Write, edit, discard
To get better you have to both push yourself and be patient
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!
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.
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,