8 July 2015

Spotlight On: Lucy Nelson


Lucy Nelson is a writer, editor and the 2014 recipient of the Templeberg Residential Writing Fellowship.

How old are you?


What state or territory do you live in?

What kind of writing do you do?
Personal essays, feature articles, book reviews, and some fiction.

What are you currently reading?
The Abyssinian Contortionist by David Carlin, Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood and Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay.

How did you begin writing?
In my Dad’s big brown itchy recliner. As a child I had a habit of writing really dark poems about death and poverty for some reason and then reading them aloud to my parents’ friends when they visited. I also used to write scripts for sock puppet shows and stage them for my family.

How do you remain motivated?
Read read read read.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I find inspiration in gaps. Gaps in public discourse, and gaps in voice, style and tone. All writers do this I think? Also from reading a butt load.

Do you think where you live in Australia has influenced your writing?

I don’t think living in Canberra has influenced the subject matter of my writing, but it has certainly presented me with opportunities for publication and collaboration that I think would be much harder to come across in other literary communities.

What is the best and worst piece of advice you’ve been given as a writer?
Best: Be economical with your words. Ask every adjective to defend its right to stay and show it the door if it doesn’t convince you. Also read as much as you possibly can.

Worst: Writing for children is easy. As far as I can tell it’s anything but.

What piece of published writing are you most proud of? Why?

It’s not my most polished piece of work, but earlier this year I wrote a personal essay for Feminartsy about confronting my lifelong fear of water and learning to swim as an adult. I suppose I’m proud of it because it took guts to write something so personal. Here ’tis: Little Beast: A Biography

Where can we find out more about you?