It's FAW award season coming up. Check out the large number of awards the Fellowship of Australian Writers (Vic) run each year!
Also, for the poets out there, the Melbourne Poets Union poetry competition closes at the end of this month.
It's always a good idea to set yourself the task of entering a few competitions each year. I recommend every new writer creates for themselves a submission calendar - listing not only competiton deadlines, but also journal deadlines. Pick a few journals you might be interested in submitting to and work steadily towards those dates for the year. It's good to have a sense of purpose.
Get those pens flying!
Reading: The Outlander by Gil Adamson. Gil Adamson was a guest of this year's Melbourne Writer's Festival and I was very taken with her talk. Prior to publishing The Outlander, she published two collections of poetry and a collection of linked short stories.
What impressed me about the excerpt Adamson read from The Outlander was the attention to language, which you'd expect from a poet, but this was married to a dramatically driven narrative. You can read an excerpt here and judge for yourself.
The other aspect of Adamson's talk I found acutely interesting was the fact that she'd stopped writing The Outlander for a couple of years - wrote nothing in that time, in fact, but took up carpentary instead.
Which leads me to this week's writing exercise:
If you gave up writing, what would you do? Write a piece in which you imagine yourself doing something completely different - don't forget this is your imagination, so if you want to be the next Chess Master of the World, go for it! But you have to take the reader into this world, so imagine your favourite chess pieces, how they feel in your hand. Think about how you came to learn chess, who taught you, where and why. How old were you? Do you have a good luck amulet? What do you wear to a chess tournament? Do you dream about chess in your sleep? How does your knowledge of the game inform the rest of your life?