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Open Right

Melissa Keil: Talk: The Story of A Book

Session Info:

As someone who left high school with a love of books but a belief that writing was something that only ‘other’ people could do, I am passionate about encouraging young people from all backgrounds to pursue their creative interests.

All creative people, no matter how accomplished or renowned, experience moments of fierce doubt when it comes to their work.

This talk covers my process – from high school student with little idea of what I wanted to do with my life, to published writer; and how the steps along the way contributed in some shape or form to my first published work.

This presentation is my own story – how I was inspired to begin writing, what kept me going through failed projects and unfinished ideas, and how I, as a fundamentally self-doubting writer, took the plunge and submitted the manuscript that would eventually become my first published novel. My aim in this session is to encourage, enable and inspire would-be writers to make – and show – their own work.


  • The direction of the directionless – life after high school.
  • The different paths to publications – how finding a writing group and discovering a new competition led to my debut novel.
  • What I learned about the writing and editing process – accepting constructive criticism and maintaining confidence in yourself and your work.
  • The avenues available for young writers – competitions, journals and other forums for publishing your work right now.

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