English department fosters young Australian writer

16 June 2014

Elisabeth Murray has wasted no time in pursuing her dream - the promising University of Sydney undergraduate student has just had her first novella published.

Murray, 25, is from Linfield and is in the third year of a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in English. Writing has always been her passion.

“I’ve written since I was a kid and I can’t really remember a time that I didn’t want to write. It came naturally with being in love with books,” Murray said.

“I used to write this series called the A Lot Family. So they had names like Read A Lot and Eat A Lot - so the stories were based on their weird foibles.”

Murray’s writing has become bigger and bolder since her childhood years. Last month, a new imprint at Express Media called Hologram published Murray’s novella, The Loud Earth. It is a dark and gothic tale about a mountain recluse who has just been acquitted of her parents’ brutal murder.

Being published in a number of the University of Sydney student anthologies was one of Murray’s earliest experiences of the editing and publishing processes and she says it helped her to gain the confidence and discipline necessary to write a longer work. Indeed, her time studying at the University has been a boon to her writing.

“I think the English department is really diverse and strong here. A lot of the ideas and way that I write I think has been inspired by those subjects,” she said.

“Looking back on this novella, I can really see how they have influenced the themes I am trying to deal with.”