Queensland Writers Centre Writer's Surgery

Anyone who’s ever attempted a creative work knows the stamina required. You spend hours writing and rewriting, crafting characters and scenes, obsessing over the most minor word selection only to scrap entire sentences and start again. It’s intense and it’s personal – and many writers refuse to send their work out into the world until…

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…

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…

Simon Whaley chats to one writer who got her readers to pay upfront for her first self-published book … What if you could ask your readers to buy your next book, before you’ve even self-published it? Sarah Plater did just that through the popular crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter. She, and her illustrator friend Sophie, successfully secured…

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…

Ever had a story, a sketch, maybe even a dream that you’d started but never really finished? We’ve all had those. In Asian Australian families, this lack of completeness may come from cultural and familial pressures – pressures that tell us, whether consciously or unconsciously, that the arts are not a career path we should…

The conception of the children’s book The Little Lighthouse stemmed from tales I told my children. When our grandchildren began to correct my embellishments, my wife suggested I cement my story in book form. I did so, and created a “picture-book” for the four grandchildren using a simple Windows program. The presence of the original…

You’ve finished a book! Time to have it illustrated. Do I need illustrations? Illustrations are not only for children’s books. My career started at the literary end of speculative fiction, and I have illustrated cookbooks, magazine articles and PhD dissertations. Illustrations can set your book apart, explain the text, make it beautiful and interesting, and…

In November 2015, over the course of a weekend, I met seven publishers and two agents – who had all read a sample of my manuscript – to discuss their thoughts on my writing. Among the guests were some of the biggest names in Australian publishing, including Henry Rosenbloom, founder of Scribe, and representatives from…

You don’t need convincing. The question is, how do you independently publish your work to the standard of a traditional publisher without feeling like you’ve been robbed and left in the desert in your underwear? As much as we like to think we’re super talented, chances are you’ll have to hire some help to get…

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