Coming up: at
The Wheeler Centre

See all events »

Website topics

Earlier this week, in a Digital Writers Festival Event, Sophie Cunningham spoke to four of the shortlisted writers of The Stella Prize about their work, the prize and raising the profile of women's writing. Here are some highlights., We speak to Adam Alter, author of *Drunk Tank Pink: The Subconscious Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel and Behave*, about loving academia, why it's powerful to get feedback from children on your work, and his advice for aspiring writers: write a letter or an email to 20 of your favourite writers, explaining your aspirations and asking for advice., Sally Rippin's series for primary school age children, *Billie B. Brown* and *Hey Jack!*, are bestsellers with young readers of all reading levels. So she's well equipped to give advice on helping instil a love of reading in reluctant readers. Here are some of her tips - and her story on the genesis of Billie and Jack., Shakira Hussein reflects on a Queensland childhood frozen in time across several generations, under the era of Joh Bjelke-Petersen - so that David Malouf's reflections of his childhood in the 1930s and 40s evokes memories of her own in the 1970s and 80s., A neighbourhood bag lady in Chicago is revealed as a world-famous street photographer. Australia becomes the third country to get Nielsen TV Twitter Ratings. A call for books and video games to be more closely linked … and for Bret Easton Ellis to write a video game. The Big Issue fiction edition is open for entries. And AIDS is an issue in America's deep south., Last month, we published an article on anonymous reviewing, in the context of the new *Saturday Paper*'s embrace of the format. Soon after, we were approached by a *Saturday Paper* reviewer offering to give an alternative view. The Wheeler Centre's Jo Case spoke to the reviewer about the 'creative potential' of anonymous reviewing as a form (and the wider possibilities of doing criticism differently), the need to give a new space for literary coverage a chance, and a look at the *Saturday Paper* so far., We chat with feminist writer Andie Fox about connecting with readers through your writing, why memoir-style writing is difficult to write well and safely, and why it's good to pursue writing as a second career - and not just for the obvious monetary reasons., Jennifer Saunders, Lighthouse Literary Festival at Aireys Inlet: Robert Drewe, Holly Childs, Melinda Houston and Jenna Martin , Malcolm Fraser, The Current Climate, Cultural Solutions and The Freedom Fighter: Tim WilsonMore

When pulp author Carl Ruhen died late last year, there was almost no mention of him in the press. Andrew Nette looks back on Ruhen's prolific career, taking in some of literature's seediest corners – and the forgotten history of Australia's pulp publishing industry., Are creative writing courses a rip-off, a factory churning our same-y writers ... or a valuable experience that might enhance your chances of publication - or at worst, give you an avenue for creative expression? **Annabel Smith** defends defends creative writing courses against Hanif Kureishi's recent dismissal of them, and speaks to Australian writers, publishers and creative writing lecturers., **Meg Mundell** tells how a weekend job as a fairy for hire gave her some valuable lessons for her writing career ... despite (or because of) working hungover, forgetting her wings and annoying parents by hyping up her small charges., We speak to journalist turned ghostwriter turned crime novelist Michael Robotham about his first newspaper story, aged 17, the recurring fear of being exposed as someone who 'got lucky with a few books', and why workshops and writing schools are unlikely to make someone a great writer., In a novel urban renewal scheme designed to attract writers to the bankrupt city of Detroit, writers are invited to apply to live rent-free for two years in a recovered Detroit house. With the chance to get the deeds to the house at the end of that period., *Buzzfeed* has just published a fascinating article, interviewing 21 famous writers on how they wrote their first books, and the advice they'd give to beginning writers. Those interviewed include Sam Lipsyte, Wells Tower, Charlaine Harris, Junot Diaz, Sloane Crosley and Rachel Kushner., When Annabel Smith received her royalty statement from her well-reviewed second novel, Whisky Charlie Foxtrot, she was devastated. She takes a deeper look at the cold climate for professional writers and questions how writers can make a living, if not from their craft - and why good writing doesn't necessarily equate to good - or even okay - money., Jennifer Saunders, Katie Noonan and Michael Leunig, Rebellion and Tomorrow, Lighthouse Literary Festival at Aireys Inlet: Robert Drewe, Holly Childs, Melinda Houston and Jenna Martin , Lighthouse Literary Festival at Aireys Inlet: John Clarke and The Stella PrizeMore

Ben Zygier, an Australian-Israeli citizen, took his own life in Israel's maximum security, 'suicide proof' Ayalon Prison in 2010. In this extract of his recent Lunchbox/Soapbox talk on the Zygier espionage saga, journalist Rafael Epstein explains that there were serious gaps in Australia's handling of the case – both before and after his death., Last month, the federal government announced a review of the just-completed national curriculum, with a view to correcting what it sees as a skew to the left. **Rachel Power**, a journalist with the Australian Education Union, gives her view on what the review will mean - and why she believes its focus on values is a diversion from Australia's real education problem: equity., Why did Julia Gillard and Anne Summers pack out the Melbourne Town Hall last night? What did audience members think of the event - and Gillard as prime minister? We were in the Town Hall lobby after the event, finding out the answers., Julia Gillard has broken her silence on her loss of leadership and Labor's future in an essay in Saturday's Guardian. She argues that Labor needs to reclaim its purpose, and calls for the party to stand firm on carbon pricing, defend the legacy of her government's achievements, and to reclaim its purpose - and bring policy debate into the public arena., Dennis Altman looks back on forty years of work as a gay rights activist and author - and the 'extraordinary' changes that have been made to how we imagine sex and gender since the gay rights movement began in the early 1970s. He asks what those changes mean for homosexuals today: both his generation and new generations, who have grown up in a very different world., As the federal election looms on Saturday, we thought it was a good time to look back on our political events earlier in the year, for reflections on the state of our politics. In our Australian Democracy in 2013 event, event, James Button was one of several prominent Australians who spoke about the challenges and opportunities of democracy right now. , Margo Kingston is the editor and co-publisher of No Fibs, a citizen journalism website. She is a former press gallery journalist and Fairfax political reporter, and has published two books on Australian politics. She tells us how covering Pauline Hanson's 1998 election campaign transformed her view of journalism, how she overcame her phobia about the 'I' word, and advises against going into journalism., Rebellion and Tomorrow, Lighthouse Literary Festival at Aireys Inlet: Robert Drewe, Lighthouse Literary Festival at Aireys Inlet: John Clarke, Mark Isaacs: Nauru: an insider's account of Australia's offshore detention policy, Malcolm Fraser, The Current Climate and The Freedom Fighter: Tim WilsonMore

Are anonymous book reviews a brave new enterprise or a dubious exercise? Is it possible to guard against score-settling when only the editor knows a reviewer's identity? What makes good criticism, and does anonymity help or hinder it?, Is blurbing (authors praising the work of other authors in exuberant one-liners for the covers of their books) a transparent back-scratching exercise, a necessary evil, or a literary art-form? And can praise solicited for promotional purposes be trusted? **Thuy On**, books editor of the *Big Issue*, takes a look., We speak to Sleepers Publishing's Louise Swinn about the daily realisation that 'people still read so much shite', the happiness of bringing books into the world, and why you shouldn't take any advice from publishers about what to write., **Emily Laidlaw** goes behind the scenes to find out what it’s like to be a book publicist: parties, press releases and looking after authors ‘without being a fussing pain in the arse’. She picks the brains of Black Inc.’s Imogen Kandel and Bloomsbury Australia’s Brendan Fredericks., On the eve of the Oscars and in the aftermath of the Golden Globes, we bring you five films to watch for in 2014, all of them based on books., It's hard to make money selling books these days ... which means book merchandise is exploding as a market. We bring you some of the weirdest examples, from the Fifty Shades wine and lingerie ranges, to Twilight condoms, a Dave Eggers shower curtain and a Pride and Prejudice thong., Research suggests literary fiction teaches empathy. What's it like to edit Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro? Bronte Coates, of Stilts, on why literary journals exist. Buzz Aldrin reviews Gravity. And how true are Malcolm Gladwell's universal truths?, Jennifer Saunders, Lighthouse Literary Festival at Aireys Inlet: Robert Drewe, Holly Childs, Melinda Houston and Jenna Martin , Mark Isaacs: Nauru: an insider's account of Australia's offshore detention policy and Lynne Segal: The Pleasures (and Perils) of AgeingMore

We speak to Adam Alter, author of *Drunk Tank Pink: The Subconscious Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel and Behave*, about loving academia, why it's powerful to get feedback from children on your work, and his advice for aspiring writers: write a letter or an email to 20 of your favourite writers, explaining your aspirations and asking for advice., Ben Zygier, an Australian-Israeli citizen, took his own life in Israel's maximum security, 'suicide proof' Ayalon Prison in 2010. In this extract of his recent Lunchbox/Soapbox talk on the Zygier espionage saga, journalist Rafael Epstein explains that there were serious gaps in Australia's handling of the case – both before and after his death., Oral historian **Siobhán McHugh** talks us through the primal and intimate nature of soundscapes, sharing her favourite ‘driveway moments’ and showcasing the power of audio storytelling. With carefully curated links to some of the most powerful and affecting moments she's experienced in the medium, this piece just might convert you to the spoken (but unseen) word - if you're not hooked on it already., We speak to documentary-maker and oral historian Siobhán McHugh about why writers should train themselves to observe, how Cloudstreet helped her decide Australia could be home, and the experience of being told that 'unless it emanates from a university, it can't be considered research'., When Susan Wyndham's mother died, she found comfort in talking to other people who had lost a parent, as a way to understand her grief. Some of those conversations developed into a book, My Mother, My Father: On Losing a Parent, with contributors like David Marr and Helen Garner. Susan asks: How do we handle the death of our parents? How does it change us? And how might we do better?, Patricia Edgar challenges our preconceptions about ageing, arguing that 50 is now the start of the second half of life … not the beginning of the end., Dennis Altman looks back on forty years of work as a gay rights activist and author - and the 'extraordinary' changes that have been made to how we imagine sex and gender since the gay rights movement began in the early 1970s. He asks what those changes mean for homosexuals today: both his generation and new generations, who have grown up in a very different world., Adam Alter: Drunk Tank Pink: The subconscious forces that shape how we think, feel and behave, Mark Isaacs: Nauru: an insider's account of Australia's offshore detention policy and Lynne Segal: The Pleasures (and Perils) of AgeingMore

**Paul Mitchell** wonders why we habitually ignore the second verse of our national anthem ... the one that promises to share our boundless plains with those who come across the seas. Maybe it's because we don't want to share these days? He calls for those of us who don't paint our faces with the Southern Cross to sing the whole song ... or refuse to sing it at all., Rochelle Siemienowicz has been working in the Australian film and television industry for decades. At first glance, mass-downloading seems like a distant threat to the local industry (where the challenge is to attract audiences in the first place) - but a deeper look reveals that all those Game of Thrones downloads are having an insidious psychological effect that erodes the idea of paying for entertainment at all., Whether it’s our treatment of asylum seekers or the current debate around free speech, we seem to be confused -about the notion of free rights for all. Australians care about human rights, but we're also dangerously complacent about the lack of protections that exist - and conflicted on the question of who deserves human rights protection. Looking back into our rights history to examine today’s issues, Hugh de Kretser outlines a vision for stronger, universal protection of rights in Australia., Just what constitutes middle class, middle income and genuine ‘struggling’ has been a hot conversational topic lately. We look at some recent arguments from social commentator Rachel Hills, the ACTU's Matt Cowgill and Fairfax writer Peter Martin., What's the place of alcohol in our lives? When does fun become a habit too hard to break? And how are the culture, alcohol companies, Australian sports and even our friends lined up to make laying off the booze enough harder? In this edited Lunchbox/Soapbox address, Jill Stark tells all., Maria Tumarkin emigrated to Australia from the former Soviet Union in 1989. She reflects on her memories of 'being new', of compulsively doing 'compare and contrast' with the old country and the new ... and how she eventually fell for Australia, despite remaining unreconciled to it. and Eleanor Hogan lived and worked in Alice Springs for several years. She came back to urban life with a book, recently published in the New South Cities series, a nuanced understanding of issues like the Intervention and the myriad challenges faced by the NT's Aboriginal population, and a sense of perspective about the things that matter.More

At Deakin Edge last night, Lionel Shriver talked about her latest novel, Big Brother, our culture's obsession with food and weight, her feelings about being interviewed, and the fact that literary fame has been 'nice' rather than exciting. , In this edition of Friday High Five, we take on the internet troll, question the (manly) voice of God, explore the benefits of being a loser, and hitch a ride through France's Mer de Glace region... on the back of an eagle., Anthony Morris argues that an unlikely influence planted a vital seed for the golden age of television drama. A drama that was weird, violent, distinctively atmospheric and very much the work of one auteur-like creator; one with long-form narrative arcs and an overarching mystery. He looks back at David Lynch's Twin Peaks, and traces its lineage to the Sopranos, Mad Men and more., Phoebe Tay introduces us to the world of Deaf writers, their unique challenges and perspectives, and what Deaf and hearing writers have to offer each other. , Sylvia Nasar talks about why Marx was wrong (and why The Communist Manifesto was influenced by the Bible), the woman who invited the welfare state, Dickens' crusading journalism (and the true meaning of A Christmas Carol), how John Maynard Keynes fought the Depression, and Amaryta Sen's economic war against poverty., Just what constitutes middle class, middle income and genuine ‘struggling’ has been a hot conversational topic lately. We look at some recent arguments from social commentator Rachel Hills, the ACTU's Matt Cowgill and Fairfax writer Peter Martin., Former advertising copywriter Greg Foyster tells how advertising promotes discontentment with what we have in order to sell us stuff we don’t need – and how the resulting waste is choking ecosystems and causing dangerous climate change., Lynne Segal: The Pleasures (and Perils) of Ageing, Laura Bates, Soft Diplomacy , How do we listen when we can’t hear? and Cultural Solutions More

Kelly-Lee Hickey says that the public desire to shut down Dylan Farrow's disclosures about the childhood sexual abuse she allegedly suffered mirrors the private response met by so many who speak out (including in Hickey's own experience). Childhood sexual abuse is one of the biggest taboos there is - but when we make something taboo, we force the grief of those who experience it underground., Anthony Morris explains why The Wire is the best television drama ever made - despite (or because of) breaking every convention about the crime genre and small-screen storytelling. There is no lead on The Wire: it's an ensemble show, and its central character is Baltimore itself; its central subject how the system is broken, across the police, the world of work, politics, schools and the media., What happens when we outsource our personal lives to paid workers? Can money buy love? And where do we draw the line between what we pay for, and what is too intimate to ask others to do? Arlie Hochschild has made these questions her life's work., When Susan Wyndham's mother died, she found comfort in talking to other people who had lost a parent, as a way to understand her grief. Some of those conversations developed into a book, My Mother, My Father: On Losing a Parent, with contributors like David Marr and Helen Garner. Susan asks: How do we handle the death of our parents? How does it change us? And how might we do better?, Beyoncé in Brunswick is now a Tumblr. Japan's young people are falling prey to 'celibacy syndrome'. Noel Gallagher says there's no point reading fiction, because it's not true. David Sedaris pays tribute to his dead sister, who didn't want to be written about, in writing. And why do people look like their dogs?, In her controversial bestseller The End of Men, Hanna Rosin looks at the rise of women in education, work, and as household breadwinners - and asks whether our world now puts men at a disadvantage. But is the rise of the 'double shift' - women who are both breadwinners and household managers - progress? Is it equality? , America's favourite advice columnist, Dan Savage, explains why sometimes, cheating isn’t just okay, it’s ‘absolutely, positively, and without question the right thing to do’., Lynne Segal: The Pleasures (and Perils) of Ageing and Laura BatesMore

When pulp author Carl Ruhen died late last year, there was almost no mention of him in the press. Andrew Nette looks back on Ruhen's prolific career, taking in some of literature's seediest corners – and the forgotten history of Australia's pulp publishing industry., Geordie Williamson has just been appointed the new fiction editor of *Island* magazine. We spoke to him about his new appointment, his background as an editor for Duffy & Snellgrove, what he looks for in a story, and his approach to editing fiction … plus, tips for writers who might like to submit!, We share a slice of summer short fiction, by acclaimed New Zealand author Emily Perkins. A man's wayward grandson is sent to stay with him on his retirement haven of Waiheke Island, a place where people come to connect with something they have lost. The old man has a task for him - one that his neighbours are fiercely opposed to., In the lead-up to next Tuesday's announcement of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction, we share our reviewers' responses to the shortlisted titles. Read reviews by Angela Savage, Sam Cooney, Thuy On, James Tierney and Rochelle Siemienowicz., Julianne Schultz, editor of 'Griffith Review 38: The Novella Project', tells us what's so special about the novella as a literary art form - and why it's on the rise again., We’ve recently welcomed our second round of Hot Desk Fellowships, supported by the Readings Foundation, to the Wheeler Centre. Please meet our current Hot Desk residents: Peter Bakowski, Tom Trumble, Adrian Murphy, Ronnie Scott, Melinda Harvey and our Melbourne PEN fellow, Matt Hetherington., In this week's Friday High Five, we say goodbye to Ray Bradbury (with help from Neil Gaiman); look at terrifying French picture books for children; travel to the location of the mining boom; discover a documentary on AIDS in San Francisco; and read a new short story by Maile Meloy., Emerging Writers' Festival Launch: Fact vs Fiction, Lighthouse Literary Festival at Aireys Inlet: Robert Drewe and Anne Frank, from Diary to Book More

We chat with feminist writer Andie Fox about connecting with readers through your writing, why memoir-style writing is difficult to write well and safely, and why it's good to pursue writing as a second career - and not just for the obvious monetary reasons., Are creative writing courses a rip-off, a factory churning our same-y writers ... or a valuable experience that might enhance your chances of publication - or at worst, give you an avenue for creative expression? **Annabel Smith** defends defends creative writing courses against Hanif Kureishi's recent dismissal of them, and speaks to Australian writers, publishers and creative writing lecturers., Geordie Williamson has just been appointed the new fiction editor of *Island* magazine. We spoke to him about his new appointment, his background as an editor for Duffy & Snellgrove, what he looks for in a story, and his approach to editing fiction … plus, tips for writers who might like to submit!, In her viral TED talk on creativity, Elizabeth Gilbert advocated for us finding a way to create a psychological barrier between the creative person and their anxieties, so they could concentrate on the work and not the reaction to it. She also mused on a return to ancient ways of thinking about creativity - as something outside the self., We speak to journalist turned ghostwriter turned crime novelist Michael Robotham about his first newspaper story, aged 17, the recurring fear of being exposed as someone who 'got lucky with a few books', and why workshops and writing schools are unlikely to make someone a great writer., We speak to Sleepers Publishing's Louise Swinn about the daily realisation that 'people still read so much shite', the happiness of bringing books into the world, and why you shouldn't take any advice from publishers about what to write., Novelist **Charlotte Wood** started her own subscription-only digital literary magazine, The Writer's Room Interviews, last year. She reflects on what she's learned - and what she's gained - from the experience. and Emerging Writers' Festival Launch: Fact vs FictionMore

