The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

Some of Australia’s most remarkable and inspiring stories stem from true life. Told in voices plain, ornate, and everything in between, first-person accounts serve many purposes and begin from diverse places. A great number of successful books are sparked by the writer’s curiosity about a detail of family, which has always been puzzling or unspoken: a gap in the records. Others explore a powerful and cherished relationship. Yet others stem from a profound bond with place. And some stories arise from a terrible loss or tragedy.

I begin every talk I ever give – no matter what the subject – by telling people they need to have something worth selling. It applies to agents, publishers, and authors. The best description of something worth selling is: a good story, well told. This applies to fiction, narrative non-fiction and children’s books.

Birthday candles spell out 'Happy Birthday'

When Noel Turnbull was invited to the North Melbourne Meat Market to meet with Chris Wallace-Crabbe and Joel Becker in 2002, he thought the Victorian Writers Centre [as Writers Victoria was known at the time] was looking for help to raise some money.

Being invited to follow in the footsteps of the organisation’s matron,...

Do you have a manuscript in your ‘bottom drawer’? One that you promised yourself that you would finish, polish, and get out to agents and/or publishers this year?

Now it’s October. . . The year is almost over and you’re keen to make good on that New Year’s resolution and get it onto someone’s desk before midnight this New Year’s Eve.


Could there be a better time to make your submission?

a box with gift wrapping

Writers Victoria, RMIT and Affirm Press are pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural WRAP Synopsis Prize.

The first prize went to Anita Smith, with Mark Brandi announced as runner-up. Last night’s audience at The Salon does Synopsis also awarded a People’s Choice award to Will Cox.

Birthday candles spell out 'Happy Birthday'

The six years that Isolde Lueckenhausen spent on the Writers Victoria Committee of Management involved a series of transitions for the organisation. She was consecutively the Secretary, Deputy Chair and then Chair of the organisation. Isolde worked alongside three successive Directors (Joel Becker, Roderick Poole and Kate Larsen), “each with their own vision and strengths.”

Write-ability logo

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

The Fellowships, a joint initiative of Writers Victoria and Arts Access Victoria, have been awarded to Heidi Everett (with mentor Lyndel Caffrey), Robbie O’Brien (with mentor Matthew Hooper), Jack Waghorn (with mentor Bethanie Blanchard), Kate Hood from regional Victoria (with mentor Antoinette Eklund) and Carly Findlay (with mentor Sam Twyford-Moore).

on the left, Graeme Simsion; on the right, Paddy O'Reilly

Graeme Simsion and Paddy O’Reilly will be discussing their distinct approaches to writing at our inaugural Plotters Vs Pantsers debate.

They spoke to Program Intern Kate Steele about plotting and flying by the seat of your pants.

Birthday candles spell out 'Happy Birthday'

When Chris McKenzie took on the role of Director of Writers Victoria (then called the Victorian Writers’ Centre), the organisation was based in the Broom Factory in George Street, Fitzroy.

Chris arrived in the mid-90s during the first push by state funding agencies to increase the professionalism of member organisations. ‘Arts management’ was becoming a growth industry and during this time the VWC grew into a larger and more formal entity – including the arrival of new technologies.

The recipients of the annual Glenfern Fellowships and emerging writers’ competition.

The 2014 Glenfern Fellowships for Mid-Career and Established Writers (supported by the Readings Foundation) were awarded to Jennifer Down, Lee Kofman and Christian Ryan.

The 2014 Glenfern Fellowships for Emerging Writers (supported by the Grace Marion Wilson Trust) were awarded to Allison Browning, Matilda-Dixon-Smith and Shivaun Plozza.