Sue Gunningham lives and works in Banyule and Whittlesea and has been published across a range of genre, including teacher reference and textbooks. Sue’s poetry, articles and short stories have appeared in anthologies and periodicals. In 2017 Sue’s memoir ‘All the Days After’ (2017) was published. She has delivered memoir-writing workshops and presented at writers ‘open mic’ sessions. Her second memoir is awaiting publication and is currently working on a third.
Sue is one of our profiled local writers as part of the 11th Annual Booklovers Festival. To find out more about the festival view the program here
When did you start writing? What inspired you?
I began writing when they first put a pencil in my hand. I tend to make more sense of the world when I write about it. My mother was a prolific reader and my father loved crosswords. Words were important in my childhood.
Does anyone or anything influence your practice?
I belong to three writing groups and receive feedback on my work regularly from the members. I am always interested in seeing how my work is interpreted by others. There is so much to learn by taking notice of feedback.
What does a typical day involve for you?
I don't write every day. Some days are for 'thinking'. When the idea is formulated then I will write and write. At night, I sit on the couch with a glass of wine and do the first edit of the day's work. The next day I make the changes, then edit again that night. Then I move on to the next section (of the memoir) knowing I will revisit the whole manuscript a few more times to make changes before it is finished.
How do you define success? How do you celebrate your successes?
Success is when I laugh aloud myself while reading something humorous I wrote and/or when I cry at something emotional I've written. If my work evokes these same emotions when I read them aloud to my writing groups then I feel I have succeeded in writing what I felt.
What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Begin to write before the story is absolutely perfect in your mind. An editor can help shape your story and offer suggestions and make corrections, but they can't do anything with a blank page.
Do you have favourite author or book?
To find out more about Sue Gunningham: