Writing and reading towards climate action

Finding our place amid the crisis

Photo by Rachel Claire from Pexels

Last month, I kicked off a journey I’ve intended to take for a long time: becoming more involved and more active in working towards mitigating the climate crisis.

I did some fundraising for Climate for Change, a great organisation that facilitates conversations around climate change. (Thanks to those who chipped in!) And I completed Climate Reality leadership corps training on my weekend evenings. Climate Reality is a global grassroots organisation started by Al Gore and I thought the training was brilliant – I learnt how to talk more confidently about climate change and its solutions and was able to interact with people all around the world (the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Manila, the US), with ongoing relationships and accountability encouraged. The org’s focus on climate justice and the prominence of Indigenous speakers in the training really elevated it.

Climate and environmental justice is an ethical approach that considers historical responsibilities and urges us to understand and adequately respond to the challenges faced by people, communities and ecologies most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. It is often the countries that have contributed least to the causes of climate change whose citizens are most impacted. For example, in the Pacific region, island communities are facing severe climate effects and this is an injustice because the world’s main emitters, like Australia, are inadequate in their commitments to both reducing emissions and providing aid.

So why am I telling you all this in my newsletter for writers? Because reading and writing were integral in leading me to this point. From the books on whales I devoured as a kid through to Rose Michael and Jane Rawson’s excellent essay on speculative fiction ‘Reading Crises, Writing Crises’ (Reading Like an Australian Writer), and all the books mentioned within that, such as The Animals in That Country by Laura Jean McKay, The Second Cure by Margaret Morgan, Dyschronia by Jennifer Mills and several others – including the works of the authors themselves. And this year we’ve had some incredible books that engage with the topic and its interrelated concerns. They include the novels Echolalia by Briohny Doyle, The Performance by Claire Thomas, Scary Monsters by Michelle de Kretser, Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy and The Last Woman in the World by Inga Simpson. And nonfiction such as Country: Future Fire, Future Farming by Bill Gammage and Bruce Pascoe in the First Knowledges series from Thames & Hudson, Firestorm by Greg Mullins (mini review here) and Signs and Wonders by Delia Falconer.

And in finding my place among it all, I know the climate crisis will be increasingly addressed in my writing. But I’m also interested in our industry as a whole – how is it moving towards net zero? How can a paper-based business become sustainable? What are the bigger ethical questions we should be asking ourselves? I’m only at the beginning of looking into this, and I’m reaching out to people, groups and organisations who already have research and action underway. As an introvert with anxiety who has just spent months upon months indoors, I’m having to push myself out of my little box. But I’m hoping my position as someone who has worked in pretty much every area of the industry will make me useful.

For the writers reading this, I’m not sure there is even a question around ‘how’ climate change would be integrated into your work. If your book is contemporary set, the impacts will be present in the environment and in the psyche of your characters – in different ways, depending on where they live and who they are. Even denial is a characteristic that speaks to its opposite. If your book is future-set, it depends how far ahead and what you imagine about our ability to deal with this crisis. People will be people: in your eco-hub of the future, all the same personalities will exist, and certain power structures (now I’m thinking of books that do this well: Clade by James Bradley, The Ark by Annabelle Smith, Ian Irvine’s Human Rites trilogy, The Glad Shout by Alice Robinson…) And if your book is set in the past, are you not in some way engaging with the crisis every time you imagine what nature used to be like? Or when you’re looking at the origins of industrialisation? Or when you’re engaging with colonisation? Maybe it’s a strong opinion but I think all literature, written by us as we go through this (and hopefully solve this), will contain at least an undercurrent of this urgent, present state we’re in. Perhaps we can think about how the climate justice position might also be represented.

One of the best books I’ve read in getting to this point is Tyson Yunkaporta’s Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World. The ideas within encouraged me to assess and break down my thinking and not necessarily put it back together but let it span out… It’s hard for me to describe, but it’s an extremely good book, and a necessary one.

So, firstly, I hope you enjoy some of the books mentioned and they help to inspire and awaken your own actions (every small step counts). Secondly, I hope there’s some energy here that will help you think about how your own writing may be working, even subtly, on this. And thirdly, if anyone is already working in this area, let’s be in touch.

Opportunities of the month

This one closes on 8 November, so get in quick: The London Reader is issuing an open call for creative climate writing about the weather, disaster, and perseverance (not sure if this one pays, sorry).

