ABC Conversation Hour re-visited

Yesterday I did Radio National and local radio on Conversation Hour on the ABC, Australia’s national broadcaster, this time with Brisbane’s Sarah Kanowski, who is standing in for the usual host Richard Fidler (who is away in Iceland). Sarah proved to be as empathetic as Richard. You can listen here

The last Conversation Hour I did was with Fidler, in 2008, around the publication time in 2008 of LIFE IN SEVEN MISTAKES. This is a novel about a disastrous family Christmas on the Gold Coast, and I was living in London then, still married, still writing, the mother of two young boys. Here’s that interview
here )

Posted in 2014 Susan Johnson new novel, books; authors; Australia, Life; birth; marriage; divorce, London; Sussex, Memory, recto-vaginal fistula; Dr Catherine Ham;lin; fistula clinic; A Better Woman; Petja Grafenauer; Polish translation, The Courier Mail, The Landing; Allen and Unwin; Susan Johnson new novel; 2015, women and ageing, writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

New book time….

You’d think that after ten books, publication time would get easier, wouldn’t you?

For every writer I know, it’s still a stomach-churning, vertiginous moment. It’s not exciting — as many suppose — for me, it’s as if someone has lifted the rock (or the shell) I’ve lived under, leaving me quivering, and exposed.

Don’t think I’m not aware of the paradox of writing something for public consumption and then — blimey! — what, you mean the public are actually going to read the damn thing?

That’s the curious ambivalence at the heart of many writers: the compulsion to create, closely followed by the compulsion to run for the hills. I have discussed here and elsewhere that I (probably) wouldn’t write if I wasn’t published — or even possibly if I was self-published — because, for me, a deep part of the compulsion to create is bound up in having a voice that is heard. In other words, I am not interested in merely listening to the sound of my own voice, or shouting in a cupboard, I am interested in engaging in conversation and being part of a broader world.

Which means that for me the act of writing is closely bound up with connection to readers. All writers are readers first and foremost, a reader brought to joyous life by the miraculous act of reading, the transmission of some profound understanding of our joint humanity suddenly made clear. Books made me — to steal a phrase — and the experience of understanding what it means to be alive and breathing that I gained from reading MIDDLEMARCH or MADAME BOVARY or MONKEY GRIP is intrinsically bound up in the creation of me as a writer.

So — a paradox. You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, and you can’t write a book without a reader. There you have it, one exposed and quivering writer, devoid of her rock, getting used to the blinding of the light. I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again — just give me a minute, will you, to adjust to the sudden exposure.

Posted in 2014 Susan Johnson new novel, books; authors; Australia, The Landing; Allen and Unwin; Susan Johnson new novel; 2015 | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Looking back

Yesterday, at the Tate Modern, I noticed some words of Kurt Vonnegut’s from his war novel SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE. They were written on a wall, just near a new graphic show, and they read: “People aren’t supposed to look back.” There’s usually a good reason why this is true, and there’s usually a good reason why it is irresistible not to (pillars of salt etc..)

My relationship with London is complicated. It’s like an old lover, a former boyfriend: you can remember the feeling of being in love, the memory of it is in your body, but you can no longer recall the exact details. All you remember is the joy and misery of it. This place sort of broke me; it was where my marriage ended and where my children spent their childhoods. It was a place I came to with such hope.

I can still see its beauty. I can still stand in my favourite bookshop in the whole world, the London Review of Books bookshop just near the British Museum in Bloomsbury, and remember exactly why I love London, its literary culture, its wide, expansive romance with its literary heritage, and how seriously some of its citizens take the beauty and meaning of books. I love the fact that Craig Raine’s feud with the TLS is a matter of interest to the bookseller at the LRB and that he knows exactly which edition of Arrete one might find a certain review. I met James Salter there once.

I love the fields of Sussex, which of course is not London, but close enough, commutable enough for my friend Adam to travel here to work every day.

I love Tate Britain, too, as well as Tate Modern, but not as much as I love the National Portrait Gallery. I never forget that London is a hard city, not a million miles from Hogarth’s London, or Dickens’ London, or the rickety, poverty-struck London of my forebears, who left Southwark in the 1850s with a bag full of hope, bound for Australia. The house is still there, just beyond Waterloo Station, grim, grim, grim.

