The foot is the basic unit for what we consider to be romantic and beautiful: poetry.
Poetic terminology can be alienating, off-putting. Whispering "dactylic hexameter" in people's ears won't necessarily tempt them into reading heroic verse. But there is hope – and poetry – for us all.
This is what happens when science writing gets too turgid.
Science can be fascinating and exciting. But much science writing is dull and obscure. Here are some of the tricks scientists often use to suck the joy out of science.
Classrooms should be full of discussion.
Students reach the middle years of high school with poor vocabularies and unable to work with language in sophisticated ways.
Lee Child, left, with Andy Martin in New York.
It is the ultimate 'meta-novel': Andy Martin got his own book out of watching a popular author write his latest tome.
PhD students taking part in a writing bootcamp at the University of New South Wales.
Research writing events have become a popular way for academics to develop their writing skills and socialise with others.
When we speak of writer’s block, we may actually be talking about a ‘creation block’.
The dreaded blank page haunts every writer. But what happens in your brain when you run dry? And, more importantly, what – if anything – can be done about it?
Emoji wave scene.
Can emojis be used to tell stories, and if so what kinds of stories can we use them to tell? The National Young Writer's Festival, which opens today, aims to find out.
Can learning to write about sex help young people navigate their love lives?
Sex is part of young people's lives. So how do we teach young authors to navigate tricky narrative waters when they write about it?
Oliver Sacks died of cancer this past week.
Sacks was able to communicate the fascinating workings of the brain in ways that evoked understanding and compassion.
Back-to-school time comes with rich, teachable moments.
The time of transitioning back to school is crucial for both parents and children. Here's what you can do.
The Museum of Science and Industry in Hiroshima, August 1945.
Everett Historical / Shutterstock.com
John Hersey's article Hiroshima (1946) is seminal in historical and literary terms: the shocking realities of the atomic bomb demanded a new way of writing.
We need to consider what balance we want to achieve between the heritage and contemporary arts.
AAP Image/Julian Smith. Artists of the Australian Ballet rehearse for the The Dream.
Given the pressure being applied to the majority of people working in the arts sector, we would be foolish not to consider the roles and inherited rights of Australia's major performing companies.
If you’re a screenwriter, it’s Hollywood or bust.
Success as a screenwriter takes as much tenacity as talent.
Technology has always transformed the novel and given it new shapes to play with.
Victor Hugo famously claimed the invention of the printing press destroyed the edifice of the gothic cathedral. Others fear the internet age will eventually destroy the novel. But guess what? It won't.
But when academics retire it’s far from clear what this means.
When your local butcher or grocer retires, it’s perfectly clear what this means. They are no longer there in the shop when you next go in. Someone else has taken over, or the shop has changed to another…
Suspense on screen comes from manipulating the obstructions between the audience and what they know is coming.
Manipulating the obstructions between the audience and what they know is coming is key to an effective cliffhanger.
If you’re not born with creativity, do you have to struggle to acquire it?
Recently one of my Masters students, a filmmaker from the Czech Republic, told me his friends back at home were completely baffled that he was in Australia studying creative writing. You were either creative…
Literary translation has occurred for centuries (the Bible is a prime example). And with Nobel Prize winners like French author Patrick Modiano, it’s unlikely to disappear anytime soon.
I recently stumbled upon a post that describes the process of literary translation as “soul-crushing.” That’s news to me, and I’ve been engaged in literary translation for the better part of four decades…
Literary awards can have a profound impact on sales – and, in the future, which books get published and promoted.
There’s a lot of attention right now on diversity in children’s books – or, more accurately, the lack of it. It’s not a new problem. White people have been talking about this issue since Nancy Larrick…
This post is the third in my series about print-on-demand and book publishing. The Small Press Network (SPN) is a not-for-profit incorporation with more than 120 small publisher members. The 3rd annual…