Student Success: A publishing deal with Allen & Unwin and two first-time feature writers

Here’s a snippet of an email we received recently from Robyn Windshuttle of NSW:

“As a previous student at AWC, I thought I’d let you and your team know that my manuscript has been picked up by Allen & Unwin and my book, Dancing with A Cocaine Cowboy…a true story of love and life with a Colombian drug trafficker, is scheduled to be on the shelves in October. I was given a sizeable advance and there is talk of international sales. It’s very exciting for me.”

Read More

7 Questions: Josephine Moon on her ‘foodie fiction’

Josephine Moon is an Australian author whose debut novel, The Tea Chest, prompted a hotly contested auction between several publishers. The manuscript was eventually published my Allen & Unwin. Josephine describers her novel as “like a chocolate brownie – indulgent, comforting, a treat for the senses, but filling, and with chunky nuts to chew on.”

Josephine started her writing career as a journalists but had always wanted to write fiction. She also spent time teaching English and working as an editor. For many years she experimented with a number of genres, writing and publishing a number of short stories. She began work on her first novel in 2007 and is now working on a second for Allen & Unwin. She lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland with her husband and young son.

Read More

Wacky Word Wednesday: Qwerty

The humble keyboard. Fifty years ago no one could have predicted just how ubiquitous and how vital to our every day lives it would become. But it’s now something few people could say they live without, and us certainly writers are big users of the keyboard.

Which brings us to this week’s wacky word – qwerty. (Or QWERTY, as you’ll sometimes see it written.) This one has a very specific meaning and it’s not a word you could use unless you’re describing a keyboard. But it’s one of the few words in English that doesn’t subscribe to the ‘u after q’ rule, and when you know the story of the qwerty keyboard, you can understand why.

Read More

Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival brings warmth to winter

With the average maximum temperature for July in Bowral sitting at 12C, you wouldn’t be alone in thinking that a little winter hibernation might be in order. Not so for those in the community: July is when the town comes alive for the Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival (SHWF), and they’d like you to join them!

With writing greats such as PJ Travers (Mary Poppins), Patrick White, Miles Franklin and screenwriter Terry Hayes (Mad Max) all hailing from the area, it’s not surprising that the creative community is alive and well in the Southern Highlands. With many in the region isolated on farms out of the main city, the SHWF provides a great opportunity for everyone come together and share their love of writing.

Read More

Episode 8 of ‘So you want to be a writer’ now online!

So you want to be a writer is a weekly podcast from Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait.

Valerie is an author, journalist and national director of the Australian Writers’ Centre.

Allison Tait is an Australian freelance writer, blogger and author, with more than 20 years’ professional writing experience. She is also a presenter at the Australian Writers’ Centre.

Read More

7 Questions: Breast cancer survivor and author Tanya Curran Brown on writing her memoir

Tanya Curran Brown is a master hairdresser whose salon in Wollongong NSW has been the training ground for countless apprentices over the years. She’s also a breast cancer survivor. In 2005 she was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of the disease and eventually underwent a double mastectomy. She has now published her memoir on her journey – A Tale of Two Titties. In her book, Tanya hopes to shine a humorous light on a devastating disease and help other sufferers.

Read More

CBCA Shortlisted author Barry Jonsberg on writing and keeping young readers happy

Barry Jonsberg is a former lecturer and high-school teacher and author of books for young adults and kids. He has published eight books for young adults and the latest, My Life As An Alphabet, has been shortlisted in the 2014 Children’s Book Council Awards Book of the Year for Younger Readers.

Barry moved to Australia from the UK in 1999 and wrote his first novel in 2001. In 2004 his first book was published, The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull. That book was his first CBCA shortlisted novel – it made the list in 2005 list in the Older Readers category. Since then he has published 10 more books for young adults and younger readers including It’s Not all About YOU, Calma (which won the 2006 South Australian Festival Award for Children’s Literature), Dreamrider (shortlisted for the 2007 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards) and Being Here.

Read More

Wacky Word Wednesday: Syzygy

There’s just one word in the English language with three ‘y’s. That word is syzygy – pronounced siz-uh-jee. It’s a word that astronomists would most likely be familiar with, and possibly even poets.

The Macquarie Dictionary lists one definition as “the conjunction or opposition of two heavenly bodies; a point in the orbit of a body, as the moon, at which it is in conjunction with or in opposition to the sun.” Other references suggest syzygy actually describes the alignment of three celestial bodies – something that happens when there’s a full or new moon.

