September 22, 2017 'Pub Trivia': Swampland

'Pub Trivia' is where we get to know our favourite Australian publications a bit better.


September 19, 2017 How To Write A Book Review

Everyone's got an opinion, so what comes next? We dig into the process of how to write a book review.


How to Write a Book Review

Review pages have been a staple of magazines and newspapers since the first time someone wondered, “is it any good?”

September 12, 2017 More Room To Work With: A Critical Response to Paul Dalla Rosa’s ‘Day Spa’

In this ideas piece, Cameron Colwell looks at how longform fiction expands the scope for more nuanced exploration of important topics. 


September 3, 2017 Freelance Writing Jobs and Opportunities | September 2017

For your perusal: freelance writing jobs, competitions, and places to publish. 


August 31, 2017 Freelance Life: A Room All On One's Own

Molly McLaughlin on finding community when freelance life is lonely. 

August 24, 2017 5 Surprising Things We Learnt at ‘Freelancing with Benjamin Law’

Katerina Bryant recaps our short course on freelancing with Benjamin Law. 

August 16, 2017 Freelance Hygiene: Time Management

Today on Building Blocs, we talk freelance hygiene and the tricky task of time management.

August 12, 2017 Anatomy of: A Modern Newspaper

Founding Editor of The Saturday Paper Erik Jensen on starting a print news publication from the ground up. 


August 11, 2017 'Pub Trivia': Hook Up

'Pub Trivia' is where we get to know our favourite Australian publications a bit better.


August 10, 2017 The Grant that Won: Our Grant Proposal Sample

Katerina and Geoff talk the application that won and share a grant proposal sample. 

August 3, 2017 Me, You, And Writing This Review

Rebecca Varcoe on Jennifer Down's Pulse Points, and the complexity of critiquing the work of a person who exists in your real life too.


August 1, 2017 Freelance Writing Jobs and Opportunities | August 2017

For your perusal: freelance writing jobs, competitions, and places to publish. 


July 28, 2017 'Pub Trivia': Hot Chicks With Big Brains

'Pub Trivia' is where we get to know our favourite Australian publications a bit better.


July 19, 2017 Win a Grant, Get Published

Sarah Gates on her 'dream run' year and everything you need to know to win a grant. 

July 18, 2017 Writer's Grief

Laura Elizabeth Woollett on the often hidden emotional punch of farewelling a long-term project.


Writer's Grief

July 14, 2017 'Pub Trivia': Mous Magazine

'Pub Trivia' is where we get to know our favourite Australian publications a bit better.


July 13, 2017 Grant Writing: How to Write a Proposal with Alison Croggon

Writers Bloc talks to Alison Croggon about how to write a proposal that will wow funding bodies.

July 10, 2017 Freelance Writing Jobs and Opportunities | July 2017

For your perusal: freelance writing jobs, competitions, and places to publish. 


July 5, 2017 Review | No Way! Okay, Fine

This is a review of Brodie Lancaster's No Way! Okay, Fine 


July 4, 2017 Grant Writing Tips

Before our upcoming short course on grant writing, Katerina Bryant talks fellowship and grant writing tips as well as where to apply.

June 29, 2017 'Pub Trivia': Liminal

Liminal Magazine: Pub Trivia

'Pub Trivia' is where we get to know our favourite Australian publications a bit better.


This week we speak to Leah McIntosh and Linh Nguyen from Liminal about their interview series which couples beautiful photography with exploration of the Asian-Australian experience. 


June 28, 2017 Social Media for Writers with Patrick Lenton

Demystify the world of digital marketing and social media with Patrick Lenton.

June 16, 2017 'Pub Trivia': Picton Grange

'Pub Trivia' is where we get to know our favourite Australian publications a bit better by firing off some quick questions at them. 

This week we speak to Ben Walter from Picton Grange about Very Specific criticism, how "quarterly" can be more philosophical than you'd think, and having a print run of three copies. 


June 15, 2017 Social Media for Writers: LinkedIn Edition

Sophie Byrne shares her LinkedIn skills, explaining the 'how to's' of social media for writers.

June 8, 2017 Finding your people: The Emerging Writers' Festival

 

Ahead of 2017's Emerging Writers' Festival, we have a chat to Artistic Director Izzy Roberts-Orr on what to expect from her first year at the helm. 

June 7, 2017 Do I Need an ABN? Surviving Taxes for Freelancers

Today on the Bloc, we talk ABNs and making the best of taxes for freelancers.

June 6, 2017 Should I Write A Book?

Scarlett Harris on not wanting to write a book—but wanting to want to write a book. 


Should I Write A Book?

June 3, 2017 Online Writing Courses | Supported by CAL Cultural Fund

Online Writing Courses with Writers Bloc

Writers Bloc is proud to introduce, with support from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, an entirely free online series of workshops for emerging and established writers alike to hone their skills.

June 2, 2017 Freelance Writing Jobs and Opportunities | June 2017

For your perusal: freelance writing jobs, competitions, and places to publish. 


May 26, 2017 It's Time to Write: A Q&A with Write and Shine’s Gemma Seltzer

On finding the time to write and smashing creative goals, with Write and Shine's Gemma Seltzer.


Gemma Seltzer is made of fairy dust. She must be magical, I hypothesise, after reading her credentials. It’s a long list filled with collaborations, residencies, a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship and the publication of her heartwarming book, Speak to Strangers.

May 24, 2017 Author Platforms - how to build one, and why

Building Blocs posts are designed to help you navigate the trickier elements of writing business and craft.

May 23, 2017 Anatomy of: A Personal Essay

Writer and editor Khalid Warsame discusses personal essays and the divide between truth and fiction.


Personal Essay

May 20, 2017 On Nature Writing

Geoff Orton reflects on why he's been reading more nature writing and lists some favourite books.


On Nature Writing

May 10, 2017 Finding Space To Write When You’re On The Go

Claire Rosslyn Wilson on how travel doesn't have to mean abandoning your writing routine


May 8, 2017 Getting Over Imposter Syndrome While You’re Writing

Katerina Bryant on the origins of 'imposter syndrome' and how to believe in your words.

May 4, 2017 Take Note: Canberra's Writers' Festival Heads Into Its Third Year

Canberra's Writers' Festival Heads Into Its Third Year


With Noted Festival kicking off for its third year yesterday, we sat down with Digital Producer Marta Skrabacz and Artistic Director Lucy Nelson to hear a bit about what to expect from this year's program.

May 1, 2017 Opportunities | May 2017

For your perusal: freelancing writing jobs, competitions, and places to publish. 


April 26, 2017 How to Become a Writer

Building Blocs Feature Editor Katerina Bryant on greyhounds, great writing, and writing wrongs


April 25, 2017 Deliberately Out Of Bounds: Tackling Writing and Work

Kasey Symons on how in the world of writing you really can have too much of a good thing. 


April 18, 2017 Anatomy of: A Comedy Show

Award-winning comedian Laura Davis talks comedy writing and how a show comes together.


comedy writing

April 17, 2017 Literary Natal

Brendan Zietsch sends a Literary Postcard from Brazil's cultural cradle. 


Obscure, impoverished, difficult to get to for almost everyone in the field — it was certainly a strange place for a scientific conference. And though it’s in many ways a paradise, Natal scared me and nearly derailed my novel.

April 6, 2017 So Long and Thanks For All The Phish

A word from our outgoing editor. 


I have news. I am stepping down as the Editor of Writers Bloc. Tragedy for me, yes, but excellent news for letters.

April 4, 2017 Opportunities | April 2017

For your perusal: freelancing writing jobs, competitions, and places to publish. 


March 30, 2017 Listening To Snails

Oliver Mol Writes to cult legend Eric Yoshiaki Dando for a little help figuring it all out. 


March 28, 2017 Creative Darwinism

March 23, 2017 THE BOOK THAT SHOWS YOU CAN’T GO BACK

Michelle Kelly, on making the journey back to Sweet Valley as an adult. 


March 21, 2017 Something To Say

Elizabeth Flux talks to Jo Walker, Editor in Chief of Frankie Press, about Frankie's  new book.  


March 16, 2017 Literary Links

We searched the wildest corners of the Internet to bring you the most genteel literary treasures we could find. Enjoy!


 

March 15, 2017 My Publishing/Writing Love Triangle

Rebecca Slater, on balancing working as a writer with a career in publishing. 


It is telling that, upon meeting both a writer and a publishing professional, I get a different reaction when I tell them I do both.

March 13, 2017 Review: Down The Hume, by Peter Polites

Cameron Colwell reviews Peter Polite's debut novel Down The Hume.


March 9, 2017 All About (Certain Kinds of) Women

Scarlett Harris reports from Sydney's All About Women Festival. 


 

March 8, 2017 Best Feminist Books

To help us celebrate International Women's Day, these writers share their favourite and some of the best feminist books.


best feminist books

March 6, 2017 Freelance Jobs And International Travel

Claire Rosslyn Wilson shares some strategies for living between places and developing international networks as a creative freelancer. 


March 3, 2017 We Need To Talk About Your Writer Bio

This is an ideas piece by 

March 3, 2017 DAVID STRATTON: A CINEMATIC LIFE

We've got a couple of tickets to giveaway for a new documentary film about one of Australia's greatest film critics. 


David Stratton has been a guiding light in Australian cinema for decades, and remains one of our best-loved writers and citics of film. 

March 1, 2017 Opportunities | March 2017

For your perusal:  freelancing writing jobs, competitions, and places to publish. 


February 28, 2017 Literary Oxford

This is a literary postcard from Oxford, by Rebecca Slater.


February 23, 2017 Make Professional Editing Work for You

This is a Building Blocs post from Allison K Williams, an experienced professional editor. 


Professional editing offers some choice lines of copy. In a recent manuscript I found this pearler. 

February 23, 2017 On Winning And Losing

This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece by Sunil Badami, who won the game show Temptation. 


February 22, 2017 The Anxiety of Influence

Is your writing original? Probably not. But that’s no reason to get stressed about it. Raphaelle Race dives into the sea of neurosis that is the creative process.


February 20, 2017 On Narrative Nonfiction

Brendan James Murray, on the sometimes fine line between fact and fiction in narrative nonfiction. 


February 16, 2017 Ask Me Editing | The Bad Romance Edition

This is Ask Me Editing, our publishing advice column with Agony Un-Uncle Elizabeth Flux.


February 15, 2017 From the Vault: The book that fed my football obsession by Ellen van Neerven

This is a The Book That... post from award-winning Indigenous Australian writer Ellen van Neerven. You can check out her website here, and her Twitter here

February 14, 2017 Creative Cupid: Our Writing Mentor Program

Introducing Creative Cupid, our writing mentor program.


writing mentor

February 13, 2017 The Art of Romance

Justin Heazlewood, on the art of balancing a relationship and a creative career. 


February 9, 2017 Writers' Other Jobs | Soap Star

This is a piece by Laura McIntosh about working on a popular Australian soap opera.


February 8, 2017 From the Vault: Eli Glasman on The Book That Gave Me YA Writing Guidance

This is a 'The Book That...' post from Eli Glasman. Eli Glasman's debut novel, The Boy's Own Manual to Being a Proper Jew (Sleepers Publishing), about a homosexual boy in the Melbourne orthodox Jewish community, is available in both soft cover and as ebook from all good Australian booksto

February 7, 2017 The Art of Adaptation

This is Craig Hildebrand-Burke, on what the golden age of TV and Film adaptations means for writers. 


It’s Oscars season, which inevitably means a whole lot of arguments about merit in art occur, alongside futile attempts to compare one film to another.

February 6, 2017 Literary Cities | Valencia

Claire Rosslyn Wilson, on the beauty in the burning fires of Valencia, Spain


February 2, 2017 Leaving New York

This is Scarlett Harris, with her Obligatory Leaving New York Essay.


 

February 1, 2017 Worst Fairy in the World

 This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece from author, journalist, short fiction writer and lecturer Meg Mundell. You can find her on twitter here and her website here


Worst Fairy in the World

by 

February 1, 2017 Worst Fairy in the World

 This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece from author, journalist, short fiction writer and lecturer Meg Mundell. You can find her on twitter here and her website here


Worst Fairy in the World

by 

January 31, 2017 The Book That Made Me Want to Join a Commune

Laura Woollett, on the book that made her want to join a commune (or at least write about one).


January 30, 2017 Opportunities | February 2017

For your perusal: jobs, competitions, and places to publish. 


January 27, 2017 Writing Guilt

This is a piece by Scarlett Harris, on writing and guilt.


January 24, 2017 Literary Cities: Alberta, Canada

This is a Literary Cities post from Emilie Zoey Baker.


Alberta, Canada

by 

Emilie Zoey Baker

 

January 24, 2017 Interview | Matthew Reilly

Samuel Elliott, in conversation with acclaimed author Matt Reilly


January 23, 2017 Arts Grants for Writers

This is a collection of writing grants and funding opportunities for writers.


 

January 19, 2017 Family Management

Justin Heazlewood, author of Funemployed, on the family frustrations unique to artists. 


January 18, 2017 Dear Friends

Our Content Director Liam Pieper, on the bright and shiny promise of the new year.


Dear friends, welcome back.

Join us as we big a fond farewell to the raging garbage fire that was 2016, and prepare to face the creative challenges of 2017 with clear-eyes, full hearts, and the steel-panted fortitude of Sting in David Lynch Film. 

January 17, 2017 Write For Us

A Guide to Writing for and Submitting to Writers Bloc. 


January 16, 2017 Opportunities | January 2017

For your perusal: jobs, competitions, and places to publish. 


December 15, 2016 Thanks For The Memories

2016 draws to a close. For many people, this has been a torrid garbage fire of a year.


Still, we press on, boats against the current, all that. Let’s look at the positives.

December 14, 2016 Best of the Bloc Features | 2016

As Deputy Editor here at Writers Bloc, I've had the absolute privilege of working with some of Australia's most amazing emerging and established writers. The Best of Bloc Features 2016 is here to take you out of 2016 with a look at some of my favourite pieces published this year - in no particular order.

December 12, 2016 Best of The Bloc | 2016

This year we've had the privilege to publish some of the best, brightest, and most provocative writing from around Australia and the world. Here's a look at some the highlights. 


We Need to Talk About Your Writer Bio - By Elizabeth Flux

December 8, 2016 Never Miss Another Writing Job or Competition Again

We are thrilled to introduce Bloc Boost – our new writing job and opportunity subscription service.


December 6, 2016 Opportunities | December

For your perusal: jobs, competitions, and places to publish. Find something in this list to help bring you inspiration, fame and fortune. Also, remember to bookmark our new Opportunities page for the most recent jobs and comps around. 

December 5, 2016 Review | Quantum Words Festival

This is a review of the inaugural Quantum Words Festival, by Sebastian Gonzalez.

December 2, 2016 MiGoals

In 2013 I bought a diary from Metropolis books in Melbourne that a friend had recommended to me. I hadn't kept a diary at since I was at school. I think the teachers thought we'd use it to keep track of assessments and homework, but I largely used it to write friend's birthdays and to pull out pages to pass notes. 

December 1, 2016 Ask Me Editing | The Show Me The Money Edition

Welcome to Ask Me Editing, the publishing advice column that acknowledges that while everyone has a book inside them, there’s also other stuff in there too, like lungs and a condom full of heroin. Let’s shatter some dreams!


November 29, 2016 Bloc Features: The Great Blue Roof

We are thrilled to feature a new short story by a talents from the next brilliant generation of Australian writers


The Room with the Great Blue Roof

by 

November 29, 2016 Write Here | Christmas Wrap

Your presence is requested at the Write Here End of Year Christmas Wrap.


November 28, 2016 Building Blocs | Who's Afraid of Isaac Asimov?

A guide to avoiding savage nerds converging upon your innocent science fiction story and ripping it to shreds. 


By 

Raphaelle Race

 

November 24, 2016 Literary Cities: Karratha

This is a Literary Cities postcard from Karratha, by Megan Hippler.  


November 22, 2016 Be Kind To The Dog

This is a piece by Robert Lukins, on the sometimes long and always wonky road to publication.


It’s all very strange.

November 21, 2016 Interview: Lorelei Vashti

This is an interview with Lorelei Vashti.


November 17, 2016 Café Purgatory

This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece, by H.D. Thompson.


November 15, 2016 Bloc Features: That Horrible Moment During Sex or a Date Where...

This week's Bloc is Featuring newly launched Hook Up, a zine about honestly expressing sexuality and sexual experiences, cutting through unrealistic contemporary expectations of queer culture.

November 15, 2016 The Zen Kitchen

This is a review of Adam Liaw's The Zen Kitchen: Easy Japanese Recipes for Home Cooks.


November 14, 2016 Voiceworks

This is a word from our Editor on something of vital importance to the literary community. 


November 9, 2016 Bloc Feature: The Ugly Pineapple by Joel Burrows

This week's Bloc Feature comes to us care of Wollongon's Ugly Pineapple zine.

November 7, 2016 Want | Pilot Diary

At the risk of hyperbole, this diary from Pilot Press is the greatest thing in the whole world. And we're giving one away.  


November 3, 2016 Building Blocs | Self Care

This is a Building Blocs piece on checking oneself before one wrecks oneself.


November 1, 2016 The Festival of Miracles

We are thrilled to feature a new short story by a talents from the next brilliant generation of Australian writers

November 1, 2016 Fiction Clinic

This is an introduction to our Fiction Clinic – an editing and appraisal service for writers of fiction. 


The short story is an art which, like poker, takes a day to learn the rules but a lifetime to master. It’s just as easy for a writer working on their hundredth story to get stuck as one testing the waters with their first.

October 31, 2016 Opportunities November

For your perusal: jobs, competitions, and places to publish. Find something in this list to help bring you inspiration, fame and fortune. Also, remember to bookmark our new Opportunities page for the most recent jobs and comps around. 

October 27, 2016 Ask Me Editing | Is This Journalist A Jerk Edition?

Welcome to Ask Me Editing, the advice column that’s here to help you with your writing ‘lifestyle’. This week we’ve got all sorts of shifty behavior going on, and the takeaway is that writers are garbage people.


October 25, 2016 Want | Alison Turnbull Greeting Cards

This is a few words on a thing that we love, that we are quietly confident you will too.


Here at Writers Bloc, we spend a lot of time in bookshops. Call it an an occupational hazard. 

October 21, 2016 The Digital Writers' Festival 2016

This is an interview with Jane Howard, Director of the Digital Writers' Festival.


October 20, 2016 The Book That | Maybe Gets It Better Than Its Author Does

This is a piece by Elizabeth Flux, on how sometimes a book works it out much faster than the author does.


October 18, 2016 How to Write Sex

Have you always wanted to write a sex scene, but don’t know how to start?


Maybe the whole thing terrifies you, or you could just be terribly confused about the whole thing. We’ve done the dirty business of asking some of our favourite authors how they put together sexy, steamy, thrilling words about people having it off.

October 17, 2016 Literary Cities | Paris

This is a Literary Cities piece on Paris, by Donna Lu. 


October 12, 2016 Bloc Features: Deconstructed Gender: A Tried-And-True Recipe For Unwinding The Binary by Nikki Nicnevin.

This week's Bloc Feature has been shared by the electric zine #EnbyLife. #EnbyLife is a zine about non-binary experiences and stories featuring writers, artists and creatives from Australia and overseas.

October 11, 2016 On Scrivener

This is a public service announcement from the Content Director of Writers Bloc about the divine gift to writers that is Scrivener. 


I recently attended TINA, the National Young Writers Festival. I’m 32. Here’s footage of every panel I did.

October 10, 2016 Trust Issues | How To Make Friends With Your Editor

This is a Building Blocs Piece, on building relationships between freelancers and editors.


Editors are the literal gatekeepers to publication. Learning how to build good relationships with editors is one of the most important skills for freelance writers seeking success.

October 7, 2016 This is Probably Art, After All

This is a review of the 2016 This is Not Art Festival, by Cameron Colwell.


October 4, 2016 Hetero

We are thrilled to feature a new short story by a talents from the next brilliant generation of Australian writers.


October 3, 2016 October Writing Opportunities

For your perusal: jobs, competitions, and places to publish. Find something in this list to help bring you inspiration, fame and fortune. Also, remember to bookmark our new Opportunities page for the most recent jobs and comps around. 

September 29, 2016 Talking Writing: Who’s Writing Who?

This is a review of Talking Writing: Who's Writing Who? – a NSW Writers' Centre  discussion and showcase of cultural diversity in Australian writing.


September 27, 2016 Bloc Features: Hope for the body by Lucas Grainger-Brown

This week's Bloc Feature comes to us from the ever-fascinating and exciting Going Down Swinging. Going Down Swinging is one of Australia's longest-running and most respected journals. The journal works across platforms to produce high quality publications and events that support writers and artists telling stories worth sharing!

September 27, 2016 This Is Not Art | 2016

This is the Writers Bloc Guide to the 2016 This Is Not Art Festival.


September 26, 2016 Between a Blog and a Hard Place

This is a piece by Scarlett Harris, on the changing landscape for online writing. 


It seems that everywhere I look on the internet these days there’s a nostalgia for blogging.

September 23, 2016 ASK ME EDITING | We need to talk about Twitter

Hello and welcome to Ask Me Editing, the publishing and writing advice column which puts the ‘semi-qualified to do this’ back in semi-colon. And the colon! Let’s answer some questions.

 

September 22, 2016 Giveaway | Jewel Sea

We are thrilled to be able to offer a couple of our lucky readers a free copy of JEWEL SEA.


September 20, 2016 Interview | Kim Kelly

This is an interview with Kim Kelly, author of several books, most recently the novel Jewel Sea.


September 19, 2016 Extract – Jewel Sea

This is the first chapter of Jewel Sea, a novel by Kim Kelly, out now through The Author People. 


Jewel Sea is the story of the Koombana, Australia's forgotten Titanic tale, a story of ambition and greed at the end of the empire, and one perfect, cursed pearl.

September 15, 2016 How To Win The Booker

This is is the Writers Bloc Guide to winning the Man Booker, the greatest literary prize in the world.


September 14, 2016 The Invisible War

The Invisible War is a graphic novel due to be launched this month by the Scale Free Network art-science collaborative, a Melbourne based micro-publisher, inspired by the wonders of the micro-world. 

September 12, 2016 Interview: Laura Bloom

This is an interview with novelist Laura Bloom


September 8, 2016 Literary Cities | Hong Kong

This is a Literary Cities piece by Elizabeth Flux about Hong Kong. 


September 7, 2016 Bloc Features: My Subconscious Doesn't Care About You by Shelby Traynor

This week's Bloc Feature has been shared with us by the student collective The Underground Writers. The Underground Writers are a group of students and creatives with a passion for everything creative writing.

September 6, 2016 The Cleanskin, by Laura Bloom

This is the first chapter of The Cleanskin, by Laura Bloom.


September 5, 2016 Ideas: Hot Take Culture

This is an Ideas piece by Scarlett Harris about why we should maybe cool it with the hot takes. 


September 1, 2016 Opportunities (September)

For your perusal: jobs, competitions, and places to publish. Find something in this list to help bring you inspiration, fame and fortune. Also, remember to bookmark our new Opportunities page for the most recent jobs and comps around. 

August 30, 2016 Bloc Features: Interview with Minna Gilligan

Our Bloc Feature this week comes from the marvelous Hot Chicks with Big Brains.

August 30, 2016 A Humble Request

Since 2014, Writers Bloc has published hundreds of emerging writers and provided feedback to a community of over 10,000 creative minds. We also hold events across Australia and provide a place for writers across the world to connect with others online.

August 29, 2016 What Even Is A Mentor?

This is a piece by Lauren Sherritt on the importance of professional creative mentoring programs.


August 25, 2016 Ask Me Editing | The It's A Trap! Edition

Welcome to Ask Me Editing, the publishing and writing advice column that puts the ‘IMPish sense of humour’ back in IMPoster syndrome. Let’s go solve some high stakes issues.


August 23, 2016 Giveaway : Portable Curiosities

This is a giveaway, in which we do what it says on the tin. We give something away.


