The Writer’s Room: Resources For Aspiring Authors

The Writer’s Room: Resources For Aspiring Authors

Welcome to the Better Reading Writer’s Room – a page where we will post information, resources, and anything we feel will help aspiring authors. Check out our online classes with bestselling author Dervla McTiernan, find some great book recommendations on writing, and listen to our special podcast series On Writing, where you will learn from those who’ve been published and be inspired by their stories. We’ll keep adding to our Writer’s Room, so drop by regularly.

Podcast: 6-part series Better Reading On Writing

This podcast series is not a ‘how to’ but rather an inspirational and highly entertaining listen for those who are intrigued about the minds of authors, their processes, and their worlds. Listen to bestselling authors Trent Dalton, Dervla McTiernan, Belinda Alexandra, Melina Marchetta, Candice Fox and Penguin Publisher Nikki Christer.

Hand-picked from the writing success stories of 2019, listeners are guided through the creative life of five bestselling authors and one publisher while they share with us how they do it and why they do it. In each episode, Cheryl and the author discusses one aspect of writing or the business of writing. Accompanying this are also fascinating soundbites from other authors on writing, such as Ben Okri, Tim Winton, JR Lonie, Minette Walters, Lee Child, Michael Robotham and more.

Podcast A Conversation About Diversity in Children’s Books

Late in 2019, Better Reading was awarded a grant from the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund to produce a 6-part podcast series, A Conversation on Diversity in Children’s Books. At the time we could not have predicted what 2020 would bring. We now understand more than ever how little we know, and how important these conversations are. It’s a time for us to ask questions, and listen to the answers provided by people who are more knowledgeable than us on this subject. For this series, those people are Dr. Randa Abdel Fattah, Will Kostakis, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Laura Bloom, Deborah Abela, and Rachel Bin Salleh from Magabala Books. This is a fascinating look at children’s books, being a writer, and the future of the industry.

Writing NSW

Looking to develop your writing skills, connect with writers and get professional feedback? Writing NSW offers a range of online courses led by established writers, including Anwen Crawford, Kate Holden, Ryan O’Neill, Fiona Wright, and many more. Whether you’re just starting out or more established in your writing career, Writing NSW has a course to suit your needs. We highly recommend Writing NSW for all aspiring authors. Click here to enrol today.


Sweatshop is a literacy movement based in Western Sydney which is devoted to empowering culturally and linguistically diverse communities through reading, writing and critical thinking. Sweatshop provides research, training, mentoring and employment opportunities for emerging and established writers and arts practitioners from Indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds. Sweatshop’s annual program includes workshops and residencies in schools and universities throughout Australia and ongoing masterclasses in Western Sydney, which are facilitated by a collective of award-winning authors and artists. Sweatshop initiatives result in publications, films, podcasts, plays, performance readings, exhibitions and cultural seminars. Learn more about Sweatshop here.

Dervla’s Writing Studio

Dervla McTiernan, the bestselling author of The Ruin, The Scholar and The Good Turn, held a 4-week LIVE writing class on the Better Reading Facebook page, providing course materials afterwards. For those of you who couldn’t make the live sessions, or who want to review the classes, find our Writing Studio playlist here. Also, please find some wonderful lesson notes and extra material here.


In the Better Reading on Writing series, Dervla McTiernan talks about Scrivener in detail for over 5 minutes, explaining to listeners why it’s such a great tool for writers. Better Reading’s in-house writer tried Scrivener herself, and reviewed it here.

Top Tips To Get Your Book Published 

Have you always wanted to be a children’s author but don’t know steps to get there? We break down how to get your manuscript ready for submission. Click here to learn more.

Better Reading’s Stories Behind the Story Podcast

Our Stories Behind the Story Podcast is a great resource for aspiring writers, where published authors share their writing process, influences, and road to publication. Some particularly helpful episodes include our conversations with George Saunders, Nicola Moriarty, Belinda Alexandra, Sue Miller, Hazel Gaynor and Melina Marchetta. Click here to listen to these fantastic podcasts.

Looking for some great books on writing?

A Swim in the Pond in the Rain by George Saunders

In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, Booker Prize-winning author George Saunders guides the reader through seven classic Russian short stories he’s been teaching for twenty years as a professor in the prestigious Syracuse University graduate MFA creative writing program. Paired with stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, these essays are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it’s more relevant than ever in these turbulent times. And remember to listen to our podcast with George Saunders here…

Beyond the Hero’s Journey: A screenwriting guide for when you’ve got a different story to tell by Anthony Mullins

Telling a story is simple, right? You take a ‘hero’ and send them on a ‘journey’. There’s a beginning, middle and an end. But what if your story doesn’t fit into that basic structure?

In Beyond the Hero’s Journey, BAFTA award–winning screenwriter Anthony Mullins presents an accessible, versatile and highly visual alternative to writing that dramatically expands the range of narratives open to writers, both emerging and experienced.

Fun and easy-to-use, Beyond the Hero’s Journey is for every writer who has felt frustrated by the neat confines of writing guides.

How do I submit my work?

So, you’ve written a book? Congratulations. But how do you get it published? First, you need to get it into the hands of a publisher. There are two ways to do that. You can find yourself a literary agent – a difficult task in itself – or you can submit direct to a publisher. This is called an unsolicited submission, and many publishers still accept them, although generally with guidelines to follow. If you don’t follow the guidelines, your book won’t get read.

We’ve put together some publishers below who still accept unsolicited manuscripts. Our advice is to do your homework, find the publisher who best fits your book, and then polish, polish and polish that submission before hitting send. Best of luck!

Affirm Press

Affirm Press welcomes fiction, non-fiction and children’s’ books submissions on the first Monday of each month only. Find out more here.

Allen & Unwin

Allen & Unwin accepts submissions through its submission platform The Friday Pitch. Find out more here.

Black Inc. Books

Black Inc. Books accepts submissions from Australian authors in general and commercial non-fiction, and literary and YA fiction. Find out more here.

Fremantle Press

Fremantle Press accepts unsolicited manuscripts from authors of Western Australian origin or whose primary residence is in WA. Find out more here. 


Hachette is currently accepting non-fiction and children’s books submissions, however is not accepting fiction submissions. Find out more here.

HQ Fiction

HQ/Harlequin subdivision of HarperCollins publishers accepts submissions. Find out more here.

Pan Macmillan

Pan Macmillan accepts submissions for fiction, non-fiction, children’s books and YA. Find out more here.

Pantera Press

Pantera Press is currently open for submissions. Find out more here. 


Penguin Australia accepts submission for adults and children’s books, but only at certain times of the year. Find out more here. 

Scribe Publications

Scribe Publications accepts unsolicited submissions during the following time frames in 2022: 1 April to 21 April, 1 September to 21 September. Find out more here. 

Text Publishing

Text Publishing accepts unsolicited submissions. Find out more here.

UQP (University of Queensland Press)

UQP accepts submissions for literary fiction and non-fiction during the first week of each month. Find out more here. 

Walker Books

Walker Books annual Walker Wednesday is on Wednesday 29th June 2022. On this day only, all submissions for children’s books will be accepted and reviewed. Find out more here.

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