The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

A stylised graphic in shades of green that features the text '2022 Season 1 Program'

To start the flow of creative juices for this introductory piece to the Writers Victoria 2022 Program, I went back to the end of 2020 to see what words of wisdom I’d had for the beginning of 2021. Conclusively proving I haven’t a prescient bone in my body, I wrote of eased restrictions and falling numbers, re-entering and re-engaging with the world. It was a hopeful and optimistic piece that spoke of the many ways that the past can mark us and how we carry those marks on our bodies into the future. It also strongly delineated between the then and the now.

A photo of a laptop with various people in squares on the screen as if they are in a Zoom session; and houseplant to the right and in front of it, with green leaves and vines. The plant is in focus and the laptop is slightly blurred in the background.

When Covid-19 arrived, the writing community searched for an alternative to in-person events. This led to widespread use of video conferencing, opening up the literary world to a much wider audience. As we move forward with Covid-19 and the writing community increasingly returns to in-person activities, are we in danger of losing a crucial insight?

 

The Deborah Cass Prize for Writing

At an online awards ceremony held last night, 17 November, the 2021 Deborah Cass Prize for Writing was awarded to Bryant Apolonio for his story ‘Independencia’.

Apolonio, a Filipino-Australian writer and lawyer living on Larrakia Land (also known as Darwin), was chosen as the winner of the Prize from a shortlist of nine writers. Bryant receives $3,000 and a mentorship to assist in further development of his work.

Emily Bitto

Emily Bitto is a Melbourne-based writer of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Her debut novel, 'The Strays', was the winner of the 2015 Stella Prize. Her fiction, poetry and non-fiction has appeared in various publications, and she has been teaching creative writing for over a decade. Her second novel 'Wild Abandon' was published to acclaim in September 2021.

Fiona Murphy

Fiona Murphy is an award-winning deaf poet and essayist based in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Age, Kill Your Darlings, Overland, The Saturday Paper, Griffith Review, The Big Issue, among many other publications. Her debut memoir, ‘The Shape of Sound’, was released by Text Publishing in March 2021.

Fiona spoke to Writers Victoria intern Amy Bullow about her stunning debut ‘The Shape of Sound’ and her thoughts on the process of putting together short and long-form work.

 

Tim Williams

Tim Williams was a 2020 Writeability Fellow, and worked from Melbourne with mentor Tim Hobart in New South Wales on his screenplay ‘Splint’. Fulfilling fellowships remotely was a particular challenge for our fellows, who took part in workshops and received manuscript assessments, as well as working with mentors on their projects. In this Q&A with both Tims, we explore the mentorship from both of their perspectives.

 


 

Mentor: Tim Hobart

 

Virtual Writer in Residence

This November we are welcoming ten writers from across the UNESCO City of Literature network to Melbourne! From poets to playwrights, this program, run by the Melbourne City of Literature office, will introduce Melbourne’s vibrant and varied literary community to writers across the world.

The Deborah Cass Prize for Writing

The Deborah Cass Prize and Writers Victoria are pleased to announce that nine writers have been shortlisted for the seventh annual Deborah Cass Prize. The prize is focussed on development and provides $3,000 and a mentorship to an unpublished writer, who has either migrated to Australia or has a parent who migrated here.
 

A photo of Heidi Everett sitting in front of Australian landscape - a lake or small body of water, gum trees, small brush are in the background. Heidi is to the left of the picture, wearing a short-sleeved geen top, with her blonde hair tied back in a ponytail and a fringe. She is giving a small smile and looking directly at the camera.

Heidi Everett is an artist, creative workshop facilitator, mental health recovery advocate, social impact facilitator, and projects and events innovator in Melbourne, Australia. ‘My Friend Fox’ is her first book. 

Heidi spoke with our Interim Writeability Program Manager, Jess Obersby, about her incredible new debut ‘My Friend Fox’ and all things writing neurodiversity.

 

I know you’ve been asked this question in many other interviews, but what drew you to write a book? 

The 2021 Grace Marion Wilson Writeability Fellowships

Writers Victoria is excited to announce our 2021 Writeability Fellows. Since 2013, thanks to the support of the Grace Marion Wilson Trust, we have recognised outstanding writers with disability annually as part of the Writeability Fellowship Program. In 2021 we are grateful to the Grace Marion Wilson Trust and an anonymous donor for their contributions, allowing us to continue our important work with the Writeability Fellowships.