The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

Jane Godwin headshot

When writing a picture book, "The idea doesn’t have to be original, but the author's way of treating it does," says tutor Jane Godwin. Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Jane about how picture book writing isn't as simple as it seems.

2017 has been a big year for South Asian women in Western media. Previously, they have rarely been cast as main characters in pop culture. Western audiences first received a taste of the subcontinent in 2004’s ‘Bride and Prejudice’ starring Aishwariya Rai.

Wayne Macauley headshot

"In a short story everything has to be working towards exploring and illuminating your central idea with the minimum words and maximum intensity," says tutor Wayne Macauley. Ahead of his upcoming workshop, we talked to Wayne about what makes a short story great.

After attending two literary festivals in the UNESCO City of Literature: Emerging Writers’ Festival (EWF) and Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF), I wanted to find out if I would have the same immersive, diverse and welcoming experience at genre-related conferences and conventions. What would a genre convention look like? Would it be as diverse, engaging and festive as EWF and MWF?

Andrew Nette headshot

Done well, crime fiction can be one of the most effective genres for talking about social issues and the problems of society, says tutor Andrew Nette. Ahead of his upcoming workshop, we talked to Andrew about what makes crime fiction so thrilling.

The Tonberry sat far out on one limb of a second-hand armchair. His yellow eyes were large and brave but since his designers hadn’t given him a mouth, his expression was mournful.

You look sad, said the Doll from her place on the floor below him. The persons have gone out and left you in a perilous place.

Ellie Marney headshot

When choosing to self-publish, "People often assume that you can slap something together and hit Publish," says tutor Ellie Marney. Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Ellie about the importance of being organised, doing the research, and most importantly, writing a book that readers will love.

Your native tongue is fragmented, buried under an overuse of English. It comes out when you least expect it, when you can’t bottle up your emotions. It pours out when you are stuck in traffic – the elaborate and untranslatable curses which make you giggle when you think of their literal meaning in English, you rotting piece of rubbish, you fat sow, you rotten bitch. Or there is ‘budala’, the versatile jackpot of Macedonian insults, a blend of idiot, crazy, stupid, moron.

Shivaun Plozza headshot

"What connects an intellectual understanding of story to the ability to construct one," says tutor Shivaun Plozza, "is tied up in soliciting and digesting quality feedback." Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Shivaun about how to give an receive feedback effectively, and the role it can play in fine-tuning your writing.

(Warning: this article contains fictional graphic violence involving a child)

He would do Alison first. She was the oldest. Jane would be next, baby Felix last. Hugh Anderson paced the lounge room, clenching his fists. Orange light drenched his home, pooling on the floor, splashing the walls.