Irina Dunn is the author of The Writer’s Guide: a companion to writing for pleasure or publication, Allen & Unwin 2002 (2nd ed), which was described by the Australian Book Review as “a godsend for writers” and was shortlisted for the Australian Publishers’ Association National Education Awards.

This is an essential, comprehensive guide for both would-be and developing writers, from students to retirees, writing for publication or for pleasure. This second edition is completely revised and updated, with an expanded resources section.


Writing is a craft, an art, a gift, a revelation; it is also often challenging and lonely work. And that is just the start - whether your aim is to get through the obstacle course of publishing, or to develop a talent into a sustaining occupation.

The Writers' Guide offers ideas and practical help towards all kinds of goals - whether you are writing fiction or fact, for work or pleasure, for print, performance or the screen, for personal development or a wide readership.

Topics include:

  • developing tools and skills
  • gathering and researching material
  • drafting, revising, editing
  • formal and legal considerations
  • understanding your readership
  • constructive feedback, writing groups, tuition
  • finding publishing outlets
  • commercial publishing, self-publishing
  • marketing, reviews, publicity


Shortlisted: 2003 'The Australian's Awards For Excellence in Educational Publishing. Category: TAFE and Vocational Education - Single Title.


So you want to be a writer? This guide is a fine place to start. There is virtually nothing that is not covered — from reasons to write, actual writing tips for the longhand practitioners and computer whiz-kids, right through to getting published, promoting your work, and the rigours of writing…

Matt Condon, novelist and former Sun-Herald Literary Editor

This would have to be about the best aid or writers in Australia that I have come across in the past few years.

Fifty Plus News

The book is chock-full of useful info. It’s a very democratic and all-encompassing book, covering everything from self-publishing and writing family histories, to how to get hold of an agent to negotiate the best deal for your potential blockbuster.

Tracy Sorenson, The City Hub

Throughout, Dunn writes in a jargon-free, easily understood manner that guarantees easy acceptance. This work will be a godsend for both writers’ groups and writers’ centres.

Elizabeth Dean, Australian Book Review

The Writers’ Guide is the book I have been looking for months! Thanks for writing it.

Sylva Cornejo (NZ)

This is one of the most informative, well-presented guides I have ever used and very importantly it is giving Australian writers the vital information that is so necessary to their progress along the angst-ridden path to their final goal of being published.

Heather Yates, creative writing tutor

I have set your excellent book The Writer’s Guide as required reading in two units here at the QLD University of Technology.

Donna Lee Brien, QLD University of Technology

I enjoyed your book The Writers’ Guide and I suspect it helped me get my book accepted by Wiley.

Rob Aalders

As a writer and writing tutor I have found The Writers’ Guide to be the best resource currently available in Australia… it is a practical, reliable and essential resource for any writer.

Sharon Rundle, author

Irina Dunn has left no stone unturned to make this guide as comprehensive as possible.. she is a realist, very well acquainted with her subject, and does not lead amateur writers into thinking they have an easy road to success… she has managed to teach even this old dog some invaluable new tricks.

MCH, anonymous assessor for Writespot publisher

I have been recommending your book The Writers’ Guide to many students and customers at Gleebooks. The Writers’ Guide is one of the clearest and most commonsensical compendiums around.

Christopher Cyrill, author and bookseller

You’ll be happy to know that The Writers’ Guide is one of the three books always by my side, overused. Your book is not only easy to understand and full of relevant information, it has added much value to a newbie in the writing and publishing industry like me. True, I have lots of other similar books, but I keep coming back to yours all the time.

Tellern Asiado, writer

Throughout my communications with the magazine editor, I kept referring to Irina’s informative guidelines to stay focused on my goal — getting published. As a result, the story was accepted as the feature article.

Marie-Agnes Lo Cascio, writer

Your book is an encyclopaedia of information for writers! I’m finding it invaluable, and much better than the other books I have read on the same subject.

Alice Hawkins, writer

The Writers’ Guide was a huge help, a wonderful guide.

Tanya Dallas

My Father's day present included a book voucher and I have just bought your book The Writers’ Guide with it. Thank you so much for writing it as I couldn't ask for a better reference book for an Australian writer than this.  It is excellent, thank you.

Richard McLaren, writer