Melbourne Writers Festival 2019 – YA Day

How brilliant it was to have a whole day of the MWF dedicated to YA. The two events I went to were held in the Isabella Fraser Room at the State Library Victoria on September 1st. Not only was it a spectacular venue, but it also had the added bonus of a Readings bookshop on site… where I may or may not have added to my already bursting TBR pile.

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The first talk I attended was called ‘Why YA?’ and featured authors Randa Abdel-Fattah (When Michael Met Mina, Does My Head Look Big in This?) and Melina Marchetta (The Place On Dalhousie, Looking For Alibrandi), moderated by Melissa Keil (Life in Outer Space, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl).

The second talk I went to was ‘It’s Complicated’, featuring authors Nina Kenwood (It Sounded Better in My Head) and Jodi McAlister (Valentine, Ironheart), moderated by Michelle Smith. This panel was about romance, relationships and friendships in YA.

Everyone was wonderful to listen to and had so many gems of wisdom and advice. Here are dot points from each author on topics ranging from the publishing industry, POV, the importance of strong friendships in novels and even how romance is portrayed in The Bachelor!

Continue reading “Melbourne Writers Festival 2019 – YA Day”

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How to get published – Oz Comic Con 2019 author panel

On the 8th of June not only did I get to meet Pikachu and hang out in the TARDIS at Oz Comic Con, but I also got to listen to four authors have a lively discussion about their different publishing journeys. The hour-long ‘How to Get Published’ panel featured Isobelle Carmody, Astrid Scholte, C.S. Pacat and Kylie Chan. There were lots of other interesting things covered during the Q&A portion too, such as drafting and editing, how to find agents and the highs and lows of social media.

Here are some of my favourite tidbits of info and advice from each author:

Continue reading “How to get published – Oz Comic Con 2019 author panel”

What’s your inspirational word for 2019?

To be honest, I’m about as good at keeping New Year’s resolutions as I am at going into Kmart and only buying one thing, which is to say I am CRAP at it. But choosing a word or two as my theme for the year? That I can do!

I’ve seen this idea around a lot of awesome places, most notably in Jen Storer’s writing group on Facebook, The Duck Pond, and the Australian Writers’ Centre blog. Of course I got the ‘bird is the word’ song stuck in my head first (you are welcome for the earworm). But then I decided on two words for the year: Continue reading “What’s your inspirational word for 2019?”

Developing Craft & Career: what I learnt at the Williamstown Lit Fest

I’ve been trying to attend more “writerly things” this year, and one of them was an author conversation between Sue Whiting & Claire Saxby at the Williamstown Literary Festival on Sunday the 17th June. They chatted about the book industry, their experiences in writing and publishing and how the worst way to get your manuscript noticed was to slide it under the door of a toilet stall!

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Sue Whiting “has written numerous books in a variety of genres: fiction and nonfiction, picture books through to YA, including the best-selling The Firefighters, and the award-winning A Swim in the Sea. Her latest book, Missing, is a middle grade mystery/suspense novel for readers 10+.”

WLF01Claire Saxby “is an Australian author of fiction, non fiction and poetry for children. Her books are published widely in Australia and internationally.” Some picture book titles include, Emu, Big Red Kangaroo and Koala, which is on the 2018 CBCA shortlist for the Eve Pownall Award. Continue reading “Developing Craft & Career: what I learnt at the Williamstown Lit Fest”

The Writing Alphabet – B

01. BABY
Your manuscript is your child. You lavish attention on it, you take care of it. Sure, sometimes it feels as though you’re the baby what with the crying, screaming & (word) vomiting it takes to get through writing & editing. But at the end of the day there’s still love, pride & hopefully lots of naps.

02. BACKUP
When you save your document multiple times even though the autosave is on. Then you save it to a USB. Then you email it to yourself just in case your computer gets stolen. And then email it to your second email account in case something happens to the other one. Because the day you lose your manuscript of 70,000+ words that you’ve been working on forever is the day your soul departs your body & you move to Mars.

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The Writing Alphabet – A

For this round of Family Feud we surveyed 100 people* and asked: ‘What words beginning with A do you associate with writing?’ Here are the top 10 answers!

(*aka me, flipping through a dictionary, under the influence of Easter Eggs)

01. ABRACADABRA
For that moment when you magic a plot solution/character motivation/line of dialogue out of nowhere after previously stressing about it for ages. Do you have more ideas up your sleeve? No, that’s just a rabbit. Don’t forget to feed it.

02. ACCOMPLISHMENT
That strange feeling where you actually… like a sentence you wrote? And don’t want to edit it a million times?

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Continue reading “The Writing Alphabet – A”

The little introduction post that could

My love of reading definitely originated from snooping through people’s mail.

Back when I was a kid, one of the most sought after books at the school library was Janet & Allan Ahlberg’s The Jolly Postman. The story was about following the postman’s route as he delivered letters to different residents, but you could also open the mail yourself and have a sticky-beak.

I was in my element.

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Coming soon: The Jolly Postman & his eight millionth book parcel delivery to the same address (What? No, this isn’t based on me! *nervous laughter*)

Come to think of it, I also loved reading people’s diaries (shout out to Penny Pollard and Adrian Mole), so maybe I’ve missed my true calling in life to become a private investigator – or a 90-year-old named Maude who loves to sit by her front window and knit and knows way too much about the comings and goings of her neighbours.

There were also other books I was thoroughly obsessed with like The Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley High, Goosebumps, Fear Street, most Enid Blyton series (I wanted to visit each and every land in The Magic Faraway Tree), all the Paul Jennings short story books and the Choose Your Own Adventure novels (which have recently been re-released in the shops, much to my nostalgia-infested brain’s excitement).

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It was through this love of reading, though, that I realised I want to write a middle grade/young adult book of my own one day. I want to introduce readers to new fictional worlds with intriguing characters and memorable adventures. I want people to have that same sense of delight and wonder I did (and still have!), whenever I picked up a new book. Even if it was just to read about the latest fashion ensemble Claudia Kishi had put together, because you know that was one of the best things about The BSC.

So I’m slowly making my way there. One of my main goals this year was to get my MG manuscript out into the world. I’ll also be attempting to write a first draft for another MG manuscript I have in mind. Because if nothing else, I am amazing at procrastinating so I need to keep the writing vibes flowing if I want to accomplish anything further!

I mean, I’m also pretty good at snooping through fictional people’s mail too, but I might just leave that to past me for now.