Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

August 2, 2014

Only Connect: Short fiction about Technology and Us, Rupa Publications India Edition

Rupa – The House of Best sellers in India

releases

Only Connect: short fiction about Technology and Us

Congratulations to all of our authors!

 Cover courtesy Rupa
Cover design and photography by Pallavi Agarwala

 

ONLY CONNECT!: SHORT FICTION ABOUT TECHNOLOGY AND US

FROM THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT AND AUSTRALIA

 

by Editors: Meenakshi Bharat & Sharon Rundle

SHARON and Meenakshi in Khazuraho 4(2)

Endorsement on back cover by Tabish Khair.

“We live in a world where battles are fought in cyberspace, relationships are forged through voice-over-IP, and declarations of love are made through speedy text messages. Pertinently then, the stories in Only Connect weigh the deep impact of technology on our lives, relationships, and the ways in which we perceive each other and ourselves.

While Meenakshi Bharat’s ‘B Wid U Soon’ shows how, despite the distance between them, technology helps a couple share the birth of their baby, Janhavi Acharekar’s ‘Sneha, 25’ highlights the hoax of digital ties as a young girl is conned by a cyber-lover. The sinister face of technology is alarmingly demonstrated by Malik Sajad’s graphic tale, ‘Facebooked’, Chandani Lokugé’s ‘Trial by Media’, and Kiran Nagarkar’s ‘The Race for Arms’. Technology changes the language we speak, as dramatized in Neelum Saran Gour’s ‘A Software Sonata’. It colours our perception of lived experience, as shown by Sharon Rundle in ‘Fugue for Guinea Pigs’. And, in fact, technology even irrevocably changes the way we connect with art as Yasmine Gooneratne describes in ‘Barry Meets His Muse’. 

A collection of twenty riveting stories, Only Connect traces this brave new world we have come to inherit.”

Janhavi Acharekar, Manisha Jolie Amin, Sunil Badami, Meenakshi Bharat, Devika Brendon, Susanne Gervay, Roanna Gonsalves, Yasmine Gooneratne, Anita Heiss, Bem Le Hunte, Anu Kumar, Chandani Lokugé, Julia Mackay-Koelen, Sophie Masson, Kiran Nagarkar, Felicity Pulman, Sharon Rundle, Malik Sajad, Sujata Sankranti, Neelum Saran Gourr, Annie Zaidi

Meenakshi Bharat, University of Delhi, is a writer, translator, reviewer and critic. Some of her published books are: The Ultimate Colony: The Child in Postcolonial Fiction; Rushdie the Novelist; and two volumes of Indo-Australian short fiction entitled Fear Factor: Terror Incognito and Alien Shores: Tales of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

Sharon Rundle is Chair of the University of Technology Sydney Writers’ Alumni; has served on the Board of Directors of the NSW Writers’ Centre; and is a founding member of Asia Pacific Writers and Translators. She coedited Alien Shores and Fear Factor.

http://www.rupapublications.co.in/books/only-connect-short-fiction-about-technology-and-us-indian-subcontinent-and-australia

“Only Connect!” Reviews in:

My City Book Reviews, New Delhi, Saturday Nov 1, 2014

OnlyConnectReviewHT

Indian Link

Sydney Morning Herald

Journal of Postcolonial Writing

UTS Newsroom review of Only Connect,

Sunday Guardian Indian Edition

Telegraph India

Two Circles

Between The Lines Book Review

A mention of “Only Connect!” in The Hindu 

and Business Standard

Sydney Launch of “Only Connect!” was covered by Paul McKenzie at the Indian Telegraph, May 2014, Page 36.