The Dorothy Hewett Award for an unpublished manuscript is open to writers who have completed a manuscript and are seeking publication. It closes on 30 November. The work must be fiction, narrative nonfiction or poetry, inclusive of hybrid genres such as verse novels or memoir. The winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000, courtesy of Copyright Agency, and will be offered a publishing contract by UWA Publishing.

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Take care, stay safe, and get in touch if I can help with anything,
Angela

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Write, edit, discard

To get better you have to both push yourself and be patient

Photo by Sindre Strøm from Pexels

It’s been a very intense month in Melbourne. The continued lockdown, riots, an earthquake… I hope that, no matter where you’re reading from, you are finding some peace and joy in every day.

My small joys at the moment include: fresh fruit, a walk with an audiobook, happy clients, progress on getting support for a family member, going to bed early to read, daily chats with a friend, and my lovely partner and dog.

Last month’s post on publishing models for changed conditions was very popular, and got picked up by ArtsHub. Thank you all for reading and sharing it!

To close out this overwhelming month, I’ll post a thought from a recent interview, and provide some links to opportunities. I’ll try to get into something meatier again next month.

The Faber Academy asked me about editing your own work and getting to the bigger picture. I said:

Yes, there are some writers with natural talent and such a unique way of seeing the world that they will break through anyway, but most of us mere mortals have to care deeply about the work, about not just the drafting but the rewriting and rewriting and editing and re-editing. We have to learn to discard ideas in favour of better ones. We have to learn to be patient with ourselves and with the process. We have to learn to want to be better writers, not just ‘published’ writers. Writers who learn all this, which includes self-editing, will get better and better, and will derive great satisfaction from writing, from the work.

You can read the rest of the interview here, and there are still some places left in my Faber Academy online course Editing Skills for Creative Writers, starting on 11 October. Be lovely to see you on Zoom!

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels

Five opportunities:

  • Strange Days is a creative non-fiction writing prize presented by Moonee Valley Libraries. Submit a 1500-word non-fiction essay to the theme of Strange Days. The winner will be awarded $500 prize money and publication on the Library website. Entries will be judged by award-winning author Helen Garner. Open Monday 20 September to Sunday 14 November. Enter here.

  • Diabolical Plots is seeking submissions of speculative stories with food, dining and cookery elements! 3500 word limit. Pays 10c per word. Submit here.

  • The Nakata Brophy Prize will be awarded to the best short story by an Indigenous writer who is 30 years or younger at the closing date of the competition. First place is a $5000 prize, publication in Overland’s print magazine, and a writing residency (of up to three months) at Trinity College, the oldest student residence at the University of Melbourne. Check it out here.

  • The Tom Gallon Trust Award is an annual award of £1,000 for a short story. Closes 31 October. No entry fee, but the author must be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, Commonwealth (so, Aus OK!) or the Republic of Ireland, and the author must have had at least one short story published or accepted for publication. More here.

  • Australia’s national literature database, AustLit, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month and is counting down to its one millionth record. A little birdie told me there’ll be some exciting things happening in October to celebrate this milestone. Keep an eye on AustLit’s newsletters and Twitter for anouncements and opportunities: AustLit’s newsletter and https://twitter.com/AustLit.


Picography

Finally, in October, I’m undertaking a challenge for Climate for Change, so instead of asking for your support directly this month, I would love to ask if you’d donate to the cause? Climate for Change have such a cool approach to activism – they focus on facilitating conversations with people about climate change. They give people the tools to talk about climate change and climate action, and they make a real difference. I’ll be updating my page as I challenge myself to learn something new about our planet every day of October!


Take care, stay safe, and get in touch if I can help with anything,
Angela

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Publishing models for changed conditions

Which publishing models can thrive in these uneasy times?

Photo by Stas Knop from Pexels

Compared to arts industries such as live music and theatre, the book industry has fared well so far during the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean that the distribution of profits is as it was before, nor that the industry looks the same. And in Australia, where the buzz for an Australian book (particularly a literary title) is often generated through indie bookshops, festivals, events and awards, we’re definitely seeing an impact.

In the US, by the end of Q3 2020, online retail had increased 36.7% from the third quarter of 2019. More than half of book retail is online in the US (with Amazon accounting for at least half of that). And, despite positive news around net sales for US publishers in 2020, bookstore sales declined 28.8% in Oct 2020 vs the previous year1.