So, being the stand-up literary citizens that we are, we like to reward our readers for enjoying the FREE AND EXCELLENT content we deliver them, asking very little in return (HINT HINT).

August 22, 2016 Interview: Julie Koh

This is an interview with Julie Koh, author of the the new collection

August 18, 2016 What Even Is An Agent?

This is a Building Blocs piece, in which Bri Lee interviews Literary Agent Grace Heifetz about what exactly an agent does.


Bri Lee interviews an agent from Curtis Brown (AUS), Australia's largest literary agency.

August 17, 2016 Bloc Features: Eight Lives by Chloe Walker

 

Today's Bloc Feature has been shared with us by Funny Ha Ha, a magnificent zine that features humour and emotion

August 16, 2016 Interview – Briohny Doyle

This is an interview with author and academic, Briohny Doyle, by Raphaelle Race.


The Island Will Sink is Briohny Doyle’s debut novel, a book about the questionable joys of technology, interconnectivity and the human mind.

August 15, 2016 The Island Will Sink

This is an excerpt from The Island Will Sink, by Briohny Doyle.


August 11, 2016 Reality Testing Episode Three: About Aboutness

This is Reality Testing, our column where Khalid Warsame and 

August 9, 2016 Brave New World

You may have noticed we've had a little haircut.

We've got a brand new, cleaner look, but that's just the start. 

For the past few months, we've been working behind the scenes to revamp the site, and better cater to the needs of our growing community. That means you.

August 4, 2016 Writers Other Jobs – Public Servant

This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece by Shu-Ling Chua about being a public servant.


 

August 2, 2016 Bloc Feature: 35,000 Pieces of Converted Culture by Adam Rivett

This week's excellent Bloc Feature has been shared with us by The Lifted Brow. 

August 2, 2016 Review – Weird Sydney

This is a review of NSW Writer's Centre's live event, Weird Sydney.


 

August 1, 2016 Opportunities (August 2016)

July 28, 2016 Ask Me Editing – The Sweet, Sweet Fantasy Edition

Welcome to Ask Me Editing, where I solve all your problems, as long as they vaguely relate to books.


 

July 26, 2016 Bloc Features: Caravan of Courage by Angie Holst

This is a Writers Bloc workshop feature.


Caravan of Courage

by

Angie Holst

 

July 26, 2016 Review – Their Brilliant Careers

This is a review of Their Brilliant Careers: The Fantastic Lives of Sixteen Extraordinary Australian Writers by Ryan O'Neill. 

July 25, 2016 Winging It - Reflections on Criticism

This is a piece by Rebecca Dempsey reflecting on the Criticism Masterclass at the recent Emerging Writers Festival.


June 21, 2016 Bloc Club : Live

We are thrilled to be hosting a special live Bloc Club event at the Emerging Writers' Festival.


The event is 100% FREE, and kicks off at 12.30pm today at the festival club at 1000 £ Bend in Melbourne's CBD.

June 16, 2016 Interview | Todd Alexander

This is an interview with Todd Alexander, by Cameron Colwell


June 15, 2016 Building Blocs – Taxtime

This is a Building Blocs piece in which, Sam Ryan from SAYSO talks tax for writers. 


 

I’m a writer! I wrote some things! I’m getting paid for them! Now what?

Well first, I’m going to assume you’ve already registered for an ABN and decided whether or not as a sole trader, you’ll register for GST.

June 14, 2016 Writers' Other Jobs – World Famous Movie Star

This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece by Ruth Clare about being an actor. 


June 10, 2016 Public Service Announcement

This is a word from our Editor's Desk about a looming threat to Australian literature. 


We're going to talk about a thing. At first glance it is a very boring thing, but bear with us please, it needs talking about.  

June 9, 2016 Literary Cities | Dunedin

Literary Cities piece on Dunedin, by Phoebe Paterson de Heer.


June 7, 2016 Ask Me Editing – The Get Me Off This Crazy Rollercoaster Edition

Hello and welcome to Ask Me Editing, the publishing agony aunt column which rhymes Editing and Anything, which is basically poetry.


 

June 2, 2016 Giveaway | EWF Masterclass

This is a giveaway, where we do what it says on the tin – give something away. 


Our friends at the The Emerging Writers' Festival  have given us two of their hottest tickets to share with our dear readers. That means you, dear reader.

June 1, 2016 Opportunities (June 2016)

Our monthly wrap of writing and publishing opportunities.


May 31, 2016 Eighteen Months: On Where Art Comes From

Cameron Colwell on: the Sydney Writers' Festival, art, labour and Hanya Yanagihara.


May 30, 2016 The Book That | Finally Got Me Writing Again

This is a Book That piece by Bri Lee about the joys/perils of reading Helen Garner.


I’m in the middle of writing my first book and it’s:

• First-person memoir by a woman (me)

• About the law (and some heavy shit)

May 26, 2016 Keeping Up With The Kierkegaards

This is an ideas piece about how writing and existential crises go together like Scrabble and Zen.


May 24, 2016 Reality Testing Episode Two: HHhH

This is Reality Testing, a new column where two of the smartest people we could find (on Twitter) Khalid Warsame and Joshua Barnes fight over an idea.


May 20, 2016 Emerging Writers Festival

This is the Writers Bloc Guide to the Emerging Writers' Festival.


May 19, 2016 Ask Me Editing – The Work, Work, Work Edition

This is Ask Me Editing, a new writing and publishing-advice column where our writing-industry agony-uncle dispenses priceless advice.


Welcome to ASK ME EDITING, the publishing advice column that is not so much the front page of the internet, more like the acknowledgements. Let’s find out some stuff about books.

 

May 18, 2016 Bloc Features: An interview with T.V Reed

Today's Bloc Feature has been shared with us by Moss Journal. 

May 17, 2016 Get A Real Job | Why It's Not The Arts VS The World

This is an ideas piece by Elizabeth Flux, about the need to stop viewing the arts as disposable. 


May 13, 2016 Sydney Writers' Festival Highlights

Here are our must-see events at the upcoming Sydney Writers Festival.


May 12, 2016 Literary Cities | Lisbon

Literary Cities piece on Lisbon, by Carlotta Eden.


May 11, 2016 Giveaway | The Memory Artist

This is a giveaway, in which we do what it says on the tin. We give something away.


We've got couple of copies of The Memory Artist, the Vogel-winning novel by Katherine Brabon to give away – courtesy of our friends at Allen & Unwin.

May 10, 2016 Interview | Josephine Rowe

This is an interview with poet and novelist Josephine Rowe.

May 5, 2016 Ask Me Editing – The Cynical and Wrong Edition

This is Ask Me Editing, a new writing and publishing-advice column where our writing-industry agony-uncle dispenses priceless advice.


May 2, 2016 Opportunities (May 2016)

Our monthly wrap of writing and publishing opportunities.


April 28, 2016 Reality Testing, Episode One: I Know It When I See It

This is Reality Testing, a new column where two of the smartest people we could find (on Twitter) Khalid Warsame and Joshua Barnes fight over an idea.


April 28, 2016 Our 9 favourite April debut novels

It's probably pretty obvious, but we here at Writers Bloc really like books. Like, really really like them.

April 27, 2016 Bloc Features: Death by Water by Raphaelle Race

This is a Bloc Features workshop piece by Raphaelle Race


 

Death by Water

Raphaelle Race

 

April 26, 2016 Building Blocs: Producing A Festival

This is a Building Blocs piece by Shu-Ling Chua, where a producer takes us through what is takes to run a writers' festival.


April 22, 2016 Review | A Loving, Faithful Animal

This is a review, of Josephine Rowe's A Loving, Faithful Animal. 


April 21, 2016 AME – Am I Allowed to Be Jealous

This is Ask Me Editing, a new writing and publishing-advice column where our industry agony-uncle dispenses priceless advice.

April 20, 2016 Extract | A Loving, Faithful Animal

This is an extract from A Loving, Faithful Animal, by Josephine Rowe – our Bloc Club book this month.

April 19, 2016 G.R.R. Martin Dragon His Heels

This is an ideas piece by Craig Hildebrand-Burkeabout Game of Thrones, and when an author's creation gets a life of its own.


April 14, 2016 Literary Cities | Fremantle

Literary Cities piece on Fremantle by Chloe Papas.


April 13, 2016 True Stories: Long Long Sisters

April 11, 2016 Bloc Features: Extract of Where the Trees Were by Inga Simpson

This week Hachette Australia publishing house have shared an extract one of their latest publications: Inga Simpson's Where the Trees Were


 

April 8, 2016 Writers' Other Jobs | Life

This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece by Aaron Rowan-Bell about how not finding your path right away can be the best possible move.

April 6, 2016 AME – There, There, You'll Be Fine

This is Ask Me Editing, a new writing and publishing-advice column where we have industry experts answer your questions.


Hi folks! Thanks for joining me at Ask Me Editing, the publishing and writing agony aunt column that in no way infringes on Reddit’s AMA. No way at all. Let’s talk about publishing – what else are you gonna do, actually write your book?

April 5, 2016 Bloc Features: The Hair of Mary Donner by Georgia Oman

This week's Bloc Feature comes to us from Voiceworks journal. 


The Hair of Mary Donner

By Georgia Oman

 

April 4, 2016 April News

This is Bloc News, a word from the team about what the month ahead holds.


OK. So we don’t want to take up too much of your time, but you should know that Blocwise, April will be explosive.

April 1, 2016 Opportunities (April 2016)

We've read the Internet cover to cover to bring you these opportunities.


March 31, 2016 Literary Cities | New Orleans

Literary Cities piece on New Orleans, by Carlotta Eden.


March 30, 2016 We Saw Through the Same Eyes by Myles Gough

 

A Writers Bloc workshop feature.


 

We Saw Through the Same Eyes

by 

Myles Gough

 

It wasn’t the first time that death had brought Sean back to his childhood home.

March 29, 2016 6 Best Ever Writing Tips

This is an ideas piece – in which we collect the best writing tips we've ever heard.


March 24, 2016 What is She Doing? | Final

This is the final episode of 'What is She Doing?' our video series featuring Bri Lee.


March 23, 2016 Bloc Features: Our Year Without Footy

This week's Bloc Feature has been shared with us by Tincture Journal. You can buy their fantastic eJournal here and subscribe here.

March 22, 2016 Ask Me Editing

This is Ask Me Editing, a new writing-advice column where we have industry experts answer your questions.


Starting April, we're launching a new writing-industry advice column. It's called ASK ME EDITING, which is a fun play on words and doesn't infringe in any way on reddit's proprietary ASK ME ANYTHING.  

March 18, 2016 Building Blocs – The Post-Apocalyptic Guide To Book Promotion

This is a 

March 17, 2016 The Unnatural Way of Things

March 15, 2016 Literary Cities | Brisbane

Literary Cities piece on Brisbane, by Khalid Warsame. 


March 11, 2016 What is She Doing? | Part 8

This is episode Eight of 'What is She Doing?' our video series featuring Bri Lee.


March 10, 2016 Review: Aurealis #87

This is a review of Aurealis #87, edited by Dirk Strasser

Raphaelle Race

March 9, 2016 Bloc Features: Round by Katelin Farnsworth

Something special this week! Lip Magazine has generously shared the story that won their 2015 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction. 

March 8, 2016 All About Women

This is a festival wrap of the fourth edition of All About Women at the Sydney Opera House, by Geoff Orton.

March 7, 2016 Writers' Other Jobs | Magician

This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece by Nicholas J. Johnnson about being a magician. 


I was standing awkwardly at a rooftop BBQ in North Fitzroy being introduced to a group of artistic types by my friend Neil. 

March 3, 2016 Literary Cities: Oregon

Literary Cities piece on Portland, by Katerina Bryant.


March 2, 2016 Bloc Features: We never learned to wait for the dough to rise by Alvin Park

This week's Bloc Feature has been shared with us by the explosively sensate Synaesthesia Magazine. Synaesthesia wants you to think differently about things and the way we interact with them. Go check out their current issue!

March 1, 2016 Good News

This is a word from the team about what the month holds for us.


Good news everyone! We've got bad news.

February 29, 2016 Opportunities (March 2016)

We've read the Internet cover to cover to bring you these opportunities.


February 26, 2016 What Is She Doing? | Part 7

This is episode Seven of 'What is She Doing?' our new video series featuring Bri Lee.


February 25, 2016 The Dry

A Writers Bloc workshop feature


The Dry

by

Hannah Donnelly

 

February 23, 2016 Building Blocs | Nepotism

This is a 

February 23, 2016 The Kat Muscat Fellowship

February 21, 2016 A Tribute to Harper Lee

This is a Writers Bloc tribute to the late Harper Lee.


Harper Lee has passed away, aged 89. 

February 18, 2016 Literary Cities | New York

Literary Cities piece by Bri Lee.


February 17, 2016 Bloc Features Extract: No Free Man

Our latest Bloc Features is an excerpt from No Free Man by Graham Potts, shared with us by the wonderful Pantera Press. 

 


No Free Man

by

Graham Potts

 

No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or

February 16, 2016 Interview | Blak & Bright - Australia's Debut Indigenous Literary Festival

This is an interview with Jane Harrison, the Director of the Blak & Bright Festival.


February 14, 2016 Writers Other Jobs | Sex With Married Men

This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece by Dan Bledwich, about working in the sex industry.


 

February 11, 2016 What is She Doing? | Part 6

This is episode Six of 'What is She Doing?' our new video series featuring 

February 10, 2016 Extract: Not Just Black And White

This is an excerpt from Not Just Black and White by Lesley and Tammy Williams, our Bloc Club book of the month.

February 9, 2016 Building Blocs: Twists That Shout

This is a Build

February 8, 2016 The Book That | Turned Me Into a Zombie Apocalypse Prepper

This is a The Book That piece, by Liam Pieper, about becoming a zombie apocalypse prepper.


February 4, 2016 Review | Not Just Black and White

This is a review of Not Just Black and White by Lesley and Tammy Williams, our Bloc Club book of the month.


February 3, 2016 Biting My Tongue by Shu-Ling Chua

Originally published in Feminartsy.

February 2, 2016 Read All The Books.

This is a word from our Content Director about what the month holds for us.


February 1, 2016 Opportunities (Feb 2016)

We've read the Internet cover to cover to bring you these opportunities.


January 29, 2016 What is She Doing? | Part 5

This is episode Five of 'What is She Doing?' our new video series featuring 

January 27, 2016 A Room of Their Own

This is an ideas piece by Vince Ruston: In defense of the singular ‘they’.


January 24, 2016 Middlesex: Bloc Club Notes

This is a Bloc Club post, where we invite a writer to discuss this month's Bloc Club book, Middlesex.

January 21, 2016 Literary Cities | Barcelona

January 20, 2016 My Brother, The Horsehead

A Writers Bloc workshop feature


My Brother, The Horsehead

By Rafael Ward

January 19, 2016 Zoning Out

When this Author Refused to Publish A Poem with a Cartoon Rhino In It, He Learned a Valuable Lesson About Handling Rejection And Writing Outside His Comfort Zone. 


January 18, 2016 Following your dreams

This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece by Raphaelle Race. 


January 14, 2016 What is She Doing? | Part 4

This is episode four of 'What is She Doing?' our new video series featuring Bri Lee

January 13, 2016 Bloc Features: Pudding by Laura Elvery

Something special from the Big Issue Fiction Edition to start the new year with a jolt of class.

January 12, 2016 Interview | Ask A Penguin Editor

This is a Building Blocs piece, in which we talk publishing with a powerful editor about how you can get published. 


January 11, 2016 Giveaway | Hot Chicks with Big Brains

In which we do what it says on the tin—we give something away.


Our friends at Hot Chicks with Big Brains have given us some t-shirts and tote-bags to share with you. 

January 7, 2016 Review | The Promise Seed

This is a  review, written by Katelin Farnsworth, of The Promise Seed, by Cass Moriarty.  


January 5, 2016 Best of the Bloc | 2015

This is an anthology of our most popular, most exciting writing from 2015. Enjoy! 


January 5, 2016 2016: A New Hope

OK. A new year. 2016. Let’s go.

January 4, 2016 Opportunities (Jan 2016)

We've read the Internet cover to cover to bring you these opportunities.


December 31, 2015 What is She Doing? | Part 3

This is episode three of 'What is She Doing?' our new video series featuring Bri Lee

December 23, 2015 Christmas Lights

This is a special holiday treat! This is an rare early fiction piece by author, screenwriter and all-round superstar Ben Law.


December 21, 2015 Happy Merry!

OH LORDY LOOK AT THE TIME!

December draws to a close, and with it, a turbulent year for writers and readers. 

December 18, 2015 Review | The Best Australian Stories 2015

This is a review, written by Charles Cave of The Best Australian Stories 2015

December 17, 2015 What is She Doing | Part Two

This is episode two of 'What is She Doing?' our new video series featuring Bri Lee

December 16, 2015 Bloc Features: August 27

A Writers Bloc workshop feature


 

August 27

 

I never thought

With a thousand winds against my back and the waves of solace breaking through a foamy white-washed sunset

That I would emerge as the victorious lover

On a side full of bright light and ever-glowing pandemonium

December 15, 2015 So you want to write for a living?

This is an Ideas piece by independent journalist Royce Kurmelovs.

December 13, 2015 Giveaway | Best Australian Comedy Writing

This is a giveaway, in which we do what it says on the tin. We give something away. 


There's a new collection of the best comedy writing from Australia in the past year, called, appropriately enough, Best Australian Comedy Writing. 

December 10, 2015 Review | The Best Australian Essays

This is a review, written by Sonia Nair of 

December 10, 2015 A night out at the Express Media Awards 2015

This is a reflection on the 2015 Express Media Awards by Raphaelle Race


December 9, 2015 Bloc Feature | Best Australian Comedy Writing

This is a featured extract from Best Australian Comedy Writingedited by 

December 8, 2015 Interview | Luke Ryan

This is a Writers Bloc Interview, with comedian and writer Luke Ryan.

December 7, 2015 The Book That Made Me an Ungrateful Shit

This is a Book That piece, by Sebastian Gonzalez.

December 3, 2015 What Is She Doing?

This is episode one of 'What is She Doing?' our new video series featuring Bri Lee.


December 2, 2015 Bloc Features: Shit Brick Fences of Melbourne

This piece was originally featured in Shit Brick Fences of Melbourne

December 1, 2015 Interview | Bri Lee

This is an Interview with Bri Lee, discussing 'What is She Doing?' her new video series with Writers Bloc. 


November 30, 2015 Opportunities (December 2015)

We've read the Internet cover to cover to bring you these opportunities.


November 27, 2015 Best Australian Poems 2015

This is a review, written by Ali Schnabel of 

November 26, 2015 Building Blocs | Pitching

This is a Building Blocs piece, in which we discuss the fine art of pitching.


November 25, 2015 Hot Chicks With Big Brains

This featured piece was originally published by Hot Chicks with Big Brains.


November 24, 2015 Giveaway | The Interrobang

This is a giveaway, in which we do is says on the tin. We give something away. 


Are you a fan of wild, rampaging intellect? Are you an inquisitive mind? Are you looking for an impressive but inexpensive night out with which to treat your old lady/fellow/non-binary special someone? Then do we have a treat for you!

November 23, 2015 Inching Towards Bethlehem

This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece by Bri Lee


November 19, 2015 Literary Cities | Avon Valley Writer's Festival

This is a reflection on the 2015 Avon Valley Writers Festival by Melissa Davies.


November 18, 2015 Hot Chicks With Big Brains

This featured piece was originally published by Hot Chicks with Big Brains.


November 17, 2015 Interview | Fiona Wright

This is an interview with Sydney author Fiona Wright.


 

November 16, 2015 Interview with Dan Marshall

A Bright Young Things Exclusive.


Each month we speak to an emerging writer about their first book. Last week Geoff spoke with Dan Marshall, author of Home is Burning for our Bright Young Things book club.

November 13, 2015 Review | The End of Seeing

This is a review of The End of Seeing by Christy Collins, published by Seizure Online. 

November 12, 2015 Building Blocs | Book Deal

This is a Building Blocs piece, in which we discuss the getting of book deals. 


November 11, 2015 How to Live

A Writers Bloc workshop feature 


How to Live

by James Arbuthnott

November 10, 2015 One Weird Reason to Quit Your Novel Today!

This is an Ideas piece by poet and proud recovering novelist Adam Ford.


 

Quitting my novel was the best thing I've ever done as a writer. I totally recommend it.

November 9, 2015 Horsepower

This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece by Tim McGuire


November 5, 2015 Summer of '65

This is a reflection on the 2015 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival by Liam Pieper.


November 4, 2015 Sick Leave: A Year of Living Horizontally

This week's Bloc Feature, 'Sick Leave: A Year of Living Horizontally' by Anna Barnes, was originally published in issue 23 of Kill Your Darlings journal.

November 3, 2015 Interview | Krissy Kneen

This is an interview with Brisbane author Krissy Kneen.

November 2, 2015 Opportunities (November 2015)

We've read the Internet cover to cover to bring you these opportunities.


October 28, 2015 Running Like China

This is an extract from Running Like China,

October 26, 2015 Bloc Club: Home is Burning

Writers Bloc, is a place for writers, and all good writers are great readers.

October 26, 2015 The Book That Stayed With Me (Literally)

This is a The Book That piece, by Anna-Spargo Ryan.


October 23, 2015 Review | The Uncanny Love of Jimmy Panagakos

This is a review of The Uncanny Love of Jimmy Panagakos, a novella by Beth Hill. 


Reviewed by Ali Schnabel

October 22, 2015 The Sea-King of Hamburg

A Literary Cities piece by Sofija Stefanovic


I was going on a six-week holiday to Europe. A few weeks before leaving Australia, I’d had my wisdom teeth out. Infection is rare but I guess I’m just special, because boy, did I get infected.

October 20, 2015 Home is Burning

This is an extract from our Bloc Club book Home Is Burning  by Dan Marshall

October 20, 2015 Interview | Peter Polites

This is an interview with Western Sydney author Peter Polites. 


 

October 19, 2015 Jacky Winter Gardens Residency

OK. So we don't want to panic you, but you have very little time to apply for a 24-carat rad opportunity. 


Jacky Winter Gardens, an artist-run bed and breakfast in Melbourne's Dandenong Ranges have just announced a free Artist-in-Residence Program. 

October 15, 2015 The Workshop

This is a Building Blocs piece about the Writers Bloc Workshop.

October 14, 2015 Broomie, 1955

This is an extract from The Uncanny Love of Jimmy Panagakos by Beth Hill. 


Anthea braced herself against the bright heat of the sun as she pushed hard into her front door. It was stuck again, swollen against the frame in the humidity. Sweat rolled down Anthea’s legs, pooling in her heavy factory work shoes.

October 13, 2015 Take The M Train

This is a review of Patti Smith's new book M Train. By Charles Cave. 

October 12, 2015 Interview with Jane Rawson

On Tuesday night we spoke to Jane Rawson as part of our monthly Bright Young Things book club.

October 8, 2015 NYWF

This is a reflection on National Young Writers Festival by Chloe Escott 

October 7, 2015 The Beggar

A Writers Bloc workshop feature


The Beggar

By Namita Hiro

*TRIGGER WARNING*

October 6, 2015 Creating Cities

An Interview with Marcus Westbury: author activist and accidental urbanist. 

October 5, 2015 We Need to Talk About Ernest

A Literary Cities piece on drinking with Hemingway's Ghost. By Liam Pieper.

October 1, 2015 Opportunities (October 2015)

Some of the best opportunities for emerging writers and editors this month.

September 30, 2015 The Magic Trick

There's a trick to worldbuilding in magical fiction, writes Raphaelle Race. 


The use of magic as a plot point in stories works to the author’s greatest advantage when it is based on an already established religious or superstitious belief system. 

September 29, 2015 Eye of The Storm

This is a reflection on the Eye of The Storm Literary Festival in Alice Springs by Sophie Allan

September 28, 2015 The Book That Smashed the Sea

This is a book that... piece by Charles Cave. 