Australian edition of Only Connect: Short fiction about Technology and Us  (April, 2014) by Brass Monkey Books

AuthorsOnlyConnectlaunch_thumb.jpg

 Our previous anthologies are: Alien Shores

Alien Shores launch with slide show.

and Fear Factor Terror Incognito

http://roundtablewriting.com/FFREVIEWS.htm

More at Roundtablewriting.com

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April 22, 2014

Only Connect: Short fiction about Technology and Us

Only Connect: Short fiction about Technology and Us from Australia and the Indian Subcontinent

has just been released and is in book shops now!

oc full cover final2

Thank you to all our authors from Australia and the Indian subcontinent who have contributed to this exciting volume of stories that include crime, mystery, murder, deceit, missed connections, relationships, romance and humour. Truly a wide range of responses to our theme of ‘technology and us’.

 

Published by Brass Monkey Books and available from book shops including Dymocks Melbourne, Readings, Dymocks Erina Fair Central Coast, UTS Co op Bookshop and  Lesley McKay Woollahra (who provided books for the launch), among others.

 Kerry Goldsworthy reviews Only Connect in the Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum Books, In Short Fiction page.

Salma Shah reviews Only Connect in Indian Link, June 2014.

The launch held at The Hughenden Boutique Hotel in Woollahra on March 31

It was lovely to see so many of our authors at the launch. Thanks to Felicity Pulman, Julia Mackay-Koelen, Bem Le Hunte, Manisha Jolie Amin, Devika Brendon, Susanne Gervay, Roanna Gonsalves and our publisher Kabita Dhara at Brass Monkey Books for joining us in celebrating the release of our book of stories. Many thanks to our authors from the Subcontinent who sent best wishes and promises to be at the launch in spirit if not in body.

My sincere and heartfelt thanks to Co-Editor, Meenakshi Bharat, who is the better half of our editing partnership and who longed to be with us in person but this time it was not to be. Meenakshi now has all the photos and a sound recording from the launch.

 

Authors Only Connect launch

Sunil Badami, author and ABC radio presenter, bon vivant, raconteur, flaneur, did us the great honour of launching the book with a rousing and humorous speech that had us all spellbound. Sunil generously read from the stories of our contributing authors as he spoke about the significance of Only Connect. Sunil’s story ‘Leftovers’ is one of the highlights of the volume. While it may be unusual for one of the contributing authors to launch the book, we really could think of no-one better than Sunil.

 

Sharon Sunil Kabita

Sharon with Sunil Badami and Kabita Dhara

After enjoying Sunil’s speech and toasting to the success of Only Connect: short fiction about Technology and Us, we continued to party and celebrate its release. I know I had a marvellous time chatting to the authors, publisher and guests.

View Launch of Only Connect Short fiction about Technology and Us at the Hughenden Hotel
View Full Album

My heartfelt thanks to all at the Hughenden Hotel for sponsoring the launch and thanks especially to Jamie and to Ryan Power who gave so generously of their time to set it all up; and to Deidre Stein who designed the poster, invitations and champagne vouchers for our launch. All the Hughenden staff went out of their way to take care of guests who attended the launch and those who stayed at the hotel for the weekend. We all noticed and appreciated it. And last but not least thanks to Vincent’s Bar and Restaurant for providing the champagne and for welcoming our guests who booked for lunch.

 

SBS Hindi Kumud Merani interviews Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle about Only Connect: Short Fiction about Technology and Us.

For more information, please see the Brass Monkey Books Press Release:

Only Connect Press_Release with booksellers

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.

May 16, 2010

Congratulating Prize Winning Authors and translator

Today I’m highlighting the achievements of Australian authors

Julia Mackay Koelen and Christopher Chen, as well as translator Shokufeh Kavani.


Huge congratulations to Shokufeh Kavani who is one of the receipients of Edna Ryan Awards this year and received her award at a ceremony on Friday 14 May 2010 . For the flyer and further information about the Edna Ryan Awards: http://www.womenlawyersnsw.org.au/mailman/pdf/201004/2010EDNAsAward.pdf

Shokufeh is an artist and literary translator who has translated “The Long Dog and The Winter” from Farsi into English. Shokufeh Kavani has translated a book by Anita Heiss from English to Farsi:Who Am I? The Diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937″.

