The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

A portrait of CS Pacat

CS Pacat's 'Captive Prince' fantasy trilogy evolved from online serial to commercially-published book series. She shared her thoughts on worldbuilding, self-publishing and the future of fantasy with Michelle McLaren, republished ahead of her Digital Fantasy Novel Intensive, starting January 2018.

"All obsessions are intensely personal and often obscure in origin," says tutor Bella Li. Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Bella about what draws her to ekphrasis, and what she loves about the dialogue between writing and the visual arts.

The 2017 Deborah Cass Prize for Writing has been awarded to Rafeif Ismail, a 23-year old Perth woman from a Sudanese background.

We are making some improvements to the way we communicate with you. In 2018, we will be dedicating more time to strategic planning to ensure our communications are as effective and engaging as they can be.

As part of this change, from January, the WV e-news will be sent fortnightly. Don’t worry, we will still be bringing you all of the stuff you love, writing advice, Q&As, comps and opps, and more! There’ll still be heaps of great content on website and our social channels too.

Prologue: One Year Ago


“There are too many ghouls in the forest. We need you,” said Kolya.

The poor kid was exhausted and pale. Silvie gave him a second fruit bun, figuring there was no harm in a little petty crime.  The buns weren’t selling; besides, it was depressingly likely that she’d have to resign from the bakery before the day was over.

“I’m not due back at the barracks for another week,” she said.

“Bd hr d—” Kolya paused, swallowing his mouthful before trying again. “But you’re the best, and we need you.”

Today is a muggy Melbourne day that threatens with sunshine and rain, yet inside St Kilda café Galleon, fans sweep cold air and Ella Fitzgerald croons smooth and slow from the radio. Today, I’m meeting writer Bram Presser, who arrives on the dot of 3.30, folds a bookmark into ‘The Standing Chandelier’ by Lionel Shriver, orders a green juice and sits down to talk.

Welcome to our monthly brag about our Writers Victoria community members who have won awards, been shortlisted or longlisted for writing prizes or received industry recognition.

It’s bad etiquette for a journalist to make an interview about them. But I couldn’t help myself.

I was chatting to celebrated Victorian chef Ben Shewry of Attica fame for a magazine feature about his restaurant being listed in the prestigious San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

As writers we recall our periods of writing as times spent sitting on a seat, our fingers punching our keyboards. In this way we tend to ignore the negative space that shapes the end product. All too quickly we forget those times when we pick up a piece of fruit at the grocers, or step aboard a heaving train and suddenly something comes unstuck in our mind, a plotline resolves itself, or a character forms.

Jane Godwin headshot

When writing a picture book, "The idea doesn’t have to be original, but the author's way of treating it does," says tutor Jane Godwin. Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Jane about how picture book writing isn't as simple as it seems.