Lumen - The University of Adelaide Magazine The University of Adelaide Australia
Lumen Winter 2005 Issue
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Critical acclaim

Stefan Laszczuk had already gone through a number of drafts of his first novel when he began his Master of Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide.

But he says his first "real" draft came after showing it to Professor Tom Shapcott for the first time.

"Tom spent a lot of time helping me with it," Stefan says. "The thing about Tom is that he doesn't try and tear down what you've done with his feedback, he's very gentle about it.

"I went through a lot of drafts and he would always find the positives in what I was doing, and making his suggestions about how I could improve things in a subtle way."

Stefan is now regarded as one of Australia's best up-and-coming novelists. His first novel, The Goddamn Bus of Happiness, was published earlier this year to widespread acclaim, after he won the Festival of Literature Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript by an emerging South Australian writer in 2004.

He has finished his Masters, almost finished his second novel, and has begun work on his third as part of starting his PhD in Creative Writing at Adelaide this year.

"I was working as an assistant manager in a bottle shop for a while, and I just couldn't see myself working in retail for the rest of my life," he says.

"I was playing in bands so I guess I had a bit of creativity in me, and I was doing a bit of writing in my spare time.

"It was my mum who suggested doing the Creative Writing course, and I haven't looked back since."

Stefan Laszczuk

Stefan Laszczuk
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