Articles on Writing

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In some Aboriginal communities, over 50% of adults say they do not have the literacy they need for everyday tasks. Literacy for Life Foundation/Adam Sharman

To lift literacy levels among Indigenous children, their parents’ literacy skills must be improved first

The children who are least likely to attend school regularly – and do well – grow up in households where the adults themselves have very poor literacy skills.
Writing has never been easy, but sending writers out to find new ideas and people might be one way to help. Shutterstock.com

The best way to support writers is to feed them new ideas

Writers like Frank Moorhouse and Ben Eltham have proposed new long-term fellowships to support writing. But a better way may be more smaller grants, offering opportunities for travel.
William Faulkner’s typewriter in Mississippi. The writing life may sound idyllic, but it was often a furious battle to make ends meet. Visit Mississippi/Flickr

Scrounging for money: how the world’s great writers made a living

Writers have tried pretty much anything to make ends meet: advertising, journalism, butterfly collecting, working as a janitor or a postal clerk.
An artist’s depiction of the ‘shibboleth incident.’ Detail from art by H. de Blois, from The Bible and Its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons, vol. 3, edited by Charles F. Horne and Julius A. Bewer, 1908

The long history, and short future, of the password

Going as far back as the Bible, and as widely known as the phrase 'Open, Sesame,' passwords are a textual link to our past. But they may not be around much longer.
A bust of newspaper magnate Joseph Pulitzer looks on as reporters look through a box containing the announcements of the 1996 Pulitzer Prizes at Columbia University. AP Photo/Wally Santana

The key to writing a Pulitzer Prize-winning story? Get emotional

U.S. journalism has long championed an allegiance to cold objectivity. But one researcher analyzed Pulitzer Prize-winning stories from the past 20 years and found that they’re suffused with emotion.
Twain was an opinionated, prolific commentator on the personalities and political issues of his day. Terry Ballard/flickr

What would Mark Twain think of Donald Trump?

He probably would have been amused by – and maybe even befriended – Trump the entertainer. Trump the president? Not so much.
Emma Thompson as Elinor Dashwood in the 1995 film of Sense and Sensibility: a competent moral agent drawing only on her intelligence and experience. Columbia Pictures Corporation

Friday essay: the revolutionary vision of Jane Austen

This year is the bicentenary of Jane Austen's death and her celebrity continues to grow. But relegating Austen's work to plots about 'whether the heroine gets her man' belittles her achievement.
A termite mound in Cape Range National Park: WA’s geography has helped shape its writers. Susanna Dunkerley/AAP

From Tim Winton to Gail Jones: why writing matters in WA

With its dramatic landscape, relative isolation and vibrant counter culture, Western Australia has a thriving writing scene. But government funding cuts are biting.

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