The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

Photo of Moreno Giovannoni reading at a microphone

Moreno Giovannoni was announced as the winner of the inaugural Deborah Cass Writing Prize at an event last night at Writers Victoria.

The Prize was established in honour of Melbourne writer Deborah Cass and aims to aims to help someone from a migrant background find a voice for themselves and be encouraged to finish and publish their work.

Giovannoni took out the prize for a part of the book he is writing called ‘Tales of San Ginese.’

The Australian Literary Agents’ Association (ALAA) represents more than one thousand established and emerging authors and illustrators across all sectors of the publishing industry. Along with many others in the publishing community, our members were shocked to hear that the federal government is considering the repeal of existing parallel importation restrictions (PIRs) on books. These restrictions prohibit booksellers from importing books from overseas when a local edition is available.

Photo of Hazel Rowley

Nine Australian writers have been shortlisted for the 2016 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship $10,000 award. 

In its fifth year, the Fellowship attracted an exceptionally strong field of high-quality proposals from writers and biographers across Australia.

Works about Australian writers, artists and visionaries feature in this year’s shortlist, which also includes European and American subjects.

Hole in bitchumen road, almost in the shape of a heart

Sarah Widdup was a Write-ability Fellow in 2014. She was host and guest speaker at the Write-ability Salon (Nothing About Us, Without Us) at The Wheeler Centre in December 2015.

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The Deborah Cass Writing Prize was established to support unpublished authors whose work reflects on the migrant experience.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

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.