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In my time as a writer, I’ve taken part in maybe five or six NaNoWriMos. NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is an event where participants around the world sprint towards writing 50,000 words in the month of November. The idea is, we all want to write a novel ‘someday’ and the best way to […]
In my previous two blog posts, I’ve talked about my love affair with English literature, encouraged and nurtured by schoolteachers in India who did the best with what was available. Reading Milton, Byron, Wordsworth, Hardy, Lamb, Austen, Bronte, Woolf and a legion of writers from the 18th – 20th centuries started me on the career […]
The year I turned seventeen I fell in love with a cynical older man who was unaware of my existence; causing devastation in a heart that would never heal. I used this unusual experience and wrote a story about it. It was imaginatively titled ‘A Matter of Destiny,’ and published by an Indian women’s magazine […]
English novelist Thomas Hardy was an unlikely role model for a book-obsessed young girl growing up in India, but I credit Hardy, and the Romantic poets, with my initiation into writing. Something about Hardy’s grimness appealed enormously. I named the hero in my own novel after Hardy’s Gabriel, that laconic and patient farmer who knows, […]
A lot of writers talk about failure—about checking the longlist of literary awards and competitions only to be disheartened. They also talk about learning from this, and persevering despite this. As the judge of the Margaret River Press Short Story Competition, can you tell us about how subjectivity factors into this and what this may […]
In 1985, when I was two years old, my parents moved to a farm on a road called Honeysett Lane about twenty k’s from a town called Gulgong. Back then Gulgong was the town on the ten dollar note and to this day when people ask me where I’m from, that’s how I describe it. […]
If there’s one term I see and hear all too much within the writing community it’s this: “Writer’s write.” If you ask me, it’s kind of stating the obvious and about as profound as a Kardashian’s latest Instagram post, yet it gets thrown around by writers to themselves and to each other like some Neolithic […]
Over the years I have done my fair share of writing courses and I often wonder if they have made any difference to my writing outcomes. Have they really been a worthwhile investment towards improving my writerly craft? When balancing out the ledger sheet of pros and cons, I am confronted with copious squiggles of […]
What draws you to write short stories, and who has influenced your writing practice of this form? I had never written a short story until I started studying creative writing at university. Writers that influenced me included Tim O’Brien, Janet Frame, Jorge Luis Borges, and Alice Munro. O’Brien’s story, ‘The Things They Carried’ (1990), was […]
The prize is getting into the chair every day. The prize is saying to myself, this isn’t over. Because my story isn’t finished. I regard submission of a story as an achievement. It signifies that I’ve written a story, which puts me a long way in front of the earlier me, the person who dreamed […]
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