Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

November 9, 2011

Manuscript Polishing Kit at the NSW Writers’ Centre

Preparing a manuscript for publication can be daunting but it needn’t be. Gaining some knowledge about what publishers are looking for and how to add that extra edge and polish can make a difference.

A short weekend course at the NSW Writers’ Centre offers an opportunity to review your manuscript in preparation for submitting to publishers.

This course is not for beginners but for those who have already completed several drafts of a manuscript and are seriously ready to critique and edit their work before sending it off to publishers.

Participants should be prepared to give and receive constructive comments and feedback.

Brush up on how to review a work objectively; how to avoid common pitfalls; how to enhance the best features of a fiction narrative; how to edit and polish a work of fiction and how to format and submit a manuscript to publishers.

 

Manuscript Polishing Kit

Fear Factor Terror Incognito

 

Who: Sharon Rundle

 When: Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 November,

10am – 4pm

…….. Where:: NSW Writers’ Centre,

………………………………….Garry Owen House, Callan Park, Balmain Rd, Rozelle.

Enter the former park grounds from the Balmain Road gate opposite Cecily Street and follow the green signs to the NSW Writers’ Centre.

Cost: Full price: $290; Member: $205; Conc Member: $175
Code: 11RUND11
Bookings essential.

Ph: (02) 9555 9757

Fax: (02) 9818 1327

General information: info(a)nswwc.org.au
Course enquiries: workshops(a)nswwc.org.au
Newsbite: newsletter(a)nswwc.org.au

Sharon Rundle co-edited Alien Shores, Indo-Australian Short fiction, (forthcoming) Brass Monkey Books (2012); Fear Factor: Terror Incognito, Indo-Australian short stories, Picador India (2009) Picador Australia (2010); Peacock Memosaic, a new media collection of stories (2010).  She has published and broadcast stories, essays and articles in Australia and internationally including in: Alien Shores: short fiction from Australia and the Indian subcontinent; Encounters: Modern Australian Short Stories and Desert in Bloom – Indian Women’s Fiction in English. She is co-author of Round Table Writing and author of Changes & Chances. She is an academic at the University of Technology Sydney and Chair of the UTS Writers’ Alumni. Awards include the 2010 UTS Alumni Award for Excellence; the UTS SMSA Medallion for academic excellence; and a Commonwealth Short Story prize. roundtablewriting.com

More at http://www.nswwc.org.au/?page_id=3&category=33&product_id=133

If you have got to that stage where you need to take a good objective review of your manuscript, this short course Manuscript Polishing Kit is for you.

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June 7, 2011

Season of Inspiration Online Writing Course

What could be more comfy and fun than staying inside on a cold winter day or night and logging on to a stimulating and interactive writing course?

A nine week fully online course that is not a lonely self-study course but a lively forum for debate and developing your current project or starting a new one.

 The course provides writing tuition, journal prompts, stimulating activities, live chats and regular feedback from tutors and peers. An active busy forum ensures plenty of interaction between our writers. Each writer is given a private space for their writing journal. Writers join us from around the globe.

 When the course is completed, our writers are invited to join the Season of Inspiration alumni, at no further cost, to keep in touch and let us all know their achievements as well as when they need some extra encouragement and support.

Sharon Rundle and Helen Whitehead are pleased to confirm that the next Season of Inspiration Online Writing course will start in June 2011 with our trademark supportive, friendly, online writing community and all-new inspiration!

http://seasonofinspiration.eventbrite.com/

This entirely online writing course, takes up about 4-5 hours per week for 9 weeks.  Join in with our supportive learning community at any time to suit yourself.  Start any time in the week 20-26th June 2011.

Yet again we will be dipping into a variety of sources of inspiration, from nature to music to landscape. From poetry to fantasy to autobiography to food, there’ll be formats, genres and topics to experiment with. We aim to provide inspiration for writing that’ll keep you going for months if not years. We offer support, exercises and creative bolstering. Come whether you’re bursting with ideas to try out or whether you want to rediscover your creativity. Designed so that you can work at your own level (whether you’re starting out as a writer or seeking inspiration for your next publication) with the support and encouragement of a writing community and two tutors. This is the online equivalent of a writers’ workshop, not a lonely self-study course. Students are welcome from anywhere in the world (the course is run in English).

The Peacock Mosaic

Peacock Mosaic

 

 

Once upon a time there was a Season of Inspiration online writing course. Then there was another one, and another, all led by co-tutors Sharon Rundle and Helen Whitehead. Inspired by the excellent quality of writing time after time by the participants in the Season of Inspiration online writing courses, we have put together a collection of pieces written by members from all Season of Inspiration courses. Our writers are a variety of ages, nationalities and occupations, and have lived in many different and inspiring places around the world.

