10 Australian Book Bloggers to Follow

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There seems to be a great many writers blogging online.  But how can we find them.  They seem to be hidden away in secret places online and are very hard to unearth.

A big list of people with a little review of why you might want to read them.  Writers who are reviewing work, blogging about literature and contributing to the online writing dialogue.

James Bradley, CITY OF TONGUES

Sam Van Sweeden, LITTLE GIRL WITH A BIG PEN

Angela Meyer, LITERARY MINDED

Motivating Yourself, Being kind to yourself

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The following are quotes I found in the first draft of the manuscript I’m currently writing.  The draft has been sitting in a folding on my computer for a few years.

 I am going through it for the first time during NaNoWriMo to see if there is anything there I can use.

It is hilarious to see all the funny things I’ve written to myself, and I’m also proud of how kind I have been to myself.

‘There are a lot of things to sort out, but don’t worry Meg, it will get better – It all comes together in the end.’

‘What the fuck is this?’

‘I really don’t think this is working!!”

Ha! Editing is hilarious.

7 Blogging Tips

Emerging writer, what is an emerging writer, young writer, Australian writers blog, blogger or writer, Australian blogger, female writer Australian,

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1. There is no single ‘way’ to make your blog work.  Distrust anyone who tries to sell you precise blogging dogma.  While there are proven habits to help make your blog successful, many bloggers have made their blogs work using a number of different methods.

And there are always exceptions to every rule. Some people might recommend you make money from advertising while the successful blog ZEN HABITS swear by an advertisement free space.

2. The people who blog about the same topic as you are your friends not your competition.  Like minded blogs can help each other in many ways. Enter the blogging community with caution and care – Don’t trash the joint when you come in.

Similar blogs have similar audiences that can be shared without being stolen. When you begin a blog on travel for instance, make friends with other travel writers and reach out when they write about something you are interested in.

Share more content than you write, and support those in your community.

3. Not every idea is a good one – But you won’t know until you try it out.  Even good ideas can turn out to be wrong for you in a few months time.

4. It should hurt to hit publish.  Otherwise, push yourself until you are not even sure you should be posting it – Then do it!  Lazy bloggers make lazy blogs.  I have a few posts that still make me think, ‘Should I take those down?’  These posts are my most controversial or honest, and my most popular.

5. Blogging is hard.  Blogging takes more time than you realise, requires dedication, persistence and tends to happen late at night.  Progress on your blog will normally happen right at the moment you are considering giving up.

6. Don’t push to gain the wrong readers.  When it comes to building a blogging audience, aim for the right readers, even if it means your audience grows slowly.  Numbers don’t matter if they are the wrong readers for you.

7. Don’t talk about yourself all the time.  Talk about what you can offer others.  Don’t be crazy and rant unless you have the answer underneath.

 

 

This House of Grief, Helen Garner

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THIS HOUSE OF GRIEF by Helen Garner.

True Australian Crime.

Recommended for 18 and over. Not recommended for pregnant women.

helen garner review, this house of grief review, reviews, meghan brewster reviews, book reviews, australian writers reviewed, Australian literature review, aussie writers, book review, book reviews, book review blogsThis House of Grief is a close observation of an Australian murder trial; the trial of a father accused of drowning his three sons on Father’s Day. Set in Melbourne, Victoria, Robert Farquharson was accused and tried of drowning his three sons by driving a car into a dam and fleeing the scene.

To put it lightly, this story is harrowing. Garner interweaves the trail with new reports and her own life at the time of the murder with the events that lead up to the fatal incident. The question that hangs over the entire telling, did he do it?

I purchased my copy of THIS HOUSE OF GRIEF at the Sydney Writers Festival after Helen Garner gave an incredible address at the Recital Hall. There she spoke of HOW WE WRITE ABOUT DARKNESS.Sitting in the Angel Place recital hall, to a full crowd of intrigued and excited fans, Helen Gardner was an incredible force. Her words held us all, as we leant forward, craning for more. It was a wonderful night and I was abe to get my book signed.

