QWC interviews award-winning poet Shastra Deo: Can you tell us a little about your process of developing your Thomas Shapcott Award-winning collection, The Agonist? I wrote the majority of The Agonist as part of my honours thesis, so it was heavily informed by my central research question: ‘what happens to the self when the body…

As a fantasy writer, worldbuilding to me is a performance in three acts: building, creating a sense of authenticity, then expositing. The world must first be imagined and developed, then I must find ways to make the reader believe in it, and finally I must impart it to the reader through exposition. This is the…

American poet Stanley Kunitz once observed that ‘the unconscious creates, the ego edits’. With this overview of the writing process, Kunitz is acknowledging the ideas of psychoanalysis, developed by Sigmund Freud, and considerably expanded upon by his colleague Carl Jung. Below I list seven psychoanalytic ideas that I have found helpful in my writing practice….

Grammar guru, punctuation enthusiast, or logophile (one who is a lover of words), it doesn’t matter what you call her, Roslyn Petelin is a dominating presence in the writing and grammar world. How Writing Works is Petelin’s first book in over fifteen years, since her publication in 1992 of The Professional Writing Guide. Her new…

Someone is watching me. I’m on a park bench in central Florida, surrounded by greenery and enclosures. He’s about 50 feet away and I feel like I know him. I recognise his face, but can’t quite place it. This happens. You run into someone at the supermarket or in the street, think: where? Or who?…

One comment from a publisher changed my view on becoming a children’s author. At the 2016 KidLitVic conference a publisher said, for every junior fiction submission they receive, there are 30 picture book submissions. What did that mean to me? That competition was fierce and my chances of becoming a traditionally published picture book author…

To Become a Whale would not exist without research. I was not alive in the 1960s. I’ve never cut into a whale with a flenser. I’ve never even handled a flenser. Yet, when writing this novel, my job was to transport my readers there. Essentially I was a tour-guide to a place I’ve never been. If…

Christopher Robin said to Winnie the Pooh, “Promise me you’ll always remember that you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”  In a contemporary world that exposes us to the increasingly emotional stresses of everyday living and reports of crime and catastrophe on a daily basis, it is sometimes…

Why do you write?  I don’t think I really have much of a choice in the matter. Writing is something I’ve always done; it’s how I make sense of myself and the world. I LOVE stories. I love making them up, sharing them, reading them, hearing them. Stories are an excellent energy source; we don’t…

On the morning of 10 December 2013, I walked past a newsstand in Sydney. There was my picture on the front page of each daily paper. The night before I was headline news on television. The newspaper headlines read: SECRETS AND LIES – Revealed the Full Extent of Catholic Cover-up [i] Priest lured Children to…

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