September 24, 2015 The Monomyth

...and how every story is basically Harry Potter. 

September 24, 2015 Bloc Features: Assia

Originally published in Phantasmagoria

September 22, 2015 New Kid on The Bloc


Why Hello!  I’m the new Content Director ofWriters Bloc.

September 18, 2015 Meet Sherryn

Interview by Amy Maynard.

September 16, 2015 Bloc Features: Destroyed Flowers Everywhere

Originally published in Fourteen Hills 


Our latest Bloc Feature has been shared with us by San Francisco journal Fourteen Hills. Bloc Features is a project designed to support the future of Australian writing by placing (and paying!) the best emerging writers from our workshop alongside published authors from Australia and overseas. 

September 9, 2015 The Brown Torana

A Writers Bloc workshop feature


Bloc Features is a new Writers Bloc project where we publish some of the best writing from our website, Australian and overseas journals, as well as debut and emerging novelists. This week's feature is from our very own workshop, The Brown Torana by Sam Salvidge. 

September 8, 2015 How to: Book Club

Suggestions for how to find a good book club.


We've been to quite a few writers festivals over the years. And almost every time we hear a writer offer advice, it's often these three words.

Be a reader. 

September 2, 2015 Bloc Features: Formaldehyde

Winner of the 2015 Seizure Viva La Novella Prize

September 1, 2015 Opportunities (September 2015)

Some of the best opportunities for emerging writers and editors this month.


We've skimmed the cream off the top of the internet and present some of the most choice froth for you here. If you'd like us to add an opportunity to this list (or future lists), let us know.

August 28, 2015 Scribe, Overland and Lord Mayor's competitions close in next 48 hours


Did you have plans this weekend? If so, cancel them.

There are three massive writing opportunities closing in the next 48 hours or so, so rustle up your best bits and pitch, pitch, pitch.

August 26, 2015 So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Towards the end of anything, routine actions take on great significance. This is exactly what’s happened as I’ve come to the end of my time with Writers Bloc.

This is the last piece I’ll publish on Writers Bloc.

This is the last piece I’ll edit.

August 26, 2015 Farewell to our Blog Champion


I’ve known Samantha van Zweden for just under two years.

August 25, 2015 Bloc Features: Allen Qing Yuan

Welcome to Bloc Features.


 

August 20, 2015 The Special 1%


August 18, 2015 The Emergence of the Magestic Rat, or, Exercises in Finding My Voice

'Voice' describes the ability to say something, using your own distinct style. It's about finding an audience. It's about speaking out. This week on Writers Bloc, we're sharing a short series around the idea of 'voice' in writing.


'Writer’s voice? Never thought about it before. I suppose I just want it to be as close to Neil Gaiman or Stephen Fry’s as possible.'

That’s what I would have said if you’d asked me about writer’s voice when I first started writing.

A few years later I was slightly less naive. I’d read books about writing and now I felt I knew everything: one day I was going to discover my writer’s voice like a majestic rat materialising from behind the sink. And at that moment of joyous discovery, everything would be sparkly and right with the world.

On the 28th of November 2013 I gave myself a challenge. I would write a story every day for a year, using inspiration from strangers online. 46,102 words later I had reached my goal.

I had written anywhere, on anything, and with anyone I could. The experience had been frustrating, exhausting and the best thing I had ever done.

August 17, 2015 How to Give a Great Reading

'Voice' describes the ability to say something, using your own distinct style. It's about finding an audience. It's about speaking out. This week on Writers Bloc, we're sharing a short series around the idea of 'voice' in writing.

 


Writers are asked to read their work at all kinds of events, but nobody really teaches us how to do this. In the video below, Felix Nobis provides some starting pointers for our Building Blocs collection.

August 14, 2015 Jump-start Your Writing

This is a Building Blocs post from Benjamin Solah, poet and director of Melbourne Spoken Word.

August 13, 2015 The Book That Fell off the Shelf and Changed My Life

This is a The Book That... post from Tim Sinclair


August 11, 2015 Tangier

This is a Literary Cities post from Alessandra Bergamin.


 

August 8, 2015 Bendigo Writers Festival

Writers Bloc has hit the road (/tracks) again! 

We're currently at the Bendigo Writers Festival, where we're fortunate to have been given a home for the weekend. We're welcoming all writers to come along and live blog the festival with us, or work on their own WIPs. 

August 6, 2015 My Bloody Heart

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Laura McPhee-Browne, about her other job as a social worker.


‘When I was an adolescent I wanted to be a Jew, a Bolshevik, black, homosexual, a junkie, half-crazy, and—the crowning touch—a one-armed amputee, but all I became was a literature professor.’

Roberto Bolaño, Woes of the True Policeman

 

In 2005 I was 21 years old and nearing the end of my vague attempt at an arts degree, majoring in Reading Books, minoring in The Local Pub. I needed to decide what to do. I knew I liked talking to my friends and family about their feelings, their thoughts, and the problems they couldn’t quite tackle alone. I also knew that this made me feel good: capable, useful, kind. I knew that human connection meant the most to me, despite my introvert-fuelled exhaustion after a day spent in interaction, and I knew that I needed to do something for once, rather than floating along with a book in my bag, waiting for my real life to begin. I decided on social work.

August 4, 2015 Inkshares 'Ideas'

For the last week on Writers Bloc, we've been publishing a short series around the theme of 'Ideas'. Today we wrap this series up with a 'What's My Scene?' post from Inkshares, a small crowdfunded publisher.

August 3, 2015 Opportunities (August 2015)

 

Here's a compilation of publication opportunities, writing competitions and more for the month of August and beyond:

July 31, 2015 Looking for ideas in all the wrong places

This week on Writers Bloc, we're publishing a short series around the theme of 'Ideas'. Today's post comes from Sarah Jansen.



Image source: Flickr CC / vestman

So often in interviews and during question time at literary events, writers are asked where they get their ideas. It’s one of the constants of being a storyteller. There are books on it, talks and lectures, blog posts and articles, discussion panels and courses.

Coming up with ideas is clearly a huge source of anxiety for people who want to write. All writers have been asked the question, and everyone seems to have a different answer.

July 30, 2015 Thinking Outside

This week on Writers Bloc, we're publishing a short series around the theme of 'Ideas'. Today's post is from Lena Tuck.

July 29, 2015 Panthers and the Museum of Fire

July 28, 2015 Running: The Non-Thinker's Exercise

This week on Writers Bloc, we're publishing a short series on the theme of 'Ideas'. Today's post comes from running writer Sam Ryan.

July 27, 2015 What I Write About When I'm 'Not Writing'

This week on Writers Bloc, we're publishing a short series around the theme of 'ideas'. This post comes from Sian Campbell.

July 24, 2015 WILAA

This is a What's My Scene? post from Lefa Singleton Norton, founder of Women in Literary Arts Australia (WILAA).


Being a writer can feel like a lonely, tough path sometimes. When you’re hunched over your laptop struggling to find the perfect way to express what is inside your head, or when you’re reaching out to editors to put your words out into the world. For some writers, there are also additional challenges.

For women, there are often numerous challenges to overcome in fields of literature and writing. Statistics show us getting your work noticed is more challenging, women often find they have greater issues of socialisation to overcome, and various kinds of biases (some unconscious) exist. For women who also identify as a person of colour, LGBTQI, having a disability or other intersecting identities there are often additional barriers to inclusion.

July 23, 2015 The Book That Brought Me to Poetry

This is a The Book That... post from New Jersey-based writer Matthew Mastricova.


I found Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red while decorating my first apartment. I had decided that I would cover the walls in the words that have stuck with me – quotes from novels, short stories, magazines, award speeches, movies. I wanted to live within the contours of language, feel the constant weight of a phrase that had lodged itself in my chest and could not be removed. While looking through my books, I found a writing magazine with a gorgeous hand-drawn cover. It was not a quote, but I wanted it on my wall. I hoped that the feature article would have a version of the picture unobstructed by cover lines.

July 21, 2015 Interview with Omar Musa

On Wednesday night we spoke to Omar Musa as part of our monthly Bright Young Things book club.

July 20, 2015 How to Market your eBook

This is a Building Blocs post from Ashley Capes about how to market your ebook.


Market Your eBook

Market Your eBook

Few aspects of the writing world are quite as mercurial and challenging as marketing.

What works now may not work next year – or even next month. And with digital publishing, shifts in audience tolerance and interest happen more quickly than ever. However, it must be done – people need to hear about your books if you want to be read.

July 18, 2015 #WriteHere in Bendigo!


Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Writers Bloc is hitting the road - again! We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Bendigo Writers Festival for a pop-up #WriteHere session across the weekend. Like our regular #WriteHere sessions in Melbourne, Sydney and Torquay, this is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people, put your head down, and get some work done. It’s not a workshopping space, just a good excuse to get some work done – we call it ‘positive peer pressure’. We're excited to be doing it in a place as gorgeous as Bendigo!

July 16, 2015 Taking Orders

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Edmund K. Coleman, a 17 year-old Melbourne student. 

July 14, 2015 Cluj-Napoca

This is a Literary Cities post from Lois Spangler, about Cluj-Napoca in Romania.


On the way from the airport to the heart of Cluj-Napoca, I impressed my cab driver by knowing and remembering who Ceaucescu was. I had asked whether the brutal monolith apartment blocks that lined the avenue between the airport and the heart of the old city were attributable to him.

July 13, 2015 Creative Time Management For Writers

This is a Building Blocs post from Deb Vanasse, author of What Every Author Should Know and Write Your Best Book.


As a young working mother, I aspired to write but couldn’t see how I’d ever have time. Then a business professor at the college where I taught gave me this advice: No matter how busy, devote ten minutes a day to your passion. Everyone can find an extra ten minutes, he said.

Ten minutes isn’t much, but it’s enough to keep a dream alive. In 1997, while I was still a working mother, my first novel was published. Sixteen books later, I find myself addressing again and again at writers’ gatherings the question of how to find the time to write. We’re creative people, so it makes sense to take a creative look at how we find and use our writing time.


Image source: Flickr CC / alancleaver

July 11, 2015 Southern Highlands Writers' Festival

Saturday

July 9, 2015 The Book That I Had to Read Again

This is a 'The Book That...' post from Ruth Dawkins.


The summer after I turned sixteen I had to keep a reading diary for school. Each member of my class had to write a synopsis of every book we picked up over those two months, and then at the start of term we had to choose one as the topic for a long essay. It would make up almost half of our final English grade.

July 7, 2015 Australian Poetry Podcast

This is a What's My Scene? post from Nathan Hondros and Robbie Coburn at the Australian Poetry Podcast.

The Australian Poetry Podcast regularly brings you long-form interviews with contemporary Australian poets. 

July 2, 2015 This program is captioned live

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from live-captioner Alan Vaarwerk.



Image source; BBC

 

I knew early on that I would never be prolific enough as a writer to forgo an ‘other job’. Like a lot of people in the creative industries, I have a couple of jobs – I work in editorial for a Melbourne bookseller, and do some freelance proofreading and editing on the side – but the one that takes up most of my time, earns most of my money and makes for the most interesting conversations at parties is my job as a Live TV Captioner. I got the job at the end of my first year in Melbourne – a year spent living alone, barely getting by on the occasional freelancing gig, having all the time in the world to write but being too miserable to do so – but suddenly, here I was, working in The Media, watching TV for a living.

July 1, 2015 Opportunities (July 2015)

 

Here's a compilation of publication opportunities, writing competitions and more for the month of July and the following months:

 

June 29, 2015 The Sound of Inspiration

Gasbagging on Twitter isn’t always time misspent - a sentiment that would surely incense many. Here at Writers Bloc, we love chatting with our Twitter community about all things writing and reading, and are so often left feeling inspired and ready to write as a result.

June 29, 2015 Road trip! (Southern Highlands Writers' Festival - July 10 - 12)

 

Image: Flickr / Thomas Hobbs

June 28, 2015 Bloc Club - Here Come the Dogs

Image credit: Radio Adelaide

June 27, 2015 Review: 3:AM

 

This is a review of 3:AM Magazine by Harriet McInerney 

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3:AM Magazine

June 26, 2015 The Book That Helped Me Choose

This is a 'The Book That...' post from California-based writer and Bukowski fan, Mila Podlewski.


I had the afternoon off and was at the laundromat. Like any responsible college graduate with a full-time job, I was spending my free hours getting shit done. I was about 4 months into this new, “adult” chapter of my life. I was working as a waitress in my college town, having chosen to stay behind for a number of mature, well thought-out reasons, most of which were bullshit save for two: my boyfriend was still in school, and I had no idea what I wanted to do. Normally I would have been back in bed with said boyfriend, making up for that 6am alarm while he slept off his hangover and skipped class, but, as a result of an argument the night before involving a grungy bathrobe, hallucinogens, and the middle of a street, we were on another break.

June 23, 2015 Spineless Wonders

This 'What's My Scene?' post is from publisher Bronwyn Mehan, and it introduces the fantastic small press Spineless Wonders.

June 18, 2015 Dublin

This is a Literary Cities post from Kirby Fenwick, whose dual citizenship led her to consider the weight of literary ancestors in another Writers Bloc post. She's since moved overseas, and today's post looks at literary Dublin.



Image source: Kirby Fenwick

I arrived in Dublin on a cold and grey Monday afternoon. Heavy clouds lingered overhead, threatening to spill their contents onto the streets below. I’d done my research - well, I’d done some research - I had a list of places I wanted to see and the week stretched out before me. My new Irish passport, its pages unmarked and its spine uncreased, was tucked into my small black bag; the physical embodiment of my tenuous connection to the city and its rich literary history. As I waited for a taxi, I pressed the bag to my belly.

June 16, 2015 Why believing in your work and creative process is the best thing you can do for your writing

This is a Building Blocs post from Megan Johnson, the Californian writer and blogger also known as Tipsy Writer.



Image source: Flickr CC / dmelchordiaz

We all have conditions under which we work best. Personally, I’m a total silence type of person, but other people find that their best work is created while they listen to upbeat music. And while studies may seek to prove that one method is better than another, we are different people who work better in different environments - it’s as simple as that. There’s no right or wrong way to work.

…or is there?

May 30, 2015 Review: Betanarratives

This is a review of Betanarratives by Ally Scale

May 28, 2015 Failing Better

This week, we're bringing you a mini-series on 'balance', which we think is a central concept for sustainable writing practice. Today's post from Ryan O'Neill considers how failure can be constructive, and essential to finding balance.



Image source: Flickr CC / amboo213

I don’t know whether being a short story writer has given me any special insight into failure, but it has certainly made me comfortable with the idea. A novelist can go years without having a rejection, simply because it takes longer to write a novel. But a short story writer can easily have one or two rejections every week, and once the first fifty or sixty are out of the way, they become easier to face. That’s not to say though that rejection and failure are the same thing. I consider some stories I’ve had published to be failures because they didn’t turn out the way I had hoped, while a couple of stories that have been rejected everywhere I think of as successes because I accomplished what I set out to do with them. For me, being a writer is intimately associated with the idea of failure. I’ve always been a little suspicious of writers who seem very happy with their work, or who consider it entirely successful, though perhaps it isn’t suspicion at all; perhaps it’s envy.

May 26, 2015 Writing About Taylor Swift Ruined My Friendship!

This week, we're bringing you a mini-series on 'balance', which is an idea that we think is central to a sustainable writing practice. Today's post from Scarlett Harris looks at the need for balance in personal writing.



Image source: Flickr CC / anyvanille

A few years ago I got burned writing about people close to me. I chose to publish a blog post about Taylor Swift and her damaging notions of femininity and love. Perhaps ill advisedly, I used an example from my friend’s love life, without her consent, to illustrate my point.

This friend has a soft spot for Taylor Swift and I believed her tendency towards buying into the Swiftian “fairytale” romance hype informed her actions when she started hooking up with my roommate. When their courtship fizzled out a short time later, she revealed to me that because they were friends first, she didn’t feel that as lovers their relationship was any different: where were all the grand gestures on his part, she wondered?

May 25, 2015 Good literary citizenship - why helping other writers ultimately benefits you

This week, we're bringing you a mini-series on 'balance', which is an idea that we think is central to a sustainable writing practice. Kicking it off is Walter Mason, with some really solid advice on being a good literary citizen.



Image source: Flickr CC / classblog

I always tell people that the only reason I was published was because I helped another writer. I had organised an author talk at a church hall in Sydney’s demure North Shore, and, rather unexpectedly, a whole stack of people had turned up. The author was understandably pleased, and while I escorted her to the toilet I thought I’d make some small talk and innocently (I swear!) I said: “My whole writing group turned up tonight - they are very excited to hear you.”

“Oh!” she said, “Do you write? I had no idea. We should talk.”

May 23, 2015 Book Club - Lion Attack!

Image credit: The Thousands

May 21, 2015 Emerging Writers' Festival 2015 picks

It's festival time again! We love the Emerging Writers' Festival, which runs this year from May 26 - June 5. We've put together a guide to a handful of events we're excited about - not least, our own. 



Image source: Flickr CC / chinnian

May 19, 2015 #WriteHere Surf Coast

This is a What's My Scene? post from #WriteHere Surf Coast organiser Gail Chrisfield. #WriteHere events are also held regularly in Melbourne and Sydney.

May 18, 2015 Just Read

This is a What's My Scene post from Jane Rawson.



Image source: Flickr CC / Mo Riza

There are so many ways to get involved in fundraising these days. You can grow a moustache. You can give up sugar or booze. You can walk, you can run, you can cycle ridiculous distances. You can. I don’t want to. I like reading. I’m also a writer and the more people read, the more likely my industry is to survive another year. So I thought I’d start a fundraiser that involves activities you can do in an armchair, in front of the heater with a glass of wine. It’s a readathon for grown-ups, and it’s called Just Read. That’s right: you read, you raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, you make the world an all-round better place.

May 14, 2015 The Book That Made Me a Writer

This is a 'The Book That...' post from SJ Rozan, who also writes under the pen name Sam Cabot.


Like, I daresay, every writer, I started out as an all-devouring reader. I learned to read young, at three or four, and I actually remember the moment the light bulb went on that all those letters my folks were always encouraging me to sound out went together to make words. That the same letters in the same order always made the same words was a fact I found somewhere between miraculous and hilarious. Before I stumbled upon that secret I'd been able to recognize my name, my brother's and sisters' names and our home address, but only as symbols. Squiggles on a paper bag told us which lunch was whose, but it would have seemed the same if the bags had been decorated with drawings of us. Then came that light bulb moment, when I realized those letters, if you sounded them out, didn't only mean me, they said my name.

May 12, 2015 Long Hai

This is a Literary Cities post from Adriana Barro.


When I travelled through Vietnam late last year, the honesty of the place seemed to be a constant.

Be it in the people’s faces, the city streets or even the food that we ate, everything seemed to run with the same ‘no bullshit’ attitude. I often feel this is lost in the image-obsessed bubble of my home town, and it's something I seek to express in my writing.

Long Hai was far from a ‘literary city’ in the traditional sense, and far from what we expected it to be. It was dirty and lonely, but unabashedly honest.
 

May 7, 2015 Mother's Day Gift Guide

 

Five book purchases for your parent this weekend. INCLUDES GIVEAWAY! 

May 6, 2015 Opportunities (May 2015)

 

Here's a compilation of publication opportunities, writing competitions and more for the months of May and June:

May 5, 2015 ShortStops

This is a 'What's My Scene?' post by Tania from UK short story advocates, ShortStops.


ShortStops is an online hub for all-things-short-story in the UK and Ireland. I set the site up in November 2013 because I was seeing so many wonderful things happening around here and wanted to both whip up some national pride in the short story – which I knew to be sorely lacking – and create a sense of togetherness amongst writers, readers, performers, literary mag editors, event and competition organisers, and the wider community.

May 4, 2015 Ed's Desk: May

This is an Editor's Desk post from our online editor, Sam van Zweden.



The editor's actual desk.

May is Mothers’ Day. In May many countries celebrate the 8-hour day, a step towards work-life balance. May is shorter days and colder nights. May is permission: you may.

April 30, 2015 The Book That Taught Me to Love Genre

This is a 'The Book That...' post from Emily Tatti.


I used to be a literary snob. And by that I mean I was one of those wanky first year lit students who wouldn’t read anything published after about 1960. In my mind good literature started at Jane Austen and ended at Ernest Hemingway, and it didn’t include anything that could be considered fantasy or science fiction.

April 28, 2015 Share

Throughout April, we've been shining a spotlight on speculative fiction writers, admiring their tightly-knit communities, and celebrating what they do well. Today's post comes from speculative fiction writer, Marlee Jane Ward, whose time at the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle has made her a workshopping convert.



Image source: Flickr / deanhochman

Sure, I can put my all into a piece and self-edit til the wee hours of the morning, but it's not enough. It's time to workshop this baby. The more eyes on a piece before it gets to the peepers of long-suffering slush readers, the better, I say.

How do you workshop your pieces? Do you? Have you got a faithful set of beta-readers who lap up every word and are keen to offer advice? If not, run and get some now. Beg, borrow or steal. Perhaps don't steal (certainly don't steal mine, I need them). Click over to Meetup.com and find a local workshopping group that's genre-specific. No luck? MAKE ONE. I guarantee there are authors who are gnashing their choppers for a hard sci-fi, an epic fantasy, an M/M werewolf romance fic workshop group.

April 23, 2015 What It Means to Go Through the World Greedy and Absorbent

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Courtney Moreno.



Image source: StockSnap / Flenjoore
 

When I was in my early twenties an older artist gave me some advice on the subject of day jobs: “You’re never going to figure it out.”

She was trying to tell me that of course I could keep hunting for the perfect day job—something that would easily pay my bills, offer flexible hours, and steer far away from mental or physical exhaustion while also skirting pure drudgery—but if I expected to actually obtain the perfect day job, or if I behaved as though I deserved to obtain the perfect day job, this was akin to not just demanding a pony for one’s birthday, but a unicorn with giant wings, no plans, and an already broken-in saddle.

April 21, 2015 Tokyo

This is a Literary Cities post about Tokyo from Callie Doyle-Scott.



The back streets of Kichijoji, Tokyo
Image source: Anni Doyle Wawrzynczak

Dark. Bitter. The subtle tang of exhaust smoke. Brightly blazing multicoloured signs hung from the high-rise buildings surrounding me, advertising pachinko parlours and convenience stores in lurid hiragana. People thronged the pavement, heading home for the night, going out drinking with the boss, grabbing a quick bite to eat from the izakaya on the corner: sleepy-eyed, dark-haired, a sea of identical faces all blurring into one another. Rapid-fire Japanese blared from a set of speakers nearby, taunting me with fragments of sentences I could only barely understand. My palms felt sweaty, head spinning, feet aching despite the last hour I’d spent curled up in a cat café with a fat ginger tabby asleep in my lap. My nerves jangled, desperate for a place to sit and recollect, but my hotel was still a good half an hour away. Despite having dreamt of coming to Japan for years, and now being surrounded by countless hundreds of people, I’d never felt so alone.

April 20, 2015 Emerging in the Speculative Fiction Scene

Each Monday in April, we're shining a spotlight on speculative fiction. Today's post is from Daniel Simpson.


Emerging in the Speculative Fiction Scene

Speculative Fiction (a catch-all word to describe the genres of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and the various sub-genres) has an unusual place in the Australian literary scene. Quietly riding the wave of recent interest in (both literary and cinematic) fantasy, the local scene still remains, for the most part, stubbornly beneath the general reading public’s radar. Perhaps this is because while it does attract the casual reader, it also has a – perhaps unfair – reputation for attracting the rabid, pointy-ear wearing fans.

April 16, 2015 The Book That Defied Genre

This is a 'The Book That...' post from speculative fiction and horror writer Todd Keisling.


