The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

Sara Bannister has been writing for years. But, she asks, can she call herself an emerging writer yet?

 

There’s a particular type of magical thinking employed by short story writers. This story will find a home in the magazine of my dreams. My lack of profile, the number of submissions they receive, networks and nepotism – all irrelevant. Quality will win out. This story will not languish in my Submittable list or in a slush pile. This one will be longlisted, shortlisted, then win the prize. I might be offered a publishing deal, like the woman who wrote ‘Cat Person’, the one who was published in 'The New Yorker'.

Getting published

When I was eighteen, I joined a troupe of amateur actors. My first (and only) performance was a pastorela, a play representing the birth of Jesus. I played the role of the angel who guided Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and accompanied them during their first days as parents. We rehearsed for a month. I didn’t have many lines but needed to position myself at the centre of the stage with my arms spread wide, showing off my shimmering wings. The lighting technicians would illuminate the wings, casting golden light on the nativity scene.

– Runner-up of the 2018 Grace Marion Wilson Prize for Fiction –

Ahead of her workshop on 16 Rules of Writing Memoir, Sarah Vincent writes about how to manage bitterness, anger and hurt in memoir writing. 

Years ago I did a workshop on memoir writing with the great memoir writer and teacher Patti Miller. Her workshop was full of terrific advice, but one thing she said in particular has stuck with me …

“There are two things readers of memoir will not put up with: bitterness and self-pity,” she said.

A photo oj Jax Jacki Brown in a wheelchair, holding a phone and wearing a black T-shirt with pink text reading 'Piss on pity'.

Jax Jacki Brown has been at the forefront of increasing the prominence of writers with disability in publishing. Ahead of our Own Voices: Why Writing Matters forum in Wodonga, she talks about change, the importance of stories, and her involvement in WV’s new Publishability program.

The short story enables writers to focus on the particular, the initimate, and the fleeting, says Roanna Gonsalves. Ahead of her workshop in October, Amelia Theodorakis asked Roanna about storytelling cultures, literary selfies, power and self-representation.

Writers Vic's Ellen O'Brien spoke to Rafeif Ismail ahead of her workshop: Writing and Intersectionality.

In your workshop, participants will learn about intersectionality and how to write diverse characters and characters of colour in a respectful way. Could you tell us a bit about intersectionality and who you think will benefit from your workshop?

A portrait Vikki Petraitis

Everyone likes a gritty true crime story. So where do you start if you want to write one? After 25 years of crime writing, best-selling author Vikki Petraitis shows us the hidden underbelly of real crime writing.

Ahead of her September workshop How to Write and Sell True Crime, Vikki gives us a hint of what it takes to write a great story – choosing a captivating story, navigating the tricky territory of real crime writing and why women crime writers are coming out on top!

Writers Victoria will launch a new digital writers-in-residence program for carers in 2019, thanks to an arts grant from the City of Melbourne.

‘Only Connect: Digital Residencies for Writers Who Are Carers’ will provide six-month, digital writer-in-residence and professional development programs for two Victorian writers who face significant barriers to participation in the writing community due to their primary role as carers.