• just_a_girl by Kirsten Krauth

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    "… straddles YA and adult literary fiction in the same way as Tim Winton's Breath … Layla's is a unique voice. A beautifully told story.” — Cameron Raynes

  • Kirsten Krauth

    Novelist. Blogger. Editor. My first novel just_a_girl just published. I blog on all things literary and filmy at Wild Colonial Girl

    "just_a_girl is a complex and timely novel, the first book by a strong writer who is not afraid to go to honest, dark places." 
    — Angela Meyer, LiteraryMinded blog

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Every holiday was father’s day: writing fathers + daughters at Clunes Booktown

At Clunes Booktown, I shared the stage with my dad for the first time (at my first festival) and we talked about writing fathers, writing daughters, creating unique voices (we both feature 14-year-old girls in our work), what our characters share, how we translate family stories into fiction, and whether our memories ever come at things from the same angle. It was a very moving session for both of us (perhaps more than the audience realised), a sharing of ideas, sad moments, and joys too. Here are the edited highlights (thanks to Damon Girbon for the video and editing): Dad (Nigel Krauth) is a writer who’s had many novels published, both for adults and YA audiences. He wrote a play Muse of Fire that was performed by the Adelaide Theatre…

Bendigo Writers’ Festival: girls, grief, guts

Kirsten Krauth + Jenny Valentish, Radio National's Life Matters, Bendigo Writers Festival

On the radio oh oh The Bendigo Writers’ Festival kicked off with ABC Radio National’s live broadcast from the Banquet Room in the Capital theatre. Fellow Castlemaine writer, editor and troublemaker Jenny Valentish joined me to talk with Natasha Mitchell (Life Matters), Michael Cathcart (Books and Arts Daily) and Fiona Parker (ABC Central Victoria) about girls growing up too fast and what it’s like to be a regional writer. Both of us have ended up in Castlemaine via circuitous routes but she wins — Jenny’s from Slough, UK. (I vaguely remember The Office being set in Slough. Great claim to fame there.) Our novels Cherry Bomb and just_a_girl are quite eerie in their shared sensibility: teen girls moving through the world with irony, detachment and the desire for sexual conquest. You can listen to…

Shyness is nice: the beauty of inarticulation

Shy is the first book by Sian Prior

At the recent Sydney Writers’ Festival, David Marr did a wonderfully incisive interview with Christos Tsiolkas, author of Dead Europe, The Slap and, most recently, Barracuda. Throughout the session, in response to Marr’s questions, Tsiolkas took many minutes to speak, occasionally with his head in his hands as if trying to squeeze out the answers. The loud silence filled the room. But when he finally was able to seize the words, his ideas were rich in detail, nuanced, worth waiting for. Marr quipped that ‘he writes loudly and speaks quietly’. As I waited patiently for Tsiolkas to frame himself, I realised how rare this was: the chance to see a writer composing, having the courage to be uncertain, to not reach for the quick answer,…

Here and Now: Felicity Castagna and me – Varuna/Sydney Writers’ Festival

Kirsten Krauth, Felicity Castagna + Irina Dunn, Varuna/Sydney Writers' Festival. Photo:

When you go up on a stage to talk about your book, the harsh spotlight and the mics and the intense concentration and the nerves means the event can fly past you even as you’re experiencing it. Something like smoking too much pot. I was going to dredge up my disconnected and whimsical memories but — thank God — I discovered Lisa Fleetwood’s Welcome to My Library blog, which covers it so much more eloquently than I could. She’s kindly agreed to do the work for me, and let me reproduce it here… HERE AND NOW: DEBUT FICTION AT THE VARUNA/SYDNEY WRITERS’ FESTIVAL: FELICITY CASTAGNA AND KIRSTEN KRAUTH BY LISA FLEETWOOD Wow, what a great start to the Sydney Writers’ Festival! I love the day up…

