Month: February 2014

Dominique Wilson on making the leap from short stories to writing a novel

Dominique Wilson is an Australian author best known for her short stories and her work with the literary magazine, Wet Ink. Her first novel, The Yellow Papers, explores the cultural links of Australia and China through the eyes of one Chinese immigrant, Chen Mu. Chen Mu is born in China but eventually finds himself in outback Australia, after being forced to flee his home country at the age of 7.

Dominique was born in Algiers to French parents and moved to Australia with her family when she was a young child. She has published many short stories, and in 2005 established Wet Ink, a magazine devoted to new Australian fiction, poetry and non-fiction. (The last issue of Wet Ink was published in 2012.) She also helped establish the Adelaide branch of International PEN.

Perth Writers Festival Competition Winner

We’re very excited to announce the winner of our course from the Australian Writers’ Centre tent at the Perth Writers Festival. This winner was picked at random through the beauty of technology (and a random line picker tool).

Drumroll please…

Georgia Rickard: Transformed her life

Georgia, 25, is a successful freelance writer who transitioned from recruitment into full time writing via the Australian Writers' Centre course Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1. She now writes for a range of glossy magazines and has had articles syndicated all around the world. Georgia was 21 and, after... read more

Jessica Shirvington: Living her dream

A true example of turning a writing dream into reality, Jessica Shirvington’s career continues to go from strength to strength. Author of the popular young adult series, The Violet Eden Chapters, Jessica has also delved into the world of picture books recently with Just the Way We Are (HarperCollins... read more

Geena Leigh: From a challenging past to bestselling author

Many of us have a “story inside us”. And sometimes these stories are so compelling, so slam-down riveting, that they just need to be told. Geena Leigh’s story is just that. From an abusive childhood and abusive relationships to 19 years of working as a prostitute, most people... read more

Cassy Small: Writing is her first love

Cassy Small, 32, is a Sunshine Coast health and wellbeing writer. She completed the Australian Writers' Centre Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 course online in January 2012. The confidence to get started Like many teenagers, Cassy Small spent hours journaling and writing short stories but the memory was packed... read more

Susannah Hardy: Combining acting with freelance writing

Susannah Hardy is an actor who always knew she could write, but wondered how she could improve her skills, and if it was possible to make a living from her writing. She had always had a love for writing, often creating material for her performances. But she admits, “I wrote... read more

Aoife McGee: Getting paid to do what she loves

Aoife, 44, is now a freelance writer living in Sydney. She completed the Australian Writers' Centre online course Magazines and Newspaper Writing Stage 1. Aoife has written for Body+Soul (The Sunday Telegraph), Echo Paper and TNT magazine. She is also a regular contributor to Australia and New Zealand Magazine... read more

Sue White: The ultimate success story

Sue White, is now one of Australia's busiest feature and travel writers. She has an enviable portfolio that includes the country’s most respected publications including The Good Weekend, The Sydney Morning Herald, Vogue Australia, Travel + Leisure (Australia), Sun Herald Travel and Women’s Health, to name just a... read more

Victoria Birch: From corporate world to freelance writer

Victoria Birch always wanted to be a writer. She just didn’t know it was a viable option. Until now. The Sydney-based mother has always been interested in music. While living in the UK, Victoria would write music reviews, develop music websites and immerse herself in this artistic world... read more

Jocelyn Pride: Finding the perfect travel writing formula

Jocelyn Pride completed the Australian Writers' Centre Travel Writing course in the summer holidays of 2011. She grew up in a home where storytelling was prominent. Her mother’s skill of taking people on a journey with her love of words filtered down a generation. With a background in education... read more

Major publisher accepting picture book submissions

Koala Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia, has announced a rare and exciting opportunity for picture book authors and illustrators – the Picture Book Festival of Potential.

From 10–28 February 2014 Koala Books will be accepting new picture book manuscripts and will also consider illustrators’ portfolios for work on future books.

If you’ve been working on a manuscript for kids or you have a completed manuscript, read all the details below. Make sure you follow the submission guidelines to the letter!

Wacky Word Wednesday: Petrichor

It’s not often a word’s etymology can be so accurately pinpointed to a particular time. It’s also rare that the etymology would lead us directly to two Australians, but in the case of petrichor, that’s exactly what happens.

Petrichor is really a very beautiful word – even for one coined by researchers wanting to define a very particular chemical process. Technically, petrichor is “a mixture of natural oils and terpenes released by eucalypts which, when washed by rain into watercourses, is a signal to fish, invertebrates, etc., that the season is sufficiently wet to support breeding.” That’s the actual Macquarie Dictionary definition.

The word was coined by two Australian geochemists, Richard Grenfell Thomas and Isabel Joy Bear in 1964. Here’s how they described it:

7 Questions: Award-winning creative director and author Boyd Anderson

Boyd Anderson is an Australian author of historical fiction. He is a former creative director in advertising and won numerous awards for his work at agencies in Sydney, New York and throughout Asia, including Gold, Silver and Bronze Lions at Cannes.

In 1997 he co-wrote his first novel, Children of the Dust, with colleague Rory McCourt. Since then he has published four novels himself – Errol, Fidel and the Cuban Rebel Girls, Ludo, Amber Road and his latest, The Heart Radical. Based in Malaysia during "The Emergency" between government forces and communist rebels in 1951, The Heart Radical follows eight-year-old Su-Lin as she grows up amidst the chaos of war.

At My Desk: Best-selling Australian author Karly Lane

Poppy Abbott’s been putting off packing up her grandmother’s house but when things begin to unravel in her professional life, she decides that it may be the perfect time to head out to Warrial and finally face the dreaded chore once and for all.

When she finds a diary that belonged to Maggie Abbott, a spirited young woman from 1914 in her Gran’s things, Poppy soon becomes captivated by the story which unfolds between its pages before ending abruptly, leaving a mountain of questions unanswered.

Jackie French: Author of more than 100 titles

A prodigious children’s book writer with well over 100 titles across a variety of genres to her credit, Jackie French is best known for her 1999 novel Hitler’s Daughter, which was awarded the 2000 CBCA Children’s Book of the Year Award for Younger Readers. Another of her... read more