The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

Photo of Deborah Cass

The Deborah Cass Writing Prize was established to support unpublished authors whose work reflects on the migrant experience.

Writers Victoria received 56 submissions, which included  poetry, plays, memoir, fiction, and non-fiction. Members of the organising committee for the Deborah Cass prize agreed on this shortlist (countries in brackets feature in their submission):

Meme that reads 'Without your health you have nothing' with 'nothing' crossed out

My neighbour's growling four-wheel drive reverses past our headboard. Thin walls and a driveway less than a metre from our bedroom negating any need for an alarm clock. Pavlovian instinct kicks in triggering my first curse of the morning. An unsteady hand extends from the covers. Sausage fingers stabbing at the screen turning off flight mode. If I squint and close one eye I can mostly deal with the little flashing light. The phone vibrates and messages by the dozen begin to arrive. It's too early. Pre-caffeinated me can't process that level of interaction.

Photo of a smiling Claire with blue hair

How do you define disability? What does it mean to you, and why?

For a long time I mostly saw disability through the eyes of an able-bodied person with little experience of that world, until I realised it was broader than I imagined and I belonged in it.  I had thought that disability would be obvious; there would be visual cues such as mobility aids, Auslan being used, white canes and service dogs - I thought that disability was mostly something you could see, which meant that chronic illness was illness, not disability.  That was then.

Photo of a staircase in shadow

Ashlee Bye was a Write-ability Fellow in 2015. She read this extract from 'Out of the Shadows' at the Write-ability Salon (Nothing About Us, Without Us) at The Wheeler Centre in December 2015.

Sarah Vincent investigates why it’s important to know what level your writing career is at.

Why does everyone want to know what stage you’re at as a writer? Does it matter? Some days I’m at “Wohoo!”; some days it’s “Who am I kidding?” and some days it’s “Throwing my computer out the window, why didn’t I become a nurse like my sister cause she gets double time on Sundays.”

In an agency that represents 65 creators across literary and commercial fiction, non-fiction, YA, series fiction and books for younger readers, as well as picture books, the work is varied and always interesting.

Photo of Harriet Gaffney in front of patterned wallpaper

Writers Victoria’s Write-ability program has been built around the importance of self-told stories, disability leadership and peer support — creating opportunities for even the quietest voices to be heard.

Now in its third year, Write-ability has grown to include a regional focus with Geelong-based Harriet Gaffney as our first regional project officer.

Photo of Hazel Rowley in bushland

Applications are now open for the 2016 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship.

Now in its fifth year, the fellowship commemorates the life, ideas and writing of Hazel Rowley (1951–2011) and awards $10,000 to an emerging or established Australian writer to support research and development of a new biographical work.

The Fellowship encourages writers to immerse themselves in their subject’s lives and culture.

What are some of the key, important differences between an agent you would regard as great at her/his job, and an agent who is not-so-great?

Photo of Jax-Jacki Brown in her wheelchair

Five writers with disability will receive six hours of free mentoring with authors, assessors and industry experts through the third annual Write-ability Fellowships announced this week.

Fellowships were awarded to writers working in a range of styles and genres, including creative fiction, memoir and non-fiction journalism.

Emerging writer Naomi Fryers will work with outgoing Director of the Emerging Writers Festival, Sam Twyford-Moore, over the next two months.