The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

headshot of Lee Kofman

Even a writer is not an island. Most of us mix with other writers, either out of want or necessity. However, unsupervised encounters between writers may result in unintended injuries – external and internal. So here are some suggested rules for harm minimisation when associating with fellow scribes.

headshot of Kate Hood

An extract from Kate Hood's play Ruthie. Kate Hood was one of five writers with disability who received an inaugural write-ability fellowship.

headshot of Bethanie Blanchard

Our interview with WV tutor and mentor Bethanie Blanchard, a freelance writer and critic based in Melbourne.

The jester has been around since ancient times. In the Middle Ages jesters used to amuse the aristocracy with their quick-witted, cutting humour. They had a privileged position that allowed them to insult and openly criticise the elite and their extravagant lifestyle (something that would surely have landed any other social commentator in a dungeon). Not only was this behaviour accepted; it was expected as part of their role, and it was respected, too. 

headshot of Alison Croggon

Alison Croggon is one of Australia’s best-known theatre critics, as well as a poet, playwright, fantasy novelist and librettist. She spoke with us about where she writes and what the life of a theatre reviewer is really like.

headshot of Clovis Mwamba

Clovis Mwamba's refugee experience of fleeing across the Congo River.

headshot of Fatema Ahmed

Fatema Ahmed experience of writing about diaspora.

headshot of Lee Kofman

In some writers’ residencies, the duties of the resident writer may include appearing at local writers’ groups. In one such a group I attended, a writer read weekly from her novel-in-progress. On my first visit, she explained that the chapter she was reading introduces a pivotal plot twist where a protagonist reveals a shameful secret during a family dinner. However, it took two more weeks of reading instalments until we were finally let into the secret. Meantime, the dinner went on and on. For three weeks we listened to conversations about football and weather, and numerous requests to...

headshot of Lee Kofman

“Why do I write?” is a question I have asked myself more than once, particularly when I receive publishers’ rejections, or hear about some friend’s obscene corporate salary, or when I am paralyzed by fear before starting a new project, or lose faith in the work-in-progress I’ve been slaving over for some years, or when my pile of research notes reaches the height of Mount Everest – in absolute disproportion to the manuscript’s word count. In short, I often question my choice of dedicating my life to writing.

headshot of Benjamin Law

In the lead-up to his Life Writing and Memoir masterclass at Writers Victoria, we asked Benjamin Law about reading and writing memoir.