There was a point early on in my writing career when I wasn’t sure what my writing was about or what it wanted to be. My work never really fit into a single genre, and for a while I wasn’t comfortable with that fact. As a result, my early fiction suffered from an identity crisis as I dabbled in different genres, trying to find the right way to tell my stories. Was it horror? Fantasy? Science fiction? Every story wanted to be all and none of those things at the same time, and it frustrated the hell out of me.

April 14, 2015 Fifteen Research Tips from Kate Forsyth

Today's Building Blocs post outlines great research habits, and it comes from Kate Forsyth.

April 13, 2015 A-Z of Sci-Fi

Each Monday in April, we're shining a spotlight on speculative fiction. Today we've got a science fiction reading guide from David M Henley.



Image source: Flickr / fontplaydotcom

 

The quick A-Z science fiction primer. A cheat sheet and reading list for anyone who likes to dabble in reality.

A - Asimov. He laid down the three rules of robotics. He set the Foundation. If you don't know what I'm talking about then give up now. (One could also have included Margaret Attwood for A, whose books are filling up my to-read pile.)

B - Alfred Bester. A forgotten master who wrote The Stars My Destination and The Demolished Man. Two classics of men in desperate situations. The Demolished Man is also one of few good works that deal with telepathy.

April 11, 2015 Review: The Lifted Brow Issue 25

 

 

This is a review of The Lifted Brow by Emma Koehn. 

 

April 9, 2015 HMP Leeds

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from West Yorkshire-based speculative fiction writer Elizabeth Hopkinson.


I was an Administrative Assistant to the probation officers at Her Majesty's Prison, Leeds (known locally as Armley Gaol). I only took the job because, having walked away from a postgraduate teacher training course on the final placement, I felt I owed it to my parents to get some sort of job and start paying them back. I stayed a year, by which time I was married and didn't have to worry about my parents' housekeeping any more.

April 7, 2015 Opportunities (April 2015)

Here's a compilation of publication opportunities, writing competitions and more for the month of April:

April 7, 2015 Ed's Desk: April

Some notes for the start of April, from our Online Editor's desk.


 

We’re in April already, and I can’t believe it. Easter’s behind us and the leaves are turning. Everyone I know is hitting a wall after the long stretch of work after Christmas - it’s time for another holiday. A quarter of the year is beneath us already, and April is ripe with new beginnings. Panicking because the first quarter is gone, April is a time for setting goals and correcting your course. April is possibility.

April 2, 2015 The Book I Stopped Loving

This is a 'The Book That...' post from Katerina Bryant, who stopped loving F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'Tender is the Night'.


I recently reread my favourite book, Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald and found that it had changed, or rather I had. Instead of joy at the literary magnificence, I felt mixed emotions when reading it a mere three years later. I noticed that it is in parts sexist, homophobic and racist.

March 30, 2015 Being a Cis White Straight Male Writer Isn't Risky, Being Anything Else is Risky

Each Monday in March, we've heard from writers on how any why writing can be risky. In today's post, Oliver Mol explains why he doesn't believe his writing is risky at all.


I was asked to write an essay on risks but I am sitting at my friend’s house at his desk in Houston and I have no idea what to write about. I feel uncomfortable writing about risks. I feel uncomfortable associating myself and the themes of my work - being emotional, being vulnerable, being honest or trying to be honest, rejecting ‘typical’ masculinity or something - with something that is ‘risky’. And this is because comparatively - to, say, everyone who is not a cis white straight male - it isn’t. It isn’t risky at all.

It is not risky for me to write about accidentally throwing a stick of weed down on the blue examining tray at Vientiane’s international airport in Laos, just as it’s not risky for me to write about getting frost bite on seven toes while partying at night in the snow, just as it’s not risky for me to write about crying or feeling lonely or depressed or scared, just as it’s not risky for me to write about Australia, this country that we live in, just as it’s not risky for me to write about the United States of America, the country I grew up in, and this is because I am not subjected to the systemic oppression and discrimination that affects the majority of people who call Earth home.

March 28, 2015 Review: Brevity

This is a review of Brevity by Katelin Farnsworth. 

 

March 26, 2015 On Losing and Winning

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Sunil Badami, who won the game show Temptation. 


Like lots of writers, I’ve had more jobs than I’ve had decent meals. From quitting my job as a CBD stockbroker to working in a Kings Cross sex shop, managing a pub on a mountain on the Isle of Man to training to be a clown, I’ve done any number of things to subsidise my writing.

Indeed, pretty much every job I’ve ever had—and been sacked from - I’ve done so I could keep writing, even if, stockbroking aside, they were necessarily menial and often badly paid, just so I didn’t have to think about work when I was really working, writing.

March 23, 2015 The Risks of Publishing Only Women Writers

Each Monday in March we're asking writers to tell us about the ways that their writing is risky. Today's post is from Lynn Michell, founder of Linen Press, a publisher of women's writing.


 

"When women stop reading, the novel will be dead." Ian McEwan, The Guardian

Linen Press exclusively publishes women’s writing under our banner ‘for women, by women’. I’m frequently asked why. The question is posed with genuine interest and curiosity. Or bemusement. I’ve been accused of running a sexist press and told I’m backing a loser. Even one of my own authors occasionally broaches the topic of allowing entry to males. I’m sticking to my guns. Linen Press a tiny indie with a passion for women’s writing and will remain in what the trade dismissively describes as ‘a niche market’, a put-down which is wide of the mark since 80% of fiction in the US, UK and Canada is bought and read by women, and book groups and literary bloggers are almost exclusively female.

March 19, 2015 The Book That I Learned to Love

This is a 'The Book That...' post from Ali Schnabel.


To any of my co-workers looking in, I appeared to be obsessed with the worn Penguin classic that went everywhere with me during the 2010 Christmas period at JB Hi-Fi. I managed to trudge through the entirety of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita by the end of my casual employment there. I read it every day, during every break. But I’ll be the first to admit that I did it wrong - I was reading Lolita because I felt like I had to; as though it was some literary landmark I needed to tick off my list. I dragged myself across that finish line like a desperate distance runner who has succumbed to heatstroke and lost their legs to cramp. Every page of Lolita was gruelling. I questioned my sanity for staying with it. When I finally managed to slog my way through Humbert’s final words I threw it down with a frustrated physicality that I’d never bestowed upon any book. For a long time afterwards, I felt bitter about the novel, but never told anyone because it’s Lolita, ya know?

March 17, 2015 Siem Reap

Today's Literary Cities post comes from Alice Robinson.


 

We left Bangkok at five, waking to the sound of an English couple arguing.

“Sit down. Sit down, for god’s sake,” a man implored through the wall. Giggling nervously, we shouldered our packs and were down the stairs and out into the sweet, hot morning, rubbing our eyes, before his girlfriend could respond. There was a taxi waiting, driver up against the fender in the dark, dragging on a cigarette. We slid into the smoky cab, hands touching across vinyl. Wearily, Dan lamented the lack of coffee. I’d heard it all before; noted it in my journal months back. Between more meaningful entries, the notebook was stuffed with hastily jotted email addresses for travellers I’d never contact, hotel phone numbers, packing lists. Toothbrush, mosquito net, rum. I feared the personal failures these notations seemed to predict.

March 16, 2015 The Authentic Israel Experience

Each Monday in March we're hearing from writers on the topic of 'risk'. Melbourne-based writer and editor Veronica Sullivan recently travelled to Israel, and has finally reached a place where she can write about that experience.


 

‘Of course it’s terrible that this is all happening,’ our guide said the first time airstrike sirens sounded and we huddled together in a bomb shelter, ‘but since you are here now anyway, you are so lucky to be getting the authentic Israel experience.’

Were we really lucky to be there? Or just lucky not to be sheltering from Israeli bombs on the other side of the West Bank?

March 12, 2015 Psychic Expo Ambience Manufacturer

In today's Writers' Other Jobs post, Mathew Drogemuller takes us back to his experience headlining at a psychic expo.


 


Image source: Flickr / mofxx

The experience was harrowing, to say the least. I was and will forever remain quite scarred. Although I’ll probably stoop lower at some point, I consider the job I am about to describe a considerable lowlight. Like, romantically-dim low, but without any of the associated perks.

I was once hired to create ambient background music at a psychics expo in my home town, Adelaide.

March 10, 2015 Bloc Features: When Francis Bacon Came to Stay

Laura McPhee-Browne is truly one of my favourite writers of all. She has a way of capturing life at its most peculiar and its most vivid. It goes without saying, then, that I'm very pleased to walk the halls of Tincture Journal with her this quarter.

March 10, 2015 Am I A Liar?

In today's Building Blocs post, US creative nonfiction writer Penny Guisinger considers the ways that memory can be risky.



Image source: Flickr / pagedooley

I met Darcy for dinner recently, a friend I had not seen for over a decade. I was travelling and in need of a place to sleep near the airport, which she had, and we made a plan to meet at the sushi place. I was newly sober (again) and as I drove the two-hundred-plus miles to Portland, Maine, I began to feel familiar anxiety. We were meeting in a nice restaurant. What would I do when she ordered a drink? I began to remember all the drinking we had done together. The bottles of wine we had emptied. The laughing. The bonding. How would she react when I ordered something else? How would I react when she enjoyed her velvety red wine right in front of me? This was old/new ground for me. I called up the steadiest resolve I had and drove on.

March 9, 2015 Experienced in Nursing

Being a writer can be risky in so many ways. Throughout March, we're hearing from writers who tell us just how risky it can be. Today's post comes from ex-nurse Ira McGuire.



Image source: Flickr / harwig

I was a nurse for seven years, at the now demolished Gold Coast Hospital, a grey, concrete building that stood at Nerang Street. My memories of nursing are both good and bad, and I guess the experience has left me with some emotional scars; scars that I have not picked open previously. Before its demolition, I often drove past the vacant and ghost-like building and imagined walking its empty corridors and wards once more. I could almost still hear the squeak of the rubberised soles of nursing shoes against the lino, the ding of the elevator doors, the mass-cooked meals scenting the wards with pumpkin puree and meat stew, how the trolleys transporting patients made a distinct sound when they were wheeled from lino to the carpet of my ward.

March 6, 2015 Opportunities (March 2015)

Here's a compilation of publication opportunities, writing competitions and more for the month of March:

March 5, 2015 The book that turned me into kind of a douchebag in my 20s and 30s

This is a The Book That... post from Patrick O'Duffy.


March 4, 2015 Bloc Features: A Night in Yass

Writer and director Katie Found describes her relationship with short stories so beautifully that I shan't detract from it with my own waffle.

ANNA: What does short fiction allow you to do that other forms do not?

March 3, 2015 Noted

This is a What's My Scene post from Noted Festival.

March 2, 2015 Ed's Desk: March

This is a post from our Editor's Desk.


Risk is scary - that’s the point. At the centre of risk is exposure and danger.

February 26, 2015 Running Away from the Circus

February 23, 2015 Visiting the Trinidad

We believe that obsessions are a great driver for creativity. Throughout February, we're hearing from writers on their obsessions. Today's post comes from Zora Sanders, who's obsessed with maritime history.


Time travel, we are told, may be possible, but only in the forward direction. If we can approach the speed of light without our bodies squashing, splattering or otherwise dissolving into their constituent atoms, time will begin to move more slowly for us than for the rest of the humdrum universe. When we eventually slow, decades, centuries, millennia may have passed in the lagging universe and we will have arrived in the future. The past, however, is foreign country. One with closed borders and armed guards on the barricades. We cannot go there, the universe will not allow it, not ever. This is undeniably an abominable idea. What do we care about the future, beyond the glib pleasure of wild speculation? It is a place most of us are heading anyway—we’ll get there eventually, limited only by our individual capacity for remaining alive. But the past is what fascinates; it was where we were made, where we dwell in our minds. The past is where our questions are, it is the home of mysteries and frustrations and knowledge that sits just beyond the reach of our fingertips. We cannot travel into the past, we can only write ourselves into it.

February 19, 2015 The Book That Made Religious Obsession Less Alien

This is a The Book That... post from Rafael SW.


I’ve seen religious obsession manifest itself in the lives of friends before. From the weird near-drowning ceremony in a bathtub in Bendigo, to the pushups-every-time-he-thought-of-masturbation. I’ve been an observer, confidant and life coach. But always an outsider.  

February 18, 2015 Bloc Features: The Lady on Holiday

It's no secret that I love flash fiction. I mean, it might be a bit of a secret if we've never spoken and you've never visited Bloc Features and you've never read any flash fiction. Still, now that I've informed you, the secret is out. I love that flash fiction can hint at things. I love that flash fiction can be fully formed even if it's barely formed.

February 17, 2015 The Good Sex Award Book Club

This is a What's My Scene post by Krissy Kneen from the Good Sex Award Book Club.


February 16, 2015 On Gardens

We believe that obsessions are a great driver for creativity. Throughout February, we're hearing from writers on their obsessions. Today's writer, Sandra Hajda, is obsessed with gardens.



At Hedgeley Dene Gardens

I have not always loved nature. I went through a spell of technophile ranting in university pubs over bad house wines in my early twenties. I had just discovered Ben Bova and Star Trek and felt convinced that slick surfaces and tree-less horizons were the way forward for humanity; that we should welcome global warming because, after all, isn’t necessity the mother of all invention? I was ready for rifle-grey biodomes, for hovercrafts, for robot surgeons, for teleportation and weekend getaways to the moons of Saturn, and felt convinced that a bit of global warming and tree-withering would speed things up, sending the scientific community into a tailspin of necessity-fuelled discovery.

February 14, 2015 Review: The Rumpus

 

This is a review of The Rumpus by Emma Koehn.

February 13, 2015 Prompt: Todd Keisling

This is a writing prompt from US horror and spec-fic writer Todd Keisling.

February 12, 2015 Whisky Nights

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Angela Meyer.


 

After finishing my doctorate and spending some time working and playing overseas, I searched for a fulfilling day job – something long term that would complement my writing, feed into it but not take up all my headspace. Previously, I’d had a range of jobs, from retail to editorial, and I still wasn’t sure what ‘fit’ me best, though I always loved a job where I could indulge my passions.

February 11, 2015 Bloc Features: Terrible, Tiny Things

I've chosen poetry for this week's Bloc Feature. I was a little despondent, and this piece was exactly the tonic. I spoke to Rachel Watts about words, life and whimsy.

ANNA: What does poetry allow you to do that other forms might not?

February 10, 2015 Auckland

This is a Literary Cities post from Stacey Teague.


 

"Her horizon seemed to her limitless." - Virginia Woolf

February 9, 2015 Wrestling with Obsession

Each Monday throughout February, we're featuring writing to the theme of 'obsessions'. Today's post comes from Melbourne-based writer, Scarlett Harris.


Many women who watch wrestling are introduced to it by fathers, brothers and other male family members.

My initiation to the sport(’s entertainment) came at 13 when a high school friend invited me over one night after school to watch VHS tapes of World Wrestling Entertainment (then World Wrestling Federation) her neighbour had made for her, and I thought, “Why not?” As I continued to receive the tapes from her weeks after the episodes had aired I realised Foxtel could sate my increasing appetite for in-ring action merely a day after the WWE’s flagship shows, Raw and SmackDown!, played in the US. As my friend’s interest in wrestling waned and mine continued to grow, I soon became known as my class’s biggest wrestling fan.

February 6, 2015 Prompt: Marianne de Pierres

This is a writing prompt from Aurealis Award-nominated sci-fi writer Marianne de Pierres.

We love to read your writing - don't forget to head to the workshop to share the fruits of this exercise! If you're not sure how, check out our how-to video on uploading and sharing your work. Writing from the workshop also has the chance to be published and read by a wider audience (and we pay!) as part of our new Bloc Features project.


After twenty years as an author, images are still my strongest writing prompt. That's why I love Pinterest so much. It's nice to have one easy place to collect pictures of space ships, food, candles, artefacts, birds and … whatever, really.

February 5, 2015 The Book That I Carry with Me Every Day

This is a The Book That... post from Dave Madden.


February 4, 2015 Opportunities (February 2015)

Here's a compilation of publication opportunities, writing competitions and more for the month of February:

February 4, 2015 Bloc Features: FB

A little content warning on this one (depression and suicide).

Katelin Farnsworth has written a poignant piece that I felt would really resonate with readers - a story that speaks profoundly to the nature of social media and its twisting infiltration into our lives. I spoke to her about writing and inspiration.

February 3, 2015 Faber Writing Academy

This is a What’s my Scene? post from Sarah Menary from Faber Writing Academy inside Allen & Unwin’s publishing houses in Sydney & Melbourne.

February 2, 2015 Ed's Desk: February

This is a post from the Editor's Desk.



The Ed's desk.

I’m currently working on a series of vignettes around the idea of devotion, and I’ve been wondering what the difference is between obsession and devotion. It all seems to hinge on control - while devotion requires dedicated practice and observation, obsession has an element of wildness about it.

January 29, 2015 Writing Space and Science

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Josh Richards.



Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Last October I was at the 2014 National Young Writer's Festival in Newcastle, standing awkwardly by the snacks at the opening Meet and Greet event and trying to decide who looked friendly enough to fulfill the "Meet" component of this little soiree. By blocking the corn chips just long enough I accidentally made eye-contact with someone after a nacho cheese fix, introduced myself, then asked what she was doing at the festival: "I'm a poet. I'm running two workshops and doing a late night reading. What about you?" I told her, to which she replied "You're not an astronaut - that is THE WORST pickup line I've ever heard", then stalked off with corn chip dust all over her fingers and nose.

January 28, 2015 Bloc Features: I Dance and I Play

Flash fiction is one of my favourite forms, partly because I have a short attention span but mostly because of the huge variety of ways in which its authors offer glimpses into what it means to be human. Melissa Davies' piece does exactly that, and it's our Bloc Feature this week.

ANNA: What do you love about tiny fiction that you might not get from other lengths?

January 27, 2015 Prompt: Jackie Johansen

This is a writing prompt from Jackie Johansen from Finally Writing.

We love to read your writing - don't forget to head to the workshop to share the fruits of this exercise! If you're not sure how, check out our how-to video on uploading and sharing your work. Writing from the workshop also has the chance to be published and read by a wider audience (and we pay!) as part of our new Bloc Features project.


January 26, 2015 Making Goals Work for You

This is a Building Blocs post from Adam Jelic at Mi Goals


 

When I first began Mi Goals back in 2010 my goal was simple - create a product that would ultimately help me track and achieve my own goals. Years later the Mi Goals team continues to look at how we can help and inspire people to be the best they can be. What makes us unique, I guess, is that we are producing products to help us as business and brand grow and become leaders in our field, so we are our own guinea pigs.

January 24, 2015 Review: Little Fiction

This is a review of Little Fiction, written by Emma Koehn. 

 

January 23, 2015 Prompt: Mercedes M Yardley

January 22, 2015 The Book That Made Me Feel

This is a 'The Book That...' post from Julia Tulloh.


 

I was 22-years-old when I first read The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I was old enough to grasp the gravity of the story, but young enough to feel as though I was the first person in the world to recognise the depth and profundity of the written word. The Road is no longer my favourite of Cormac McCarthy’s novels, nor do I now consider it his best work, but it was the first of his books that I read and marks a turning point in my literary life. Even though I’d been a voracious reader my whole life, it was The Road that taught me literature’s ability to lead readers to the limit of experience. By which I mean The Road was almost more than I could bear, emotionally and intellectually. I couldn’t read anything else for months afterwards. I felt as though I’d never read again. But I did, because the only force greater than the fear of what a story could do to me was the fear that I would never experience it again.

January 21, 2015 Bloc Features: Fly like a bird taller than the stars

The Writers Bloc workshops produce some amazing work. This piece from Athol Henry is no exception. I was captivated by the brevity and magic that's woven into this little story.

January 20, 2015 Arc de Triomphe: Nine Ways to Draw a Dramatic Arc

This is a Building Blocs post with a focus on the craft of memoir, from Susan Shapiro.


 

“You don’t want to start your book with rage and end with rage,” I told Kenan.

“Why not?” he asked. “What if that’s the truth?”

January 19, 2015 What is Likely to Happen Next

Throughout January, we're looking to the future and hearing from writers about what the future means to them. Today's post comes from Annabel Smith, whose latest novel The Ark considers what might be coming for us.



Image source: Flickr / mladjenovic_n

The enduring popularity of historical fiction is not difficult to understand: there is much to be learned about the present by looking at the past. At the other end of the chronological spectrum, the same is also true: fiction set in the future can be enormously insightful about the way we currently live. Surely what is likely to happen next is at least as interesting as what has gone before, if not more so.

January 16, 2015 Prompt: Louise Cusack

This is a writing prompt from Louise Cusack.

We love to read your writing - don't forget to head to the workshop to share the fruits of this exercise! If you're not sure how, check out our how-to video on uploading and sharing your work. Writing from the workshop also has the chance to be published and read by a wider audience (and we pay!) as part of our new Bloc Features project.


 


Image source: Flickr / vince_kusters

Either before or after you finish writing draft of a fiction novel, you need to think about the big picture of the structure, to clarify whether you have a strong, tightly plotted novel, or just a series of “events” that don’t really follow a strong central thread. An easy way to assess the strength of a story’s structure is to see if you can readily clarify Goal, Motivation, Conflict. (TIP: if you can’t, you need to work on that!)

January 15, 2015 Definition and Flux

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Jac Jemc, Chicago-based short story writer and novelist. 


I cannot pretend to have the answer for any writer looking to make a living: not an answer that’s universal, and not an answer that’s consistently true, even for myself. What I can speak to is my own attempt to figure things out, and my openness to that path changing at any point.

January 14, 2015 Bloc Features: Picking Mushrooms

The display of talent from writers in the Writers Bloc workshops is, frankly, staggering. Choosing standout pieces is almost impossible. But I loved this story, from Sydney writer Lara Keys, from the very first sentence. Incredibly, she's only been sharing her writing with others for six months. I know. Time to hang up the boots. Here's what she had to say about it.

January 13, 2015 Literary Cities: Berlin

This is a Literary Cities post from Vijay Khurana.


One of the things you have to put up with when you live in Berlin is a lot of people telling you how great Berlin is. These people are usually visiting for short periods of time, but I have also found myself on the receiving end of a panegyric to the city from someone who has never been here.

“It’s so creative, isn’t it?”

“I mean there’s just so much history” (by which I take it they mean a tangible sense of multi-layered tragedy).

“It must be the perfect place for a writer.”

And, yes, it’s true; all those New York Times articles are right. But the truth is that Berlin is just a city like any other, and I am beginning to think that if you have three friends and one bar you like, you might just as well live anywhere.

January 12, 2015 Things Mined From Twitter: Tweeting Poetic Practice

Throughout January, we're looking to the future, and talking about what it means for writers. Today's post comes from Dan Hogan, a poet who uses Twitter as part of his writing practice.


For the love of The Land Before Time and none of the sequels: the ‘write tweet’ button is an image of a marine dinosaur. It has taken me a few years and a couple thousand tweets to notice but there it is. The ‘write tweet’ button is framed by two ‘L’ shapes, offering the interpretation that it is more an image of a graceful plesiosaurus viewed through a hunter’s sight (perhaps Robert Muldoon’s) than it is a feathered quill bisecting an oblong. There have been numerous accounts of sightings of the ‘write tweet’ button cruising waterways and stopping cars on land. Some reports even detail a monster with a taste for livestock. 

January 10, 2015 We've Only Just Begun

The Year Ahead from Geoff Orton

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January 9, 2015 Opportunities (January 2015)

Here's a compilation of publication opportunities, writing competitions and more for the month of January:

January 8, 2015 The Book That Took Me Two and a Bit Years to Finish

This is a The Book That... post from Adriana Barro.


As someone who saw it as perfectly feasible to take a day off school purely to read, reading books, with haste, was no issue at all.

That was until I came face to face with Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore. It was Christmas day 2007, and I was fifteen years old.

Every year my Grandma asks her thirteen grandchildren which book they want for Christmas, and every year, when all thirteen of them reply with an ‘I dunno’, or a pathetic murmur which sounds strangely like ‘books are boring Grandma’, she delegates the task of choosing to someone else.