The traditional model of publishing, distributing and selling books is not going away any time soon. Many of the changes in the industry over the past couple of years have in fact been happening for longer – it just took the pandemic, and subsequent lockdowns, to push matters further. Publishers, writers, and booksellers have been adapting to the Amazon monopoly, and readers have buying online (and generally finding books through online avenues, from online library catalogues to Goodreads to YouTube to Instagram) for many years. Australia’s own online bookseller, Booktopia, recorded a 35% increase in revenue, and a whopping 125% increase in profit in the 2021 financial year2.

What I’ve been thinking about are models for publishing that can thrive in this period – existing alongside traditional publishers (and self-publishers). These are new, emerging and existing publishing models that in some way break the mould of what a publisher generally looks like.

Firstly, what do I mean when I talk about a traditional publishing model?

Traditional publishing works roughly along these lines:

-        Book acquisition (from author direct or via agent). Contracts specifies rights acquired, royalty rate (often around 10% RRP on print book, 25% net receipts on ebook), and advance on royalties.

-        Publishing company is responsible for editing (structural, copy editing and proofreading), design (cover and typesetting), marketing and publicity of the book: some of this is done in-house and some by freelancers.

-        Sales are done through a sales team and reps into bookstores and other retailers, often with pre-publication materials such as advance reading copies (ARCs, or galleys) and other marketing collateral.

-        If the publisher has world rights, a rights sales team may be pitching the book to overseas publishers, distributors and publisher partners.

-        Pre-sales help determine initial print run. Books are printed and sent to a warehouse distribution centre, which fulfils the orders.

-        Books arrive at bookstores by the publication date.

-        Publicity campaign gets underway: often a book launch, and then, depending on what kind of book it is, reviews, interviews, signings in bookstores, promotion at literary festivals, and various other activities (if the publisher has budgeted for this).

-        After three months, the publicity campaign ends, but books continue being entered into awards, etc.

-        After six to twelve months, bookstores can return unsold books.

Photo by Budgeron Bach from Pexels

There are many ways of breaking the traditional publishing mould. There are various points on the above list that can be altered. For example:

-        changing up the contracting of an author (giving a higher royalty split, shorter time to reversion of rights, and/or letting them keep more rights)

-        printing differently (print-on-demand rather than bulk printing)

-        rejecting the three-month publicity cycle and instead creating a long-term campaign (such as working with the author and their networks on a slower build)

-        niche distribution through select stockists who align with the publisher’s vision

-        subscription models (where people become loyal to the brand and its curation and are happy to be given what the publisher and their creators choose).

There are also publishers that set up for one particular project or series, and then crowdfund in order to generate both the pre-publication funds and an in-built audience.

Note that I’m not covering self-publishing in this post. However, authors can build themselves as publishers, using the same ideas and tools.

Does a non-traditional publishing model have longevity?

What makes me excited about this kind of publishing is how it can change up the rotating ‘hot new thing’ model, where you have hyped new releases that become tomorrow’s pile of returns. Could other models be a way to publish authors rather than books? And a way to establish evergreens – proud backlists of titles that sit alongside each carefully chosen, cared-for, curated front-listed work? Books you continue to promote when each new opportunity arises? Books a publisher commits to and re-features when relevant? Books that don’t have to be timely?

There are many examples of Australian small presses and outfits that already break the mould, and are flourishing.

Subbed In

I love Subbed In’s ethos. You can read it in full here. In brief, the organisation and press focuses on publishing new books, finding new audiences, and running a reading series that fundraises for causes in the community. Subbed In ‘seeks to provide a platform to amplify underrepresented voices, facilitating grassroots support for marginalised voices and writers whose work is too often alienated by the literary establishment.’ The organisation ‘offers a substitute to the copy-and-paste homogeneity of major publishers’ output’. I most recently bought a copy of Patrick Lenton’s Sexy Tales of Palaeontology from them, via Brunswick Bound Books, who launched the book over Zoom. So they have those relationships with select stockists, as mentioned above. The book is beautifully produced and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Upswell

Upswell Publishing has recently been launched by Terri-Ann White, the respected former publisher of UWAP, who has also been a bookseller, literary even organiser, and who writes herself. The press’s ethos ties into my point about breaking from the three-month publicity cycle: ‘We publish writers who need to be read; who turn the world upside-down with their insight. Knowing the surge of joy that comes out of a book, we create beautiful objects that will still be in the cultural imagination 100 years on.’ Besides distributing in the traditional way through booksellers, Upswell offers a subscription, which I think is a genius idea for a small press.

