Talking first time fears

May 13, 2022 BY

Live: Kate Mildenhall and Katherine Collette will record an episode of The First Time podcast at the Bendigo Writers’ Festival. Photo: CAT BLACK

FOR authors, publishing your first book can be a daunting task.

But for writers Kate Mildenhall and Katherine Collette, the first time is something that should be celebrated.

The two friends met at a professional writing course at RMIT University in Melbourne and while Mildenhall had published her first novel already, Collette had plenty of questions as she prepared to publish her own.

“There wasn’t a candid conversation happening about money and the back end or behind the scenes of the industry,” Mildenhall said.

The writers decided to launch The First Time podcast, exploring their writing process and publishing experience with guest authors.

From humble beginnings to utilising the small network of professionals formed from their studies, the pair have gone on to interview well-known novelists such as Helen Garner and Liane Moriarty.

At the Bendigo Writers’ Festival, The First Time podcast will record a live episode, featuring newcomer young adult fantasy author Vanessa Len.

Mildenhall said writers’ festivals offer a unique opportunity for new authors to make connections to people in their industry, as well as readers.

“At festivals you can meet other writers and see what they’re doing,” she said.

“It’s those connections which offer emotional support when you get those rejections, but it’s also like being at a conference.

“If we were in any other profession, we would have these networks built into what we did and we would get to go and chat to people and further our profession in formal ways.

“So, festivals, Twitter, Instagram, that is our place to make connections, to talk to people, learn and look for opportunities.”

The First Time podcast episode with Vanessa Len will be recorded at the Strategem Studio on Saturday, 14 May from 1pm to 1.45pm.