Writing Tips and Tools

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

Photo of Carmel Bird in front of an ornate wire fence

“Give up housework, and treat writing as the most important task in your life,” suggests WV tutor Carmel Bird.

Carmel has written many novels and collections of short stories. She has edited collections of essays and also of short stories. Two of her popular books on writing are ‘Writing the Story of Your Life’, which concerns the writing of memoir, and ‘Dear Writer Revisited’, which is about writing fiction.

headshot of Alice Pung

“You do not really need a ‘special’ place to write,” says WV tutor Alice Pung.

Alice is the award-winning Melbourne author of ‘Unpolished Gem’, ‘Her Father’s Daughter’ and ‘Growing Up Asian in Australia’. Her work has been published in ‘The Age’, ‘The Monthly’, ‘Good Weekend’ and ‘The Australian’.

Photo of Peter Rose standing at a lecturn with microphones

In a talk for Writers Victoria in March 2014, poet, memoirist and editor Peter Rose spoke about the daily necessity of poetry.

In this extract, Peter shares his insights on drafting, fashionable forms, poetry publishing opportunities and more.

Peter Rose is the author of the award-winning family memoir Rose Boys (2001), just reissued as a Text Classic. His latest novel is Roddy Parr (Fourth Estate, 2010).

Photo of Toni Jordan

“‘Write what you know’ is the single worst piece of writing advice,” thinks WV tutor Toni Jordan.

Toni’s debut novel, Addition, was shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferis Award and longlisted for the Miles Franklin in 2009, and has been published in seventeen countries.

headshot of Laurent Boulanger

“Mastering the craft of writing is an endless process,” says WV tutor Dr Laurent Boulanger, “that needs to be driven from a writer’s heartfelt passion for the written word.”

Laurent has been teaching scriptwriting at Swinburne University since 2004.

headshot of Max Allen

“Before you start writing, plan and prepare,” suggests WV tutor Max Allen. “Picture the shape of the story, the form…”

Max is an award-winning journalist and author who has been writing about wine for over 20 years.

Photo of AS Patric

“The narrative question is the best way to create a compelling read,” says WV tutor AS Patric.

AS Patric is the award winning author of Las Vegas for Vegans, a story collection shortlisted in the 2013 Queensland Literary Awards for the Steele Rudd Award.

headshot of Jarad Henry

“Accept that revision and re-writing are part of the process,” says WV tutor Jarad Henry, “and read what you want to write!”

Jarad has worked in the justice system for 15 years and is an expert in hate crime and human trafficking, and regularly speaks at conferences and seminars across Australia.

headshot of Mel Campbell

“Your mental images, silly jokes and idle thoughts are the germs of finished work,” says WV tutor Mel Campbell.

Mel is a freelance journalist and cultural critic.

headshot of Michelle Aung Thin

For WV tutor Michelle Aung Thin, “setting is vital – character and story need a place and a time.”

Michelleis the author of the novel The Monsoon Bride. She has also written essays, short fiction and advertising.