Jaclyn Moriarty

Literary Birthday – 8 October – Jaclyn Moriarty

Happy Birthday, Jaclyn Moriarty, born 8 October 1968.


  1. I cried every time I got a rejection letter. It was ridiculous. But healthy! And then I tore the letters into tiny shreds. My advice for writers experiencing rejection is to cry a bit, because crying is healthy.
  2. I read a lot of fantasy, and tried a lot of different approaches before I found my voice.
  3. I don’t mean to do it, but letters keep turning up in my books. I think they give me the immediacy of first-person narrative at the same time as the control of an omniscient narrator. And I love the combination of intimacy and unreliability, especially when there are multiple, intersecting, unreliable correspondents.
  4. Read in all sorts of different directions, from poetry to history to science to sci-fi. And try writing in all sorts of different directions too.
  5. Publishers cannot guarantee a book’s success, no matter how much they believe in the book.
  6. In the mornings, I use notepads and coloured texts and pencils in a café. I draw pictures and scribble notes, plan chapters and do research. In the afternoons I write the chapter on the computer, or half the chapter, or a paragraph of the chapter, or a sentence.
  7. I think it’s VERY important for a novel to be complete within itself, even if it’s part of a series. As long as there is some kind of story arc that has been completed, I don’t mind if there’s more of the story to come – that makes sense when it’s part of a series – and I don’t even mind if there’s an unexpected twist at the very end that creates a kind of cliffhanger. But I can’t stand it when you turn the page and the story’s suddenly, unexpectedly over and the characters are just in a room looking at you blankly.
  8. Write a journal every day but don’t narrate what you did that day—choose one small, unexpected incident, or one character you met during the day, and describe it.
  9. Drink a lot of water, run up and down stairs, draw colourful pictures, read poetry, dance without caring that you can’t.

Jaclyn Moriarty is an Australian novelist, most known for her young adult literature. She is the author of The Ashbury/Brookfield Series of four novels, which began with Feeling Sorry for Celia, and The Colours of Madeleine trilogy, which started with A Corner of White. Her sisters are the authors, Liane Moriarty and Nicola Moriarty.

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Source for tips: Ampersand Literary and The Cosy Dragon and Booktopia

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 8th October 2017