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Edwina Shaw


Short stories in a number of Australian literary magazines, including, Island, Hecate, Idiom23 and Griffith REVIEW. Short story in Dreams a Gininderra Press publication.

Hobbies and favourite books/authors:

Yoga, body-surfing, bush-walking, gardening, reading, cooking, home-midwifery.

When I grow up I want to be Canadian author, Margaret Attwood, because she writes beautfiully over a range of genres, making it all look easy. I especially love her books Alias Grace, Oryx and Crake, The Handmaiden's Tale and The Tent. I also love Helen Garner, an Australian writer who mixes truth and fiction as much as I do. Her book, The Spare Room is a work of genius. Susan Johnson is another wonderful Australian writer. Hungry Ghosts and The Broken Book are favourites.

Loved Tim Winton's The Turning for its elegant prose. As for classics, I love the Americans: Faulkner, Hemingway, Steinbeck and the plays of Tennessee Williams. And when the modern world is too fast and furious to bear I retreat into Jane Austen's cosy world.

When did you started writing and why?

I've always wanted to be a writer and have kept a daily journal since I was eighteen. I started to pursue writing as a career seriously about nine years ago because the stories in my head wouldn't go away.

How and where you find inspiration?

My life has been full of experiences, both good and bad. Most of my stories are based on these. Sometimes I get ideas from the newspaper, like an article I read recently about a young man in India who was killed for writing a love letter to a higher caste girl. Sometimes people tell me stories from their own lives that are just too good to pass up on. Be careful if you have friends who are writers!

How you go about research?

I don't really research in the traditioanl sense. I read widely and use my experiences. When I need to find out something I'll use the internet, go to the library or ask someone who has that knowledge.

Creative writing tips:

Forget about sounding like a "writer". If you're writing then you are already a writer. Pretend you're telling your story to a good friend and let the story find its own way. When you're writing a first draft don't stop to fix bits and pieces, forget about spelling and punctuation and whether something sounds silly or not. Just write. And write and write and write until you come to what feels like the end. Then it's time to leave your story alone for a while. Come back to it later with your "critic" hat on and go through your first draft ruthlessly, throwing out all the crap and keeping the gems.

Writing projects you are currently working on, including anything you’re doing not intended for publication:

I still write my journal every day or so. It's a great way to clear the mind and sort out problems as well as practise the craft of writing. My adult novel "Bittersweet" , based on my experiences living and teaching in Cambodia in the mid nineties, is currently with an agent and looking for a good home. At the moment I'm writing the first draft of a self-help title "A Little Guide to Grief" combining my yoga knowledge and pieces of memoir, to make something good from all the losses in my life.

Promotional services such as giving talks or writing workshops, and contact details:

I am registered with showandtellpromotions.com.au, a service that links writers with schools and other audiences for teaching and speaking engagements. I've taught Narrative at the University of Queensalnd and will be teaching an introductory creative writing course for brisbanewoman.com in August 09. My blog address is edwinashaw.wordpress.com for more info and if anyone would like to say hello.