In 1876, Mark Twain published a short comic piece entitled A Literary Nightmare (also known as Punch, Brothers, Punch!). In this fictionalised memoir, Twain describes reading a jaunty popular poem in a newspaper which then lodges in his head. The predominance of the repetitive rhythms and rhymes shred his concentration, rendering him incapable of writing. […]
Several decades ago, at Adelaide’s Writers Week, I was dragooned into constructing a ramp for Dorothy Hewett. I’d spent the afternoon imbibing with an acquaintance called Joe Public (there are many embellishments in this story, but Joe’s name isn’t one of them). Joe’s fashion sense blended hobo haute couture with dire dentistry while I was […]
1. There are many types of editors People often assume that ALL editors perform the same role, but there is an abundance of roles that editors take on that require different skill sets and experience. The most common types of editors that you may come across are structural editors, copyeditors and proofreaders. As a general […]
What does an editorial board member look for in a submission? There is no easy answer to this question. There are some motherhood statements that spring to mind—like well written, original, an arresting voice, an engaging narrative—and so on. But to unpick...
I've been writing for a long time. I remember writing my first 'real' story when I was about ten years old. I wrote it on an old typewriter that had a bung 'E' key, so I remember banging on it, sometimes ending up with surplus E's in my words. I've always been happy creating stories and editing myself.
By February next year, I will hopefully have my first book, After the Party, out in the world. I still find it hard to believe and, occasionally, I look at my signed contract with Harlequin to confirm that it’s true. When friends ask what it’s about, I give them my elevator pitch. ‘It’s about a […]
In my head, there are two types of writers. The first type I consider to be the ‘born’ writer. They come into the world with a sense of destiny about their writerly future. They sit at the computer (or, more romantically, with pen and paper in hand) and the words pour out. Ideas and characters […]
As a child, I was obsessed with two things – ballet and reading. If I wasn’t flinging myself about the living room doing re-enactments of Swan Lake, I had my nose buried in a book. ‘Ballet Shoes’ by Noel Streatfield was (and remains) my favourite book…
Did you hear the one about the writer who submitted a funny story to a publishing house, and the work was swiftly and enthusiastically published? No, me neither. Where is the humour in Australian literary fiction? I’ve just started Rubik by Elizabeth Tan, and last night I read a scene where children, dressed up as […]
I enjoy reading both fiction and narrative non-fiction, but I tend to write fiction almost exclusively. I’ve been asking myself why that is. I’m sitting at my desk and I’m meant to be writing, but instead I’m procrastinating, burning time, staring distractedly at my screen. Right now, as I type, this is the background of […]