The unique thing about the definition of syzygy is that it describes both opposition and conjunction with the sun. The original meaning of the word only applied to conjunctions – when the moon is between the Earth and the sun. It came from the Latin suzugia and the Greek suzugos, which meant “yoked or paired”.

Read More

At My Desk: Journalist and author Jessica Irvine

Jessica Irvine is a popular Australian economics columnist and author. She is currently the National Economics Editor of News Limited’s metro newspapers, and has previously written for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The West Australian and The Brisbane Times. Her first book, Zombies, Bananas and Why There Are No Economists in Heaven was a witty and accessible look at how to use the principles of economics to tackle everyday problems.

Her latest book, The Bottom Line Diet, might seem a little out of left field for an economics journalist. Jessica describes it as a “passion project”, something she felt she “had to write”, to help people dispel the myths about weight loss and get down to the “bottom line” – that it all comes down to numbers.

Read More

Ep 12 Meet Fiona McFarlane, author of ‘The Night Guest’

In Episode 12 of So you want to be a writer, we ask are journalists miserable, over educated and underpaid? The Best Australian blogs are announced, the secret libraries of New York city, write a novel… in a game, how Reading Australia are making a difference to Australian schools and universities, the

Read More »

Student Success: A publishing deal with Allen & Unwin and two first-time feature writers

Here’s a snippet of an email we received recently from Robyn Windshuttle of NSW:

“As a previous student at AWC, I thought I’d let you and your team know that my manuscript has been picked up by Allen & Unwin and my book, Dancing with A Cocaine Cowboy…a true story of love and life with a Colombian drug trafficker, is scheduled to be on the shelves in October. I was given a sizeable advance and there is talk of international sales. It’s very exciting for me.”

Read More »

7 Questions: Josephine Moon on her ‘foodie fiction’

Josephine Moon is an Australian author whose debut novel, The Tea Chest, prompted a hotly contested auction between several publishers. The manuscript was eventually published my Allen & Unwin. Josephine describers her novel as “like a chocolate brownie – indulgent, comforting, a treat for the senses, but filling, and with chunky nuts to chew on.”

Josephine started her writing career as a journalists but had always wanted to write fiction. She also spent time teaching English and working as an editor. For many years she experimented with a number of genres, writing and publishing a number of short stories. She began work on her first novel in 2007 and is now working on a second for Allen & Unwin. She lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland with her husband and young son.

Read More »

Ep 10 Meet Gabrielle Tozer, author of ‘The Intern’

In Episode 10 of So you want to be a writer, we ask should you dump your agent and focus on self publishing? The Best Australian Blogs finalists are announced, JuNoWriMo is here (are you in?), the Australian Financial Review apologies for ‘World is Fukt’ front page, the most hated travel writing cliches,

Read More »

Wacky Word Wednesday: Qwerty

The humble keyboard. Fifty years ago no one could have predicted just how ubiquitous and how vital to our every day lives it would become. But it’s now something few people could say they live without, and us certainly writers are big users of the keyboard.

Which brings us to this week’s wacky word – qwerty. (Or QWERTY, as you’ll sometimes see it written.) This one has a very specific meaning and it’s not a word you could use unless you’re describing a keyboard. But it’s one of the few words in English that doesn’t subscribe to the ‘u after q’ rule, and when you know the story of the qwerty keyboard, you can understand why.

Read More »

Best Australian Blogs Competition 2014 Finalists announced

The Australian Writers’ Centre today announced 31 finalists in the annual Best Australian Blogs Competition. These finalists now compete for the title of “Best Australian blogger” for 2014. The finalists were selected from a record 1,125 blogs entered in this year’s competition. They are in the running to win a

Read More »

Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival brings warmth to winter

With the average maximum temperature for July in Bowral sitting at 12C, you wouldn’t be alone in thinking that a little winter hibernation might be in order. Not so for those in the community: July is when the town comes alive for the Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival (SHWF), and they’d like you to join them!

With writing greats such as PJ Travers (Mary Poppins), Patrick White, Miles Franklin and screenwriter Terry Hayes (Mad Max) all hailing from the area, it’s not surprising that the creative community is alive and well in the Southern Highlands. With many in the region isolated on farms out of the main city, the SHWF provides a great opportunity for everyone come together and share their love of writing.

Read More »

Author Profile: Gabrielle Tozer

It’s 5.30am. Gabrielle Tozer, 28, shuts the door to her study and sits at her desk. Sydney’s concrete jungle is quieter so early in the morning and Gabrielle likes to write in silence. A gumtree stands outside her window – the only greenery among the nearby buildings. It’s a reminder

Read More »

Episode 8 of ‘So you want to be a writer’ now online!

