Archive for November, 2011

Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose Prize 2012 and Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize 2012

24 November 2011 Leave a comment

Entries are now being accepted for The Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose Prize 2012 and Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize 2012. The prizes are open to any writers and poets who live, work or study in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

The Ada Cambridge Biographical Writing Prize was named after one of Australia’s finest colonial writers and is now, in its eighth year, a signature aspect of the Williamstown Literary Festival. The Poetry Prize is now entering its fifth year. Both prizes seek to support aspiring poets and writers of the western suburbs by exposing their work to a greater audience.

The competitions are ideal for up-and-coming writers who are looking to gain exposure for their writing, and to get their name out into the highly competitive industry.

Entries are accepted until Friday 2 March 2012 and will be announced as part of the Williamstown Literary Festival, 4 – 6 May 2012.

Entry forms and further details are available via the Williamstown Literary Festival website.

Categories: Contests Tags: ,

Authoring Your Destiny

23 November 2011 Leave a comment

An article by Linda Morris, Writers are authoring their own destinies online, discusses the new roles that 21st century writers must engage to be successful. Beyond researching and writing their work, writers must also develop marketing, publicity, technology and legal skills to maintain self-employment.

With the exception of a few celebrity writers, most writers cannot depend on a publisher’s advance, royalties, public speaking fees, or freelance writing engagements to survive. “A professional writer is a very small business of one person,” the article quotes Hazel Edwards. “Those who are not businesslike are unlikely to survive.

To read the full article, visit The Age.

Stringybark Short Story Award Call for Submissions

18 November 2011 Leave a comment

Stringybark Stories hosts a number of contests for genres including speculative fiction, flash fiction, and erotic fiction. Recently, they have put out a call for submissions for their Stringybark Short Story Award 2011.

For the Stringybark Short Story Award contest, they are looking for, “any story, written by anyone, of any genre that has some reference to Australia,” in 1,400 words or less.

Winners will be published in their next paper back collection of short stories and win cash prizes.

  • First Prize: $300
  • Second Prize: $125
  • Third Prize: $50

The submission deadline is 18 December 2011.

Visit their website for more details and submission guidelines at

Thanks to Mat Clarke for sharing this information.

Novel Manuscript Development Program

16 November 2011 2 comments

This program is well worth considering expressing an interest for, due to it’s length (20 weeks) and its cost ($1,000)

A lot of Australian fiction writers want professional feedback on their writing.

A lot of Australian fiction writers aspire to be a commercially published novelist.


The Australian Literature Review is seeking expressions of interest for a 20 week novel manuscript development program beginning mid Feb 2012. (If there is enough demand for the program by mid Jan the program will go ahead in one or several Australian locations.)

There will be a 3.5 hour class each week, in a quality CBD boardroom or meeting room, with editor/publisher Steve Rossiter.

Each class will have the primary goal of helping each writer progress their novel manuscript and have a clear plan of action for the coming week’s writing. Every writer should leave every class with a detailed plan of action for the week ahead, plus the confidence that they know how to skilfully carry out that plan.

The program will have a practical, results based focus:

– The first 3 weeks will be dedicated to each writer developing a compelling and commercially viable story idea, outline and narrative style.

– The next 17 weeks will be dedicated to guiding each writer to complete a compelling and commercially viable novel manuscript.

Class size will be limited to 10-15 writers.

The program will have a flexible curriculum, adapting each week to meet the needs of the writers and their stories. The content will likely be drawn widely from the history of storytelling (from theatre and playwrighting to film/TV and screenwriting, graphic novels, classic novels, short stories, novellas and contemporary novels, including new releases) but always with a firm focus on what is directly relevant to the novel manuscripts being written and what appeals to the writers. Various aspects of the craft of writing may be touched upon, from grammar and stylistics, to narratology and the pragmatics of written fiction, psychology of characters and of readers, crafting scenes and chapters, interweaving plotlines, and so on.

Each class will be a combination of lecture/discussion content, individual activities designed to develop the next section of each writer’s novel manuscript, group activities also designed to develop the next section of each writer’s manuscript, professional feedback on the manuscripts, and analysis of other novels and stories.

The purpose of the classes is not present the writers with a new category of speculative theories and philosophical opinions to consider each week, as is standard in many university courses. Nor is the purpose to rehash an old framework and advice the writers could just get from reading a few books. The purpose of the classes is to focus each writer on their task ahead for the week and to help each writer refine how they choose to carry out that task to achieve the results they want for their manuscript.