It seems increasingly likely that the government may have to intervene and write a code on internet piracy into copyright law, after talks to negotiate a voluntary agreement to tackle piracy have effectively fallen apart. But new research from Monash University suggests current laws don't work. What should we do, then?, Karen Andrews recalls the thrill of discovering old movies on her neighbour's VHS cassette tapes in the 1980s. She relishes the comfort of reliving them - scene by scene, song by song, moment by treasured moment – using an altogether newer technology (YouTube) now., Writer and digital native George Dunford shares some tips for what to do when the internet keeps luring you away from your work ... and jamming your thoughts with kooky videos and streams of tweets., Do your passwords protect you? A Wired writer who lost everything digital this year says no. Ann Patchett helps bookstores strike back. Gabrielle Carey joins the New York Times in asking whether irony is over. Take a peek at Oslo Davis's Melbhattan - and if you're looking for ideas on what to read next (or Christmas gifts), we've got a bunch of Best Books 2012 lists that should help you out., Robots that look like people, programmed to have their own emotions and facial expressions and to react to human interaction? It sounds like science fiction, but within the past decade, it’s also become reality. And Japan’s Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro is at the forefront of making it come true, with his remarkably life-like robots., Do you speak on your mobile for 30 minutes a day or more? If so, a major study reports you have a 40% higher risk of some brain tumours. Leading neurosurgeon Charlie Teo has gone public with his concerns that mobile phones may be causing a rise in brain tumours; and that we need better research to find out what we're facing. Author and scientist Devra Davis has written about the dangers of mobile use in 'Disconnect'. She also has tips on how to use your mobile safely. and A new website, The Composites, will tickle your funnybone with its police composite sketch renditions of favourite literary characters. And we ask, what does it mean to faithfully adapt a literary character for the screen?More

Take a trip down memory lane, with this guide to life, as collected from the Little Golden Book archives. Don't panic, kiss and choose your companions wisely ..., It's hard to make money selling books these days ... which means book merchandise is exploding as a market. We bring you some of the weirdest examples, from the Fifty Shades wine and lingerie ranges, to Twilight condoms, a Dave Eggers shower curtain and a Pride and Prejudice thong., If you're preparing a Melbourne Cup feast for tomorrow's festivities, why not give a thought to including some favourite food from literature? We have some book-themed inspiration and recipes for you, whether you want green eggs (and ham) to line your stomach tomorrow morning, or a bloody Game of Thrones cake pop to nibble with champagne., In this edition of Friday High Five, we take on the internet troll, question the (manly) voice of God, explore the benefits of being a loser, and hitch a ride through France's Mer de Glace region... on the back of an eagle., We share our perfect antidote for Mondayitis: five fab bookish videos to tickle your fancy - from a book trailer so bad that it just might be genius, to an exclusive video of Lloyd Jones reading from his latest book, the memoir A History of Silence. And of course, there's the obligatory cat., A 12-foot statue of Colin Firth as Mr Darcy is touring UK lakes. See ten brilliant cycling infrastructures from around the world. Why are poor Haitians wearing obnoxious American t-shirts? See the best of a New York Public Library Exhibition celebrating children's classic literature. And preview the best in books for the second half of 2013., An asteroid has just been named after Scottish writer Iain Banks. How would Star Wars would sound if it was written by Shakespeare? Meet Amazon's (human) robot workers. Find out how the Amish 'hack' technology for their purposes. And see if the 10 nerdiest jokes of all time make you laugh., Lighthouse Literary Festival at Aireys Inlet: Robert Drewe and Lighthouse Literary Festival at Aireys Inlet: John ClarkeMore

**Paul Donoghue** interviews bestselling philosophy advocate Alain de Botton on *The News*, his philosopher's look at the newspaper stories that so many of us read, but so few of us really study ... or question. Why we are so interested in stories about crime, celebrity and the like? What does it say about us, and how can we read the newspapers better?, Kelly-Lee Hickey says that the public desire to shut down Dylan Farrow's disclosures about the childhood sexual abuse she allegedly suffered mirrors the private response met by so many who speak out (including in Hickey's own experience). Childhood sexual abuse is one of the biggest taboos there is - but when we make something taboo, we force the grief of those who experience it underground., **Emily Laidlaw** goes behind the scenes to find out what it’s like to be a book publicist: parties, press releases and looking after authors ‘without being a fussing pain in the arse’. She picks the brains of Black Inc.’s Imogen Kandel and Bloomsbury Australia’s Brendan Fredericks., In this week's Working with Words, screenwriter Kris Mrksa talks to us about conservatism in Australian TV, the media's preoccupation with directors and the 'wonderful circuit breaker' (see also: 'pain in the arse') of collaboration., As the federal election looms on Saturday, we thought it was a good time to look back on our political events earlier in the year, for reflections on the state of our politics. In our Australian Democracy in 2013 event, event, James Button was one of several prominent Australians who spoke about the challenges and opportunities of democracy right now. , Former advertising copywriter Greg Foyster tells how advertising promotes discontentment with what we have in order to sell us stuff we don’t need – and how the resulting waste is choking ecosystems and causing dangerous climate change., It's nice to begin 2013 with some good news about jobs for journalists - the Guardian has confirmed it will launch an Australian edition, and will be hiring a small local team. and Adam Alter: Drunk Tank Pink: The subconscious forces that shape how we think, feel and behaveMore

**Luke Horton** looks at how a 'perfect novel' published to general indifference in 1965 is now being hailed as a masterpiece by everyone from Bret Easton Ellis to Tom Hanks, to Ian McEwan., At Deakin Edge last night, Lionel Shriver talked about her latest novel, Big Brother, our culture's obsession with food and weight, her feelings about being interviewed, and the fact that literary fame has been 'nice' rather than exciting. , It's been the year of women on the Australian literary award scene, with the awarding of the first Stella Prize and the first ever all-women Miles Franklin shortlist. Paul Mitchell asks if it's time to turn our attention to men - not by creating an award for male writers, but one designed to attract male readers to literary fiction., George Monbiot writes on climate change, Australia's heatwave and Tony Abbott in the Guardian. The Hatchet Job of the Year will be awarded again in 2013. David Sedaris reads 50 Shades of Grey. An investigative journalist confronts his former tormentor - Scientology spymaster Mark Rathbun. And Vulture interviews Hollywood insiders about why romantic comedies are in free fall at the box office., Following Christopher Bantick's article arguing that Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera is inappropriate for 'kids' due to an incident of sex with a minor, the VCE board is reviewing whether it should remain on the Year 12 English syllabus. Year 11 student Billie Tumarkin argues in defence of the book. 'The ideas that have led to this show a deep misunderstanding not only of teenagers, but of literature,' she says., In the wake of the book-reviewers-for-hire furore, Stephanie Honor Convery examines the scandal's context: a world of 'consumer review spaces' and a shift from the fading institutional foundations of literary criticism., Is Australia's literary culture too nice? Too clubbish? Is our critical culture based too much on who you know, and not enough on what you know? Writer and lecturer Emmett Stinson argues that it is – and calls for more 'partisans, contrarians and heretics'., Emerging Writers' Festival Launch: Fact vs Fiction, CANCELLED: Peter Temple at Clunes Booktown Festival, Xiaolu Guo and Anne Frank, from Diary to Book More

We chat with feminist writer Andie Fox about connecting with readers through your writing, why memoir-style writing is difficult to write well and safely, and why it's good to pursue writing as a second career - and not just for the obvious monetary reasons., Doris Lessing, Nobel Prize winner and reluctant feminist icon, has died, aged 94. Best known for the controversial bestseller The Golden Notebook, she was the author of over 50 books of fiction, poetry and non-fiction in her lifetime. We look back at her long career and unconventional life., What happens when we outsource our personal lives to paid workers? Can money buy love? And where do we draw the line between what we pay for, and what is too intimate to ask others to do? Arlie Hochschild has made these questions her life's work., In her controversial bestseller The End of Men, Hanna Rosin looks at the rise of women in education, work, and as household breadwinners - and asks whether our world now puts men at a disadvantage. But is the rise of the 'double shift' - women who are both breadwinners and household managers - progress? Is it equality? , Why did Julia Gillard and Anne Summers pack out the Melbourne Town Hall last night? What did audience members think of the event - and Gillard as prime minister? We were in the Town Hall lobby after the event, finding out the answers., Throughout history many – if not most – cultures have perpetuated the myth of the evil woman. In a recent Lunchbox/Soapbox address, Tara Moss discussed evil women, female criminals and the demonisation of the female gender: from Eve and Pandora to Elizabeth Bathory and Paula Broadwell., Anna Goldsworthy was at the Wheeler Centre last Friday, talking about her very timely Quarterly Essay on feminism. She talked to Sophie Black about Julia Gillard, what the internet means for women, and why the pressure on public women to speak for us all, instead of for themselves, is dangerous. and Laura BatesMore

In this week's Friday High Five, we delve into arguments against beautiful web journalism, check out the new Porn Studies academic journal, meet animals in military service, look at club culture's queer roots and find out what women want – on the dancefloor., **Paul Mitchell** wonders why we habitually ignore the second verse of our national anthem ... the one that promises to share our boundless plains with those who come across the seas. Maybe it's because we don't want to share these days? He calls for those of us who don't paint our faces with the Southern Cross to sing the whole song ... or refuse to sing it at all., Norwegian brothers Bard and Vegard Ylisaker - comedy duo Ylvis - have become international superstars thanks to their viral YouTube hit, What Does the Fox Say?. Now, they're children's book authors, as the song becomes a book in time for Christmas., Music criticism has changed hugely in the past decade: the demise of specialist music publications (and their professional rates for writers). The decline of the 'long-form takedown', in favour of positive press. The growing influence of public relations in a cash-strapped media landscape. At the Melbourne Writers Festival last month, three music critics talked about the changes they’ve seen and experienced during their working lives., When music fan, part-time writer and Brooklyn barista Chris Ruen got to know some of his indie rock star customers (from bands like Vampire Weekend and TV on the Radio), he was shocked to realise how hard they were working, and for how little money. Suddenly, he became uneasy about the orgy of free downloading that had become the norm for his generation - and began to question how music piracy has evolved, how it's affecting the music business, and what can be done about it., Anthony Carew takes us on a journey through pop cultural nostalgia, looking at our fetishisation of faded formats (vinyl, cassettes, CDs - even VHS) and asking what we might possibly get nostalgic about in 20 years' time. iPods? Kindles? MP3 files? Just maybe, he suggests, we might return to being nostalgic about the art itself, rather than the format it's presented in., Acclaimed violinist Jon Rose looks at the decline of live music in Australia and asks: how do you maintain live music in a culture that doesn't value it? He lists his top six gripes, including the internet (of course), the takeover of the inner-city by families seeking quiet, the plague of public liability insurance and more., Katie Noonan and Michael Leunig, 'One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star' - Friedrich Nietzsche and Cultural Solutions More

On the eve of the Oscars and in the aftermath of the Golden Globes, we bring you five films to watch for in 2014, all of them based on books., In this week's Working with Words, screenwriter Kris Mrksa talks to us about conservatism in Australian TV, the media's preoccupation with directors and the 'wonderful circuit breaker' (see also: 'pain in the arse') of collaboration., Rochelle Siemienowicz has been working in the Australian film and television industry for decades. At first glance, mass-downloading seems like a distant threat to the local industry (where the challenge is to attract audiences in the first place) - but a deeper look reveals that all those Game of Thrones downloads are having an insidious psychological effect that erodes the idea of paying for entertainment at all., What do you get when you combine famous gloom merchants Morrissey and Charlie Brown? This Charming Charlie. Meet sword-maker to the stars Tony Swatton, the man behind many of the weapons we see on screen. Photographer Carl Warner makes landscapes out of food - and now, human bodies. Revisit the top ten fictional newsrooms, from Anchorman to Press Gang. And find out what famous writers like Carl Hiassen and Lydia Davis would write under their fantasy pen names., New research proves that psychopaths can be trained to feel empathy. Germany's power plants have been photographed in intimate detail, before they all close in 2022. Natalie Portman will make her directing debut with Amos Oz's memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness. A series of new photo-essays document American life in the 70s, by region. And Neil Gaiman has designed his first video game, Wayward Manor. , Every once in a while, we like to bring you an update on much-loved books that are wending their way to our screens. Today, we look at five bookish film projects in various stages of production, from last year's water-cooler book Gone Girl to the sci-fi classic Enders Game. and Karen Andrews recalls the thrill of discovering old movies on her neighbour's VHS cassette tapes in the 1980s. She relishes the comfort of reliving them - scene by scene, song by song, moment by treasured moment – using an altogether newer technology (YouTube) now.More

We chat with feminist writer Andie Fox about connecting with readers through your writing, why memoir-style writing is difficult to write well and safely, and why it's good to pursue writing as a second career - and not just for the obvious monetary reasons., We speak to the ABC's South-East Asia correspondent Zoe Daniels about her career in journalism, writing for the pony club newsletter as a kid, and why empathy is a strength for a journalist, not a weakness. , Oral historian **Siobhán McHugh** talks us through the primal and intimate nature of soundscapes, sharing her favourite ‘driveway moments’ and showcasing the power of audio storytelling. With carefully curated links to some of the most powerful and affecting moments she's experienced in the medium, this piece just might convert you to the spoken (but unseen) word - if you're not hooked on it already., Tim Dunlop, author of The New Front Page: New Media and the Rise of the Audience, argues we need to stop talking about new media versus old media and instead look at ways for them to work together in service of the citizens they purport to serve., We speak to former journalist Rachel Buchanan, author of Stop Press, about the benefits of a tough edit, sharing a meal (and getting feedback on her first book) with the Samoan head of state, and why she has thought of retraining as a paramedic or palliative care nurse., Music criticism has changed hugely in the past decade: the demise of specialist music publications (and their professional rates for writers). The decline of the 'long-form takedown', in favour of positive press. The growing influence of public relations in a cash-strapped media landscape. At the Melbourne Writers Festival last month, three music critics talked about the changes they’ve seen and experienced during their working lives., Elmo Keep delivers a blistering five-point argument in defence of copyright - and against those who are devaluing quality content by declaring it should be free. and Emerging Writers' Festival Launch: Fact vs FictionMore

art

Today, we're pleased to give you Children's Book Festival 2014 artist in residence Nicki Greenberg's sketches from the festival this past Sunday., On Sunday, 15,000 kids (and their adults) packed the lawns of the State Library for our annual Children's Book Festival. Observing them was the Festival's artist in residence, Oslo Davis. Today, he shares his illustrations., Middle age can make you a more savvy audience for art … but also a lazier one, as it must be squeezed into an ever-more time-poor life. Andie Fox realises that she’s become so risk averse when it comes to books and films that she’s missing out on the unexpected pleasures and new ideas art can offer., Hurricane Sandy has made 'climate change' less of a dirty phrase in US politics, as the consequences of a warming planet become all too palpable. We take a sneak peek at 'Hitchcock: The Movie', starring Anthony Hopkins as the legendary director. David Simon shares his thoughts on what Obama's win and his disparate supporter base mean for a changing America - including the end of the white man as the definition of 'normal'. And we look at wearable literary fashion and photography based on cereal sculptures., In this week's Friday High Five, we look at an eye-catching example of Olympic art, find out why Japan is the polar opposite of the US on guns, learn Colson Whitehead's rules for writing, go inside the mind of a drone pilot and ponder the tangled issue of race and casting, through some extras casting notices found for the HBO series Girls., This week's Friday High Five is a visual spectacular, as we bring you five fabulous sculptures, all made out of books. From a cake on a plate that looks good enough to eat, to a lamp that pops out of a coffee table book, to Albert Einstein's head carved out of a phone book, these clever, quirky images will make your Friday., Happy Monday to you! Today, we kick off the week with some bookish art, for lovers of the printed page ... and good-looking things in general. The Lincoln Book Tower, built at the site of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, represents the roughly 15,000 books written about him., Katie Noonan and Michael Leunig, Rebellion and Tomorrow, Adam Alter: Drunk Tank Pink: The subconscious forces that shape how we think, feel and behave, Laura Bates, 'One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star' - Friedrich Nietzsche, Sleepwalking through fire: cold facts, hot futures and How do we listen when we can’t hear? More

We chat with feminist writer Andie Fox about connecting with readers through your writing, why memoir-style writing is difficult to write well and safely, and why it's good to pursue writing as a second career - and not just for the obvious monetary reasons., We talk to writer, editor, artist Holly Childs (author of the novella *No Limit*) about writing poems about dishwashers, being sponsored as a writer by a Paris fashion label, working all the time but rarely getting paid, and creative feedback loops., We speak to columnist, satirist, comedian (and more) Fiona Scott Norman about prioritising variety and freedom over being deskbound, the delight of taking silly things seriously, and having Tim Winton as a creative writing teacher., We spoke to Wendy about working in her pyjamas, writing to discover the new, and why she wouldn't mind a date with the protagonist of her work-in-progress., We speak to the ABC's South-East Asia correspondent Zoe Daniels about her career in journalism, writing for the pony club newsletter as a kid, and why empathy is a strength for a journalist, not a weakness. , In this week's Working with Words, award-winning novelist, short story writer and writing mentor Amra Pajalic talks about drawing influence from *Looking for Alibrandi*, why perseverance is central to writing, and how heartfelt, honest stories can 'provide a shining light' to young people grappling with their cultural identities. and We speak to journalist turned ghostwriter turned crime novelist Michael Robotham about his first newspaper story, aged 17, the recurring fear of being exposed as someone who 'got lucky with a few books', and why workshops and writing schools are unlikely to make someone a great writer.More

In the lead-up to next Tuesday’s announcement of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry, we share our reviewers' responses to the shortlisted titles. Read reviews by Penni Russon, Luke Beesley and Jacinta Le Plastrier., We speak to poet and Hot Desk Fellow Luke Beesley about the 'hysterical popularity' of poetry, loving his publisher, and learning how to live off very little money., Poet and creative writing teacher Kevin Brophy has had 13 books published. He spoke to us about why the worst part of writing is writing, starting up the literary journal Going Down Swinging, and why his favourite characters are best left in their fictional worlds., Poet Jacinta Le Plastrier is also publisher at John Leonard Press - and was recently a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow. We speak to her about dealing with writerly doubt, remaining open to helpful advice about your writing (and immune to praise or criticism), and why writers are like athletes., Mark Tredinnick is a poet, prose writer and creative writing teacher. His latest book is Australian Love Poems 2013, which he has edited. He is also the author of much-used writing bibles The Little Red Writing Book and The Little Green Grammar Book. He shares his wealth of writing advice (and reflections on his writing life) with us., We spoke to Joel about the tyranny of the blank screen or page, why writing - at its best - is like a drug, and why you should be harder on your work than anyone else., Auslan poet Walter Kadiki shares two previously unpublished poems about the alienation of Deaf people in hearing culture., Emerging Writers' Festival Launch: Fact vs Fiction, Power Slam and Mirko BonneMore

