5 ABIA finalists and their proven advice for writers

It’s shortlist season out there in book land, and this week the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) announced their picks. Among the deserving candidates are five authors who were interviewed as the Writers in Residence over the past year on the Australian Writers’ Centre podcast, So you want to be a writer. So what better time than to grab some quick advice (which clearly works!) from their chats with Allison Tait and Valerie Khoo.

Michael Robothamshortlisted for Life or Death (General Fiction)
Interviewed in episode 26 – read transcript or listen here.
“People say writing is hard. Writing is not hard, boxing is hard. Raising a stable child is hard. There are difficult days, but in the grand scheme of things there are a lot harder things out there then writing.”

Liane Moriartyshortlisted for Big Little Lies (General Fiction)
Interviewed in episode 25 – read full transcript or listen here.
“Just focus on the writing. Don’t focus too much on the world of writing. Don’t focus on all the little rules and whether it should be double-spaced or single-spaced or all of that sort of thing — none of that actually matters, it’s the writing.”

Graeme Simsionshortlisted for The Rosie Effect (General Fiction)
Interviewed in episode 1 – read full transcript or listen here.
“People are told to write every day. But there are a lot of activities around producing a novel which are not writing prose… they’re problem solving.”

Favel Parrettshortlisted for When the Night Comes (Literary Fiction)
Interviewed in episode 35 – read full transcript or listen here.
“You’ve got to take yourself seriously. I think you’ve got to call yourself a writer, even if it’s just to yourself. Write it down, ‘I’m a writer. I’m a writer.' What does a writer do? They work. They do the work.”

Judith Rossellshortlisted for Withering-by-Sea (Older Children’s Fiction)
Interviewed in episode 51 – read full transcript or listen here.
“You have to be quite determined. You have to want it. I have a lot of students who say they don’t have time to write. That’s fine, everyone has many things in their life. I think it’s a choice. You can choose to make time. It doesn’t matter how busy your life is, and it might be incredibly busy, like unbelievably busy, but if you can’t squeeze 10 minutes into the day then you just don’t want it enough.”

And Judith Rossell also teaches our Writing Picture Books course here at the Australian Writers’ Centre.

All of the ABIA category award winners will be announced out at a special event on 21 May 2015 in Sydney. Good luck to all the authors!

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