On Writing

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

Photo of Lee Kofman in bushland

One of the best pieces of advice a writer can get is – read, read, READ. Read as widely and as voraciously as you can. Make reading a priority even over writing, at least for some years.

Be adventurous in your reading choices. Read until a cacophony of different writing voices sounds in your head, until your mind becomes a kaleidoscope of images and your sense of syntax possibilities has greatly expanded.

Photo of Kate Forsyth with the sea in the background

Kate Forsyth, otherwise known affectionately as the ‘Australian Queen of Fairy Tales’ chats to Ally Scale about her life-long fascination with literature.

Kate is the bestselling author of books for both adults and children. Kate’s books have sold more than a million copies internationally and have been published in 17 countries. She is an accredited master storyteller and was recently voted one of Australia’s Favourite 20 Novelists.

Photo of Emily Craven in front of an old stone church

Emily Craven discusses the use of multimedia platforms in story telling with Jen Squire. Join Emily in September 2016 for our Editing and Beta Reading 101 workshop, or a workshop on Creating Your Own Print Books.

Photo of Paul McVeigh

In his Short Story Masterclass, Paul McVeigh will share advice on inspiration, editing, and publication. As a writer who has made his name through short fiction, Paul is an authority on short stories, but his knowledge also extends beyond the genre.

He talked to Deanne Sheldon-Collins about his experiences with literary communities, radio, and the leap from short fiction to long.

UPDATE: Paul will be running workshops on That Killer First Chapter and What...

a picture of a jack-o-lantern in the dark, lit up with a sinister smile

As we prepare for Halloween, Writers Victoria tutor and horror aficionado Dmetri Kakmi celebrates the sometimes-maligned genre.

"In Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’, a dying Kurtz whispers ‘The horror, the horror!’, moments before the room is plunged in darkness. The reader is left to ponder the question: is Kurtz commenting on what he has seen in the course of a misbegotten life or is he remarking on what he sees as the light dims? In the century since the publication of the novella, Kurtz’s utterance has taken on a life of its own. Whether delivered in jest or seriousness, it...

Photo of Robert Hillman in front of a bookshelf

Are you taking the NaNoWriMo challenge this year? Before the start of his Novel Writing for Beginners course in October and November, Robert Hillman gave some handy tips on committing to writing a novel.

Robert is a Melbourne-based writer of over sixty fiction and non-fiction titles. His memoir ‘The Boy in the Green Suit’ won the National Biography Award in 2004. His latest fiction work is ‘Joyful’, which came out in April this year.

on the left, Graeme Simsion; on the right, Paddy O'Reilly

Graeme Simsion and Paddy O’Reilly will be discussing their distinct approaches to writing at our inaugural Plotters Vs Pantsers debate.

They spoke to Program Intern Kate Steele about plotting and flying by the seat of your pants.

Photo of Claire Scobie with a small bronze statue of a Thai dancer

Claire Scobie, award-winning journalist and memoirist, talks travel with Ally Scale ahead of her Moving On Masterclass: From Travel Writing to Travel Memoir in Ballarat and Write Smarter, Work Faster Masterclass in Melbourne.

Claire is the author of ‘Last Seen in Lhasa’ and ‘The Pagoda Tree’, chosen by ‘Good Reading’ magazine as one of their Best Fiction Reads of 2013.

headshot of Martine Murray

Author of internationally published fiction for children and young adults, Martine Murray is also a regional writer with an interest in place.

In preparation for her upcoming workshop on Junior Fiction, she talked to Deanne Sheldon-Collins about the ways that children read – and what this means for children’s writers.

Martine has published stories ranging from picture books to middle-grade fiction to Young Adult fiction, including ‘The Slightly True story of Cedar B Hartley’, ‘How to Make a Bird’, ‘The Slightly Bruised Glory of Cedar B Hartley’, and ‘Mannie and the Long Brave...

headshot of Lee Kofman

Six copies of ‘The Dangerous Bride’ recently arrived in my house. It took me five years to write this memoir and then I waited more than a year for the publication to happen, and here it is – printed.

The book is not in the shops yet, not until October, but at least it exists physically in the world, which is already burdened with too many books. I sometimes feel sick when I walk into bookshops even though they are amongst my favorite places.