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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.

Majors and the majority: planning for Australia’s artistic legacy starts now

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.
Technology has always transformed the novel and given it new shapes to play with. Thomas Leuthard

The byte may destroy the book but the novel isn’t over yet

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. Sal/Flickr

Can academics ever really retire?

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…
If you’re not born with creativity, do you have to struggle to acquire it? Robin Taylor/Flickr

Teaching creativity: born that way or waiting for the muse?

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. Wikimedia Commons

Absorbed in translation: the art – and fun – of literary translation

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. QQ Li/Flickr

How this year’s National Book Awards could change the face of children’s literature

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…
Man Booker winner Eleanor Catton has funded a grant to let readers write. EPA/TAL COHEN

Reading as a creative act: Eleanor Catton’s bold new grant

Booker Prize-winner Eleanor Catton announced last week she would use her NZ$15,000 winnings from the New Zealand Post best fiction and people’s choice prizes to set up a new grant for writers, dedicated…
Bic is gathering handwriting samples to produce a new typeface. Caligrafia

Digging for data in Bic’s typeface experiment

Pen maker Bic has been asking people around to world to submit their handwriting so it can produce what it is calling the Universal Typeface. Although the experiment is not claiming to have any scientific…
True story, seriously, it’s all about me. Nathan O'Nions

Non-fiction’s beauty is in the I of the beholder

Are we being saturated with “inconsequential memoir”? That question was posed in the latest edition of The Lifted Brow (TLB), a print/online journal of new Australian and international (think US) writing…
Videogames have the capacity to be complex and engaging in ways not possible in other media. Koen Van Weel/EPA

All work, all play: the art of videogame writing

Games writers dream up characters, dialogue, motivations and plot much like film screenwriters. But rather than keeping an audience captive for two or three hours at a time as in cinema, gamers will play…
Filer’s work is based on experiences as a psychiatric nurse. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Nathan Filer’s stunning debut wins Costa book award

“I live a Cut & Paste kind of life”. So the narrator of Nathan Filer’s The Shock of the Fall tells us. But in terms of its daring exploration of a life little understood and left in shadow, there is…
Digital technology has changed what, when, where and how we read. zandwacht

When books go digital: The Kills and the future of the novel

There is a section early in Richard House’s transmedia novel The Kills – published this year by Pan Macmillan and long-listed for the 2013 Man Booker Prize – in which the protagonist, Ford, is on the run…
Have you finished that novel yet? NaNoWriMo might be the answer. Sharon Drummond

NaNoWriMo and the art of speed writing

Let’s imagine I’m writing this article with my tomato-red Pomodoro timer gently ticking over in productive 25-minute intervals while taking a break from the novel I’m writing at a rate of 1,500 words a…
Academic writing doesn’t have to be old and dusty. Wyoming_Jackrabbit

Seven secrets of stylish academic writing

Imagine that the editor of a widely-read magazine or, say, The Conversation has heard about your academic research and invited you to contribute an article. But you only know how to produce stodgy, impersonal…

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