Author: Lee Kofman

LEE KOFMAN is an Israeli-Australian author of three fiction books (in Hebrew). Her publications in English have appeared in Australia, the UK, Scotland, Canada and the USA in Best Australian Stories, Best Australian Essays, Griffith Review, Creative Nonfiction and Malahat Review among many other publications. She is the recipient of an Australia Council grant, numerous writing residencies and an ASA mentorship. Lee blogs monthly about the writing process for Writers Victoria.

Looking for Self in a Bibliomemoir: Guest Post by Jane Sullivan

One of those ever-popular media stories about writers is the ‘Books that Changed Me’ feature. Writers are asked to name outstanding books in their reading memory that have wrought some deep change. Often they name the great classics: War and Peace, Middlemarch, Madame Bovary, and so on. Or they might mention books read in the teenage years: Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird. For me, though, the books that changed me were those I read as a child, when I was the Very Hungry Bookworm who … [Read more...]

To Know Place: Guest Post by Cassandra Atherton

I am a terrible traveller: I get motion sickness, I’m a germophobe, I always pack too much stuff, I melt down when I can’t get wifi and I lose things at inopportune moments. So, I’ve often asked myself whether I have to travel to a place to be able to write about it convincingly. In the Internet age, getting a feel for a place by looking at images and Google maps might be enough. I can ‘virtually’ walk down streets and boulevards; I can see shop frontages, parks and monuments; I can go down … [Read more...]

Re-drafting in Isolation: Guest Post by Angela Meyer

At a crucial stage of writing my debut novel, A Superior Spectre, I travelled to the Scottish isles of Islay and Jura. I had been to Scotland three times already, but on this occasion I wanted to experience the conditions of my two main characters who spent time there: Jeff’s isolation, and some physical aspects of Leonora’s 19th century existence. When I left Australia, the novel was almost at ‘skeleton draft’ stage. Some scenes were still missing, as was the ending, and many passages had … [Read more...]

Fifty Shades of Self

One of the first questions I ask myself when I begin a new creative non-fiction work, short- or long-form, is existential in nature (and stolen from Shakespeare). To be or not to be? Am I going to appear in my work or not? Or, to what degree am I going to be present? Because in creative non-fiction, the author is always there, if not as an explicit ‘I’ then as the organising consciousness hovering over the work, palpable in thematic, structural and stylistic choices, with all their implicit … [Read more...]

Second Book Syndrome: Guest Post by Bram Presser

Having come from the world of music (well, punk rock, which to some might not count), I’m all too familiar with the curse of the sophomore album. A band bursts onto the scene with a killer debut only to come undone rushing out a follow-up. Critics and fans alike revel in the evisceration of their fallen idols, wilfully blind to a simple truth: the songs on that first album were written and played live over the course of years. They had a chance to mature, to be honed and cherry-picked. They … [Read more...]

Writing the Silences: Guest Post by Alice Nelson

Many years ago, in one of those serendipitous but fateful-feeling writing discoveries, I came across an essay by the American poet Louise Gluck. In her poetry, Gluck said, she was attracted to gaps and ellipsis, to disruption and hesitation, to eloquent, deliberate silence. It was not the words on the page, but what was left unsaid that exerted the most compelling power for her. As a reader, she was drawn to works that were either damaged or incomplete, art that haunts precisely because it is … [Read more...]

A Book in Identity Crisis: Guest Post by Amra Pajalic

I first started writing my recently completed memoir, Things Nobody Knows But Me, when I was doing my Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing. I titled it then Sins of the Mother. I was 20-years-old and even though I had officially transitioned out of my teens, I was still stuck in the midst of adolescent angst; I had judged my mother’s parenting ability and found her wanting. The memoir was in four parts telling the stories of the women in my family, starting from my childhood … [Read more...]