The translated version by Shokufeh Kavani  has been published by Morvarid Publishers, 2009, Tehran, Iran.  Article in Persian Mirror:

Shokufeh Kavani, winner of Edna Ryan Award 2010

Julia Mackay-Koelan, one of our regular Season of Inspiration writers has just had a poem published in Western Australia in “An Alphabetical Amulet” edited by Andrew Taylor and published by the Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre in Perth, Western Australia. This morning Julia was informed that she is through to Round 3 of judging for the Brit Writers’ Awards Unpublished 2010. Considering there were over 21,000 at the beginning, Julia has done extremely well. There is now an intensive period of judging by high profile judges, who have a very difficult job on their hands as the quality is so high. The finalists should be decided by the start of June 2010.

The Brit Writers Award is a very lucrative annual writing prize worth keeping in mind for next year too. You can register or join their Facebook page for a reminder about the Brit Writers’ Award.

Julia also told me about the following and I wondered if anyone would like to help – also on the Brit Writers website.

“We’re doing a lot to make creative writing cool for young people through our schools programmes across the country. In fact we have over 300,000 children involved now from member schools. Now, a team of pupils at one of our member schools, the Grace Academy in Coventry, are (as their BWA project) trying to break a world record by capturing the largest number of written ‘life wishes’ in 100-150 words.

We’re facilitating this via our website and I would be extremely grateful if you would click on the link below and add your life wish. The whole project It will only take a couple of minutes and as they’re so close to reaching their target, you could help them smash it.” http://www.britwriters.co.uk/worldrecord.html

If you would like to contribute to breaking this World Record, you can go to the website and add your life wish.


Christopher Chen has just returned from the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Sinagpore,. You can read about the Festival and Chris’s impressions; and keep up with the latest in the children’s book world at Chris Chen’s Blog. Christopher Chen recently won the 2009 Lady Cutler Award for Children’s literature. This is awarded by the Children’s Book Council of Australia (NSW Branch) for Services to Children’s Literature. Chris has a website at http://www.chrischeng.com/

Congratulations and very best wishes to all these award winning authors.

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Today’s Writing Tip

Join an organisation or two so that you can network to find out about the latest literary competitions and opportunities. Keep entering competitions, submitting your work to publications. It takes persistence as well as talent to be a published author.

January 9, 2010

New Translations of Books by Australian Authors

New Translations of Australian Books.

Shokufeh Kavani has translated a book by Anita Heiss from English to Farsi:

**Who Am I? The Diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937

The translated version by Shokufeh Kavani  has been published by Morvarid Publishers, 2009, Tehran, Iran.  Article in Persian Mirror:

si edition of "Who Am I?  The Diary of Nancy Talence Sydney 1937 by Anita Heiss, translated by Shokufeh Kavani

The Diary of Mary Talence Sydney 1937 written by Anita Heiss translated by Shokufeh Kavani

WHO AM I? THE DIARY OF MARY TALENCE, SYDNEY 1937,

written by Anita Heiss,

English version is published by Scholastic Press (2006) Sydney, Australia

Anita Heiss Blog

Anita’s website

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Susanne Gervay’s book “Butterflies”

Susanne Gervay’s book Butterflies which has already been translated and published in Indonesia, is now being translated again. Great news, Susanne.

It is great to see Australian books being translated and published in other countries, too.

http://twitter.com/sgervay


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TODAY’S WRITING TIP

Draft a story or poem set in another country or an imaginary or future country. Explore the similarities as well as the differences. Imagine the characters’ daily lives, backgrounds, hopes, dreams, desires, beliefs and aspirations as well as their flaws, quirks, failures and disappointments. What drives and motivates your characters? How does the setting affect the characters? Does it inspire, challenge or defeat them?

Is there conflict between the characters and the landscape; or the characters and the society in which they find themselves? Another story to develop for the New Year.

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