London is grim, and it is also beautiful, at once. I feel too mixed about it to offer much clarity, and everyone has their own London. The reality is that London goes on, without me, or with me, without all of us. It’s a depository of dreams and images and hopes as much as an actual place: I saw it, I grew tired, I passed through. The Thames flows on.

Posted in books; authors; Australia, BrizVegas; home; travel; life, Life; birth; marriage; divorce, London; Sussex, Memory, Susan Johnson; Australian fiction, Travel; Engand; Summer | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Society of Editors lecture

Jeni Lewington has very kindly written up a talk I gave last August to the Queensland branch of the Society of Editors.

Dangling the carrot: a storyteller’s secrets
Report by Jeni Lewington

Susan Johnson, novelist, journalist and non-fiction author, is a master storyteller. Those of us lucky enough to attend the August meeting, entitled A syntax of events or shivering life, were treated to an engaging and humorous recollection of Susan’s life journey, including insights and challenges from her 25-year writing and editing career.

Susan began by describing her childhood, as a way of explaining how her life as a writer was formed, and ‘how you need a particular mix of longing and a desire for expression’. The child of a mixed marriage – her father was a Queenslander while her mother was a Sydneysider – she was born in Brisbane, but grew up in Sydney following her father’s transfer there to work in journalism. However, each year her family returned for Christmas to what Susan felt was the ‘indescribably exotic’ Brisbane, before eventually returning to live in Queensland during her final high school years.

As a child Susan was ‘very’ shy, a characteristic she has had to work hard at to overcome. It was not until 1987, when she embarked on a public speaking course, that she began her endeavour to be a ‘practising extrovert’. She also described feeling different – another marked characteristic of writers – due to having a depressed sternum. Susan commented that writers are ‘often separated from his or her fellows by illness, poverty, by difference’. As a consequence, she ‘dived into reading’, her head filled with stories.

Coming from a long line of storytellers on both sides of her family, Susan was immersed in and enthralled by her paternal grandmother’s tales of growing up in a tin-mining town (now vanished) in Far North Queensland, while on her mother’s side were ‘the big Irish talkers’, with characters like her great uncle ‘who ran away from home on a ship all the way to England where he became an acrobat’.

After school and following in her father’s footsteps, Susan became a cadet journalist with the Courier-Mail and had already begun writing poetry and dreaming of writing. Susan recalled the Brisbane of the late 1970s as ‘a place of ugliness’, a place that didn’t value anything that she valued like ‘art and beauty and remembering’. She argued that nothing much seemed to have changed from 1958 when Patrick White wrote his famous essay The Prodigal Son, from which she quoted:

“In all directions stretched the Great Australian Emptiness, in which the mind is the least of possessions, in which the rich man is the important man, in which the schoolmaster and the journalist rule what intellectual roost there is, in which beautiful youths and girls stare at life through blind blue eyes, in which human teeth fall like autumn leaves, the buttocks of cars grow hourly glassier, food means cake and steak, muscles prevail, and the march of material ugliness does not raise a quiver from the average nerves.”

In her early twenties Susan struggled to become her ‘writerly self ’, running away to Sydney, Greece and back to Brisbane. The start of her writing career, however, can be traced back to when she was 28 and won a New Writer’s Grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council to write the book that would become her first novel, Messages from Chaos. That great $8000 gift told her that writing ‘does’ matter and boosted her confidence enormously.

Publishing and editing history

In a career spanning 25 years, Susan now has seven novels to her name, several of which have been published in the UK and the US, and, in translation, in France, Norway, Brazil, Italy and Poland.
Susan describes herself as a writer of ‘old-fashioned realistic fiction … with a poetic flourish [which] aims to show us life as it is dazzlingly experienced, with none of its edges blunted’. She draws heavily on the memories of her past, rearranging facts into her fiction. For example, in one of her books her paternal grandmother did not die young but was transformed into a young woman called Emma on the Atherton Tablelands. She explained that fiction ‘must read or feel as if it is as true as life’, but that sometimes real life when written down may seem implausible.