Our theme is Memories from around the world. Many of these pieces are autobiography, some are fictionalised, fiction based on real experience, or poetry.

Please dive in and enjoy the varied writing. There is no cost for this.

http://memosaic.net/

Season of Inspiration Alumni

Sujata Sankranti

We are thrilled to announce that Sujata Sankranti, who joined us for a Season of Inspiration, has just released her novel ‘In the Shadow of Legends’ published by Rupa India.

I had the privilege of reading the manuscript and this novel is a great read. Meenakshi Bharat and I are proud to have first published an extract from ‘In the Shadow of Legends’  titled ‘An Eye for an Eye’  in our Indo-Australian anthology, ‘Fear Factor Terror Incognito.

Sujata’s novel follows her collection of short stories “The Warp and the Weft” (Shristi, India) the title story of which won the overall Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Sujata, Meenakshi and I were recently featured in the ‘Commonwealth Foundation Journal

Andrew Y M Kwong

More exciting news that Andrew has just been notified that his memoir of his childhood during the Cultural Revolution in China “Snake Business” has been short-listed for the Penguin/Varuna Scholarship for 2011!

This is a gripping story of cruelty, violence, famine, survival, love and optimism told from the point of view of a young boy.

Andrew has also published several short stories.

Avril Carruthers

Congratulations to Avril who released her latest book “Freedom From Toxic Relationships published by Allen & Unwin and launched in May.

Avril’s book shows you how to recognise the manipulative or sweetly corrosive partner, the family dynamics that make Christmas and other get-togethers hell, the nightmare boss. And learn what you can do to leave these painful, destructive patterns behind.

Julia McKay Koelen

Has won competitions and has had her poems and stories published with the latest in the Peter Cowan Writers Centre anthology ‘Amulet’.

Read what they have to say about the Season of Inspiration Online Writing course.

June 3, 2011

Authoring the Author at the NSW Writers Centre

More about the publication process.

A brand new professional development course is running at the NSW Writers Centre,

which may be of interest either to you  or perhaps to people in your network emerging into the role of author.

Authoring the Author is run by William Kostakis (YA author and professional blogger) with a tonne of guest speakers including Zoe Walton (Random House) and Benython Oldfield (Zeitgeist media). This is a selective course and participants will need to submit a one page statement of what they would like from the course before being offered a place. 

Over six sessions William will examine the industry from all angles, navigating the challenges and identifying the opportunities presented to modern authors.

We are trying to spread the word about this opportunity for emerging writers as far and wide as possible, so do please pass it on.

Jacqui Dent

Program Officer

NSW Writers’ Centre

PO Box 1056

Rozelle NSW 2039

T  02 9555 9757

F  02 9818 1327

E  jdent@nswwc.org.au 

W www.nswwc.org.au

June 1, 2011

Submitting a Manuscript for Publication resource

With so many writers wanting advice on sending out their work, here are some more resources to consult when submitting a manuscript for publication or to an agent or a competition.

The Queensland Writers Centre website include tips on writing a synopsis, covering letter  and pitching to publishers in downloadable pdf files.

Queensland Writers Centre on Synopsis writing

Queensland Writers Centre Resources page for additional advice on submitting manuscripts to publishers.

Preditors and Editors has advice on writing a very brief synopsis with samples at

http://pred-ed.com/pesynop.htm

June 8, 2010

Memosaic, Hypertext Haiku, NSW Writers’ Centre, Writers Connect and More

Season of Inspiration and Memosaic.

I always feel a tinge of sadness as the final week of Season of Inspiration courses come around. This time is no exception. It has been a real joy and inspiration to spend time with our writers.  We’ve had some terrific stories and poems this time around. We’re creating a Hypertext Haiku from the Haiku written during the course. This time, too, we’ll be continuing in the Season of Inspiration alumni space ‘Write On’ to complete our Memosaic.

Plans for the Season of Inspiration Memosaic are progressing with contributions being polished and posted into the course Memosaic forum thread. It is a collaborative project, though Helen and I are overall editors. We are busy creating the Memosaic, including submission guidelines, working on copyright permission and licence, and getting in touch with our Season of Inspiration alumni.

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NSW Writers’ Centre Programs

After the Season of Inspiration course finishes I’ll be appraising manuscripts for the NSW Writers’ Centre Manuscript Service. The NSW Writers’ Centre have also asked me to run a critique group. More details about the critique group are on their website.  The Centre runs a mentorship program which I’ve been asked to join and am now available to mentor selected writers through the NSW Writers’ Centre.

