Warwick J P Newnham and I met through Write Out Publishing. I was absolutely thrilled when he recently won The Lifted Brow & RMIT non-fiction/Lab Prize for Experimental Non-Fiction for his piece ‘Trashman Loves Maree’. Here’s a quick interview with my mate Wally…
NLK: How long have you been writing and how do you make time to write?
WJPN: I suppose I wrote my first story by hand in Barkley street in Carlton: 1985 [About roo shooting with my cousin]. Over the next 2 years I wrote a Book of poems and a book of short stories 2 of which were published in the inaugural edition of “Nocturnal Submissions”; a seminal Melbourne literary mag. As to making time to write it either happens or it doesn’t; inspiration has to strike.
NLK: What is your ambition?
WJPN: To have a book published [ traditional only-royalties and in print].
NLK: Tell me about winning the Lifted Brow Prize for Experimental Non-fiction.
WJPN: Winning The Lifted Brow/RMIT Experimental non-fiction prize was very validating as a writer, proof that I have the chops.
NLK: What do you enjoy reading?
WJPN: My favorite writers are Burroughs, McCarthy, Robert Stone, Bukowski etc- I prefer the darker side of literature.
NLK: How has your past shaped your writing?
WJPN: All my work whether short stories or non-fiction are based in essence on my life and experience.
NLK: What advice would you give to new and emerging writers?
WJPN: For every piece accepted you will have a mountain of rejections.
Born in Melbourne in 1965 at the Royal Women’s Hospital and whisked away from his mother as part of the white stolen generation policies where un-wed mothers were stripped of their children. He was adopted and raised all over country Victoria having at age 17 lived in 11 different houses and attended 9 different schools. At a grade 6 literacy test he read at a university level and when matriculating he won the schools humanity score prize. His attendance at university was sporadic.
hitchhiked around Australia working as barman, bum and waiter; slaughter hand, deckhand and master spending 25 years working in the Northern Prawn Fishery. He has travelled extensively in south-east Asia, the Americas and Japan and speaks market-place Indonesian with some fluency.
Is the winner of the 2016 The Lifted Brow experimental non-fiction prize with numerous short stories published in ‘Nocturnal Submissions’, ‘Overland’, ‘The Lifted Brow’, ‘Meanjin’ and Westerly [to name a few]. His short story Merry-Crack-Mass has been published by InShort Publishing as a ‘pocket book’: http://www.inshortpublishing.com/shop1/uncategorized/merry-crack-mass/.
2 of his short stories have been published as E books by Write Out Publishing: http://writeoutpublishing.com/products/gr-easter and http://writeoutpublishing.com/collections/short-stories/products/el-Greco/
He has finished writing a novella called “Fuck You; Hemingway” and is looking for a publisher.
lives in Brisbane, Australia with his partner and 2 blue-heelers.