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The final judge and editor for the 2019 collection is Michelle Cahill. The competition is open to authors of any age and nationality and closes 28 September 2018. Please submit short stories to...

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hi, I’m Natalie! I’m currently doing an internship at Margaret River Press as part of my university degree. I’m studying a double major of Professional Writing & Publishing and Japanese—which is a bit of a mouthful, so I usually stick to telling people one or the other.…
My most sustained attempt to quit writing forever was in the mid-nineties. I’d completed a novel that was greeted with indifference by publishers and was courting self-pity. I’d been writing for two decades, experimenting with scripts, comedy skits and short stories for adults and children, but had met with little success. The sensible course of…
Writers love to evoke music when eulogising their work. They talk of the “rhythm of language.” They want their prose to “sing”. They crave musical fluidity. Compiling a comprehensive bibliography of fiction influenced by music would be daunting. It would range from the breathless descriptions of jazz in Kerouac to the turgid treatises on classical…
Writers love to evoke music when eulogising their work. They talk of the “rhythm of language.” They want their prose to “sing”. They crave musical fluidity. Compiling a comprehensive bibliography of fiction influenced by music would be daunting. It would range from the breathless descriptions of jazz in Kerouac to the turgid treatises on classical…
After deciding my novel, Earworm, would be a tale told by a love song, I set about conceiving the voice of my narrator. I wanted something urgent, funny and non-human. The language needed to be rhythmical and awash with musical allusion and imagery. The vocabulary should reference sounds and musical jargon. My narrator would indulge…
In 1876, Mark Twain published a short comic piece entitled A Literary Nightmare (also known as Punch, Brothers, Punch!). In this fictionalised memoir, Twain describes reading a jaunty popular poem in a newspaper which then lodges in his head. The predominance of the repetitive rhythms and rhymes shred his concentration, rendering him incapable of writing.…
Several decades ago, at Adelaide’s Writers Week, I was dragooned into constructing a ramp for Dorothy Hewett. I’d spent the afternoon imbibing with an acquaintance called Joe Public (there are many embellishments in this story, but Joe’s name isn’t one of them). Joe’s fashion sense blended hobo haute couture with dire dentistry while I was…
It's Love Your Bookshop Day this Saturday 11 August and we thought we'd ask some of our authors about their favourite bookshops? What's yours? H.C. Gildfind The Sun Bookshop, in Yarraville, Victoria, manages to pack a huge variety of books into a small space, including loads from Aussie writers and small publishers. Their staff are…
1. Space is required to judge a competition To start the process of sorting through a pile of competition entries, I generally start with a ‘yes’ pile and a ‘no’ pile, alongside the unread pile of course. Pretty soon, the ‘yes’ pile is bigger than the ‘no’ pile and I need to lay out a…
1. There are many types of editors People often assume that ALL editors perform the same role, but there is an abundance of roles that editors take on that require different skill sets and experience. The most common types of editors that you may come across are structural editors, copyeditors and proofreaders. As a general…
1. Not everyone understands that books need to be designed When I meet new people and they ask what I do for a living, they are often perplexed when I answer, ‘I’m a book designer’. This is mostly followed by a puzzled look (you can see their brains ticking away) and the next question is,…

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