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Editing and mentoring emerging authors and translator

I’m continuing to work with Julia, Shokufeh and Andrew, who are all doing marvellous things. Julia has had her prize-winning poem published, her short story is through to Round 3 of judging for the 2010 Brit Writers’ Awards; and she is nearing completion of the first draft of her full length fiction narrative. Shokufeh has her translation of ‘The Dog and the Long Winter’ edited and ready for publication. She is currently seeking a publisher for her English translation of this best-selling Iranian novel. Meanwhile Shokufeh has already translated chapters for the next novel. Andrew is about to go to Varuna on a writing fellowship. He has spent the past weeks preparing his manuscript of his memoir of growing up in Mao’s China to send to Varuna prior to his residency. Wishing them all the very best with their writing projects.

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Pass It On

For our authors and illustrators of children’s books and those who would like to write and publish books for children and young adults Pass It On is a terrific magazine. A regular up to date resource of information, discussion and opportunities — a must for Children’s book authors and illustrators. Edited by Jackie Hosking.

Pass It On has a facebook page too.

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/group.php?gid=106770169352958&ref=ts

Pass It On

http://jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com/

Jackie’s tips on her blog are also worth checking out:
http://jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com/about/

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Linda Scott continues her blog of her escape 2 Australia and is now on the NSW Central Coast.

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UTS Alumni Writers Connect

Next Writers Connect is the Winter Edition which will be published in early July. Please send me any contributions, news of achievements, festivals, events, opportunities for this next issue as soon as you can. The deadline is looming.

May 29, 2010

Memosaic in the Making and More Reviews

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Memosaic


At Season of Inspiration we are putting together a Memosaic of our writers’ work.

A collection of inspired pieces from our SOI writers past and present to  be published electronically.

Helen and I are assisting our SOI writers’ to revise, edit and polish their stories and poems for our Memosaic.

Helen Whitehead is designing the visual interface for the web, from ideas put forward and discussed by our Season of Inspiration writers.

I’m very excited about this project and am looking forward to launching our Season of Inspiration Memosaic in September.

I’ve been involved in similar projects before and contributed to the

trAce Decade Quilt.

For those who are new to this type of New Media collaboration –– other excellent examples include:

The Noon Quilts

What people see out of their window at Noon – Contributions from around the globe.

Quilt 1

Quilt 2

And

Migrating Memories

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More reviews for Fear Factor Terror Incognito


have appeared in various print and online publications.

Commonwealth Foundation website:

1998 winner Sharon Rundle was introduced to the editor Dr Meenakshi Bharat by another former winner Sujata Sankranti from Delhi, and together they have edited an anthology of well-known and emerging writers from Australia and the Indian subcontinent. Entitled “Fear Factor, Terror Incognito”, it was released at the end of July 2009  by Picador India; and in October by Picador Australia. Sujata has also published a book of her short stories, ‘The Warp and the Weft’.

Commonwealth Foundation Journal article

Short Story competition winners forge international links

29 January 2010

Sharon Rundle and Sujata Sankranti corresponded for over a decade before meeting in Dehli last year, highlighting how the Short Story competition encourages people-to-people links around the Commonwealth.

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Asian-Australian Studies

NEW BOOK – Fear Factor edited by Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle

[17.02.2010]

FEAR FACTOR: TERROR INCOGNITO
edited by MEENAKSHI BHARAT AND SHARON RUNDLE

Fear Factor: Terror Incognito is a collection of 20 unforgettable stories by well-known and emerging authors from Australia and the Indian subcontinent including David Malouf, Salman Rushdie, Neelum Saran Gour, Tom Keneally, Rosie Scott, Jeremy Fisher, Susanne Gervay, Tabish Khair, Denise Leith, Andrew Y M Kwong, Devika Brendon, Gulzar, Meera Kant, Guy Scotton, Sujata Sankranti, Kiran Nargarkar, Temsula Ao, Jaspreet Singh, Janhavi Acharekar and Meenakshi Bharat; with a foreword by Yasmine Gooneratne.

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The Sydney Morning Herald

In Short: Fiction. Weekend Spectrum: Books.

“… a kind of two-nation project that seems timely …  Nagarkar’s brilliant tale of a man out to murder Rushdie being immediately followed, to devastating effect, by Rushdie’s contribution. Other standout pieces are by David Malouf, Rosie Scott, Denise Leith and Neelum Saran Gour.”

29 April 2010

..

