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

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

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

Speaking at SLNSW

I've been promoted! Apparently I'm now a member of the B-list which, according the blurb at the State Library of NSW is "an exciting, new style of book club hosted by the award-winning author and avid reader, Bri Lee. Each month Bri will be in conversation with a variety of authors previously shortlisted for one of the Library’s prestigious literary awards. After the talk, you will be invited into the our historic Friends Room to continue the conversation with your fellow readers." Bri Lee is the prize-winning author of Eggshell [...]

2019-11-18T12:04:20+11:00November 18th, 2019|Elizabeth Macarthur, Writing|5 Comments

And now shortlisted – OMG!

In my last post I was thrilled to announce that Elizabeth Macarthur had been longlisted for the 2019 CHASS Australia Book Prize. Now I'm even more delighted to announce that Elizabeth Macarthur is now one of the three books on the shortlist. Wow! I mean - just - wow. The other two titles on the shortlist are:  - The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History, by Meredith Lake and published by NewSouth Books  - Eggshell Skull, by Bri Lee and published by Allen & Unwin What outstanding company Elizabeth is [...]

2019-10-10T20:49:16+11:00October 10th, 2019|Elizabeth Macarthur, Writing|5 Comments

Longlisted!

I am absolutely thrilled to find that Elizabeth Macarthur has been longlisted for the 2019 CHASS Australia Book Prize. And she's in some pretty amazing company. The Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) has announced the longlist for its prestigious 2019 Australia Prize for a Book (non-fiction). The Book Prize will be awarded to an Australian citizen or permanent resident whose nonfiction book, published between 1 January and 31 December 2018, contributes most to Australian cultural and intellectual life. The longlisted titles, from an entry field of [...]

2019-09-26T14:37:14+10:00September 26th, 2019|Elizabeth Macarthur, Writing|2 Comments

Life Writing Workshop

Join me, Hazel Edwards and Ray Mooney at a life writing workshop hosted by the Society of Women Writers. We'll be speaking about biography, memoir, family history and fact versus fiction. Author talks, panels and practical workshops AND lunch.  How good is that? When: Saturday 11 May 2019 Venue: Library At the Dock – Performance Space, Lvl 2, 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands, Victoria 3008 Members $40 Non-members $60 (lunch included) Bookings: https://www.trybooking.com/BBSEY What is the Society of Women Writers? I'm glad you asked. According to their website, the Society of Women [...]

2019-05-08T20:23:00+10:00May 8th, 2019|Writing|1 Comment
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