Somekind

Somekind Press is a crowdfunded and community-focused small press that was founded in 2020 during the pandemic by Vaughan Mossop and Simon Davis as a way to keep Australian hospitality venues alive and creatives busy. Proceeds at Somekind are split between all creative contributors, which is a fascinating model. Somekind strongly believes in the importance of community – ‘in its ability to enrich and transform our lives, to lift us up and make us into something so much more than we would be if we stood alone’. They’re also leaving off fancy finishes on their books so that the books are 100% recyclable. My favourite book from them so far is Echoes by Shu-Ling Chua.

Spineless Wonders

Spineless Wonders specialises in short story publishing, and has carved its own niche with lots of very hard work from its founder, Bronwyn Mehan. The press publishes print and digital anthologies, collections, and expands out creatively to live readings with actors, and audio and video content. Each year the press hosts literary awards with cash prizes and publication. They are interested in all kinds of stories: contemporary realist, black comedy, steam punk, historical, literary, romance, psychological, mystery, crime, futurist, speculative and genres yet to be labelled. Many moons ago, I proudly edited an anthology of Twilight Zone-inspired Australian short stories for Spineless Wonders called The Great Unknown.

Small genre presses

Genre presses are often early adopters of new methods of production, distribution and the marketing of books. They’re also tapped into strong communities of passionate readers, and also genre events and organisations (such as Sisters in Crime, GenreCon, Supernova, and more). They may have traditional release schedules but this is often balanced out by long-term cross-promotion of backlist titles, authors they partner with over many years, and continual connection with niche communities (i.e. those that enjoy one particular subgenre). One example is Clan Destine Press, a publisher of crime, mystery, speculative fiction, fantasy, science fiction, horror, urban fantasy, historical, thrillers, adventure, paranormal and steampunk books, who wishes to uncover, foster and promote brand new Australian genre writers, and also encourage already-published authors to cross-over and dabble in new worlds. IFWG Publishing is another small publishing house specialising in speculative fiction. Another interesting aspect of genre small presses, too, is how international they often are. Meercat Press is one that’s not based in Australia but publishes Australian authors and has Australian distribution (through New South books). Genre communities thrive online, not just in physical spaces, and that means they’ve been quite resilient during the pandemic.

Zines

CC, via Wikipedia: Lindsay Eyink

Zines are a decades-old anti-traditional form of publishing, a community and culture. They can be made by individuals, groups, collectives, and zine publishers. They are sometimes bought, sometimes swapped, sometimes given away. I have several special zines from friends tucked around the house. I’ve only ever made one myself, but I wonder if now is the perfect time to get back to it! Here’s a great article on zines finding new audiences and ways of sharing through social media.

Does anyone lose out with these models?

As mentioned, traditional publishing models are not going anywhere. A steady stream of commercial books will continue to find their way into the world. Of the publishers and models mentioned above, many do rely on selling directly to their readers, through online channels, subscriptions, etc., but you will definitely still see them in bookstores. These bookstores are often indie, local, or aligned with the publisher’s interests. Think of clothing brands – they have ‘stockists’; they’re not available in all clothing shops. Maybe the future of bookshops will increasingly be like this, more and more specialised, or of a certain character – curatorial. Maybe we’ll go back to more bookshops having their own publishing arm, too.

On the other hand, niche presses can also be more flexibly international. With print-on-demand, they can make their books available anywhere. But it will depend on the press, as sometimes this does mean relying on monopolising companies like Amazon or Book Depository.

Importantly, as this is a newsletter for writers, how do you fit into all this? As I’ve written about here before, it’s tough to break into the traditional publishing pool, and it’s also increasingly less common that a publisher will be committed to your entire career. It’s a book-by-book market. The best publishing experience for you might be something else. It might be a meaningful process with a passionate editor, a small release to just the right group of engaged subscribers, and a long-term commitment to doing what you enjoy, doing your best, and sharing that with others.


