May 17

The Ngaio Marsh Awards, in association with the historic Melbourne Athenaeum Library, invites booklovers to an event featuring three talented storytellers and criminal minds who call Melbourne home.

As crime and thriller writing has evolved from puzzle-like mysteries to novels delving deeply into people and places, it has continued to be the world’s most popular form of storytelling. But what makes the genre so fascinating?

Two fresh new voices in Australasian crime writing, RWR McDonald and JP Pomare, are joined by crime researcher and ‘literary archaeologist’ Lucy Sussex to discuss what draws them to mystery writing, how they craft memorable characters, and the impact of local settings, universal themes, and authors who have gone before.

WHEN: Monday, 3 June 2019
WHERE: Melbourne Athenaeum Library, 188 Collins St, Melbourne
WHEN: 6pm for a 6.15pm panel discussion

Entry: free, but RSVP required
RSVP: library@melbourneathenaeum.org.au


May 15

Looking forward to this year’s Emerging Writers Festival #EWF19. In a session with Toni Jordan on editing moderated by Faber Coordinator Alexa Roberts.

You Can Write, But Can You Edit?

You did it, it’s finished! Your manuscript has a beginning, middle and end, and it’s frankly genius – but is it ready to submit to publishers? Faber Writing Academy alumni and author of The Nancys Rob McDonald explores practical tips for polishing your work ahead of submission with Faber Academy Tutor Toni Jordan, moderated by Faber Coordinator Alexa Roberts.

Sunday 23 June, 12-12.45pm, State Library Victoria, Conference Centre

You Can Write, But Can You Edit?


May 10


May 4

March 26

“[The Nancys] this glittering, occasionally grisly and highly original novel … stands proudly on its own.”

Full review and interview with Fiona Hardy can be found on Books+Publishing

Unlikely heroes: R W R McDonald on ‘The Nancys’

March 18

Received the first review of The Nancys from out in the wild. Simon McDonald in his words is a reader, writer, bookseller and has an excellent book review website – writtenbysime.com
(he is no relation but happy to claim!)

“This is an ebullient, delightful novel, difficult to describe in a way that conveys its greatness without making it sound schmaltzy. On the one hand, it’s warm and funny; its laughs procured from Pike and Devon’s mordant humour; its affability derived from the Nancys’ burgeoning affinity, and their generous hearts. But The Nancys is also a stellar mystery, layered with red-herrings and suspense, the killer’s identity ably concealed until the final pages in a powerful denouement that has heartbreaking repercussions for Tippy.”

Please find a link to his full review here https://writtenbysime.com/2019/03/18/review-the-nancys-by-r-w-r-mcdonald/

February 4

THE NANCYS reading copy arrived today – they’ve done a great job! Not long until publication day – first week of June 19

January 23


After ten years of having the ideas for his novel The Nancys in his head, it took our Faber Writing Academy courses to finally bring Rob McDonald’s story to the page, and here he discusses how the Writing a Novel course, his tutors and fellow students helped him on the path to publication.

June 8

Melbourne Writers Festival 2018 blog interview with the incredible Toni Jordan on my time at Faber Academy writing The Nancys. Amazing teacher and author.


May 16

A short video chatting to Gillian May from Faber Writing Academy about my experience with them. (Excuse the tired eyes!)

‘I went from being someone who had kept his writing hidden to calling myself a writer.’
Rob McDonald, Writing a Novel (2016). His first book The Nancys will be published by Allen & Unwin in 2019.