Mini Master classes
Announcing our Mini-Masterclass podcasts! These are “bite-sized” conversations with professional writers, poets and editors, focusing on different aspects of story and writing – some examples of topics covered are: creating characters; gathering ideas; beating writer’s block; world building; research; writing poetry, and so on.
Best of all, they are completely free!!
“BRING GOOD BISCUITS” –
RUNNING WRITING GROUPS
with Michelle Rickerby
Producer and freelancer Michelle Rickerby speaks with James about the benefits of private writing groups, how to go about setting one up, and some of the pitfalls to watch out for.
with Malla Nunn
South African-born crime writer Malla Nunn (When the Ground is Hard; Present Darkness; A Beautiful Place to Die)talks to James about writing with originality whilst honouring the tropes that make crime such a popular genre.
Listen on your favourite podcast app or listen right here:
Please check them out, share and subscribe!
PICTURE BOOKS – A PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE
with Margaret Hamilton
Former Australian publisher and children’s literature expert Margaret Hamilton talks about picture books, but from the publisher’s perspective.
THE PERSONAL ESSAY
with Tanya Vavilova
Tanya Vavilova (We Speak in Code) talks about her approach to the personal essay, what “writing from the fringes” means to her, and why dogs would make good early-draft editors.
THE BARN-FED POET with Ali Whitelock
Author of poetry collections “and my heart crumples like a coke can” and “the lactic acid in the calves of your despair“, Ali Whitelock, talks about different poetry forms, and offers her views on everything from orange teacups to sheltering from bushfires under a woollen blanket.
HIP-HOP FOR FUN & PROFIT
Nardean is a Western Sydney singer, poet and hip-hop artist who featured on Triple-J Unearthed, and has garnered a strong following in the urban music world. She talks to James about how she got started in hip-hop, and the steps any new and aspiring hip-hop artists might go about kicking off their career.
WRITING WITH A PURPOSE
with Randa Abdel-Fattah
Randa Adbel-Fattah is a fiction writer, and essayist, and an academic. She has written for adults and young adults, (Does My Head Look Big In This?;When Michael Met Mina) and edited (with Sarah Saleh) the collection Arab, Australian, Other: Stories on Race and Identity. In this conversation with James Roy, she discusses her personal approach to writing about the big issues without being preachy and didactic.
FINDING TIME AND PLACE
with Scot Gardner
Award-winning YA author Scot Gardner talks about how he found the headspace and physical space to be the best and most productive writer he could be. There’s also a gratuitous reference to Danger Noodles of Fury.
EDITING PRE-EDITOR with James Roy
Editors are a writer’s best friend, but it’s important to send in the best draft you can. In this masterclass, James steps into the presenter’s chair to offer a few easy tips that will help ensure that you’ve done as much as you can to help your editor do all they can.
WORLD BUILDING with Deborah Abela
Popular Australian children’s author and highly sought-after creative writing teacher,
Deborah Abela (Grimsdon; New City; The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee)
talks about creating worlds that are immersive and ring true to the reader, even if they’re fantasy or science fiction.
WRITING PICTURE BOOKS with Amelia McInerney
Amelia McInerney (The Book Chook; Bad Crab) speaks with James about that first idea, learning from the best,
and letting go of the reins once the text goes to the illustrator.
SHORT STORIES with James Roy
Our very own James Roy (WestWords’ program manager for Blacktown and the Blue Mountains) is also the award-winning author of 35 books, including Town, a collection of short stories which won the 2008 Ethel Turner Prize in the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, and was nominated for the prestigious German Youth Literature Prize. In this masterclass he goes from interviewer to presenter, to discuss some of his best tips to help writers who are struggling with the short story form.
POETRY FOR BEGINNERS with Harry Laing
Poet for adults and children, Harry Laing, shares his love of poetry, offers some useful tips for getting started, and explains why we should even bother.
SETTING with Tim Harris
Bestselling author for young people, Tim Harris (Toffle Towers; Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables) talks with James Roy about how he uses setting to create believable worlds for his characters, and his readers.
WRITING ABOUT IDENTITY with Melina Marchetta
“The middle ground between tokenism and stereotype is just good storytelling”. Australian YA legend Melina Marchetta (Looking for Alibrandi; Saving Francesca; Finnikin of the Rock; The Piper’s Son) talks about what she has learnt about writing from the perspective of identity in the 28 years since her first novel was released, and what has changed – or hasn’t changed – in the way writers can best approach questions of identity in their work.
USE OF LANGUAGE IN HISTORICAL FICTION with Catherine Jinks
Award-winning writer of over fifty books, Catherine Jinks (Pagan’s Crusade; Evil Genius; City of Orphans series; Shepherd) discusses her approach to finding authenticity in language when writing historical fiction.
I, MEMOIRIST with Fiona Wright
Poet, essayist, critic and memoirist Fiona Wright speaks of her approach to the intersection between essays and memoir, and how she uses the smallest details to explore the bigger, grander themes of family, belonging, and our social fabric.
ANGER & ELOQUENCE – CREATING TENSION with John Larkin
Award-winning writer John Larkin (The Shadow Girl; The Pause) talks about how he creates and raises tension in his works of fiction. Plus there’s a retelling of his infamous Possum Story.
NON-FICTION – BRING ME AN ANGLE with James Knight
“Don’t bring me a story – bring me an angle.” Journalist, sports writer and biographer James Knight discusses how a non-fiction writer takes an idea, then zooms in, zooms out, and examines it from every side, looking for the best angle. Plus James Roy tells a terrible joke about Sherlock Holmes going camping.
CHARACTERS FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with Rawah Arja