Writing Tips and Tools

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

Picture of John Marsden

"The worst way to bring characters to life is to describe what they look like" says tutor WV John Marsden.

Picture of Dave O'Neil

"Get it out, you'll feel better" says WV tutor Dave O'Neil.

Dave O'Neil is a comedian who has written five books, hundreds of columns and worked on many TV shows including ‘Micallef’, ‘Full Frontal’, ‘Spicks and Specks’, ‘Littleton’ and ‘You’re Skitting Me’. His latest book is ‘The Summer of ‘82’.

Dave will be teaching a one day writing comedy workshop at Writers Victoria in March 2017.

Intro to Online Courses

Never tried a webinar? Not sure what’s out there to help you to learn writing skills online?

In this recording from a Writers Victoria webinar in February 2017, Kate Larsen introduces you to a range of digital writing courses and resources, and answers questions about writing or publishing.

Photo of Christos Tsiolkas in front of a Writers Victoria sign that reads: All about writers

At the Writers Victoria fundraiser in December 2016, Christos Tsiolkas talked to WVs Bernadette Schwerdt about his writing journey and first big breaks, and shared his tips and tricks for aspiring writers.

Hands typing on a laptop

What is Write Here? It’s pretty simple.

Groups around Australia meet on the first Saturday of each month to write for two hours, surrounded by other enthusiastic writers. Currently we have groups in Melbourne and Torquay as well as Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Launceston and Perth. 

They are easy to organise and during this time, what you write is entirely up to you and you’re not expected to share it with anyone else. It’s all about getting out of the house and getting some words down.

Photo of Robert Hillman at his desk

"You become a writer by writing," says WV tutor Robert Hillman.

Robert is the author of 10 collaborative biographies, including ‘The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif’, ‘My Life as a Traitor’, and ‘Shining – the Story of a Lucky Man’. His memoir, ‘The Boy in the Green Suit’ won the Australian National Biography Award in 2005. He is also the author of six novels, including ‘The Deepest Part of the Lake’ and ‘Joyful’. He is a full-time writer and lives in the Upper Yarra Valley.

Photo of Ali Alizadeh

"Poetry probably won't make you rich," says WV tutor Ali Alizadeh, "but it might just make you happy."

Ali's second collection of poetry, ‘Ashes in the Air’, was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. Ali is a lecturer in Creative Writing and Literary Studies at Monash University. His books include the controversial short story cycle ‘Transactions’ and the forthcoming historical novel ‘The Last Days of Jeanne d’Arc’.

Photo of Kelly Gardiner

"Don't think you have to have the whole story or poem or play in your head," says WV tutor Kelly Gardiner, "Just start."

Kelly’s novels include ‘Act of Faith’ and ‘The Sultan’s Eyes’, both of which were shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, and ‘Goddess’. Her next book, ‘1917’, is out in February. Kelly teaches creative writing at La Trobe University and her work has appeared in publications including ‘The New York Times’, ‘Marie Claire’ and ‘New Idea’. She is the co-host of ‘Unladylike’, a podcast on women and writing.

Photo of Tony Birch

"Write with humility and not ego-mania," says WV tutor Tony Birch. "Never read a review of your work. Always take your shoes off before you write."

Tony is the author of five books: ‘Shadowboxing’, ‘Father’s Day’, ‘Blood’, ‘The Promise’, and ‘Ghost River’. He is currently the Bruce McGuinness Research Fellow in the Moondani Balluk Academic Centre at Victoria University. His research is concerned with Climate Change and Indigenous knowledge.


Zana Fraillon

"Write as though no one will ever read a word of what you are writing," says WV tutor Zana Fraillon. "Be brave and fearless. Experiment and explore."

Zana is the author of eight books for children, including picture books, middle grade fiction and a young adult novel. Her latest book ‘The Bone Sparrow’ is about a young boy growing up in indefinite detention in an Australian detention centre, which has been which has been shortlisted for the international Guardian Children’s Fiction prize and the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2017.