3. On editing

Historian Clare Wright and editor Mandy Brett talk us through the collaborative process of creating a book – in this case, the award-winning The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka.

Listen here:

(If you’re on a mobile device, use iTunes, Audioboom or your favourite podcast app.)

About our guestsBook cover, Forgotten Rebels

Dr Clare Wright is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster. Her first book was a best-seller, Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia’s Female Publicans

In 2013, Clare released her second book, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, following years of research into women’s roles in one of the key moments in colonial Australian politics, the Eureka Stockade. It won the 2014 Stella Prize and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and just about every other award going. We Are the Rebels, a young adult version of The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, was published in 2015.

Clare’s essays have have appeared in The Age, Crikey, The Guardian, The Conversation, and Meanjin as well as leading international scholarly journals. She researched, co-wrote and presented the acclaimed television documentaries, Utopia Girls: How Women Won the Vote and The War That Changed Us.

Clare is a Principal Research Fellow in History at La Trobe University.


Mandy Brett’s distinguished editing career began as an editor and publisher at IAD Books, an Book cover We are the Rebels
Aboriginal publishing house in Alice Springs, producing a wide range of titles in fiction, education, reference and dictionaries. She has worked as a freelance editor, as a production editor on a small magazine and, for a number of years, as a computer programmer at Penguin Books.

Mandy is now a senior editor with Text Publishing, where she has been since 2002, working on both fiction and non-fiction titles, including any number of bestselling books such as Toni Jordan’s novels and more recently Magda Szubanski’s memoir Reckoning. Her essays and speeches have appeared in Meanjin, Bookseller & Publisher, and Crikey.

She is a guest lecturer in fiction editing at RMIT.


The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka and We are the Rebels are published by Text.

2. On friendship

Our three guests for this episode lead the vanguard of contemporary realism in young adult fiction written in and about Australia, and published internationally.

Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood write about grief, about place, about love, about coming of age and most of all they write about friendship.

And that’s what they’re talking about on Unladylike.

Listen here:

(If you’re on a mobile device, use iTunes, Audioboom or your favourite podcast app.)

About our guests

Photo of Cath Crowley

Cath Crowley

Cath Crowley grew up on a property that was a long way from town, reading the adventures of Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. After studying radio production and literature at university, she became a teacher overseas. In 2004, she published The Life and Times of Gracie Faltrain, about a brilliant soccer player, and became a full-time writer.  The remaining Gracie Faltrain titles followed as well as Chasing Charlie Duskin and Graffiti Moon. It was for Graffiti Moon that Cath was awarded the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction and the Ethel Turner Award for Young People’s Literature.

Photo of Simmone Howell

Simmone Howell. Photo: Susan Gordon Brown



Simmone Howell is an award-winning short story-writer, and screenwriter. Her short film Pity24 won an AWGIE award and has screened at film festivals such as the London Australian Film Festival and Los Angeles Shorts Fest. Her realist teen novels Notes from the Teenage Underground, Everything Beautiful and Girl Defective feature prickly outsiders, rebels and pop culture icons. Notes from the Teenage Underground won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction and the Gold Inky Award.



Photo of Fiona Wood

Fiona Wood
Photo: Giulia McGauran

Fiona Wood started her writing career in scripts working on television dramas like The Secret Life of Us, Neighbours and MDA. In 2010 she debuted as a strong new voice on the young adult scene with Six Impossible Things. Her sophomoric title, Wildlife, won the CBCA Book of the Year Award for Older Readers, and was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, the Queensland Literary Award and the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, Ethel Turner Prize. Her latest book is Cloudwish.


Cath Crowley’s Gracie Faltrain trilogy, Chasing Charlie Duskin and Graffiti Moon are published by Pan Macmillan in Australia and New Zealand, and by Knopf in the US. Her new novel, Words in Deep Blue, will be released in August.

Simmone Howell’s Notes from the Teenage Underground, Everything Beautiful and Girl Defective are published by Pan Macmillan in Australia and New Zealand, and by Bloomsbury and Simon and Schuster in the US.

Fiona Wood’s Six Impossible Things, Wildlife and Cloudwish are also published by Pan Macmillan in Australia and New Zealand, and by Little Brown in the US.


1. On story

Vivian Gornick and Sian Prior are both journalists and memoir writers. We brought them together to talk about how nonfiction writers work with memory, imagination and language, and finding the story in a situation.

Listen here:

(If you’re on a mobile device, use iTunes, Audioboom or your favourite podcast app.)

About our guestsPhoto of Vivian Gornick

Vivian Gornick grew up in the Bronx, and began her writing career as a journalist with the Village Voice in 1969, an early chronicler of the feminist movement.

Her ­books include a guide to writing personal narrative, The Situation and the Story, and two collections of essays: Approaching Eye Level and The End of the Novel of Love.

But she is probably best known for her memoirs: Fierce Attachments, about her childhood and her difficult relationship with her ­mother; and the recent The Odd Woman and the City.



Photo of Sian Prior

Image James Mepham

Sian Prior is a singer, writer and broadcaster, working in radio, television, print and online, specialising in reporting on the arts and popular culture.

She has been a newspaper columnist, a
travel and opinion writer, and a theatre, opera and book critic. She writes fiction and nonfiction, and also teaches writing.

Her first book, Shy: A Memoir, was published in 2014.




Sian Prior’s book, Shy: a memoir, is published by Text.  

Vivian Gornick’s The Odd Woman and the City is published by Nero Books in Australia, and Farrar, Strauss and Giroux in the US.

Book cover: Vivian Gornick

Sian Prior Shy cover

Coming up

Very soon, on Unladylike podcast, you can hear our first few episodes.

And they are stonkers*, if we do say so ourselves.

#1 On story

Vivian Gornick and Sian Prior, both journalists and memoir writers, in conversation about memory, imagination and language.

#2 On friendship

Fiona Wood, Simmone Howell and Cath Crowley talk about portraying friendship in writing for young adults, and their own collaborations.

#3 On editing

Historian Clare Wright and editor Mandy Brett on the process of creating an award-winning bestseller.

#4 On romance

Tessa Dare on romance fiction as a feminist genre, and why readers are in love with love.

#5 On swearing

Novelist Toni Jordan and playwright Patricia Cornelius on the power of purple language.


And after that? You just wait.


* stonker

noun BRITISH informal plural noun: stonkers

  1. something which is very large or impressive of its kind.

    (Oxford Dictionary, Oxford University Press)

Are we there yet?

Now what are we doing?

Editing. Mostly.

It’s only a few weeks until we release Unladylike into the wild.

We’ve been in the studio and on the road (in New Zealand and in the US), and we’ve recorded conversations with some wonderful writers. Now we’re getting the audio into shape for you.

So very soon, you’ll hear our first few episodes, with many more to come.

Stay tuned.


What are we doing?

Brilliant idea, starting a podcast.

It’s also a whole lot of work.

In case you’re thinking about doing it too, here’s a list of all the stuff we’ve been doing in the lead-up to our June launch:

  • Setting up interviews
  • Booking studio time
  • Buying gear (because it’s all about the accessories)
  • Pre-recording episodes
  • Commissioning artwork
  • Social media
  • Talking to writers, publishers, festivals, agents and publicists
  • Mysterious technical things (some work, some don’t)
  • Learning
  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Laughing (that actually takes up quite a lot of our time in meetings)
  • Thinking.

It seemed like we had months to do it all in, and now time is flashing by very fast.

We’ve also had so much enthusiastic support and feedback since we announced Unladylike. So thank you.

We can’t wait for you to hear the voices of all these amazing women.



Image of microphone

See? How gorgeous is gear? Who knew?