So you want to be a writer is a weekly podcast from Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait.

Valerie is an author, journalist and national director of the Australian Writers’ Centre.

Allison Tait is an Australian freelance writer, blogger and author, with more than 20 years’ professional writing experience. She is also a presenter at the Australian Writers’ Centre.

Read More »

Ep 8 Meet Kate Garklavs, editorial analyst at Scripted.com

In Episode 8 of So you want to be a writer we talk about Puberty Blues, why journalists should use twitter when fired, the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Shortlist, the 2014 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Shortlist, The Guardian’s Self-Published Book of the Month Competition, Bob Carr’s diva demands, the ideal

Read More »

7 Questions: Breast cancer survivor and author Tanya Curran Brown on writing her memoir

Tanya Curran Brown is a master hairdresser whose salon in Wollongong NSW has been the training ground for countless apprentices over the years. She’s also a breast cancer survivor. In 2005 she was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of the disease and eventually underwent a double mastectomy. She has now published her memoir on her journey – A Tale of Two Titties. In her book, Tanya hopes to shine a humorous light on a devastating disease and help other sufferers.

Read More »

CBCA Shortlisted author Barry Jonsberg on writing and keeping young readers happy

Barry Jonsberg is a former lecturer and high-school teacher and author of books for young adults and kids. He has published eight books for young adults and the latest, My Life As An Alphabet, has been shortlisted in the 2014 Children’s Book Council Awards Book of the Year for Younger Readers.

Barry moved to Australia from the UK in 1999 and wrote his first novel in 2001. In 2004 his first book was published, The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull. That book was his first CBCA shortlisted novel – it made the list in 2005 list in the Older Readers category. Since then he has published 10 more books for young adults and younger readers including It’s Not all About YOU, Calma (which won the 2006 South Australian Festival Award for Children’s Literature), Dreamrider (shortlisted for the 2007 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards) and Being Here.

Read More »

Ep 7 Meet freelance editor Kylie Mason

In Episode 7 of So you want to be a writer, We talk about Julia Gillard’s obsession with Game of Thrones, the train wreck that is the Real Housewives of Melbourne, the new documentary “American Blogger”, more blog to book successes and our Writer in Residence Kylie Mason. Click play below to

Read More »

Wacky Word Wednesday: Syzygy

There’s just one word in the English language with three ‘y’s. That word is syzygy – pronounced siz-uh-jee. It’s a word that astronomists would most likely be familiar with, and possibly even poets.

The Macquarie Dictionary lists one definition as “the conjunction or opposition of two heavenly bodies; a point in the orbit of a body, as the moon, at which it is in conjunction with or in opposition to the sun.” Other references suggest syzygy actually describes the alignment of three celestial bodies – something that happens when there’s a full or new moon.

The unique thing about the definition of syzygy is that it describes both opposition and conjunction with the sun. The original meaning of the word only applied to conjunctions – when the moon is between the Earth and the sun. It came from the Latin suzugia and the Greek suzugos, which meant “yoked or paired”.

Read More »

Ep 6 Meet Jack Ellis, author of ‘The Best Feeling of All’

In Episode 6 of So you want to be a writer, we chat about The Hoopla’s new paywall, the myth of creative inspiration, Russell Brand’s new children’s stories, inspiring Pinterest boards for writers, Julian Assange’s new book, we speak with author Jack Ellis and more!  Click play below to listen to the

Read More »

At My Desk: Journalist and author Jessica Irvine

Jessica Irvine is a popular Australian economics columnist and author. She is currently the National Economics Editor of News Limited’s metro newspapers, and has previously written for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The West Australian and The Brisbane Times. Her first book, Zombies, Bananas and Why There Are No Economists in Heaven was a witty and accessible look at how to use the principles of economics to tackle everyday problems.

Her latest book, The Bottom Line Diet, might seem a little out of left field for an economics journalist. Jessica describes it as a “passion project”, something she felt she “had to write”, to help people dispel the myths about weight loss and get down to the “bottom line” – that it all comes down to numbers.

Read More »

Wacky Word Wednesday: Flibbertigibbet

What do you imagine when you hear the word flibbertigibbet? Me, I picture a restless, fretful and voluble person. Not necessarily someone you don’t want to be around, but you’ll require lots of energy to manage them. And that’s fairly close the definition of this tongue-twister of a word. The

Read More »
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