Category Archives: Competitions

Opportunity for Writers

For all the aspiring writers out there, the Scribe Fiction Prize has come around again. The prize money this year is $15,000.

‘Last year’s winner, A Darker Music by Maris Morton, will be in bookstores everywhere this October. The other shortlisted manuscripts (Meg Mundell’s Black Glass and Jane Sullivan’s Little People) will also be released by Scribe in 2011.’


Filed under Competitions, Nourish the Writer, Publishing Industry

DUF Giveaway

It is always a thrill when someone you’ve known for years gets published. Here is the cover of Nicole Murphy’s new  book, first of a series. They are dark urban fantasy.

Over on the ROR blog Nicole is talking about the process of getting published and there’s a giveaway!

The Dream of Asarlai is an urban fantasy trilogy being published in Australia by HarperVoyager. The first book, Secret Ones, is due to hit the shelves in July, with the other two books appearing next year.

Here’s the blurb.

She′s from an ancient clan. He has no family. Can they save the world … together?

Maggie Shaunessy is used to keeping secrets. She′s a fantastic teacher, but she′s also gadda, part of a hidden, powerful race – and she has a habit of annoying the wrong people.

Until Lucas Valeroso meets Maggie, he had no idea what awaited him: super-human powers, a smart and beautiful woman interested in more than unlocking his new abilities and, above all, a sense of belonging.

But dark ambition and dangerous bigotry are emerging in the gadda ranks. Lucas′s new family might cast him out before he′s even truly found his place. And Maggie must work with new allies to find and retrieve a missing artefact before the entire world is changed for all time.

′fresh and interesting approach to an urban fantasy series′ Bookseller+Publisher’

Support Aussie authors not only becaue they’re Australian, but because they write damn fine books!


Filed under Australian Writers, Book Giveaway, Competitions, Dark Urban Fantasy, Fantasy books, Fun Stuff, Genre, The Writing Fraternity

Yay for Terry Pratchett!

This is such a great Terry Pratchett cover.

I’ve always thought if I ever became really rich and famous from my writing, I’d like to set up a competition for new writers to help them break in. And this is what Terry Pratchett has done.

The Terry Pratchett Prize!

Sir Terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers are proud to launch a new award for aspiring debut novelists, The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now Prize. Transworld will offer the winning author a publishing contract with a £20,000 advance.
The award will be judged by Sir Terry Pratchett, Tony Robinson, Michael Rowley from Waterstone’s and two senior members of the editorial team at Transworld Publishers.

The deadline for submissions is 31 December 2010. For further details about the award, and full terms and conditions, please click on the link below

See the Terry Pratchett web site for full details.

I had the good fortune to share breakfast with Terry back in 1999 at the Melbourne World Con.  I’m a big fan of his books. My favourite character is Vimes, although I am very fond of Susan and Granny Weatherwax.

Whenever I run a writing fantasy workshop for teenagers, there will be some boy sitting up the back, making wisecracks. I’ll say to him, ‘I bet you read Terry Pratchett. He’s brilliant.’ And the kid’s eyes will light up – a grown-up who gets Terry Pratchett!

So I have a soft spot for Terry. How can you not like a guy who says:

‘I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it.’

For more Terry Pratchett quotes visit this site.

So here’s raising a cyber glass of bubbly to you, Terry. I sold my first book after entering a writing competition. (I didn’t win or place, or get an honourable mention). What I did get was annoyed enough to send the book off to a publisher. LOL.

Have you ever entered a writing competition?


Filed under Competitions, Genre, Nourish the Writer, Publishing Industry, Workshop/s

Pitch that Book

If you’re a writer, you probably dream of getting published. I know I did. (And yes, it really does feel as good as you imagine it will, the day the editor rings you up and says ‘I want to publish your book.’)

But it is really hard to get your book past the gate keeper. More publishers are saying they don’t take unagented submissions and it is hard to get busy agents to look at your work.

One way to get your work in front of an agent or an editor is to Pitch your Book at an event specifically designed for this. Pitching opportunities occur at conferences and festivals. On Saturday I ran a Pitching workshop to help people prepare for what can be a very nerve wracking experience. And I promised to provide a list of pitching opportunities. So here they are:

There are online pitching opportunities such as:

Allen and Unwin Friday Pitch

Random House Children’s Pitch

To pitch in person attend conferences. These vary from year to year. I know the Brisbane Writers Festival has had pitching opportunities. So check out your local writers festival and see what they are offering.

