Cats in boxes are one of the most popular memes on the internet; thousands of people visit zoos to marvel at spots, stripes, feathers; and dog lovers know Max will scramble up at the mention of ‘walkies’. Love for animals abounds in our world, but how often do we think about what animals represent and…

MY grandfather George died in 1962, when I was eight months old. At 52, he was younger than I am now when he passed away. And as is often the case in death, he left behind some tangible objects from his life that were still in and under the old house at 120 Beck Street,…

Recently, I had the honour of reading a remarkable essay by Timmah Ball, an Indigenous writer and urban planner, about the effects of gentrification on the Indigenous residents of inner-city suburbs. Timmah later told me that she’d been advised by past editors to be careful of criticising groups of people who were purportedly ‘on her…

When I was young, reading by torchlight under the covers, I discovered female agency in the form of girl detectives. Blending intellectual rigour and social capital with physical derring-do, these characters restored justice and modelled a world very different to the one I knew. In the real world, I was kicked off the under-7s team…

It’s overcast in Paris today. The bells of Notre Dame ring out the evening. Courtesy of the Australia Council, I’m on residence at the Cite Internationale des Arts, situated in one of the oldest parts of the city. I’ve come to Paris to trace the life of Marie Catherine d’Aulnoy, a 17th century author of…

Jane Smith‘s fifth book in her Tommy Bell, Bushranger Boy series, Gang of Thieves is due for release in March.

While becoming a published author in recent years has been a thrill, the highlight of my career has been my involvement in the publication of someone else’s book. This probably needs some clarification. The ‘someone else’ I refer to is not one person but fourteen young Indigenous students from remote communities all around Queensland and…

Some of the authors nominated for this year’s Prime Minister’s Literary Awards share their advice for new writers, for finding inspiration and on the habits and rituals that keep them writing …   What’s your best advice for new writers?  Liz Tynan, winner of the Australian History category for Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story (New…

It’s always interesting to find out when a writer believes their career started. Was it as they tapped out their first story as a child and found a willing audience? Was it as they finally cracked the market, after being a part-time writer, to become ‘someone’ when they published a hit novel after numerous beige…

Many writers would probably jump backwards through flaming hoops to be picked up by a big publisher and showered with admiration (or, preferably, money). Regrettably, this is quite unlikely – the publisher, that is. Your book could be a masterpiece, but major publishers are finding it harder to make said money, so they rarely risk…

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