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THE WRITER'S ROOM INTERVIEWS
The Writer's Room Interviews is a bimonthly subscription-based digital magazine about the creative lives of writers.
Every two months subscribers receive a thoughtful interview with an established Australian writer, sent by email in PDF format. Inspired by Australia's Artist Profile magazine and The Paris Review 'Writers at Work' series, The Writer's Room Interviews uses a similar Q&A and long-form style.
"While most writer interviews appearing online or in mainstream media are necessarily focused on the promotion of new books, I would like these interviews to feel slower, calmer and deeper," Charlotte says.
"I want them to illuminate something of the way a writer works - the hows and whys and mysteries and surprises of the creative process. For the interviewee, I hope it might feel like a calm, clear light falling over their body of work. At a time when the coverage of literature seems so fiercely focused on the turnover of product and prizes and promotion, I hope these interviews will stand, over time, as a record of how Australian literature is made - honouring the writers, their work and each of their particular creative tracks."
She sees the main readership for The Writer's Room Interviews as her fellow writers, general readers interested in the creative process and serious students of writing.
"Some of those appearing in its pages will be well-known, others will not. I'll be inviting writers to take part based entirely on my own reading tastes, and my hunches about who might have interesting things to say about the writing life. I want each arrival in the in-box to be an Oh! moment for readers - a choice that surprises, and an interview they will keep and return to over time for its richness and depth.
"The point of The Writer's Room Interviews won't be celebrity or accolades or life stories, but a deeper sharing of the creative experience among working writers across many genres."
A six-issue (one-year) subscription costs A$27.50 ($25 + GST)– that’s one interview in PDF format received by email every second month. Subscription payment is by Paypal or direct bank deposit.
The subscription cycle is February to December of each year - those who subscribe mid-cycle will receive all the year's issues to date upon payment. (E.g. Readers who subscribe in June will receive the February and April issues along with the June issue).
Click here to subscribe for 2014 or buy the 2013 Omnibus.
To find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Debra Oswald is an award-winning writer for television, stage and film, as well as the author of fiction for children and soon for adults.
Best known as the creator and head writer of the hit Channel Ten television drama Offspring, Oswald has a strong background in the theatre. In 2008 her Stories in the Dark won Best Play in the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, while her best-known play, Dags, has had many productions around Australia and been published and performed in Britain and the United States. Other plays include Going Under, Lumps, Gary’s House, Sweet Road, The Peach Season and Mr Bailey’s Minder.
Gary’s House has been on the New South Wales Year Twelve drama syllabus, and Sweet Road, Gary’s House and The Peach Season were all shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards. The Peach Season won the 2005 Rodney Seaborn Playwright’s Award, and Mr Bailey’s Minder broke Griffin Theatre’s box office record in 2004, toured nationally in 2006, and was produced in Philadelphia in 2008. Her plays for teenage audiences include House on Fire, performed by the Australian Theatre for Young People in 2010, Skate and Stories in the Dark.
Oswald’s writing for television includes the mini series Palace of Dreams as well as Police Rescue, Bananas in Pyjamas, The Secret Life of Us and, of course, Offspring. Her Police Rescue scripts have been nominated for AFI, AWGIE and State Library awards.
Oswald is also an accomplished children’s author: her novels include Me and Barry Terrific, The Return of the Baked Bean, The Fifth Quest and The Redback Leftovers, as well as Getting Air and Blue Noise for teenagers. She has also written three Aussie Bites – Nathan and the Ice Rockets, Frank and the Emergency Joke and Frank and the Secret Club.
Oswald’s creation of Offspring, starring Asher Keddie as obstetrician Nina Proudman, has taken her work from small theatres to huge audiences, with the fifth season of this enormously successful drama hitting television screens in May this year. Oswald’s script for the Offspring telemovie won the 2011 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award for screenwriting, and in 2014, her deeply moving final episode of season four won her an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts award for Best Television Screenplay.
I met Oswald only recently, through her ABC Radio broadcaster partner Richard Glover, and then again in a professional context when we were both judges for a literary award. I warmed to her instantly. She has a quick, self-deprecating and very funny wit and is a deep thinker; her strong opinions are expressed with a warm, open wholeheartedness.
I met Oswald for this interview at her house in Sydney’s inner west, where she lives with Glover and one of her two adult sons, a musician. Music is a large part of the family’s life, and Oswald speaks tenderly of musicians and what they have brought to her creative life. As we talked over coffee and chocolate cake for two and a half hours in her sunny living room, we ranged across topics from her love of — and ‘broken heart’ from — the theatre, her period of writer’s despair and the therapy that helped her overcome it, the pleasures and frustrations of writing for commercial television and her first foray into fiction for adults, with the novel Useful to be published by Penguin in February 2015.
Throughout this interview Oswald was candid, sharp-witted, extremely patient with my ignorance about how television writing works, and always self-questioning and generous.
– Charlotte Wood