Categories for Writing

Finding time to write – and then using it …

Woman writing at desk

Danielle Hawkins lives on a sheep and beef farm near Otorohanga with her husband and two children. She works part-time as a large animal vet, and writes when the kids are at school. To say her life is busy is a gross understatement and yet she's just published her fourth novel When It All Went to Custard. For all aspiring writers (particularly those who are mums), Danielle has given us an insight into her writing process. READ MORE

What it means when we say ‘good voice’

Two men in conversation

The Banjo Prize is up and running for the second year - hooray! - so we asked one of our Fiction publishers, Catherine Milne, what she wants from authors when she asks for 'good voice'. I can hardly believe it’s been a year, but the months have rolled around and – ta dah! – we’ve reopened our submissions for the Banjo Prize 2019 to find Australia’s next great storyteller!  And I’m sitting here now at my desk, feeling happy, because I’m looking at the gorgeous blue and gold cover of Taking Tom Murray Home, by Tim Slee, the winner of last year’s first ever Banjo Prize, which we’ll be publishing in August this year. READ MORE

Why the first page of a manuscript is so important

Woman writing on paper

Unsurprisingly, first impressions are important when convincing publishers to take a chance on a manuscript. But there's a fine art to a good opening, and even the best story can be let down by a bad first page. Anna Valdinger, our Commercial Fiction Publisher, reads a lot of submission letters. So she knows a thing or two about what makes a manuscript stand out. We asked her to share a few top tips for writers to consider when submitting their work for The Banjo Prize. READ MORE

Q&A with Daniel Silva: author of the Gabriel Allon novels

Known as the master of the modern spy thriller, Daniel Silva is the award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of 19 novels, most recently The Black Widow, House of Spies and now The Other Woman. His books are published in more than thirty countries and are bestsellers around the world. After releasing a series of ripped-from-the-headlines thrillers covering stolen masterpieces, ISIS terrorists and religious plots, Silva and Allon have turned their attention to Putin's Russia in The Other WomanREAD MORE

How Amie Kaufman turned her visit to Iceland into a fantasy novel for young readers

Christopher Tovo, Amie Kaufman Writing Process

Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult and middle grade fiction, including Unearthed and the Starbound trilogy with Meagan Spooner and the Illuminae Files with Jay Kristoff. Elementals: Ice Wolves is the first book in this exciting new middle grade series, so we asked Amie to shed some light on her writing process. It turns out that her research involves meeting real wolves, searching for magical items, and standing perilously close to icy rivers! READ MORE

Thank You For Entering The Banjo Prize

Words: Catherine Milne, Head of Local Fiction Publishing When we dreamed up the idea of the Banjo Prize – as a way of finding Australia’s next great storyteller – I wasn’t sure what we could expect.  It’s quite one thing to dream up something like this, and quite another thing to put it out into the world.  Maybe, I thought hopefully to myself, just maybe, we might get some interest.  After all, while there are quite a few well established literary prizes out there – the Vogel and the Richell Prize, just to name a couple – there’s not so many competitions out there for people who just want to tell rippingly good stories. READ MORE

Tessa Lunney on Female detectives in Fiction

I came late to crime. During my teens, my peers delved into the dark recesses of noir, while my mother and aunts explored murders in Ancient Rome, Medieval England and 1960s Oxford. Instead, I was poring over Shakespeare and Keats, I was involved with D H Lawrence and Jane Austen, I was discovering the joys of working in a bookshop. Crime was too grisly, with its serial killers and forensic dissections. Crime was too dark and I was a sensitive soul. Crime was nothing like anything I was taught at school or university. I gave it a wide berth. READ MORE