Leunig the Living Treasure

If there was one Australian author I would recommend that you read before you die, it would be Michael Leunig. He is described by Wikipedia as a cartoonist, poet, and social commentator, and was declared an Australian Living Treasure by the National Trust of Australia in 1999. What on earth do you have to do […]

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The Bank of Words

Robert Southey said: “It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.” Short fiction – good short fiction – can have an emotional impact and resonance not found in quite the same way in longer fiction. That is why I love it. The trouble is, it’s fecking hard […]

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Throat Clearing

I adore short fiction. I adore reading and writing it, and I suspect it may be where I eventually take up permanent residence in the writing universe. (For the moment I’m just peripatetically┬ádabbling.) Here’s a gem from a Short Story workshop I attended at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival yesterday. The teacher, Australian writer […]

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Write true, write cheap

Consider the following sentence: The green grass was full of doctors, all dressed in their dazzlingly white surgical coats. Now consider Sylvia Plath’s version: The Lawn was white with doctors. (from The Bell Jar) I don’t think you’ll even have to think about it when I ask: Which is the better sentence? But what about […]

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A Festival-Goer Field Guide

The Auckland Writers and Readers Festival kicks off tomorrow. I have spent the equivalent of a small Third World country’s debt buying tickets to the various workshops, author talks and seminars on offer. I can’t wait. They’re a funny lot, W & R Festival-Goers. It’s worth the admission price just to sit outside the various […]

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