally share ‘The Monsarrat’ series. There are so many famous creative collaborations in Australian publishing, and fine examples of how some of our best and most creative minds have melded together to build incredible bookish worlds. But collaboration in publishing goes so far beyond just co-authors, or authors and illustrators and the final partnering we see on the cover.

Celebrated YA authors Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood spoke to Writers Victoria about collaborating on their latest novel, 'Take Three Girls'.

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are the biggest thing in Australian literature right now. Together, they have written the ‘Illuminae Files’ series, a brilliant, ground-breaking piece of science fiction for young adults. The first two books, ‘Illuminae’ and ‘Gemina’ were critically-acclaimed international bestsellers; the third, ‘Obsidio’, which has just been published in Australia, is set to be likewise. The Garret Podcast’s Nic Brasch spoke to Amie and Jay about their unique working partnership.

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?