Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Joanna Fay wins Banjo Patterson Writing Award for Poetry

Hearty congratulations to Joanna Fay (writing as Jo Mills) for winning third prize in the Open Poetry Section of this year's Banjo Patterson Award for her poem "Circle of Stones".

You can read "Circle of Stones" along with photographs that inspired Jo at Jo's own website.

A well-deserved prize, Jo.

The Banjo Patterson Award is a biennial award run by the Festival of Arts in Orange, NSW.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Clarion West Write-a-thon Needs You

Are you looking for something to encourage you to get back into a regular pattern of writing over the next six weeks? Or are you thinking about pushing yourself further?

If so, then the Clarion West Write-a-thon needs you! Here, you can not only take part in the fun of setting yourself new goals, but you can also help to raise funds for one of the world’s best workshops for writers of speculative fiction. Anyone can join by simply heading over to the Write-a-thon sign-up page before June 22nd and fill in details about yourself, your writing and your goals.

Shadow the workshop from June 23 through August 2 and write, write, write! Write 15 minutes or 4 hours a day, 250 words a day, or maybe 8,000 words a week (we call that a “Swanwick”); revise a story or a chapter of your novel every week; complete a story, novella, or trilogy; submit three short stories to professional markets; or do something else completely different. Remember to keep asking for support and donations for Clarion West from friends and family — send them online to the Write-a-thon web page you’ll create, with the personal PayPal link we’ll add for you. 

For 2013, Clarion West are hoping to sign up 300 participants—workshop alumni and instructors, and authors who’ve never attended—all sorts of people. You.

This year, my goals for the Write-a-thon are 500 words a day of new fiction. It might be on my new novel, or it might be on the novelette I’m working on. Depends on where my muse takes me. If you go to my Write-a-thon page, you’ll also find an excerpt from my novel, Heart Fire.

For me, the Clarion West Workshop not only crammed ten years worth of writing experience into a mere six weeks, but also introduced me to a bunch of people who I now consider to be life-long friends. Together, we knuckled down to the seemingly impossible task of turning out a new short story every week, as well as critiquing up to 30,000 words per night. Each morning, we’d sit down to a three-hour critiquing session, which was honest, informative, at times confronting, but ultimately worth every minute.

These sessions were led by professional writers, experts in their field. In 2008 we had Paul Park, Connie Willis, Mary Rosenblum, Cory Doctorow, Sheree M Thomas and Chuck Palahniuk.

This year it will be Elizabeth Hand, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Margo Lanagan, Samuel R Delaney and Ellen Datlow.

If not for fundraising schemes like the Write-a-thon, this amazing writing experience would not be possible. During the last Write-a-thon I took part in, my goal was 5000 new words per week. I ended up doing 7000 per week, ie, 49,000 words in six weeks – almost half the total rewrite of the novel draft I was working on at the time. It broke the back of a seemingly impossible task and showed me that when my mind was made up, I could do it.

Clarion West Write-a- thon

Sign up before June 22nd 

You’ll find an excerpt of some of the words I wrote during the 2011 Write-a-thon at my Write-a-thon page. Here you will also be able to sponsor me by Paypal. Every dollar – no matter how small – counts.

Carol Ryles

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Point of View: Taking Baby Steps

Today I'm reflecting on 'Point of View' at my blog, with thanks to the gals of Egoboo WA. If you're a writer, do you have a preferred point of view to write your characters in/from? Or as a reader, do you have a preference?
You can find the post here.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Book Club

Book Clubs, eh? We've probably all belonged to one at some time or another, and we know the stock characters that can always be found in such organisations - the snobbish 'literary' person, the romance-o-holic, the crime and mystery fanatic, the school librarian, the wannabe author ... Just imagine playng each and every one of those roles yourself!
Last weekend, I had the privilege of reviewing  Amanda Muggleton's wonderful one-woman show, The Book Club, which is currently touring Australia. If you love books and love comedy, this show's for you! Amanda Muggleton is one of the cleverest and funniest actresses Australia has produced.
If you'd like to read my review, go to