The Wheeler Centre’s Jo Case recently attended an event at the NYC Teen Authors Festival in New York, which looked at the blurry line between writing for teens and adults – chaired by publisher and author David Levithan. On the panel were Rainbow Rowell, Jennifer E. Smith, Patrick Flannery and Eliot Schrefer. Here are some highlights., **Emily Laidlaw** goes behind the scenes to find out what it’s like to be a book publicist: parties, press releases and looking after authors ‘without being a fussing pain in the arse’. She picks the brains of Black Inc.’s Imogen Kandel and Bloomsbury Australia’s Brendan Fredericks., James Tierney responds to Robyn Annear's Monthly review of ten Australian literary magazines, weighing the evidence she gathers to support her view that these 'oddball miscellanies' mainly exist to grant publication to emerging writers - and opening out into a wider conversation about what a good review (with well-supported arguments) can do., When teenage internet sensation Tavi Gevinson hit Melbourne recently, many book lovers older than their twenties were somewhat bemused by the breathless excitement that greeted her visit. We sent 16-year-old writer Billie Tumarkin along to Tavi's MWF events to report back on her appeal - and explain why Rookie Mag 'stands at the front of an online revolution about how the media talks to, or rather with, teens'. , Guardian Australia is now a going concern - we look at David Marr's first piece and Elmo Keep's argument against its aggregation model. We look at the best one-star Amazon reviews of classic novels - and their, erm, original takes on past masters. Writer Jessica Francis Kane remembers her past as a publicist in New York, as a book-loving English graduate. A photography exhibition in New York is raising eyebrows - and questions about privacy. And Prozac, 25 years on ... does it help or hinder creative work? , Monday mornings can be tough. If you're suffering Mondayitis and could use a little pick-me-up, take time out to browse these particularly good-looking book covers we've sourced from around the internet. Some are bizarre, some are clever, and some are just plain gorgeous. Enjoy!, We've been talking to tech-savvy writers and publishers this week, finding out how they navigate the brave new world of promoting books online. Today, we share some dos and don'ts for writers, from Benjamin Law, Text Publishing, Paddy O'Reilly, Hardie Grant Books and others. How do you use social media well? How do you avoid turning people off? And should you build an author website? (The answer: yes.) and The Stella PrizeMore

Why did Julia Gillard and Anne Summers pack out the Melbourne Town Hall last night? What did audience members think of the event - and Gillard as prime minister? We were in the Town Hall lobby after the event, finding out the answers., Julia Gillard has broken her silence on her loss of leadership and Labor's future in an essay in Saturday's Guardian. She argues that Labor needs to reclaim its purpose, and calls for the party to stand firm on carbon pricing, defend the legacy of her government's achievements, and to reclaim its purpose - and bring policy debate into the public arena., As the federal election looms on Saturday, we thought it was a good time to look back on our political events earlier in the year, for reflections on the state of our politics. In our Australian Democracy in 2013 event, event, James Button was one of several prominent Australians who spoke about the challenges and opportunities of democracy right now. , Margo Kingston is the editor and co-publisher of No Fibs, a citizen journalism website. She is a former press gallery journalist and Fairfax political reporter, and has published two books on Australian politics. She tells us how covering Pauline Hanson's 1998 election campaign transformed her view of journalism, how she overcame her phobia about the 'I' word, and advises against going into journalism., Andrew Wilkins frequently travels to PNG for business, and produces an annual business and investment guide to the country. We asked for his insight into why PNG – a developing country – might have signed up to Kevin Rudd's outsourcing of asylum seekers. He says that for PNG PM Peter O'Neill, the agreement may be 'a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to lift its country out of extreme poverty'., Ben Eltham is national affairs correspondent of New Matilda. We spoke to him about running out of ways to write about asylum seeker policy, why political journalists love Game of Thrones, the Rudd/Gillard saga, and why what really counts is writing, not publishing., Anna Goldsworthy was at the Wheeler Centre last Friday, talking about her very timely Quarterly Essay on feminism. She talked to Sophie Black about Julia Gillard, what the internet means for women, and why the pressure on public women to speak for us all, instead of for themselves, is dangerous., Mark Isaacs: Nauru: an insider's account of Australia's offshore detention policy, Malcolm Fraser, How do we listen when we can’t hear? , Drifting Right, Malcolm Fraser and The Freedom Fighter: Tim WilsonMore

Mass extinctions have decimated our planet on a regular basis throughout its history. The worst known mass extinction, nicknamed The Great Dying, involved climate change similar to the one our planet is undergoing right now. Annalee Newitz takes us through the signs that we're undergoing a new mass extinction - and tells why we shouldn't just give up, but should shift gears into survival mode., One of the world’s fastest-growing social movements is calling for citizens and institutions to sell out of fossil fuels – but it’s not just a matter of morality. Hard-headed analysts say there’s a growing risk of a collapse in the value of fossil fuel investments. Taken together, these warnings present a new way to understand our climate crisis. Michael Green takes us inside the movement - starting in the offices of Goldman Sachs, listening to US climate activist Bill McKibben., Michael Green shares why he loves re-reading Breakfast at Tiffany's in Carlton, every autumn ... and why it surprises him every time. Quoting Norman Mailer, he says it is 'so extraordinary a work that it incites not writerly envy but pride'., Michael Green lifts the lid on the Victorian government's 'good news' approach to climate change. 'Gradual changes in temperature potentially enable industries to transition and develop,' says the new Climate Adaptation Plan. But studies show that climate change comes in abrupt steps, not a gradual shift. And that spells disaster ... which you'll know if you look for the fine print in the appendix to the plan., Spraying sulphur compounds into the upper atmosphere to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the planet? Transforming the chemistry of the world’s oceans so they soak up more carbon? These ideas sound like science fiction, but technologies to ‘geoengineer’ the planet are being developed right here and right now. Clive Hamilton argues that the potential risks of this meddling are enormous., How do we plan for a Melbourne that seems likely to be four degrees warmer by 2080? Unfortunately, Victoria - along with Brisbane and New South Wales - has weakened controls on planning for climate change, even in the face of recent fires and floods. 'If we don't prepare well, people will die,' writes Michael Green in this sobering report. 'At the moment, we are not planning well.', There's a new contender for the worst celebrity profile ever - and it has a defender in a former FHM editor who knows what it's like to have to find endless new words for 'breasts'. Jerry Seinfeld perfects the art of comedy. Alec Baldwin interviews Lena Dunham. We look at the Lance Armstrong scandal, Oprah and the boundaries of non-fiction. And even two degrees of global warming is more than we can afford., Sleepwalking through fire: cold facts, hot futures, Power Slam, The Current Climate, Xiaolu Guo and Mirko BonneMore

Melbourne bookseller Readings has just announced two new annual book awards, worth $4000 each. The aim? To give more attention and support to new and emerging Australian writers. Introducing the Readings New Australian Writing Prize and the Readings Children's Book Prize., Joan Collins announced the winner of the annual Bad Sex in Fiction Prize in London today, presenting the award to American-based Manil Suri for his third novel, The City of Devi., We congratulate the winners of the Prime Minister's Literary Awards: Michelle de Kretser, George Megalogenis, John Kinsella, Bruce Pascoe and Libby Gleeson., This week, Amy Espeseth was longlisted for the prestigious Warwick Prize for Writing (UK) for her debut novel, Sufficient Grace. We spoke to her about writing to make sense of her world, why writing always seems impossible, and what she learned from John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath., MIchelle de Kretser has won this year's Miles Franklin Literary Award for her fourth novel, Questions of Travel (Allen & Unwin). We look at the judges' verdict and some of the reviews., The Women's Prize for Fiction has found a new sponsor - it no longer needs the Prince-like moniker of 'the prize formerly known as the Orange'. After more than 20 sponsors competed to take up the mantle, the board chose Baileys, who signed up for an initial three years., It's been the year of women on the Australian literary award scene, with the awarding of the first Stella Prize and the first ever all-women Miles Franklin shortlist. Paul Mitchell asks if it's time to turn our attention to men - not by creating an award for male writers, but one designed to attract male readers to literary fiction. and The Stella PrizeMore

Is water a human right? A fashion accessory? A taste sensation? And is bottled water a potential force for good, in the form of ethical bottled water companies that transfer first world spending habits to projects that supply drinking water to the developing world? Or is bottled water an environmental menace, no matter how you look at it? We look at the topic from all kinds of angles., Is our obsession with food culture out of control - or are we simply learning about the pleasures of good food? Is the time devoted to carefully weighing our eating decisions in terms of ethics and impact well spent? And is food the new 'universal language', as Blur bassist turned food writer Alex James says? We look at the arguments for and against our culture's obsession with food., Susan Neiman is an optimist; and a progressive. Hope is at the core of her quest to take back words like ‘moral clarity’ and ‘moral values’ from conservatives. She also believes that it's important not to demonise religion; that reverence (along with happiness, reason and hope) are crucial Enlightment values that are valuable for building a shared moral framework., If you missed our recent debate, Animals Should Be Off the Menu, you can get a taste of it with this report on some of the night's highlights. And if you were there, feel free to chime in with your comments on your thoughts and experiences., Lisa Dempster tried veganism five years ago as a 30-day trial – and hasn't looked back (or craved animal products) since. She talks to us about how Peter Singer sent her into a tailspin, why she's a vegan ('it’s hard to be a meat-eating environmentalist'), and how changing her diet wasn't as hard as she'd expected., Novelist Charlotte Wood is a passionate food-lover (and meat-lover), with her own food blog and a forthcoming non-fiction book on food. We spoke to her about food and ethics – and her recent experiments in cooking and eating offal, and going vegetarian for a month (her own version of FebFast). and For Cristy Clark, her journey from vegetarian, to vegan, to ecotarian began with a chicken – and ended with an egg. She shares her journey through ethical eating and the many minefields she navigated along the way.More

Sally Rippin's series for primary school age children, *Billie B. Brown* and *Hey Jack!*, are bestsellers with young readers of all reading levels. So she's well equipped to give advice on helping instil a love of reading in reluctant readers. Here are some of her tips - and her story on the genesis of Billie and Jack., Today, we're pleased to give you Children's Book Festival 2014 artist in residence Nicki Greenberg's sketches from the festival this past Sunday., For Emily Gale, the author of several pre-school books and the YA novel *Girl Aloud*, a love of books for young readers runs deep: she's also worked as an editor and bookseller of children's books. She tells us why public appearances are deceiving, how Jaclyn Moriarty's *Feeling Sorry for Celia* changed her perspective on writing for teenagers, and why writers should 'just get on with it'., Children's book expert **Judith Ridge** reflects on the characters who nurtured her childhood love of reading - and passionately argues that we need to recognise, reward and nurture great children's writing, as separate from great writing for young adults., Norwegian brothers Bard and Vegard Ylisaker - comedy duo Ylvis - have become international superstars thanks to their viral YouTube hit, What Does the Fox Say?. Now, they're children's book authors, as the song becomes a book in time for Christmas., It's never too early to introduce your child to Kafka ... seriously! Matthue Roth has adapted three Kafka stories, paired with gorgeously creepy illustrations, in a book that kids will enjoy as much as their parents. And we introduce you to some of the best (tongue-in-cheek) board books that introduce toddlers to Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick and more., A 12-foot statue of Colin Firth as Mr Darcy is touring UK lakes. See ten brilliant cycling infrastructures from around the world. Why are poor Haitians wearing obnoxious American t-shirts? See the best of a New York Public Library Exhibition celebrating children's classic literature. And preview the best in books for the second half of 2013. and Oisin McGannMore

In Jeff Sparrow's new book, Money Shot, he explores the relationship between porn and censorship, and what it reveals about our social values. Along the way, he journeys from the censor's office in Canberra to a porn cinema in Melbourne, interviews opinion-makers like Clive Hamilton and Melinda Tankard Reist, and visits gatherings as diverse as Sexpo and Planetshakers, the religious meet that attracts 'hip, young' Christians to 'make noise for Jesus' in the 'praise pit'. In this edited extract, Jeff takes us into the praise pit., Stanley Hauerwas, America's leading theologian, is highly critical of his country's relationship with faith and Christianity; from George W. Bush's holy war to the 'vague god' worshipped by so many., In western Europe, 'multiculturalism' and 'religion' have become dirty words. But many cities are expected to have a near 50% population of immigrant (mostly Muslim) citizens within a few decades. Tariq Modood tells why both multiculturalism and an acceptance of diverse religions (and thus their communities) are essential for the future of western Europe., Asma Barlas is a Muslim passionately critical of interpretations of the Qur'an that discriminate against women, but a devout believer in the text itself. She says the Qur'an contains a message of sexual equality that is being ignored by those who wilfully misinterpret it., Susan Neiman is an optimist; and a progressive. Hope is at the core of her quest to take back words like ‘moral clarity’ and ‘moral values’ from conservatives. She also believes that it's important not to demonise religion; that reverence (along with happiness, reason and hope) are crucial Enlightment values that are valuable for building a shared moral framework., Jeanette Winterson concluded our Ten series with an electrifying talk that covered memoir (she prefers the term 'cover version'), identity, the consolations of literature, and being the hero of your own life. and Father Bob to bow out in February.More

Human sexual behaviour is constantly changing, evolving alongside broader social and cultural changes. These days, both men and women have more sexual partners over a lifetime than they did in the past. Researcher **Dyani Lewis** weighs the pros and cons of 21st-century promiscuity, and looks at why awareness of STIs has fallen so out of step with sexual mores and habits., At Deakin Edge last night, Lionel Shriver talked about her latest novel, Big Brother, our culture's obsession with food and weight, her feelings about being interviewed, and the fact that literary fame has been 'nice' rather than exciting. , Anna Spargo-Ryan asks whether awareness days designed to help mental health sufferers might have the potential to do the opposite, speaking from the point of view of someone with a long-term mental illness, who suffers from anxiety and depression. She explains why opening conversations you're not prepared, or equipped, to continue (for longer than a day) is something we should all think carefully about., Get Well Soon!: My (Un)brilliant Career as a Nurse is Kristy Chambers' first book – and it's just right for readers with a taste for black humour (and a strong stomach). In this frank and often funny memoir, she tells why nursing is not a career for the faint at heart ... though possibly perfect for budding writers looking for material. Her stories range from the sadness of watching patients you've bonded with die, to the kind of strange-but-true medical details you shouldn't read over lunch, and a series of hilarious and often touching encounters with her patients., Low-income kids feel the brunt of the US's mental illness epidemic., Anti-assisted dying campaigners condemn Pratchett doco, Emma Forrest on time out of mind and Lynne Segal: The Pleasures (and Perils) of AgeingMore

A neighbourhood bag lady in Chicago is revealed as a world-famous street photographer. Australia becomes the third country to get Nielsen TV Twitter Ratings. A call for books and video games to be more closely linked … and for Bret Easton Ellis to write a video game. The Big Issue fiction edition is open for entries. And AIDS is an issue in America's deep south., The waste of overconsumption becomes beautiful under a photographer's eye. An article on hipsters actually worth reading (because it pokes fun at the whole thing). Meg Wolitzer shares her cultural influences. A Belgian teacher uses *Game of Thrones* spoilers as punishment. And Geoff Dyer writes about his stroke in LRB., In this week's Friday High Five, we delve into arguments against beautiful web journalism, check out the new Porn Studies academic journal, meet animals in military service, look at club culture's queer roots and find out what women want – on the dancefloor., In this week's Friday High Five, Joshua Rothman asks - should literary criticism be an art or a science? Plus we look at the demographics of MOOCs, the eternal life of honey, anonymous social networking and updates to the science of everything., Dogs' brains turn out to process voice and emotion much like humans' do. Why movies for (and about) old people are all the rage. Interning continues to rise - and even has its own hip magazine. John Green talks making things. And why Dead Poets' Society is the symbol of everything wrong with the humanities., Playing basketball for Gaddafi (and being caught up in the revolution). Strong winds have paused the effects of global warming. A plan to turn abandoned Metro stations in Paris into pools and nightclubs. The Lean In photo gallery doesn't feature women laughing with salad. And the technology of Her's future, in our present. and Meet the top ten worst couples in literature, from Heathcliff and Cathy to Romeo and Juliet. What's happened to traditional book publishing in the internet age? Armistead Maupin on his final Tales of the City novel. Two Neil Gaiman novels to hit the small screen. And the death of the comma looms ... or does it?More

Throughout history many – if not most – cultures have perpetuated the myth of the evil woman. In a recent Lunchbox/Soapbox address, Tara Moss discussed evil women, female criminals and the demonisation of the female gender: from Eve and Pandora to Elizabeth Bathory and Paula Broadwell., The Women's Prize for Fiction has found a new sponsor - it no longer needs the Prince-like moniker of 'the prize formerly known as the Orange'. After more than 20 sponsors competed to take up the mantle, the board chose Baileys, who signed up for an initial three years., Shauna Bostock-Smith reflects on her family's past, and the way personal stories are shaped and interpreted - and the importance of acknowledging both the bad and the good in Aboriginal history. She asks: How can ancestral knowledge empower us in the present? And what are dangers do victimhood pose to collective Aboriginal self-esteem?, The first ever Stella Prize for a work by an Australian woman writer was awarded last night, to Carrie Tiffany for her novel Mateship with Birds. We report on her generous and surprising give-away of some of the prize money, Helen Garner's smash-hit speech, and Tiffany's reaction to winning - and words on why we need the Stella Prize., When Yvonne Ward began researching Queen Victoria's Letters, she found that key aspects of her life were deemed unsuitable for public consumption: her experience of motherhood, her struggle to combine the roles of ruler and wife, and her intimate friendships with other royal European women. In this edited version of her Lunchbox/Soapbox address last week, she unveils the details of her globetrotting historical detective work, as she filled in the gaps for herself., There’s an uproar on the internet right now about the recent makeover of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, featuring a glamorous woman applying make-up in a compact mirror. Why are 'women's' novels marketed using make-up, flowers and pastel colours? Does it insult our intelligence, or is it simply clever marketing?, Clementine Ford asks why men like Alan Jones think women are ‘destroying the joint’, exposes how Hollywood contributes to assumptions that the default gender is male, and presents some damning statistics to prove that we’re not, in fact, all equal now. and The Stella PrizeMore