The book spans almost seven years in which the court case became HELEN GARNER‘s obsession. She was present in the courtroom every day of Farquharson’s trial and the subsequent retrial, along with countless journalists and the families of both the accused and his former wife. Garner writes not only about the facts of the case as they are presented but also the reactions from the room, the mood and then energy as it rose and feel with the questions.

Garner not only documents the presentation of the evidence and the intimacy of proceedings but allows her own perception and experience to colour the telling. She attempts to ekk out the truth while leaving space for the reader to make their own judgements. Garner turns the story around in her head, looking at it from all angles, doubting her certainty at every turn.

Garner has an acute ability to read people and dissect their mannerisms, body language, and presence. She is an observer in the purest form, seeking out both sides of the argument, wanted to extract the truth. Her observations are so accurate it is exciting. Their is an intimacy found within the mundane that makes this book so gripping.

It is the story of a family breaking apart. It is a study of the Australian legal system.

THIS HOUSE OF GRIEF was published in 2014 by TEXT PUBLISHING and is Garner’s fifth work of non-fiction.

After a six year break in publishing, she is back. I finished This House of Grief in a week. I cried in public and I took it to the bathroom with me because I simply couldn’t put it down.

As an emerging writer, I think it’s interesting to know Helen Garner does not have a website. She isn’t on Facebook or Instagram and she doesn’t appear to use Twitter.  She does not engage in social media at all. Her work and her following speak for themselves. It is easy to get caught up in the hype and branding of being a writer. But Garner is a reminder that creating quality work will be enough.

She is an incredible writer. Her description and observations of people left me in awe, with beautiful metaphors such as

…as Morrissey took Farquharson by the hand drew him into the bombed-out rubble of the story, aiming a hose at every smoking point of doubt, my heart softened again towards the awkward, unhappy figure on the stand.

When This House of Grief was released it was shortlisted for seven writing awards in Australia, winning the Ned Kelly Awards for Crime Writing for Best True Crime. Helen Garner’s work has taught me to appreciate clarity, brevity, and truth.

KILL YOUR DARLINGS review of Helen Garner’s This House of Grief.

Helen Garner PODCAST from the 2015 Sydney Writers Festival, How We Write About Darkness.

Amazing Babes, Eliza Sarlos & Grace Lee

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AMAZING BABES by Eliza Sarlos and Grace Lee.  This is the book that inspired a traveling writers singing spectacular!

Amazing babes, amazing babes book, emerging writer, emerging writers, reviews, australian books, aussie book reviews I first heard about Amazing Babes at the EMERGING WRITERS FESTIVAL.  At the festival, it was in song form, but I got the drift of it.

So it’s a beautiful book.  It’s well made, lovely to look at and easy to read.

Amazing Babes is a celebration of innovative, brave and world-changing women.  When I first read this book I felt a little tingle run down my spine.  It’s a really inspiring book, for grown-ups as much as little people.

AMAZING BABES was published in 2013 by Scribe in Australia.  It’s a collaboration between writer and illustrator which started as a one of a kind book, written by Eliza Sarlos for her son Arthur.  It was a birthday present for Arthur.  Eliza asked longtime friend Grace Lee to help bring the words to life and the result is gorgeous portraits that introduce new readers to the lives of these strong, powerful and world changing women.

I actually have a copy of this in my library and we have a house without children.  Friends and family love reading it when it’s laying around on the coffee table.

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EWF15 – Ambassador’s 5 x 5 at the National Writers Conference

The National Writers Conference traditionally kicks of every year with the 5 by 5.  This morning the festival ambassadors offered the National Writers Conference.  Here it is.

Emerging writer, emerging writers festival, what is an emerging writer, young writer, your writers, australian writers blog, blogger or writerOslo Davis

Oslo Davis is an illustrator who has worked with the New York Times, The Age, The National Gallery of Victoria and The Melbourne Writers Festival amongst others.  He is also an acclaimed animator. @oslodavis

1.  There is no ‘Natural Genius’.  They don’t exist.  In an article by Malcolm Gladwell he wrote, ‘There are no naturals’.  Malcolm Gladwell is the writer who coined the phrase 10 000 hours rule, in which it takes 10 00 hours or approximately ten years to master your craft.  My job is a desk job.  It involves a lot of admin.  Instead of natural talent, you need a natural enthusiasm.

