Student & Graduate Profiles

John Bartlett - non fiction writer and novelist

Photo of John BartlettBachelor of Arts - Writing Major*

John Bartlett knows the realities for – as he puts it – ‘the virtually unknown writer’.
I was invited to the Ballarat library recently to promote my book,’ he says. ‘Nobody turned up.’ It is a tough business, but John appears to relish “the writing life.

John has worked as a priest, kitchen hand, waiter, masseur, funeral assistant, community development worker, call-centre operator.

I came later to writing,’ he says.

Perhaps, but it's hard to imagine a better resume for a creative writer than the above list. John also read – as writers should – obsessively. ‘When I was 15 I worked through every (Thomas) Hardy book in the library,’ he says, ‘one after the other in a sort of bucolic haze.

Towards the sea book coverJohn writes feature articles on social issues. His articles have been published widely throughout Australia. He also writes fiction, and has had stories published in several magazines. He tries to work on longer fiction projects every morning, even if only for an hour. ‘It's amazing what you can achieve over a long period if you are consistent,’ he says. In the afternoon, he teaches, mentors, edits and writes shorter works. A successful writing life often hinges on achieving this sort of balance between concentrated effort and engagement with the world.

John is studying publishing with a view to self-publishing a non-fiction book, but also with half an eye on publishing the work of some of his students.

John Bartlett mentors with Heartsong Management Services. (www.heartsongwriting.com) and edits the ezine OutOfOrder. His first novel Towards a Distant Sea was published by Indra Publishing in 2005. Currently he's working on his second novel The Waiting Girl. He teaches creative writing to adults in the Geelong area.


*Bachelor of Arts (Professional and Creative Writing) replaced the Writing major stream within the Bachelor of Arts.

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