In this week's Friday High Five, Joshua Rothman asks - should literary criticism be an art or a science? Plus we look at the demographics of MOOCs, the eternal life of honey, anonymous social networking and updates to the science of everything., Kerryn Goldsworthy, freelance reviewer and current Pascall Critic of the Year, shares her opinion on the ingredients of a good review, the tell-tale components of a bad review, and the various groups a reviewer has a responsibility to when assessing a book, from the reader to 'the people who are paying you'., James Tierney responds to Robyn Annear's Monthly review of ten Australian literary magazines, weighing the evidence she gathers to support her view that these 'oddball miscellanies' mainly exist to grant publication to emerging writers - and opening out into a wider conversation about what a good review (with well-supported arguments) can do., Music criticism has changed hugely in the past decade: the demise of specialist music publications (and their professional rates for writers). The decline of the 'long-form takedown', in favour of positive press. The growing influence of public relations in a cash-strapped media landscape. At the Melbourne Writers Festival last month, three music critics talked about the changes they’ve seen and experienced during their working lives., Musician, radio producer and sometime critic Jon Tjhia examined the current state of music criticism - drawing on his own experience and interviews with industry insiders - for The Lifted Brow's music issue. In this excerpt, he talks to musicians and critics about what it's like to be reviewed - and to review - on the Australian music scene., The US government has been revealed as having worked with the big tech companies to spy on the public - tracking emails, photographs, video and other digital communication. Miranda July has launched a project where you can sign up to snoop on other people's emails. Clive James tells why the US literary scene is too nice - while in the UK, savaging books is a 'recognized blood sport'. Flavour Palace is serving up lime and cheese milkshakes, canned soup and an irreverent attitude towards food and eating. And we share some Anne of Green Gables love. and Steven Soderbergh's address at the 56th San Francisco International Film Festival delivers a rare (and scathing) behind-the-scenes look at the movie business. The Millions argues that traditional book reviews are irrelevant in the internet age. Sonya Hartnett's Of a Boy inspires a New Zealand film. Six novelists talk to Andrew O'Hagan about artistic influences off the page - from video games to opera. And the New Yorker on the DSM and the creation of disease. More

We speak to Anna Goldsworthy about the craft of writing memoir – including how she crafted herself as a character, how she decided on a structure for her books, her approach to self-revelation (and revealing the lives of others) and writing about motherhood., Karen Andrews recalls the thrill of discovering old movies on her neighbour's VHS cassette tapes in the 1980s. She relishes the comfort of reliving them - scene by scene, song by song, moment by treasured moment – using an altogether newer technology (YouTube) now., Kristina Olsson's family memoir Boy, Lost seeks to explain a tragic loss at the heart of her family, with great empathy, insight and intelligence. She places her story in the context of Australia's history of stolen children. We interviewed Kristina about the detective work of piecing together the story, re-imagining her mother, and why this book was the hardest thing she's ever written., We’ve recently welcomed our second round of Hot Desk Fellowships, supported by the Readings Foundation, to the Wheeler Centre. Please meet our current Hot Desk residents: Peter Bakowski, Tom Trumble, Adrian Murphy, Ronnie Scott, Melinda Harvey and our Melbourne PEN fellow, Matt Hetherington., Get Well Soon!: My (Un)brilliant Career as a Nurse is Kristy Chambers' first book – and it's just right for readers with a taste for black humour (and a strong stomach). In this frank and often funny memoir, she tells why nursing is not a career for the faint at heart ... though possibly perfect for budding writers looking for material. Her stories range from the sadness of watching patients you've bonded with die, to the kind of strange-but-true medical details you shouldn't read over lunch, and a series of hilarious and often touching encounters with her patients., Gideon Haigh tells it like it really is, from falling in love with your subject to the long, hard (yet fascinating) slog of actually writing a book. He talks about the reality of shutting yourself away in a room of your own, the need to finance the book with other work (even with the benefit of a big advance), and the creeping fear involved in publishing a book in a market that seems to be dwindling as you write., The Wheeler Centre's Jo Case reviews Joshua Cody's brilliant memoir of cancer, sex, mortality, art and New York. She calls it a virtuoso performance by the young composer; a brilliant meditation on the position of illness (and art) within a life and on the way we craft our own stories., Jennifer Saunders, Malcolm Fraser and Anne Frank, from Diary to Book More

Elmo Keep delivers a blistering five-point argument in defence of copyright - and against those who are devaluing quality content by declaring it should be free., It seems increasingly likely that the government may have to intervene and write a code on internet piracy into copyright law, after talks to negotiate a voluntary agreement to tackle piracy have effectively fallen apart. But new research from Monash University suggests current laws don't work. What should we do, then?, The editor of DSM-4 has called childhood bipolar a false epidemic, and regrets his role in giving it credence. Experts in bipolar, and in mania in children, are divided. Meanwhile, more children are diagnosed - and prescribed serious medications - each week. What is the truth about childhood bipolar? And what are the dangers of wrong diagnosis? , We asked Year Eleven student Billie Tumarkin to explore what Anzac Day means to her generation. She dabbled in some amateur psychology with friends and reflected on Anzac Days past. What did she find? Mixed messages about the day’s meaning, history lessons that bored rather than enlightened (‘like chewy meat’) – and the idea that if we want young people to engage with the past, we need to bring it to life in more imaginative and resonant ways. ‘You have to give us more than poppies and cookies.’, John Martinkus has been a war reporter for a decade, covering East Timor, Iraq (where he was abducted, and released) and Afghanistan. He defends the continued celebration of Anzac Day not as a way of celebrating war itself, but of 'remembering and understanding the shared experience of what Australia’s service men and women are asked to endure for what is perceived as the public interest'., Is our obsession with food culture out of control - or are we simply learning about the pleasures of good food? Is the time devoted to carefully weighing our eating decisions in terms of ethics and impact well spent? And is food the new 'universal language', as Blur bassist turned food writer Alex James says? We look at the arguments for and against our culture's obsession with food. and Reverend George Exoo has helped over 102 people to die. He’s the euthanasia activist people are referred to when the mainstream organisations won’t take their cases – many of his clients were not terminally ill, but were instead depressed or suffering from psychosomatic diseases. Jon Ronson profiled him for the Guardian, made a documentary film about him, and includes his story in his new book, 'Lost at Sea'.More

Is water a human right? A fashion accessory? A taste sensation? And is bottled water a potential force for good, in the form of ethical bottled water companies that transfer first world spending habits to projects that supply drinking water to the developing world? Or is bottled water an environmental menace, no matter how you look at it? We look at the topic from all kinds of angles., Australia has always been a camping place, says Bill Garner. Our history of camping has its roots in necessity - but it's also a way of intimately connecting to place, and nurtures many of the values we hold dear, including egalitarianism and tolerance. Even our national song, Waltzing Matilda, is about a camper., One of the world’s fastest-growing social movements is calling for citizens and institutions to sell out of fossil fuels – but it’s not just a matter of morality. Hard-headed analysts say there’s a growing risk of a collapse in the value of fossil fuel investments. Taken together, these warnings present a new way to understand our climate crisis. Michael Green takes us inside the movement - starting in the offices of Goldman Sachs, listening to US climate activist Bill McKibben., We share some amazing (and innovative) eco-friendly buildings from around the world - from the world's first vertical forest in Italy to a stunning mountain hut that generates 90% of its own power in the Swiss Alps., Former advertising copywriter Greg Foyster tells how advertising promotes discontentment with what we have in order to sell us stuff we don’t need – and how the resulting waste is choking ecosystems and causing dangerous climate change., Michael Green lifts the lid on the Victorian government's 'good news' approach to climate change. 'Gradual changes in temperature potentially enable industries to transition and develop,' says the new Climate Adaptation Plan. But studies show that climate change comes in abrupt steps, not a gradual shift. And that spells disaster ... which you'll know if you look for the fine print in the appendix to the plan., Spraying sulphur compounds into the upper atmosphere to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the planet? Transforming the chemistry of the world’s oceans so they soak up more carbon? These ideas sound like science fiction, but technologies to ‘geoengineer’ the planet are being developed right here and right now. Clive Hamilton argues that the potential risks of this meddling are enormous., Sleepwalking through fire: cold facts, hot futures and The Current ClimateMore

Toni Jordan reflects on her own days of teenage unemployment, and on Nadia Wheatley's classic novel of workers rights and human relationships in 1930s and 1980s Sydney - during the Great Depression and the economic recession. As we live through precarious economic times again, it's especially timely., Fiona McFarlane is that rare thing: a writer whose advances enable her to write full-time. Penguin Australia has just published her first novel, *The Night Guest*, winning the rights after a 'strong auction'. Fiona has had her short stories published in The New Yorker, among other publications. She spoke to us about shifting gear from a career of short stories, the allure of tigers and her novel's exploration of ageing and reflection., Kristina Olsson's family memoir Boy, Lost seeks to explain a tragic loss at the heart of her family, with great empathy, insight and intelligence. She places her story in the context of Australia's history of stolen children. We interviewed Kristina about the detective work of piecing together the story, re-imagining her mother, and why this book was the hardest thing she's ever written., It's been quite a week for Australian literary award shortlists (and a pair of longlists). There's the Pacific section of the Commonwealth Book Prize, the Children's Book Council Awards, the New South Premier's Literary Awards and the Kibble and Dobbie Awards for women writers. We share them with you here - along with a reminder about the inaugural Stella Prize, with the winner announced next week., Madeleine St John was the first Australian woman shortlisted for the Booker Prize (in 1997, for The Essence of the Thing) - but remained little known on these shores until Text Publishing published her first novel, The Women in Black, in Australia for the first time after her death. Now, Helen Trinca, a senior writer for the *Australian*, has dug into the life and past of this enigmatic, posthumously celebrated writer, giving us an engrossing, sympathetic and impressively balanced account of an extraordinary life., Lily Brett's latest novel, Lola Bensky, draws on her time interviewing rock stars in London and New York when she was a 19-year-old music journalist. The Wheeler Centre spoke to her when she was in Melbourne last month – about her novel, celebrity journalism, growing up different, and the danger of deciding someone is not quite as human as you, based on their religion, skin colour or gender. and The Wheeler Centre’s Jo Case chats to novelist, food writer and anthologist Charlotte Wood about Australian writing and identity, and how national identity is reflected in our literature, in subtler and more meaningful ways than the clichés suggest.More

The Australian War Memorial was first advised internally to acknowledge the frontier wars way back in 1979. Our military historians accept that colonial conflict is part of our military history, but the Memorial still holds out. Why? **Michael Green** investigates., The Wheeler Centre's Lucy De Kretser was recently a participant in the inaugural First Nations Australian Writers Workshop in Queensland - established to foster a vibrant Aboriginal writing sector. She reports back on her highlights, from writers as diverse as Alexis Wright, Kim Scott, Anita Heiss and Sam Wagan Watson., Shauna Bostock-Smith reflects on her family's past, and the way personal stories are shaped and interpreted - and the importance of acknowledging both the bad and the good in Aboriginal history. She asks: How can ancestral knowledge empower us in the present? And what are dangers do victimhood pose to collective Aboriginal self-esteem?, Today is Indigenous Literacy Day – and time to announce the winner and shortlist for the biennal Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing. Congratulations to winner Anita Heiss, and to her two companions on the shortlist, Nicole Watson and Jeanine Leane., The literary world is in a furore following the axing of the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, during Campbell Newman's first week of office. Is this the first blow in a new cultural war? What does it mean for writers? And what about the new grassroots movement for an alternative prize, headed by authors Krissy Kneen and Matthew Condon? We look at what's going down in the Sunshine State., A new Paris exhibition remembers one of colonialism's worst practices., The story is the thing, according to the former PM. and How do we listen when we can’t hear? More

We interview one of the creators of *Australian Tumbleweeds*, an anonymous comedy blog run by a small team of writers who are passionate about televised comedy and brand themselves 'Australia's most opinionated blog about comedy'. We talked about the state of Australian comedy (and television writing), why being critical encourages good work, and the freedoms and responsibilities of anonymity., Norwegian brothers Bard and Vegard Ylisaker - comedy duo Ylvis - have become international superstars thanks to their viral YouTube hit, What Does the Fox Say?. Now, they're children's book authors, as the song becomes a book in time for Christmas., Jon Stewart is an internet hit in China - which seems to bode well for the future of satire. In a real-life Misery, Charlaine 'True Blood' Harris is receiving death threats from readers unhappy with the fate she's given her fictional heroine, Sookie Stackhouse. David Foster Wallace's This is Water is now a short film. The Guardian is unimpressed with the new New York Times Book Review editor. And we look at the wildly divergent reviews of Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby., Graeme Simsion made headlines when his romantic comedy with a difference, The Rosie Project, was sold into over 30 countries for over a milliion dollars after winning the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished manuscript - and being snatched up by Text Publishing. We spoke to Graeme about the book's journey to publication, the evolution of Don Tillman's voice, the laws of comedy (and screenwriting), and writing a character who seems to have Asperger's Syndrome., Comedian Lawrence Leung shares his dirty little writing secret – his habit of filing away life moments for use in his work, even while he's living them. This hilarious extract from The Emerging Writer is a fascinating peek-behind-the-pages at the process of alchemising life into comedy., ... but he may win Not the Booker., There's a bear in there, and a grumpy parent as well..., Jennifer Saunders and Lighthouse Literary Festival at Aireys Inlet: John ClarkeMore

Lisa Dempster, director of the Melbourne Writers Festival, responds to an attack on the economics and values of contemporary literary festivals. She argues that it is 'frankly, old fashioned' to suggest that festivals should only showcase 'high literary forms' and that mounting a festival is an expensive undertaking, with little room for profit., On Sunday, 15,000 kids (and their adults) packed the lawns of the State Library for our annual Children's Book Festival. Observing them was the Festival's artist in residence, Oslo Davis. Today, he shares his illustrations., Lisa Dempster is the new director of the Melbourne Writers Festival. She's currently in Bali, working on the Ubud Readers and Writers Festival, as part of an Asialink Residency. Find out what the residency entails and what it's like to work on an international writers festival in Bali., Lisa Dempster, outgoing director of the Emerging Writers Festival, has been appointed director of the Melbourne Writers Festival. We spoke to her this afternoon to congratulate her on the news, and to hear about her plans for the future., Continuing our recent focus on Melbourne's arts festivals, we interview Brett Sheehy, artistic director of the Melbourne International Arts Festival, finding out from the source what it’s like to put the programme together, what the highlights are – and what we can expect from literary highlights like a maverick interpretation of Virginia Woolf's Orlando and a dance performance inspired by The Slap., Stephanie Honor Convery is one of the Melbourne Writers Festival's official bloggers. In a special guest post for us in the lead-up to MWF 2012, she reflects on the relationship between readers and writers – and the way in which festivals create spaces for the two to meet., We interview Michelle Carey, artistic director of the Melbourne International Film Festival, finding out from the source what it's like to put the programme together, what the highlights are – and what we can expect from literary highlights like the film of Christos Tsiolkas's Dead Europe and the series of Illustrated Film Talks on Charles Dickens and Film., Emerging Writers' Festival Launch: Fact vs Fiction and CANCELLED: Peter Temple at Clunes Booktown FestivalMore

Melbourne bookseller Readings has just announced two new annual book awards, worth $4000 each. The aim? To give more attention and support to new and emerging Australian writers. Introducing the Readings New Australian Writing Prize and the Readings Children's Book Prize., Joan Collins announced the winner of the annual Bad Sex in Fiction Prize in London today, presenting the award to American-based Manil Suri for his third novel, The City of Devi., Eleanor Catton won the Man Booker Prize, becoming the youngest ever author to do so, with the longest book. Dinosaur erotica ... yep, it's a thing. Bret Easton Ellis attacks Alice Munro as 'overrated'. Look at the world's best Lego art. And American Christian schools ban gay teens., This week, Amy Espeseth was longlisted for the prestigious Warwick Prize for Writing (UK) for her debut novel, Sufficient Grace. We spoke to her about writing to make sense of her world, why writing always seems impossible, and what she learned from John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath., MIchelle de Kretser has won this year's Miles Franklin Literary Award for her fourth novel, Questions of Travel (Allen & Unwin). We look at the judges' verdict and some of the reviews., The Women's Prize for Fiction has found a new sponsor - it no longer needs the Prince-like moniker of 'the prize formerly known as the Orange'. After more than 20 sponsors competed to take up the mantle, the board chose Baileys, who signed up for an initial three years. and Acclaimed micro-fiction writer Lydia Davis won the Man Booker International Prize yesterday. Estelle Tang shares an in-depth appreciation of Davis's career-branching volume The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis. Read it and see what all the fuss is about.More

We interview one of the creators of *Australian Tumbleweeds*, an anonymous comedy blog run by a small team of writers who are passionate about televised comedy and brand themselves 'Australia's most opinionated blog about comedy'. We talked about the state of Australian comedy (and television writing), why being critical encourages good work, and the freedoms and responsibilities of anonymity., In perhaps our most anticipated event of 2013, Game of Thrones fans had the chance to meet creator George R.R. Martin and one of the actors who brought his fictional universe to life: Michelle Fairley (aka Catelyn Stark). We present the video of the event - and selected highlights from their talk., Anthony Morris explains why The Wire is the best television drama ever made - despite (or because of) breaking every convention about the crime genre and small-screen storytelling. There is no lead on The Wire: it's an ensemble show, and its central character is Baltimore itself; its central subject how the system is broken, across the police, the world of work, politics, schools and the media., In this week's Working with Words, screenwriter Kris Mrksa talks to us about conservatism in Australian TV, the media's preoccupation with directors and the 'wonderful circuit breaker' (see also: 'pain in the arse') of collaboration., Rochelle Siemienowicz has been working in the Australian film and television industry for decades. At first glance, mass-downloading seems like a distant threat to the local industry (where the challenge is to attract audiences in the first place) - but a deeper look reveals that all those Game of Thrones downloads are having an insidious psychological effect that erodes the idea of paying for entertainment at all., Actor Anna Gunn ponders what the hatred of her character Skyler White says about our society's feelings about strong, non-submissive, ill-treated women. A new indie video game lets you play at being a novelist. Water, as you've never seen it before. David Simon pays tribute to Elmore Leonard. And Adam Gopnik defends the teaching of literature in universities., Anthony Morris argues that an unlikely influence planted a vital seed for the golden age of television drama. A drama that was weird, violent, distinctively atmospheric and very much the work of one auteur-like creator; one with long-form narrative arcs and an overarching mystery. He looks back at David Lynch's Twin Peaks, and traces its lineage to the Sopranos, Mad Men and more., Jennifer Saunders, Lighthouse Literary Festival at Aireys Inlet: John Clarke and CANCELLED: Peter Temple at Clunes Booktown FestivalMore