She touched on the differences between editing fiction and non-fiction. In her experience, fiction editors have a much less hands-on approach, existing on a continuum between those who feel they have no creative role to play except correcting grammatical mistakes, to editors who make brilliant suggestions. Having herself edited two non-fiction works, she was at pains to point out that her experiences with fiction editors have only been happy ones.

Susan discussed three main issues which have been challenges or lessons in her career:
1. Specificity
2. Cultural cringe
3. Translation.


Susan learnt a valuable lesson from her second editor, Fiona McCrae (who at the time worked for Faber UK), on her second novel, Flying Lessons. Susan had written a line along the lines of, ‘He might be bringing happiness. He might be bringing joy or anything.’ Fiona asked her, ‘What does the word “anything” mean here? He might be bringing a chocolate biscuit. It’s so much better to be specific’. Susan argues that her ‘number one rule is [that] an image or a metaphor or a figurative description … must be rooted in reality’.

Cultural cringe

Susan pointed out that, when publishing books internationally, the cultural cringe is alive and well. She raised the double-standard whereby Australians are expected to be familiar with the colloquial speech of other countries, but ‘American editors and publishers require re-writing of Australian books to make them comprehensible to the American market’.
She recalled agreeing, while culturally cringing, with Fiona McCrae to change the Australian word ‘dill’ to the very English word ‘twit’, and also, once again while culturally cringing, agreeing to a glossary in the back of her novel Flying lessons (see below):
Glossary (source: The Macquarie Dictionary)
blue: Colloq. a fight; dispute
hoe in: Colloq. to commence to eat heartily
hoon: 1. a loutish, aggressive or surly youth 2. a foolish or silly person, esp. one who is a show-off
pinch: Colloq. to arrest
ring-in: to insert or substitute
thongs: a sandal held loosely to the foot by two strips of rubber (flip-flops)
Susan raised questions for us to ponder: ‘what does that mean for us Australian writers? Do we write for the market?’


With many of her novels being translated into foreign languages, Susan has discovered how much more difficult it is to translate a novel than academic texts. She noted that ‘translators traditionally have problems translating figurative languages (metaphors, similes, personifications, etc.) and particularly idiomatic expressions because they must resemble as closely as possible both the original language and the translated language’. There is a danger that the translation will lose the structure and rhythm of the original and introduce unnecessary poetic flourishes, a point she illustrated with a pertinent example from Don Bartlett’s translation of Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard’s international best-seller My Struggle.

Thank you very much to Susan for dangling the carrot, keeping us enthralled by skilfully weaving her adventures into a fascinating life story and sharing her editing experiences. ”

And a big thanks to the Society of Editors for asking me.

Posted in 2014 Susan Johnson new novel, books; authors; Australia, Flying Lessons; Messages From Chaos, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Queensland, Queensland Society of Editors; language; metaphors; similies; translation;, Society of Editors;, writing | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Joan London’s exquisite new novel

I hardly ever write reviews (for obvious reasons). However, I love making exceptions, and Joan London’s wonderful new novel THE GOLDEN AGE makes a glorious exception. Here endeth the superlatives…..

This is a short review wot I wrote for the mother ship, THE COURIER-MAIL, Brisbane, Australia.

Do yourself a favour, people. READ IT.

The Golden Age
Joan London, Vintage, $32.99
Reviewer: Susan Johnson

In limpid, crystalline prose, acclaimed Western Australian author Joan London evokes a dream landscape of a children’s polio ward, where “flocks of wheelchairs” alight and depart. Based on an actual convalescent home of the same name as her novel’s title, this beautiful novel traces the disease poliomyelitis as it weaves its way through the bodies of children and adolescents in 50s Australia.
Few write as poetically and as truthfully as London, whose yearning characters are charged with a vivid humanity. Frank Gold, the 13 year-old son of Jewish Hungarian refugees is becoming a poet, and the beam of his poetic eye is trained on Elsa, child of poverty, bright, beautiful, also on her way to becoming her adult self.
The novel, for me, could have ended without its epilogue. But leaving this minor quibble aside, read London for her knowledge of people like us, “small lurching figures beneath the luminous sky.”

