On Writing

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

Luke Ryan headshot

In writing memoir, "we can escape the messiness of 'real' dialogue," says tutor Luke Ryan. Ahead of his upcoming workshop, we talked to Luke about why rich character development and dialogue are essential in memoir.

Marija Peričić Headshot

"With writing internal conflict," says tutor Marija Peričić, "observing myself, others and the world, either through reading, or just through life, and reflecting upon that is a very important source of inspiration for me." Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Marija about how to plan and write compelling conflict.

A portrait of CS Pacat

CS Pacat's 'Captive Prince' fantasy trilogy evolved from online serial to commercially-published book series. She shared her thoughts on worldbuilding, self-publishing and the future of fantasy with Michelle McLaren, republished ahead of her Digital Fantasy Novel Intensive, starting January 2018.

"All obsessions are intensely personal and often obscure in origin," says tutor Bella Li. Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Bella about what draws her to ekphrasis, and what she loves about the dialogue between writing and the visual arts.

Paddy O'Reilly headshot

"The longer you can leave a work before editing, the better," says tutor Paddy O'Reilly. Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Paddy about some tips and tricks of the editing process.

Fran Berry headshot

"Whilst style and story craft are still major assessment points," says tutor Fran Berry, "in non-fiction and memoir we are first drawn to the subject, issue or unique perspective that the writer brings to their subject." Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Fran about strategies for pitching memoir and non-fiction.

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.