Age, The (Melbourne, Australia)

STORIES

Three big names — Salman Rushdie, David Malouf and Thomas Keneally — are deservedly here by virtue of republished material, but there are plenty of stories from lesser-known writers from both India and Australia, many of which have been written specially for this book… Preceding Salman Rushdie’s contribution is Kiran Nagarkar’s darkly amusing In Search of Essar about a man determined to carry out the fatwa on Rushdie.”

Saturday, March 27, 2010. Author: Reviewer Lorien Kaye

..

The Launceston Examiner (Tasmania)

Unsettling collection of short stories

24 Apr 10 | FEAR FACTOR (Terror Incognito) Edited by Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle (Picador, $25) ELEMENTS of revenge, betrayal, racial violence, even black humour surface in this collection of short stories by authors selected from Indian

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UTS U:Readit (print version pdf)

And UTS U:Readit online

UTS Postgraduate News

UTS Alumni Writers Connect Autumn Issue, April 2010.

UTS Transforming Cultures Research Centre Writers’ Anthology Panel

Indo-Australian Literary Collaboration

UTS Poster Presentation Event

Sharon Rundle, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences

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Today’s Writing Tip

Write a review of a book you have recently read. You can contribute to Book Review Magazines, Book Review Blogs and other online reviews such as ABC Bookshop Online and many others. You can start your own Book Review Blog.

Check the Magazine or Website Guidelines for the preferred word count, style and type of publications reviewed. Most have a link for ‘submitting’ reviews with their Guidelines and Address for submissions. Try writing a review this week.

May 24, 2010

Cats, Peking Duck and Sydney Writers


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Cats and Peking Duck

I had a fabulous weekend in Sydney, courtesy of my daughter Erin who took me to dinner and to the musical ‘Cats’ at the Lyric Theatre.

Cats is a slick, fun, energetic performance where Rum Tum Tugger nearly stole the show, though Mestoffelees just managed to eclipse him with his magical illusions and acrobatics. The set, costumes, dancing, singing and acting were all spot-on. There were fun moments when the cats prowled through the stalls and interacted with the audience. A real treat.

We had yummy Peking Duck at the Emperor’s Garden restaurant.


On the topic of delicious meals– food writer, critic and editor Jacqui Fisher’s blog has really fab recipes, the latest from the Congo.

Jacqui is deputy chief subeditor and online editor for the Woolworth’s Australian Good Taste.

It was quite a buzz to open the pages of  Antiques & Art in New South Wales May – September 2010 issue and see the Sydney launch of Fear Factor Terror Incognito

featured in the ‘Out and About’ pages (p7). The write-up includes photos of the excellent launch at the Hughenden Hotel in Woollahra.


Sydney Writers’ Festival

Of course, we went to Pier 4/5 for some of the Sydney Writers’ Festival events.

Intermittent showers didn’t deter the crowds on the pier and most, if not all, sessions were booked out.

I spotted Anita Heiss and Linda Jaivin among other well known authors on the pier; and caught up with good friend Wendy Ashton.

The sun shone for a while and it was a pleasant few hours catching up with people over a cup of coffee. I was keen to hear the Short Story session among others.

Have you been to the SWF, what did you see and hear? What events did you enjoy the most?

If you’ve missed some of the sessions at the festival or weren’t able to get to Sydney,  you can catch up with podcasts of many of the sessions on the link above.

It was a beaut weekend in Sydney and I had the best fun spending time with my daughter.

Erin’s cute long-hair Mexican Chihuahua is entered in a competition-vote for Taco


Roanna on Radio

Roanna Gonsalves has been commissioned to write and present a program about Indian students after ABC Radio National read Roanna’s Curry Muncher story.

Listen to or download the ABC audio version of Doosra: The life and times of an Indian student in Australia and companion piece O Other Where Art Thou .

Roanna (Gonsalves) and Rosie (Scott) at the Launch of Fear Factor Terror Incognito at The Hughenden.

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Listen to a podcast of Valerie Khoo with Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Swan Thieves.



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New Books

Short and Scary

Short and Scary – A whole lot of creepy stories and other chilling stuff. The book suits 11-14 year olds.

Edited by Karen Tayler, published Black Dog Books

All profits are donated to youth mentoring programmes.

Contributors include Jackie Hosking, Shaun Tan, James Roy, Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton, James Moloney, Susanne Gervay and many others.

Black Dog Books invited Australia’s best loved authors and illustrators and new authors and illustrators to join together to create an exciting, funny, scary and innovative books of short stories and creative works. Dip in and be scared and delighted.


The Kids and Young Adult Literature Festival

3 July, 9.30 – 5pm

‘Youth Literature Reaching the World’

with keynote speaker Gabrielle Lord. Her huge international best selling 12-book series Conspiracy 365 is taking the ‘fugitive’ style young adult conspiracy into South America, USA, Europe.