Posted in books; authors; Australia, Joan London, Life; birth; marriage; divorce, The Courier Mail, writing | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

How social media is changing publishing, music & visual art

Here’s something I wrote wearing my journalism hat….

social media

Posted in Queensland, QWeekend; journalism; Susan Johnson | Tagged , | Comments Off

Excited passions: some thoughts on The Writer As Saint

IF EVER THERE was a writer revered as a saint-like figure, Amherst’s gothic 19th century poet Emily Dickinson is it. Gnomic, ethereal (possibly anorexic) and given to appearing without warning at doorways in front of startled visitors. Before she was even a ghost, real or imagined, hers was a wraithlike presence.
She’s the kind of writer – visionary, hallucinatory, transcendental “Clogged/only with/Music, like/ the Wheels of/Birds…(and) the gorgeous/nothings/which/compose/the/sunset” – who perfectly fits the romanticised view of the writer.
In a new book of Dickinson’s poetry, The Gorgeous Nothings (New Directions), one of the book’s editors, Marta Werner, writes of finding by accident a hand-written poetry fragment of Dickinson’s in the Amherst College Library “when it fell (rose?) out of an acid-free envelope….Look at it, here, flying on the page, vying with light.” As the British academic Mark Ford writes in a review in the London Review of Books Werner’s tone is sacramental, as if the fragment were a saint’s relic.
Writers first began to assume the role of secular saints during the Enlightenment. If God was dead or dying, who was going to read life’s signs? Without an overarching plan – indeed, without a cosmic plot – who was going to impose order on chaos? Humans have always told each other stories, as allegorical, metaphorical or actual clues in navigating the apparent random joy and hideousness of existence.
But it wasn’t until the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that the-writer-as-seer – half-sacred, romantic and blessed with far-sighted, mystical powers – became popular. Writers were mad, bad and dangerous to know: drinkers, living on the edge, possible suicidal, and with more passion than ordinary folk (But even the legendary Lord Byron towards the end of his life wearied of the poet-thy-name-is-eternal-passion malarkey, writing to a friend in 1821: “I can never get people to understand that poetry is the expression of excited passion, and that there is no such thing as a life of passion any more than a continuous earthquake, or an eternal fever. Besides, who would ever shave themselves in such a state?”)
Like all writers, I became a writer because first and foremost I was a reader. I loved books and like every devoted reader I felt a shock of recognition and intoxicated wonder when I read something that felt profound and true, as if the writer had access to some secret instrument inside me, inside everyone, which deciphered the human soul. Like Eudora Welty, I believed writers were guided by “the Geiger counter of the imagination” towards lived truths.
I had almost no life experience and yet, like everyone, I contained a universe of emotion. At ten I read my grandmother’s copy of David Copperfield and understood perfectly what it felt like to be abandoned, alone, striving. I was Jo in Little Women and later the young man in Sons and Lovers and I knew what it felt like to say goodbye to a statue and walk out into the rain (A Farewell to Arms). The external facts of a character’s life were irrelevant: it was the truth of being alive I understood, and recognised.
By the time I got to Tolstoy and George Elliot and Fitzgerald Austen and Bronte I was a goner. By then, when I read great writers, I thought they were secular saints too. They knew something I wanted to know, so it’s true that books turned me into a writer.
I was much older, and published (just before I turned 30), when I came to know personally these Gods descended to earth. I remember very well the first time I met an actual, published writer (when I was still in my twenties, unpublished, and trying to write). It was a dinner party, and the famous writer was there (Australian, at the height of her fame, who shall remain nameless). I could barely speak. Really. I could hardly say a word. I was dumbstruck.
Later, still before I was published, the great Doris Lessing spoke at a literary dinner in Canberra. I’d flown down to hear her (The Golden Notebook for a time was like a map of life to me). The next day I was alone in the bookshop attached to the festival, when Lessing walked in. How to say it? My heart leapt. She was only a couple of metres away from me, then breathing right beside me, browsing the stack of books on the table. There was no-one in the shop, no-one, except Doris Lessing, the sales assistant at the cash machine, and me.
