On Writing

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

headshot of Kate Richards

Writers Victoria interviews Kate Richards about her life as a writer.

Writers Victoria theatre intern John Back interviews Caleb Lewis about playwriting.

Foong Ling Kong

Our first book together was at Hardie Grant more than a decade ago, on a compendium of 140 years of Wisden in Australia called ‘Endless Summer’. When I joined Hardie Grant, I’d jokingly said I’d do so on the condition that I’d never have to work on the annual ‘Wisden’.

I spent the year after I finished university writing my magnum opus. It wasn’t very good but I was 20 and suffering from a bad case of young-person-whothinks- they’re-a-literary-genius-itis.

When a radio presenter laughs at you on the air for starting a new print publication, it’s hard to stay strong in your convictions.

“Why the hell would you start a print magazine?” is a question I’m asked a lot. Sometimes aggressively. Always incredulously.

Íñigo woke close to midday with the sun in his eyes and the sheet wrapped round his neck like a noose. As he swung his legs over the side of the bed he felt his guts turn. Bent double he stared at the black hairs on his toes, waiting for the nausea to pass. Halfway down the hall he found an upturned washing basket and figured Águeda must be trying to break his neck. “Keep trying, mammasita, keep trying,” he said, stepping over the basket.

With the following lines from her poem ‘Psalm’, Nobel Prize-winning poet Wislawa Szymborska takes us to the heart of the terrible state of the displaced person – a deeply disquieting and very present concern for those of us involved with human rights: 

Shortly after moving to Melbourne three years ago I attended a function at the Wheeler Centre. It was mid-week, free, and the topic was “the future of the book”. To my immense surprise the venue was packed. My friend and I stood at the back along with the dozens of others who’d arrived on time and, therefore, too late to bag a seat.

Mel Campbell: Pitching Freelance Articles

Editors rarely “discover” freelance writers as teenage models get discovered in shopping centres. You’ve got to approach them yourself. Here are five guidelines for making editors want to publish your articles.

The countryside seems to roll away under the eye here. As if the curvature of the earth is magnified right at this point in Suffolk. This is Constable’s England, full of green fields, hedgerows and the River Stour’s meandering bulk easing its way through lushness to the sea. Husks of vacant mills dot the landscape while willow trees languish on the river banks and church spires poke through the curved skyline of the medieval market town streets.