We speak to Kirsten Alexander, editor of digital-only magazine Open Field, an Australian project that attracts contributors from around the world (who donate their services for free) and donates all the proceeds to charity organisation CARE Australia., It's always fun to see old classics imagined anew for the 21st-century reader. Two UK design prizes, both hosted by Penguin, have just announced their shortlists for new covers for Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep and Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows - and the results are well worth a browse., Chicago designer Jenny Volvoski has set herself a fascinating new project - she designs her own covers for the books she reads. They're documented on her blog, From Cover to Cover., Monday mornings can be tough. If you're suffering Mondayitis and could use a little pick-me-up, take time out to browse these particularly good-looking book covers we've sourced from around the internet. Some are bizarre, some are clever, and some are just plain gorgeous. Enjoy!, A new book from Phaidon gathers 500 of the best graphic designs created since mechanical reproduction began. The images span magazine covers, advertising logos and images, film graphics, book covers and more. Here are just a few of the eye-catching selections within., Looking for a literary rest-stop on today's tour of the internet? Sit back and have a browse at these weird and wonderful libraries from around the world, from the Michaelangelo-designed Laurentian Library, to a home bathroom library, to Diane Keaton's personal reading room. and Pixar story artist Josh Cooley has created a series of wildly inappropriate cartoon images from classic movie scenes, in the style of the iconic Golden Book children's series. Images include the horse's head from The Godfather and the seduction scene from The Graduate.More

Is water a human right? A fashion accessory? A taste sensation? And is bottled water a potential force for good, in the form of ethical bottled water companies that transfer first world spending habits to projects that supply drinking water to the developing world? Or is bottled water an environmental menace, no matter how you look at it? We look at the topic from all kinds of angles., If you're preparing a Melbourne Cup feast for tomorrow's festivities, why not give a thought to including some favourite food from literature? We have some book-themed inspiration and recipes for you, whether you want green eggs (and ham) to line your stomach tomorrow morning, or a bloody Game of Thrones cake pop to nibble with champagne., The US government has been revealed as having worked with the big tech companies to spy on the public - tracking emails, photographs, video and other digital communication. Miranda July has launched a project where you can sign up to snoop on other people's emails. Clive James tells why the US literary scene is too nice - while in the UK, savaging books is a 'recognized blood sport'. Flavour Palace is serving up lime and cheese milkshakes, canned soup and an irreverent attitude towards food and eating. And we share some Anne of Green Gables love., Is our obsession with food culture out of control - or are we simply learning about the pleasures of good food? Is the time devoted to carefully weighing our eating decisions in terms of ethics and impact well spent? And is food the new 'universal language', as Blur bassist turned food writer Alex James says? We look at the arguments for and against our culture's obsession with food., In this week's Friday High Five, we raise a collective eyebrow at the latest pop culture moment in the US presidential campaign, as Big Bird unwillingly takes the stage. We share some Banned Book Trading Cards, read an extract from a book skewering our culture's food obsession, watch an ad that turns 'First World Problems' on their head, and look at the afterlife of books., This week, our favourite links from around the internet range from US campaign politics to the politics of tacos, from library stamp art to a classic children's book adapted as a graphic novel. And there's a teaser for Girls Season 2. and This week's Friday High Five is food-themed. We look at some of the best and worst school lunches around the world, with a nine-year-old girl's activism in Scotland and a graphic designer's lunchbox art in the US. See how overcoming our food phobias around eating insects could help save the world; discover ten weird food delicacies, and more.More

sex

Human sexual behaviour is constantly changing, evolving alongside broader social and cultural changes. These days, both men and women have more sexual partners over a lifetime than they did in the past. Researcher **Dyani Lewis** weighs the pros and cons of 21st-century promiscuity, and looks at why awareness of STIs has fallen so out of step with sexual mores and habits., Joan Collins announced the winner of the annual Bad Sex in Fiction Prize in London today, presenting the award to American-based Manil Suri for his third novel, The City of Devi., Beyoncé in Brunswick is now a Tumblr. Japan's young people are falling prey to 'celibacy syndrome'. Noel Gallagher says there's no point reading fiction, because it's not true. David Sedaris pays tribute to his dead sister, who didn't want to be written about, in writing. And why do people look like their dogs?, America's favourite advice columnist, Dan Savage, explains why sometimes, cheating isn’t just okay, it’s ‘absolutely, positively, and without question the right thing to do’., In the internet age, we're technically more connected than ever - but does the ease of connecting online make it harder to connect IRL (in real life)? How do we negotiate public and private space? What are teenagers doing online - and how can we make sure they're safe? Kirsten Krauth researched these issues for her first novel, just_a_girl., Browse 30 beautiful abandoned places from around the world. Consider some arguments about paid maternity leave - Eva Cox defending Tony Abbott's scheme as 'feminist' and Zoe Dattner arguing that paid maternity leave is 'toxic'. The Believer interviews Rashida Jones. The New Yorker on Oprah's Book Club. And what happens when gender roles are reversed in advertising?, A packed crowd gathered at the Wheeler Centre last night to listen to a charged meeting of minds – Helen Garner, Australia’s foremost writer of social reportage and Anna Krien, who seems to be her heir apparent. They were discussing Anna Krien’s new book, Night Games, on football culture and murky attitudes to women in this world of men, framed by a rape trial that posed its own questions about sex, power and the potential ‘grey area’ between rape and consent., Lynne Segal: The Pleasures (and Perils) of Ageing and Laura BatesMore

Iconic American newspaper The Washington Post has been sold to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for $250 million. ‘The internet is transforming almost every element of the news business,' Bezos says. His fortune is estimated to be able to sustain the operating losses of the Post and associated newspapers for more than 182 years. , Nate Silver is the most famous and sought-after statistician since the real-life Moneyball's Paul DePodesta. Silver's New York Times blog FiveThirtyEight is currently attracting 20% of the NYT's traffic. He predicts, based on his own model, a nine-in-ten chance of an Obama victory. His critics argue that gut-level instincts and expert observation are more accurate than pure numbers. Who's right? And what's at stake?, With the US presidential elections finally held next week, we thought we'd share five of the funniest, smartest or just plain most entertaining celebrity endorsements - from Lena Dunham, Chuck Norris, Joss Whedon, Meat Loaf and Samuel L. Jackson., In this week's Fifth Estate, our crack team of political watchers talked about the role of race in the election, the new American definition of middle class, the role of Hurricane Sandy, the Tea Party effect - and of course, who will win., As we gear up for the final showdown between presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, in the form of the final debate, you might like to distract yourself with this less conventional (spoof) version: an epic rap battle., During this week's presidential debate, Mitt Romney answered an audience question about creating opportunities for women in an unfortunate way. He claimed to have approached women's groups to help him find qualified women to appoint to his cabinet. They brought him 'whole binders full of women', he said, sparking an internet meme. We share five of our favourites. and In this week's Friday High Five, we raise a collective eyebrow at the latest pop culture moment in the US presidential campaign, as Big Bird unwillingly takes the stage. We share some Banned Book Trading Cards, read an extract from a book skewering our culture's food obsession, watch an ad that turns 'First World Problems' on their head, and look at the afterlife of books.More

Last month, the federal government announced a review of the just-completed national curriculum, with a view to correcting what it sees as a skew to the left. **Rachel Power**, a journalist with the Australian Education Union, gives her view on what the review will mean - and why she believes its focus on values is a diversion from Australia's real education problem: equity., We asked Year Eleven student Billie Tumarkin to explore what Anzac Day means to her generation. She dabbled in some amateur psychology with friends and reflected on Anzac Days past. What did she find? Mixed messages about the day’s meaning, history lessons that bored rather than enlightened (‘like chewy meat’) – and the idea that if we want young people to engage with the past, we need to bring it to life in more imaginative and resonant ways. ‘You have to give us more than poppies and cookies.’, Following Christopher Bantick's article arguing that Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera is inappropriate for 'kids' due to an incident of sex with a minor, the VCE board is reviewing whether it should remain on the Year 12 English syllabus. Year 11 student Billie Tumarkin argues in defence of the book. 'The ideas that have led to this show a deep misunderstanding not only of teenagers, but of literature,' she says., The former editor (and founder) of The Lifted Brow has also written for The Believer, Lucky Peach, Meanjin, ABC Radio and beyond - and is currently undertaking a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship. He shares his Inbox Zero technique and his reasons for aspiring to be a 'brogrammer'. And he tells us why Alanis Morrissette and David Foster Wallace aren't so dissimilar., The public/private schooling debate hit the news again last week, sparking debate over government funding of those schools. Catherine Deveny, an outspoken advocate of public education, tells us why she's so passionate on the topic – and where she believes Abbott and Gillard are going wrong. , Neil Gaiman recently addressed the students at Philadelphia's University of the Arts, where he gifted them a treasure trove of advice about a career in the arts, from accepting failure and embracing uncertainty to secret freelancer business. But his most important advice? Make good art, no matter what., This week, everyone's talking about the call by The Sunday Age and publisher Michael Heyward to value our Australian literature, past and present. We look at the discussion so far – and some possible ways forward. and 'One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star' - Friedrich NietzscheMore

In this week's Friday High Five, Joshua Rothman asks - should literary criticism be an art or a science? Plus we look at the demographics of MOOCs, the eternal life of honey, anonymous social networking and updates to the science of everything., Research suggests literary fiction teaches empathy. What's it like to edit Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro? Bronte Coates, of Stilts, on why literary journals exist. Buzz Aldrin reviews Gravity. And how true are Malcolm Gladwell's universal truths?, Mass extinctions have decimated our planet on a regular basis throughout its history. The worst known mass extinction, nicknamed The Great Dying, involved climate change similar to the one our planet is undergoing right now. Annalee Newitz takes us through the signs that we're undergoing a new mass extinction - and tells why we shouldn't just give up, but should shift gears into survival mode., One of the world’s fastest-growing social movements is calling for citizens and institutions to sell out of fossil fuels – but it’s not just a matter of morality. Hard-headed analysts say there’s a growing risk of a collapse in the value of fossil fuel investments. Taken together, these warnings present a new way to understand our climate crisis. Michael Green takes us inside the movement - starting in the offices of Goldman Sachs, listening to US climate activist Bill McKibben., Spraying sulphur compounds into the upper atmosphere to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the planet? Transforming the chemistry of the world’s oceans so they soak up more carbon? These ideas sound like science fiction, but technologies to ‘geoengineer’ the planet are being developed right here and right now. Clive Hamilton argues that the potential risks of this meddling are enormous., What would happen if Raymond Carver wrote an internet dating profile - edited by Gordon Lish? How on earth are Coke and Pepsi claiming to have created healthy soft drinks? What does a real-life invisibility cloak look like, and how does it work? And who is in the running for the Bad Sex Awards 2012? These are some of the questions we'll answer in this week's Friday High Five., Robots that look like people, programmed to have their own emotions and facial expressions and to react to human interaction? It sounds like science fiction, but within the past decade, it’s also become reality. And Japan’s Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro is at the forefront of making it come true, with his remarkably life-like robots. and The Current ClimateMore

In this week's Friday High Five, we delve into arguments against beautiful web journalism, check out the new Porn Studies academic journal, meet animals in military service, look at club culture's queer roots and find out what women want – on the dancefloor., In this edition of Friday High Five, we take on the internet troll, question the (manly) voice of God, explore the benefits of being a loser, and hitch a ride through France's Mer de Glace region... on the back of an eagle., Anthony Morris argues that an unlikely influence planted a vital seed for the golden age of television drama. A drama that was weird, violent, distinctively atmospheric and very much the work of one auteur-like creator; one with long-form narrative arcs and an overarching mystery. He looks back at David Lynch's Twin Peaks, and traces its lineage to the Sopranos, Mad Men and more., When music fan, part-time writer and Brooklyn barista Chris Ruen got to know some of his indie rock star customers (from bands like Vampire Weekend and TV on the Radio), he was shocked to realise how hard they were working, and for how little money. Suddenly, he became uneasy about the orgy of free downloading that had become the norm for his generation - and began to question how music piracy has evolved, how it's affecting the music business, and what can be done about it., It's International Women's Day - and we share some of the best articles that mark the occasion. We also celebrate the Stella Prize longlist, look at a series of articles on paying writers in the digital age ... and find out why George Lucas sold Star Wars., In this week's Friday High Five, we ask, along with Naomi Wolf, whether singer Katy Perry is producing military propaganda. We share links to a new David Sedaris, the revelations of a ghostwriter, Salman Rushdie's defence of freedom of speech and a review that breaks the rules (and wins)., Jennifer Saunders and How do we listen when we can’t hear? More

A video parody of the Beastie Boys' hit 'Girls', encouraging girls to forgo princesses for toolkits, is at the centre of a copyright lawsuit - a pre-emptive one, brought by toy company GoldieBlox, makers of the ad, after they were contacted by the Beastie Boys' lawyers. The Beasties have issued an open letter saying that while they admire the ad's creativity and message, they have made a conscious decision not to allow their music or name to be used in product ads., In her controversial bestseller The End of Men, Hanna Rosin looks at the rise of women in education, work, and as household breadwinners - and asks whether our world now puts men at a disadvantage. But is the rise of the 'double shift' - women who are both breadwinners and household managers - progress? Is it equality? , Dion Kagan is an early career academic and arts writer who works on film, theatre, sex and popular culture. He spoke to us about why he loves sending and getting emails, why it's important to 'keep your patience' when writing, and how he would transform Isabel Archer's life if he was her Sassy Gay Best Friend., In this edition of Friday High Five, we take on the internet troll, question the (manly) voice of God, explore the benefits of being a loser, and hitch a ride through France's Mer de Glace region... on the back of an eagle., It's been the year of women on the Australian literary award scene, with the awarding of the first Stella Prize and the first ever all-women Miles Franklin shortlist. Paul Mitchell asks if it's time to turn our attention to men - not by creating an award for male writers, but one designed to attract male readers to literary fiction., Browse 30 beautiful abandoned places from around the world. Consider some arguments about paid maternity leave - Eva Cox defending Tony Abbott's scheme as 'feminist' and Zoe Dattner arguing that paid maternity leave is 'toxic'. The Believer interviews Rashida Jones. The New Yorker on Oprah's Book Club. And what happens when gender roles are reversed in advertising?, A packed crowd gathered at the Wheeler Centre last night to listen to a charged meeting of minds – Helen Garner, Australia’s foremost writer of social reportage and Anna Krien, who seems to be her heir apparent. They were discussing Anna Krien’s new book, Night Games, on football culture and murky attitudes to women in this world of men, framed by a rape trial that posed its own questions about sex, power and the potential ‘grey area’ between rape and consent., The Stella Prize and Laura BatesMore

Last month, we published an article on anonymous reviewing, in the context of the new *Saturday Paper*'s embrace of the format. Soon after, we were approached by a *Saturday Paper* reviewer offering to give an alternative view. The Wheeler Centre's Jo Case spoke to the reviewer about the 'creative potential' of anonymous reviewing as a form (and the wider possibilities of doing criticism differently), the need to give a new space for literary coverage a chance, and a look at the *Saturday Paper* so far., We interview one of the creators of *Australian Tumbleweeds*, an anonymous comedy blog run by a small team of writers who are passionate about televised comedy and brand themselves 'Australia's most opinionated blog about comedy'. We talked about the state of Australian comedy (and television writing), why being critical encourages good work, and the freedoms and responsibilities of anonymity., We talk to writer, editor, artist Holly Childs (author of the novella *No Limit*) about writing poems about dishwashers, being sponsored as a writer by a Paris fashion label, working all the time but rarely getting paid, and creative feedback loops., Fiona McFarlane is that rare thing: a writer whose advances enable her to write full-time. Penguin Australia has just published her first novel, *The Night Guest*, winning the rights after a 'strong auction'. Fiona has had her short stories published in The New Yorker, among other publications. She spoke to us about shifting gear from a career of short stories, the allure of tigers and her novel's exploration of ageing and reflection., We speak to Andrew McDonald, author of The Greatest Blogger in the World, about growing a neck beard, brainstorming, reforming the Cat in the Hat, and why it's important to 'be weird, read weird and write weird'., When Marcus Westbury launched a Pozible campaign to crowdfund his book Creating Cities, he hoped he might raise $10,000 within 60 days. He reached his goal within 24 hours. At the end of the 60 days, he'd raised over $40,000 - and pre-sold around 900 books. We talked to Marcus about how his campaign worked, why he decided to crowdfund his book, and the possibilities the model might hold for other writers - particularly those with established communities around their work, or niche audiences that don't fit the bookshop distribution model. and Antonia Hayes is co-director of the National Young Writers Festival 2013. We spoke to her about writing to The Simpsons magazine, organising the National Young Writers Festival and being Patrick White's publicist.More

Kate Larsen of Writers Victoria talks to Guardian Australia commentator Van Badham about the 'age of the internet troll' - and gets her seasoned advice about how to fend them off., It seems increasingly likely that the government may have to intervene and write a code on internet piracy into copyright law, after talks to negotiate a voluntary agreement to tackle piracy have effectively fallen apart. But new research from Monash University suggests current laws don't work. What should we do, then?, When music fan, part-time writer and Brooklyn barista Chris Ruen got to know some of his indie rock star customers (from bands like Vampire Weekend and TV on the Radio), he was shocked to realise how hard they were working, and for how little money. Suddenly, he became uneasy about the orgy of free downloading that had become the norm for his generation - and began to question how music piracy has evolved, how it's affecting the music business, and what can be done about it., In the internet age, we're technically more connected than ever - but does the ease of connecting online make it harder to connect IRL (in real life)? How do we negotiate public and private space? What are teenagers doing online - and how can we make sure they're safe? Kirsten Krauth researched these issues for her first novel, just_a_girl., Anna Goldsworthy was at the Wheeler Centre last Friday, talking about her very timely Quarterly Essay on feminism. She talked to Sophie Black about Julia Gillard, what the internet means for women, and why the pressure on public women to speak for us all, instead of for themselves, is dangerous., Writer and digital native George Dunford shares some tips for what to do when the internet keeps luring you away from your work ... and jamming your thoughts with kooky videos and streams of tweets. and How should authors and publishers navigate the brave new world of spruiking books online? Should you dip your toe into every form of social media, or immerse yourself in one? How often should you use social media to sell and promote, and how often to chat and share news? We asked a selection of authors and publishers, including Ben Law, Monica Dux, Text Publishing and MUP. Here's what we found out.More

