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June 6, 2024

Member Spotlight: Charlotte Wood

We’re thrilled to share our June Member Spotlight features Charlotte Wood! Charlotte was recently longlisted for the 2024 Miles Franklin Literary Award for Stone Yard Devotional.

Charlotte Wood is the author of seven novels and three books of non-fiction. Her previous books include The Luminous Solution, a book of essays on the creative process; the international bestseller The Weekend; and The Natural Way of Things which won a number of prizes including The Stella Prize and the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. Her features and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Literary Hub, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Saturday Paper among other publications.
In 2023 Belvoir Theatre Company staged an adaptation of her novel The Weekend, and her novel The Natural Way of Things featured in ABC Television’s 2021 series The Books That Made Us.

She has produced a podcast of interviews with artists, The Writer’s Room with Charlotte Wood, and this year began a monthly subscriber newsletter on the creative impulse, titled Subtraction

What inspired you to begin a writing career?

I began tinkering with writing fiction at university, but didn’t commit to taking it seriously until I turned 29, on the death of my second parent. Life separated starkly into two categories: things that mattered, and things that didn’t. I knew suddenly that writing really mattered to me, and I began my apprenticeship, and my vocation, at that point. I had always loved reading, I always loved playing with language and testing myself with words and expression, but now writing became a place to take my confused, intense, inchoate feelings that could not find expression anywhere else in my life. And I found a joy in thinking more deeply than I had before, in working so hard my brain hurt, and in the simple pleasure of making something.

What does it mean for you to be longlisted for the 2024 Miles Franklin Literary Award for Stone Yard Devotional?

I think this is my fourth time on the MF list carousel, so forgive me for trying as hard as possible to attach zero meaning to it. I think all smart writers, after a certain point, understand that awards and prizes are pretty much a random lucky dip. Until you win one – at which point, naturally, it becomes an Extremely Accurate and Devastatingly Important Objective Measure of Literary Greatness.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known at the start of your career?

I wish I had not spent so much time fetishising the difficult aspects of writing – failure, lack of confidence, fear of the blank page, rejection, blah blah blah. When I think of all the self-indulgent attention and focus I devoted to those things instead of channelling that energy into simply writing, I marvel at my foolishness.

Which Australian authors/illustrators have been influential for you?

The fiction of Joan London is perennially inspiring to me – her voice, her egoless-ness and her compassion are beyond compare. Helen Garner is another very important role model for her energy, her humour, her guts and her bone-clean sentences, and Amanda Lohrey another for the sharpness of her intellect and her penetrating gaze into our culture. I bow down to all three of them.

Why do you think it’s important to be a member of the ASA?

It’s our union. The ASA has always fought for creators’ rights – on intellectual property, on fair recompense for our labour (e.g. via Public Lending Right, anti-piracy action, parallel import restrictions, setting decent pay rates for teaching and speaking, fighting against the theft of our work for AI training and so much more), and negotiating with governments on many fronts to help protect and maintain a flourishing Australian publishing and bookselling industry. Writers and illustrators cannot do without the ASA and the (underpaid) work of its staff and board members. I would like to publicly thank the ASA for everything you do for us.


Find out more about Charlotte Wood at