Varuna, the writers house.

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I’ve sent things in to these guys before, they run some ‘pie in the sky’ competitions that – if you win – get you time one on one with editors and paid weeks at the writers house and all sorts of amazing things to help you polish your manuscript and develop it. The only reason i call them ‘pie in the sky’ competitions is because they do a lot of getting ones hopes up and still aim to pick only the best of the best. Sad when your competing to improve.

However they do seem to have the closest forum to me…

And i do love the blue mountains…

But Katoomba – the town holds some old nightmares for me, i’m not sure how i will feel walking through the area on my own, not knowing anyone or even knowing if this is the type of event.

Driving that distance on my own would be a bit much for me, according to google the road trip would be just over 5 hours and right through the guts of Sydney but if i take trains and buses i’ll leave home at 6.30am and not get there until after 4.30pm. Thats almost double the trip! It’s a whole day sitting on my butt only to sit on my butt at a forum then sit on my butt all the way home again. I have to take 3 days off work and so on…

I want to go but for the effort and the $$$ and the distance i might as well jump on a plane and head to the big conferences in Brisbane and Melbourn – if only they weren’t on as we speak ūüė¶

The more i look into it the more i just want ot wait until next year…

Black Dog Publishing

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This line on their submissions page really caught my attention:

  • Let us know what your plans are as a writer (we aren‚Äôt interested in publishing one-off manuscripts, but we are interested in finding authors who have more than one book up their sleeve).
  • With agent’s i’ve¬†been leaning the other way, trying my¬†best to¬†say ‘this manuscript can stand alone … but I also have ideas for number 2 in the series if this one does well’ when really i’ve¬†written number 2 and number 3 and several short stories which could become offshoots etc – but i¬†don’t want to sound like too much work and I’ve read that agents don’t want to try and sell a series as most publishers are only interested in number 2 if number 1 does really well.

    They do expect a 3 month exclusive – I think I’ll go mad if i¬†don’t hear anything in 3 months. Shadow Wisdoms been with Random House for 1 month and it feels like a year!!!

    i’m¬†going to work on the query and post it here, then see if i’m happy with it – then decide to submit or not to submit…

    http://www.bdb.com.au/submissions/

    Long Lost Friends

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    On Facebook, as you do, and I’ve come across one of my all time best high school friends. We haven’t spoken in years and we stopped speaking in the middle of a huge mess in both our lives.

    But what to say?

    And do I want to know where her life has ended up?

    Will I destroy all of these great memories that I have of her by learning what she’s become?

    But then, what if she has grown into someone as good as or better than the friend i used to know?

    Am I strong enough to take that risk or would I rather hoard my memories and enjoy them as they are?

    Australian Writers Festivals

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    Ultimatly i feel a deep desire to get to the USA and the UK writers festivals. It’s in part due to the enormious share ofthe web that they hold so everywhere i look i see information and reviews and so on about htese great overseas festivals. The US ones even have some great you-tube videos available which only make me want to get to them more!

    But in the mean time I’ve started looking into the australian versions and here’s my findings.

    http://www.byronbaywritersfestival.com.au/v1/index.php

    Byron Bay Writers festival, this one’s in early August and as it’s now late august I’ve missed it for this year… but perhaps next year.

    http://www.aireysinlet.com.au/words/program/

    This one’s in Vic in mid august – i’ve also missed it for this year.

    http://www.mwf.com.au/2010/content/mwf-2010-home.asp?

    In Melbourne, late Aug to early Sept which has potential. I’d love to visit melbourne as i’ve pretty much never been there but i’d have tofly and the festival seems a bit all over the place. There’s a great online guide so i can give the idea some honest thought.

    http://www.learningplace.com.au/deliver/content.asp?pid=7628

    Ipswich festival, the next one is in Sept 2011.

    http://www.cyaconference.com/

    In QLD, this one sounds great, more conference style with master class type workshops.

    Why do am i interested in the festivals? I’ve heard deam-stories about unknown authors going to a festival with an idea and comming out of one with an agent or a publishing deal. Pipe-dreams i know but these things are hardly going to happen whilst i’m sitting in my living room are they?

    Buzzwords

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    I don’t know how I just stumbled upon this but for all those lost Aussie Writers looking for more info, or even those that happen not to be lost, here’s a great little newsletter to checkout.

    http://www.buzzwordsmagazine.com/images/1%20August%20Buzz%20Words%20_2_.pdf

    Pirates

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    I’m in recovery mode, needless to say my night was long and very merry!

    Pirates, of all things, invaded my local pub last night and normally when some fancy dress party ventures in there’s a bit of entertainment in the way they look but mostly they’re just normal people.

    Not these pirates.

    They talked the part, drank the part, danced the part and generally were a riot all night long. The DJ even got in playing sea shanties and such like – an interesting mix.

    Which has me wondering if there’s a pirate book in me, not that pirates usually interest me but what would a group of adults be like after pillaging the high seas … and getting drunk most nights given that water doesn’t travel so well and rum will need to be the replacement?

    I need something better than pillaging random boats as my plot but I’ve sparked my own interest.

    It is a little unfair as my fiction/fantasy/YA works aren’t getting any yes’s¬†back from agents so i was thinking of working on something less fantasy, something even adult.

    But i guess i have to follow my muse Рand hope something someday is worth a publishers interests.

    Here’s to pirates

    Authonomy

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    Well i think this romance is over.

    The first 10 000 words of Saphryon have been on Authonomy for a few weeks now and all the sites doing is eating my my time.

    What is is? It’s like a rat race and a social network rolled into one. On the one hand the 5 top rates pieces get whisked off to the editors desk¬†every month – on the other hand getting amongst those top 5 is a whole lot of social networking. I’ve put as much in as i¬†can and i¬†have high standards so i didn’t just run around giving everyone a generic ‘great book’ type review. The idea is you read someone elses work and comment and if you like it you place their book on your book shelf which gives the work a higher status. You hope they will return the favor and at least read some of your work but not everyone does.

    There are lots of great authors on the site with a keen eye for detail and very willing to point out a few places for improvement and i much appreciated their time.

    But on the whole i¬†have given over 50 reviews and received¬†back 5 that have said more than ‘great book’. And my rank is still in the 3000’s so by my rough maths I’d have to give over a 1000 reviews to get enough people to comment back and move my book towards the top 5. I just don’t have the time – or patience really.

    I used to be on this great site that did the same thing without the rankings. You just posted a snippet of your work and others would have a read and give you pointers.

    Great for that opening line or the spot you’re stuck on. I’ll have to track that one back down because at least with that set up I didn’t feel pressured¬†to ‘quick check my stats again – oh no quick do a few reviews because my stats are dropping!!!! argh!!!’

    So my opinion on Authonomy, unless you have a lot of time to waste it’s a waste of time.

    There’s some great work on there so if you’re into reading go for it. And i¬†will point out that reading someone elses crap makes it so much easier to see your own mistakes (because usually we all read manicured¬†books from a book shop and then we read our own stuff and think its really close to book shop quality – well 99% of the time it aint.)

     Check it out and decide for yourself, just be warned it is addictive.

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