The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

Legend has it that rain is on the way when black cockatoos are in flight. However, in Harriet McKnight’s debut novel, ‘Rain Birds’, the cockies don’t so much signify rain as they do an almighty shit storm.

Sarah Vincent reflects on her experience of the HARDCOPY program run by the ACT Writers Centre.

Every year at this time I bang on about a manuscript development program called HARDCOPY run by the ACT Writers centre. I was lucky enough to be accepted into the program in 2015 and it led directly to my memoir being picked up by an agent and published by Penguin Random House in 2017.

Applications for HARDCOPY 2018 are now open and close on March 16. Pass me my drum – it’s banging time.

Welcome to our monthly brag about our Writers Victoria community members who have won awards, been shortlisted or longlisted for writing prizes or received industry recognition.

A photo of Jess Walton

Awareness of disabled and marginalised writers in the publishing industry is increasing, but there’s still a long way to go, says Jessica Walton. Ahead of her Write-ability – Opportunities for Writers webinar, Jess talked to Writers Victoria about seeking out opportunities and the impact they can have on writing.

Writers with disability are hugely underrepresented in the industry. What can be done – from the grassroots level up – to help address this?

I am very grateful for the Women Writers of Colour Bursary provided by Writers Victoria, which enabled me to attend The Art of Criticism: Giving and Receiving Feedback workshop hosted by YA novelist, professional editor and manuscript assessor Shivaun Plozza in January.

I nod hello to the barista and settle into my usual seat. I’m about to pull out my book when I see two people signing. They are sitting two tables over. I can’t help but really look at them. Their hands are flying up and down, touching cheeks, chins, ears, elbows. They are conversing rapidly; they are exchanging smiles. 

I keep my hands under the table; they thrash about like freshly hooked fish. They can’t speak. I dig my nails into my palms to punish them. 

On January 26, the offices of the Emerging Writers’ Festival, Express Media, Melbourne Writers Festival and Writers Victoria will be open. 

Individual staff members at these organisations have chosen to work on January 26, and as a result the organisations will remain open. The organisations support their employees’ decisions to express solidarity with First Nations peoples in this way.

Spiri Tsintziras

Creating annual reports is daunting. The process can be derailed by challenging timelines, editing various writing styles to get a consistent voice, and the number of decision makers involved in sign off.

In the leadup to her Business Writing workshop on Annual Reports, communications specialist Spiri Tsintziras shares five tips on how to make project managing, writing and editing your organisation’s annual report as painless as possible.

Hazel Rowley

Eight Australian writers have been shortlisted for the 2018 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship worth $15,000. 

“It’s exciting to see such a wide range of writing proposals coming to us from around Australia, said Della Rowley, sister of biographer Hazel Rowley. “This year we reached a record number of applications and the quality and calibre of proposals has been outstanding”.

Thanks to a recent donation, Writers Victoria is running a series of professional development opportunities for women writers of colour and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. The initiative includes paid commissions in 'The Victorian Writer' and bursaries to attend select workshops in 2018. The second round of commissions and bursaries has been awarded to four applicants.


Paid commissions have been offered to two writers, for pieces to be published in upcoming issues of 'The Victorian Write'r.