#aww2020 · 2020 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge · 2020 Reviews · anthology

POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020: Writing the Dream by Serenity Press

Today I am marking off my final and fortieth #40th checkpoint category for the POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020 with:

A collection of 24 stories written by talented authors. No two writers are the same, but they have one thing in common: they are storytellers at heart and their deepest desire is to be heard. Writing the Dream shares the stories of twenty-four Australian writers, from emerging to established authors. Some are traditionally published, while others have taken the self-publishing route. Some have faced rejection after rejection, while others have had a dream path. But, while their writing journeys are different, all of them strive to create, entertain, inspire and inform. And all of them have unique and creative voices that deserve to be heard. With contributors including Anna Jacobs, Juliet Marillier, Natasha Lester, Jenn J McLeod, and a host of other talented writers, the stories in Writing the Dream are set to strike an inspirational chord in every hopeful writer’s heart.


Whether you are an established writer or a novice, Writing the Dream is a useful guide. Published in 2016 by West Australian publisher, Serenity Press, this anthology of twenty-four intriguing bite size stories will encourage and inspire. Edited by the Serenity Press Team of Karen McDermott and Monique Mulligan, each story has been carefully selected by this passionate duo.

Writing the Dream has a core message – that no one writer shares the exact same journey. While some have gained very early success, others have found their calling late in life. Despite these clear differences, the heart and passion displayed by the twenty-four different storytellers in this book is obvious. Each has their own individual story to share, which covers the ups and the downs of this precarious industry. Over the twenty-four different stories from these Australian writers, the reader learns just how challenging it can be to trying to break into the publishing industry. Some writers featured in Writing the Dream have gained a traditional big name Australian publisher with international rights, while others have selected the self-publishing pathway. From the grueling process of submitting a manuscript, to the rejection letters, to securing an agent and promoting their books, no one experience is the same. To be a writer is a strong test to the human spirit to strive, imagine and inspire others.

While on the hunt for an anthology style novel for the final category of the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge I have been aiming to complete this year, I came across Writing the Dream, a book given to me by a friend some years ago now. The perfect fit for this category, I was able to make my way through this accessible text in just a few hours. I found Writing the Dream offered a more than enlightening reading experience, even though I don’t consider myself a writer as such, only a keen book reviewer!

There are twenty-four separate contributions included in this anthology, with an accompanying introduction, forward, list of contributors and a thank you page. I know this text would make the perfect addition to any writer’s toolkit. With each individual pathway to writing success, we are privy to the blood, sweat and tears that has followed each separate experience. Writing the Dream includes plenty of tips, advice and suggestions, so anyone with an inkling of interest in the field of writing will be transfixed by this anthology.

What I enjoyed most about Writing the Dream was the chance to get to know the writers. Many of the writers in this anthology are people I have been acquainted with in real life, listened to at book events, or purchased their books. With topics covered such as submitting manuscripts, editing, gaining an agent, pitching to publishers, self-publishing rules, contract negotiation, media promotion, writing groups and gaining international rights proved to be highly interesting. I also appreciated the chance to learn what really drives a writer to become a storyteller. Writing the Dream takes the time to consider aspects such as character, setting, atmosphere, plot directions and genre influences in this fascinating sojourn into the mindset of a writer.

Writing the Dream represents an honest and noteworthy account into the business of writing from an array of perspectives. This 2016 Serenity Press anthology will impress writers and readers alike.

**** 4 stars

Writing the Dream by Serenity Press was published on 14th November 2016. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

Writing the Dream is book #139 of the 2020 Australian Women Writers Challenge 

2 thoughts on “POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020: Writing the Dream by Serenity Press

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