2. Think of the perfect outcome.  When writing, try to envisage what the perfect result from the work would be.  Ask yourself, ‘What would make me interested?’ Then make that.

3. Don’t fret over awards.  I’ve never won anything and seen many undeserving people win.  The results from awards and grant offers are based on fashion, marketing trends and the goals of the organisation awarding them.  So much of the award process is luck.

4. Don’t read the reviews.

5. Choose your audience.  Be measured in who you receive reviews from.  Create for people who’s opinion and sense of humour you like and respect.  If there are strangers out there who love your work, that’s great, however it’s those few people who really matter.

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William McInnes

William McInnes is an actor, columnist and author, writing pieces that celebrate life whilst encompassing the wide emotions and situations being human can bring.  WILLIAM McINNES

1.  Back up.

2. Don’t trust spell check. 

3. Show your work.

4.  Be careful what advice you take.

5.  If you think you have an original idea.  You don’t.

6. ‘I’ll give you one more for free’.  The arts are public.  Jobs in the arts are the people’s jobs.  Never take yourself too seriously but take what you do seriously.  There is luck in fortune.  If you have to write, you’re more to be pitied than scholared.

Emerging writer, what is an emerging writer, young writer, australian writers blog, blogger or writer, australian blogger, female writer australian, Sulari Gentill

Sulari Gentill is the author of the award-winning Rowland Sinclair Mysteries. Under the name S.D. Gentill, she also writes a fantasy adventure series called The Hero Trilogy.  She has ABC bookclub and appears in heaps of youtube videos – @SulariGentill

1.  Disregard the rules.  There are no rules.  People think there are rules but there are just tips and suggestions.  If you write well, readers will not notice that you are not following ‘the rules’.  They will be caught up in the story you are telling.  Take advice but protect what you love; it’s makes you different.

2. You don’t need an epiphany to start.  There are many ways and reasons to start.  You absorb stories when you’re young and the people around you will influence your work.  There are people in our heads.  I chose an area of writing my husband would be interested in.  I chose it for practical reasons, to connect with the person I live with.    It doesn’t matter why you start, just do.

3. Allow the reader in.  Trust your reader.  They are allowing you into their head.  It is an intimate privilege.  Trust them and acknowledge what the reader brings.  A reader bring richness and experience and knowledge to your work.  Trust the reader to imagine what they want or need.  Let go of the control to dictate every detail of the picture to your readers.  Give them room to move.  This engages your reader.

4. Make friends with other writers.  Build yourself a community.  Other writers understand what you go through and how you can be wounded from a review.  Writers tend to be the most non-judgemental people in the world.  We choose a life where our soul is being judged.  Being around other writers teaches you humility.

5. Love the art of writing.  Writing is the privilege of making things up.  Often we talk ourselves into the idea that writing is agony.  Sometimes it is really hard but you must remember that what you’re doing is a privilege.  Story telling is glorious.  Let yourself love the process.

Emerging writer, what is an emerging writer, young writer, australian writers blog, blogger or writer, australian blogger, female writer australian, Kylie Ladd

Kylie Ladd is a novelist and psychologist. Her works include After The Fall, Last Summer and Into My Arms. Kylie’s latest novel is Mothers and Daughters.  I personally have a soft spot for Kylie Ladd since she is one of very few writers to have toured through the Far South Coast on NSW.  I met Ladd at CANDELO BOOKS in Bega during the Wordy Women tour.  Kudos for the trip Kylie! – @kylie_ladd

1.  Read forensically.  Ask yourself, ‘Why does it work?  Why doesn’t it work?’  This is the best method to learning to write well.

2. Read ‘That Crafty Feel’.  Read Zadie Smith’s essay.  It perfectly captures what it is to be a writer; the highs and lows.

3. Don’t Panic.  It is normal to cringe when reading your own work.  It’s normal to despair.  Don’t let it stop you writing.

4 Write for art.  Edit for cash.  Writing is a business.  I have had to rewrite the last 50 000 words of my book.  I did so with tears in my eyes.  I wish that I had known this when I started.

