Compiled by Catriona Mitchell, Christine Colton & Mila Shwaiko






“The more I write, the less I know about writing and the less successful I become” – Richard Flanagan, Australia



“I long for a soft-boiled detective, to counterbalance all the hard-boiled ones” – Sebastian Faulks, UK



“The only thing that’s depressing about writing is when your writing sucks. I had a ball writing [We Need to Talk About] Kevin. The only time I got depressed was when I wrote bad paragraphs and had to get rid of them.” – Lionel Shriver, USA



“When a book succeeds, it’s the writing. When it fails, it’s the marketing.” – Kim Scott, Australia



“I am a writer by choice and a film-maker by misadventure. Film is a short story with poetic overlays, whereas a novel is the cosmos.” – Richard Flanagan, Australia



“It’s not because I’m crazy that I’m doing this; it’s because I’m a good journalist.” – Lydia Cacho, Mexico



“You cannot approach a book with the arrogance of a creator; you must enter it with the humility of a witness.” – Amish Tripathi, India



“Books opened the world to me. I was born in a small village, but I knew the world wasn’t that small – because of the books.” – Ahmad Fuadi, Indonesia



“When I was younger I wanted to swallow the world.” – Lionel Shriver, USA



“Other things appeal to the intellect. Art touches the inner being, it gives you a reaction that you probably didn’t expect. That person will feel ‘you’ve spoken to me in a way I understand’. With every human being, when you speak to the inner person, that person understands.” – Thando Sibanda, Zimbabwe



“The quickest way to misery is trying to please everybody.” – Dewi Lestari, Indonesia



“My wife always tells me, ‘your characters are always better than you!’ You can go deep inside yourself and find things you didn’t know were there.” – Ahmad Fuadi, Indonesia



“People are much more complicated than books, as characters have to be distilled and thus end up as less than the whole.” – Tom Doig, New Zealand



“The best work is done on the days that are full of the most self loathing.” – Laura Jean McKay, Australia



“I didn’t read anything in my life – I was completely left brain, a maths graduate… What really worked was when I just surrendered to the book.” – Amish Tripathi, India