The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

Stories to escape

Before computers, when we used pens, I had a boil-like bump on my fuck-you finger from pressing the pen too hard. That was even before I wrote my first piece of fiction, a runaway story where I took shelter in a Brotherhood bin.

A photo of Dulcie Stone Writing Award winners Jessica Tomkins (left) and Jennifer Tomkins (right) with Dulcie Stone. Photo: Paul Dunn

Six writers have been named as the winners of this year’s Dulcie Stone Writing Awards at a recent ceremony at The Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. The awards for writers with intellectual disability are presented by VALiD and Writers Victoria, and in their second year attracted more than sixty written and illustrated stories on the theme ‘Community – Here I Come!’

Judges Paul Dunn from VALiD and Writers Victoria’s Write-ability Coordinator Harriet Gaffney were impressed by the ability of the entries to draw the reader into the authors’ worlds.

The transition from ‘writer’ to ‘author’ is strewn with rejection emails. Being proactive, resilient and willing to learn from your mistakes will serve you well on your path towards publication. A healthy dose of optimism doesn’t hurt either. I have just completed my first career plan at an age when some of my friends are considering retirement.

The Gothic writer must know their genre thoroughly. This does not mean following a template because Gothic is as much an aesthetic, a feel, an atmosphere as it is a strictly defined genre. Gothic fiction has few rules as it is characterised by illusion, equivocation and subversion. Therefore, understanding the Gothic largely relies on experiencing it, immersing yourself in the genre; taking from the texts elements which best suit or resonate with your writing.

Being a long-term diabetic and a photographer, I always felt I’d been given a rum deal. Here I was: a visual with little time for the written word who had to attend clinics with monikers like endocrinology, nephrology, cardiology, haematology and ophthalmology. I still can’t spell them without checking, of course, but their meanings have become crystal clear, particularly that last beauty.

We are pleased to announce the finalists of our recent Pencilled In Commissions call-out.

Christine Sun with her essay 'On Asian Australian Writers and 'Own Voices''. 

Attendees at Adelaide Tracks

Calling all young storytellers in the Bendigo region! We're delighted to be partnering with our friends at Express Media to bring a travelling pop-up program for young writers to you in August. 

I was twelve when I first held in my shaking hands an envelope postmarked from a writing competition I had entered. I can still remember unfolding the letter to see those words I have coveted ever since:

Dear Kate,

Congratulations!

‘When another writer in another house is not free, no writer is free.’ – Orhan Pamuk

Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton have their ‘Treehouse’, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, the ‘Illuminae Files’. Heck, even father daughter writing duo Tom and Meg Keneally share ‘The Monsarrat’ series. There are so many famous creative collaborations in Australian publishing, and fine examples of how some of our best and most creative minds have melded together to build incredible bookish worlds. But collaboration in publishing goes so far beyond just co-authors, or authors and illustrators and the final partnering we see on the cover.