Writing Life Well logoNEW: Writing Life Well: How inspiring, influential and simply useful narrative and illustrated books are created

A symposium presented by the Faber Writing Academy and Murdoch Books

Saturday, 16 November 2019

10.00am - 4.30pm

Allen & Unwin
83 Alexander Street
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Get directions
(Please note access is via stairs)
Course fee: $195 / $165 alumni

Murdochbookslogo Lifestyle publishing is a flourishing segment of the book market, but it is rare to get an insight into how these books are developed and find their way onto bookseller’s shelves and into reader’s hands. For writers hoping to break into the market it can be difficult to find reliable information and support.

This one-day symposium invites leading lifestyle publishers and authors to give frank advice on how to progress towards becoming a published author. Whether you are an Instagram influencer, a casual blogger or an aspiring writer keen to share learned or earned wisdom this new symposium will help you understand what it takes, who can help you and how to unearth opportunities.


About the guest panelists


Alex Elliott-Howery is the “Godmother of Preserving” and Cornersmith co-founder. She has established herself as the authority on preserving, a pioneer in the war on food waste and a trusted source for the future of food. She is a self-taught preserver and passionate about sharing her knowledge and offering quality food education to a broad audience.

Sophie Hansen lives with her family on their farm just outside of Orange. Sophie trained in journalism, has contributed to a number of publications and has been blogging at www.local-lovely.com since 2013. She was awarded Australian Rural Woman of the Year (2016). She believes in simple, tasty and seasonal food made with love and shared generously.

Alexx Stuart is the author of Low Tox Life and the founder of the thriving education hub by the same name, made up of several e-courses, a podcast (one of the highest ranked in the health category in Australia), recipes, articles and community action resources for people wanting to be healthier and make our planet happier.

Sally O’Neil, (aka The Fit Foodie), is a blogger, commercial food photographer and stylist, author, clinical nutrition student and speaker. Off the back of the success of her blog, Sally published her first book, Love Move Eat, in 2017. Her second book, The Fit Foodie Meal Prep Plan is due for release in September 2019.

Katie Bosher is a freelance editor and writer with more than a decade of experience including as head of Jamie Oliver’s editorial team. When at Murdoch Books, she collaborated with well-known Australian authors across many genres of lifestyle publishing. Now Katie lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, with her partner and their daughter.

Heather Hawkins has had two lives. The everyday mother of two who battled Ovarian Cancer is now an international adventurer conquering the world of extreme marathons. She has completed numerous ultra-marathons, trekked mountains, deserts and valleys and run endurance races. She has shown how determination, resilience and a new chance of life can change your direction, for the better.

Margaret Rice is the author of A Good Death published by Murdoch Books. She manages the website good-grief.com.au, designed to increase our everyday understanding of death and grief and has written many articles and book reviews with the aim of reclaiming our collective knowledge of these subjects. She is a Faber Writing Academy graduate.

Jane Mathews is the author of two published books, both based on personal experience and both quite frank and revealing. In each case she wrote the book she wanted to read, but couldn't find. Her latest book The Art of Living Alone and Loving It has resonated with its audience, and is being published in 8 countries. She will share exactly what her process of writing is, and the practical tips and tricks she's learned along the way

Kelly Doust has a publishing career spanning 20 years, as the author of seven books, both fiction and non-fiction, and as a publisher. She joined Murdoch Books in October 2017 to acquire general lifestyle titles in the areas of health and wellness, personal development, popular culture and new spirituality.

Karen McCartney has written several architecture books which have been translated into successful exhibitions at the Museum of Sydney. In 2015 she wrote Perfect Imperfect (Murdoch Books). She is architecture editor of Belle magazine and has a weekly design and architecture column in Fairfax Media's Good Weekend.The Alchemy of Things is her fourth book with Murdoch Books. Iconic: Modern Australian Houses, a collectible single best-of edition of Karen's bestselling books 50/60/70 and 70/80/90 will be published in November this year.

Jessica Bellef is an interior stylist and writer whose work has been widely published. As Head of Styling for Temple & Webster, Jessica has styled countless photo shoots and has established herself as a home-style commentator. She is a teacher at Australia’s top design colleges and a popular presenter. She lives in a 1970s suburban palace in the Royal National Park.

About the moderators


Lou Johnson is the Publishing Director of Murdoch Books. She has held senior roles across leading publishing houses and represented the industry as Vice President of the Australian Publishers Association. She knows her way around publishing and love challenging the status quote, driving positive change and supporting the relationship between creators and their audiences.

Jane Morrow is a publisher with 20 years’ experience in shaping non-fiction titles for a broad, popular audience, at Murdoch Books and formerly at Penguin. She has created lists known for igniting conversations around food, health, lifestyle and feminism.

Corinne Roberts has worked in publishing for 30 years as both editor and publisher, in Australian and in London, where she was Lifestyle Publisher at DK, creating an illustrated, coeditionable list for UK and international markets.

Carol Warwick is Head of Marketing and Communications with Murdoch Books. She has been in book publishing for 14 years and leads an integrated marketing and PR team. She has delivered major PR and marketing campaigns for titles by Dr Michael Mosley, Bruce Springsteen, Jackie Collins, Matthew Evans, and Annabel Crabb and managed promotional partnerships with major brands including New Idea, Sony and the Collective Hub.

Please note in the event of unforeseen circumstances, courses - including tutors and venues - may be subject to cancellation or change.


Course Program

10.00am - Introduction from Murdoch Books Publishinig Director, Lou Johnson

10.15am - Food for Thought

How have Instagram and other social media platforms inspired the way we talk and write about food? What are contemporary audiences looking for when it come to food writing?

Featuring: Alex Elliott-Howery and Sophie Hansen

11.15 am: Enhancing Lives

Having a healthy lifestyle is a goal many people set in everyday life. As a writer, what is the best way to help people achieve such ambitions? What is the best way to get the life of the body and the life of the mind down in writing?

Featuring: Alexx Stuart, Sally O’Neil and Katie Bosher

12.15 - 1.00pm LIGHT LUNCH

1.00pm: The Conversation Starters

How do you get people talking and how do you approach big topics? Life, death and everything in between can form the subject of an exciting lifestyle title. Do conversation starters that go viral online work in book form? How do you take your idea and run it to the length of a book?

Featuring: Heather Hawkins, Margaret Rice and Jane Mathews

2.00pm: Writing Rooms

How do you show a house, a home, a room and the love contained within for an audience of strangers? How does a life get put down on a page and how do you be your authentic self in writing something you want to share with a wide platform?

Featuring: Karen McCartney and Jessica Bellef

3.00pm: Marketing Motivation

How does your book stand out from the crowd? How do the pieces fit together? How are lifestyle writing books marketed within the bookselling industry? What tips are there for getting your work out there? How is social media utilised to make the best impact? This session will look at the all the elements to make interesting packaging decisions when it comes to release living, breathing books.

Featuring: The staff of Murdoch Books.

4.00pm: Wrap Up

Join us for a glass of champagne and light refreshments to wrap up the day.


Book here:


N.B. You will be charged a booking fee of 50 cents ($0.50)

For further information contact us: faberwritingacademy@allenandunwin.com or (02) 8425 0171.