Every now and then I’m asked to fill in as a presenter or producer on ABC Local Radio. I get to talk to interesting people and hope to make their stories come alive for listeners who might even stop what they’re doing for a few minutes to hear something that makes their heart sing or brain churn. As a writer, my day job is to try and keep the world away while writing about it: a more internal world. But radio time is out there: it’s living in the kitchen, or the car, or on a computer, thriving on the magic of now and the language of the spoken voice rather than the written word. They’re different.
Last week, the spoken words of Geordie Williamson stopped my day, even though, at 730 in the morning, it was way too early for that. The new fiction editor of Island magazine was inspirational when I interviewed him for ABC Northern Tasmania Breakfast. He said he thought Richard Flanagan was destined to win the 2014 Miles Franklin Prize for his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North, and that Amanda Lohrey is the best women fiction writer in Australia. Which means, simply put, that two of the best writers of fiction in the country are Tasmanian. Enough, perhaps, to inspire a whole new generation of writers, as well as those who struggle to get published. Anyone is able to submit their fiction to Geordie at Island magazine. And just listen how he wants to hear from you.