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In some writing workshops, there’s an inverse ratio between how closely someone has read a story and how much they’ve got to say about it. I’m a diligent reader. I pay attention to the stories people have submitted; some might say too much attention. My friends judge me as intense. The judgement of others tends…

I don’t know many writers. In the town where I was born no-one ever admitted they were a writer. Contemplation was an illness, and its practitioners were people to be avoided. Perhaps nobody wrote. Or perhaps the irrigation plains of northern Victoria were so plain that people thought they couldn’t write about them. I decided […]
Flannery O’Connor was born in 1925 and died in 1964. Whenever I read those dates, I wonder what she might have written if she’d had a few more years. YouTube has a video of her reading ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ in her sardonic, Southern drawl. It’s a serious story, but in the […]
As the writing trainer for Bright Lights, No City, you worked closely with a number of the participants—can you tell us a bit about your role throughout the project? My role was to help the participants to feel confident about their writing. This meant giving them the freedom to write in a form of their […]
As the writing trainer for Bright Lights, No City, you worked closely with a number of the participants—can you tell us a bit about your role throughout the project? My role was to help the participants to feel confident about their writing. This meant giving them the freedom to write in a form of their […]
Can you tell us what you’ve been up to since you completed Bright Lights, No City with Centre for Stories? For sure! I’ve had a pretty hectic year since the project finished. I wrote two very personal pieces: a novella called ‘Poster Boy’, which got published, and a piece of memoir called ‘Territory’, which didn’t. My […]
There is a power in writing. This is a sentence I have written here before. In that post, the first I offered in this series, I was daydreaming of riding—there was an element of self-indulgence, even while I argued for the power a horse has to take me somehow outside myself. The more subtle indulgence […]
[The following is an excerpt from a work in progress—a piece of creative nonfiction which, as the title suggests, I have been developing slowly for some time…]   I take my glasses off to swim. I leave them tucked in the folds of my discarded dress, follow the softened outline of Lucas’s body down and […]
 1. A lot of my writing, over the last few years, has involved playing with fragments. The style appeals to me as holding the capacity to embed uncertainty, a sort of tongue-in-cheek response to that old Realist assumption that writing ever could describe anything with certainty anyway. The philosophical (or perhaps self-absorbed) part of me […]
There is a power in riding a horse. This is a sentence I have written many times, in several different contexts, but it is an idea I find myself coming back to again and again. The power isn’t just one of mass, or force, or brute strength. I’m not sure I know exactly what it […]
When I was fourteen we spent several weeks chasing summer in France. The majority of my family are readers—apart from my youngest brother who wouldn’t know how to open a book. Towards the end of the trip we camped in Carnac, a place famous for its standing stones and Asterix and Obelix. There was an […]

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