If you want it then put a ring on it

Happy Austrayaday, everyone. View image | gettyimages.com For those not from the southern hemisphere, Australia Day commemorates ‘the first landing’ of Europeans on Australian soil, which (given Dutch and Chinese ocean explorers had been popping by our coast for centuries longer) of course means the first official sovereignty to land. The British, specifically. Landed and […]

Why good writers aren’t automatically good authors

Being an author is only partly about being a writer. Lots of people who write well, don’t necessarily write well across-the-board. Someone proficient in government report writing may have style-guide perfect grammar but might struggle to write a compelling science fiction novel. An advertising copywriter may have the gift of expression but could struggle to […]

‘The Big Six’: who are they?

This phrase gets bandied around—a lot—in writing circles. We all know that the big six are a core group of publishers who’ve held the power in publishing for a long time. We know they’re all based in NY city. We know they’re all now scrabbling for their lives to ensure they stay relevant—and dominant—in the […]

Find & Replace: a writer’s best friend

First published in HeartsTalk Magazine (Romance Writers of Australia) in 2010 A few years back, on the eve of a competition and when I was super new to this whole writing gig, I went through my MS line-by-line manually finding and adjusting every single instance of a double-space after a full stop. Thousands of them. I vowed then to find […]

Genre knockers (popular/commercial fiction)

The question was asked by someone new on a commercial writer’s loop “what is ‘literary fiction’?” and the best answer (by far) was “What the rest of us support.” Literary fiction is the top point of the fiction pyramid where fewer authors dwell amongst fewer publishers and even fewer sales (comparably). But it is somewhat […]

To comp or not to comp

Writing competitions can be enormously useful if you approach them with balance and detachment and don’t give them too much importance in the greater scheme of your writing. They are just another tool at your disposal. A means to an end. They aren’t the world. You’re going to do well from time to time and […]