Yesterday I went shopping with my mum. This was a rare mother-daughter day that we had both been looking forward to. I was on the hunt for a special outfit. I wanted something special, but not too special. And predictably nothing was quite right. Every dress was too formal, too informal, too young, too old, … Continue reading How to find your authentic voice
Twitter is a divisive social media platform: people either love it or hate, and sometimes both on the same day. When I decided to build my social media presence a year ago, I set up a Facebook author page and began to engage with the writing community on Twitter. At first, Facebook seemed the more … Continue reading Trolls, traps and treats: tips for the newcomer to Twitter
Social media feeds display a carefully curated view of other people’s lives. It’s easy to become bogged down in the extraordinary achievements of Twitter friends, and feel that you’re floundering. Left behind on the slush pile while others forge ahead with their brilliant literary careers. In view of that feeling, and a few recent rejections … Continue reading Taking stock: the importance of reflecting on the writing journey
Last month, I blogged about attending this year's ASA literary speed dating event in Sydney. As a follow-up, I thought I'd cover my preparation for the event, the questions I was asked, and what I'd do differently with the benefit of hindsight. And offer a few tips for anyone keen to take on a similar … Continue reading Tips for preparing a verbal pitch
A couple of weeks ago I attended my first face-to-face pitching event: ASA literary speed dating, in Sydney. These events are generally held in Sydney and Melbourne every year, and are a rare opportunity for writers to pitch work directly to agents and publishers. This year the ASA also offered a similar opportunity for regional writers to … Continue reading The pros and cons of literary speed dating
This time last year I submitted my first ever entry in the Richell Prize, an Australian prize for an emerging writer with an unpublished manuscript. This year, with a new work in progress, I've decided to give it another go. While thinking about my submission, I revisited my entry from last year and was horrified … Continue reading The Richell Prize, then and now: how blogging has honed my voice
The concept of confidence, in writing and in the wider world, has occupied my thoughts lately. At work, the idea of a confidence gap between genders has resurfaced, along with a lot of hand-wringing about how to bridge the gap and encourage more women into leadership roles. Mentorship programs have been set up in my … Continue reading What is confident writing?
Last weekend I took part in a flash fiction workshop at Varuna in Katoomba, run in collaboration with the Sydney Writers' Festival. On a drizzly grey Saturday, when the mountain mist smothered the town like a blanket, a group of writers gathered in front of a crackling fireplace in Varuna's cosy lounge room to learn … Continue reading Ten tips for creating outstanding flash fiction
I am a walking bundle of contradictions: a strident feminist who still does the whole family’s ironing, a creative working in a non-creative field and, like many writers, an introvert who doesn’t feel at all comfortable about the idea of spruiking myself to agents and publishers, yet desperately wants to be noticed. At some point, … Continue reading Can you learn to pitch your novel via online courses?
Last November, I decided to embark on NaNoWriMo for the first time. The experience has taught me a lot about how much can be achieved in a short period of time with sufficient motivation. And how many under-utilised hours and minutes there are in every day, even if it sometimes feels almost impossible to carve out … Continue reading The importance of backstory: why you should interrogate your characters before planning a rewrite