On Writing

Writers, editors, agents, publishers and more share their thoughts, experiences and stories.

Your native tongue is fragmented, buried under an overuse of English. It comes out when you least expect it, when you can’t bottle up your emotions. It pours out when you are stuck in traffic – the elaborate and untranslatable curses which make you giggle when you think of their literal meaning in English, you rotting piece of rubbish, you fat sow, you rotten bitch. Or there is ‘budala’, the versatile jackpot of Macedonian insults, a blend of idiot, crazy, stupid, moron.

(Warning: this article contains fictional graphic violence involving a child)

He would do Alison first. She was the oldest. Jane would be next, baby Felix last. Hugh Anderson paced the lounge room, clenching his fists. Orange light drenched his home, pooling on the floor, splashing the walls.

Part of the role of being a good agent is to stay on top of what publishers are looking for – the publishing trends. It is not as easy as looking at the bestseller list, however, because by the time a trend reaches the reader, agents and publishers are already looking for the next big thing.

A few years ago a wit wrote a piece describing the grief that would be heaped on Charles Dickens by his publishers if he were he writing in today’s market. The imagined dialogue went along these lines: ‘So, Charles, what are you working on now? A sequel to ‘The Pickwick Papers?’’ The writer imagined the increasing dismay of modern publishers confronted by the bleak social satire of ‘Oliver Twist’, followed by historical fiction and even – horrors – a ghost story.

George Ivanoff headshot

Writing for the education market, says tutor George Ivanoff, has lead to a career filled with variety and ongoing learning. Ahead of his upcoming workshop, we talked to George about following briefs, meeting deadlines, and comparing boats to blue whales!

People networking

Sarah Vincent hasn't always been a natural networker, but now she loves the opportunity to meet interesting people in the writing and publishing world. Ahead of How to... Network, a free workshop for Writers Victoria members, Sarah talks about her experiences (good and bad), proving that even wallflowers can learn to (net)work it, baby!

A photograph of Carly Findlay

Carly Findlay began her writing career as a blogger and is now in the process of finishing her first book. We spoke to Carly ahead of her upcoming Pathways to Publication webinar about her own road to publication, which has included television appearances, a high social media profile, and fighting discrimination against disabled people.

Eli Glasman headshot

"Being able to plan, whether in detail or just an outline, is a critical skill to have," says tutor Eli Glasman. Ahead of his upcoming workshop, we talked to Eli about how mapping out your plot can help you recognise traps in your writing, before you become stuck in them.

Lee Kofman headshot

Fiction, creative non-fiction - whatever it is you write, once you've found your unique voice, there'll be no holding you back. Ahead of her upcoming workshop, Lee Kofman, author of memoir ‘The Dangerous Bride’ spoke with Writers Victoria intern, Michelle McLaren about getting in touch with your voice as a writer.

Sophie Cunningham headshot

You can't understand the present without thinking about the past, says tutor Sophie Cunnningham. Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Sophie about finding points of connection with the present, to inform writing about history.