The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

headshot of Lee Kofman

When internationally renowned Israeli novelist Aharon Appelfeld was barely nine years old he escaped a Nazi concentration camp in Romania, surviving by moving from one hiding place to another for the next three years. As an adult, still haunted by wartime horrors, he couldn’t work in confined spaces and wrote his novels in cafés of Jerusalem to where he moved in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

Indeed, Appelfeld used cafés not only as work spaces, but also as sources of inspiration.

headshot of WV Director Kate Larsen

The Writers Victoria Committee of Management is pleased to announce that Kate Larsen has been appointed as the new Writers Victoria Director commencing Monday, 13 May 2013.

Writers Victoria was thrilled to work with Scope on the 2013 Telescope Awards for writers with disability from across Victoria.

Suzanne McCourt orders a lemongrass tea and takes in the glistening sea from our sun-drenched spot on the deck of Brighton Baths Café.

Her first novel, contracted with Text Publishing, is due to be launched in February 2014; she is currently working on her second and she has recently released two self-published books – an anthology of her own poetry called The Lost Men, and a photo-gift book called Old Dogs: Lessons in Loving & Aging.

As we watch the dotted boats sailing out to sea, she reflects on her writing path. “I’ve now learned to get out of my head and listen to my...

headshot of Lee Kofman

In the autumn of 2008 I was approaching the 5th anniversary of my writer’s block. During those years I never stopped writing and sometimes even produced publishable works. However, writing had become much harder than it used to be and the ratio of bad work to good was incredibly high. I felt I’d lost my writing voice.

Photo of Maria Tumarkin

In 2013 Writers Victoria launched a mentorship program for writers from non-English speaking backgrounds. The Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Mentorship Program was established to support and promote the diversity that forms the fabric of our writing and our broader community.

The five recipients of our 2013 CALD Mentorship Program were Beverly Almeida, Lian Low, Fatima Sehbai, Hariklia Heristanidis and Hoa Pham – representing both metropolitan and regional Victoria, and emerging and established positions on the writing spectrum.

I grew up in the goldfields of central Victoria and for all my childhood years my family lived in a miner’s cottage. The metre-thick walls were stone and mud brick and the kitchen and wash-house were detached. We had open fires in the bedrooms, a chip-heater to warm the bathwater and a long-drop toilet outside.

My paternal grandparents lived in the same street – also in a miner’s cottage, a weatherboard with small rooms, tiny window panes, shiny brass doorknobs, a glassed-in verandah at the back that served as “the sleepout” and a two-roomed cellar underneath. There were many...

Writers Victoria welcomes the release of Creative Australia, the new National Cultural Policy launched by Arts Minister Simon Crean yesterday afternoon.

Here’s a quick summary of what the National Cultural Policy will mean for Victorian writers.

headshot of Lee Kofman

Many writers, particularly the confessional ones to whose clan I belong, depend on people in their lives to inspire their work. But what makes a good muse? “Nice” people would rarely stimulate art. Art demands a complex character and often such complexity has something to do with force, intensity. In short, Kerouac nailed it.

headshot of Clovis Mwamba

Clovis Mwamba writes about the refugee experience.