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As every year draws to an end, I always take the time to stop and reflect on what I’ve accomplished and also what mistakes I can learn from, and then set my intentions for the new year.

2023 was a very different year for me. In December 2022 quit my job of 15 years and decided to take a break and live for a while as a full-time writer. I’d been working a day job *and* writing for 15 years, so after working 7 days a week for all that time, I needed a break. Thanks to some Long Service Leave, other savings, book and author talk income, and screenwriting work, I managed to stretch that break out for 11 months in 2023.

And, folks, it was absolute bliss.

During those eleven months I focused solely on my writing and managed to chalk up a bunch of firsts in my career, thanks to having that extra time. Here are my highlights:

TOP ROW (L-R): Lots of interviews, Tunnel Creek, Scribe Award. MIDDLE ROW (L-R): Original Short Story sale, Aurora 8, The Spud Compton trilogy. BOTTOM ROW (L-R): MIFF, Swancon with author Glenda Larke, ABC Radio Interview.

  • I undertook my first series of library and writers group talks/workshops.
  • I had my first Guest of Honour appearance at Swancon.
  • I did my first guest appearance at Oz Comic Con.
  • I had my highest-ever book sales at a pop culture convention.
  • I sold my first original short story (my previous short stories had been for Media Tie-in properties).
  • I did a bunch of media interviews – including my first live radio interview – supporting the Australian release of my Marvel novel: Sound of Light (The Geraldton Guardian/The West Australian, ABC Radio, Ripe Magazine, Murdoch Echoes).
  • I earned my first-ever PLR income (from library borrows).
  • I won my second Scribe Award – this one for Best Short Story: Reconsecration (my previous win had been for Best Novel)
  • Thanks to Screenwest and MIFF, I applied for and was selected to attend the Melbourne International Film Festival, where I was provided the opportunity to pitch my TV shows and feature films to several producers – and there was a lot of interest in my work.
  • I participated in my first TV writers’ rooms as notetaker on a couple of TV shows in early development.
  • I was hired to develop and write a treatment for a romantic comedy feature film.
  • I presented the best short film screenplay at CinefestOz, on behalf of the Australian Writers Guild.
  • I was invited to do my first panel at the Perth Writers Festival (Feb 2024).

In terms of writing achievements, this year I:

  • Finished editing and released my Spud Compton novella trilogy. I love this series!
  • Finished writing the last 3/4 of Aurora: Atlas (Aurora 8), underwent the editing process and released this to my (very) patient Aurora readers. It was great to spend time with these characters again!
  • Wrote and edited that original short story – Rogue T.R.A.I.N. – in the SNAFU Punk’d anthology.
  • Finished new drafts of 2 feature films (1 x thriller, 1 x rom com).
  • Wrote a TV pilot (1 x grounded SF).
  • Developed a whole bunch of pitch decks for my films and TV shows.
  • Outlined other screen projects in my writing queue.
  • Did a bunch of pitches (novel, short story, and screen).
  • And for all my library talks and workshops, I spent many hours developing the powerpoint presentations to go along with these sessions.

I also had an awesome holiday in Broome (Western Australia) to visit family and research a film/book.

And just like that, 11 months passed by! Unfortunately, the savings ran out and I have a mortgage to pay, so I recently returned to a day job. Such is the life of creators everywhere. I’m grateful for the time I had off. It really was so wonderful to be able to focus on writing and have that extra time up my sleeve to spend more time on marketing, appearances and PR.

So, now the year has come to a close, what’s my plan for 2024?

Well, I’ve learned over the years not to plan too much because you never know when a brilliant opportunity may present itself, so one must leave time in the schedule and not over stuff it. I am back at a day job now, and have several irons in the fire, so I need to allow room for movement. But I will say this – writing book 3 in the Salvation series is definitely on my radar and I hope to commence very soon. I thank my Salvation readers for being so patient waiting for the next book!

In short, though, I’m moving into 2024 in a very positive state of mind. So, we’ll see what shakes out…

Keep an eye on this site and on my social media for any updates as they happen.

Thank you so much for all your support this year. Hearing that people are enjoying my work means the world to me and sparks the fire that keeps me writing. I wish you all an awesome 2024!

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Amanda Bridgeman

Amanda is an award-winning writer of both original and tie-in fiction. Her works include the near future crime thriller, THE SUBJUGATE, which is being developed for TV; Scribe Award winning procedural thriller, PANDEMIC: PATIENT ZERO; and Marvel X-Men novel, SOUND OF LIGHT, which has been embraced by Dazzler fans around the world.


  • Well done, especially the award. What you’ve done is called building your brand as an author, and this is something we all need to do and don’t do enough. This will stand you in good stead in all the years of writing to come.

    • Thanks, Clare! Yes, one thing I was always guilty of was not promoting myself enough. With the extra time I had this year, there was no excuse. Having done some work in this area now, I can see the results and realise I definitely need to make time for this moving forward.

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