Smart Quill Editorial About the Editor

Smart Quill Tutorial Two

Posted on April 30th, 2013

How to Bind Your Narrative

Wizards from Oz

Posted on April 8th, 2013

After a jolly couple of months under the Antipodean sun, I am finally back in the UK. As well as missing obvious things like heterogeneous cafes and saltwater, it strikes me as an opportune moment to summarise what I learnt of the Australian publishing industry.

First. there are some seriously talented writers out there. I have always been a fan of Australian fiction; writers like Richard Flanagan, Murray Bail and Peter Carey. The creative writing scene is vibrant and there is a vast array of writing associations at state and at national levels.

I visited most of the main publishing houses in Sydney: Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Allen & Unwin. There was a noticeable “local pride” in Australian writing which chimes with the profound literary talent.

There are not as many Australian literary agents as in the UK, though this is changing. The agents I saw had eclectic lists, with a strong handle on independent publishing emerging through Amazon. They were big on adaptability and multi-tasking.

Though the book market is tough – several bookstore chains have disappeared, and the independents are struggling – there is no doubt Australia is a nation of readers. So I guess it all comes down to format; maybe Australia will be the first properly digital reading landscape? I noticed even the characters on Neighbours are brandishing iPads.