On Writing

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

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it’s a great “event” to help kick-start your writing. The goal is simple: write 50,000 words of a first draft in the month of November. For some genres that means a full novel, for others it might only be half way. But the important thing is 50,000 words in one month. 

headshot of James Button

James Button is a writer – a journalist, a political speechwriter for Kevin Rudd, a political memoirist. Here’s a glimpse of what he has to say on the art of speechwriting.

James is a former deputy editor and Europe correspondent at ‘The Age’. He has won two Walkley Awards for feature writing. In 2009 and 2010 he wrote speeches for former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, an experience described in ‘Speechless: A Year in my Father’s Business’. The book was shortlisted for the National Biography Award, National Book Industry Book of the Year and the Walkley Foundation Non-...

Portrait of Marianne de Pierres

Prolific Queensland-based author Marianne de Pierres talks spec fic and genre writing with Writers Victoria in the lead up to her Spec Fic Masterclasses in Melbourne and Geelong.

Marianne is a multi-award winning Australian author of novels written in the science fiction, fantasy, crime, and young adult genres. Over the eighteen years Marianne has been a professional writer, she’s acquired a wide skill base and knowledge about the craft and business of writing.

Planning next month’s Manuscript Assessor Conference (the first of its kind in Australia) has got me thinking about what is still an emergent field.

The first I heard of manuscript assessing was from a writerly friend of mine who told me not to bother getting one for the novel I’d just finished. Waste of money, she told me.

Cut forward a few years and I’m now a freelance manuscript assessor myself and I’ve got a pretty good idea about the misconceptions that still prevail.

headshot of Phillip Taylor

Phillip Taylor’s love of the Hawthorn Football Club took him on a journey from sportsblogger to published author.

Phillip is a Melbourne-born writer and long-time fan of Hawthorn Football Club. He was at the MCG in 1971 when the Hawks won the premiership and has now seen them play in 15 Grand Finals, winning 10 of them. He works in corporate communications, has a Masters in Communications and blogs about Hawthorn. His first book, ‘High on Hawthorn: The Road to the 2013 Premiership’, was published by Nero in 2014.

headshot of Lee Kofman

Some time ago I was approached by a writer asking me to mentor her. She was writing a novel set in seventeenth century Spain. I read the synopsis. The story – a young woman has to choose between her sexual desire and becoming a nun (this being the most viable pathway for a woman’s independence at that time) – interested me. The narrative had some original twists. I read several chapters and was impressed by the poetry of the prose. Still, the book wasn’t working.

The problem was the protagonist. She left me cold.

The recipients of the annual Glenfern Fellowships and emerging writers’ competition.

The 2014 Glenfern Fellowships for Mid-Career and Established Writers (supported by the Readings Foundation) were awarded to Jennifer Down, Lee Kofman and Christian Ryan.

The 2014 Glenfern Fellowships for Emerging Writers (supported by the Grace Marion Wilson Trust) were awarded to Allison Browning, Matilda-Dixon-Smith and Shivaun Plozza.

headshot of Julien Leyre

Co-director of the Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature Julien Leyre shares his thoughts on Chinese readers and online writing. In August 2016, Julien will be presenting a half-day seminar on Reading and Writing Across Languages, as well as a half-day All-You-Can-Translate Workshop. Both sessions are presented as a part of the ...

headshot of Bernard Caleo

Graphic Novelist Bernard Caleo talks comics and graphic novels, influences and illustrations with Brendan Paholski. Bernard is teaching a workshop on Introduction to Graphic Novels this Summer School.

Bernard has been making comics since the early 1990s, in collaboration (‘The False Impressionists’ with Tolley, ‘Café Ghetto’ with John Murphy), solo (‘Flâneur’, ‘Mongrel’) and as an editor (the ‘Tango’ anthology). In 2012 he made a feature documentary ‘Graphic Novels! Melbourne!’ with filmmaker Daniel Hayward.

headshot of Katie Keys

Twitter poet Katie Keys shares some of her thoughts about digital writing through the form of tiny little poems themselves.

Katie is Melbourne-based poet, writer and arts manager. Her work has been published in anthologies, magazines and online in Australia and beyond. An advocate of online creative communities, Katie has tweeted a tiny little poem each day @tinylittlepoems for nearly five years. (She is also currently the Director of Writers Victoria).