Authors from the 2015 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlist share their tips:
Tips for getting started writing each day:
Ross Coulthart, Charles Bean (Harper Collins Publishers, shortlisted for the Australian History award):
Before you go to bed each night, read through the next bit of writing that has you stumped. I find my subconscious works on it while I’m sleeping, and I have the answer in the morning. I write it all down as soon as I wake.
Darren Groth, Are You Seeing Me? (Woolshed Press, shortlisted for the Young Adult Fiction award):
Set goals, word counts if you must. Remember: in the end, it’s about ‘how good’, not ‘how many’.
Dave Metzenthen, One Minute’s Silence (Allen & Unwin, shortlisted for the Children’s Fiction award):
To get started each day, you have to have an idea that you believe has potential! This is tricky as good ideas as are hard to find, but I find going for a walk with my dog is essential before I turn on my computer. Walking frees up your thoughts, and coffee is also a part of this. Then, if you have an idea, you go home, sit down, shut the door and me… well, I wait until some words kind of present themselves to be written, which can take a while.
My favourite place to write:
Barrie Cassidy, Private Bill (Melbourne University Press, shortlisted for the Non-Fiction award):
No favourite place though, with Private Bill, I wrote while travelling in Austria and Crete. I can recommend that. Otherwise I prefer the kitchen table to the study. Go figure.
Judith Rossell, Withering-by-Sea (ABC Books, shortlisted for the Children’s Fiction award):
I generally work in a spare room in my house, in front of a window so I can look out and watch people in the street.
Judith Beveridge, Devadatta’s Poems (Giramondo Publishing, shortlisted for the Poetry award):
My favourite place for writing is my study – a garage which I have turned into a comfortable writing space full of books.
Winners of the 2015 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards were announced on Monday 14 December in Sydney. Winners can be found here.