5. Getting published won’t change your life.  Six months after book comes out, your life will be the same.  There is a thrill when you see someone on a bus reading your book, but ultimately your life will remain the same.  The act of writing turns out to be its’s own reward.

Emerging writer, what is an emerging writer, young writer, australian writers blog, blogger or writer, australian blogger, female writer australian, Anna Poletti

Anna Poletti is a Lecturer in Literary Studies and Director of the Centre for the Book at Monash University. She is the Chair of the Sticky Institute management committee. @poletti_anna

The truism of writing comes down to finishing your work.

1. Stay at the desk.  This is how I write the thousands of words I write for publication.  I get out of bed and I get to the desk.  Between the bed and desk I allow no room.  From there, I earn the right to leave the desk, have breakfast, shower or go for a work.  I earn this by working.  Find a way into your material.  Keep going.  Write out the ups and downs.

2. Go for a work.  Or any kind of physical exercise.  Move our body and allow your brain to shift.

3. Write for someone.  I need to have an audience to get my writing going, an actual reader.  A person.  Write for one or two people you have in mind.  If I don’t know who I’m writing for or who would give a shit about my writing, I can’t finish.

4.  Believe that you are the person who needs to write this.  ‘Who am I to think I can pull this off?’  I need to believe that I am the best person to write this.  When you know this, staying at the desk becomes easier.  If you don’t write this work, no one will.

5. Change medium.  For a time, facing down the blank page made me sick.  A typewriter saved me.   The physicality of punching out the words helped me finished my Phd.  Get a nice notebook, good paper and quality pens.  Changing tools can be an important alternative to the keyboard.

 

Enjoy.

Starting Again; Perhaps you Need to Find a Better Idea

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When is it time to quit?

How do you know if you should just give up on a book and move on to something else?

I know you don’t want to be a quitter.  They tell you in Creative Writing classes around the world (Ok, so I have been to a few in Australia and one in New Zealand).  They say the best writers don’t give up, writers push through pain to produce works of genius that reshape the contemporary literary landscape and redefine the scope of human experience… Right?  Not always.  Sometimes they also quit. Continue reading

Motivate

Catherine Vance, emerging writers

I write. I delete.

Uncomfy in my seat.

Procrastinate, gotta motivate.

Got an empty slate.

 

Caffinate

Regenerate

 

Friend gets a contract. Congratulate!

(A little hate)

Can we collaborate?

Caffeinate, caffeinate,

Fragment; consider revising. Am I literate?

 

Exasperate!

Punctuate, hyphenate. Educate!

Grilled cheese on toast.

(Even though I just ate.)

Don’t hesitate, this is fate.

Or do I exaggerate?

Procrastinate

 

How to Enter a Short Story Competition

entering a short story, emerging writers

Below you find a fool-proof, fail-safe and realistic-approach to entering a Short Story Competition.  By following these Six Easy Steps and you too can enter any Short Story Competition of your choosing.  If you do not already have a Short Story Competition in mind, read this article from Australian Writing Opportunities first – Enjoy and Good luck to you.

Step One

Decide to Enter the Competition.  This is the most crucial step in the process.  Once you have decided to enter the competition (Any competition of your choosing will be fine) you can start to brainstorm a few ideas and look back through your old work.  You may find something in a discarded draft that could be manipulated and worked into a winning entry.  You may also choose to start from scratch.  I personally prefer starting from scratch as this creates a situation of the most extreme stress, beginning from nothing, and allows you to truly channel a maximum of adrenaline for the next five steps. Continue reading

Pitching Your Work for Publication #pitchbitch

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#pitchbitch

Have you heard about Pitch, Bitch?  I first saw a tweet that contained the hashtag #pitchbitch at the Emerging Writers Festival 2014.  It was an interview with Estelle Tang for Kill Your Darlings about an initiative to promote and encourage women to pitch their work for publication.

Since reading about Pitch, Bitch online, I’ve discovered a lot of publishers and editors are getting involved too.  The pitch, bitch tumblr has great interviews with editors on what not to do.  They are encouraging women to stop everything and sit down for one day a month to work on their pitches, bitches.

What is it?

Continue reading