The emphasis will always be on writing well-crafted and commercially viable novel manuscripts, while making the process fun.

While the focus of this program will be on writing a novel manuscript and the craft of writing fiction as it pertains to writing these manuscripts, writers will no doubt also learn about the publishing process and the business of publishing in a global context, as this will be relevant to writing a commercially viable story.

Published novelists with major publishers will be invited to at least several of the 20 classes to workshop story ideas, outlines and chapters (and maybe some international novelists will workshop via video conference). These could quite probably include New York Times bestselling novelists.

The recommended workload will be 68,000 words (4,000 words/week for 17 weeks), or 51,000 words (3,000/week), or 85,000 words (5,000/week), depending on the most appropriate length for each writer and their novel.

Every participant will share the goal of completing their novel manuscript during the 20 weeks of the program, ready for editing.

Participants will be encouraged to meet outside class in pairs or small groups for writing sessions, to help maintain motivation and so each participant has other writers to bounce ideas off.

The 20 week program will cost $1,000, payable by mid Jan 2012 (or half by mid Jan and half up to 8 weeks later, if finances are an issue).

This program is best suited to writers starting a new novel manuscript in Feb 2012, so all storytelling options are open for the story. However, it can also cater to writers with a work already in progress.


You can express your interest by emailing with Manuscript Development in the subject line.

Please express your interest only if you have taken the cost and time commitment into account and would be happy with both.

The most likely locations are big cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, but other locations will be considered if there is demand.

Ampersand: An amazing opportunity for unpublished authors

11 November 2011 Leave a comment

Note: Just noticed a new cut off date for this:

Entries are due 5pm on Monday 27 February 2012. The collection is due out early 2013.


Ampersand A new collection of teen fiction by first-­‐time novelists.

The collection

 Hardie Grant Egmont has always supported emerging writers, and this time we want everyone to know about it.

Introducing Ampersand:

A new collection of short novels by debut fiction writers.  This is an ambitious idea, and one that HGE is excited about.  The YA fiction scene in Australia is desperate for new writers that can grab teenagers back from their paranormal romance and angel stories, and show them a world

Just like ours.  Real life can be just as dramatic and thrilling as any fantasy adventure, and any teenager who’s climbed out their bedroom window for an illicit adventure knows it.

To kick this collection off, the editors of Ampersand are looking for fabulous manuscripts about the secret lives of teenagers.  We want a voice that leaps off the page, a hint of a literary vibe, and teenage characters facing conflict in the course of their everyday lives.

Manuscripts that are by turns funny, dramatic, gritty, romantic, heartbreaking or challenging.

Each manuscript is free to stand alone and we envision that successful submissions will give each debut novelist the launch they need to build their profiles in a competitive YA market.

We want Ampersand books to feel real to our teenage readers.  We want to push the boundaries, but we’re not interested in moral–‐panic–‐inducing, usually urban–‐legendary topics (no sexting or rainbow parties here, please).

The idea is to write about real life, as it happens to today’s teenagers.

Potential starting points for stories:

• Changing family dynamics as teens get older; sudden experience of freedom and being able to throw off the shackles of parental rules.

• Encounters with alcohol or drugs (not necessarily as the focus of the story).

• Break–‐ups and heartbreak; lusting after people who are bad for you, either romantically or platonically (e.g. exploring Bad Influences within friendships).

• Stress of school and choices about the future – uni and careers bearing down quickly.

• Bad decisions, keeping secrets.

• Falling in love and first meaningful sexual relationship (in the tradition of Judy Blume’s Forever).

• Relationships with unusual sexual (or lack thereof) dynamics; age differences, queer identity, girl as the sexual aggressor, religious views, etc.

The writers

 The main requirement is that the writer should not have published a novel before, for any age group.   The ability to write authentically from the perspective of a teenager is key, as well as openness to collaboration and manuscript development; we are editorially rigorous and want to work with writers who understand the huge amount of work required to take a first book into the market.

The look

 The collective branding for this series will be restrained (no giant logos here) and distinctly format–‐led.  We want to tap into the indie aesthetic and produce a clear set of highly covetable, collectable books that are as cool and beautiful as they are readable.

