Articles on Writing

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The current debate about comparability would be more concerning if 2018 results showed radically different trends compared to previous years, but they don’t. www.shutterstock.com

NAPLAN 2018 summary results: a few weeks late, but otherwise little change from previous years

The current debate about comparability would be more concerning if 2018 results showed radically different trends compared to previous years, but they don’t.
Guy Pearce as the Chandleresque private investigator Jack Irish: in the early years of Australian crime fiction, convicts and bushrangers featured prominently. Lachlan Moore

Friday essay: from convicts to contemporary convictions – 200 years of Australian crime fiction

Australia's rich tradition of crime fiction is little known – early tales told of bushrangers and convicts, one hero was a mining engineer turned amateur detective – but it reveals a range of national myths and fantasies.
As Mark Twain once said, ‘Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.’ Jake Simonds-Malamud

It’s time for a new approach to travel

Globalism has made it easier than ever to visit faraway places – and easier to never really leave home while you're there.
Former President Bill Clinton promotes ‘The President is Missing,’ the new novel he wrote with James Patterson, in New York. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

In retirement, most ex-presidents can’t resist the urge to stay relevant

What happens to motivated, determined and egotistical men when they are forced to abandon the White House? As John Quincy Adams once said, 'There is nothing more pathetic in life than a former president.'
Four of the six shortlisted books for the 2018 Stella Prize were from smaller presses, as was the winner, Alexis Wright’s Tracker. Stella Prize

Friday essay: the remarkable, prize-winning rise of our small publishers

As major publishers chase bestselling books, small ones are leading the way in publishing Australian literary fiction. And of late, they have been sweeping our major literary awards.
An echidna in the Western Granites at Jam Tree Gully. John Kinsella

Friday essay: species sightings

On his bush block in the WA wheatbelt, poet John Kinsella attempts habitat restoration and reflects on the responsibilities of the writer as a witness to species loss.
Even common knowledge isn’t immune. ledokolua/Shutterstock.com

Writing’s power to deceive

Reading something that sows doubt about a widely agreed-upon fact – even the election of George Washington as president – can have a profound effect.
Christina Ricci as Zelda and David Hoflin as F. Scott in the TV series Z: The Beginning of Everything (2015). Two films about Zelda’s life are currently underway, starring Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Lawrence respectively. Amazon Studios, Killer Films, Picrow

Zelda Fitzgerald: a creative voice curtailed who speaks to our cultural moment

During her lifetime, Zelda Fitzgerald's creativity and contribution to her husband's work were woefully undervalued. Two new films will tell her story.
file ubn. Marin Dacos/VisualHunt

Understanding children’s mirror writing

Spontaneous mirror writing by both left- and right-handed children has long remained a mystery. Recent studies of brain processing and writing have led to an unexpected explanation.

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