January 7, 2015 Bloc Features: Transference

Tincture Journal is a great quarterly digital mag, and if you're not reading it already, you should be. This week's Bloc Feature comes from Issue 7, and its author, Rebecca Howden, also has a story in the recently released Issue 8! Both (and all other) issues are jam-packed with excellent writing.

January 6, 2015 International Book Fair of Santiago (FILSA)

This is a What's My Scene post from Monica Goldberg. 

What's My Scene aims to connect writers to their 'scene' by promoting events, projects, groups, socials and communities locally and around the world. If you have an exciting project to share, get in touch.



Image source: Monica Goldberg

In 1949 my Russian family travelled from Shanghai to Santiago. This year I finally decided to travel to Chile. Perhaps it was my passion for the Spanish language and the thrill of attending a book fair in such away land. Perhaps it was simply the joy of celebrating the 100th birthday of one of my favourite poets with my long lost relatives in the Atacama desert.

January 5, 2015 Ed's Desk: January

This is an Ed's Desk post from our online editor, Sam van Zweden.


I was recently reminded of the existence of a five year plan I’d written for a university assignment. I’m too scared to look at it – I’m not sure I even know where it is. I certainly don’t remember what was on it, but I do have the feeling that – as in many such plans – it hinged on something beyond my control. The acquisition of a certain job, an upward trajectory that wasn’t guaranteed. Successes decided by others, not by me.

December 24, 2014 Holiday Singalong: Doug Johnstone and the Holy Ghost

You know at Christmas time when you’re at your gathering, and you’re just chilling out, kind of daydreaming, or buzzing a bit on the eggnog, or maybe just staring at your pile of Christmas swag and figuring out how to regift Aunt Agatha’s inspired hand-knitted toilet roll cosy?

December 23, 2014 Holiday Singalong: Emilie Zoey Baker does Bowie and Bing

You know at Christmas time when you’re at your gathering, and you’re just chilling out, kind of daydreaming, or buzzing a bit on the eggnog, or maybe just staring at your pile of Christmas swag and figuring out how to regift Aunt Agatha’s inspired hand-knitted toilet roll cosy?

December 22, 2014 Holiday Singalong: Five Years and Emily Stewart

You know at Christmas time when you’re at your gathering, and you’re just chilling out, kind of daydreaming, or buzzing a bit on the eggnog, or maybe just staring at your pile of Christmas swag and figuring out how to regift Aunt Agatha’s inspired hand-knitted toilet roll cosy?

December 21, 2014 Holiday Singalong: That Was the Worst Christmas Ever! from Burrows

You know at Christmas time when you’re at your gathering, and you’re just chilling out, kind of daydreaming, or buzzing a bit on the eggnog, or maybe just staring at your pile of Christmas swag and figuring out how to regift Aunt Agatha’s inspired hand-knitted toilet roll cosy?

December 20, 2014 Holiday Singalong: Winter Song by Rosie Stevens

You know at Christmas time when you’re at your gathering, and you’re just chilling out, kind of daydreaming, or buzzing a bit on the eggnog, or maybe just staring at your pile of Christmas swag and figuring out how to regift Aunt Agatha’s inspired hand-knitted toilet roll cosy?

December 19, 2014 Lit Mag Bites: What you missed in 2014

Image: Reading by Worak, CC Attribution 2.0 Generic

It's the festive season and maybe you would like to read something! Here's a review wrap up of handy word bites we didn't get time for in 2014....

December 18, 2014 How Funny, How Silly and How Marvellous People Are

Throughout December, we've been sharing stories about family - what it means, who they are, why they matter, and what they offer us as writers. Today's post comes from Melbourne writer Misha Adair.


Family is an idea that’s intimately linked in my mind to stories.  And stories take me right to my grandfather.  I hesitate to describe William Allan Adair as a great storyteller simply because it sounds so banal.

December 16, 2014 Bloc Features: Hard Rubbish

Alice Thompson's wonderful Hard Rubbish appeared in the "Stellar" issue of The Suburban Review. I talked to her about rubbish, people and writing.

December 16, 2014 How a submissions list can help you build a folio

This is a Building Blocs post from Martine Kropkowski.


LIFE of Pi took six submissions to be published; Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone took 12; The Help, 61; and The Chronicals of Narnia was in the submission cycle for years*. Submitting work is a necessity for emerging and established authors alike, and persistence is key. So how do you keep, keeping on? How do you even find 61 prospective publishers?

I spoke to Queensland Writers Centre’s Peter Ball to find out.

As Manager of The Australian Writer’s Marketplace (AWM), Peter Ball helps writers find a market for their work, and his advice is threefold: create a submission list, get to know other writers, and keep submitting — and re-submitting — your work.

December 15, 2014 The Bluths: The Perfect Family

Throughout December, we're talking family - what even is it, how does it affect our writing, and how do we feel about it? 

Today Angie Holst tells us about the TV family that most resembles a typical family - the Bluths, from Arrested Development.


Actor, director, producer and ginger extraordinaire Ron Howard started his career in the perfect family. In Happy Days he played sweet natured Richie Cunningham, son of patient, kind and loving parents Howard and Marion. The Cunninghams loved each other, loved their kids, and even loved the random forty year old bikie called ‘The Fonz’ who inexplicably lived above their garage. Ron Howard became famous for being part of this iconic American television family. And then thirty years later he cut the crap, created Arrested Development and delivered a real family for television viewers: the Bluths. Here’s what we really needed - a family built on backstabbing, petty jealousy, sibling rivalry, adultery and tax evasion. Now you’re speaking our language, Ron.

December 13, 2014 Review: The Grapple Annual

December 12, 2014 Christmas Wish List: The Daniel Young Edition

We know how hard it can be to buy gifts for writers, so we’ve gone ahead and asked our favourite writers, publishers and writers' organisations what they want for Christmas. 

December 12, 2014 Christmas Wish List: The Faber Writing Academy Edition

We know how hard it can be to buy gifts for writers, so we’ve gone ahead and asked our favourite writers, publishers and writers’ organisations what they want for Christmas. 

December 12, 2014 Christmas Wish List: The Mel Campbell Edition

We know how hard it can be to buy gifts for writers, so we’ve gone ahead and asked our favourite writers, publishers and writers’ organisations what they want for Christmas.

December 12, 2014 Christmas Wish List: The Black Inc Edition

We know how hard it can be to buy gifts for writers, so we’ve gone ahead and asked our favourite writers, publishers and writers’ organisations what they want for Christmas.

December 12, 2014 Christmas Wish List: The Duncan Felton Edition

We know how hard it can be to buy gifts for writers, so we’ve gone ahead and asked our favourite writers, publishers and writers’ organisations what they want for Christmas.

December 11, 2014 My Reign as Dairy Queen

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Hannah Reekie


 

In the final year of my creative writing degree, a conversation often came up about whether one should get a post-university job related to writing, or something on the opposite end of the spectrum, i.e. some thing menial, or in the customer service industry. I always swayed to the side of a non-creative job, believing variation would help me to create a more balanced and therefore happy lifestyle.

December 10, 2014 Bloc Features: A Man Made Entirely of Bats

Patrick Lenton loves superheroes. And look, anyone who can write such a brilliant collection of shorts kind of is a superhero.

December 9, 2014 Literary Cities: San Francisco

This is a Literary Cities post from expat novellist Antonia Hayes.


I arrived in San Francisco on an overcast February afternoon. Everything I’d heard about the fog was true. Grey skies and low clouds matched my mood; I was terrified. Terrified of this stranger of a city where I was going to live, of not knowing where I was going in my life, of becoming more dislocated than I already was. I’d spent four years living in Paris, then four years back in Sydney, and now I’d uprooted myself again. Of course moving to San Francisco was exciting, but there are only so many times you can fold a piece of paper in half. When you move a plant from one pot to another, transplant shock is almost always unavoidable.

San Francisco is a city of tech, gadgets and code but it’s equally a city of words. It’s the great American city of independent bookstores and independent publishing, where people are proud to be poets and put it on their business card, where there’s not a single Barnes and Noble within its seven-by-seven miles. San Francisco is grassroots meets Pulitzer, it’s McSweeney’s and City Lights, refuge of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Keruoac, birthplace of Jack London and Rebecca Solnit. The Bay Area is home to Amy Tan, Daniel Alarcón, Michael Chabon, and NoViolet Bulawayo and hundreds of other writers. I’ve spied Mallory Ortberg riding the BART, walked past Dave Eggers strolling down Valencia St, heard the footsteps of Lawrence Ferlinghetti creak on the floorboards upstairs.


Image source: Antonia Hayes

December 8, 2014 Two Literary Families

Each Monday throughout December, we're featuring a 'family'-themed piece of writing. Today's piece is from Kirby Fenwick, a soon-to-be dual citizen of Australia and Ireland.



Image via Kirby Fenwick

My Grandfather was born in Coalisland, a small town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland in 1933. He emigrated to Australia in the early fifties. He died nearly eighteen years ago. I know these facts about him but I never really knew him. I have one memory that gets fuzzier as time goes by - the edges are becoming smoother, and the sounds and smells are long gone. I know he was playing Santa at a family Christmas gathering. I know my cousins and I were called up one by one for him to give us a gift. I know all this, I know it was him, but the only reason I could tell you what he looked like is because of the photos of him my mother keeps. His face no longer appears in that memory, if it ever really did.

December 5, 2014 Prompt: Helen Stubbs

This is a writing prompt from Helen Stubbs.

December 4, 2014 The Book That Fed My Football Obsession

This is a The Book That... post from Ellen van Neerven


It often happens this way - you pick up a book, and only pull it out again years later when you really need it.

Brisbane, at the start of summer, delivers a humid weekend as a warning. The temperature is due to hit 41. I’d planned to work at home but by noon I’m wandering the streets, sweating like I’ve played a full 90, unable to do anything for the dying magpie I pass and desperate to find a cool refuge. I’ve got a book in my bag. It’s Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby, the Penguin edition, and I’ve had it for five years. When I sit down at a tapas bar on James Street it’s the first time I’ve looked past the cover.

December 3, 2014 Bloc Features: Weiji

December's Writers Bloc workshop piece comes from Ben Allmon. It's a gorgeous slice of realism, and expertly crafted. I talked to Ben about its themes, writing short stories, and what he's doing next.


ANNA: Weiji carries themes of poverty, love, desperation. What makes these so ripe for stories?

December 3, 2014 Opportunities (December 2014)

Image source: Flickr / AlexKerhead

December 2, 2014 The Rizzeria

This is a What's My Scene post from The Rizzeria in Sydney.


 


'The Time You Were in Paris' by Leigh Rigozzi and Vanessa Berry

In 2008 a bunch of Sydney artists, zine-makers and designers came together around a machine – the RP3700 Risograph. Inspired by a collective in Amsterdam who had been using the RP3700 to make artworks, zines and posters, they bought one of the printers and have been using it ever since to create their own work and teach others the magic of Risograph.

December 1, 2014 Ed's Desk: December

This is an Ed's Desk post from our online editor, Sam van Zweden.



My desk has moved towards the light

I’ve started writing this piece about five times now. I wonder if this is how Janet Malcolm ended up with ’Forty-one False Starts’. I feel guilty for even wondering about the comparison.

Each iteration of the start has made a different definitive statement about what family is, looking from a different angle at what joins a family together. First I thought that it was the permanency of families – the idea that they’re solid, and not going anywhere.

November 30, 2014 The Fake It Till You Make It November Mixtape

I'll be honest, the idea of making a 'Fake It Till You Make It' YouTube playlist left me a bit stumped. We've been making monthly wrap up mixtapes and it's a bunch of fun. We hope you like 'em too and listen along on your lazy Sunday afternoon.

November 29, 2014 Review: Bumf

This is a review of Bumf by Emma Koehn.

November 27, 2014 Take a Story

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Mia-Francesca McAuslan.


Hostel Cleaner

November 25, 2014 Bloc Features: The Incredible Here and Now

Giramondo Publishing is behind the publication of the wonderful The Incredible Here and Now, a YA story told as a series of vignettes. We are thrilled to feature two of these vignettes in this month's Bloc Features.

November 25, 2014 How Publishers Work

This is a Building Blocs post from Lachlan Mackenzie.


So you’ve finished your manuscript, and you’re pretending to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed -  you’re doing a great job of convincing everyone you still have a grip on reality. Now you have to face the mysterious, mythical beast that is the publishing industry.

The ins and outs of the publishing process are often unknown to aspiring writers. Publishers are the fairy godmothers who sprinkle the magic dust that turns your Word documents into pages in a book that people want to buy. Or at least that’s what I thought they were until I went along to the Hachette Australia office for Inside the Publishing House, part of the Emerging Writers’ Festival Roadshow.

November 24, 2014 Make it 'til You Fake it

Each Monday in November, we're hearing from writers about how they've faked in until they've made it. Today's post is from Angela Nikulinsky.

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I felt the vice-grip release. Finally, after three and a half years I had knocked off an undergraduate degree. Submission of my last essay - a 3,000-word discussion of Japanese war memory - led inevitably to browsing jobseeker websites.

November 21, 2014 Prompt: Trent Jamieson

This is a writing prompt from Trent Jamieson

November 20, 2014 The Book That Changed the Way I Read Comics

This is a The Book That... post from Phill English.


Like most people who grew up reading and loving books in the 90s, my main source of literary income was the local library. Despite the annoyance of having to drive up a steep, winding hill in a van whose motor might have been better suited for a ride-on-mower, my mum made sure that we made at least two trips each week. It speaks to the somewhat counter-intuitively progressive nature of libraries - and the open mind of my mum - that even at a primary school age I was allowed to run upstairs to the young adult section and start flipping through the comics they had there. And these weren’t your everyday comics, no no. Libraries, progressive or no, couldn’t buy issues one-by-one as they came out, so only the kinds of comics that came in nicely-bound trade paperback format would get the nod for purchase. And so it was that little Phill would sit in a beanbag and read The SandmanSwamp Thing, some random collections of X-men and Batman, and the somewhat blasphemous The Death of Superman, over and over again. The subject matter of the first two, for anyone who hasn’t read those titles, might be considered a little dark for someone who hadn’t gone through puberty yet. It probably explains a lot. Nevertheless, I loved comics from an early age. Not so much to become consumed by them - the obsessive valves of my heart already belonged to video games - but enough to consider them a very viable alternative to plain old text on a white page.

November 19, 2014 Bloc Features: A Town Called Blackout

This story by Anna Krien first appeared in the 2003 Winter edition of Voiceworks

November 18, 2014 Writing About Pop Culture

This is a Someone Who Knows post by Peter Taggart


Interning at a major newspaper back in 2009 – you know, the ‘golden age’ of print - I recall catching the eye of a very tired looking man. He looked maybe five or six years older than me, certainly more fashion-conscious, but more world-weary as well. As I passed, he managed the sort of smile I imagined staff reserved for the revolving-door conga line of interns – encouraging, but fleeting. I left him to chase his deadline, but later that night dug through the paper searching for his face and by-line. I found that for the last few weeks, he’d been filling in as an arts and entertainment reporter. Was this why he’d looked so glum? Because he’d been interviewing The Veronicas?

November 17, 2014 So You Haven't Studied Writing

Every Monday in November, we're hearing from writers who have faked it until they made it. Today's post comes from Kylie Maslen.

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November 14, 2014 Regarding Susan Sontag (Jewish International Film Festival 2014)

This is a review by Patricia Tobin.

Nancy D. Kates's Regarding Susan Sontag is an intimate and nuanced documentary into the life of critic and intellectual Susan Sontag. Perhaps best known for her study On Photography, Sontag remains an influential figure of the twentieth century. As an early defender of popular culture, such as in her pioneering work 'Notes on 'Camp'' in 1964, the film uncovers Sontag's gradual move towards a different worldview, prompting the evolution of her writing career.  

November 14, 2014 Prompt: Kathleen Jennings

This is a writing prompt from author and illustrator Kathleen Jennings.

We love to read your writing - don't forget to head to the workshop to share the fruits of this exercise! If you're not sure how, check out our how-to video on uploading and sharing your work. Writing from the workshop also has the chance to be published and read by a wider audience (and we pay!) as part of our new Bloc Features project.

Happy writing!

--

 

November 13, 2014 The Babysitter

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Kathleen O'Neill.

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Before I became a nanny, I had never expected to become a victim of one of J.K. Rowling’s Unforgivable Curses. As far as I was aware when I posted my babysitting profile online, I liked children and I thought that children liked me. Hiding behind a bedpost, however, with shouted Avada Kedavras only narrowly missing my chopstick wand, any hopes to be a modern-day Mary Poppins had well and truly evaporated. Instead, I had become the target of an ongoing, anxiety-ridden power play. Knowing the importance of Harry Potter to the child left under my supervision, I was left to dodge imaginary enchantments with a growing unease. Was this really a game of pretend, or was I blindly accepting a nine-year-old’s equivalent of a death threat?

November 12, 2014 Bloc Features: The Caves

Hello! Welcome to Bloc Features. I'm so excited to see you here. I'm your host, Anna Spargo-Ryan, and I'm not averse to making a joke about keeping your hands and arms inside the cockpit. I'm a Melbourne-based writer, and have contributed to Overland, Kill Your Darlings, The Guardian, Emerging Writers' Festival, Digital Writers' Festival and other things with writers and festivals. My first novel will be published by Picador in 2015.

Now, please use your eyeballs to enjoy some wonderful writing.

Bloc Features is a living collection of stories we love. Every month, we will share some of our favourites: an original from Writers Bloc, something from one of many brilliant Australian journals, a jewel from an overseas journal, and an excerpt from stellar debut fiction. It will be a smorgasbord of words, but in a storytelling way, not like a dictionary.

This first piece is one I chose blind from Writers Bloc. We have a growing library of wonderful writing from seriously talented writers. 

What I didn't know when I chose 'The Caves' as our launch piece was that its author, Alessandra Prunotto, is still in high school. Do you know what I was doing in high school? Not writing wondrous magic like this, that's for sure.


 

November 11, 2014 Literary Cities: Prague

This is a Literary Cities post from Raelke Grimmer.

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She stole my heart. I was caught completely off-guard, and fell too hard too fast. At first glance, she seemed to be like all the other European cities I’d seen, rich in ancient architecture and an air of superiority, like nothing we find in Australia, no matter how hard we try. I was naïve. Slowly, Prague revealed to me her secrets, and slowly, she reeled me in. Suddenly, I was trapped in a love so intense that the thought of our looming break-up caused nothing but anxiety.

November 10, 2014 On a Silver Platter

Every Monday in November, we're sharing stories about "faking it 'til you make it". Today's post comes from Elise Lopez.

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Image source: Flickr / designsbykari

Last year I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had been dying to start a PhD in Linguistics, but struggled to find a topic I was willing to commit to. For most of the year I simply worked in a retail job and did a bit of editing for lecturers on the side. I wanted to immerse myself in the world of academic writing, but I lacked an outlet. I wasn’t a student and I wasn’t employed by the university, except to do a few hours of editing here and there. Where possible, I attended conferences at the university just so I wouldn’t completely lose my connection to the academic world. It was at one of these conferences that I met Joanna.

November 9, 2014 The Relative Power of my Pen: An interview with Lee Kofman

This is an interview with Lee Kofman, by Amy Maynard.

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Lee Kofman is a Melbourne-based award-winning author, whose works of fiction and non-fiction have been published in both English and Hebrew. She has previously written for Writers Bloc, in the Someone Who Knows series, sharing her knowledge about mentoring. Kofman is the current blogger-in-residence for Writers Victoria, and more information about her work, including her latest novel, The Dangerous Bride, can be found at http://www.leekofman.com.au/

The Dangerous Bride is a memoir which reflects on love, monogamy, isolation, sex, infidelity, and the pursuit of happiness and contentment. Kofman presents an unflinching look at her past relationships, intertwining her memories with research on historical romances and interviews with those that live and love in the present. The Dangerous Bride is published by Melbourne University Press, and can be ordered here.

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November 7, 2014 Writers Bloc Makes Noise - Podcasting Part V

Image: Classic old radio 1960s or 70s style by Robert Ashworth.

 

The last one. Hope you've made some noise and will send us a pretty podcast!

November 6, 2014 The Book That Made me Alive to Colour

This is a The Book That... post from Amelia Marshall.

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I have a friend who went blind when she was a toddler. She can only remember one colour – white, the cool impersonal white of the hospitals where they tried but failed to prevent the blindness. She says now all she can see are shadows.

Sadness is a colourless state. Science bears this out: the retinas of a depressed person are less responsive to contrast. They are less alive to colour, to light.

November 5, 2014 Opportunities (November 2014)

Image source: Flickr / AlexKerhead

November 4, 2014 All Star Women's Comic Book Club

This is a What's My Scene post from Cazz at All Star Comics.

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November 3, 2014 Ed's Desk: November.

This is an Editor's Desk post from our online editor, Sam van Zweden.

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November 2, 2014 Forever Young (October YouTube Mixtape)

This is a mixtape by Geoff Orton and Daniela Frangos.

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October 31, 2014 Writers Bloc Makes Noise - Podcasting Part IV

 

Image: Roberts Revival Radio by Seb Lee-Desisle, CC generic 2.0 / via Flickr.

Writers Bloc makes some podcasts again. We're pretty great. Listen and read here. DO IT.

October 30, 2014 Tiny Hands

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post by Melia Donk.

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I first met my old boss at a block party held by the woman that lived next door. Of course, he wasn’t my boss then, merely an older gent from up the road whose son I’d been trying to impress. He arrived late, gifted our host with a bottle of Moët and introduced himself as a conservative. I thought I would hate him but he took a liking to me instantly. He was an oddity. He was a highly intelligent man full of stories and conflicting ideas. You could never tell what was really true and whether or not he really believed in the ideals he would espouse but so often disagree with. We talked often, chasing trains of thought that knotted madly, butting heads in the gentlest of fashions. He liked to read my writing. I respected him.

October 29, 2014 Prompt: Charlotte Nash

This is a writing prompt from Charlotte Nash.

We'd love to see how you go with this prompt - to receive free, anonymous feedback on your work, head to the workshops (and if you're new, here's a how-to). Remember to include "WP" in your title, so we know it's a writing prompt response!

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Image source: Flickr / Vern

I've been extraordinarily lucky in my career to have opportunities to teach students in creative writing - partly because I love teaching, and partly because I learn so much from my students. One of the things that early writers often could work on is playing with language - stretching the boundaries of the sorts of words we often reach for. That's what this exercise is about - just one paragraph to stretch your language muscle. 

October 28, 2014 Should I Join a Writers' Centre?

This is a Building Blocs post from Lou Heinrich.

If you've got a question that you'd like us to research and answer, or an area of expertise that you think the Writers Bloc community might benefit from, get in touch.

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'Can anyone tell me what a stereotype is?'

In a whitewashed room, I'm sitting on a table in front of nine desks arranged in a C-shape. My posture is an attempt to project a 'relaxed teacher' vibe – this is my first time running a workshop.

My whole body is sweating.

October 27, 2014 There's No Place Like...

Each Monday this month, we've been hearing from young writers. Today the young writers theme wraps up with Kahli Scott's thoughts on young writers' love of travel.

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In his recent personal essay, ‘How Not to Write Your First Novel’, bestselling writer Lev Grossman details a season spent solo in a small town in Maine, seeking glorious literary isolation. I’ve always found Grossman brilliant on an accessible level (he writes about contemporary wizards being reckless and saving kingdoms and other fun stuff) but I felt that this essay particularly hit the nail on the head. The conclusion Grossman reaches is that he was totally wrong about a lot of things back at the green age of 22, particularly the idea that isolation = inspiration. “You don’t learn about yourself by being alone,” he writes, “You learn about yourself from other people.”

October 25, 2014 #WriteHere

Words by Geoff Orton.

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Everyone is busy. We all have our own impingers on time and personal space and sometimes it’s just really hard to find two hours to write.

October 25, 2014 Review: The Suburban Review: Stellar

October 24, 2014 Writers Bloc Makes Noise - Podcasting Part III

Photo: Radio Debian by Alosh Bennett, CC Licence Attribution 2.0 generic.