Frankie, Yen and Wallpaper magazines are good touchstones for the aesthetic.

The submission process

 Writers interested in submitting for the series should send the first five chapters and a synopsis of their story to the managing editor, Marisa Pintado, at

The synopsis must give a clear indication of plot and characters, and be no more than a page long.  We will publish the collection’s first titles in early 2013, so the cut–‐off date for submissions for the launch is 5pm on Monday 30th January.

Successful writers will need to have a completed manuscript by mid–‐April 2012, so we recommend you write as much as you possibly can even after you’ve submitted your manuscript; this is an opportunity for writers who are serious about their craft.  Submissions

Will continue to be accepted after this date for future publication, until further notice.

Please note:

 • The finished novel should be approximately 40–‐50,000 words.

• Protagonists should be between 16–‐18 years of age.

• It goes without saying, but stories should be real–‐life and have a contemporary feel – no magical realism or angels, please.

• We are open to the exploration or depiction of issues like sexual activity, alcohol consumption, drug use, bullying, mental health issues and death.  However, the editors reserve the right to object to anything that feels gratuitous or irresponsible – we want authentic stories, but we also feel a duty of care to our teenage readers.

• HGE reserves the right not to contract without a full manuscript.  However, if we believe a writer shows promise, we may be willing to provide editorial assistance and development prior to contracting, at the expense of our own time.

• Due to the number of submissions, we may be unable to give personalised feedback as to why a manuscript isn’t suitable for this collection.

The Barbara Jefferis Award

11 November 2011 Leave a comment

The Barbara Jefferis Award is offered annually for “the best novel written by an Australian author that depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls in society”.

Barbara Jefferis was a feminist, a founding member of the Australian Society of Authors, its first woman President and, in the words of Thomas Keneally, “a rare being amongst authors, being both a fine writer but also organisationally gifted. She was a professional and internationally published writer long before most of us dreamed of such things”.

The Award is paid from the Barbara Jefferis Literary Fund, which has been established as a result of a bequest from Barbara Jefferis’s husband, ABC film critic John Hinde, who died in 2006. The Australian Society of Authors is Trustee of the Fund.

In 2012 the Award is valued at $35,000.

2012 Entries Now Open.  Entries for this year do close on December 11, 2011 so worthy to keep in mind for next year.

For more information or to download an entry form use the following link.

Categories: Contests Tags: , , ,

Writers need exercise too!

11 November 2011 Leave a comment

The American journalist, Gene Fowler, once wrote ‘Writing is easy:  All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead’.

In the battle between finding inspiration and keeping up motivation, our writing can suffer.  Life gets in the way, we don’t have enough time, the project we are working on is at a stand still…..oh, there are a thousand excuses for why we are not writing regularly (and I should know because I’ve used every single one of them).

Recently, I’ve been participating in a weekly writing exercise called Write on Wednesdays, which is run by Gil, a Western Australian writer, from Ink Paper Pen.

The aim of Write of Wednesdays is to motivate, inspire and create regular writing work habits.  Each week a new writing exercise or prompt is posted on the Ink Paper Pen blog.  The exercises are not time consuming, – you can set a timer and write for 5 minutes or write a short piece around 200 words.

Some of the more recent prompts have included –

  • Songbird: Take a favorite or random song and write the story behind the lyrics in 50 to 200 words.
  • Bring me sunshine in a cup: Write Emily Browning’s famous first line at the top of the page, set a timer for 5 minutes and write the first words that come into your head.

The weekly exercises are great for keeping ‘the writing mind’ refreshed and active, and the various prompts encourage us to write about different subjects or genres than we would normally work on.  It’s a great way to stretch our (sometimes self imposed) boundaries and hone our craft.

If you have a blog, you can link your writing exercise to the Ink Paper Pen blog each week and receive feedback from other participants.

Another great exercise is 5 Sentence Fiction, from Lillie McFerrin Writes.  Each week, Lillie provides a one word prompt or theme e.g. Shenanigans.  Your task is to create a nano-story in only 5 sentences around this theme.  This task, although not time consuming, requires focused story telling and editing skills.

Well, I’m off to work on this week’s exercise – a short piece inspired by Margaret Atwood’s line “We are learning to make fire”… can read my take on it here.

Article submitted by Eloise Verlaque from The True Adventures of Eloise

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