The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

Annabel Smith

Writers Victoria is thrilled to announce the finalists of the 2017 Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Competitions.

In the Fiction category, of which there were over 100 entries, judges Mark Brandi and Michelle Scott Tucker were impressed by the high quality of the submissions, reporting that they saw "a diversity of form, content, and genre."

Authors really have to dig for the meaning of ‘success’. That’s never been truer than in this less-than-golden age of publishing, when the question ‘How’s it selling?’ from your mates is more reviled and feared than ‘How could you do that to your parents?’ from an interviewer.

There are words from other languages that cannot be easily translated into our own beautiful bastardised English. One such word, that comes from the Finns, I think encapsulates everything that we, as emerging writers, need to have. The Finnish concept of sisu can be defined as an ‘extraordinary determination in the face of adversity’. The English words ‘grit’, ‘perseverance’ or ‘resilience’, according to Finnish speakers, do not come close to describing the inner strength encapsulated in their native term.

As an aspiring writer many moons ago, my goals were clear. I wanted to write realistic fiction for children and young adults and I wanted to be published in the traditional trade market.

Kurdish-Iranian journalist, Behrouz Boochani, detained on Manus Island since August 2013, has been a PEN International case since 2015. The international campaign on his behalf has been spearheaded by PEN Melbourne. Boochani has produced a growing body of work, in a range of genres, exposing the horrors of incarceration on Manus Island. The 900 men, in the prime of their lives, have been imprisoned for four years now.

My manuscript is a little boat.

When asked how she is, my mother-in-law is fond of replying that any day she wakes up and can get vertical is a good one. I wish I could say the same about writing. That any day I get up and still know how to use words and create sentences, well, that’s a good day and therefore, a successful one. But it’s not true. Just because you can use words and out of them make sentences, doesn’t mean you’re a good writer or, at best, a successful one. The notions of ‘good’ and ‘successful’ are always up for grabs anyway… aren’t they?

A photograph of Shivaun Plozza

Nothing is off-limits in young adult literature as long as it’s handled well, says Shivaun Plozza. Ahead of her Writing YA workshop, Shivaun talks about diversity and reader reactions.

We are thrilled to announce the winner of our #wordsintheworld Instagram competition.

Congratulations to @sandracarmel_author for her poignant post 'Souls Mended & Keys Cut'. Sandra wins a books pack and a golden ticket to our Writers on Wednesdays series.