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Where’s the Best Place to Write a Novel in Melbourne?

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Writer's Answer:
by Sue Williams (subscribe)
Writer, bushwalker, dessert enthusiast. Author of the Rusty Bore Mysteries. More info here: https://www.textpublishing.com.au/books/live-and-let-fry
Published September 8th 2011
Awe-inspiring State Library
Awe-inspiring State Library


Sometimes it seems as though every second person in Melbourne is writing a novel. Over coffee, friends admit to secret scribblings. Blogs about cooking turn into books. And your mother announces she's writing her memoirs, creating shock waves at a Sunday barbeque.

Still it's hardly surprising there are so many writers - you can't move in this UNESCO City of Literature without falling over a creative writing course, book launch or some kind of writing festival.

Maybe you're a secret novelist. Or maybe you're planning to be, one day, when you get time. Then you'll get started. Absolutely. Quite definitely. Maybe.

So where will you write your novel? Where's the best place in Melbourne to write it?

As an (as yet, but still relatively hopeful) unpublished novelist, The State Library of Victoria is one of my favourite places to write.

Surrounded by so many books, in such an awe-inspiring building, how could anyone not be motivated to scribble down their opus? And there's always a chance you might spot a Melbourne writer you admire – after all, they must come into the library every now and then to check up on a fact.

Well, Helen Garner could turn up at any time, couldn't she?
Well, Helen Garner could turn up at any time, couldn't she?


But if you're a writer who works best at night, or just doesn't have time to write in daylight hours, the State Library is likely to disappoint - it closes at 9pm weekdays, even earlier on Fridays and weekends – at 6pm. For the nocturnal writer, the Virginia Woolf approach might be more suitable – maybe you need a room of your own.

Or a shed. (Roald Dahl allegedly wrote his stories in his shed).

A straw poll of published novel-writing friends indicates that cafes are popular places to write. Maybe they have a point – it's often remarked that J.K. Rowling wrote the early Harry Potter novels in cafes – ones that were crowded enough so she could blend in, but not so crowded that she had to share a table.

What do you think? Where's the best place in Melbourne to write a novel, or anything? Or do you subscribe to the Hemingway perspective – that the best place to write is in your head?
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The State Library is an awesome place. I wrote a lot of essays there. Good luck with the novel.
By Anna Bourozikas - senior reviewer
Friday, 9th of September @ 09:24 am
Thanks! I'll let you know how it goes. Bet you're glad those essay-writing days are over.
By Sue Williams - senior reviewer
Monday, 12th of September @ 01:14 am
Annerley Brisbane
By Anonymous
Monday, 2nd of January @ 05:46 am
Pran central - food, bustle and power points for your iphone/tablet/laptop
By glassdarkly - reader
Saturday, 28th of June @ 01:16 am

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