Hey, (video killed the) radio star! Let's see how we went moving text to audio.

 

 

October 23, 2014 The Book That Made Me Give Up... Almost

This is a The Book That... post from Raphael Solarsh.

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Survivor starts on what, in hindsight, now seems an ominous note. Reverse numbered chapters start at 47 and slowly count down to the main character’s fiery death, as he delivers his life story into the black box of a plane while it plummets inescapably to destruction. As I watched the numbers drop, it became an uncomfortably poignant metaphor for my own writing journey.

October 22, 2014 Prompt: NaNoWriMo Young Writers' Program

This is a prompt from Lauren Harsma for the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program.

Don't forget to head over to the workshop to share your work and receive anonymous feedback, and remember to include "(WP)" in the title so we know that it's a prompt response!

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Image source: Flickr / Andreas Levers

There are portals everywhere. A word on a page, a painting in a museum, a stranger's face - everything in our world leads to another world. You can find space and time printed on a train ticket or scrambled in with your eggs in the morning, if only you squint your eyes hard enough and open your mind wide enough. 

October 21, 2014 Seven Tips for Corporate Writing

This is a Someone Who Knows post from corporate writer Zoe Nikakis.

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It is an uncomfortable truth professional writers learn: the idea of living a creative life needs to be balanced with the reality of living an actual life. We actually need to eat and pay the mortgage, and our draughty writerly garrets are actually more comfortable with heaters.

But there’s good news. All the education, all the passion for good writing and for stringent editing that makes the work better, all the joy we take in its creation, are also skills we can use to pay those heating bills. They’re the skills you need to become a corporate writer.

October 20, 2014 Starting Young

On Mondays in October, we're celebrating writers under the age of 31. Today we hear from Steph Bowe, whose first book, Girl Saves Boy, was published when she was just sixteen years old.

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Being a writer is such a weird profession, with a huge chasm between the hopes/expectations/romantic ideals of what being a capital-W Writer involves and the reality of the thing. Which is not at all glamorous. It's mostly hard work and uncertainty and awkwardly fielding questions about how much money you earn at every social event for the rest of your life.

October 17, 2014 Writers Bloc Makes Noise - Podcasting Part II

Image: Oceanic Radio by Francisco Gonzales, CC 2.0 Generic.

We've got the basics down. Now let's look at how to adapt and perform a piece without looking like a silly.

October 16, 2014 My Students Remind me how Frustrating and Tough Writing can be

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Madeleine Crofts.

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Image source: Madeleine Crofts

I have a vivid memory of telling my mother, a primary school teacher, that I too wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. I was about seven years old, and pronounced my future intentions with gleeful conviction. My mother rounded on me, “No you don’t. You want to be something that makes a lot more money.”

October 15, 2014 Prompt: Dubnium

This is a writing prompt from Annie and the gang at Dubnium, in South Australia.

You're invited to use the snippet of story below as the starter or inspiration for a piece of your own.

Don't forget to head over to the workshop to share your work and receive anonymous feedback, and remember to include "(WP)" in the title so we know that it's a prompt response!

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Image source: Flickr / Bart Everson

Dan saunters in, cool as you like, and prods at the store-bought bread. 

October 14, 2014 Literary Cities: Fresno

This is a Literary Cities post from Katerina Bryant.

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Recently a 64-year-old man was arrested in Fresno, California on suspicion of cooking meth in his apartment at the California League-Fresno retirement village. Local cop, Lieutenant Joe Gomez told the media, “[it’s] just shocking someone that age would do that, but actually a perfect place to do it, right? Retirement village, who would suspect it going on there?”

Funnily enough, when reading this news I didn’t find it “just shocking.” Fresno is considered the Meth Capital of the World, with heavy competition from Atlanta, Butte and Kansas. In 2009, Louis Theroux filmed the documentary, The City Addicted to Crystal Meth in – you guessed it – Fresno. So a cook living in the California League-Fresno retirement village seems just about right.

October 13, 2014 How Young is Too Young? The rise and rise of the young memoir.

In October, we're celebrating writers under the age of 31. Today we hear from Luke Ryan, staunch defender of the young memoir.

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Image source: Flickr / jeffrey james pacres

In July this year, barely turned 29, I published my memoir, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Chemo, a comic memoir about getting cancer twice that is considerably funnier than it sounds. The month prior, Liam Pieper, age 31, had published his own drug-soaked memoirs, deliciously titled The Feel-Good Hit of the Year. Two months after me, Lorelei Vashti - a comparative veteran at 34 - published Dress, Memory, the story of her twenties told through the dresses she wore. Three writers and between us we can barely get within spitting distance of a single centenarian. Three writers whose slight gasp into adulthood must surely betray our capacity for rigorous self-examination. Three writers, three memoirs and the latest, greatest craze in Australian publishing.

October 11, 2014 Review: Voiceworks 98

 

This is a review of Voiceworks #98: Master, by Danielle Bagnato.

October 10, 2014 WB Makes Noise - Podcasting, Part I

                                           

Image: Alexkerhead, CC 2.0 Generic, ' My Favorites!'.

Love the sound of your own voice? Excellent. Let's make some podcasts.

This is the first week of Writers Bloc does podcasts. We're showing you how to turn your written prose into beautiful audio butterflies, with the expert supervision of FBi Radio's All The Best.

 

October 9, 2014 The Book that I was Forced to Read

This is a The Book That... post from Jennifer Hauptman.

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In year 12 I read The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton for my English class. By which I mean: I was forced to read The Age of Innocence in order to pass English. I was initially skeptical. On the cover was a picture of a woman in a purple sash doing archery at one of those ridiculous 19th century garden parties, and the whole thing stank of Anne of Green Gables. Obediently, I read it. And then I read the House of Mirth, and Ethan Frome, and then I gave up trying to find the same qualities of The Age of Innocence in Wharton’s other books, and contented myself by reading it over and over again.

October 8, 2014 Prompt: ACT Writers' Centre

This is a writing prompt from Lizzie Howie on behalf of ACT Writers Centre.

Don't forget to head over to the workshop to share your work and receive anonymous feedback, and remember to include "(WP)" in the title so we know that it's a prompt response! 

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Curiosity may just kill the cat, but it is an essential ingredient for the writer. Foster it, and you can pretty much ensure having a steady flow of writing inspiration. Remember how curious you were as a child? Take yourself back. Be a child.

October 7, 2014 Looking Up, Looking Forward, Looking Around, Looking In...

This is an Editor's Desk post from Online Editor Sam van Zweden.

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My desk, like me, is feeling a bit overwhelmed by the last two weeks of my Honours degree. Also, see that puzzle box? It's a gift from our founder Geoff, who is supporting me in my dream of doing a puzzle when uni finishes (puzzles being the opposite of having no time). That puzzle is my dangling carrot. 

 

This month on Writers Bloc, the theme is ‘Young Writers’.

The overwhelming number of submissions we received this month for our Literary Cities column might indicate that young writers are big dreamers, travellers, and great observers. We’re collectors of experience, and lovers of a new challenge. It might also indicate that we have trouble sitting still in our immediate surrounds. Perhaps we prefer to move away from what we know or what we find mundane, believing that life exists in other parts of the world.

October 2, 2014 Corruption is All Around

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Hollie Pich.

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Image source: Flickr / opensource.com

October 1, 2014 Opportunities (October 2014)

Image source: Flickr / AlexKerhead

September 30, 2014 Hell Yeah Writers Bloc

This is a What's My Scene post by Amy Maynard, the editor of our Tumblr, Hell Yeah Writers Bloc.

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Hello, my name is Amy Maynard, and I run the Writers Bloc Tumblr, Hell Yeah Writers Bloc.

Hell Yeah Writers Bloc was launched late July, and it's a place where the textual is combined with the visual. While Writers Bloc already had a Pinterest board and an Instagram account, we wanted a space where we could showcase those who work with illustration, comics, photography, and gifs.

We started off with comics and single panel cartoons, and also interviews with artists. We had street art style from Matt Sweet, sci-fi courtesy of Mike Cooper, whimsy from Kevin Hayes, horror from Riley Hamilton Naismith, and a gorgeous adaptation of an Oscar Wilde poem by Madeleine Karutz.

September 29, 2014 Online Writing Networks Made Flesh

Each Monday in September, we've heard from writers whose work finds ways to move off the page. if:book's 'Memory Makes Us' project uses collaborated stories as its material. Melbourne Spoken Word showed us how we can get involved in spoken word in Melbourne. Last week, Emily Stewart invited us to rethink how we interact with poems.

To wrap up our "Off the Page" series, we're joined today by Jessica Alice, co-director of the National Young Writers Festival. 

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Image source: Flickr / Somaya Langley

Shut up and write. Get off Twitter. Open Word, blinking cursor be damned, just write you miserable amateur when are you going to finish the novel??? The advice to young and new and old writers is to just write. Just do it! Writing, yes sir, is incredibly important, and to be A Writer you need to that wordy thing. You need to do the wordy thing so much that you have a collection of words that other people want to read. Maybe you’d like other people who do wordy things too to read your things, and then maybe you’d all sit around together with a beer and talk about being wordy-thing doers. Sounds so quaint, sounds like dreamy writer Avalon.

September 28, 2014 Australian Love Songs

The idea for this blog post came off the back of yesterday's review of Australian Love Stories.

September 27, 2014 Australian Love Stories

This is a review of Australian Love Stories, by Daniel Young.

                                                                                                       

September 25, 2014 The Ins and Outs of Internships

Welcome to our new series, 'Building Blocs'! 

Building Blocs aims to create a space you can rely on for sound advice on the business side of writing. It will answer your questions about your rights and potential nasties to look out for. It'll help you get your head around how to be financially responsible and business-savvy. It will help you advance your career as a writer. Feel free to get in touch with any questions you'd like answered or if you'd like to help us investigate a particular topic.

To kick off the series, we have editor and writer Joshua Allen looking out for your rights as an intern and offering some advice on how you can tell if it's just not working. 

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Image source: Flickr / momento mori

The editor sat at their desk, directly opposite me, with only our computers separating us. My desk wasn’t actually ‘my’ desk; it was just a spot for me to sit at. It was where I worked one day a week for free. This was my first internship that featured an excited call to my Mum to say, “Hi. Yes, I’m not a failure.”

September 24, 2014 Prompt: Michaela Murphy

This is a writing prompt from Michaela Murphy

Don't forget to head over to the workshop to share your work and receive anonymous feedback, and remember to include "(WP)" in the title so we know that it's a prompt response! 

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It was 1988, and I was a recent college grad sitting in my way-too-expensive apartment in Brooklyn, NY rethinking my entire life: why did I insist on a degree in theater? Why am I up all night preparing for all of these auditions and then rushing like a maniac all over town to deliver an out-of-the-park performance when I do not even like the script? Why am I sitting here upset that my phone is not ringing to hire me for a job that I do not care about?

Suddenly, out of my mouth, I said, “Even I could write something better.” I heard myself say that and this one time, I listened. That is how I discovered that I was a writer. Mind you, I had been writing for years and telling stories for decades, but I never took myself seriously as a writer. It wasn’t until I became frustrated as an actress that I realized what I had to offer as a writer.  The irony is that once I started writing for myself, I always had work as an actress.

September 23, 2014 The Book That Ate My Brain

This is a 'The Book That...' post from Annabel Smith.

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Call me morbid, but I love tales of the end of days: nuclear, environmental, biochemical, pandemic - I’m not choosy. There’s only one kind of apocalypse I could never get behind: the zombie apocalypse.

First of all, the tropes seem too ridiculous and cliched - I mean, why do the undead always shamble along with their arms out in front of them? And why do they have to be so dirty? I know eating brains is probably a messy business but how difficult is a quick wash of the face and hands?

I got tricked into reading Justin Cronin’s The Passage by a blurb which promised ‘an epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival.’ Though most zombie books leave you in absolutely no doubt as to their contents, there was not even a whiff of the dreaded Z word around this novel.

September 22, 2014 Rethinking the Poem

Each Monday in September, we're hearing from writers and projects who write 'off the page'. Today's post comes from Melbourne-based writer Emily Stewart.

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The more I’ve read into the fields of physics and ecology, the more I’ve begun to understand how it is that things bleed into each other. The industrial development of the past couple of hundred years has seeped deep into the geological record. The particles of the Big Bang shoot constantly through us. And all of the planet’s species, humans included, hum with traces of radiation.

This thinking has begun to infiltrate my practice as a poet. As discrete packages of text my poems feel like too small a portion of the whole. When we read, we commonly see black type on a white or neutral background or page. The conditions for reading poetry and prose are really very specific. This specificity or standardisation is useful, because it reduces the brain-work required to decipher text. But the other side to this is that when we read we forget we’re also looking. It is roughly this distinction that I think separates literature from art. Looking versus reading. So for this past year I’ve been playing around with the materiality of text itself, attempting to broaden the sense of what it is to ‘read’ a poem, and bring to attention some of the other markers we’ve erased, both from what we might call the ‘final draft’, as well as from the creative labour of producing work. 

Since January I’ve been writing a continuous poem -- a list-poem. Here’s a portion:

September 18, 2014 Cleaning Carpets and Writing for Money

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Ben Allmon.

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Image source: Flickr / Martin Kenny

 

It is 5:30am, and I can’t sleep. 

I get up and put coffee on, sit at my computer, and wonder where to begin earning money as a writer today.  Freelancewriting.com has a list of jobs – but most warn that a minimum of 3 years writing experience is required.  Preferably five.

Time for a second coffee.

September 17, 2014 TV Bloc Club Recap Post: Twin Peaks Week 5 and 6

For the past six Tuesday nights, as part of TV Bloc Club, we've been catching up with the 90s classic Twin Peaks.

September 17, 2014 Writing Prompt: Leena van Deventer

This is a writing prompt from Melbourne-based games developer and word herder, Leena van Deventer

September 16, 2014 Microfiction

This is a Someone Who Knows post from Harry Saddler, who has been writing SMS stories since 2008.

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Every Sunday I write and distribute from my phone a story that’s entirely contained within a single SMS. That’s 160 characters. I did the first one in November 2008 and now I’ve written over 300. Microfiction wasn’t as popular in 2008 as it is now but I think I’d been reading Dan Rhodes’ book Anthropology back then, which is a collection of 101 stories each 101 words long. That’s the only explanation I can think of for why I started writing SMS stories.

September 15, 2014 Melbourne Spoken Word

Each Monday in September, we're hearing from writers and projects who write 'off the page'. Today's post comes from Benjamin Solah, the founder of Melbourne Spoken Word. This amazing website and organisation advocate for spoken word in Melbourne, helping to promote shows and opportunities, and provide a space for spoken word artists to come together. Today they walk us through the basics of the Melbourne spoken word scene.

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Image source: Flickr / Tom81115

If you looked on the construction site boardings and abandoned buildings adorned with gig posters, the ‘what’s on’ sections of mainstream papers, or even the street press, you might not know it, but all around Melbourne, almost every night of the week, there are poets performing in pubs, bars, cafes, galleries, theatres and makeshift spaces, performers and words both vulnerable and entertaining, unlike anything you’ll see anywhere else.

September 14, 2014 WRITERS WORKSPACE SERIES: PATRICK LENTON

Where do you write?

September 13, 2014 Review: Paper Darts

This is a review of Paper Darts by Rafael S.W.

 

 

                                                                                            

September 11, 2014 The Book That I Stole

This is a The Book That... post from Tom Doig.

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I can still remember the afternoon I shoplifted Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer from a quality independent bookstore in Auckland, NZ. It was 1999: autumn, overcast, apocalyptic; let’s say early May. I had just turned 20 and was in the third and final year of my English Lit degree. At the time, I was not hugely excited by the poetry of Wallace Stevens or Marianne Moore, even if my lecturers were. Anyway, it was only a few months until Y2K and the end of the world.

September 10, 2014 Writing Prompt: Carolyn Zaikowski

This is a writing prompt from Massachusetts-based writer Carolyn Zaikowski. She recently won the Civil Coping Mechanisms 'Mainline' manuscript award, and her book A Child is Being Killed can be admired and bought here. Today she provides us with this monster prompt, which is really many, many little prompts that you can use to write for as long as it takes to fill a notebook. It first appeared as "sensory/somatic warm-ups & writing prompts for writing for as long as it takes to fill up a notebook without stopping", on Carolyn's blog, life roar.

We'd love to hear how you go with this/these - jump on the workshop and share your work, and remember to include "(WP)" in the title so we know that it's a prompt response!

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Because I have massive, long-term writer’s block, I decided to sit down one night (Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 7PM) and write for as long as it took to fill up a notebook. I invited everyone on Facebook to do it with me.

September 9, 2014 100 Story Building

This is a What's My Scene post by Veronica Campbell, volunteer at 100 Story Building.

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Image source: 100 Story Building

Do you remember the moment you first fell in love with stories? Perhaps you were in your school library, surrounded by silence as you desperately tried to hold in your laughter. The librarian might have shot you a look that could only mean ‘SHHHHHH!’ as you let out a gleeful snort. Maybe you were sinking into a beanbag chair in your bedroom, so absorbed by the story in your hands that you didn’t hear your dad calling you for dinner until he physically banged on your door. Or were you sprawled on the grass in your backyard, lying in the setting sun with a book draped over your face, oblivious to the pinches on your skin as tiny bugs tried to tell you it was time to go inside?

If you love reading or telling stories, you’ll probably relate to that feeling—the buzz of adrenaline that overcomes you when a good story takes over. At 100 Story Building in Melbourne’s inner west, we’re lucky enough to be able to create (and recreate!) that feeling for young people every day. We aim to provide a safe, supportive and fun environment for young people to explore their creative sides, build their literacy skills and develop a sense of belonging. It’s a pretty warm and fuzzy place to be.

September 8, 2014 Memory Makes Us

Each Monday in September, we're hearing from writers and projects who write 'off the page'. Today's post comes from Simon Groth at if:book Australia, whose collaborative and interactive writing project Memory Makes Us has been touring writers' festivals, and will be wrapping up in Perth at the start of November.

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Image source: if:book Australia

The experience of Memory Makes Us is always personal.

It wasn’t that great a memory, just something that occurred to me when I thought about ‘The Body’. My mind was drawn back to the 1980s and to Coolangatta, to the laughable excuse for sunscreen we used at the time, and to our remarkable lack of concern when, inevitably, our skin would begin peeling. Now, in 2014, here I was in the atrium at Federation Square, staring up at a giant screen which suddenly displayed my words to the hundreds of people milling through the Melbourne Writers Festival site. Without my knowledge, Paddy O’Reilly had at some point in the day taken my words and dropped them into the work she was writing before a live audience. I looked up, recognised my words, then watched on in horror as Paddy highlighted the entire passage and hit delete.

Well, not the entire passage. Just one word remained: sunscreen. Paddy wrote a few more words around mine, taking it in a new direction, but I was comforted by that one word’s presence. That word right there, that one was mine, even if I was the only person who knew it.

 

September 4, 2014 Fifteen, Eighteen, Twenty-five

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Rebecca Varcoe.

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Fifteen:

I wanted to be an actress or a forensic scientist. One of those was a secret. I was working at my local IGA, a Ritchies, because that’s where my mother worked and my brother worked and it seemed like a good idea. I grew to hate working there so much I wished my Dad would crash the car on the way there so that I wouldn’t have to work. Once, during a suburb-wide power outage the lights and fridges went down, and we were forced us to close. The only thing stronger than the joy I felt at that moment was the crushing defeat half an hour later, when the power was restored.

September 3, 2014 Opportunities (September 2014)

 

Image source: Flickr / AlexKerhead

September 2, 2014 Literary Cities: Broome

This is a Literary Cities post from Shannon McKeogh.

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Image source: Shannon McKeogh

The first thing I did when we got to Broome was plunge into the frothy waves of Cable Beach.

We had travelled from Darwin, over 1,900 kilometres, and because we had camped at free spots I hadn’t showered in three days.

September 1, 2014 TV Bloc Club Recap Post: Twin Peaks Week 3 and 4

September 1, 2014 Ed's Desk: September

This is a post from the desk of our online editor, Sam van Zweden.

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It’s easy, as a writer, to see the page as the end-point. Put down the words, hone them, then see them presented on a paper or digital page, right? By seeing the page as the end-point, we forget everything that happens before, during, and after the process of getting the words down. We also close ourselves off from the huge number of storytelling alternatives available to us.

August 28, 2014 The Book That Makes Me Laugh

This is a The Book That... post from Angie Holst.

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August 27, 2014 Wednesday Writing Prompt: Melissa Keil

This is a prompt from Melissa Keil, young adult author of the CBCA Book of the Year-shortlisted Life in Outer Space and fresh-off-the-press The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl

Our prompts are designed to get you writing - don't forget to check back with us and tell us how you went!

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I don’t think I’ve ever begun a writing project with a solid, complete plot in mind. All of my books have been sparked by a single image – a poster on a café wall (Life in Outer Space), a newspaper headline tucked in the back of the paper (The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl), a glimpse of a particularly pretty deck of cards in a shop window (as yet untitled future novel). Collecting banks of images is always my go-to task when I’m struggling with the words; something like the below, which has infinite catalyst potential for a story:

August 26, 2014 A Practical Guide to Beta Reading

This post is the second part in a series from Jodi Cleghorn, who first taught us what beta reading is, and now gives us very clear pointers about how to do it.

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Effective beta reads are a combination of reflections, impressions, assessments of strengths and weaknesses, suggestions for improvements and questions for further consideration.

This guide is intended to be used in conjunction with the introduction article Beta Reading As Translation.

August 25, 2014 A to Z of YA

August has been a celebration of the beloved Book Week. To wrap it up, this week we hear from Danielle Binks, who's something of an expert on young adult writing. She takes us through the genre from A to Z.

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A  Adaptation. Lately it feels like the Box Office is ruled by adaptations of young adult (YA) franchises – from Hunger Games to The Fault in Our Stars. But don’t forget, Hollywood has a rather illustrious history of adapting YA and children’s books for the big screen, such as; The Wizard of Oz, The Outsiders, and To Kill A Mockingbird.

B Banned books. Children’s and YA are still amongst the most banned and challenged of all books, especially in America. In 2013, six of the Top 10 most challenged books were YA titles, according to the Office for Intellectual Freedom.

August 23, 2014 Kill Your Darlings #18

This is a review of Kill Your Darlings #18 by Sonia Nair.

                                                                                    

August 21, 2014 An Ascerbic Aside to the Ridiculous Futility of 'Design'

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Anthony WP O'Sullivan.

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Image source: Flickr / Zach Zupancic

 

It has been said that the role of the artist is to hold a mirror up to society. It has been said, often, of my own work in the varying fields of art I dabble in, that my mirror appears to reflect only me, the minutiae and tribulations of “I”. Sometimes backhandedly, other times complimentary, the sheer narcissistic focus of all my artistic pursuits has been remarked on by teachers, fellow artists, readers and audience members, not to mention a steady stream of ex-lovers who find it increasingly difficult to find all facets of our shared relationships used as grist for the mill of my self-exploration. I put this down to an unhealthy fascination with navel-gazing and also my day job.

August 20, 2014 Wednesday Writing Prompt: Gemma Hawdon

August 19, 2014 Student Publishing

This is a Someone Who Knows post from Elena Tjandra, editor of ANU's student publication, Woroni.

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The cover of Woroni's 'Sex' edition.

It never occurred to me that I would have to run an electoral campaign to prove that I could edit my university newspaper. Editing a newspaper, surely, would be a test of impeccable proofing, critical thought and time management. The last nine months at Woroni, the ANU’s Student Media Organisation, has shown that it has been all those things. But any political prowess picked up in an editorial campaign doesn’t go astray in this job either.

Woroni has been around for almost as long as the ANU. Originally established under a different name, Woroni has been reporting campus news and satire from 1947. Between 2010 and 2011, Woroni became Australia’s first incorporated student media organisation. Since then, financial and editorial decisions have been directed by a board of eight editors, who are elected in groups of four for a 12 month term.

