Emerging Writers

Future Tense with Debi Hamilton in the June-July issue of Australian Book Review.

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I admire everyone who puts their heart and soul into creating something beautiful with words. But in no particular order, a by no means comprehensive list: Gillian Mears, Gail Jones, Joan London, Helen Garner, Kate Grenville, Cate Kennedy, Charlotte Wood, Brenda Walker, David Malouf, Luke Davies, Kim Scott, Amanda Curtin ... I'm currently utterly absorbed in Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan stories. In my fantasy writing life, like her I'd remain anonymous to everyone but my publisher.

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I studied creative writing at UTS. Yes, it was worth it, mainly because I encountered some brilliant teachers – Martin Harrison in particular. Martin’s courses didn’t simply ‘teach’ me about writing; they changed the way I saw the world. Then I went on to do a conventional PhD at Cambridge, partly due to a strong belief that you learn to write by reading closely, and by immersing yourself in the work of others. I have taken to thinking of this PhD as a kind of apprenticeship in style.

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I’m a big supporter of digital publishing: it makes writing more accessible in a global context. I edited a collection called Writing Black, which is available on iBooks. This allows the American audience, which I particularly wanted to engage with while I spent some time in the United States promoting the black&write! project, to download it easily.

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