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Writing in the First Person: ‘Front Page News’, by Katie Rowney

I have to admit to cringing a little (lot) when I re-read my first (and never to be published) manuscript. What I dislike most about it is that it’s written in the first-person, present tense. Here’s the first paragraph: I watch the stream of water snaking its way down my body. It used to take a more direct route downwards,…

Meet Jennifer Down, author of ‘Our Magic Hour’

There are so many different types of authors in this world – but the ones that really excite me are those who seem to operate on a different plane to the rest of us. The ones who notice things that we (or I) seem to miss – and then convey these things using extraordinary, inventive language. The ones who reveal…

Meet E.C. Thorpe – Winner of the Stringybark Short Story Award 2015

Imagine you’re at the start of your creative writing life. You have a short story. You have no idea if it’s any good. But you send it off anyway to a national, well-respected short story competition – the first one you’ve ever entered. You wait and wait. Then the results come in and you nearly fall over. You won? You…

Capturing Grief: ‘Our Magic Hour,’ by Jennifer Down

It happens to all of us. At some point in life, we all become familiar with grief in a way we’d always hoped to avoid. For me, that happened last year. The death of my father in law was shocking and not shocking. Not shocking because he was 91 years old. Shocking because the cancer took him so swiftly. Now,…

Reading for Entertainment: ‘The Beekeeper’s Secret,’ by Josephine Moon, ‘The Lover’s Guide to Rome,’ by Mark Lamprell and ‘Rose’s Vintage’, by Kayte Nunn

There’s this natty little function on the Sydney Writer’s Festival website that allows you to search for events by genre. There’s fiction, of course (more than 60 events, mostly literary fiction) but also more ‘niche’ genres, such as crime (16 events), sport (6 events), even spirituality and religion (6 events). But have a guess at how many events fall under…

Reading About Writing: ‘Monkeys with Typewriters’, by Scarlett Thomas

At nearly 50,000 words into my current WIP, I hit a dead zone. Until that point, everything had been sailing along fairly smoothly. I would sit at the computer, the ideas would come, the word count would creep steadily upwards. Happy days! Until I hit some rough weather and started taking in water from all sides. To continue the sailing…

The Ego of Writing: ‘My Name is Lucy Barton’, by Elizabeth Strout

There are times (many) when I think of the ego involved in writing. What makes my voice, my thoughts, my ideas, worth recording, let alone publishing? What gives me the right to think I can and should write? Who cares what I have to say? Then a writer comes along who makes you realise that writing need not be about…

Meet the Author: Natasha Lester

You know how it feels when you’re a kid and it’s the night before Christmas, and you have that delicious sense of anticipation about what tomorrow will bring… Well, that’s exactly how I feel about the publication of Natasha Lester’s new novel A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald. It’s just gorgeous. I know that so many women out there are going…

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