November, 2011

I’m leaving Crikey! (But I’ll still be blogging…)

, Nov 03, 2011

Readers, it’s been three years since my humble ‘blogspot’ blog moved onto this great website, garnering me new readers and a range of opportunities. It feels like time to return LiteraryMinded to the quiet backwaters of the internet. There are a few reasons, which I may go into more over at the new blog. One is that, […]

And the winners are…

, Oct 29, 2011

Thanks to everyone for your great entries in the #madnesscomp. If you want some suggestions on mad-lit, see the comments on the previous post. The winners of the two signed copies of Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test, chosen by a random number generator, are @liza_belle and @semiordinaryjoe. The random number generator chose two people who […]

Vale Diana Gribble

, Oct 05, 2011

As reported on the main website today, Diana Gribble, co-founder of Private Media (owner of Crikey) and a huge influence in the Australian publishing industry, has passed away. I only met Di once. She and Sarah Stokely took me to lunch after Crikey had invited me to become one of their bloggers, three years ago. […]
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Reading fiction is addictive and unhealthy, says Corn Flakes guy

, Sep 30, 2011

I just came across this astonishing passage, quoted by John Fiske in Understanding Popular Culture. It’s from the Ladies Guide in Health and Disease by John Harvey Kellogg (yes, of Corn Flakes fame), published in 1882. There are also chapters on ‘marriage’, ‘personal beauty’, ‘diet’, clothing’, and, ah, ‘criminal abortion’. He says: ‘The reading of […]
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Extrapolations: stories re-imagined from the tangible, a guest post by Kent MacCarter

, Sep 19, 2011

By Kent MacCarter In the preface on page six of Dupain’s Sydney, an art book featuring photographic plates of cityscapes, city dwellers and urban whatnot by acclaimed photographer Max Dupain, there is a photograph of the artist fussing with the aperture on his 4×5 large-format camera perched on a fully extended tripod. You can detect […]
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The big bucks: Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2011

, Sep 07, 2011

Last night I went along to the ‘streamlined’ Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, run by the Wheeler Centre. The awards took place in the grand Plaza Ballroom (part of the Regent Theatre), built in 1929. The decadent entrance and room is apparently in the Spanish Rococo style, but it seemed very eclectic to me: nouveau flourishes, […]
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Birds of a feather: Melbourne Writers Festival 2011 diary, part two

, Aug 30, 2011

Left: A burrowing owl [source] In the back of my notebook is the beginning of a drawing of an escalator. I was hiding between things, being alone; couldn’t sit still, started tweeting. Should have gone outside and found some birds. I attended the session Birds of a Feather mainly because I love to hear people […]
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Lab coats, lit journals & marrying frogs: Melbourne Writers Festival 2011 diary, part one

, Aug 27, 2011

It’s that time of the year again, where authors, poets, thinkers and drinkers congregate in Melbourne, and we go along to hear their thoughts about work and life. As I was away in the lead-up, I’m not doing any chairing or official duties this year. I get to go along and enjoy the talks, readings, […]
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Shakespeare and Co., Paris

, Jun 16, 2011

Despite seeing Notre Dame, the Panthéon and the Conciergerie today, and unexpectedly falling in love with stone, spiral staircases, there was another highlight I thought you’d appreciate: visiting one of the world’s most famous and truly delightful bookstores, Shakespeare and Company. The shelves are crammed with old and new books, the staff (I heard only […]
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Going abroad

, Jun 12, 2011

Tomorrow G and I fly to Europe for a 10 week stint. I’m presenting a paper at the London Film and Media Conference, and I’ll be working on my thesis as we travel, but there will also be lots of time for art, food, people, absinthe… and of course, literary tourism. The agenda includes: France, England, […]
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Writing on writing: guest post by Harry Bingham

, Jun 06, 2011

  I’ve been a professional writer for more than ten years,  but it was only recently, when asked to produce a How to Write book by A&C Black/Bloomsbury, that I came to think systematically about this craft of ours. I mean ‘systematically’ in two different dimensions. First, there’s the whole area of technique. How, precisely, […]
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Typecasting and narrative voice at the 2011 Emerging Writers’ Festival

, May 30, 2011

The Emerging Writers’ Festival, in its usual form, has thus far been about tequila shots and one long drunken conversation about The Wall. Yesterday I went to some actual sessions. Here’s a write-up of two of those. Typecast The first session I attended yesterday was all about ‘typecasting’. Do the authors on the panel agree with […]

Live from Sydney Writers’ Festival, part two: tips for aspiring literary couples

, May 21, 2011

Today I attended the session ‘Au Pairs’ featuring writer-couples James Bradley and Mardi McConnochie, and Louis Nowra and Mandy Sayer. Bradley and McConnochie have been together for 20 years; Nowra and Sayer for eleven. Although the questions were not those you’d ask a lawyer-couple, as Bradley pointed out, people are often curious as to how a relationship works between […]
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Live from Sydney Writers’ Festival 2011: part one

, May 20, 2011

I’m sitting by the waterfront – Sydney Harbour. Sunstruck. That is, struck by this sunshine. Ill-equipped, in my wool dress. I’ve just seen Geordie Williamson interview David Mitchell, and I was going to go to another session (French Kissing – ooh la la) but the line for it was around the block and I was […]

Verity La interview

, May 15, 2011

Alec Patric has asked me a few probing questions over at Verity La. If you’re interested in me as a writer (and person), or are curious about my work, you might want to check it out.

Let’s read writing by women

, May 13, 2011

A new committee is being set up to pursue equal rights for women writers in Australia. Besides research, lobbying and setting up mentorships, the committee is looking at establishing a literary prize for Australian women writers, along the lines of the UK’s Orange Prize. The steering committee (including novelist and publisher Sophie Cunningham, critic and […]

Quick update: festivals

, May 11, 2011

This weekend: The Newstead Short Story Tattoo. Short stories, bonfires, lovely people. Majorly sad I have to miss it this year. Go if you can. Stop on the way for pies and cakes. Get intimate with masters of the short form from Josephine Rowe to Ian Irvine to Don Walker. In one week: Sydney Writers’ Festival […]
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LiteraryMinded turns four

, May 09, 2011

‘I need you, the reader, to imagine us, for we don’t really exist if you don’t.’ — Vladimir Nabokov At the moment I spend half my days at a scratched antique table, the chair beneath me creaking with age. On my left is a pile of books and papers including about eight literary journals I’ve […]
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Bothersome Words wins ‘Word’ category in Best Australian Blogs comp

, May 07, 2011

Remember how a few weeks ago I said I was a judge in the Sydney Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs 2011 competition? Well the winners have now been announced. Sydney Writers’ Centre whittled down the entrants for me in the ‘Word’ category to a list of five finalists: Call My Agent, Bothersome Words, Creative Penn, Graham Storrs and […]

Miles Franklin 2011: the short shortlist

, Apr 19, 2011

Just in. The books shortlisted for the 2011 Miles Franklin Literary Award are: Bereft by Chris Womersley That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott When Colts Ran by Roger McDonald Of course, the comment has begun (on Twitter) about the fact that there are only three books. Martin Shaw says (@thebooksdesk) ‘A shortlist of 3 becomes […]