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Every weekday, we’ll post fresh, exciting content from here and around the web – articles, snippets, videos, links, quotes and whatever else we find. Visit every day.

» Friday High Five: Flanagan and the Booker, World's Coolest Bookstores

Richard Flangan makes Man Booker longlist

The Man Booker longlist 2014 has been announced – the first since American writers were included in the prize. And unsurprisingly, there’s a strong US contingent, and less Commonwealth writers represented than usual. Richard Flanagan is the only… read more

» Working with Words: Anthony Morris

highlight Film writer and reviewer Anthony Morris has been writing about film and television since he was a student, writing for free (and paying for his own tickets) for the university paper. These days, he’s DVD editor for The Big Issue and freelances for several publications, including Empire.

read more

» 'Multicultural Australia is Mainstream Australia': Calling for True Diversity in Our Media

highlight How do we achieve true diversity in the Australian media – and why is it important? Fatima Measham looks at the gap between the cultural make-up of Australia and of our media, and asks what we can do to close that gap, and make sure we have a wider variety of voices and experiences… read more

» ‘Bad People Doing Bad Things’: Justine Larbalestier On Likeability in Fiction

Justine Larbalestier is sick of reading reviews that assess books based on the ‘likeability’ of their characters. As someone who enjoys reading books about vile people she wouldn’t actually want to spend time with in real life, she explains why ‘likeability’ is not a requirement for good… read more

» Friday High Five: Printable Guns, Tourism in War Zones, Publishing Post-1996

The transformation of publishing, post-1996

Joanna Rakoff’s memoir of her year working in an old-fashioned New York literary agency (where typewriters were still the norm) in 1996, around the time email became ubiquitous, has been a bestseller. My Salinger Year (Salinger, or ‘Jerry’, was t… read more

» This Writing Life: A Missive from Montreal by Josephine Rowe

Josephine Rowe describes the way a bone-chilling Montreal winter seeps into her soul, making her writing life more intensely insular.


I am not pitying myself, because I chose it. Evidently this is the way it has to be. I am committed. It is a question of writing or not writing. There is… read more

» Working with Words: Silvia Kwon

highlight Silvia Kwon was born in Seoul, South Korea. She came to Australia at the age of nine and grew up in Perth. She has worked in community arts, publishing and PR and is now based in Melbourne. The Return (Hachette) is her first novel.

We talked to Silvia about what Holden Caulfield would be… read more

» Transcending Cynicism: On Bob Brown

Optimism is not something we commonly associate with a life in politics, but recently retired Greens leader Bob Brown is an exception in more ways than one. His biographer, James Norman, reflects on Brown’s life and career – and his contribution to Australian life.


Bob Brown defies most… read more

» Failing to Succeed: Australian Writers on Their Best Worst Failures

If you want to succeed, you have to be prepared to fail … and the bigger the hoped-for success, the bigger the canvas for potential failures to play out on.

We asked Australian writers to share their stories of so-called failures that paved the way for success, or inadvertently put them… read more

» Friday High Five: Tattoos, Gender Swapping and Gone Girl

Her Struggle: If Knausgaard was a woman

Karl Ove Knausgaard’s six-part autobiographical novel project, My Struggle, has been a worldwide literary sensation. But would it be as successful – or as heaped with critical praise – if it were written by a woman (what’s more, an American woman)? read more

» Working with Words: Tim Coronel

highlightTim Coronel is an editor, writer and former bookseller. He’s currently the editor of fortnightly community magazine MetroWest and works with the Small Press Network to coordinate this year’s Independent Publishing Conference. He was publisher of Bookseller and Publisher magazine, has… read more

» The Value of Artistic Failure

Justin Heazlewood (aka The Bedroom Philosopher) has had national success – and failure. He says that most artists experience failure on a daily basis, whether it’s an idea turned sour or a second draft. And provided you don’t beat yourself up too hard, it’s those negative experiences… read more

» ‘Conscience’ or Discrimination?: Healthcare Providers, Abortion and Moral Obligation

There are practicing doctors around Australia who still oppose abortion and even refuse to prescribe contraception, citing ‘conscience’ as their explanation. But is that legitimate? And aren’t pro-choice campaigners driven by conscience too?

Former Victorian health services commissioner… read more

» Agents of Change: All About Literary Agents

What exactly does a literary agent do? How has the role changed in tandem with the brave new (digital) world of publishing? And do Australian authors really need agents? (The answer: not necessarily, but there are advantages … not all of them linked to advances.) Angie Andrewesread more

» Friday High Five: Designer pet magazines, Facebook experiments

Melbourne’s designer cat and dog magazines

Melbourne is known and loved for being the centre of independent publishing; the natural home of publications or publishers with a quirky edge. Geoff Lemon reports for the Guardian on two quintessentially hipster-Melbourne projects: glossy… read more

» Working with Words: Melissa Cranenburgh

Melissa Cranenburgh is associate editor of The Big Issue Australia – and a Melbourne-based writer, editor and broadcaster with particular interest in books and bike riding. She regularly hosts The Reading Room book segment on Triple R’s The Grapevine. and her work has featured on ABC’s… read more

» Imagine This: Reflections on Writing the Shy Body

Sian Prior, author of the acclaimed memoir Shy, reflects on how shyness manifests in her body – and on writing a memoir to trace its effects.


Imagine you are about to deliver a talk to a room full of strangers. Perhaps your palms are sweating, your face slightly flushed. Perhaps your… read more

» No Shit: Defending Werribee Against 'Postcode Superiority'

Fatima Measham was awarded one of last year’s Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowships to work on an essay in defence of her suburb, Werribee. That essay – an attempt to subvert prevailing perceptions of the suburb – has just been published in Meanjin.

In this extract, Measham gives the… read more

» Walking Many Worlds: Aboriginal Storytelling and Writing for the Young

Ambelin Kwaymullina is an Aboriginal writer and illustrator; she has published both picture books and a YA dystopian series, The Tribe. In this engrossing essay, which doubles as a call to arms, she describes what it’s like to be an Indigenous writer, the importance of ‘laughter-stories&rsquo… read more

» Friday High Five: Evie Wyld's win, the CIA and Doctor Zhivago

Evie Wyld wins Miles Franklin 2014

Evie Wyld has won this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award for her second novel, All the Birds, Singing. Judge Richard Neville said, ‘Flight from violence and abuse run through the core of the novel, yet never defeat its central character. All the… read more

» 'Compassion is the New Radicalism': Indira Naidoo on Australia and Refugees

Indira Naidoo calls for a new conversation about refugees in Australia – one based on compassion, empathy and ethics, rather than fear.

She speaks from experience, as a refugee from apartheid South Africa to a racist 1970s UK, then a welcoming Australia – followed by a return to Africa… read more

» Working with Words: Hoa Pham

highlightHoa Pham’s novels include Vixen (which made her one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Writers of the Year in 2001) and Quicksilver. Her play Silence was published by Currency Press in 2010 and was on the VCE Drama List. She is the founder of Peril, an online magazine focusing on Asian… read more

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