I happened to be holding my copy of The Diaries of Jane Somers (Lessing has always been streets ahead of everyone; it was the ‘80s and it was the novel she wrote under a pseudonym, to prove how hard it is for unknown writers to be published, let alone reach an audience). Why didn’t I ask her to sign it? Why didn’t I strike up a conversation? I even knew certain people who knew her, who even lived with her (she famously kept an open house and I knew someone who knew someone who knew Robyn Davidson (Tracks) who for a time lived in one of her spare rooms. She was famously generous to young people). I was a young person, and yet I was speechless.
It’s one of the small regrets of my life that I never spoke to her. I’m very sure she had people gushing at her from all quarters and – most likely – she didn’t need another spray. Yet I wish I had – sometimes famous writers can be so intimidating to people that, like extremely beautiful outcasts, no-one ends up approaching them. Personally, I’ve always been rewarded by starting up conversations – even unlikely ones (inadvertently amusing John Coetzee at dinner, for example, with tales of my white-ant ridden kitchen floor. No-one else wanted to sit next to him). I found the Nobel Prize winner, the late Seamus Heaney, totally charming and funny as hell. Ditto Margaret Atwood and Margaret Drabble.
By the time I got to personally know most of Australia’s writers, and a few English and American and French ones, I understood what Peter Carey meant when he said that your writing is somehow more intelligent that you are. In other words, there is the writing, and then there is the writer and – sometimes – there is only the barest symmetry between the two. A writer can be a complete bastard in his wide-awake life, and a complete angel in his work. Writing is something else, apart from the writer. While a writer’s writing of course only belongs to him or her, and is as individually stamped as a dream, I’ve come to believe in a slightly different version of the writer-as-saint or the writer-as-God.
Recently I re-read Middlemarch. How did Elliot come to possess such vast, but such intricately nuanced, human knowledge? How does David Mitchell in Cloud Atlas know so many moments of existence, such fine, minute details of the breathing heart? How does Tolstoy do it – encompass such breadth and depth of oceanic understanding? Tolstoy was, in fact, a religious zealot, given to visionary dreams and wild utopian dreams, and was to the end full of demonic energy. Mitchell has an autistic son and – no disrespect intended – Mitchell’s writing has a certain brilliant savant quality (I’ve only met him briefly and he is lovely, but so, so unnervingly bright, genius bright, right off the scale).
I give you David Foster Wallace, a human born as if without a skin, his head so filled with wonder and awe and symbols and knowledge and love, it is hardly a wonder he could not bear to live. It took me ages to understand that writers – probably all writers – feel life more keenly than other people. You don’t need to be Sylvia Plath to appreciate the swings of joy and sadness but you do need a certain kind of emotional wiring to goad you into desiring a physical expression of intellect and emotion, into producing words on the page.
I didn’t know I lived at a higher pitch than most people until I was embarrassingly old. Now I know it is this excessive passion that forms the writer, even that outwardly dispassionate John Coetzee. Writing doesn’t have to have the blood and guts and etoliated madness of a Plath, or the anorexic with-holding madness of Dickinson. It can fly into space like a Lessing piece of science fiction or dig deep in the mud like a Heaney poem. But now I think the greatest writers are sort of idiot savants, living vessels, through which human consciousness is poured. With writing at its highest form – Tolstoy, Thomas Mann, Patrick White, Marilynne Robinson – the writer acts like a conduit.
It’s not the muse. It’s work, but not as we know it. It’s witch-craft, conjured, willed. It’s a freak of personality, like a super athlete with a freakish set of genes allowing him to run. Now I think there’s a sort of cosmic grading of writerly talent, from Shakespeare down. Every writer has it, a trickle or an ocean. Tolstoy was awash, his own sea.

