The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

I am a Palyku woman who comes from generations rich in story. Many of those stories were carried on the inside. Many had to be; for in a colonised land, it was not safe for Indigenous voices to speak. We had much taken from us, including our stories, which continue to be appropriated still. My work is given many labels, such as ‘young adult’, ‘speculative fiction’ and ‘literature’. But all these words come from Western story traditions. What do they mean to me, an Aboriginal writer?

Nada Kirkwood, outgoing Committee of Management (CoM) member, reflects on the experience on being on the CoM, and offers advice to those intending to nominate ahead of this year's AGM.

Italian-born Mark Brandi graduated with a criminal justice degree and worked in the justice system before changing careers and becoming a writer. His debut novel Wimmera won the British Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger and was named Best Debut in the 2018 Australian Indie Book Awards. It was also shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards Literary Fiction Book of the Year and the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year.

Writers Victoria is delighted to announce Melbourne-based writer Nancy Langham-Hooper as the recipient of the first Only Connect Digital Writer Residency for Carers for 2019.

Nancy has lived in the USA, UK and Australia and holds a PhD in art history. She is the primary carer for a child with a disability.

Girls are funny. I say that because my female pals can lighten up even the heaviest of days. I say that because, when I teach and visit schools, I witness girls making each other laugh until they cry.

Before you are a debut author, you spend all your time hoping that you’ll become one – that all your toiling away, locked in a little room with your paper and pen, or your laptop, will finally produce a work of art that a publisher will read and think, ‘yes, we simply must to publish this’.

The recent increase in online mentoring and pitching events has opened new pathways for Australian writers to gain exposure to overseas industry contacts and expand their writing community. But, as with all opportunities, it’s important to ensure it’s right for you and your work.

The years between writing my books and having them published are quite far apart. The first draft of ‘Ida’ was written in 2011 and the book was published in 2017; ‘Highway Bodies’ was written in 2013 and has just been published. The writing of both first drafts was very similar, but the editing processes were very different.

Hazel Rowley outdoors

Eight Australian writers have been shortlisted for the 2019 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship worth $15,000.  

The Fellowship, now in its eighth year, has attracted a field of high-quality proposals from biographers across Australia.

“I’m so encouraged by the range and quality of the proposals we received,” said Della Rowley, sister of biographer Hazel Rowley. “Hazel would have been impressed and excited to read about these fascinating subjects.”

Lee Kofman is a Russian-born, Israeli-Australian writer. She wrote the critically-acclaimed memoir ‘The Dangerous Bride’ (Melbourne University Press, 2014), co-edited the anthology of personal essays ‘Rebellious Daughters’ (Ventura Press, 2016), and her short works have been widely published in Australia, UK, Scotland, Israel, Canada and US, including in ‘Best Australian Essays 2012’; and her blog was a finalist for Best Australian Blogs 2014. Her latest release is the creative non-fiction book ‘Imperfect’ (Affirm Press), published...