August 18, 2014 An Editorial Confession

Every Monday in August we're hearing from writers about children's books and writing, in honour of Book Week. Today we hear from Marisa Pintado, commissioning editor of YA and Children's fiction at Hardie Grant Egmont. 

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Image source: Flickr / Klaus M

In honour of Book Week, I’m going to make an editorial confession.

Occasionally, when I have a pocket of time and must choose what to do next, I find the idea of getting ahead on one of my projects, or catching up on emails, more appealing than starting a new submission. I know; this isn’t what any writer wants to hear. But it’s the truth.

August 17, 2014 TV Bloc Club Recap Post: Twin Peaks Week 1 and 2

For the past few Tuesday nights, as part of TV Bloc Club, we've been catching up with the 90s classic Twin Peaks. We have seen, screamed, live-tweeted and Facebook-discussed the Pilot, Episode 1 ("Traces to Nowhere") and Episode 2 ("Zen, or Skill to Catch A Killer").

August 14, 2014 The Book That Ruined My Career (then found me another one)

This is a The Book That... post from Jock Serong.

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Image source: Flickr / Ouistitis

In 1996 I was a newly-qualified lawyer with a glass box of my own, somewhere high above the rumble and chime of Bourke Street Melbourne. It had been made clear to me by various backslapping beer-breathing types that if I could manage to sit still and sell enough of the hours of my life to the Big Four banks and other sacred clients, I could do Very Nicely Indeed.

I had a vague sense it was all a con, but after years of grinding student poverty, I was at least half seduced by the idea. The problem, as I saw it, was that the things I wanted out of life weren’t very expensive – they were just hard to attain. I wanted to see the ocean, to feel it and to immerse myself in it. I didn’t want a resort holiday where some poor bastard brings you scented face towels on a deck chair by a flat bay. Nor a holiday house shouldering the holiday houses of my glass box-dwelling peers. I didn’t want adventure touring or noisy petrochemical toys.

August 13, 2014 Wednesday Writing Prompt: Kirsten Krauth

This is a writing prompt from Kirsten Krauth.

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August 12, 2014 Norwich

This is a Literary Cities post from Georgina Parfitt.

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Image source: Georgina Parfitt

A miniature boating lake was the central watering hole of the families at Eaton Park in Norwich. Water gently pocked by the wind took a sailboat from one side to the other, where it rested against the stone edge until it was taken up again and relaunched. Colour was vital. Oh, the delight of a boating lake with one of every colour at sail!

August 11, 2014 Seven Things To Consider When Writing for Children

Every Monday in August we're hearing from writers about children's books and writing, in honour of Book Week. Today we hear from Tom Dullemond, who writes for adults and children. 

Here are his top seven things you should remember when you're writing for children.

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Image source: Tom Dullemond

Writing for children? You just have to dumb things down a bit, right? And they'll love your story with all its amazing twists and turns? So what could possibly go wrong?

Turns out the answer is: lots of things.

Let me tell you some things about writing for children.

August 10, 2014 WRITERS WORKSPACE SERIES: ZOE NORTON LODGE

"When I started doing Story Club years ago, I used to write my stories in a convenience store," confesses Zoe Norton Lodge.

If you haven't yet heard of Story Club, it's a themed story-telling night hosted by Zoe and her partner-in-crime, Ben Jenkins — soon to be adapted for ABC TV.

August 7, 2014 From Footballer to Author

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Andrew Jobling.

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I have always loved sports. All sports; Australian football, cricket, tennis, golf, sprinting, wrestling, basketball, down-ball, up-ball and any other type of ball I could find. If I couldn’t find someone to play with, I’d play on my own.

August 6, 2014 Wednesday Writing Prompt: Hayley Gleeson

This is a writing prompt from Hayley Gleeson, editor of Birdeemag.com

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“Dance like the photo's not being tagged, Love like you've never been unfriended, Tweet like nobody's following.” ― PostSecret

August 5, 2014 Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers' Centre

This is a What's My Scene? post by Tabetha Beggs from the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers' Centre.

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The art of writing is more than putting words on a page. It is the marriage of imagination and language, and in its most dramatic form, the metaphorical equivalent of opening an artery and watching the blood spill out and seep into the parchment. While all that sounds poetic and idyllic, getting started or getting over the first rushes of starting are often frustrating and the point where so many good writers give up. That is exactly where a Writers’ Centre can be your salvation.

August 3, 2014 Ed's Desk: August

This is a post from the desk of our Online Editor, Sam van Zweden.

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August 1, 2014 #BlocClub Teaser: Twin Peaks

We can't wait for #BlocClub next week. We'll be curling up on our couches and tweeting furiously while we watch the first episode of Twin Peaks, and we're looking forward to comparing notes with you.

Today's post kicks off the conversation with Craig Hildebrand-Burke.

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It’s easy to underestimate just how much Twin Peaks influenced modern television.

As a result, it’s easy to take for granted the glut of so-called golden age programming that we lap up each year. But hindsight breeds clarity, and if we look back at Twin Peaks, a show that premiered in 1990, we might be able to glean a bit of objectivity about our current embarrassment of TV riches.

July 31, 2014 Take The Money, Go Home, And Write Your Novels

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Robert F. Coleman.

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July 30, 2014 Writers Bloc Podcast Guide

Image source: Flickr / Zoomar

PODCASTS! They can solve all kinds of problems. What to do with your brain while washing dishes? Podcast! How to get the recommended daily intake of cultural whatnot? Podcast! Got a problem? Chuck a podcast at it!

We've asked a bunch of our favourite podcasters what they enjoy listening to, and their recommendations are fantastic. Not only do they offer a really broad selection of podcasts, but we love how much they love each other, too - none of them were told who else was contributing to this guide.

July 28, 2014 Beta Reading as Translation

Every Monday in July we're talking to writers about what transla

July 24, 2014 TV Bloc Club is here!

This is an event announcement from social media queen Pat Tobin.

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July 22, 2014 Review: Scum Mag

This is a review of Scum Mag by Emma Koehn.

July 21, 2014 Why Theatre? Why Now?

Every Monday in July we're talking to writers about what translation means to them. Today we hear from Melbourne-based writer, editor, poet and playwright Izzy Roberts-Orr.

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July 17, 2014 The Book That Changed My Writing

This is a The Book That... post from Kylie Maslen.

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Image source: Kylie Maslen, from book-plate.com

 

After reading the first twenty or so pages of Laurent Binet’s HHhH, I slammed the book down on the couch and swore. It was unlike anything I’d ever read before, but also unlike anything I’d thought possible. I loved it, I hated it, I couldn’t wait to read more of it. It became the book that changed the way I think about writing.

July 15, 2014 In Defence of Ghostwriting

This is a Someone Who Knows post from ghostwriter Grant McDuling.

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Image source: Flickr/hobvias sudoneighm

 

Why would you write for someone else? Wouldn’t you want to see your name on the front cover of the book instead of someone else’s? Is it ethical?

July 14, 2014 On Translation

Every Monday in July, we're talking to writers about what translation means to them. Today's post is from Julien Leyre, the founder of the Marco Polo Project

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I grew up in Strasbourg, a French city located across the German border, and the seat of the European Parliament. As a child, I passed a number of diplomatic buildings on my way to the park. Kids at my school spoke the local dialect, a version of German. My closest friend was a Romanian migrant, fluent in both languages. And even my grandmother, first child of a large working class Italian family, could speak three languages, though she never had formal schooling. Multilingualism, and the capacity to switch from one language to the next, was not an exceptional skill, but something rather normal and expected. It was, however, and for that very reason, a basic component of general intelligence.

July 13, 2014 WRITERS WORKSPACE SERIES: DAVID M HENLEY

"When I'm sorting out a problem I actually like to just walk across the city," says David M Henly, science fiction writer and co-founder of Seizure.
 

July 10, 2014 Everybody Poops and What I Read When I Do.

This is a The Book That... post from Jane Rawson.

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Everybody Poops. But what do they read while they do?

An exciting combination of too much time in the developing world and an anxious disposition has left me with what my grandmother might have described as wretched guts. Hanging out in the toilet for unpredictable amounts of time isn’t what anyone would call fun, but it does have its advantages. Well, one advantage. It’s great reading time. And as we all know, everybody poops. E

Reading in the bathroom is a contentious issue. Jewish law suggests you shouldn’t read (or even think about) the Torah while you’re in there; Muslims are told it’s best not to read anything in case they stumble across a reference to Allah or the Qu’ran, both of which do not belong in the toilet. Christians reckon Jesus is happy for you to think about and read about God wherever and whenever, including during toilet time. George Costanza says go for it; Jerry and Elaine say ‘no way’.

July 8, 2014 New York City

This is a Literary Cities post from Estelle Tang.

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July 7, 2014 Editor's Desk, July: Translation

This is a post from the desk of Online Editor Sam van Zweden.

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July 3, 2014 Bloc Club

Looking for Bloc Club? It's over here! 

July 3, 2014 If I Could Be Any Animal, I'd Be Oliver Mol

This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece from Jaine Eira.

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Image source: Flickr/Bernat Casero

It’s inevitable. When meeting someone new or catching up with someone old, sooner or later comes the question, “So what do you do?”

Now I can answer with confidence that I’m a writer. Now I have screenwriting credits in film and television, and people pay me to tell stories. Now, people perk up when I answer.

But not so long ago I dreaded that question, because the answer had to be “I pack cups in a warehouse.”

July 2, 2014 Introducing Hell Yeah Writers Bloc

We are proud to annouce a new project for Writers Bloc called Hell Yeah Writers Bloc. It will be our home for a wonderful bunch of visual and literary lunacy on Tumblr. You’ll find loads of great stuff from cartoonists, zinesters, illustrators, bricoleurs, and much more. And we’re all about creating a space for new and emerging writers.

July 1, 2014 Feminartsy

This is a What's My Scene post from Zoya Patel from Feminartsy.

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June 30, 2014 Mentorships: Laurie and Sam

Every Monday in June we're talking to writers about their experiences mentoring or being mentored.

June 26, 2014 Rural Newspaper Life

This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece from Victoria Nugent.

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June 24, 2014 Archer #2

This is a review of Archer Issue 2 by Victoria Nugent.

June 23, 2014 Mentorships: Allison and Toni

Every Monday in June we're talking to writers about their experiences mentoring or being mentored.

June 19, 2014 The Book That Gave Me YA Writing Guidance

This is a 'The Book That...' post from Eli Glasman.

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I’ve read a fair few Young Adult novels in my life, especially middle grade fiction, like Goosebumps - I swear I must have borrowed every one of those books from the library when I was in school.

Writing one, though, is obviously much more of a challenge and, like any writer, I had fears about writing in a genre I’d only tackled a couple of times in short story form.

June 17, 2014 A Labour of Love: Sleepers Publishing

This is a "Someone Who Knows" post from Louise Swinn at Sleepers Publishing.

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Zoe Dattner and I met at RMIT studying Professional Writing and Editing. We were taking many of the same classes and we ended up doing Visible Ink, the professional writing students’ writing collective and publication. We published a book as Visible Ink does every year, a collection of stories from the class, and that was a revelation. Sometimes you do something for the first time but it’s like you’ve been doing it all your life.

June 16, 2014 On Meeting Mary

Every Monday in June we're talking to writers about their experiences mentoring or being mentored. Today we hear from Jessie Cole, whose time at Varuna with Mary Rennie sounds incredibly valuable.

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June 12, 2014 The Book That Really Made Me Scared

This is a 'The Book That...' post from Jenny Ackland.

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June 10, 2014 Alberta, Canada

This is a Literary Cities post from Emilie Zoey Baker.

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June 9, 2014 A Helping Hand

Each Monday we post content in keeping with the month's theme. Throughout June, we're talking about mentors: who they are, who needs them, how they're found, whether they're right for you and what they might have to offer. Today we hear from Mark Welker about his experience as a mentee.

June 8, 2014 WRITERS WORKSPACE SERIES: OLIVER MOL

"I don't really believe in writers' block," says Oliver Mol (for the record, he doesn't mean us, dear reader  or at least, we hope not)

June 6, 2014 Free Book Friday

Not many things are better than books, right? Except FREE BOOKS!

As most of you know, we like to party and we've had some good, clean fun at events like our Writers Bloc Parties.

June 6, 2014 The Lifted Brow #22

This is a review of The Lifted Brow #22 by Gabriella Munoz.

June 5, 2014 The Book That Made Me Want to Die

This is a "The Book That..." piece from Rafael SW

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June 4, 2014 Pitch, Bitch

June 3, 2014 Tiny Owl Workshop

This is a What's My Scene? post from Sue Wright of Tiny Owl Workshop

If you have a group or project that you'd like to share, we'd love to hear from you.

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June 2, 2014 Ed's Desk: June

May 29, 2014 No Invoices

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Simone Spilka

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May 27, 2014 Review: Popshot #11, Journeys Issue

This is a review of Popshot #11 by Veronica Sullivan

May 25, 2014 But Always Judge a Story by its Cover

This post is part of our mini-series on beautiful books, and it comes from the brilliant WH Chong.

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1. A Penguin is not a rose by any other name; each story it tells is not the same.

May 25, 2014 WRITERS WORKSPACE SERIES: CATHY PETOCZ

 Starting a Judy Blume-inspired all-girl pop band; creating installation art; writing for theatre — there isn't much Cathy Petőcz can't do when she sets her mind to it.

 
Cathy's a Canberra-based theatre-maker and creator. She sat down with Farz this week to give Writers Bloc the low-down on her writing spaces.
 
"A sense of space is important when writing for theatre because you're writing for a space," she told Farz on the Blocast.
 
"I think there's something about big spaces that help me negotiate my ideas," she says. "I often enjoy driving somewhere. I went to Wagga Wagga for Christmas and it was this amazing experience of having enough space to hold my thoughts. So as I drove through the land it was like my thoughts could inhabit the space that could hold them properly... and I could sort of handle them differently and understand them a bit more than when I'm in a room or a city where everything's tightly packed in."
 
Since Cathy's work is collaborative, she draws a lot of her inspiration from talking to other people. Her writing spaces have ranged anywhere from a cafe to a bandmate's bedroom, combing through ideas.
 
"Part of my writing process isn't actually sitting at a computer and writing," she says. "I think it's important to allow time for thinking."

May 23, 2014 Emerging Writers' Festival Picks

The 2014 Emerging Writers' Festival launches on Tuesday night, and we can't wait. Today, we're sharing our favourite festival events. It's a huge program, with something for everyone - you can even take non-writing friends along to performance events and they'll have a great time. The biggest of congratulations to the festival staff for putting together such a great program. 

Many events at EWF are free, too, so no excuses - get ye to the festival!

May 22, 2014 The Book That Threw Me Into the Arms of Feminism

This is a The Book That... post from Lou Heinrich

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'I decided I was beautiful - for the simple reason that I wanted to be.'

Upon my first reading of Eva Luna, the protagonist vibrantly swam in my teenage imagination. All soft skin and defiant gaze, she was a citizen of both the physical world and the mystical. I was captivated by lyrical prose and characters who refused to be limited by reality's laws (signature styles of Allende, as I later discovered), and I met a woman who knew herself, and did as she wished.

May 20, 2014 Someone Who Knows Zines

This is a "Someone Who Knows" post from Sophie Benjamin.

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May 19, 2014 Beautiful Books of Melbourne

Books can be beautiful for so many reasons. This month on Writers Bloc we're celebrating the book as an object, and all the beauty that books can bring.

There is beauty in the buildings that hold book stores, and in the sheer volume of books that some of those stores contain. 

May 15, 2014 What's a Hydrologist?

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Andy Thompson.

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“Nah mate. The water came from those hills.” The grimy farmer pointed in the direction of a series of hills several kilometres away. It hadn’t rained for four months but the signs of one of the largest floods on record in the Riverina area of New South Wales were obvious. Broken fences. A large water storage tank perched high in a nearby eucalyptus tree. The smell. There’s always a smell after a flood, even when the water is long gone. It’s a sweet, unpleasant smell of rotting vegetation and mud. I’d know that smell anywhere.

May 13, 2014 Paris

This is a Literary Cities post from Susie Anderson.

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Photo source: Susie Anderson

When people ask you to tell travel stories you fall into this kind of awful routine. Practised punchlines, guaranteed wow moments. My go-to line telling my travel stories this year is “I went to Paris for one night, because of April in Paris”. Most people I say this to do an appreciative nod in return like we both understand each other. Like on a different level. But I kind of forgot what April in Paris is, whether it’s a movie or a book or a song or whatever. Picturing Frank Sinatra in my mind for some reason.

May 12, 2014 All the Answers and Hope and Stories

In May we're looking at beautiful books. This is a post from kids'-book-lover Carter Higgins.

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I can still smell my elementary school library. That room held all the answers and hope and stories a little girl knew to wish for. It also held some secrets, and thankfully books aren’t in the business of spilling their guts. See, I knew where Mrs. Marks kept The Story About Ping and I’d hide it in all the wrong places so that I could enjoy it time and time again without some other reader getting in my way. I had a trip to take, a world in which to rest.

Last fall, when I stepped foot into my new library, The Story About Ping was one of the first books that hopped off the shelf. Thirty years later, it still caught my eye and my heart, and so I snagged it a prime spot. In my office. Away from my little readers. Just like I had years and years before in a different time. But there it was again: my trip, my pictures, my world. It felt a little bit like going home, and I needed to sit with it for a while.

May 8, 2014 The Book That I Gave Him

This is a 'The Book That...' piece from Bethanie Blanchard.

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I bought him New York Trilogy not for the book itself really, but for the memory.

May 7, 2014 Wednesday Writing Prompt: Thems fightin' words.

Remember Year 7 English? Every story needs a conflict right?

Well, today's writing prompt is easy, just write a fight. Could be a violent scene, could be an argument, could even be a set of Packer Whacker puns. 

Just remember though, you'll be competing with the NT News.

May 6, 2014 Stilts

This is a 'What's My Scene?' post from Katia Pase at Stilts.

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May 5, 2014 From the Editor's Desk: May

This is a post from the desk of Online Editor Sam van Zweden.

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May 1, 2014 Air Force Pilot

This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece from CJ Bowerbird.

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April 30, 2014 Wednesday Writing Prompt: Bad guys

I've been a fan of the NBA since I was a little kid. It's a game of skill, power and grace. It's also a beautiful game played predominantly by black men. 

April 29, 2014 Sydney Writers' Festival Picks

The Sydney Writers' Festival is almost upon us! Running from 19-25th May, the breadth of programming in this festival means there's something for everyone. While only one member of the Writers Bloc team is Sydney-based, we've still had a great time perusing the program to bring you our picks.

April 28, 2014 Finding the Funny in EVERYTHING

On Mondays we post pieces that fit that month's theme. In April our theme is "April Fools". We're making the most of the excitement of comedy festivals around the nation and asking funny people how it's done. Today Lou Sanz brings the series home with the perils of finding funny everywhere.

April 27, 2014 WRITERS WORKSPACE SERIES: ELLIE MALBON

Performance poetry; cycling; Lana Del Ray. Today's Writers Blocast has it all.

April 24, 2014 The Book That Convinced Me To Join the Dark Side

This is a 'The Book That...' post from Jason Nahrung.

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There has been oodles written about Dracula, the 1897 novel by Bram Stoker. And rightly so. It taps so many thematic veins that it still resonates today. Dracula, such a well-known monster thanks in large part to his enduring popularity on the big screen, is still the template by which all other western vampires are judged.

April 23, 2014 Wednesday Writing Prompt: Sweet Thing

Today, I'm trekking up to the Blue Mountains for a bit of R&R because school holidays are TOUGH.

April 22, 2014 The White Review No. 9

This is a review of The White Review No. 9 by Tristan Foster.

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1. This is not a review.

April 21, 2014 Women in Comedy

On Mondays we post pieces that fit that month's theme

April 17, 2014 The Greatest Bargain

This is a "Writers' Other Jobs" post from Leah Kaminsky.

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Photo source: flickr / jfcherry

April 16, 2014 Wednesday Writing Prompt: They used to throw tomatoes, you know?

Recently, I was teaching a bunch of Year 7 students about the Globe Theatre and we couldn't get past the behaviour of the groundlings. Tales of pickpockets, debauchery and drunkeness at the theatre. Heavens above!

April 15, 2014 Signing A Contract for an Unfinished Manuscript

This is a "Someone Who Knows" post from Angela Meyer.

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April 14, 2014 I Want to Kill You with Comedy

On Mondays we post pieces that fit that month's theme. In April our theme is "April Fools". We're making the most of the excitement of comedy festivals around the nation and asking funny people how it's done. We kick off today with Tom Ballard.

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Photo via Flickr/seasidebear

My favourite Monty Python sketch is the one about the Funniest Joke Ever Written. Writer Ernest Scribbler concocts a joke so uproariously hilarious that anyone who comes to read or hear it promptly dies laughing. The joke is so powerfully lethal that it is used by the British military to fight the Germans in World War II, having been translated in “joke-proof conditions”.

After 1945, the Geneva Convention puts an end to all joke-based warfare and a tombstone is erected in tribute to “The Unknown Joke”.

I love that sketch for two reasons. Firstly, because it’s very funny. It’s a great example of what Monty Python do best: take an idea, twist it a little bit to make it absurd, then take that absurdity to the nth degree with a mixture of downright silliness and blacker-than-black humour. By the end of this ten-minute sequence, we’re laughing, we’re reflecting on the atrocities of war and we feel like these crazy Englishmen can and will do anything and we have no idea what’s going to happen next.

April 11, 2014 WRITERS WORKSPACE SERIES: CHRISTIE THOMPSON

"I'm almost like a method writer. I find when my characters are angry, I become quite angry and hard to be around. When I'm more buoyant, I can laugh aloud at my own jokes that I put in my narrative," says Christie Thompson.

April 10, 2014 The Book(s) That Led Me to the Past

This is a 'The Book That...' post from Hayley Stockall

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April 9, 2014 Wednesday Writing Prompt: April Fools

'The twist' is a staple of classic detective novels and courtroom dramas. But it's also right at the heart of a good April Fools joke. And Ellen is one of the best at it.

April 8, 2014 Literary Cities: Luang Prabang and Vientiane

This is a Literary Cities post from Oliver Mol.

Luang Prabang - Photo courtesy of Flickr

April 7, 2014 From the Editor's Desk: April

The year gets away from us all – it’s already April!

April 3, 2014 My Easy Life Before I Became a Writer

This is a Writers' Other Jobs post from Graeme Simsion.

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1. Graeme, before becoming a writer, you were a freelance database designer and at one time owned a successful consultancy business. I suspect that will be extremely uninteresting and possibly repellent to our readers, but go ahead anyway.

Thanks, Graeme (I’m writing the questions too). You’re right about uninteresting, at least to others. Nobody at dinner parties ever followed up my answer to the question about what I did with “what database design are you working on at the moment?” And the writing community is broadly progressive-left, which sometimes translates into a reflexive (which is my polite way of saying ‘ignorant’) reaction to business and ‘the boss’.

April 2, 2014 Uggboot weather

This morning I put my uggboots on, perhaps prematurely, to walk around the house. Whether you follow the calendar or the vernal equinox, it's definitely getting colder in the Southern Hemisphere. However, if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, parks are looking more welcoming and freed skin is tickled by the sun.

April 1, 2014 BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT!

This is a ‘What’s My Scene?’ post from Bad!Slam!No!Biscuit, via founder Andrew Galan.

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BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! is Canberra’ poetry slam. It is the poetry slam with The Master of Conflict who hates poetry but loves poets. It is the poetry slam which holds the record across all space and time for most 1st prizes. It is the poetry slam with The Score Adder. It is the poetry slam that never forgot how ridiculous the concept of poetry competitions are and simultaneously are not, and it is the poetry slam with an evolving community of writers, performers and organisers who have increasingly contributed to Canberra’s literary and performing arts.

