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Bedlam Books

a manuscript assessment service


Useful Resources

The Paris Review

If a particular author inspires you, it’s well worth tracking down what they’ve said about their craft. One of the best places to start looking is The Paris Review, which has been publishing interviews with major literary figures since the 1950s. A full listing of all their interviews (arranged by decade) is here.

Don Swaim

For more than twenty years, Don Swaim has been interviewing writers for a radio station in New York City. Mr. Swaim, it seems, has talked to almost everyone: Douglas Adams and William S. Burroughs; Toni Morrison and Alec Guinness. The wonderful Wired For Books has made many of these interviews available as sound files, and a full listing is available here.

Book towns

A book town is the ideal place for a book lover’s holiday. These towns all have a large number of new and secondhand bookshops, and a community that welcomes bibliophiles. The first book town was established at Hay-on-Wye in England.

Australia is represented by the regional town of Clunes , approximately 140 kilometres North East of Melbourne Melbourne. This town is host to an annual Book Town Festival, which attracts thousands of visitors over the weekend with dozens of booksellers as well as displays that celebrate the love of books, from their creation as artefact, to art books, to book binding, author talks and spontaneous Shakespeare performances in the street.

Although not a book town, there is a ‘trail’ through several small towns in the southern highlands of NSW, which is worth taking.

Another lovely bookshop region is the book town Sidney, and the nearby city of Victoria, on Vancouver Island in Canada. There are several other book towns in Europe and North America, and one in Asia. A list of particpating towns can be found at the website of the International Organisation of Book Towns.

Inspirational Quotes

“Sometimes we forget that we have this talent. It sits bottle-necked while we run to the store, wash clothes, and hit a few balls at the golf course. But to experience those AHA! moments where the work surprises even you, you have to write thousands of words regularly, daily, frequently. When your subconscious cranks out words better than your conscious mind can imagine, magic happens. And that only occurs with a habit and an addiction to putting the words on the paper.”
William Faulkner

“First say to yourself what you would be, and then do what you have to do.”
Epictetus

“Have patience. In time, even an egg will walk.”
African saying, source unknown

“Coming up with ideas is not writing. Writing is the sweat that turns those ideas into exciting, fascinating, potentially profit-making books”
Nicholas Brasch

“Words fascinate me. They always have. For me, browsing in a dictionary is like being turned loose in a bank.”
Eddie Cantor

“Kind words do not cost much. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own image on men’s souls, and a beautiful image it is.”
Blaise Pascal

“Inspiration usually comes during work, not before it.”
Madeleine L’Engle

"I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done."
Steven Wright

Great Writing Blogs

Writing 4 Success - Staying motivated when you’re a writer can be difficult. Firstly there’s the endless rejections (yes, we all get them), the isloation, and the uncomfortable sensation that what you’ve written may be absolute rubbish. This is where Writing 4 Success comes in. Writing 4 Success is a support service for writers that, for a modest fee, delivers regular articles to your inbox on all aspects of writing. There is also a website with a members only area that includes information on computer tips, characterisation, maintaining motivation over a large project and many others. Modestly priced e-books and e-workshops on specific topics are offered periodically and are very good value. Highly recommended for new to moderately experienced writers.

Ian Irvine - This is the website of the award-winning Australian fantasy writer Ian Irvine. In this humorous article, Irvine talks about how to make it in the writing world. The rest of his website is also worth browsing, and contains many useful links to other writing sites.

Dee Scribe - An Australian author whose blog is full of useful tips.

Meditations for Writers

This delightful little inspirational book by Susan Shaughnessy is full of quotes, discussions and affirmations. Its value comes from its uncanny ability to connect with what writers need to do. No matter what page you open it on, you will find gentle discourse and uplifting meditations. From Aquarian/Thorson – an imprint of HarperCollins. Expensive for such a small book, but worth it.

Writers' Centres and Other Organisations

State and Territory writers’ centres are a great resource for writers at any stage of their career. There are centres in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania. They offer a range of services from networking opportunities to competitions to seminars and master classes. To contact the writers’ centre in your state or territory, or to contact any of the other organisations, click on the relevant link below:

ACT Writers Centre
Australian Society of Authors
Children's Book Council of Australia
Emerging Writers' Festival
Fellowship of Australian Authors
New South Wales Writers’ Centre
Northern Territory Writers’ Centre
Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre Perth
Queensland Writers Centre
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
South Australian Writers Centre
Tasmanian Writers’ Centre
Varuna
Writers Victoria
Writing Australia
WritingWA