The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

In 2012, the Grace Marion Wilson Trust supported a Playwrights' Fellowship to assist emerging Victorian playwrights.

This inaugural fellowship will be overseen by internationally acclaimed Melbourne playwright, Raimondo Cortese.

Six successful fellows were chosen. They are Andrew Frederik Harmsen, Carly Beth Nugent, Diane Stubbings, Didem Caia, Kieran Carroll and Simon Godfrey.

Photo of Siraje Kifamunyanja wearing a suit

Ugandan refugee Siraje Kifamunyanja will launch a book this weekend thanks to the support of Writers Victoria and the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Ecumenical Migration Centre (EMC).

Kifamunyanja wanted to share his story of imprisonment in Uganda and needed help to tell it.

Writers Victoria connected him with EMC to get the story down, edited the book and provided a place to launch it.

Interior of a bookshop

For some writers, the idea of promoting their book makes them want to quietly vomit into their hand. “Why should I have to promote my book?” they cry. “Surely the work speaks for itself!” I get where they’re coming from. We’re writers because we’re the kind of people who like to edit the hell out of ourselves. We’re not good at that whole “spontaneous” thing, or that “talking in front of massive crowds” caper.

Kerry Loughrey performs on stage into a microphone, one arm flung into the air

Forty poets descended upon the stage of Trades Hall’s Bella Union bar to see whose poetry would reign supreme and claim the 2012 Doris Leadbetter Poetry Cup.

In the first round all forty competitors hammered out a poem in sixty seconds or less, and the ten best moved on to a final round where they each performed a poem in two minutes or less. While the night was hosted by MC Michelle Dabrowski, the three judges to impress were the esteemed Alicia Sometimes, Matt Hetherington and Sean M Whelan.

Writers Victoria congratulates the winner of the 2012 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. Graeme Simsion took the gong for his manuscript, ‘The Rosie Project’.

Graeme was announced as the winner of the prize at the launch of ‘The Emerging Writer’ as part of the Emerging Writers’ Festival on 1 June. He receives a cash award of $15,000 as well as $1,000 worth of professional development support from Writers Victoria.

Drawing of Julia Arnold

On 14 March at the Wheeler Centre, Mary Hoban was announced as the winner of the inaugural Hazel Rowley Memorial Fellowship.

Mary’s project is a biography of Julia Arnold (nee Sorrel, 1826-1888). Julia lived through many important moments of early Tasmanian history at the same time as being connected and related to many important literary and political figures including grandsons Aldous and Julian Huxley and her father-in-law Thomas Arnold, famous headmaster of Rugby School.


Hugh Kiernan's very successful mentoring experience made possible by the Grace Marion Wilson Mentoring Project (Non-fiction).

"I know a fair bit about my own writing. I have published books and stories. I read with the aim of building my knowledge. I read a lot. I feel I have to write certain things because then they might come true. I write a lot. And I have these surprising urges to tell the truth. The problem is: I still can’t see the back of my own head. Damn it.

Photo of  Inez Baranay in front of a bookshelf

Inez Baranay, our Year of the Novel tutor, answers 10 quick questions about being a novelist, writing rooms and resembling the Red Queen.

Photo of Hazel Rowley in bushland

The Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship was established in 2011 to encourage Australian authors to attain a high standard of biography writing and to commemorate the life, ideas and writing of Hazel Rowley (1951–2011). Biography writers were invited to apply for a literary fellowship up to the value of $10,000.

Writers Victoria congratulates the shortlisted applicants: Patrick Allington, Martin Edmond, Mary Hoban, Anne Houen, Heather Long, Chris Pash, Loretta Smith, Michelle Scott Tucker and Sally Percival Wood.

The second round of Rosebank Fellowships were awarded in September to Laurie Steed, Lyndel Caffrey, Shannon Murdoch and Anne Elvey.

Shannon Murdoch will work on the first draft of a new full-length play Cut for Stone, set in the world of science and scientific discovery and focussing on the identity of failure and its relationship to success.