March 31, 2014 What we did in a Day

Last Sunday, rip publishing and Writers Bloc got together to make little miracles happen.

March 31, 2014 Making It Into a Book: Madness

On Mondays we post pieces that fit that month's theme. In March, we're hearing from four writers about their experience of "Making It Into a Book". Today, Kate Richards, author of Madness:A Memoir, gives us some insight into the process of writing a vulnerable, difficult story.

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March 28, 2014 WRITERS WORKSPACE SERIES: SUMMER LAND

Have you ever moved halfway across the world to start a different life in completely unknown territory? 
 

March 27, 2014 The Book That Reminded Me Why I Love Reading:

This is a 'The Book That...' post from Stephanie Campisi.

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It’s easy to become jaded in this industry.

March 26, 2014 Wednesday Writing Prompt: We'll Never Be Royal

Judging by all the skuttlebutt on Twitter yesterday, you've all got a lot to say about Kings, Queens, Knights and Dames.

Today's writing prompt is very regal in nature. How about writing some flash fiction, a poem or a short story that features some kind of title?

March 25, 2014 Filmme Fatales # 3

This is a review of Filmme Fatales #3 by Lou Heinrich

“Films have an inherent role that provides an avenue to inform society,” writes Angela McCormack for Filmme Fatales. “I've seen enough films that glorify women as dancers, performers, mothers, girlfriends and teachers. It's so obvious that we need to put more women on the screen to get them behind the camera.”

March 24, 2014 Making It Into a Book: Perseverance or Good Luck or Both?

On Mondays, we post pieces that fit that month's theme. In March, we're hearing from four writers about their experience of "Making It Into a Book". Today, Jane Gilmour shares her journey from passion to publication in her book Colette's France: her lives, her loves.

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My first book was published last October.  It is called Colette’s France: her lives, her loves and it was published by Hardie Grant, a Melbourne-based publisher. It is a very beautiful book, the result of a lot of work and a very happy collaboration between me and the publisher. 

I had lived with the idea of writing a book about the French writer, Colette, for many years.  I always imagined it as a very visual book that would tell her story as much through images as through text. I recognized that this was going to be a publishing challenge right from the start!

March 20, 2014 I'm Lucky, Apparently

This is a Writers' Other Jobs piece by Richard Rosewall.

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I’m lucky, apparently.

I’m a full-time copywriter. I have a pretty good income, with super thrown in, plus a potential bonus at the end of the year. I’m permanent, too; so no contract negotiations, nothing like that.

But when I’m asked what I do, I usually don’t tell people “copywriter”. I used to, but most people I tell don’t know what a copywriter is. They could be forgiven for thinking that I process applications for securing intellectual property; that my nine-to-five consists mainly of stamping forms with a big red C stamp; that I have a line out my door of pleading artists and inventors and other writers desperately seeking to copyright their work. Nope. Not that.

March 18, 2014 Someone Who Knows Self-Publishing

This is a Someone Who Knows post by Darrell Pitt.

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It was Seneca, a first century Roman philosopher, who described luck as being what happens when preparedness meets opportunity. That’s certainly what happened to me when my career as a self-published author led to an eight book publishing deal with Text Publishing.

I had been watching the world of ebook self-publishing for a while before I dove in. Like many people, I still perceived it with some trepidation. People were still using that phrase ‘vanity publishing’, and there were few self-publishing success stories prior to the ebook era, one of the obvious exceptions being Matthew Reilly.

Then I began reading articles about how some self-published authors were doing well for themselves. Actually, some of them were doing very well and so I decided to test the waters.

March 17, 2014 12 Steps to Making a Book: Finishing 'Affection'

On Mondays, we post pieces that fit that month's theme. In March, we're hearing from four writers about their experience of "Making It Into a Book". Today, Krissy Kneen lets us in on how she finished Affection.

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When I first got the nod from Text Publishing that they were very interested in looking at my memoir Affection I was elated. I was briefly the happiest I have ever been in my life. I drank champagne and dined at a fancy restaurant and then when I got home I found it difficult to breathe and my feet swelled up to two little balloons on the stumps of my legs. I finally realised that it was caused by the stress. I would have to make a book.  What I had was nothing more than the idea of a book. I had been writing a blog post about my sex life every day for a period of a year. I had thousands of words collected. I had spilled my awkward private moments all over the internet. My proposal to Text suggested that I could easily cobble these together into a book. You would think this would be an easy process.

Think again.

March 14, 2014 WRITERS WORKSPACE SERIES: ROSHELLE FONG

Listen up, Blocasters, because you're in for a real treat today. 

Why?

March 13, 2014 The Book That Taught Me How I Want to Write

This is the first post in a new series, called 'The Book That...'. In this series, we ask writers to tell us about a book that's influenced their writing life. First cab off the rank is Patrick Lenton, talking Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. 

March 11, 2014 Literary Cities: Berlin/Europe

This is a Literary Cities post by Jo Day.

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Photo source: Jo Day

I was going to start this with a blatant lie, one that so many writers say -  that I wrote every day last year when I backpacked around Europe. Maybe it's not a lie for everyone, but for my own peaceof mind, I'll pretend it is. Or the people who say it are talking about shopping lists. But really, who has that much spare time when they're travelling? And, loner that I am (comes with the territory, right?), I didn't travel around Europe to spend any spare moment I had ignoring people.

That said, of course, it's my vocation, not just a – well, I was going to say job, but that implies payment or continuing publication, both of which are hard/boring when you move around so much.

What I mean is, I get the desire to write. You know how it is, I don't need to go into that. But when I make the time it's so much more intense, a strong orgasm after a drought, sitting in the corner of the bar with a hopefully much less expressive look on my face.

March 10, 2014 Making It Into a Book... Again.

On Mondays, we post pieces that fit that month's theme. In March, we're hearing from four writers about their experience of "Making It Into a Book". Today, Zoya Patel shares the journey of Lip from print, to online, and back to print again.

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It’s a curious thing when you take something from online to print. Lip has travelled the journey both ways over the course of its ten year history.

March 10, 2014 Someone Who Knows Digital Strategy

This is a Someone Who Knows post by Anna Spargo-Ryan.

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When people ask me what I do, my answer is dependent on who they might be. Do they look like a writer? Do they look like a business owner? Do they look like a board game player?

I do think of myself as a writer, for the mere fact that people often pay me to write things. But unless the person asking the question is literally writing a book while asking, my answer will be “digital strategist”. Which is funny mostly because I’m not even entirely sure what I mean.

I started out as a web developer in 2001, when we used frames and modems made noises. I spent years building websites, because it was the only skill I thought I had, and everyone knew that there was no money to be made in being a writer. I became one of those frustrated creative types -­ making ends meet as a developer, but harbouring secret thoughts of fleeing to Paris and writing poetry on a sidewalk.

March 10, 2014 What could you do in a day?

This March, Writers Bloc and rip publishing are going to be working together on a super-exciting project for Canberra's You Are Here Festival. It's called DIY in a Day and we'll be calling on the collective good natures of WB/rip people to create some zines and short fiction to part of the Canberra Zine Emporium

And we thought, what better way to explain what we're doing than in a zine!

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Come by the rip stall at Blurred Lines. They'll give you pape and pens (if you're lucky, stickers). You'll have between 11am and 1pm to write/draw/create something on the theme of 'Where Are You?'. We'll then take your submissions and collate it into a chapbook which will be ready in the afternoon.

Not in Canberra? Not to worry! Writers Bloc are also taking submissions from writers wherever they are. Get in touch if you're a zine maker that wants to be part of the stall or a writer that's interested in having a (very) short story turned into one.

Blah Blah Blah

March 9, 2014 December

The computer is on the desk today, because I work better there.
The computer is on the desk today, because I work better there.

March 4, 2014 APRIL, Seattle

This is a What’s My Scene? post from Rosanna Stevens.

February 25, 2014 Seizure - Sport

This is a review by Stephanie Honor Convery

Seizure: Sport

$14.95

February 24, 2014 Adventures in Collaborative Writing

This is a post by Jodi Cleghorn.

February 19, 2014 The Writers Bloc Beta Test

If your understanding of the Greek Alphabet is limited to Revenge of the Nerds, don’t worry. The Writers Bloc Beta Test has nothing to do that film. It also has nothing to do with one of these obsolete beauties.

February 18, 2014 Someone Who Knows Mentoring

Welcome to the first in a new series of posts, titled Someone Who Knows. This series is a skill-share, where we hear from people who are experts, or who have had a unique experience in the writing world. We hope these posts help inspire, direct and spark new interests.

February 17, 2014 The Five-Year Plan

This is a post by Lou Heinrich.

February 11, 2014 Sendai

This is a Literary Cities post by Pepi Ronalds --- Commuting In the Snow, via Pepi Ronalds

February 10, 2014 Sportswriting for the non-sports fan

Did you see this photo doing the rounds on Facebook a few weeks ago? cyqle8i6

February 7, 2014 The First Rule of Book Club

is do not reference Chuck Palahniuk?

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Perhaps the best advice I’ve been given on writing is to read more. Read the classics, read popular paperbacks, grab the first time novelist or one of the cast of characters you’ll often see at your local bookshop. Because, it will teach you something about writing.

February 6, 2014 The New Retail Experience

This is a Writers’ Other Jobs post from Chris Currie.

February 4, 2014 What's My Scene? with Freya Wright-Brough

This is a What's My Scene? post featuring Freya Wright-Brough.

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I think I’m inwardly sadistic. Last year I travelled to a city I’d never been to, in order to lock myself in a room whilst people challenged me to various writing tasks for 24 hours straight without sleep. I finished that challenge a tired confused mess, dancing to keep myself awake...

February 3, 2014 On Introductions

desk5 To-be-read tower grows, paperwork teeters

January 28, 2014 Multiplying Serendipity: An interview with Connor Tomas O'Brien

In just a few weeks the Digital Writers Festival will be happening, and we can’t wait. Run by the very approachable and fantastic foot-in-the-door enablers at the Emerging Writers Festival, this eleven-day festival is a brand new event, open and accessible to anyone, anywhere.

January 27, 2014 Write Your Own Adventure

Picture via Tully Hansen

January 23, 2014 You Can Smile A Lot but it Doesn't Actually Mean Anything

This is a Writers’ Other Jobs piece from Oliver Mol.

January 21, 2014 Bringing Literature to the Cheap Seats: An Interview with Robert Skinner

This is an interview between Writers Bloc friend Bridget Lutherborrow and The Canary Press editor Robert Skinner.

January 20, 2014 Canary Press: Volume 3

This is a lit mag review by Bridget Lutherborrow

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The Canary Press, issue 3 Edited by Robert Skinner and Andy Josselyn

46 pages.

$12

January 14, 2014 Nanjing

This post is a Literary Cities post from Philip Thiel

January 13, 2014 Down the Rabbit Hole

Until recently, I wasn’t someone who had long term plans. Resolutions? Forget about it. However, some time in early 2011 I stumbled upon a MiGoals diary on the sales rack at Metropolis Books.

January 9, 2014 People of the Cinema

This is a Writers’ Other Jobs post from Niki Aken

January 7, 2014 Griffith Review: Fiction Edition

Once Upon A Time in Oz
Griffith Review issue 42

$27.95

January 6, 2014 Making Goals Useful

This is a post From the Editor’s Desk

January 2, 2014 Going Down Swinging: Issue 35

Going Down Swinging No. 35

Edited by Geoff Lemon, Zoe Norton Lodge, Rhys Tate, Katie Pase and Simon Cox

246 pages
$25

December 30, 2013 A Few of Our Favourite Things

favouritethings

December 27, 2013 Beat Bang Beat Beat Bang

This is a Writers’ Other Jobs post by Craig Schuftan.

December 24, 2013 Merry Christmas from the Writers Bloc team

Need an exclamation mark? This girl's got a few to spare.</body></html>

December 23, 2013 Friends With Internets: Adventures Writing From Home part 3

This is the last in a 3-part series from Bridget Lutherborrow. See part one and part two.

December 20, 2013 Lifted Brow: Issue 20

This post is a review of The Lifted Brow issue 20, by Veronica Sullivan.

The Lifted Brow Issue 20

Edited by Sam Cooney

76 pages

$9

December 17, 2013 The Courage of Ignorance

This is a post by Lou Heinrich.

December 16, 2013 Friends With Internets: Adventures Writing From Home Part 2

This is part two in a short series from Bridget Lutherborrow. Read part one here.

December 12, 2013 So Much Besides: Writing as the Other Job

This is a Writers’ Other Jobs post from Karen Andrews.

December 10, 2013 Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas presents are difficult. To help you buy a genuinely useful and appreciated gift for the writer(s) in your life, we’ve sought out the Christmas wish-lists of some of our favourite bookish people.

December 9, 2013 Friends With Internets: Adventures Writing from Home

This post is one of a short series by Bridget Lutherborrow

December 3, 2013 On becoming, hope and promise

desk5

December 3, 2013 Writers Bloc Party Picnic: Story trail

The stories below were created, on sticks, as part of an unfolding narrative for the Writers Bloc Party Picnic. Each writer could only see the previous panel, without any knowledge of where the story started or where it would go. Each story was then stuck into the ground and led down three separate paths.

December 3, 2013 Writers Bloc Party Picnic: A day of sunshine, new friends and book swaps

Here at Writers Bloc, like the Vengaboys, we like to party. Sometimes it’s nice to get out from behind the desk and meet other writers. And what better excuse to do that than a sunny day, book swapping and hanging out in the park?

The following is a loosely based recount of the days frivolity.

November 28, 2013 English as a Foreign Language

This is a “Writers’ Other Jobs” post by Ryan O’Neill

November 27, 2013 NaNo insight with Hong X

A quick NaNo quiz with Sydney’s NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison Hong Xie

What’s your role with NaNoWriMo?

November 26, 2013 Foiled Escapism: Suburban Review No. 1

This is a review by Rafael S.W.

November 25, 2013 Grab Bag of Inspiration

This post is lenient cheerleading from online editor Sam van Zweden.

November 21, 2013 Writers Workspace Series: Zoe Konovalov

Do you do it in bed? Do you do it in a cafe? Or perhaps you like to do it with more than one person?

No, we’re not talking about sex — although we like your sullied mind, dear reader. We’re talking about writing (naturally). At Writers Bloc, we’re asking writers: where do you write?

November 19, 2013 I Did These Jobs

This is a Writers’ Other Jobs post from Sam Cooney

November 18, 2013 Hanging in there?

Hang in there, baby!

November 14, 2013 It Started as a Dare

This is a What’s My Scene post from Tiggy Johnson.

It started on Twitter. Someone said something about wanting to submit to a certain type of publication. Someone else mentioned competitions. Others said ‘I should, I should’ and ‘me too’. Then someone said the D word: Dare. And so the first goals of The Subcommittee were made. Not that we were called that then.

November 12, 2013 Do I Stay or Do I Go? Writing in Regional Areas

This post was prompted by the EWF Hobart road show, and was written by Connor Tomas O’Brien.

November 11, 2013 NaNoWriMo post (NaNoWriMoPo?)

desk3

At this, the eleven-day mark of NaNoWriMo, I’ve heard more than one person talk about throwing in the towel.

November 8, 2013 Bloc Fun Times

We love writing here at Writers Bloc (der). But sometimes, we like getting up from the desk and hanging out with rad people. In keeping with the idea that writers benefit from meeting other writers, we’ve got a bunch of things happening in the next month or so, that we reckon are a bit of alright.

Looking forward to seeing all your smiling faces.

Geoff

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November 7, 2013 Ira McGuire Q&A

This is an interview between Daniel Young, editor of Tincture Journal and Ira McGuire, whose story Exposed appeared on Writers Bloc yesterday.

November 6, 2013 Exposed

This is an extract from Tincture issue 3, which was reviewed yesterday by Veronica Sullivan

Exposed

by Ira McGuire

 

1.

November 5, 2013 Tincture: Issue 3

This is a lit journal review from Veronica Sullivan.

November 4, 2013 Creative Non-Fiction at NSW Writers' Centre and some great tips for NaNoWriMo

How’s it going NaNoWriMo people?

Are you basking in early creative freedom? Or crippled by writers block with a k? Maybe it’s bouts of both.

October 31, 2013 Altar of 'What If'?

A Writers’Other Jobs post by Phill English

phill english

October 30, 2013 People of NaNoWriMo - Pantsers

Earlier today we opened our People of NaNoWriMo series with the planners. Now, strolling in at the end of the day…the Pantsers.

Kaitlyn Plyley

October 30, 2013 People of NaNoWriMo - Planners

Someone once told me that there are two types of writers. Pantsers and Planners.

According to the stereotype, planners have a meticulous understanding about where their story is going to go, they’ve thought out plot points, character arcs, the works.

Pantsers have a vague idea and react to the where the story and the characters takes them.

October 29, 2013 Where Storytellers Meet: Q&A with Melbourne Literary Salon

A ‘What’s My Scene’ post with Melbourne Literary Salon
 

October 28, 2013 Call to Arms

desk2

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess was written in three weeks.

October 24, 2013 Mary Journal No. 3

Mary, No. 3

Edited by Christopher Fieldus
38 pages
$5

October 22, 2013 NYWF: Thanks for the memories

It’s been a while since the dust has settled on the National Young Writers’ Festival. But let’s be honest, we kicked it up pretty hard.

Being in Newcastle over the Labour Day weekend really is one of the highlights of my year. There’s a beach to rival any other city beach, an influx of all your favourite people and one of the most exciting and enduring Arts festival in Australia.

October 21, 2013 From the Editor's Desk

desk1

October 16, 2013 Writers Bloc Party: Fictional Memoirs and Blackout Poetry

We’re going to let some of these speak for themselves. Others don’t quite make sense.

October 14, 2013 Writers Bloc Party: The Aftermath

I know, it’s been a while since we got a bunch of writers together for food, trivia and bookswaps at 107 Projects, but we were partied out, ok? Too much Beef Loc Lac and Pale Ale. Perhaps the best way to show the fun of the night is with a photo journal with a loosely weaved narrative. Loose narrative!

Click on picks to make ‘em bigger. Cause it’s the Internet.

October 1, 2013 Welcome to Samantha van Zweden - New Online Editor of Writers Bloc

Sometimes in the hubbub of working a day job, editing a blog and running a few events, you lose sight of how something is going. Our blog frequency waxed and waned and we got a bit behind in our posts. So, in September, we decided to put the call out for an Online Editor, not really knowing exactly how much interest there would be.

September 20, 2013 Lifted Brow: Issue 18

Review of The Lifted Brow, Issue 18

Edited by Sam Cooney
64 pages
$9

“Let me introduce you to a concept. Two concepts, actually. Important tools for surviving the human condition. One is called irony. Say it with me. Eye-ron-eee.” – Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers

September 4, 2013 Write Here. Write Everywhere

Write Here is simple. You turn up, we give you a table to work on, you get a bunch of work done surrounded by other writers. Sounds good, right?

August 26, 2013 Writers Bloc Party: Book Swap and Trivia

We’re having a party and you’re all invited!

Bring some books, bring some stories. We hope to see you there.

Ticket info here: https://writersblocparty.eventbrite.com/

Writers Bloc Party

Wednesday 25th of September

107 Projects, Redfern (6pm – 9.30pm)

Got a story to share?

July 31, 2013 A Survey of Ways in which Scissors Paper Pen is like The Skywhale.

Occasionally we will ask emerging writers and their collectives to share with us, what it is they do. From critique circles to small-presses, writing sessions to literary booze-ups, we profile all of the wonderful opportunities for writers to find support networks and platforms for their work. This week it’s Scissors Paper Pen from Canberra.

 

July 22, 2013 The Canary Press Story Magazine, Issue One

Published by The Canary Press

Edited by Robert Skinner and Andy Josselyn

ISSN: 2201-8670

Price: $12 AUD

Subscriptions: 1 year (4 issues) is $40 within Australia, $60 international

59 pages, magazine

http://thecanarypress.com/

 

July 11, 2013 On (not) writing

July 4, 2013 My First Job

June 28, 2013 Make a Bet

The Slips

Story Slips

Extract -

June 27, 2013 The Slip

June 20, 2013 Sorting My Own Shit Out

A Writers’ Other Jobs Story by Sam Ryan

My name is Sam. It’s been six months since I last wrote.

June 14, 2013 My Santa Job

May 30, 2013 Eeyore and the pencils

A Writers’ Other Jobs story by Kyran Wheatley

“This writing business. Pencils and what-not. Over-rated, if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it.” -Eeyore

May 28, 2013 What's My Scene: Write Here

Each Tuesday, as part of the Book Nooks series, we will ask emerging writers and their collectives to share with us, what it is they do. From critique circles to small-presses, writing sessions to literary booze-ups, we profile all of the wonderful opportunities for writers to find support networks and platforms for their work.

May 24, 2013 Picture Fiction: Painting one thousand five hundred words

Combined Images v2

May 22, 2013 Moonlighting

A Writers’ Other Jobs story from Dieter Barkhoff

May 20, 2013 Book Nooks: Outback Writers' Centre

Each Tuesday we will ask emerging writers and their collectives to share with us, what it is they do. From critique circles to small-presses, writing sessions to literary booze-ups, we profile all of the wonderful opportunities for writers to find support networks and platforms for their work.

May 16, 2013 So, when can I read something?

May 9, 2013 On Authenticity

May 6, 2013 Been There. Wrote That.

A Write Here wrap-up by Geoff Orton

Sydney put on a beautiful autumn afternoon on Saturday and seventeen emerging writers, from a variety of different genres, spent it in a cozy, sun-dappled corner of 107 Projects in Redfern for our first Write Here event.

May 3, 2013 Adventures in LA LA Land

April 25, 2013 I was the Candy Bar Bear

A Writers’ Other Jobs story by Lorelei Vashti

April 19, 2013 Dragons Among the Christmas Trees

A Writers Other Jobs story by Geoff Orton

April 16, 2013 Write Here. Write Now

On Saturday May 4th, Writers Bloc and 107 Projects will begin something we are calling “Write Here”.

We’re setting up a place for you to write without distraction. No more excuses. Essentially, we provide you a desk, a chair and the opportunity to get more writing done surrounded by other committed writers. The space is yours to use to work on whatever you like.

April 15, 2013 Western NSW Writers' Trail

Western NSW is a broad expanse of fertile plains littered with beautiful towns. So using the triple j One Night Stand as an excuse for a road trip, I explored some of the wonderful places for writers west of the divide.

April 11, 2013 Maverick

A Writers Other Jobs story from J.Y.L. Koh

When I decided, almost two years ago, to pioneer the career move of corporate lawyer to lollipop lady, I became acutely aware that people around me had conflicting opinions as to whether or not I was wasting my potential.

April 10, 2013 What is Writers' Other Jobs?

Writers Other Jobs is a blog series that deals with some of the jobs writers have done to support their fledgling careers and avoid having beans on toast for dinner, again. Some stories are educational, some are tragic. Others are just plain bizarre. However, all of the stories have at their core, the desire to spend your life doing what you love.

April 3, 2013 What I Write About When I Write About Toasters

by Michelle McLaren

Writing is my day job as well as my passion. However, I consider the writing I do at work and the writing I do in my own time two very different things.

April 1, 2013 Bloc in Auckland

Sometimes in a big city, it takes a while to get a feel for what’s what. Auckland is no exception to this but once you scratch the surface a bit, this is a city with real soul and loads of interesting people doing interesting things.

March 31, 2013 Copywriting is a dirty business

by James Bos

When you are working as a copywriter, sometimes the gigs run dry and you need to apply for whatever jobs you come across. One of the strangest jobs I found was for a blog that showcased erotic literature – otherwise known as ‘literotica’, according to Urban Dictionary.

March 27, 2013 Wellington is for writers

Ah, Wellington you charming devil. Before leaving, a few friends stopped to tell me “Oh, you’ll love Wellington. It’s like Melbourne, only smaller”. While there are good-looking, well-heeled people getting around and baristas who know how to make a mean piccolo, it’s a bit unfair to condescend a place that has so much going on.