The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

When Leone Purdy of the Sale Write-ability writers group decided to self-publish her poetry book, not everything went to plan.

I was elated. My first book published – and it was lovely. I felt pride in myself; a feeling that was new to me.  Was this beautiful, softcover, book of quirky, idiosyncratic poems really mine? Working with a publishing service had all seemed so easy. I’d paid them to edit and review my manuscript. Where once it had been a jumbled mash of incoherent, long-winded and unrhythmical verse, it was now a polished poetry book.

After winning the Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Competition in 2014, Else volunteered at Writers Victoria, worked at the Emerging Writers Festival and studied creative writing at RMIT. Else has been published widely, including Visible Ink, Australian Book Review, The Suburban Review and Offset.  Her fiction has won or been shortlisted for awards such as the Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, the Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Awards, the Fair Australia Prize, the VU Overland Short Story Prize and the Margaret River Short Story Competition.

Anna Spargo-Ryan is the Melbourne-based author of The Gulf and The Paper House, and winner of the 2016 Horne Prize for her essay ‘The Suicide Gene’. Her work has appeared in The Big IssueIslandKill Your DarlingsMeanjinGood Weekend, The Guardian, and many other places. She is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Deakin University and was awarded the 2017 Philip Brown History Award.

Writing may be a solitary pursuit, but it doesn’t follow that being a writer means resigning yourself to loneliness and isolation. Writing communities, large and small, exist in all kinds of forms, catering to all kinds of writers. Some communities develop organically.

Andy Griffiths is one of the most popular children’s authors in Australia. He has written more than 30 books, including nonsense verse, short stories, comic novels, picture books and plays. His books have been New York Times bestsellers, won more than fifty children’s choice awards, been adapted as theatre shows and sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. He is best known as the author of the JUST!

Prior to becoming a YA author, Fiona Wood used to work in marketing and arts management, did some freelance journalism and spent 12 years working as a television scriptwriter penning episodes for some beloved TV shows, hour-long specials and children’s drama. Her first YA novel Six Impossible Things was shortlisted for the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year, Older Readers, in 2011; and Wildlife, her second novel, won that award in 2014.

Photo of Grace Marion Wilson

Writers Victoria is delighted to announce the winners of the 2019 Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Competition. Now in its eleventh year, the prize supports emerging Victorian writers.

Portrait of Jessica Walton

Writers Victoria is thrilled to announce that Heidi Everett and Jessica Walton will be the 2019 Publishability Fellows. Heidi will be using 12-month fellowship to work on her memoir ‘My Friend Fox’ about her experience of schizoaffective disorder. Jessica Walton will be penning a collection of poems on disability and dance tilted ‘Crip the Light Fantastic’.

Three writers also had their work highly commended by Andy Jackson, the Publishability Fellowships judge: Daniel Kraus, Anthony Riddell and Michelle Vasiliu.

Shivaun Plozza is an award-winning author of books for young adults as well as a freelance editor and manuscript assessor. Her debut novel Frankie (Penguin, 2016) was shortlisted for the Inky Awards, got Highly Commented at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and won the YA Crime Novel category of the Davitt Awards. Tin Heart (Penguin), her second novel, was inspired by her brother’s kidney transplant and was released in 2018.

Notebook and travel items resting on a map

Round 4 of the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund received 111 applications, requesting a total of $559,410 in grant money.

This round's judges were writer Roanna Gonsalves, Aviva Tuffield from University of Queensland Press, and Jackie Tang from Readings. They were impressed with the overall quality of the applications in what was a competitive round, awarding a total of $49,569 to 12 recipients.