Why I like Australian Authors


You might think the easy answer is because I am Australian. But that is only a very small part of the complete answer. I don’t think there is another writing community in the entire world that is as supportive – for both successful writers, emerging writers, baby writers and wannabees  – as the Australian writing community. It isn’t a network of competing, parochial individuals, it is a proper community that opens its arms to anyone with a love of books and authors.

I personally know of many successful Australian authors who bend over backwards to be helpful and encouraging to the newbies. Of course, many writers hold courses or offer services for which you pay cash; writers need to eat and pay rent. And yet, I can’t think of the number of times some lovely person has given me advice or support just because they are kind and thoughtful: Jennifer Fallon, Angela Slatter, Michael Pryor, Ged Maybury, Richard Harland, Gillian Polack, Pamela Freeman, Jason Nahrung, Kylie Chan, Marianne de Pierres, Michael Gerard Bauer, Trent Jamieson, Scott Westerfeld, and the list could go on and on. There are just too many people to mention … isn’t that a lovely thought.

Australian authors write some of the most beautiful books, the best books, the books that linger in your heart and mind years after you have read them. The books you reread to visit with old friends. The books you read to make your heart beat faster and bring a chill to your spine. Books with memorable characters that make you laugh and cry. These authors, in any other country, would be too famous to mingle with us lesser mortals. (Have I mentioned I nearly had kittens the first time I met Jack Dann?) In Australia, they sit down and chat over a coffee.

Remember to appreciate Australian writers and authors. Respect them for the treasures they truly are. Buy their books, for yourself or as presents. Recommend their books to friends. Because that is exactly what they are doing!



Filed under Australian Author, Personal experience, The Writing Life, Uncategorized

11 responses to “Why I like Australian Authors

  1. Jolly nice of you to give us all a good shout-out.

    A couple of points:
    Being from NZ, what I experienced there was exactly the same; a supportive community that made no distinction between my noob-ness and their years of experience and massive sales. I was suddenly one of the gang and an equal. It was truly fabulous, and for me an experience of finally arriving at the doors of a real ‘home and family’.
    Incidentally, I quickly rose through the ranks, sitting down within five years with my fourth book in my hands surrounded by all the big names at the NZ Book of the Year Awards (Children’s). That was good!

    So it’s all relative. It’s your home patch, working for you.

    My time here has been notable in being repeatedly snubbed by Aus’ biggest children’s publisher (effectively destroying my career), and always the sense that I am an outsider and thus can never fully be part of the in-group. Although warmly welcomed and treated as an equal by a few notables (you mention a few of them), at other times I felt that it was more of a struggle, I got fewer openings, and things gradually dried up.
    I turned up and did my gigs – but I was never invited back.

    All this may be my own construction; a result of my shyness, but having actually heard from one supporter that she’d sat in a meeting listening to other writers who were actively ‘dis’ing me for being a NZer (racism, near enough), it left me wondering if such an attitude was more widespread that within just that one group. Is racism towards immigrant writers common (perhaps operating unconsciously, but still influencing decisions, and not always by writers. More the editors, committees, judges, administrators etc) and thus Aus-born authors get more support than ‘imports’?
    I can certainly say that as an import, I’ve ended up feeling suspicious, jealous, and just a tad alienated at times. And bitter.

    Or has it merely been a 17-year phase of really shitty luck – feeding my tendency to withdraw while propelled by the wrong ideas? Can I judge those I don’t actually know? Because dis-ing Aussies would be just as bad. I know many of them now, and they’re all good humans.

    All I can do is honestly examine how much of this has been my own creation (and allowing that the rest of it *has* been the Aus/Lit Scene wearing its unconscious snubbies).

    • How rude to be dissing you while you were actively trying to help them. I’ve only ever heard people saying good things about you as an author and a cosplayer, Ged, and if they spoke otherwise they would soon find their ears burning with my rebukes!

      • I was astonished, and saddened. Although I don’t know who those people were (not big names, I’m sure, and more local * ) I’m pretty certain that every one of them was white-bread/white-bred Aussie-born.
        I’ve heard the same stuff elsewhere, directed at NZers in general, including on one ocassion some random opinionator on a TV talk show I glimpsed, uttering her ‘racism’ to the entire nation!
        I take it all as the tip of an iceberg.
        Flip-side is: some people in NZ are just as virulent towards Aussies. It is cringe-inducing to say the least.

        ( * At that time I wasn’t ‘trying to help them’, but I suspect some of them had previously attended one of my workshops.)

      • Racism is just another word for ‘short-sighted’ and ‘parochial’.

  2. Well said, Australian authors and their associated groups, are fantastic and generous beyond measure. Being an Australian, the encouragement those same groups have afforded me, words fail me in expressing my appreciation for all they have done for me. Incidentally, I am always on the hunt for Australian author/writer site, publishers, editors, events. If you have a top five, could you share their links please.

    To the left, I was part of this a couple of years ago, and I would encourage one and all to attend if they are able. ’tis a fantastic event.


    I have found this to be a splendid blog also.


    Aside, Merry Christamas to all, and have a groovy New Year.


  3. Super duper blog!!! Love it. I am a writer living in NSW Mid North Coast. Struggle street. Years of self-doubt. You guys rock with your attitude. Love it. I just joined wordpress to put out my first novel ideas and world etc …

    • WordPress is a great way to connect with other writers.

    • Hello, hfckeddie.
      When you say, “I just joined wordpress to put out my first novel ideas and world etc …”, do you mean you’re planning to *sell* your books via WordPress, or mainly blog about it and raise interest?
      The reason I ask is that I’m seeking more info on how to use WordPress as a selling tool. Know it’s possible, but afraid to ask!

  4. Felicity Banks

    I’ve been very carefully avoiding your blog lately as it often sends me off on obsessive tangents, and I knew that if I read your blog while writing my current novel I’d end up putting far too many facts and details in (that didn’t fit the actual story). Now that the book is written, I’m having a wonderful day wandering through the place. You do lovely work.

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