'It’s never been easy making a living as a writer or illustrator, of course, but in the last fifteen years or so, literary creators have experienced significant disruption and change, due to the transformation of the publishing industry and the challenges – and opportunities – of the internet and other technological developments. Wearing many hats, for most writers, is no longer an option; it is a necessity. For those living in regional areas, who face additional issues related to geographic distance from major publishing centres, it is even more important.
'This article explores the lived experiences both of individual creators based in the New England region of northern NSW, and that of the local Writers’ Centre, which for over twenty years has provided creative and professional development opportunities for writers and illustrators in the region. Against a background of the history of the New England Writers’ Centre and a description of the author’s own career, it profiles how several other New England creators, interviewed by the author, view the advantages and disadvantages of being based regionally, and the role of their local Writers’ Centre. This presents an intimate insight into what it’s like to work as a creator within the literary ecosystem of a distinctive regional area with a rich cultural fabric, but which also faces issues of geographic distance common to most nonmetropolitan areas.' (Publication abstract)