How to write a bestseller

DON’T trust your mum to critique your work and learn to love rejection”, are some of the tips you’ll hear from successful authors at The Business of Being a Writer event.

Organised by Fremantle Press, it’s aimed at aspiring and published writers and those just wanting a glimpse into the world of publishing.

A range of successful authors will be on hand, including Fremantle author Craig Silvey (Jasper Jones) and crime writer Alan Carter (Heaven Sent), who will guide you through the bamboozling world of publishing contracts.

Hungerford 2019 winner Holden Sheppard (Invisible Boys) joins 2008 winner Natasha Lester to tell us about a day in the life of a best-selling author.

And Fremantle Press editor, and author, Georgia Richter will give insider tips on editing manuscripts for submission.

It usually takes multiple rewrites to get your book as good as it can be, she says.

“If you are just going to send off a first draft – don’t.”

Joining a writers’ group and having people whose opinion you trust are vital, Ms Richter says.

“Not your mum, who says ‘it’s lovely dear, don’t change a thing’. You need someone who will give a critical viewpoint.”

Fremantle Press receives about 500 manuscripts a year, but only 25 are accepted, so writers should be prepared for rejection.

Annabel Smith’s debut book sold out quickly, but she had 20 rejections for her follow-up Whisky, Charlie, Foxtrot, before FP picked

it up.

The novel is now a runaway success and selling like hot cakes in the US. Smith started out self-publishing and will talk about the pros and cons of going-it-alone.

“I don’t want to discourage people, but they should be aware it is hard work.”

The Business of Being a Writer is at UWA on Saturday February 22 as part of the Perth Festival.

To book go to


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