The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

Winter in Melbourne this year has started blue-skied and brisk: the perfect time to snuggle down with a book – or to think about writing your own.

It’s the time of year that we remember why reading and mittens don’t mix, as we try to turn pages with wool-sheathed fingers. When we lie in bed trying to hold our books and eReaders in just one hand to keep the other one warm beneath the sheets. When those of us who write might find it that little bit harder to get the work done.

Yet winter time is writing time in Victoria. Within and outside of Melbourne, there’s lots of writerly...

Award-winning short story writer Michelle Wright has been awarded the inaugural Templeberg Residential Writing Fellowship by Writers Victoria and Templeberg Villa this month.

Writing a weekly newspaper column is at once the most joyful and the most challenging gig your average scribbler can hope for.

Joyful, because it comes with a readership and, let’s face it, every writer wants to be read. Short of being a bestselling author, there are few more privileged positions than being given a blank page each week and paid to fill it.

A group of multicultural and bilingual writers will undertake a week-long residency in Skipton this month.

headshot of Robert Gott

There are two New Yorker cartoons I love. In one, a jaded couple is passing a bookstore and one of them is saying, “I’m tired of people who write first novels”. In the other, a man turns from his computer screen to his wife and says, “I feel I have at least one more unpublished novel in me”. Don’t worry, I’m not going to deconstruct them; I just needed an opening.

headshot of Max Allen

You’ve asked me how I became a wine writer.

I was lucky: I arrived in Melbourne after working in the UK wine trade in the early 1990s. Victoria was coming out of recession, interest in wine was building, a new generation of people was emerging, I was one of very few people who wanted to write about wine, Divine Food and Wine magazine (now defunct) had just started down the road from where I lived, I started writing for them for free (pre-internet days, remember – no such thing as blogs then) and met a photographer who worked at The Age. Through him I got in the back door of the...

headshot of Peter Barry

Peter Barry has had a very successful career in advertising beginning in the seventies, and now works as a freelance copywriter in Melbourne. Peter spoke with Writers Victoria intern John about writing for advertising in the modern day and the need for creative passion to write really good copy.

Templeberg Villa and Writers Victoria have announced a distinguished panel of judges for the inaugural Templeberg Residential Writing Fellowship.

headshot of Penni Russon

I am thirteen. My best friend since prep, Zoe, has gone away for five months to Europe and America. I get postcards from Spain, Italy, New York. In the meantime, I need friends, quick; a flock I can conceal myself in at recess and lunch, somewhere between the soccer oval and the flat grey river. Protective colouration. Failing that, I will kiss boys.

Cover of Gurrumul: his life and music

We’re on the 13th floor of a glass tower in Elizabeth Street, Sydney, a couple of kilometres as the crow flies from where white settlers first set foot on the Australian continent.

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, the Yolngu singer and composer, famous – these days – all over the world, is standing beside a long table on which 60 copies of a big, glossy book are stacked in piles of five.