Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why My New Book Has to Fend for Itself

Anyone who knows me or my books knows I don’t back away when I put a new one out. I put a lot into each one and I want to give it the best chance it can have of finding … Continue reading

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So, What’s It About? Describing Empires …

The blurb says it’s about a lot: Alaska, 2018, and Mike is a long way from home, nursing a wrecked knee and an unspoken grief, striking out into real estate and parenting his partner’s son. London, 1978, and Simon is … Continue reading

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Narrative Toolkit Now Available for Individuals (plus FAQs)

Rarely do I get to say I’m doing something ‘in response to popular demand’, so I’m going to grab the chance when it arises. Which is now. After posting about my secondary schools Narrative Toolkit talk and extended workshop, people … Continue reading

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Narrative Toolkit school talk and new writing workshop now available online

30/11/20 UPDATE: If the COVID situation in Southeast Qld remains as it is at the moment, I’ll be back in local schools (in a COVID-safe way) in 2021, and my agents are now talking bookings on that basis. The Narrative … Continue reading

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A Recipe for Porcupine Pie – How We Assess Creative Writing in Schools

In his days at the Brill Building songwriting factory in the early ‘60s, Neil Diamond became accustomed to writing songs against the clock, but even he had his limits. Those limits even have a name: Porcupine Pie. I heard an … Continue reading

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Losing Andrew McGahan

I can’t say I really knew Andrew McGahan, but he wasn’t really one for being known. He lived his life in a way that made it clear that wanting to write and wanting to be part of the writing and … Continue reading

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Nobel Prize Winner Steals Festival Director’s Pillows

Or so the story goes. And it’s not alone. It’s one of those stories that circulate among writers, but don’t usually make their way into the wider world. With a new book about to come out, the experienced writer marshals … Continue reading

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On Unplugging (At Least Sometimes)

Brisbane’s last walk-in video store is about to close. I can’t say I realised one was still open, but it’s not a bad time to pause and note the transience of an industry that started from nothing only 40 years … Continue reading

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20 Things I Wish Teenagers Knew

For the Celebrate Reading conference in Fremantle late last year, I was asked to prepare something on the topic of ‘What I Wished Teenagers Knew’. This list sort of wrote itself: 1. Try to eat food made of ingredients rather … Continue reading

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Letter to the Nobel Prize Committee

Dear Nobel Prize Committee, First, let me be clear that I’m not here to enter into the debate as to whether or not this year’s (current) recipient should have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Enough frantic typing has … Continue reading

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