On Writing

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

Part of the cover of The Swan Book by Alexis Wright

Rose Michael will be facilitating Writers Victoria’s inaugural book club for established writers. She spoke to us about the need for peer learning and discussion, and how The Writers' Book Club will provide a place for that one evening a month over five months.

Rose is commissioning editor at Hardie Grant Books. She co-founded Arcade Publications in 2007 to publish unconventional – in form and format – histories. She established the Postgraduate Publishing and Communications internships program at the University of Melbourne, has been editor of the ‘Weekly Book Newsletter’, and her...

headshot of Myke Bartlett

Author and educator Myke Bartlett spoke to WV’s membership intern, Helen Krionas, about rethinking high school essay writing.

Myke is a journalist and novelist based in Melbourne. His debut YA novel Fire in the Sea won the 2011 Text Prize. A former teacher, Myke writes extensively on film, music and cultural matters, with his work regularly appearing in The Weekly Review, Dumbo Feather, Screen Education and many other publications.

Playwriting Australia is the national organisation working with playwrights and theatre artists from all backgrounds and at all levels of their careers. Writers Victoria intern John spoke with Amanda and Alice about National Play Festival,

headshot of Archie Fusillo

Award-winning author Archie Fusillo will be leading Writing for Children - Intro to Chapter Books workshop at Writers Victoria in October 2016. He spoke to WV’s membership intern, Helen Krionas, about understanding this burgeoning market.

Some years ago, the bicycle that I use for getting about every day was stolen. I was very annoyed, which quickly turned into becoming cross with myself for not having locked it, as I usually do. The machine was an old one, these days sometimes called a clunker. 

Two years ago, I was given the key to my new writing studio, one of nine writers’ rooms nestled inside a Gothic Victorian house in Melbourne. Glenfern, built in 1857, was once the home of Captain Theodore and Lucy Boyd and their ten children in the late 1800s. Their third son, Arthur, married Minnie á Beckett and this painting couple were the grandparents of Arthur Boyd – one of several famous artistic and literary Boyds. 

Since my short story collection ‘Foreign Soil’ hit the shelves this May, many of the questions I’ve faced from readers have been around the research process for the book: how I was able to access the varied geographical locations, and tap into the local vernacular of a country, or region, or town. I myself am by no means a well-travelled person.

When historian Clare Wright first proposed a radical new book exploring the goldfields of Eureka, she was met with opposition. What was there possibly left to say about the Eureka Stockade that hadn’t already been said?

I began writing my latest book, ‘Transactions’, in Dubai, in early 2009, very soon after the Global Financial Crisis brought the hitherto obscenely rich Arabian Gulf emirate to its fiscal knees. As my own job at one of the city’s universities became precarious, and the airport’s car parks chocked with vehicles abandoned by unemployed expats running away from their debts, I made the astonishing realisation that my old guru Karl Marx had been right all along: that capitalists were busily digging their own graves.

Most primary teachers agree that the study of Australian Federation can be fairly dry for students. There are no ancient pyramids, fascinating pustule diseases or kings with reputations for chopping off their wives’ heads. Most of the key content relates to elderly men of Australian-European descent having lots of meetings and writing up notes on how the government of Australia should be run. Hardly stimulating if you’re 11 years old and think rubber band looms are the bee’s knees.