Writers On Writing / Crafting short stories with Roanna Gonsalves

Award-winning writer Roanna Gonsalves talks writing and inspiration ahead of her online course, Writing and Revising Short Stories, starting 31 August.

Roanna Gonsalves writers on writing

What do you think the role of the writer is today?

As the American poet Muriel Rukeyser said, ‘The universe is made of stories, not atoms.’ Our labour as writers, as storytellers, is so crucial now, more than ever, because we need to reimagine possibilities for our world and for ourselves. We also need to reimagine the past, the stories that have been erased. We need to make meaning afresh out of the ‘rag and bone’ conditions we are negotiating together on our fragile planet. 

Can you name some authors who inspire you in the way they craft short stories?

I love the work of Kuzhali Manickavel, Lydia Davis, Carmen Maria Machado, and Alice Munro, among many others, because of the way they play with the form of the short story, making meaning and creating coherence not through a heavy reliance on plot but by kneading other elements through a story to make it an enchanting and luminous experience for us as readers.

In my upcoming course, we will discuss ways in which stories are held together and see if we can find new ‘glue’ to create coherence on the page. We’ll think through the building blocks of short stories, questioning what makes them leap off the page in a way that is enchanting to the reader.

Join award-winning author Roanna Gonsalves for her online course Writing and Revising Short Stories starting Wednesday 31 August to Tuesday 6 September 2022.
Enrol now>>

roanna gonsalves quote writing and resilience

You can also read Roanna’s essay ‘How to Be Resilient in a Pandemic,‘ as part of our Writing and Resilience series here.

Writing NSW is also excited to have Roanna on board as a mentor for the 2022 Mentoring Program for Emerging Writers from Diverse Backgrounds. Up to six emerging writers from Indigenous or culturally diverse backgrounds will be given the opportunity to work on a short piece of fiction or non-fiction under Roanna’s guidance and with support from Writing NSW. Find out more.

Roanna Gonsalves is the author of The Permanent Resident (UWAP) published in India and South Asia as Sunita De Souza Goes To Sydney (Speaking Tiger).   The book won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award Multicultural Prize 2018 and was longlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award 2018. Her writing has been compared to the work of Alice Munro and Jhumpa Lahiri. Her four-part radio series On the tip of a billion tongues, commissioned and broadcast by ABC RN’s Earshot program, is a portrayal of contemporary India through its multilingual writers.
Roanna holds a PHD and has been teaching and supervising creative writing students of all ages within communities as well as at schools and at New York University Sydney, UNSW, Western Sydney University and Macquarie University. She is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award and is co-founder co-editor of Southern Crossings. She has been an invited keynote speaker and panellist at numerous literary events. She is a recipient of The Bridge Awards’ inaugural Varuna – Cove Park Writing Residency 2019 in Scotland, and was part of the Australia Council for the Arts’ India Literature Exploratory delegation 2020. She works as a Lecturer in Creative Writing at UNSW Sydney.
Roanna can be found at roannagonsalves.com.au and @roannagonsalves.

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