Imagination and Marketability: What do writers do for a living?
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If recent statistics are reliable, most Australian writers pursue their craft as a vocation, not as a means to a living wage. These statistics might not dampen the enthusiasm of students who might be years away from facing their implications, yet virtually all teachers of creative writing who have ever freelanced or tried to supplement their incomes in a meaningful way by publishing, realise the seriousness of them. This paper will first canvass the reasons students enrol in writing topics, then consider how realistic their aims are in light of current publishing practice and finally focus on three successful writers for young people to evaluate those aims in the light of professional experience.