Dennis Altman looks back on forty years of work as a gay rights activist and author - and the 'extraordinary' changes that have been made to how we imagine sex and gender since the gay rights movement began in the early 1970s. He asks what those changes mean for homosexuals today: both his generation and new generations, who have grown up in a very different world., In the internet age, we're technically more connected than ever - but does the ease of connecting online make it harder to connect IRL (in real life)? How do we negotiate public and private space? What are teenagers doing online - and how can we make sure they're safe? Kirsten Krauth researched these issues for her first novel, just_a_girl., Michelle Smith looks at why girls’ bottoms are a major problem for the nation’s media and celebrity women, how today’s moral panics and prostitute-comparisons resemble those of the Victorian era – and what’s changed for girls living with today’s popular culture., In Jeff Sparrow's new book, Money Shot, he explores the relationship between porn and censorship, and what it reveals about our social values. Along the way, he journeys from the censor's office in Canberra to a porn cinema in Melbourne, interviews opinion-makers like Clive Hamilton and Melinda Tankard Reist, and visits gatherings as diverse as Sexpo and Planetshakers, the religious meet that attracts 'hip, young' Christians to 'make noise for Jesus' in the 'praise pit'. In this edited extract, Jeff takes us into the praise pit., Clementine Ford attended Bettina Arndt's Lunchbox/Soapbox on Why Sex Matters So Much to Men at the Wheeler Centre last Thursday. Clementine tells why she vehemently disagrees with Arndt's views on men, sex – and whether women should say 'yes' to their partners even when they're not in the mood., In the latest in our occasional series Working with Words, we talk to Alan Hollinghurst about writing, his book-buying habits and reading his own reviews. and Michelle Griffin has issued a passionate defence of 'dirty books' for teens as a way for them to develop fantasy lives free of the 'shackles of banal commercialised sexuality'. We look at her reasons.More

The Australian War Memorial was first advised internally to acknowledge the frontier wars way back in 1979. Our military historians accept that colonial conflict is part of our military history, but the Memorial still holds out. Why? **Michael Green** investigates., Australia has always been a camping place, says Bill Garner. Our history of camping has its roots in necessity - but it's also a way of intimately connecting to place, and nurtures many of the values we hold dear, including egalitarianism and tolerance. Even our national song, Waltzing Matilda, is about a camper., Kelly-Lee Hickey grew up fascinated by Darwin's status as a 'gateway to Asia' - and the boats that once moved back and forth across the Arafura sea to Indonesia, following a centuries-old international trade route. Her new arts project, Vessels for Stories, aims to reconnect our severed ties with Indonesia through cultural exchange - and stories., Shauna Bostock-Smith reflects on her family's past, and the way personal stories are shaped and interpreted - and the importance of acknowledging both the bad and the good in Aboriginal history. She asks: How can ancestral knowledge empower us in the present? And what are dangers do victimhood pose to collective Aboriginal self-esteem?, We asked Year Eleven student Billie Tumarkin to explore what Anzac Day means to her generation. She dabbled in some amateur psychology with friends and reflected on Anzac Days past. What did she find? Mixed messages about the day’s meaning, history lessons that bored rather than enlightened (‘like chewy meat’) – and the idea that if we want young people to engage with the past, we need to bring it to life in more imaginative and resonant ways. ‘You have to give us more than poppies and cookies.’, In this week's Working with Words, we talk to historian Mark McKenna, winner of this year's Prime Minister's Award for Non-Fiction for his biography, An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark. He talks about his favourite writing advice, being influenced by George Orwell and why he buys most of his books 'offline'. , Enrolments in Australian history subjects are perilously low, with universities cutting their programs back as a result. But who killed the subject for the students who are staying away in droves? Some say the fault lies with the way Australian history is taught in schools., Malcolm Fraser and Malcolm FraserMore

The Wheeler Centre’s Jo Case recently attended an event at the NYC Teen Authors Festival in New York, which looked at the blurry line between writing for teens and adults – chaired by publisher and author David Levithan. On the panel were Rainbow Rowell, Jennifer E. Smith, Patrick Flannery and Eliot Schrefer. Here are some highlights., In the lead-up to next Tuesday’s announcement of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Writing for Young Adults, we share our reviewers' responses to the shortlisted titles. Read reviews by Billie Tumarkin, Penni Russon and Thuy On., Toni Jordan reflects on her own days of teenage unemployment, and on Nadia Wheatley's classic novel of workers rights and human relationships in 1930s and 1980s Sydney - during the Great Depression and the economic recession. As we live through precarious economic times again, it's especially timely., While author and critic Mel Campbell can admit that her preoccupations are literary ones, her reading habits may beg to differ. She interrogates the feelings of guilt and embarrassment that have accompanied her binges on 'junk food fiction' – and finds good reasons to savour her encounters with the clunky or unselfconscious expression of books that are untroubled by a sense of their own importance., When teenage internet sensation Tavi Gevinson hit Melbourne recently, many book lovers older than their twenties were somewhat bemused by the breathless excitement that greeted her visit. We sent 16-year-old writer Billie Tumarkin along to Tavi's MWF events to report back on her appeal - and explain why Rookie Mag 'stands at the front of an online revolution about how the media talks to, or rather with, teens'. , The first Judy Blume book to become a film, Tiger Eyes, was co-written and produced by Blume herself, and directed by her son. She says it was 'fun' making it - and has some advice for mothers wanting to turn their teenage daughters onto her books. (Namely: be cool about it.), Award-winning YA author Patrick Ness spoke passionately in defence of teenagers when he accepted the Carnegie Medal last year. We share highlights (and footage) of his speech, in which he calls for our culture and governments to engage with teenagers and see past the negative - and reveals his own difficult teenage years. and Oisin McGannMore

Geordie Williamson has just been appointed the new fiction editor of *Island* magazine. We spoke to him about his new appointment, his background as an editor for Duffy & Snellgrove, what he looks for in a story, and his approach to editing fiction … plus, tips for writers who might like to submit!, Dion Kagan is an early career academic and arts writer who works on film, theatre, sex and popular culture. He spoke to us about why he loves sending and getting emails, why it's important to 'keep your patience' when writing, and how he would transform Isabel Archer's life if he was her Sassy Gay Best Friend., Research suggests literary fiction teaches empathy. What's it like to edit Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro? Bronte Coates, of Stilts, on why literary journals exist. Buzz Aldrin reviews Gravity. And how true are Malcolm Gladwell's universal truths?, Poet Jacinta Le Plastrier is also publisher at John Leonard Press - and was recently a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow. We speak to her about dealing with writerly doubt, remaining open to helpful advice about your writing (and immune to praise or criticism), and why writers are like athletes., We speak to Jason Whittaker, editor of Crikey, about his self-published, typewriter-produced start in publishing (aged ten), dealing with contentious copy and complaints as editor of Crikey, and why he'd like to eat dinner on the run with The West Wing's C.J. Clegg., We speak to Thuy On, books editor of the Big Issue, about about how everyone wants to write but nobody seems to want to read, her long-time obsession with Roald Dahl, and why she buys her books in bricks-and-mortar bookshops. and We speak to Kirsten Alexander, editor of digital-only magazine Open Field, an Australian project that attracts contributors from around the world (who donate their services for free) and donates all the proceeds to charity organisation CARE Australia.More

Beyoncé in Brunswick is now a Tumblr. Japan's young people are falling prey to 'celibacy syndrome'. Noel Gallagher says there's no point reading fiction, because it's not true. David Sedaris pays tribute to his dead sister, who didn't want to be written about, in writing. And why do people look like their dogs?, Last year, the Wheeler Centre offered a suite of creative fellowships at Melbourne Zoo to four very different writers: novelist, poet and short-story writer Cate Kennedy, blogger and critic Estelle Tang, children's author/illustrator Sally Rippin and cartoonist Judy Horacek. We're now publishing their responses on a dedicated section of our website. , In this week's Friday High Five, we look at the iPad generation, some covers of classic books so bad they're good, Lena Dunham's doggie loves, and how one writer tricked the New Yorker into rejecting itself. And there's the inaugural shortlist of The Stella Prize!, Can animals look like Homeland characters? Weirdly, yes. Is Orwell overrated? Steven Poole thinks so. Who really, really hates the Peter Jackson Tolkien movies? Christopher Tolkein. Where is printed book piracy thriving? Mumbai is one place. And how do you get the body you always wanted? The Hairpin advises you bring a shovel. The Friday High Five answers all your questions – via the internet, of course., Tim Flannery spoke to a passionate crowd at the Wheeler Centre last night about the crisis in biodiversity. He was urgent about the need for immediate, informed and ‘businesslike’ action on the issue of halting animal extinctions. ‘We should have a national policy that no species should go extinct. That’s not too difficult or expensive to do.’, This week's Friday High Five is animal-themed. We include the amazing story of Hitchcock heroine Tippi Hedren and her pet lions (with jaw-dropping photos), a video look at the 50 plus cats roaming Hemingway's former home (he kept that many when he lived there), the true story of the woman raised by capuchin monkeys, and writing on animals by Delia Falconer and Helen Garner. and If you missed our recent debate, Animals Should Be Off the Menu, you can get a taste of it with this report on some of the night's highlights. And if you were there, feel free to chime in with your comments on your thoughts and experiences.More

We speak to Adam Alter, author of *Drunk Tank Pink: The Subconscious Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel and Behave*, about loving academia, why it's powerful to get feedback from children on your work, and his advice for aspiring writers: write a letter or an email to 20 of your favourite writers, explaining your aspirations and asking for advice., New research proves that psychopaths can be trained to feel empathy. Germany's power plants have been photographed in intimate detail, before they all close in 2022. Natalie Portman will make her directing debut with Amos Oz's memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness. A series of new photo-essays document American life in the 70s, by region. And Neil Gaiman has designed his first video game, Wayward Manor. , The editor of DSM-4 has called childhood bipolar a false epidemic, and regrets his role in giving it credence. Experts in bipolar, and in mania in children, are divided. Meanwhile, more children are diagnosed - and prescribed serious medications - each week. What is the truth about childhood bipolar? And what are the dangers of wrong diagnosis? , Guardian Australia is now a going concern - we look at David Marr's first piece and Elmo Keep's argument against its aggregation model. We look at the best one-star Amazon reviews of classic novels - and their, erm, original takes on past masters. Writer Jessica Francis Kane remembers her past as a publicist in New York, as a book-loving English graduate. A photography exhibition in New York is raising eyebrows - and questions about privacy. And Prozac, 25 years on ... does it help or hinder creative work? , In this week's Friday High Five, we take a little amble down literary memory lane, with first ads for famous books (including Joan Didion's Play it as it Lays and Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby), a terrific article on US literary giants like Franzen and Eugenides in the early days of their careers, tips for keeping yourself out of the rejection pile, and a new study on the benefits of psychopathy for the job of American president., Conrad Black calls the kettle black., Faithfulness as natural as vegetarianism, says Christopher Ryan. and Adam Alter: Drunk Tank Pink: The subconscious forces that shape how we think, feel and behaveMore

Earlier this week, in a Digital Writers Festival Event, Sophie Cunningham spoke to four of the shortlisted writers of The Stella Prize about their work, the prize and raising the profile of women's writing. Here are some highlights., Phoebe Tay introduces us to the world of Deaf writers, their unique challenges and perspectives, and what Deaf and hearing writers have to offer each other. , Kelly-Lee Hickey has often felt insecure about her status as a regional writer, faced with urban-centric assumptions that the quality of regional work is less than that in Melbourne or Sydney. For her, success has meant taking advantage of opportunities to network with like-minded writers from around Australia (both on social media and in real life) - and, most importantly, being herself., We chat to Sam Twyford Moore, director of the Emerging Writers Festival, about the importance of mentors, how he misses having to fight for someone to hear you, and why he believes you should write to engage and defy., Graeme Simsion made headlines when his romantic comedy with a difference, The Rosie Project, was sold into over 30 countries for over a milliion dollars after winning the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished manuscript - and being snatched up by Text Publishing. We spoke to Graeme about the book's journey to publication, the evolution of Don Tillman's voice, the laws of comedy (and screenwriting), and writing a character who seems to have Asperger's Syndrome., Karen Andrews is program manager of the Emerging Writers' Festival - and an author and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. We spoke to her about why being an academic is mad (according to her friends), why she'd go out for dinner with Hamlet, and how you should choose the people you show your work to wisely., Lisa Dempster, outgoing director of the Emerging Writers Festival, has been appointed director of the Melbourne Writers Festival. We spoke to her this afternoon to congratulate her on the news, and to hear about her plans for the future. and Emerging Writers' Festival Launch: Fact vs FictionMore

Novelist **Charlotte Wood** started her own subscription-only digital literary magazine, The Writer's Room Interviews, last year. She reflects on what she's learned - and what she's gained - from the experience., James Tierney responds to Robyn Annear's Monthly review of ten Australian literary magazines, weighing the evidence she gathers to support her view that these 'oddball miscellanies' mainly exist to grant publication to emerging writers - and opening out into a wider conversation about what a good review (with well-supported arguments) can do., Shauna Bostock-Smith reflects on her family's past, and the way personal stories are shaped and interpreted - and the importance of acknowledging both the bad and the good in Aboriginal history. She asks: How can ancestral knowledge empower us in the present? And what are dangers do victimhood pose to collective Aboriginal self-esteem?, Matthew Lamb, the new editor of Island magazine, is also the editor and co-founder of the digital short-story publication Review of Australian Fiction. We spoke to him about the changes afoot at Island, his approach to editing a publication, the fact that submissions to literary magazines far outweigh subscribers ... and the fact that there's a lot of boring writing out there in Australia, Novelist Charlotte Wood launched a new publication this week, The Writer's Room Interviews, taking its inspiration from the famed Paris Review interviews with writers, by writers. We spoke to Charlotte about the hopes, goals and driving force behind it., Pip Smith is currently the poet-in-residence at The Lifted Brow, where she publishes a poem a day this summer. We spoke to her about battling self doubt, being inspired by Shakespeare (especially Hamlet), and why the idea of turning your writing into a small business makes her vomit. and When Dave Eggers first started McSweeney’s Quarterly, the iconic US literary magazine, he sold lifetime subscriptions for $100 – the same price as a two-year subscription. 'That was as long as it was meant to last,' managing editor Jordan Bass told a Wheeler Centre audience. Instead, 15 years later, McSweeney's is still going strong. Jordan Bass spoke to us about the history and successes of the publishing house, what they look for in their writing, and why Dave Eggers' dream is to print an issue of McSweeney's Quarterly entirely on glass.More

Sally Rippin's series for primary school age children, *Billie B. Brown* and *Hey Jack!*, are bestsellers with young readers of all reading levels. So she's well equipped to give advice on helping instil a love of reading in reluctant readers. Here are some of her tips - and her story on the genesis of Billie and Jack., Shakira Hussein reflects on a Queensland childhood frozen in time across several generations, under the era of Joh Bjelke-Petersen - so that David Malouf's reflections of his childhood in the 1930s and 40s evokes memories of her own in the 1970s and 80s., Children's book expert **Judith Ridge** reflects on the characters who nurtured her childhood love of reading - and passionately argues that we need to recognise, reward and nurture great children's writing, as separate from great writing for young adults., Beyoncé in Brunswick is now a Tumblr. Japan's young people are falling prey to 'celibacy syndrome'. Noel Gallagher says there's no point reading fiction, because it's not true. David Sedaris pays tribute to his dead sister, who didn't want to be written about, in writing. And why do people look like their dogs?, While author and critic Mel Campbell can admit that her preoccupations are literary ones, her reading habits may beg to differ. She interrogates the feelings of guilt and embarrassment that have accompanied her binges on 'junk food fiction' – and finds good reasons to savour her encounters with the clunky or unselfconscious expression of books that are untroubled by a sense of their own importance., Michael Green shares why he loves re-reading Breakfast at Tiffany's in Carlton, every autumn ... and why it surprises him every time. Quoting Norman Mailer, he says it is 'so extraordinary a work that it incites not writerly envy but pride'. and Chicago designer Jenny Volvoski has set herself a fascinating new project - she designs her own covers for the books she reads. They're documented on her blog, From Cover to Cover.More

In the lead-up to next Tuesday’s announcement of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Drama, we share our reviewers' responses to the shortlisted titles. Read reviews by Chris Boyd, Stephanie Convery and Thuy On., In the lead-up to next Tuesday’s announcement of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Writing for Young Adults, we share our reviewers' responses to the shortlisted titles. Read reviews by Billie Tumarkin, Penni Russon and Thuy On., In the lead-up to next Tuesday’s announcement of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, we share our reviewers' responses to the shortlisted titles. Read reviews by Sam Twyford Moore, Sam Cooney, Emily Laidlaw, Stephanie Convery, Kabita Dhara and Bethanie Blanchard., In the lead-up to next Tuesday’s announcement of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry, we share our reviewers' responses to the shortlisted titles. Read reviews by Penni Russon, Luke Beesley and Jacinta Le Plastrier., In the lead-up to next Tuesday's announcement of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction, we share our reviewers' responses to the shortlisted titles. Read reviews by Angela Savage, Sam Cooney, Thuy On, James Tierney and Rochelle Siemienowicz., We speak to award-winning playwright Patricia Cornelius about writing characters who are often ignored, the bad climate for original Australian works (especially by a female) and having dinner with the women of Caryl Churchill's *Top Girls*. and Vikki Wakefield's second novel, Friday Brown, is currently shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards (Young Adult). We spoke to her about writing a Silver Brumby spin-off when she was ten, the fact that the chain of events that gave birth to All I Ever Wanted began at a nightclub, and hitting it off with the grown-up version of Beverly Cleary's Ramona Quimby.More

How do we plan for a Melbourne that seems likely to be four degrees warmer by 2080? Unfortunately, Victoria - along with Brisbane and New South Wales - has weakened controls on planning for climate change, even in the face of recent fires and floods. 'If we don't prepare well, people will die,' writes Michael Green in this sobering report. 'At the moment, we are not planning well.', Michael Green reports on the investigation into the death of a young Ethiopian man whose body was retrieved from the Maribyrnong River a year and a half ago, just over a day after being released from police custody. Though the assistant police commissioner and the homicide squad had declared the investigation 'very thorough' and 'first class' at the time, last week it was revealed it as woefully inadequate, at best., Alan Attwood has been editor of the Big Issue since 2006, and has had a long and varied career in journalism. We spoke to him about refusing to look at spreadsheets, the life of books, why your editor is NOT your enemy ... and his desire to dine with a woman from a Harold Robbins novel. and Two years ago, Michael Green began researching a story about homelessness for the Big Issue. He followed the fortunes of two people: Albert, who had been homeless most of his life; and Dee, who was on the brink of it, for the first time. He and Dee are still in contact. 'After the article was published, something extraordinary happened that involved us both, and a man named Rob, from Sydney, who happened to buy a copy of that edition.'More

