KILLINGS, daily columns and blog —

Category Archives: Column: Books and Writing


Why children’s and YA literature deserves more media attention

If you’re not meant to judge a book by its cover, then please don’t judge a readership by the coverage it receives in the mainstream media. Earlier this month, Jonathan Myerson blundered his way into a Twitter backlash with his article ‘Children’s fiction is not great literature’ in which he … Read more »

All grown up: a brief history of The Little Bookroom

Across the road from Flinders Street Station there is a little street called Degraves. At one end there’s a splash of street art adorning walls and dumpsters, while the other end remains Parisian: all black umbrellas, quaint cafés, tucked-away restaurants and the world’s oldest bookshop for children … Read more »

Making and taking: striking a balance between consumption and creation

Perhaps I’m just particularly neurotic, but whenever I’m writing I feel a niggling guilt that tells me I really should be reading, and whenever I’m reading I feel a niggling guilt that tells me I really should be writing. When I write, I feel as though I’m … Read more »

One foot in, one foot out: why the best critics are all tangled up in what they’re criticising

Last month, The Guardian published ‘What’s Wrong With the Modern World’, an excerpt from Jonathan Franzen’s upcoming The Kraus Project. Because we’re on the internet, and because we tweet and share and create our own little echo chambers, we’ve all read it. If you haven’t, well, it’s … Read more »

Why we’re still curled up with the book

If this were a book I could start at page one. If this were a book there would be print and maybe pictures on paper pages. I could pick it up, carry it to an armchair, flip through it and absently read my way through the beginning, … Read more »

Written for teenagers, censored by adults: an interview with Dianne Touchell

  Last year young adult (YA) author, Dianne Touchell, released her contemporary debut Creepy & Maud. It’s a suburban love story about a girl with Trichotillomania (a compulsive urge to pull out one’s own hair), and the unnamed next-door-neighbor boy with a slight case of Haphephobia (a … Read more »

A very quiet battle: librarians, publishers, and the Pirate Bay

Recently, novelist Ursula Le Guin suggested that publishers are ‘terrified by the idea of letting public libraries have their e-books.’ Publishers, she suggested, have jacked up the price of ebook licenses and set up draconian DRM systems to make it basically untenable for public libraries to freely … Read more »

Commerce, compromise and the business of writing

  Thanks to a thoughtful post on Overland by Jennifer Mills earlier this year a hearty discussion has ensued online about the need to #paythewriters. It’s a principle I support and a discussion I respect. We live in a capitalist society and what keeps it (and us) … Read more »

The adult vs children’s lit debate: an interview with Morris Gleitzman

  There’s been much debate in the world of young adult (YA) literature after children’s author/illustrator Shoo Rayner posted a blog questioning the decision to award author Patrick Ness the Carnegie Medal (the British Children’s Book Award). The post was ‘Can children have their prize back please?’ … Read more »

‘Likes’ don’t pay the rent

We’re all fairly familiar with the joke by now, aren’t we? The one where the plumber visits the publisher’s house, fixes the sink, and the publisher says, ‘You’re cool if I just pay you in exposure, right?’ I sense that some of you aren’t laughing. If you’re … Read more »