Monday, 27 June 2011

Insight into a short story competition

The winners of the Henry Lawson Society of NSW Inc Literary Awards 2011 have been announced.

And the winning story is... *drumroll*

Not mine!

But I'm thrilled that Time and Time Again received a shiny Highly Commended certificate in the open short story section.

The judge’s report is particularly interesting. It states, "judging the short story section of [the] competition proved to be an extremely challenging task, owing to the high standard of many of the entries.” And goes on to explain that each of the shortlisted entries had:

1. An arresting opening,
2. A satisfying conclusion,
3. A clear and consistent narrative voice,
4. A point,
5. Pace and development,
6. Flawless spelling, punctuation and grammar, and,
7. Plenty of show rather than tell

These statements sound eerily like my tutors at VU, proving I do listen in class!

I think I’ll submit Time and Time Again to Meanjin - after a minor edit. :)

Fingers crossed,

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Best Australian Writing Publication

I’d like to highlight a fantastic publishing opportunity with Black Inc. The below is from their website ( ):
"Each year the Best Australian collections – essays, stories and poems – bring together the best and brightest that has been written across the country. Selected by an eminent writer, these are collections that show the full range of writing we produce, recalling the year that has just been."

As the deadline is in two weeks (first of July), I encourage all Australian writers to submit their best piece. It can be unpublished or previously published (after the 1st of August 2010).

If you’ve written a number of essays, poems and/or short stories, you've already done the hard work. The only additional cost now is an envelope and a stamp, and maybe a little time in the queue at your local post office.

Don’t sell yourself short. My motto on submissions has always been that if you aim low, you can only hit low. Aim high and you might just hit that bullseye.

The tough decision shouldn’t be wether you submit a story; but which story you are going to submit!


Thursday, 16 June 2011

Another interesting thing I noticed about Blogger

I intend this blog to be about writing not blogging, but I might as well use the subject matter...

While experimenting with Blogger's tracker, I noticed it counted the times I viewed my own blog with those of legitimate readers.

For those interested in accuracy - at the cost of ego - you can change this setting by going into the STATS menu, then the OVERVIEW tab, and finally selecting “Don’t track your own pageviews.”

Oh, and hello to the person that visited my blog all the way from Belgium. Thanks for making the trip. I hope it proved worthwhile :)


Saturday, 11 June 2011

Bug Squashed

I've just resolved a rather frustrating bug preventing many people from posting on my blog (thanks for pointing this out Margaret).

When trying to comment, a little pull-down menu asked users to "Choose A Profile" and sent many on an infinite loop of login and verification requests.

For others experiencing the same problem, here’s my solution:
In your blog SETTINGS, under the COMMENTS tab, you have three choices for how your comments will appear (Full Page, Pop-Up Window, or Embedded Below Post). The problem is in the third, default, choice - Embedded Below Post.

Select one of the other two options and the issue should be resolved. I've changed mine to "Full-Page".


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Pimp My Story v1.0

Writers use words to tell their stories.

Simple, yes?

But there are thousands of words and an almost infinite number of ways to arrange those words into sentences.

How do we choose which words to use? And how do we decide their order in a sentence? What about punctuation, grammar, cadence, diction, tone, pace, inflection, ARG!

Welcome to my world...

I'm currently working on a story where, after a stressful few days, one character tries to inspire another.

What would you prefer he say:

a) 'Diamonds are created by immense pressure.'

b) 'Immense pressure is needed to create a diamond.'

c) 'Only through immense pressure can a diamond be created.'

d) 'Diamonds can only be created with immense pressure.'

If you have any alternatives, feel free to add them below.