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Emerging writers have to do all this work

4 July 2016

‘When you are emerging even small things can make a difference to a practice, a craft and a career. There's been less and less institutional support for young writers from publishers. Not that long ago a writer would be identified by a publishing house or editor at an event or a reading.

There would be a breakthrough book later on - like the case of someone like Peter Carey - who had longtime support from UQP (University of Queensland Press). If you are an emerging writer now, there are more channels for you to get in front of the eyeballs of a publisher but you have to do a lot of the work yourself. There's less work done by editors and publishers - they wait for writers to come to them with manuscripts that are fully formed...

A writer will seek that support elsewhere - that's why writing groups have soared... I feel that writers can no longer rely on themselves being just good writers. I feel like emerging writers have to do all this work - they have be all these social butterflies - they have to seek things out for themselves."

Sam Cooney, publisher of the Melbourne-based literary journal The Lifted Brow in the Guardian