Opportunity of the month

The Affirm Press Mentorship Award is for middle-grade and young adult manuscripts. The compamny has a particular desire to see a wide range of diverse and authentic voices that aren’t always represented in mainstream publishing. Closes 15 September.

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If you’d like to support me in keeping this newsletter free, you might consider buying me a digital cuppa. :)

Take care, stay safe, and get in touch if I can help with anything,
Angela

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1

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12109-021-09791-z

2

https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2021/08/31/192326/booktopia-revenue-up-35-profit-up-125/

On foreshadowing

How to build to satisfying crises and conclusions

I hope everyone is going okay in these continuously challenging and uncertain times, and I hope, at least, your writing and reading are bringing you moments of solace, joy, escape, or even a sense of control – our needs can vary at different times.

This newsletter has alternated between aspects of craft, publishing, and the writing ‘life’. This month I go back to craft, and I hope you find it useful. I aim to always keep this newsletter free and simple (no ads) but if there’s something you’ve found useful within and you wish to show your support, perhaps you might buy me a digital cuppa 😊

Photo by lalesh aldarwish from Pexels

To foreshadow in a narrative is to introduce an idea, character, object or piece of information that will become significant to your story later on. A whole series of breadcrumbs may be left, and the reader will comprehend their gravity at later points of crisis, when central conflicts come to the fore, or in the lead-up to and during your story’s resolution.

We probably all recognise the kind of foreshadowing that is done in a crime story, where early on in the narrative the sleuth speaks to someone wearing a particular kind of necklace or scarf, and it’s commented upon, and we almost forget about this until evidence arises that a particular metal or fibre was found at the scene or on the body.

But foreshadowing occurs in all kinds of fiction. Richard Yates’s short story ‘The Best of Everything’ takes place on the day Grace is leaving her job to start her life with Ralph, her husband-to-be. There are many subtle aspects of foreshadowing in the opening pages: the corners of Grace’s mouth aching from smiling as the women at work shower her with excitement, the way the word ‘darling’ is an alien sound in her mouth and, most of all, the influence of her roommate Martha, who had pointed out the way Ralph said ‘terlet’ for toilet after their very first date. These subtle breadcrumbs plant doubt and lead to a sense of unease, for the reader, about Grace’s commitment to Ralph, and foreshadow the later events of the story, as Grace prepares herself for Ralph’s arrival and he ultimately lets her down. The word ‘terlet’ comes back, a devastating echo. Like all of Yates’s stories, it’s incredibly affecting, and the whole story essentially ends up foreshadowing the marriage of these two people.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

In my essay in Reading Like an Australian Writer I wrote about how, in MJ Hyland’s This is How, the protagonist Patrick’s attachment to his tool kit foreshadows both how angry he gets when a tool is not returned and his later use of one of the tools at the crux of the novel. The hint of violence in his thoughts about his ex in the opening pages of the novel also foreshadows his capacity for it.

To foreshadow the conflicts, plot turns or character revelations in your story, you might either plan it out well to begin with, or (as not all of us work that way) you can retrofit the manuscript with these crumbs once it’s drafted. Writing your first draft might be a way of discovering exactly who you’re writing about, what they’re going to do and what’s going to happen. Once you know that, you can work out how to build the anticipation of events through foreshadowing. The trick with foreshadowing is to not overexplain, to instead drop open-ended clues and hints – a scattering. Also, to repeat or build upon foreshadowed elements to create a ‘hook’ in the reader’s mind. We will realise that there is something significant about this element, consciously or unconsciously, but we may not know why, or how it will play out, and that helps to create tension.

It’s also good to foreshadow character actions in a way that makes it entirely believable that they would do what they end up doing, even as it still may be completely shocking! You have to know your characters well to understand how they would plausibly act, speak, think, feel, etc. And then you have to choose what to show us and what not to show us. Think about how you can show their motivation, throughout, so the reader believes, absolutely, that they would do what you’ve made them do. Give your character, earlier on, an action or a small piece of backstory that makes this other action plausible.

Working on manuscripts at the structural level can feel daunting, and it takes a lot of thought and effort. But it can make for such satisfying, absorbing fiction. It’s always worth reworking, analysing and rewriting your work, to make it the best it can be.


Opportunity of the month

The Speculate Prize is a new biennial prize aimed at writers who explore the expansive possibilities of literature. The winner will receive: $5000 prize money, a mentorship from Giramondo Publishing, and a week-long residency at RMIT’s McCraith House on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. A highly commended place will also be awarded. Entries close 1 September 2021.

