Kate Cuthbert

Tell us a bit about yourself (education, career, hobbies/personal interest, etc.)  

I’m an editor by training and worked in publishing across a number of areas: non-fiction, children’s, mass market, magazine, academic, fiction, and genre fiction. My most prominent role was running Escape Publishing, a genre romance imprint for Harlequin Australia. I started the imprint in 2012 and ran it as Managing Editor for almost 7 years. Since leaving publishing, I’ve been working in arts administration as Program and Partnership Manager at Writers Victoria. In my spare time, I like reading and swimming and I’ve recently started diving. I also have a podcast called What Would Danbury Do? about Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series.

What is your involvement with Verandah 

I’m very happy to be involved with Verandah as one of the industry experts. 

What are the steps that you took that lead you into being involved with the publishing community?  

Working in publishing wasn’t really on my radar through my undergrad and I originally thought to go into academia, but I came across the Writing, Editing, and Publishing graduate degree at the University of Queensland and it felt like a very obvious choice. I graduated in 2007 and started my first publishing job in 2008. 

What are your favourite parts about the publishing world?  

The community and the creativity. 

What are your least favourite parts about the publishing world?  

The conservatism and the genre snobbery.

What do you think are the important to-do-lists that an emerging writer should do to start their career in the industry?  

Get involved with the community and start building your network: writing is a very solitary endeavour and having people around you who understand will help immeasurably. 

Do you have any tips to cope with common writing problems such as writer’s block/lack of motivation/etc?   

Get into the habit of writing a little bit every day, rather than planning for large chunks. Being in the habit means that your subconscious is always boiling away in the background. It’s so much easier to set a goal of 250 words 5 days a week that keep those muscles warm than try and start cold. 

In the current climate, especially throughout the pandemic, digital realms are thriving more than traditional means to publish our work. How do you think this will affect the writing and literary industry?  

Digital publishing has been a mainstay in genre fiction for more than a decade. The rest of the world is just catching up! But look to your genre fiction peers who are incredibly savvy and know a lot about building a digital presence and community. 

Where do you look for inspiration when starting a project?  

I like to build projects from very personal places, smaller stories that can have broader applications, rather than writing from the top down. I start from what excites me and hopefully that comes through in the writing. 

Are there any projects that you are currently working on?  

I’m in the last stage of my PhD and it’s taking over everything!