Today, we're pleased to give you Children's Book Festival 2014 artist in residence Nicki Greenberg's sketches from the festival this past Sunday., **Pepi Ronalds** talks to Melbourne comic artist Sam Wallman on the eve of the launch of his new anthology of Australian history comics, *Fluid Prejudice*. Sam's online graphic novel, Serco Story, was recently published by the *Global Mail*., Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer prize-winning godfather of comics, gave a guided tour of the evolution of comics as an art form at Melbourne Town Hall last week. **Pepi Ronalds** was there, and reports back on the highlights of the evening., We share a sneak preview of the illustrated edition of Junot Diaz's This is How You Lose Her. Plus: our exclusive video of Diaz on the 'cruel distraction' of Australia's migration policy., Pepi Ronalds talks to graphic artist Bruce Mutard about the art of comics - and why it's his chosen medium. They talk combining words and images, rewriting and adaptation, and why comics gives readers more control over the storytelling experience than that other visual medium, film., Karen Pickering demolishes 'Love Actually', the celebrity-packed Christmas film that spawned the awful holiday-ensemble genre. We share some arguments in the 'writing for free' debate. See the original storyboards for classic films, from 'Sound of Music' to 'Spartacus'. And watch NASA explain why the Mayan prophecy won't come true - and the largest iceberg calving ever filmed. and Do your passwords protect you? A Wired writer who lost everything digital this year says no. Ann Patchett helps bookstores strike back. Gabrielle Carey joins the New York Times in asking whether irony is over. Take a peek at Oslo Davis's Melbhattan - and if you're looking for ideas on what to read next (or Christmas gifts), we've got a bunch of Best Books 2012 lists that should help you out.More

Lisa Dempster, director of the Melbourne Writers Festival, responds to an attack on the economics and values of contemporary literary festivals. She argues that it is 'frankly, old fashioned' to suggest that festivals should only showcase 'high literary forms' and that mounting a festival is an expensive undertaking, with little room for profit., We share a sneak preview of the illustrated edition of Junot Diaz's This is How You Lose Her. Plus: our exclusive video of Diaz on the 'cruel distraction' of Australia's migration policy., Pepi Ronalds talks to graphic artist Bruce Mutard about the art of comics - and why it's his chosen medium. They talk combining words and images, rewriting and adaptation, and why comics gives readers more control over the storytelling experience than that other visual medium, film., Phoebe Tay introduces us to the world of Deaf writers, their unique challenges and perspectives, and what Deaf and hearing writers have to offer each other. , J.K. Rowling has been revealed as the secret author of a crime novel by 'Robert Galbraith'. What does this experiment - and the stratospheric boost in sales following her outing - show about contemporary publishing? Invisible, shark-repelling wetsuits have been invented and trialled in WA. The Melbourne Writers Festival programme for 2013 was launched today. And McDonalds have inadvertently illustrated how impossible it is to live on minimum wage in the US., Lisa Dempster, outgoing director of the Emerging Writers Festival, has been appointed director of the Melbourne Writers Festival. We spoke to her this afternoon to congratulate her on the news, and to hear about her plans for the future. and New Zealand writer Emily Perkins has received international acclaim for her fiction, and won the Believer Award and New Zealand's Montana Award for her last book, Novel About My Wife. Her latest novel, The Forrests, is attracting similar acclaim – and Emily is coming to the Melbourne Writers Festival to talk about it this month. We spoke to her ahead of her visit, for our Working with Words series.More

We speak to poet and Hot Desk Fellow Luke Beesley about the 'hysterical popularity' of poetry, loving his publisher, and learning how to live off very little money., We're pleased to welcome a new round of Hot Desk Fellows to their Wheeler Centre desks this month - and to introduce you to them and their projects. The current five fellows are working on fiction and poetry. They're all at various stages of their writing careers, from writing their fourth book to developing their first. , Poet Jacinta Le Plastrier is also publisher at John Leonard Press - and was recently a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow. We speak to her about dealing with writerly doubt, remaining open to helpful advice about your writing (and immune to praise or criticism), and why writers are like athletes., A new round of Hot Desk Fellows takes residence at the Wheeler Centre today – and their projects range from a non-fiction investigation of illegal drugs and the dark zones of the internet, to an in-depth essay on Indigenous theatre and a bilingual play that explores migration. Meet the fellows - and their projects., Mel Campbell reflects on makeover culture and the unrealistic expectations that come with it - that a sophisticated new look will deliver a new self (and life) to match. But even when it works, who does the social power of beauty serve? And why should the approval of strangers matter more than your own personal sense of style, and self? She takes us on a tour through popular culture, from Pretty in Pink to The Hunger Games, to Snog, Marry, Avoid., Pepi Ronalds is a freelance writer based in Melbourne - and a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow. We spoke to her about juggling writing with a job that pays the bills, why you should 'just write', and the thing she'd being more of if she couldn't write - visiting theme parks. and It’s that time of year again, where we welcome a new batch of writers to our Wheeler Centre hot-desks. And a wonderfully varied crowd it is. There’s a singer–songwriter venturing into memoir, a poet seeking refuge from a Duplo-strewn house, a Zimbabwe migrant writing about her experience, a Werribee writer defending her much-maligned suburb, and a freelancer planning to split her time between several assignments.More

Anthony Morris explains why The Wire is the best television drama ever made - despite (or because of) breaking every convention about the crime genre and small-screen storytelling. There is no lead on The Wire: it's an ensemble show, and its central character is Baltimore itself; its central subject how the system is broken, across the police, the world of work, politics, schools and the media., What happens when we outsource our personal lives to paid workers? Can money buy love? And where do we draw the line between what we pay for, and what is too intimate to ask others to do? Arlie Hochschild has made these questions her life's work., In her controversial bestseller The End of Men, Hanna Rosin looks at the rise of women in education, work, and as household breadwinners - and asks whether our world now puts men at a disadvantage. But is the rise of the 'double shift' - women who are both breadwinners and household managers - progress? Is it equality? , America's favourite advice columnist, Dan Savage, explains why sometimes, cheating isn’t just okay, it’s ‘absolutely, positively, and without question the right thing to do’. and Anthony Morris argues that an unlikely influence planted a vital seed for the golden age of television drama. A drama that was weird, violent, distinctively atmospheric and very much the work of one auteur-like creator; one with long-form narrative arcs and an overarching mystery. He looks back at David Lynch's Twin Peaks, and traces its lineage to the Sopranos, Mad Men and more.More

Why did Julia Gillard and Anne Summers pack out the Melbourne Town Hall last night? What did audience members think of the event - and Gillard as prime minister? We were in the Town Hall lobby after the event, finding out the answers., Julia Gillard has broken her silence on her loss of leadership and Labor's future in an essay in Saturday's Guardian. She argues that Labor needs to reclaim its purpose, and calls for the party to stand firm on carbon pricing, defend the legacy of her government's achievements, and to reclaim its purpose - and bring policy debate into the public arena., Anna Goldsworthy was at the Wheeler Centre last Friday, talking about her very timely Quarterly Essay on feminism. She talked to Sophie Black about Julia Gillard, what the internet means for women, and why the pressure on public women to speak for us all, instead of for themselves, is dangerous., This morning, we have woken to a new prime minister - again. Julia Gillard has announced she will resign from politics after Kevin Rudd won last night's leadership ballot. What does this mean for the coming election - and the future of Labor? We try to piece together what happened, and share some of the savviest political articles published in the last 24 hours., We look at the aftermath of an extraordinary week in politics, talking to Ben Eltham, national affairs correspondent of New Matilda, Stephanie Convery of Overland, feminist writer Alison Croggon and philosopher Damon Young - and drawing on the week's news coverage., Michelle Smith looks at why girls’ bottoms are a major problem for the nation’s media and celebrity women, how today’s moral panics and prostitute-comparisons resemble those of the Victorian era – and what’s changed for girls living with today’s popular culture. and Clementine Ford asks why men like Alan Jones think women are ‘destroying the joint’, exposes how Hollywood contributes to assumptions that the default gender is male, and presents some damning statistics to prove that we’re not, in fact, all equal now.More

Earlier this week, in a Digital Writers Festival Event, Sophie Cunningham spoke to four of the shortlisted writers of The Stella Prize about their work, the prize and raising the profile of women's writing. Here are some highlights., Libraries have changed beyond recognition in recent decades - they're no longer just places to borrow books. And in San Antonio, Texas, America's first bookless (digital-only) library has been launched, to resounding success. Here's the lowdown., Amazon opened an Australian online store last week - but Australians have been buying there for years already. How many Australians buy ebooks, and where do they buy them from? What are local booksellers doing to keep up with their customers - and what do customers really want? We take a look., Amazon has launched an Australian ebookstore today, just in time for Christmas. We look at what the shop looks like, and what it might mean for local booksellers., Bookshops (and retail) have not weathered the digital age well - so far. But many booksellers are continuing to thrive by playing to their strengths and adapting the way they do business. We speak to some of them, including Jon Page of Pages and Pages, Fiona Stager of Avid Reader, and Emily Harms of Readings. , When music fan, part-time writer and Brooklyn barista Chris Ruen got to know some of his indie rock star customers (from bands like Vampire Weekend and TV on the Radio), he was shocked to realise how hard they were working, and for how little money. Suddenly, he became uneasy about the orgy of free downloading that had become the norm for his generation - and began to question how music piracy has evolved, how it's affecting the music business, and what can be done about it. and We speak to Kirsten Alexander, editor of digital-only magazine Open Field, an Australian project that attracts contributors from around the world (who donate their services for free) and donates all the proceeds to charity organisation CARE Australia.More

**Paul Mitchell** wonders why we habitually ignore the second verse of our national anthem ... the one that promises to share our boundless plains with those who come across the seas. Maybe it's because we don't want to share these days? He calls for those of us who don't paint our faces with the Southern Cross to sing the whole song ... or refuse to sing it at all., Andrew Wilkins frequently travels to PNG for business, and produces an annual business and investment guide to the country. We asked for his insight into why PNG – a developing country – might have signed up to Kevin Rudd's outsourcing of asylum seekers. He says that for PNG PM Peter O'Neill, the agreement may be 'a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to lift its country out of extreme poverty'., Whether it’s our treatment of asylum seekers or the current debate around free speech, we seem to be confused -about the notion of free rights for all. Australians care about human rights, but we're also dangerously complacent about the lack of protections that exist - and conflicted on the question of who deserves human rights protection. Looking back into our rights history to examine today’s issues, Hugh de Kretser outlines a vision for stronger, universal protection of rights in Australia., What would happen if Raymond Carver wrote an internet dating profile - edited by Gordon Lish? How on earth are Coke and Pepsi claiming to have created healthy soft drinks? What does a real-life invisibility cloak look like, and how does it work? And who is in the running for the Bad Sex Awards 2012? These are some of the questions we'll answer in this week's Friday High Five. and Mark Isaacs: Nauru: an insider's account of Australia's offshore detention policyMore

Last month, we published an article on anonymous reviewing, in the context of the new *Saturday Paper*'s embrace of the format. Soon after, we were approached by a *Saturday Paper* reviewer offering to give an alternative view. The Wheeler Centre's Jo Case spoke to the reviewer about the 'creative potential' of anonymous reviewing as a form (and the wider possibilities of doing criticism differently), the need to give a new space for literary coverage a chance, and a look at the *Saturday Paper* so far., **Paul Donoghue** interviews bestselling philosophy advocate Alain de Botton on *The News*, his philosopher's look at the newspaper stories that so many of us read, but so few of us really study ... or question. Why we are so interested in stories about crime, celebrity and the like? What does it say about us, and how can we read the newspapers better?, Tim Dunlop, author of The New Front Page: New Media and the Rise of the Audience, argues we need to stop talking about new media versus old media and instead look at ways for them to work together in service of the citizens they purport to serve., We speak to former journalist Rachel Buchanan, author of Stop Press, about the benefits of a tough edit, sharing a meal (and getting feedback on her first book) with the Samoan head of state, and why she has thought of retraining as a paramedic or palliative care nurse., Iconic American newspaper The Washington Post has been sold to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for $250 million. ‘The internet is transforming almost every element of the news business,' Bezos says. His fortune is estimated to be able to sustain the operating losses of the Post and associated newspapers for more than 182 years. , It's nice to begin 2013 with some good news about jobs for journalists - the Guardian has confirmed it will launch an Australian edition, and will be hiring a small local team. and Ita Buttrose is once again a household name, thanks to the success of the ABC biopic Paper Giants. Her newly refreshed profile combines with an interest in the heyday of old media - a perfect time for her to have released a revised and updated version of her autobiography. She spoke candidly to Jon Faine today.More

Melbourne bookseller Readings has just announced two new annual book awards, worth $4000 each. The aim? To give more attention and support to new and emerging Australian writers. Introducing the Readings New Australian Writing Prize and the Readings Children's Book Prize., Amazon opened an Australian online store last week - but Australians have been buying there for years already. How many Australians buy ebooks, and where do they buy them from? What are local booksellers doing to keep up with their customers - and what do customers really want? We take a look., Amazon has launched an Australian ebookstore today, just in time for Christmas. We look at what the shop looks like, and what it might mean for local booksellers., Bookshops (and retail) have not weathered the digital age well - so far. But many booksellers are continuing to thrive by playing to their strengths and adapting the way they do business. We speak to some of them, including Jon Page of Pages and Pages, Fiona Stager of Avid Reader, and Emily Harms of Readings. , An asteroid has just been named after Scottish writer Iain Banks. How would Star Wars would sound if it was written by Shakespeare? Meet Amazon's (human) robot workers. Find out how the Amish 'hack' technology for their purposes. And see if the 10 nerdiest jokes of all time make you laugh., We talk to Australian Bookseller fo the Year Martin Shaw about his twenty years in the book business, why he loves it - and the changes afoot. and We travel vicariously to some of the world's most unusual - and beautiful - bookshops, from a bookshop on a canal boat in the UK to rainbow-splashed journey of discovery in Beijing, to a converted thirteenth-century church in HollanMore

Last month, we published an article on anonymous reviewing, in the context of the new *Saturday Paper*'s embrace of the format. Soon after, we were approached by a *Saturday Paper* reviewer offering to give an alternative view. The Wheeler Centre's Jo Case spoke to the reviewer about the 'creative potential' of anonymous reviewing as a form (and the wider possibilities of doing criticism differently), the need to give a new space for literary coverage a chance, and a look at the *Saturday Paper* so far., Jon Stewart is an internet hit in China - which seems to bode well for the future of satire. In a real-life Misery, Charlaine 'True Blood' Harris is receiving death threats from readers unhappy with the fate she's given her fictional heroine, Sookie Stackhouse. David Foster Wallace's This is Water is now a short film. The Guardian is unimpressed with the new New York Times Book Review editor. And we look at the wildly divergent reviews of Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby., Comic literary novelist Gary Shteyngart is almost as well known for his prolific blurbing of his fellow authors' work as he is for his critically acclaimed books. In fact, his blurbing has now become an enormous literary in-joke. A new documentary looks at this strange and often awkward feature of the publishing world, through the acknowledged king of the blurbs. , The publishing industry is a tough arena, and never more so than now. Sam Cooney looks at the weird, annoying and sometimes puzzling things publishers (and writers) do to promote their books - from packaging them in mountains of styrofoam as if precious flowers, to shooting themselves for the press coverage., What would happen if Raymond Carver wrote an internet dating profile - edited by Gordon Lish? How on earth are Coke and Pepsi claiming to have created healthy soft drinks? What does a real-life invisibility cloak look like, and how does it work? And who is in the running for the Bad Sex Awards 2012? These are some of the questions we'll answer in this week's Friday High Five., Hurricane Sandy has made 'climate change' less of a dirty phrase in US politics, as the consequences of a warming planet become all too palpable. We take a sneak peek at 'Hitchcock: The Movie', starring Anthony Hopkins as the legendary director. David Simon shares his thoughts on what Obama's win and his disparate supporter base mean for a changing America - including the end of the white man as the definition of 'normal'. And we look at wearable literary fashion and photography based on cereal sculptures. and When Dave Eggers first started McSweeney’s Quarterly, the iconic US literary magazine, he sold lifetime subscriptions for $100 – the same price as a two-year subscription. 'That was as long as it was meant to last,' managing editor Jordan Bass told a Wheeler Centre audience. Instead, 15 years later, McSweeney's is still going strong. Jordan Bass spoke to us about the history and successes of the publishing house, what they look for in their writing, and why Dave Eggers' dream is to print an issue of McSweeney's Quarterly entirely on glass.More

A video parody of the Beastie Boys' hit 'Girls', encouraging girls to forgo princesses for toolkits, is at the centre of a copyright lawsuit - a pre-emptive one, brought by toy company GoldieBlox, makers of the ad, after they were contacted by the Beastie Boys' lawyers. The Beasties have issued an open letter saying that while they admire the ad's creativity and message, they have made a conscious decision not to allow their music or name to be used in product ads., Greg Foyster attended a Workaholics Anonymous meeting as part of the research for his book, [Changing Gears](http://www.affirmpress.com.au/changing-gears), which explores various ways of living a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. There, the former adman turned freelance writer discovered more home truths than he expected, Browse 30 beautiful abandoned places from around the world. Consider some arguments about paid maternity leave - Eva Cox defending Tony Abbott's scheme as 'feminist' and Zoe Dattner arguing that paid maternity leave is 'toxic'. The Believer interviews Rashida Jones. The New Yorker on Oprah's Book Club. And what happens when gender roles are reversed in advertising?, Former advertising copywriter Greg Foyster tells how advertising promotes discontentment with what we have in order to sell us stuff we don’t need – and how the resulting waste is choking ecosystems and causing dangerous climate change., On the occasion of Victoria's public holiday in honour of gambling ... we mean, a horse race ... we thought it was timely to share an advertisement made for ABC1's *Gruen Planet* that aims to make Australians stop caring about the Melbourne Cup. It's also a pretty effective anti-gambling ad in general., Most people know that children's author Dr Seuss used a pseudonym: his real name was Theodor Geisel. But did you know that his day job was in advertising? In this week's Friday High Five, we share five examples of Dr Seuss's advertising work. , The ethics of spruiking and Adam Alter: Drunk Tank Pink: The subconscious forces that shape how we think, feel and behaveMore

