Tips for young writers


Read. Read every day. Read different types of writing and books by new authors and old authors. Read poetry to improve the rhythm in your writing, read non-fiction to broaden your knowledge, read fiction to open your heart and mind. Readers and writers go together. The best way to understand the craft of writing is to explore all the different ways that a story can be told.

Write it down

I have a sign above my desk that reads: You can’t edit a blank page.
The most important thing about writing is getting the words onto the page. Until you start writing it down, you don’t have a story, you only have an idea.

Find Inspiration in the real world

Look around you. If you’re stuck for an idea, try and see the people and places around you with fresh eyes. The world is an amazing place and it’s full of incredible stories.

Be Brave

Sometimes writing can feel a little scary. Every writer feels nervous about their work some of the time. Don’t let your fears hold you back.


The more thought you put into a story, the more elements from the real world and from your imagination that you bring to it, the more powerful it will be.

Don't Give up

Everybody gets stuck sometimes. When I get really stuck in the middle of a story, I skip ahead and write a later scene. Then I go back and fill in the missing pieces. Have faith that if you persist your story will come together in the end.

Read your drafts out loud. If you’re too shy to read your story to someone else, read it to the mirror. Your ear is the best editor you will ever meet.


Read your drafts out loud. If you’re too shy to read your story to someone else, read it to the mirror or record it and play it back to yourself. Your ear is the best editor you will ever meet.

Try Again

Very few authors get the story right the first time. One of the things I have learnt to love about writing is re-writing. Rewriting a story gives you the chance to take out the things that were slowing it down and to polish up the good bits so they sparkle and shine.

Getting published

Good stories eventually find their readers, if the author is persistent. When you’ve spent a lot of time working on your stories, try entering a competition. It’s a good way for young writers to get their work noticed.

Express Media is an Australian national organisation that promotes young creators. Check out their website for publishing opportunities:

Thanks to the internet, there are all sorts of ways to share your work from keeping a blog to entering competitions for young writers.

Keep an eye on my twitter feed. I regularly post tweets about current writing competitions.

Getting famous

I love to write. Even if no one published my stories, I’d still write because writing is a great adventure.

If you only want to write stories so that you can become famous you will probably be disappointed. Most writers aren’t famous in their lifetimes. But if you write because you love words and stories and if you keep writing despite disappointments you will discover that writing brings truer rewards than fame.

Keep in Touch

Upcoming Events

  • 14 June
    WA Launch of When Billy was a Dog, 6.00 pm
    The Literature Centre, Fremantle
  • 22 June
    Puppies and Portraits, 3.00 pm
    Paper Bird Bookshop
    Further information
  • 17-28th June
    Talented Young Writers' Program
    Bunbury, Busselton & Fremantle, WA
    Further information
  • 2 August
    HASS Conference WA
    Perth, WA
    Further information

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