By Amy Schostakowski, Louise Cheer

Two of Brisbane’s best-known writers came together to share their knowledge with aspiring young writers and journalists at a panel discussion last night.

Freelance journalist and writer Benjamin Law led the discussion with John Birmingham and Andrew McMillen who shared their writing and publishing experiences.

The panel discussion comes before next month’s National Young Writers’ Month, which Mr McMillen is Queensland ambassador.

Express Media General Manager Joe Toohey says the event is about getting people to set their writing goals.

“Those things like finishing that little bit of poetry or that little short story that you have sitting on your top desk…and submitting it somewhere,” he said.

“For some people, it might be about finishing that assignment that’s due in June.”

Mr Birmingham said the key is to set goals or you will not survive.

“Long and short-term horizons are important to have because you don’t have a boss hanging over your shoulder, making sure that you stay on the job,” he said.

Youth Arts Queensland Project Coordinator Alexandra McCallum says it is important for people in media and arts to be surrounded by people with similar goals.

“Writing and visual art are quite solitary, so the opportunity for young people to connect and share their work and get it out there to audiences is really fantastic,” she said.

Mr Law said events like National Young Writers’ Month are important because they get people to focus on their writing.

“Just because you have got degree that does not mean you are automatically granted access to the career you are gunning for,” he said.

“One of the fundamental challenges especially among young people who are starting out is finding that balance between supporting themselves financially and dedicating themselves to their craft.”

RELATED LINK: National Young Writers’ Month