On Writing

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

Moreno Giovannoni, winner of the inaugural Deborah Cass Prize, reflects on how it helped him develop his debut novel.

Sara Bannister has been writing for years. But, she asks, can she call herself an emerging writer yet?

 

There’s a particular type of magical thinking employed by short story writers. This story will find a home in the magazine of my dreams. My lack of profile, the number of submissions they receive, networks and nepotism – all irrelevant. Quality will win out. This story will not languish in my Submittable list or in a slush pile. This one will be longlisted, shortlisted, then win the prize. I might be offered a publishing deal, like the woman who wrote ‘Cat Person’, the one who was published in 'The New Yorker'.

Getting published

When I was eighteen, I joined a troupe of amateur actors. My first (and only) performance was a pastorela, a play representing the birth of Jesus. I played the role of the angel who guided Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and accompanied them during their first days as parents. We rehearsed for a month. I didn’t have many lines but needed to position myself at the centre of the stage with my arms spread wide, showing off my shimmering wings. The lighting technicians would illuminate the wings, casting golden light on the nativity scene.

The short story enables writers to focus on the particular, the initimate, and the fleeting, says Roanna Gonsalves. Ahead of her workshop in October, Amelia Theodorakis asked Roanna about storytelling cultures, literary selfies, power and self-representation.

A portrait Vikki Petraitis

Everyone likes a gritty true crime story. So where do you start if you want to write one? After 25 years of crime writing, best-selling author Vikki Petraitis shows us the hidden underbelly of real crime writing.

Ahead of her September workshop How to Write and Sell True Crime, Vikki gives us a hint of what it takes to write a great story – choosing a captivating story, navigating the tricky territory of real crime writing and why women crime writers are coming out on top!

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.

a portrait of Leanne Hall

The line between fantasy and reality can be fertile ground for writers. Ahead of her workshop, we spoke to Leanne Hall about seeing magic in everyday life, responding to strangeness and getting in touch with your inner weirdo.

A portrait of Nick Gadd standing

There’s an idea that the suburbs are banal, but Nick Gadd believes that there are seeds for stories everywhere in the shopping malls, bus stops, street signs and pavements we encounter everyday. Ahead of his workshop in Prahran, we spoke to Nick to find out how he stays curious about the suburbs. 

A portrait of Ellen van Neerven

The editing process is about more than just proofreading. Ahead of her September workshop on Editing and Enhancing Your Work, we asked Ellen van Neerven how she goes about tackling the editing process and what writers can do to make their work appealing to publishers.