Sort by category: News
Those lucky enough to subscribe to Meanjin, one of Australia’s oldest and most respected literary journals, now have one more reason to turn to page 135 of the spring edition; a new story from me called A Funeral for Eddie Moon.
I have long admired Meanjin from afar, so I am totally thrilled to grace their beautiful pages. The spring edition features a bunch of incredible writers, some I’ve read before, some delightfully new. My favourite story from this edition is Marion Halligan’s Eating Oysters, which is written with such deft grace that it reads as smoothly as the title suggests.
A Funeral for Eddie Moon is a bit of a departure in style for me. It almost turned me insane writing it, as I attempted to entwine the stories of 14 characters into 4000 words.
The first few drafts were far less ambitious. Originally, the story was planned as 3-4 stories told separately. But as much as I would have liked to keep things simple, the story really didn’t come alive for me until I bought all the characters together into a chaotic, Virginia Wolf-inspired melodrama.
It’s always interesting to me how each story demands its … Read more
For the next few months you can catch me over at the Melbourne Writers Festival website as one of this years festival bloggers.
My life has been a hailstorm of distraction over the last year, and my reading habit has reduced to a trickle. So the festival presents a chance for me to dive into a new pile of books, meet new authors and gain some healthy perspective.
I’m in NYC this week on a belated honeymoon with Mrs W. My ‘in progress’ impressions of New York are, in no particular order: noisy; delicious; overwhelming; fattening; loose; engrossing; uncensored; unfair; loud and disorientating.
Having grown up with a steady diet of US television, there is something intensely familiar about NYC. Though populated with people doing the same kind of ordinary things that people do in every other city – walking dogs, buying groceries, trudging to and from work – there is the feeling that some grand American story is taking place behind the scenes.
It’s as if America has become so good at telling stories that the edge between reality and fiction is often hard to make out and is even perhaps largely irrelevant (this is particularly evident when you watch the ‘news’).
The New York I came to find is really just another carefully orchestrated fiction, and when I leave, I’ll become just another truncated plotline in this massive mini-series.
But in the meantime, this is a chapter well worth reading.… Read more
It’s been a little quiet on the blog over the last month as various planets of distraction move into alignment.
To start with I’ve been lucky enough to score a gig over at milkbarmag.com writing the monthly literature events round-up. The mag is still in its infancy, and it’s great to be on board to help it bloom.
Second, I’ve hooked up with a talented and enthusiastic bunch of collaborators on a new video project. Watch this space for more news later in the year.
More recently Skyrim entered my life and promptly knocked me senseless with a dwarven staff of obsession. For the last two weeks I’ve been hiking icy mountain paths in search of equal parts night thistle, skeever tail and troll fat – no stone left unturned.
I’m fairly sure that the thin line between fantasy and reality will soon unspool, but until that happens, Skyrim and I are kindling a fine, and unexpected, romance.
I recently read Alan Jacobs’ The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, which I’d recommend to anyone reaching a kind of impasse in their reading habits (as I was).
Jacobs prescribes a kind of antidote to the many ‘must … Read more
I’ll be a little quiet over the next week as I’m taking a sabbatical at Varuna Writer’s House in the beautiful Blue Mountains.
Having spent the last year cramming writing sessions before and after work hours, I’m really looking forward to seven uninterrupted days of quiet, solitude and hopefully, a little creative spark. All fingers and toes crossed.
This time I’ll be completely distraction free (ie no camera), so there’ll likely be no sequel to last year’s effort (above) anytime soon.
Feel free to leave me lots of comments so I’ll feel missed… … Read more
One of the biggest challenges facing writers in 2011 is choice.
Almost as loud as the voice that asks are we going to write today? are new accompanying (and irritating) voices asking who are we writing for?, what format should we write in?, which word processor?, what genre is this?, how should we publish? and finally: do we have the right font to start with?
This saturation of choice can be debilitating at any stage of writing, as it often feels that it’s no longer as simple as deciding to bunker down and ‘just write’ (as if that were easy to begin with!).
Increasingly, the craft of writing is linked to the business of writing, with new pathways to success and collaboration open to writers able to diversify away from ‘just writing’ and instead acquire skills such as HTML coding, search engine optimisation, video editing and social media. Skills that no writer would have likely ever heard of prior to a few decades ago.
At times this new state seems daunting. The expansion of choice can add a new layer of weighty, and potentially useless, overhead to the more primal task of getting words to the page.
But understanding the landscape, checking your compass (choose the more appropriate metaphor), can be … Read more
The 2011 Emerging Writer's Festival made a solid case this weekend as "the writers' festival for writers", with a solid two day lineup of workshops and conversations with local, national and international writers.
With topics ranging from podcasting to typecasting, there was plenty to digest and way too many sessions for a single person to sample everything. Luckily, the EWF11 hashtag was pumping all day, featuring a healthy lineup of tweeters chiming in with highlights of each session.
The ultimate value of a writer’s festival is often greater than the sum of its parts – and a large part of EWF is the interaction between writers, both on and off the panels.
So rather than a personal summary of the events I managed to attend, below is a curated view into some of the best tweets of the weekend, stripped from the now rather lengthy #EWF11 stream. Full credit goes to all the authors mentioned.
My main thought bubble from EWF11 was to realise that it is a great time to be a writer, as now more than ever writers’ have the agency to influence their futures and the futures of their industry, whatever ultimate shape that may take.
Such agency comes with responsibility, and hence to earn our voice writers’ need to continue to work collaboratively, inside and outside the familiar creative spheres, to reach and develop new readers across more … Read more
I may not have mentioned it yet, but this week I'm extra excited to be posting as part of the 2011 Emerging Writers' Festival blogging team.
The festival opened last night with the gala First Word event, which featured songs, comedy and readings from a bunch of writers featured in the festival including Meg Mundell, Alan Bisset and Anna Krien.
For those who couldn’t attend last night, the EWF crew were kind enough to let me bring along my camera, above is the condensed 1 minute version of First Word.
The exhaustive (in a good way) festival program is a real boon for writers in and around Melbourne, featuring workshops and panel sessions that span pretty much every angle of the writing and publishing life.
The festival weekend pass is a bargain at just $49, available online through the Emerging Writers’ Festival website.
Hope you enjoy the video, and if you’re at the festival, please say hello.… Read more