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…

Newman and Mittelmark take the daring approach of teaching you how to write a bad novel. The book is divided into sections on plot, character, setting and style. Each section diagnoses a series of common tropes, clichés or otherwise poor stylistic or narrative choices, and demonstrates their ‘bad’-ness through humorous example paragraphs. Then, more seriously,…

The other day I read a blog over at writerunboxed.com—a truly worthwhile site if you are looking for both guidance and inspiration—about planning and pantsing that stopped me in my tracks and gave me a jolt. Basically, it restored some much-needed self-confidence, but to explain why, I must backtrack. A few months ago I finished…

I think of Queensland Writers Centre as the sturdy trunk of a tree. It’s the main conduit that nourishes all the branches that connect to it. And we fortunate members are its leaves; the vibrant, diverse and ever-renewing milieu of creatives that spring from these branches and take sustenance from the trunk’s rootstock.  One branch…

Every family has its folklore, and mine is that when I was small my father bought me a Little Golden Book every Sunday when he bought the newspaper. We weren’t a bookish family, but I can relate to Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye when he says: ‘I’m quite illiterate, but I read a…

I am one of the lucky ones. I have a welcoming writing space. I have a computer, an internet connection and a swag of jottings that, like swelling raindrops, are stowed safely in a cloud. I have a comfortable chair and a desk from Ikea that I constructed with the assistance of myriad Allen keys…

I have been writing and submitting to publishers for over 25 years. Over that time I have been lucky enough to receive two writing grants, each for $15,000. Both of those grants have had a profound impact on my writing, and both led to the publication of stories that I was not expecting to write,…

There’s plenty of advice around for writers who are starting out but, unless you’re James Paterson or JK Rowling, starting out is far from the only hurdle writers face. Nick Earls takes a look at what writers can do to sustain careers. Twenty-five years ago, in December 1992, I was asked to speak about my…

‘Why did you choose to set your books overseas?’ It’s a question I hear often, at just about every event I do, both here in Australia and in the US. It’s a question I grapple with every time it’s asked, because the answer is long and complicated. I usually end up saying I watched too…

Nearly ten years ago, UNESCO named Melbourne a City of Literature – one of only three in the Southern Hemisphere – and ever since, writers in cities around the country have asked themselves if where they are living is writerly enough. For writers and storytellers outside the major metropolitan centres, this disconnect can feel even…

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