National Romance Conference

Childrens and Young Adult Conference

Bundaberg Writers Festival

New York and Algonkian Conferences

Here is a UK agent’s blog dedicated to the art of pitching.

The Pitch Parlour

And keep an eye on the agent and editor blogs. They often offer advice on pitching. Every now and then and agent will announce that they are open to pitches via their blog, so it is worth finding s few you like and following their blogs.

Sydney Literary Agent.

Kristin Nelson from Nelson Literary Agency.

Nathan Bransford from Curtis Brown.

Book Ends Literary Agency.

So that should be enough to get your started. Let me know if you have any questions.

Meanwhile, there were some questions about agents, so I’ve done a post here, for anyone considering approaching an agent.


Filed under Competitions, Pitching your book, Publishing Industry, The Writing Fraternity, Workshop/s, Writing craft

Industry Links

On Saturday I ran two workshops,  Proposal Writing and How to write Dark Urban Fantasy. The attendees asked so many questions about the publishing industry and the craft of writing that I kept saying I’ll put a link on my blog. So here is the post with the links to all those sites we talked about. Hi People  (waving madly).

Getting feedback on writing.

You’ll get feedback from a writing group, preferably one that concentrates on your genre.

A lot of the attendees were writing speculative fiction (dark urban fantasy, fantasy and SF). So here is a link to the VISION writing group. They meet in person in Brisbane, but they also have an online group where you can swap industry information and ask questions.

There’s also Romance Writers of Australia for those who are writing paranormal romance and dark urban fantasy. If you drop by the Authors page, you’ll see Keri Arthur (Best Selling Dark Urban Fantasy Writer) is a member. The authors are listed alphabetically and you can see what area they are published in on the right. RWA has a paranormal e-list for writers of this genre.

You could do Year of the Edit with the Queensland Writers Centre. They also run Year of the Novel which is on the same page.

Then you could get your manuscript appraised by someone who knows the genre. The Australian Writer’s Market Place is a great resource for finding publishers, agents, competitions and manuscript appraisers.

You could also apply for a mentor through the Australian Society of Authors. A mentor will guide you through the process of writing and give you feedback. Here are last year’s successful entrants who won a mentorship. The Competition is run every year, so watch out for it.

To get your work noticed:

You could enter competitions (you’ll find them in the Australian Writers Market Place) but here are a few.

Varuna runs a number of programs such as fellowships and mentorships.

The QWC is offering an opportunity for children and Young Adult writers to work with editors from Allen & Unwin. And this is their page for general compeitions and opportunities.

CYA Conference (Children & Young Adult writers) often runs pitching opportunities as well as a competition for both published and unpublished writers.

Bundaberg Write Fest is run each year and often has an opportunity to have your work read by and agent/editor.

There’s the Text Writing Competition for YA and children’s books.

The Ipswich Writers Festival aren’t runnign their competition any more and Voices on the Coast and Somerset Literary Festicval competition are for children who write, not for children’s writers.


The workshop attendees were also intrigued by the steampunk genre. Here is a link to Richard Harland’s post about how to write steampunk. And here is a link to Richard in his outfit, about to set off on his book tour. Here is a link to a post I did on the topic, complete with steampunk dalek!


I did a post recently onthe editing process and here it is.


I did a survey on e-books, who is reading, who is writing for them. Here’s the results. There are links through to several other posts on e-books.

So that is it for now. If there’s anything I’ve missed let me know.

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Filed under Competitions, E-books, Nourish the Writer, Publishing Industry, The Writing Fraternity, Workshop/s, Writing craft

Text YA and Children’s $10,000 Fiction Prize

It is hard to get noticed if you’re writing and you don’t have an agent. One of the best ways is to enter competitions. So here is the link to the Text YA and Children’s $10,000 Fiction Prize. Entries open on the 3rd of May.

Last year’s winner was Leanne Hall, with her book ‘This is Shyness’.  From the blurb it sounds like YA magic realism.

The 2008 winner was Richard Newsome with  his book ‘The Billioniare’s Curse’. From the blurb this looks like an upper end primary aged mystery/adventure.

Even if you don’t win, placing in a competition like this is a great recommendation when you approach an agent. What competitions have you entered and how did they help you?


Filed under Children's Books, Competitions, The Writing Fraternity, Writing craft