The Craft of Writing

Thomas Keneally AO
IN- conversation with Professor Jason Bainbridge

Tuesday 20 March 2018,

6.00pm - 7.15pm


One of the most fascinating issues in writing is the experience of the writer writing the novel. To what extent does the novel rule the writer, to what extent does the novelist rule their material? The act of creative writing engages the subconscious as a creative, visionary but also dangerous source. In the process there is great potential for depression, loss of faith in the material, of being thrown by the novel/horse you are riding, of the horse galloping towards a precipice, or of its dying beneath you. The reader has a sense of the writer being in control. But who is in control, and what psychological and other perils overtake the writer in the process? Is the writer a passive entity in the hurricane of the process or are they the controlling rider and crafter of the storm? Thomas Keneally will debate this with abundant examples.

Thomas Keneally AO

Thomas KeneallyAward-winning Australian author Thomas (Tom) Keneally AO is one of Australia's most prolific and best known novelists. As the multi-award-winning author of more than 30 novels, dramas, screenplays and books of non-fiction, he is also one of its most distinguished. In 1982 he won the Booker Prize for Schindler's Ark, which was made into the Academy Award-winning film Schindler's List. His novels The Chant of Jimmy BlacksmithGossip from the Forest and Confederates were all short-listed for the Booker Prize, while Bring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers for the Paraclete won the Miles Franklin Award. 

Born in Sydney in 1935, Tom studied for the priesthood as a young man and then began a career in school teaching before his literary success enabled him to become a full-time writer. In addition to the Booker Prize and the Miles Franklin Awards, Tom Keneally has also won the Los Angeles Book Prize, the Royal Society of Literature Prize, the Scripter Award of the University of Southern California, the Mondello International Prize and the Helmerich Prize (U.S.). Tom Keneally's history of Irish convictism, The Great Shame and The Commonwealth of Thieves about the penal origins of Australia were both published in all the English language markets. He has also published three volumes of A History of Australians and the story has now reached 1970. More recently he has published Three Famines, a narrative history of famine, and the novel, The Daughters of Mars. Tom Keneally holds a number of national and international honorary doctorates. In 1983 he received the Order of Australia for his services to Australian Literature and in 1997 was declared one of Australia's ‘100 Living Treasures'. 


Twitter: @ThomasKeneally
The Thomas Keneally Centre
'"Living Treasure" Thomas Keneally in Conversation at UniSA' - Adelaide Review 2017
'Thomas Keneally: writing the wrongs of the Catholic church' - Spectator review of Crimes of the Father
ABC Big Ideas: Tom Keneally celebrates 50 years as a writer
YouTube clip: Tom Keneally — The character of Oskar Schindler

Professor Jason Bainbridge

Jason BainbridgeProfessor Jason Bainbridge is Head of School at the University of South Australia's School of Creative Industries.

Previously Professor Bainbridge was a key player at Swinburne University in Melbourne where he was Chair of Media and Communication, and Acting Dean of the School of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities - helping to transform and energise media and arts education.

He has a PhD in Cultural Studies from Queensland University where he also completed his Bachelor of Arts Honours and his Bachelor of Laws.



Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre

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