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Take care, stay safe, and get in touch if I can help with anything,
Angela

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What to do as you wait to hear back on your submission

How to handle this excruciating interlude

Photo by John from Pexels

Finishing a novel brings an unparalleled feeling of satisfaction. You’ve worked so hard, and there it sits, glowing with potential. Hold on to that feeling for a moment. Because if you’re seeking traditional publication, life is about to get frustrating.

Agents and publishers are overwhelmed with submissions, all around the world. An agent I know tells writers her average response time is twelve months. A friend of mine has recently been waiting longer than this for a response from a publisher (they have confirmed it’s still under consideration, at least). My debut novel took about twelve months from being sent out by my agent to getting an offer.

And that’s if you ever hear back at all.

It’s not always the way. Some lucky authors stimulate a buzz, and publishers clamour to be the first to offer on the book.

We’re allowed to feel envy over those kinds of life-changing deals. But sometimes there is a flipside for those authors. The expectation that they’ll make back their advance, for example. The huge pressure on writing a follow-up that’s just as ‘buzzy’. (Notice I didn’t say ‘just as good’ – at the top of the game, marketability is a massive part of it.)

Big deals are not at all the norm. Most authors have a more steady shuffle towards publication and then, after that, more books, rights deals, film/TV options, and other fun things.

What I want to focus on here is the excruciating wait. Once you’ve sent your manuscript off, it may seem to others as though you are functioning normally. You’re going about your work, talking to people, caring for kids or loved ones. But inside, you’re waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. You might get cranky for seemingly no reason. You might feel blue. You might have a bout of insomnia. You will most likely experience some terrible feelings of inadequacy, fraudulence – aspects of imposter syndrome. As time ticks on, these feelings may get worse, or you may end up on a rollercoaster: moving from inadequacy to denial, flickers of hope (and wild fantasy), and moments of more tempered reality – where you realise you do have other eggs in your basket. (You do.)

Photo by Akshar Dave from Pexels

But this is so important to you. I see that and I know the feeling, deeply. I sympathise.

Here are some strategies I’ve developed for dealing with that time of horrendous, eternal waiting:

-        Start the next project. Begin to gather books for research, cast about for a great idea; allow your brain to get excited about the next world you’ll be diving into. Starting a new work keeps you grounded and reminds you that the real stuff happens at the desk (or wherever you work!).

-        Send out other work. Polish up that short story sitting in your docs, work on a poem, aim to write something for a themed competition: just have multiple works floating out there in the ether. I know it heightens the feeling of rejection and difficulty if they come back, too, but having multiple works out there also increases the hope and sense of possibility. If you’ve got some good stuff sitting there, revive it!

-        Do a short course. Whether it’s writing-related or not, doing a short course can be a great way to stimulate your brain and gain a short-term reward (knowledge!), and it will also distract you from the waiting.

-        Catch up on reading for fun. Go to the bookstore or library and pick out some books that are not related to any current project, and give yourself a little reading holiday. Reading outside of the genre of your submission might help you to not gather more food for the imposter monster. Read and remind yourself why you even bother doing this in the first place.

-        Look after your health. For some, it’s running that gets out that anxiety. For me, gentle daily yoga has become a must. I’ve also found that some natural sleep supplements work really well for me, when I am very anxious. These methods work better in the long term than, you know, whisky… (but hey, a celebratory drink after all your hard work is certainly earned!).

-        Catch up with friends and family. Get out of that writing cave (this can be a metaphor for your headspace, not just the literal area where you work) and send some texts. Check in with people. It’s really healthy for your grey matter to be social. If you’re a workaholic like me, this may be hard (not to mention the increased social isolation of the pandemice), but I’m sure loved ones will be pleased to hear from you.

All these activites will help not only with the wait, but to also temper any rejection that may be forthcoming – they will help you remember that you are not just one manuscript.


Opportunity of the month

As you may recall, I previous won one of Mslexia’s wonderful women’s fiction competitions (resulting in my published novella, Joan Smokes). Prior to that, I was once longlisted for the novel prize. This year, Hilary Mantel is judging the adult novel prize. Wow. There are also categories for a short story and flash fiction. Check them out here.

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Take care, stay safe, and get in touch if I can help with anything,
Angela

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