On Writing

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

It's a misconception that Young Adult writing is a watered-down version of literary fiction. We spoke to author Eli Glasman ahead of his Winter School workshop to find out why he loves YA and what adult fiction has to learn from its younger counterpart.

Forget all that literary terminology, Alex Fairhill has created a glossary for the street-smart writer.

advance A sum of money that may be offered to an author signing a contract with a publisher. Yes – ‘may’. Advances are not always offered and the author must earn more than that amount from sales before earning royalties.

Arnold Zable on letting a story take you where it wants you to go.


Story is an ancient art form. They stood by the campfire, the early storytellers, and gave shape to their experiences, and in doing this, they gave voice to the collective. The storyteller acquired their art through practice. Their tales took shape as they worked at them. They found the best ways to tell their stories by standing in front of an audience and seeing what worked through trial and error.

An introduction to apps and software for writers by Cory Zanoni.


Is something missing in your writing life?

Are you sick of looking at Microsoft Word? Fortunately, we live in a world of software and apps and there’s one for writing that’s just perfect for you. But with so many options available it can be hard to find the kind of writing software you need.

A few of our favourite writers share their go-to writing exercises.

Sandi Wallace has advice for aspiring series writers on wrangling character, continuity – and URST.


The desire to bring writers and readers together is what drives Australian independent publishing, says Transit Lounge co-founder, Barry Scott.

Judith Rodriguez reports from the International Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee.


I’ve just attended the PEN International conference of its International Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee, held in India with its 27 official languages.

A survivor’s guide to writing historical fiction when you can’t afford a research trip by Wendy J Dunn.


Let me begin by telling you a story.

A few years back I went to see another acclaimed production of ‘Hamlet’. It was okay, though Hamlet looked a bit too just-outof-bed for me and Ophelia had one of those universal accents acquired from television, such that I expected her at any moment to say ‘OMG! That’s awesome!’ But that’s all by-the-by, because it’s the words we go for, isn’t it? Those oh-so-famous speeches that half the audience knows by heart – what pressure to deliver those and hope to satisfy!