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Johnson, Clift and Cohen meet Hydra's muse

The lives of Canadian poet Leonard Cohen and Australian writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston intertwined on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960. Cohen became one of the world's most celebrated singer-songwriters. Clift received more recognition for her writing overseas than in Australia while Johnston's novel 'My Brother ...

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Teen titles dominate! The YA publishing industry

The Young Adult, or YA, publishing industry has exploded in recent years. But what is driving this surge in novels for teenagers? Join a panel of YA writers as they explore why this once niche market has become a literary phenomenon.

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Australian writer Miles Franklin, c1905

This is a black-and-white photograph, measuring 12.0 cm x 9.7 cm, of Miles Franklin (1879-1954), taken around 1905. Franklin is standing in a formal pose, looking straight at the camera with hands clasped in front and holding what appears to be a feather fan. She is wearing a blouse with short, puffed sleeves and lace trim. ...

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Australian writer Miles Franklin, c1901

This is a black-and-white mounted photograph showing a three-quarter-length portrait of Miles Franklin (1879-1954). She is dressed in a dark, tailored suit and is standing side on to the camera, facing to the right. Her head is turned towards the camera and she is holding a dark parasol under her left arm, military-style. ...

Audio

Is writing a play different from writing a novel?

Have you ever thought about what it is like to be a professional writer? What different writing skills would you need to be a playwright or a novelist for example? Listen as novelist Chika Unigwe and playwright Bryony Lavery talk about the differences between writing novels and plays.

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Dorothea Mackellar's 'My country' as a song

Do you know a poem with the line 'I love a sunburnt country'? The poem is 'My country' by Dorothea Mackellar. Find out what inspired Mackellar to write this famous poem and how she felt about teenager Christine Roberts basing a song on it. This is a black-and-white clip from a 1967 current affairs program This Day Tonight.

Interactive Resource

Writers Talk 2007

A resource for primary and secondary students that features ten award-winning writers from the 2007 Sydney Writers' Festival. The resource explores each author's books, background, beliefs and approaches to writing, and includes advice for young writers. Video interviews of each author are accompanied by a biography, bibliography. ...

Interactive Resource

Writers Talk 2008

A resource for primary and secondary students featuring video interviews and some masterclasses with guest writers at the 2008 Sydney Writers' Festival. The resource explores each author's background, books and approach to writing. Related resources and teacher notes are included.

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Hugh Howey's 'Wool': interactive publishing

Science fiction as a genre is known for exploring new frontiers. 'Wool' by Hugh Howey achieves this both in the way it was written and in its publication. Learn more about this fascinating story and the implications it might have for the future of novel writing. Jennifer Byrne's panellists from left to right are: China ...

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Ian McEwan's 'perfect thing'

What does it take to be a great writer? Ian McEwan is the author of several prizewinning novels and screenplays, and was identified by 'The Times' of London as one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945. In this conversation with journalist and presenter Jennifer Byrne, Ian discusses what he thinks it takes to be ...

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Whingeing and the pursuit of happiness

Playwright David Williamson has probed aspects of Australia's social conscience since the 1960s. See him and actors Mark Lee and Anne Tenney discussing issues raised in the 2012 production of his play 'Happiness'.

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The woman behind Harry Potter: JK Rowling

JK Rowling's life is something of a 'rags to riches' tale, almost worthy of a character in one of her novels! Explore how media texts can be constructed to represent people, such as wildly successful authors, in very particular ways.

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After Harry: JK Rowling's 'Casual Vacancy'

How does the author of the hugely popular Harry Potter series approach the task of producing a new novel? In this interview, learn about what motivated JK Rowling to write 'The Casual Vacancy' and find out how she built it around a central idea. Consider too how fans' responses to the Harry Potter series and its famous ...

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What's in a name? Book title dilemmas

Authors can agonise over the titles of their novels. Trying to capture the intent of an entire book in just a few words can be tricky! In this clip, learn the story behind the title of JK Rowling's novel 'The Casual Vacancy'.

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'Romeo and Juliet': true love's passion

One of the most famous love scenes of all time is when Romeo and Juliet pledge their love for each other. Shakespeare's imagery evocatively captures the passion of two young lovers torn apart by their feuding families. Explore this pivotal scene as it is brought to life by Miranda Tapsell and Damien Strouthos of Bell Shakespeare.

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'The Tempest': two sides of Caliban

Caliban is one of Shakespeare's most fascinating characters. Half human and the son of a witch, Caliban attacks Prospero's daughter Miranda. However, he is not without a sympathetic side. In this scene from Act 1.2 of 'The Tempest', with Miranda Tapsell, John Bell and Damien Strouthos of Bell Shakespeare, Caliban's impassioned ...

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'Romeo and Juliet': growing up in a hurry

Act 3.2 in 'Romeo and Juliet' is a pivotal moment in Juliet's character development. Shakespeare manages to compress months of growing up into a single potent scene. Join James Evans as he explores Juliet's soliloquy from the beginning of this scene, and what it reveals about her coming of age, with Miranda Tapsell and ...

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'Romeo and Juliet': the language of true love

There are moments of extraordinary light and beauty amid the tragedy of 'Romeo and Juliet'. Join James Evans and actor Damien Strouthos from Bell Shakespeare as they discuss Act 2.2. Damien explains how Shakespeare's use of language reveals the intense passion, as well as frustration, experienced by Romeo and Juliet.

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'Romeo and Juliet': galloping towards tragedy

Have you ever waited for someone with such anticipation that you felt you might burst? That's exactly the feeling experienced by Juliet, played by Miranda Tapsell of Bell Shakespeare, in this soliloquy as she calls on night to arrive and bring her new husband. Shakespeare's masterful use of dramatic irony puts the audience ...

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'Julius Caesar': comprehending Cassius

Cassius from Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar' is a very complex character! Although conspiring to overthrow Julius Caesar, the motivation to do so appears to stem from patriotism to Rome. Or does it? Join Bell Shakespeare's James Evans as he discusses Shakespeare's characterisation of this historical figure with actors Kate ...