Posted in books; authors; Australia, Emily Dickinson;Sylvia Plath; Seamus Heaney, Susan Johnson; Australian fiction, The Writer As Saint; The Muse;, writing | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

My Hundred Lovers hits the stage….

Some interesting news: Melbourne-based actor and director Leisa Shelton talked me into agreeing to a stage adaptation of my last novel My Hundred Lovers and we have just learned that the project has got the green light.

Over the years several of my novels have been optioned for film, and none of them have made it to a cinema. I was most excited by the idea of Jane Campion’s film company optioning Hungry Ghosts – I thought Campion’s creative eye might be exactly the right one to translate that particular book into a film. Other options on other books included the late great Joan Lindsay of Picnic at Hanging Rock fame who wanted to do my first novel Messages From Chaos – way back in 1988 (I’ve been in this business a long time) – and the people who did that film about a pig, Babe, for the 1996 novel A Big Life. All came to nought.

This time the wonderful Australia Council will fund Leisa’s project. Leisa talked me into agreeing to the idea at all by directing me to her work with the brilliant Canadian poet, Anne Carson, whose work Leisa has adapted for the stage, in Canadian, Australian and European productions. Based on Carson’s collection of short works called Men in the off hours, Shelton and her company Fragment 31 turned Irony is not Enough-Essay on my life as Catherine Denueve into a brilliant conceptual piece of theatre.

I must admit when Leisa first approached me I was inclined to scoff. How could she possibly translate a novel about a body’s intimate physical sensations into a visible artistic form? Books and their images are located in the head, in private space, but a few long talks with Leisa convinced me that the images in the book might be creatively transformed to images on a public stage. Leisa is brilliant – Anne Carson trusted her – and she seems to possess the same strange, visionary dream that allows a writer to write. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

As they say in the trade, watch this space….

Posted in 2014 Susan Johnson new novel, books; authors; Australia, Leisa Shelton; Fragment 31; Anne Carson, My Hundred Lovers, Stage adaptation My Hundred Lovers, Susan Johnson; Australian fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Finished, and finished

Finishing a book is like waking, cured, from an illness; a fever perhaps, something febrile and unwavering. When I am in the grip of a book everything but the writing of the book falls away: in the old days, before I was a mother and a partner, I could even go for long stretches without eating, washing, cleaning, all the things you believe necessary to life. I ate only enough to keep going, and sort of dug a hole in the mess of clothes, manuscripts, books and papers on the bed, and then dug my way out again before the sun was up to begin again.

In Claudia Roth Pierpont’s new life of Philip Roth, Roth Unbound, she mentions Roth’s fondness for quoting the poet Cseslaw Milosz’s adage that “when a writer is born into a family, the family is finished” (Roth himself might have added wives and lovers to that definition).

It’s sad but true that a writer’s unwavering focus and dedication to finishing a book can make partners feel abandoned. I don’t think many people other than artists could understand, say, the artist Barbara Hepworth’s decision to give away her triplets to a kind of up-market baby home (not an actual orphanage but – in essence – a place to park her babies for a good many years while she got on with her work).

Now, with kids and a partner, any spare time is for them. I cut out social media; I cut out going out, except to essential events (Christmas? OK, I’ll do lunch). I had a finite period of time off from my day job, six months to be exact, starting from last November – which unfortunately coincided with the Christmas-New Year holiday season – and which effectively meant I didn’t go to the beach the whole summer. I worked pretty much every day, seven days a week – not all day, that would even do my mad-writer’s-brain head in – but for a couple of hours, and sometimes several hours.

I’m finished. Some 70,000 words – I use an old fashioned, hand-drawn paper calendar on which I write each day’s word count. I already feel sad that the writing is over because – in truth – I only ever really feel like a writer when I am actually writing. And this bit is my favourite bit – the work done, not yet published, not yet edited, reviewed, read – just a private dream, realized. It is a small, modest dream, but it’s my dream and, for the moment, I’m happy. I’m no Philip Roth (sadly) but, like him, I like the German notion of maskenfreiheit to describe fiction: “the freedom conferred by masks”. Making a fiction is an elaborate play with masks and I love playing.

Posted in 2014 Susan Johnson new novel, books; authors; Australia, Philip Roth; Claudia Roth Pierpont; Roth Unbound, Susan Johnson; Australian fiction, writing | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Australian Society of Authors National Congress 2013

National Writers Congress



Anna Funder gave a brilliant – and blistering – opening address at the first National Congress of the Australian Society of Authors held in Sydney last year.

Now the ASA has uploaded a link to the whole two day event. I particularly recommend the Funder (check out her maths equation) and her argument about paying writers — always. Melissa Lucashenko’s lecture is also a cracker. My session was with the formidably talented Anthony Lowenstein.

Enjoy! And remember that writers earn one of the lowest living wages — most still have to supplement their incomes. Writing contributes to the vast wealth of cultural identity, as well as bringing financial wealth to economies. Please support our writers.


Posted in Australian Society of Authors; National Writers Congress 2013, books; authors; Australia, Writer's incomes, Writers and political action, writing | Tagged , , | Comments Off