Archive | April 2012

Competition time!

It’s time to get your owly love on cause my good friend Meagan Rivers is having a giveaway on her blog, Happy Owl Books.

Prize #1 & #2 Query Critiques. I can say ow good her query critiques are, they’ve helped me score requests.

Prize #3: First chapter critique for your YA manuscript.

Prize #4: Pre-order of Courtney Summers’ THIS IS NOT A TEST, out June 19. This will come from The Book Depository, so this is good for anywhere they ship. If you’re curious of whether or not you’d be interested, you can check her review, or any number of other awesome reviews posted for this book so far.

Prize #5: $25 Book Depository / Gift Card. She’ll let the winner choose between the two.

Here is the Rafflecopter, but a few things first:

1.) If you follow with a twitter and tweet about the contest, it’s only going to count if it’s with a real twitter — not a contest-only twitter. She doesn’t care if it’s a literary-things-only twitter, but, come on. The point of the tweets is to spread the word, and who reads contest only twitters?

2.) When you post a comment, be sure to tell her what prizes you’re interested in — this way, if you don’t want a query critique, she  can draw for someone who does.

She  will announce the winner April 25, 2012!

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The axing of the Queensland Premier Literary Award saga continues

Over the past day and a bit, I’ve been reading a lot on the debate about the scrapping of the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award.

I believe having these awards in some form is important. It’s about celebrating outstanding Queensland Literature. It’s the recognition of those writers’ contribution to the culture of our state.

It’s disappointing that the new government didn’t make an effort to consult with stakeholders on this and look for a workable solution. I don’t believe there would have been as much outrage if the awards stayed, but with private enterprise funding the categories – even if that meant the prize money dropped. Or if the awards continued minus the prize money at all.

That certainly is what appears to be what could be happening for starters with some dedicated people  launching the Queensland Literary Awards.

Here are some of the quotes I’ve found most interesting that have come out of the debate:

Stuart Glover on ABC: What most of the awards are about are about signalling a valuing of literary activity and an encouragement of cultural and literary discourse. And what this signals, in the particular context of Queensland is that that isn’t valued.

Tanya for TLC Books: Awards are important to writers as many many books get published every year and the awards and those books that are long and short listed get recognised as works worth reading, of being in a bookstore, or library, or a school text. The most prestigious awards not only give honours but lead to significantly increased sales. They are an important part of the business. (I really loved this whole article – a very well thought out and non-political piece).

Sue Abbey on ABC: It’s such a unique award and opportunity in Australia. Out of it came writers such as Doris Pilkington, of course the author of Rabbit Proof Fence, which went on to become the film Rabbit Proof Fence and premiered all over the world.

Chad Parkhill on Meanjin: It’s hard to put a fiscal value on these benefits, but given that the breadth of Queensland’s awards was unparalleled amongst state literary awards—it gave prizes across 14 separate categories compared to NSW’s 13, Western Australia’s 10, South Australia’s eight, Victoria’s seven, and Tasmania’s three—it seems to have performed very well for a minimal investment. $244,475 is a strikingly small amount in a state budget that runs to $4.6 billion deficit. The cost in terms of Queensland’s cultural reputation is impossible to calculate, yet already inevitable comparisons between Newman and Joh Bjelke-Petersen been aired. In the meantime, writers are already seeking to rebuild. The Unaipon seems most likely to survive, as it previously existed independently of the other awards. Queensland authors Matt Condon and Krissy Kneen have announced their intention to run independent awards structured along much the same lines as the old awards, albeit without the state’s imprimatur. UQP’s general manager, Greg Bain, has pledged his support for the new awards and reaffirmed UQP’s commitment to publishing the recipients of the Unaipon and Emerging Queensland Writer awards. Just how successful these new awards will be in a hostile political climate and without access to the state’s resources remains to be seen.

For more blog posts, news and opinions check out the Queensland Writers Centre’s Queensland Premier’s Literary Award page.

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Newman won’t recognise QLD writers

It’s Australian Author Month and Premier Newman has shown how much he appreciates his state’s author by scraping the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards.

In the month where we should be celebrating the achievements of our country’s writers, we have instead been greeted with this.

It shows that he doesn’t value the importance of having a strong local publishing industry so that children, teenagers and adults can read stories by Queensland writers. The awards give valueable recognition to a section of society that contributes greatly to our culture.
This also shows that Newman has little understanding about how hard it is to be a writer in Australia and how little most writers earn from their craft. Awards, such as the now defunct QLD ones, and scholarships provide writers with a way to supplement their income.

As an emerging Queensland writer I’m disappointed that Newman has made the Arts a target. The savings that are being made are very small in the overall picture of the budget. It’s equivilent to the base pay of two local MPs, yet the prize money is shared amongst multiple authors.

I want a head of state who embraces the Arts and Literature and supports local writers. I want a head of state who acknowledges the importance of books with local content and by local writers. I want a head of state who doesn’t cut a small amount of funding to an already underfunded part of the community.
I urge who loves books to make your views known.

Sign this petition to the Premier.

Vote in this poll (open until 5 April).

Email the Premier:

Write on his Facebook Wall.

You can also join in the comments and poll on the Courier Mail.

I hope the awards in other states and the Prime Minister’s awards will be kept safety and not follow this poor example.

Feel free to vent with me in the comments.

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Aussie Author Month

I’m not shy about the fact that I’m a proud Australian and I’d love to see Aussies more prominent in the international literature scene. A vital step to get there is making sure that we support Australian authors locally through buying their books and spreading the word about their awesomeness.

So in April I’m going to be discussing Aussie authors that I love and their works, Aussie authors that I’m hanging out to read and other aspects about the Aussie publishing industry that I’ve picked up along the way.

I invite you all to join me in this journey. The first step is to get out there and buy a book by an Aussie Author. I’m going to be buying Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. If you’re into YA like me, then check out the Aussie YA Reading Challenge Group on Goodreads for some options.

Question: What Aussie book are you going to buy or read next?

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