About Michelle Scott Tucker

Writer, reader and author of Elizabeth Macarthur: A Life at the Edge of the World.

Writing Q&A: What were they thinking?

Every now and then, people ask me questions about how to write.  I like the questions, but whether my answers are useful or not remains a moot point. Recently, I keep getting asked about thinking. Specifically, how can anyone write about a historic figure's mindset, if there's no primary source material to say what they were feeling or thinking on any given day or hour? How much can a writer of non-fiction inject into the story? In my view, there's a few different ways to tackle the problem. But first [...]

2020-06-29T19:43:10+10:00June 29th, 2020|Writing|4 Comments

Brave New (online) World

Hands up if you’re quite the expert at videoconferencing now. Got your lighting all sorted? Your headphone hair? De rigueur Indigenous artwork behind you? With the onset of the COVID-19 shutdowns, the Australian literary community has moved its events online with commendable alacrity. A few organisations, like the Wheeler Centre, were ahead of the curve. They’ve regularly livestreamed some of their events for a while now. But for the rest of us, the haste with which the move to online ‘events’ had to happen resulted in a few bumps along [...]

2020-06-23T22:11:35+10:00June 23rd, 2020|Life|2 Comments

Mary Macarthur’s Hunter Valley Home

The home of one of Elizabeth Macarthur's daughters looks set to be relocated - to make way for coal mining. According to this online article, The 1820s Ravensworth Homestead in the Hunter Valley, among the first agricultural properties in the area, is now in the way of a proposed expansion of the Glendell coal mine, which wants to extract an additional 140 million tonnes of coal from the site. As a result, operator mining giant Glencore has offered to pay an estimated $20 million to fund a local plan  to [...]

Come to my seminar!

Sometimes the most compelling non-fiction stories are about other people. Whether you’re writing biography, interested in ghost writing, drawing together your family or local history, or even thinking about feature interviews – if you want to tell someone else’s story then learn how to illuminate your subject with writing that is engaging, ethical and insightful. On Sunday 14 June 2020, I'll be delivering an online workshop for Writers Victoria. We'll talk, we'll laugh and best of all, afterwards I'll provide personal feedback about a short excerpt of your writing. This [...]

2020-05-15T15:22:22+10:00May 15th, 2020|Writing|0 Comments

Book Clubs

Book clubs really are the best, aren’t they? People with a common interest—reading—coming together to talk about books, ideas, and issues. Also, possibly to drink some wine, eat some cheese and catch up with some friends. It sounds like heaven to me (I always especially enjoy the cheese part). Earlier this year I boldly started up a new book club, aiming to meet every second month with some friends who live nearby, but we only managed to meet once before the coronavirus shutdown happened. We read The Weekend, by Charlotte [...]

2020-04-21T11:53:12+10:00April 21st, 2020|Author Talk|9 Comments

All About Author Talks

I won’t lie – I LOVE doing author talks. Since my book was published in April 2018 I’ve delivered many talks and interviews. Clearly I’m not a proper writer though,  because apparently real writers are meant to be all shy and introverted. Sorry, but nope. EM’s story is interesting and important and I’m very happy to tell it over and over again. However. I have been loath to blog about my speaking adventures and I think I know why. Giving an author talk is so much fun that I fear [...]

2020-02-16T22:29:35+11:00February 16th, 2020|Author Talk, Elizabeth Macarthur|5 Comments

Summer Fiction – my top three so far

In the approach to Christmas I was in something of a reading slump but these three novels picked me up and had me reading late into the night. Yes, of course I read more than three books over the summer, and of course I read non-fiction too (and I’ll tell you about those another time) but these three books were simply marvellous. The Weekend by Charlotte Wood. There are far fewer literary page turners than one might wish, so thank goodness for The Weekend. It’s smart, beautifully written and thoroughly [...]

2020-02-03T20:54:25+11:00February 3rd, 2020|Book Review|4 Comments

Writing Residencies

Eight lucky Australian writers have recently been awarded overseas residencies by the Australia Council. But are writing residencies all they’re cracked up to be? According to industry magazine Books+Publishing, Lisa Gorton, Robert Lukins, Fiona McGregor and Sandra Thibodeaux will each undertake a three-month residency at the BR Whiting Studio in Rome. Each writer also receives a $10,000 grant. Yassmin Abdel-Magied was awarded a six-month residency at the Keesing Studio in Paris, along with a $20,000 grant (which predictably caused the Murdoch media to have an attack of the vapours). Eloise [...]

2020-01-26T11:22:16+11:00January 26th, 2020|Writing|28 Comments

Tax – more interesting than you think

When it comes to Australian literary prizes – did you know that the prize money is taxable? Yes, you read that right. Next time you win the Miles Franklin, after you’ve sobered up from the after party and cashed your cheque for $60,000, the taxman will insist that you include your literary windfall as ‘income’ on your next tax return. But don’t despair. Big win at the horse races? All that cash is yours to keep. Take home the grand prize on a TV quiz show? All yours. Place a [...]

2020-01-13T22:26:42+11:00January 13th, 2020|Life, Writing|6 Comments

Kate Grenville’s new book

So some of you might know that Kate Grenville has a new book coming out this year. A novel. About Elizabeth Macarthur... Kate Grenville is, like me, one of Text Publishing's stable of authors and I've known for quite a while that this book was coming, and I wasn't quite sure how I felt about it. The novel will be called A Room Made of Leaves and according to Books+Publishing,"This extraordinary novel takes as its starting point the story of Elizabeth Macarthur in the infant colony of Sydney, but breaks [...]

2020-01-05T13:52:55+11:00January 5th, 2020|Elizabeth Macarthur, Writing|28 Comments