In the internet age, we're technically more connected than ever - but does the ease of connecting online make it harder to connect IRL (in real life)? How do we negotiate public and private space? What are teenagers doing online - and how can we make sure they're safe? Kirsten Krauth researched these issues for her first novel, just_a_girl., We speak to Kirsten Alexander, editor of digital-only magazine Open Field, an Australian project that attracts contributors from around the world (who donate their services for free) and donates all the proceeds to charity organisation CARE Australia., We've been talking to tech-savvy writers and publishers this week, finding out how they navigate the brave new world of promoting books online. Today, we share some dos and don'ts for writers, from Benjamin Law, Text Publishing, Paddy O'Reilly, Hardie Grant Books and others. How do you use social media well? How do you avoid turning people off? And should you build an author website? (The answer: yes.), How should authors and publishers navigate the brave new world of spruiking books online? Should you dip your toe into every form of social media, or immerse yourself in one? How often should you use social media to sell and promote, and how often to chat and share news? We asked a selection of authors and publishers, including Ben Law, Monica Dux, Text Publishing and MUP. Here's what we found out., How are Australian publishers using the internet to sell books? What happens when a 1970s star director, a porn star, Bret Easton Ellis and a celebrity in meltdown combine on the set of a microbudget film? What's it like to have a publishing mega-hit on your CV? Why has Neil Gaiman teamed up with Blackberry? And what's the cold hard truth about writing and publishing? All these questions are answered in this week's Friday High Five. , What is ‘mummy blogging’? Why is it so popular? Is it infantilising to label grown women as ‘mummies’? We talk to Australian women who blog about motherhood, and to one of the childless, blogless 'mummy bloggers' from Julia Gillard's morning tea, to find out the answers. and As Wikipedia blacks its English site out for a day and other sites obscure their text with black strips, we glance at the discussion surrounding online piracy and freedom of speech.More

Austrian artist Klaus Pichler has created a bizarre yet familiar photographic series, Just the Two of Us, photographing different kinds of people who habitually wear costumes, in their homes. The dissonance between the outlandish appearance of the subjects and their very ordinary surrounds is striking., Actor Anna Gunn ponders what the hatred of her character Skyler White says about our society's feelings about strong, non-submissive, ill-treated women. A new indie video game lets you play at being a novelist. Water, as you've never seen it before. David Simon pays tribute to Elmore Leonard. And Adam Gopnik defends the teaching of literature in universities., What do you get when you combine famous gloom merchants Morrissey and Charlie Brown? This Charming Charlie. Meet sword-maker to the stars Tony Swatton, the man behind many of the weapons we see on screen. Photographer Carl Warner makes landscapes out of food - and now, human bodies. Revisit the top ten fictional newsrooms, from Anchorman to Press Gang. And find out what famous writers like Carl Hiassen and Lydia Davis would write under their fantasy pen names., Meet Stephen King's family of writers. Find out how China is going to unusual (and uncomfortable) measures to survive a heat wave. How do the creators of TV's villains make us care about them? And we share some stunning photographs: winners of the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest and weird spiders from Singapore., New research proves that psychopaths can be trained to feel empathy. Germany's power plants have been photographed in intimate detail, before they all close in 2022. Natalie Portman will make her directing debut with Amos Oz's memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness. A series of new photo-essays document American life in the 70s, by region. And Neil Gaiman has designed his first video game, Wayward Manor. , Guardian Australia is now a going concern - we look at David Marr's first piece and Elmo Keep's argument against its aggregation model. We look at the best one-star Amazon reviews of classic novels - and their, erm, original takes on past masters. Writer Jessica Francis Kane remembers her past as a publicist in New York, as a book-loving English graduate. A photography exhibition in New York is raising eyebrows - and questions about privacy. And Prozac, 25 years on ... does it help or hinder creative work? and Hurricane Sandy has made 'climate change' less of a dirty phrase in US politics, as the consequences of a warming planet become all too palpable. We take a sneak peek at 'Hitchcock: The Movie', starring Anthony Hopkins as the legendary director. David Simon shares his thoughts on what Obama's win and his disparate supporter base mean for a changing America - including the end of the white man as the definition of 'normal'. And we look at wearable literary fashion and photography based on cereal sculptures.More

It's Sex Week at the Wheeler Centre this week - and to set the mood, we've gathered some of the best bad romance covers we could find. , Text Publishing's W.H. Chong and freelance designer Anne-Marie Reeves open up to Thuy On about the art, the pitfalls and the pleasures of book cover design., It's always fun to see old classics imagined anew for the 21st-century reader. Two UK design prizes, both hosted by Penguin, have just announced their shortlists for new covers for Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep and Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows - and the results are well worth a browse., The US government has been revealed as having worked with the big tech companies to spy on the public - tracking emails, photographs, video and other digital communication. Miranda July has launched a project where you can sign up to snoop on other people's emails. Clive James tells why the US literary scene is too nice - while in the UK, savaging books is a 'recognized blood sport'. Flavour Palace is serving up lime and cheese milkshakes, canned soup and an irreverent attitude towards food and eating. And we share some Anne of Green Gables love., Chicago designer Jenny Volvoski has set herself a fascinating new project - she designs her own covers for the books she reads. They're documented on her blog, From Cover to Cover., In this week's Friday High Five, we look at the iPad generation, some covers of classic books so bad they're good, Lena Dunham's doggie loves, and how one writer tricked the New Yorker into rejecting itself. And there's the inaugural shortlist of The Stella Prize! and Monday mornings can be tough. If you're suffering Mondayitis and could use a little pick-me-up, take time out to browse these particularly good-looking book covers we've sourced from around the internet. Some are bizarre, some are clever, and some are just plain gorgeous. Enjoy!More

People with disabilities - and the everyday challenges they face - have been in the spotlight over the past week, as the national Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has dominated headlines and political coverage. For award-winning writer Joel Deane, the political is deeply personal: his daughter Sophie has Down Syndrome. Last week, he attended a public high school open day, looking for a high school for his daughter - and was sadly reminded that discrimination is alive and well in today's Australia., Mothers' groups attract strong feelings - they're either loved or loathed by their members, as strongholds of sisterhood and support, or arenas of judgement and one-upmanship. Why are they so significant? In this extract from her new book, Things I Didn't Expect (When I Was Expecting), Monica Dux explains how these groups are the places where the brand new identity of Mother is tried on for size., Last week, we had an impassioned response to Catherine Deveny's Lunchbox/Soapbox decrying 'helicopter parents' in favour of '70s parenting'. Jessie Cole examines why some mothers feel such an oppressive sense of responsibility for their children’s well-being. She asks: How – in the giant, multifaceted and complicated society we all inhabit – can everything still be the mother’s fault? and Catherine Deveny decries helicopter parents, attachment parenting, yummy mummies, kids in cafes and trampolines with fences around them - in favour of 1970s-style 'blimp parenting'. (Benevolent neglect, quality boredom, and independence as a result of parental indifference.) And she looks back on a childhood where kids were sent out to buy smokes for the grown-ups, advised to 'get some colour on you' (no sunscreen required) and given the independence to ride bikes, climb roofs and run barefoot down at the creek.More

Kerryn Goldsworthy, freelance reviewer and current Pascall Critic of the Year, shares her opinion on the ingredients of a good review, the tell-tale components of a bad review, and the various groups a reviewer has a responsibility to when assessing a book, from the reader to 'the people who are paying you'., James Tierney responds to Robyn Annear's Monthly review of ten Australian literary magazines, weighing the evidence she gathers to support her view that these 'oddball miscellanies' mainly exist to grant publication to emerging writers - and opening out into a wider conversation about what a good review (with well-supported arguments) can do., Kylie Ladd reviews Richard Ford's eagerly awaited new novel, Canada, a rich, nuanced study of tipping points and transgressions. Her verdict? Ford examines 'the ways in which our lives are shaped; how we are moulded and created not just by what we’ve done, but also by what is done to us'., As we launch our new series of long-form reviews - The Long View - Wheeler Centre director Michael Williams discusses the lack of publication opportunities for extended arts criticism, and why we've decided to do something about it., On the eve of our first Debut Monday of 2012, Chris Flynn writes about the weirdness of becoming an author. Especially when you’ve been making your living as a reviewer – and now it’s your turn to be reviewed., Rewriting the poetry canon is a fraught affair. and Reviews may be spiteful, but dishonesty is beyond the paleMore

Earlier this week, in a Digital Writers Festival Event, Sophie Cunningham spoke to four of the shortlisted writers of The Stella Prize about their work, the prize and raising the profile of women's writing. Here are some highlights., It's been the year of women on the Australian literary award scene, with the awarding of the first Stella Prize and the first ever all-women Miles Franklin shortlist. Paul Mitchell asks if it's time to turn our attention to men - not by creating an award for male writers, but one designed to attract male readers to literary fiction., The Miles Franklin shortlist for 2013 has been announced - and it's the year of the women writers. In a reverse of the much-talked-about 'sausagefests' of 2009 and 2011, all five of the shortlisted authors are women. This is the first ever all-women shortlist. We spoke to the Stella Prize's Aviva Tuffield and Sophie Cunningham, reviewer Kerryn Goldsworthy, former Miles longlisted author Patrick Allington, and bookseller Martin Shaw, to get their thoughts. , The first ever Stella Prize for a work by an Australian woman writer was awarded last night, to Carrie Tiffany for her novel Mateship with Birds. We report on her generous and surprising give-away of some of the prize money, Helen Garner's smash-hit speech, and Tiffany's reaction to winning - and words on why we need the Stella Prize., Famed book editor Maxwell Perkins once said that an an 'editor does not add to a book. At best he serves as a handmaiden…' Melissa Cranenburgh talks to two Australian editors - Aviva Tuffield and Samantha Sainsbury - about their behind-the-scenes roles in the business of bringing a book to life., In this week's Friday High Five, we look at the iPad generation, some covers of classic books so bad they're good, Lena Dunham's doggie loves, and how one writer tricked the New Yorker into rejecting itself. And there's the inaugural shortlist of The Stella Prize!, The Stella Prize, Australia's first major prize for women's writing (fiction or non-fiction), will be launched in 2013. The prize will be $50,000 and the judging panel will be critic Kerryn Goldsworthy, writer Kate Grenville, actor Claudia Karvan and the ABC's Rafael Epstein. and The Stella PrizeMore

MIchelle de Kretser has won this year's Miles Franklin Literary Award for her fourth novel, Questions of Travel (Allen & Unwin). We look at the judges' verdict and some of the reviews., It's been the year of women on the Australian literary award scene, with the awarding of the first Stella Prize and the first ever all-women Miles Franklin shortlist. Paul Mitchell asks if it's time to turn our attention to men - not by creating an award for male writers, but one designed to attract male readers to literary fiction., There's been a lot of talk about 'sausage fests' over the past few weeks, with the first all-female Miles Franklin shortlist sparking memories of the all-male lists of the recent past - which were given the meaty nickname. Writer Paul Mitchell tells why the term is not just confronting and demeaning, but risks reinforcing the idea that men are just their genitals. ('Which many men think anyway.') So, should we rethink our language?, The Miles Franklin shortlist for 2013 has been announced - and it's the year of the women writers. In a reverse of the much-talked-about 'sausagefests' of 2009 and 2011, all five of the shortlisted authors are women. This is the first ever all-women shortlist. We spoke to the Stella Prize's Aviva Tuffield and Sophie Cunningham, reviewer Kerryn Goldsworthy, former Miles longlisted author Patrick Allington, and bookseller Martin Shaw, to get their thoughts. , This year's Miles Franklin longlist was announced in an unusual - but thoroughly contemporary - way. The covers of the nine longlisted books were revealed, one by one, on Twitter, in what Crikey literary blogger Bethanie Blanchard labeled 'a slow literary striptease'. We reveal the ten longlisted books - eight of them by women writers. , The Stella Prize, Australia's first major prize for women's writing (fiction or non-fiction), will be launched in 2013. The prize will be $50,000 and the judging panel will be critic Kerryn Goldsworthy, writer Kate Grenville, actor Claudia Karvan and the ABC's Rafael Epstein. and In our latest Working with Words, we talk to current Miles Franklin shortlistee Tony Birch about writing, teaching creative writing, finding your mentor on the page, and dreaming of being Atticus Finch's son.More

Wheeler Centre director Michael Williams shares his best books of 2013 ... and what a bumper list it is!, In the third instalment of our year-ending series, we share reading highlights of 2013 from around the Wheeler Centre office., Today, in Part Two of our Wheeler Centre Staff Best Books 2013, we hear picks from online manager Jon Tjhia, executive assistant Katherine Lynch, publicist Tamara Zimet and senior writer/editor Jo Case. Your summer reading solutions could be right here ... , Today, find out what head of programming Simon Abrahams, programming coordinator Donica Bettanin, project coordinator Lucy De Kretser and series producer Gemma Rayner have nominated as their Best Books of 2013. Feel free to add your own picks (or arguments) in the comments section!, We've asked some of the authors we've worked with this year to share their picks for their Best Books of 2013. See what Hannah Kent, Alex Miller, Malcolm Knox, Anna Goldsworthy and more chose as their favourite reads this year. , It's that time of year when passionate readers and published writers (and critics) alike put together their lists of their favourite books of the year. We've brought together some 'Best Books 2013' lists to set the scene, from sources as disparate as the New York Times and Melbourne's own Readings. and Paddy O'Reilly's latest novel, The Fine Colour of Rust, was chosen as a Wheeler Centre staff pick in our Best Books of 2012. We spoke to Paddy about being mistaken for a man (it's the name), the thrill of seeing her printed books on bookshop shelves, and why it's important to complete pieces of work if you want to be a writer.More

When Marcus Westbury launched a Pozible campaign to crowdfund his book Creating Cities, he hoped he might raise $10,000 within 60 days. He reached his goal within 24 hours. At the end of the 60 days, he'd raised over $40,000 - and pre-sold around 900 books. We talked to Marcus about how his campaign worked, why he decided to crowdfund his book, and the possibilities the model might hold for other writers - particularly those with established communities around their work, or niche audiences that don't fit the bookshop distribution model., Caroline Jumpertz, Neighborhood Life & Features Editor for DNAinfo.com, a hyperlocal news website in New York City, talks about what hyperlocal means, why hyperlocal reporting is working in a city of nine million people, and how it could work in Australia, too., Feminist commentator Karen Pickering may seem an unlikely advocate for the CWA: young, urban and more concerned with social justice than mastering scones. But in her spirited and surprising Lunchbox/Soapbox last week, she convincingly argued why the CWA is a varied and valuable organisation - with a significant investment in the wider community, and improving the lot of women, in Australia and overseas., Two years ago, Michael Green began researching a story about homelessness for the Big Issue. He followed the fortunes of two people: Albert, who had been homeless most of his life; and Dee, who was on the brink of it, for the first time. He and Dee are still in contact. 'After the article was published, something extraordinary happened that involved us both, and a man named Rob, from Sydney, who happened to buy a copy of that edition.', Cultural Solutions and Crime and Punishment: Perspectives on Community SafetyMore

The Australian War Memorial was first advised internally to acknowledge the frontier wars way back in 1979. Our military historians accept that colonial conflict is part of our military history, but the Memorial still holds out. Why? **Michael Green** investigates., One of the world’s fastest-growing social movements is calling for citizens and institutions to sell out of fossil fuels – but it’s not just a matter of morality. Hard-headed analysts say there’s a growing risk of a collapse in the value of fossil fuel investments. Taken together, these warnings present a new way to understand our climate crisis. Michael Green takes us inside the movement - starting in the offices of Goldman Sachs, listening to US climate activist Bill McKibben., Michael Green shares why he loves re-reading Breakfast at Tiffany's in Carlton, every autumn ... and why it surprises him every time. Quoting Norman Mailer, he says it is 'so extraordinary a work that it incites not writerly envy but pride'., Michael Green lifts the lid on the Victorian government's 'good news' approach to climate change. 'Gradual changes in temperature potentially enable industries to transition and develop,' says the new Climate Adaptation Plan. But studies show that climate change comes in abrupt steps, not a gradual shift. And that spells disaster ... which you'll know if you look for the fine print in the appendix to the plan. and How do we plan for a Melbourne that seems likely to be four degrees warmer by 2080? Unfortunately, Victoria - along with Brisbane and New South Wales - has weakened controls on planning for climate change, even in the face of recent fires and floods. 'If we don't prepare well, people will die,' writes Michael Green in this sobering report. 'At the moment, we are not planning well.'More

Last month, we published an article on anonymous reviewing, in the context of the new *Saturday Paper*'s embrace of the format. Soon after, we were approached by a *Saturday Paper* reviewer offering to give an alternative view. The Wheeler Centre's Jo Case spoke to the reviewer about the 'creative potential' of anonymous reviewing as a form (and the wider possibilities of doing criticism differently), the need to give a new space for literary coverage a chance, and a look at the *Saturday Paper* so far., We interview one of the creators of *Australian Tumbleweeds*, an anonymous comedy blog run by a small team of writers who are passionate about televised comedy and brand themselves 'Australia's most opinionated blog about comedy'. We talked about the state of Australian comedy (and television writing), why being critical encourages good work, and the freedoms and responsibilities of anonymity., Are anonymous book reviews a brave new enterprise or a dubious exercise? Is it possible to guard against score-settling when only the editor knows a reviewer's identity? What makes good criticism, and does anonymity help or hinder it? and James Ley is the editor of Australia's newest literary publication, the Sydney Review of Books, our (online-only) answer to the London Review of Books and New York Review of Books. We spoke to him about how the new publication came to life, its aims and operations, and his ideas about literary criticism and how social media has changed the literary community.More

We've been talking to tech-savvy writers and publishers this week, finding out how they navigate the brave new world of promoting books online. Today, we share some dos and don'ts for writers, from Benjamin Law, Text Publishing, Paddy O'Reilly, Hardie Grant Books and others. How do you use social media well? How do you avoid turning people off? And should you build an author website? (The answer: yes.), How should authors and publishers navigate the brave new world of spruiking books online? Should you dip your toe into every form of social media, or immerse yourself in one? How often should you use social media to sell and promote, and how often to chat and share news? We asked a selection of authors and publishers, including Ben Law, Monica Dux, Text Publishing and MUP. Here's what we found out., How are Australian publishers using the internet to sell books? What happens when a 1970s star director, a porn star, Bret Easton Ellis and a celebrity in meltdown combine on the set of a microbudget film? What's it like to have a publishing mega-hit on your CV? Why has Neil Gaiman teamed up with Blackberry? And what's the cold hard truth about writing and publishing? All these questions are answered in this week's Friday High Five. , There’s an uproar on the internet right now about the recent makeover of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, featuring a glamorous woman applying make-up in a compact mirror. Why are 'women's' novels marketed using make-up, flowers and pastel colours? Does it insult our intelligence, or is it simply clever marketing? and Adam Alter: Drunk Tank Pink: The subconscious forces that shape how we think, feel and behaveMore


Privacy Policy | Site by Inventive Labs.