The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

Your much-loved and award-winning novel 'The Bone Sparrow' was about a child in a refugee camp. 'The Ones That Disappeared' is about three trafficked children searching for freedom and hope. When you get an idea for a book, what come first – the issue or the characters?

'Her' begins in 1909 and spans ten years. The book explores a dark side of history, especially women and girls battling poverty and violence. What drew you to write this tale?

'The Girl From Munich' is your debut historical fiction novel. It tells the story of Lotte who grew up indoctrinated, at school and through The League of German Girls, to give her all to the Third Reich. After World War II, when her wealth and privilege is stripped away and Germany falls to the Allied forces, Lotte sees the horror of Hitler’s Germany and the terrible consequences of the war.

Your latest book follows the tourist-laden vessel Java Ridge as it encounters the asylum seeker boat Takalar off the coast of Indonesia. Takalar is headed for Australia but runs into engine trouble and becomes desperate for help. Did you find 'On the Java Ridge' an emotional book to write?

'Australia Day' is an engrossing short story collection that won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript in 2016. The book charters the experiences of everyday citizens and the circumstances that can make them feel stuck, stagnant or alone. It represents the cultural fusion and diverse social structures that inform Australia as we currently know it. When did you decide these stories were destined for the ‘Australia Day’ collection?

Your first novel 'Laurinda' was a comment on friendships and the hierarchy amongst private school girls. The book won the Ethel Turner Prize for Young Adult’s Literature at the 2016 New South Wales Premier’s Literature Awards. Your new book for Black Inc.’s ‘Writers on Writers’ series explores the life and influence of Australia’s literary treasure, John Marsden. How did Marsden’s own work impact your writing of 'Laurinda'?

Welcome to our monthly brag about our Writers Victoria community members who have won awards, been shortlisted or longlisted for writing prizes or received industry recognition.

Round 1 of the Neilma Sidney Travel Fund received 205 applications, requesting a total of $1,215,738.38 in grant money.

The judges (Robert Watkins from Hachette, Warren Bonnet from Embiggen Books and writer Toni Jordan) were thrilled with the quality and scope of the applications. They awarded $49,967 to 10 applicants.

“It devastated me,” says Sofie Laguna of Nick Broomfield’s film about American serial killer Aileen Wuornos, who was convicted of killing six men and executed by lethal injection in 2002. It wasn’t, however, the obvious discomfort such a film would provoke that disturbed Laguna, instead it was the grim, desperate, dreadful childhood that Aileen endured.

Indulge Apartments, Mildura

Once again, Writers Victoria is having a Subscriber-thon for the whole month of October 2017.

Everyone who joins or renews their membership in October goes into the draw to win our amazing major, weekly and daily prizes.

Check out the 40 prizes on offer below...