Scribophile, by far the best writing community I've come across. I live in the country and don't have the luxury of trying out a lot of real-life groups to find one that gives honest, constructive feedback. Scribophile solves that problem.
NaNoWriMo is an international event that happens every November, where you're challenged to write 50 000 words in a month. If you need motivating to get writing, having people keep you accountable to an arbitrary deadline can help.
Agent Query is for writers who are (or think they are) ready to pitch. It'll help you to develop and refine those "other things" you have to write, besides your actual book. A word of warning to Aussies: if you're looking for an Australian agent check out the Australian Literary Agents' Association first. A lot of the Agent Query information is tailored to the US market.
#LoveOzYA seeks to promote the huge variety of fantastic young adult literature in Australia. It's a great place to find your next read and some new likeminded bookworm friends.
On Writing by Stephen King The Writing Book by Kate Grenville The Sell Your Novel Took Kit by Elizabeth Lyon
For reviews of Australian books I read in 2015, check out the "2015 challenge" category on my blog. For more reviews from 2016 and beyond, look in the "reviews" category.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova. I read this just after my maternal grandmother passed from dementia, and it inspired me to begin my novel Forgetting Charlie (not currently published).
1984 by George Orwell. As relevant as ever, and each time I read it I notice something new in it.
Winter by John Marsden. The Tomorrow series was great adventure writing, but his ability to make you empathise with deeply damaged characters makes his other YA novels well worth reading.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Better than The Kite Runner, in my opinion; I love the relationships in this book.
The Garden Party and other short stories by Katherine Mansfield. The book that showed me how even mundane events can make for a good plot.
A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes. The use of thematic links and his ability to write well in so many different forms and voices is exquisite.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It's rare to find a popular, well-written holocaust novel from an author who is not Jewish. Bonus points, he's Australian.
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein. This book will forever be associated with my dad, reading a chapter a night at bedtime when I was young. Ask me what made me love reading, and I'll probably answer with this.
The His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. I stopped loving fantasy for a long time, because I wanted a world I could relate to easily. Pullman created one.
Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. There's a reason these books are so popular. Besides, what's not to love about a series that has teenagers lining up in bookstores?