7. On process

What do writers actually do?

We talk to two acclaimed writers of fiction about their process: where do they start, what do they think about, how does it feel, what on earth do they do all day?

Between them, Charlotte Wood and Paddy O’Reilly have published more than a dozen books and countless short stories, essays and articles, and have survived to laugh about it. They both think deeply about the work of writing, teach or mentor emerging writers, and share their experiences with us on Unladylike.

Listen here:

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

About our guests

Photo of Charlotte Wood

Charlotte Wood
Photo credit: Wendy McDougall

 

Charlotte Wood is the author of five novels and two books of non-fiction, as well as essays and features – often about food, nature, or writing.

Her latest novel is The Natural Way of Things, a parable of hard-won friendship in a nightmarish prison farm for women. It won the 2016 Stella Prize, the Indie Book of the Year and Novel of the Year, and has been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.

Her next book is The Writer’s Room, a selection of interviews with Australian authors.

 

 

Photo of Paddy O'Reilly

Paddy O’Reilly

 

Paddy O’Reilly is the author of three novels, a novella, screenplays, and two award-winning collections of short stories, including her recent collection, Peripheral Vision.  She is the editor of a series of memoir collections, beginning with It Happened in a Holden.

Her latest novel, The Wonders, is the story of three people whose bodies have been artificially altered, and who become global superstars. It won the Norma K Hemming award and was nominated for the Kirkus Prize.

 

Here are some of the writers’ tools Paddy and Charlotte mentioned:

Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things is published by Allen & Unwin in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and Europa Editions in the US. The Writer’s Room will be published by Allen & Unwin in August 2016.

Paddy O’Reilly’s Peripheral Vision is published by University of Queensland Press, and The Wonders by Affirm Press in Australia and New Zealand. Her comic novel The Fine Colour of Rust was published by HarperCollins in the UK and Australia. Both were published in the US by Simon & Schuster.

Cover of The WondersCover of The Natural Way of Things

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