Festivals: Clunes Booktown, Sydney Writers’ Festival + how to approach them

Before I head into a general ramble about festivals, I’ll get the topical bit out of the way to say: yes, I am in! May is festival time so if you live in Sydney, Melbourne, or the regions surrounding me (Ballarat, Bendigo, Castlemaine, etc), please come and see my fest debuts; it’s always nice to have bums on seats. And I always like to get audience questions from people I already know. CLUNES BOOKTOWN, 3-4 MAY This is one of my favourite festivals, where the beautiful old streets are taken over by second hand booksellers; a literary paradise. It’s a nice day trip from Melb or a fun weekender. I’m excited to be including on the program, doing a session with graphic novelist Nicki Greenberg (where…

And the prize goes to…

Hope you are all idling away the hours reading and relaxing, and not back to the daily grind just yet.In the latest news to hand, a BIG congrats to Amy, who has won the book-hamper pack — 10 signed copies of great Australian books — for doing a review of just_a_girl on amazon.com.au. Thanks to all who posted reviews, and here is Amy’s take on the book: I read ‘just_a_girl’ within the first week after publication. I loved it. Layla’s voice is one of the most authentic teenage narrators I’ve ever met in fiction, and being a PhD candidate studying YA fiction, I have read A LOT of teenage narrators in the last two years. I understood Layla and believed her and I wanted to…

All I want for Christmas is…

I’m one of those people who is easy (some would say dull) to buy for. Every year, when my family asks what I want, I usually say books, books, books, magazine subscriptions or notebooks to write in. God, how I love touching and feeling notebooks. And there’s a Moleskin now that links up to Evernote so you can scan in your notes. Wow! I know this is starting to sound like a sponsored post, but I can’t help it if I’m a bit passionate. I’ve also just been mouth-watering over Allison Tait’s list of gifts for writers (Ernest Hemingway or Sylvia Plath doll, anyone?). What I like most of all is getting book vouchers so I can wander through indie stores like Gleebooks (Sydney) or…

Dawn Barker: I’ll show you mine if you show me yours

In the past couple of months, I’ve started a new series — where I review someone’s book, and they review mine — and we put them up at the same time. My idea was for it to be a kind of ‘two of us’ of books/authors, where we find the connections between our work — and our lives. The first wonderful exchange was with Walter Mason (I reviewed  Destination Cambodia: Adventures in the kingdom and he took a squiz at just_a_girl). This time, I take on Dawn Barker’s popular debut novel, Fractured. Just from the outset, this review is going to have *Spoilers*. There is so much exciting plot happening in Dawn’s book that I don’t want to pussyfoot around it… I recently became familiar with Dawn Barker’s work,…

just_a_girl Christmas competition: win a book-hamper

I thought I’d get in the Christmas spirit and hold a little competition … So … I have a prize pack on offer of 10 BOOKS from some of the fabulous writers who’ve shared their stories on Wild Colonial Girl over the past year. The winning Christmas book-hamper features SIGNED copies of: Simmone Howell – Girl Defective Walter Mason – Destination Cambodia Jon Bauer – Rocks in the Belly Jenn J McLeod – House for all Seasons Jessie Cole – Darkness On the Edge of Town Annabel Smith – Whisky, Charlie, Foxtrot Dawn Barker – Fractured Angela Meyer (editor) – The Great Unknown collection Jo Case – Boomer and Me Wendy James – The Mistake TO WIN? My novel, just_a_girl, has just been listed as…

Friday Night Fictions: November 2013

Howdy again, and hope you enjoy the final edition of FRIDAY NIGHT FICTIONS for the year*. This NOVEMBER issue, we’ve got high-pumping action, a fair smattering of YA, short stories galore and literary fiction to blow your mind. I love the mix that comes in each month… I also did a recent debut author profile of Mr September, Michael Adams, about his genre-bending novel, The Last Girl (that slips between YA and lit fiction). Coming up soon is Tracy Farr  (whose Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt featured in the OCTOBER edition). AND my pick of the month this time is Laura Jean McKay’s Holiday in Cambodia. I’ve heard great things about this debut, and it continues a Cambodia thread that I seem to be following……

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