The Festival will include:

• Publishers, script film writers, playwrights, major authors and illustrators who will speak about innovative Australian works;

• A pitch-your-work section with opportunities to network with people in the industry;

• Celebrated authors from fantasy writer Kate Forsyth to the ABC TV team of Nadia Wheatley’s My Place;

• Book launches;

• Publishers from the major houses including HarperCollins and Random House, as well as new small publishers.

Bookings are essential. It will be held at the NSW Writers Centre, on the Rozelle grounds of Callan Park.

Email: events@nswwriterscentre.org.au or visit: www.nswwriterscentre.org.au


Some current writing competitions and awards you might like to check out

Expatriate and Work Abroad Writing Contest

The Winner Earns $500 to Share their Living Abroad Experiences.

Visit the website to find out more.


Australia’s Richest Radio Play Writing Competition 2010

Closes: 30 June

The launch of Australia’s Richest Radio Play Writing Competition in Miles, Queensland in September 2009, challenges writers around Australia to write a 30-minute radio play about contemporary issues that effect and impact upon our lives.

Prize money of $6000 will be awarded to the top four scripts.

Winners will be announced in September 2010. Visit the website to find out more.


Solas Awards for Best Travel Writing

Closes 21 September

Travelers’ Tales runs an annual award to honour great travel writing.

Head to http://besttravelwriting.com to learn more about the Solas Awards and the $1000 Grand Prize for ‘Best Travel Story of the Year’.

Awards are offered in many categories, covering the full scope of travel writing, from adventure to funny, spiritual, women’s, food related, memoir, destination, and more. All entries will be considered for Travelers’ Tales books.

Stories submitted after the deadline will be entered in the following year’s contest. So it’s never too late.


Writing Tip

Polish some stories that you’ve been working on or have languishing in the bottom drawer. Join a critique or writing group to help you revise and edit your work. Enter your story, poem or play in a competition or submit to publications. Use the colder months of the year to finish, revise, polish and edit your work. Make sending your work to a competition or publication your goal for this winter.

November 18, 2008

Hiring an Editor

Filed under: Edit Your Work — roundtablewriting @ 9:03 pm

Many writers are looking for editors and manuscript consultants to cast an eye over their manuscript before it’s submitted to publishers; some writers need an editor’s help to pull the manuscript into shape; or proof-reading for a final check. It may seem expensive but it is well worth the investment, if it means that your manuscript is prepared for a publisher. The Society of Editors NSW Inc. is a good place to start. They have a website at:

Society of Editors NSW

Society of Editors NSW Directory

Here you can research their Directory of Editors; check current fees for editing work; and find out more information about Hiring an Editor.

Why would you hire an editor? Many publishers will only read manuscripts which have been edited by a reputable editor or have been recommended by an agent. A manuscript that has been through a professional editing process can save a publisher a lot of time and money and will enhance the chances of publication.

How do you approach a freelance editor? Usually through an association or organisation, many have websites or are listed in the telephone book or in The Writers’ Marketplace and similar writers’ directories.

Where can you find a freelance editor? You can find information and details about freelance editors experienced in various genres from the websites of the Australian Society of Authors; Institute of Professional Editors Ltd; and The Society of Editors NSW Directory (or the Society of Editors in the State where you live). It’s best to choose an editor who is a member of a bona fide organisation which screens and selects editors, to make sure they are experienced and accredited, rather than simply googling or responding to an advertisement.

For editors, the Society of Editors NSW Inc. is a very worthwhile society to join. They email regular notices from people, groups, departments, institutions and corporations who want to hire an editor. They provide courses in editing, including a course to prepare for the editors’ accreditation exam.

(Disclosure: I’m a professional member of the Society of Editors NSW).


Today’s Writing Tip

Practise editing your story, article or essay by cutting them by one-third, take out every unnecessary word. Read your work aloud and listen to the rhythm of the prose, take note of words and phrases that jar or don’t flow naturally and easily. Look especially for any of the ‘Words that we can’t stand’ – repetition, redundancies, tautology, clichés, overstatement and grammatical errors. Ask someone you know and trust to read carefully and respond honestly to your writing. It’s surprising how often a second pair of eyes can pick up errors that the writer has missed; or perhaps not surprising given how closely a writer is involved with their writing. Before you send your manuscript off to a publisher, make sure it is well edited. A well edited manuscript shows a publisher that you are professional and it also saves them time and money. A well edited manuscript can mean the difference between having your manuscript taken seriously and having it left on the ‘slush’ pile. You can begin by cutting this paragraph by one-third and then begin on your own writing.

Sharon

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