Writing Tips and Tools

Get tips, tricks and tools on the craft of writing.

Image of a hashtag as a Chinese character

In September, I travelled to Beijing to participate in the inaugural Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature and check out the Chinese literary scene.

There are 1.35 billion people in China. The equivalent of half of Australia’s entire population lives in Beijing alone. In a literary context, that makes for big reading audiences with a big appetite for works for translation.

Tony Birch speaking from a lecturn with microphones

In this talk for Writers Victoria in June 2014, author Tony Birch said that asking whether non-Indigenous writers should write about Indigenous characters is the wrong question.

Tony is the author of Shadowboxing (2006), Father’s Day (2009) and Blood (2011), which was shortlisted for the 2012 Miles Franklin award.

Photo of Dmetri Kakmi with an eye mask and a low-brimmed hat

“Great horror writing can be great literature,” says WV tutor Dmetri Kakmi.

Dmetri is a writer and radio broadcaster. For 15 years he worked as a senior editor at Penguin Books. His memoir ‘Mother Land’ was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards; and is published in England and Turkey.

Photo of Yannick Thoraval

Yannick Thoraval came in to chat to us about speechwriting, which is the theme of his upcoming Summer School workshop in January.

Yannick is a professional communications advisor, with more than seven years of speechwriting experience. He teaches in the Professional Writing and Editing Program at RMIT.

 

Photo of Robert Hillman in front of a bookshelf

“The most important quality you can bring to the task of writing is persistence,” says WV tutor Robert Hillman, “not just for a year, or even ten years, but forever.”

Robert has been writing fiction and non-fiction for thirty years, including six works of fiction, six biographies and a memoir, ‘The Boy in the Green Suit’, which won the Australian National Biography Award in 2005.

Tony Birch, wearing thick-framed glasses speaking from a lecturn with microphones

In this talk for Writers Victoria in June 2014, author Tony Birch spoke about writing place or setting from an Indigenous perspective.

In this extract, Tony shares his thoughts on storytelling, place-naming, ‘tanderrum’ and more…

Tony is the author of Shadowboxing (2006), Father’s Day (2009) and Blood (2011), which was shortlisted for the 2012 Miles Franklin award.

Read your work aloud, suggests WV tutor Trischa Mann, “You’ll spot lots of things you didn’t notice before.”

Trischa has been editing all kinds of work since 1990, from cookbooks and novels to poetry and textbooks.

Photo of Claire Scobie with a small bronze statue of a Thai dancer

“It is through empathy that we care about your characters and will keep turning the pages,” says WV tutor Claire Scobie.

Claire is the award-winning author of ‘Last Seen in Lhasa’ and ‘The Pagoda Tree’, chosen by ‘Good Reading’ magazine as one of their Best Fiction Reads 2013.

headshot of Spiri Tsintziras

“It's okay for the first draft to be therapy,” says WV tutor Spiri Tsintziras.

Spiri has written several books including ‘Afternoons in Ithaka’, a memoir of self-discovery, family, connection and the power of a tomato. Her memoir writings have been published in newspapers, magazines and anthologies.

Craig Sherborne

Even a handful of words every day can add up to a book by the end of the year, says WV tutor Craig Sherborne.

Craig’s novel The Amateur Science of Love won the 2012 Melbourne Prize for Writing and was shortlisted for the NSW and Victorian Premier’s Awards.