About ten years ago I ran a series of national mentoring workshops (EnVision) for aspiring speculative fiction writers. (Four published authors read a pod of 5 -6 writers’ books before the workshop, wrote up a report, then mentored them at the workshop while they rewrote. We found the aspiring writers came on in leaps and bounds under this one-on-one intensive development. EnVision was a Fantastic Queensland initiative, meaning I was on the management committee and put my hand up to run it).
One of the attendees was Rick Kennett. Not that Rick wasn’t already a brilliant writer of many years experience with a long list of publications behind him. Rick had a love of writing and the thought of hiding away somewhere for a week with a fellow writer who would read his book and give him feedback while he did rewrites was too good to refuse. (Frankly, I’d love to run away to write with feedback from a simpatico fellow writer). I’d heard of Rick of course but is a bit of a quiet achiever, living on the edge of the spec fic social scene here in Australia. So it was a joy to read his book and we’ve kept in touch ever since.
Now Rick is on the short list for not one but two Parsec Awards! The winners will be announced at Dragon Con. What are the Parsec Awards, I hear you say?
The Parsec Awards were established in 2006 to celebrate Speculative Fiction Podcasting. ‘Podcast shows are nominated by fans, and finalists are chosen by a yearly steering committee. Those finalists are then voted on by an independent panel of judges from outside of podcasting. Awards are given in several categories ranging from content to audio quality.’
Here are the two podcasts.
Now Cydonia by Rick Kennett (from Cast of Wonders)
“The Road To Utopia Plain” by Rick Kennett (The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine)
Congratulations to Rick and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed!
Over on the ROR blog I’ve done a post about the Aurealis Awards. These are the Australian equivalent to the Nebulas or the Hugos (I forget which one is judged by a panel of peers). Several members of my writing group are on the short list in different sections.
This is us at the Maleny ROR. Dirk, Richard, Maxine, Me, Tansy, Trent (Marianne was sick and Margo had deadlines).
Why join a writing group? Here’s why Marianne and I started ROR. I can honestly say, the RORees have been like an extended family. Publishing is a tough business. We authors write because we love it, but there are times when you just need to talk to someone else who knows where you’re coming from.
We meet every year or so to critique our works-in-progress (WIPs). Having a group of people all look over your manuscript is great. If four out of five people say X needs changing, then you can be sure it does. Our crits are never destructive, always constructive because we want our friends’ books to be the best they can possibly be. And the ROR team have had some success. (See here).
If you’ve like to start your own critique group like ROR I’ve done a couple of posts on the topic. ROR 101 and Critiquing 101.
So there we are. Kuds to to my fellow RORees for making it into the final lists of the Aurealis Awards and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for them on Saturday night!
On Saturday the 28th of August, I’m going to be at Logan North Library so drop by and say Hi.
I’ll be with the romantic by cynical Trent Jamieson, author of Death Most Definite, the pocket rocket Kylie Chan, author of the Dark Heaven series, the lovely Louise Cusack author and mentor, and Anthony Puttee author of the Johnny Marsh books.
We’ll be talking about promoting your books and this is all part of Logan North Library’s month of Speculative Fiction. So you are sure to see Darth Vader and a Storm Trouper or two!
Good friend of mine, Sandy Curtis, is running a writing retreat at Kellys Beach Resort. So if you live up that way, near the coast in central Queensland and you’d like to spend 3 days at a lovely resort with a published mentor going through your book, short story or play …
Writers retreat to the beach!
Three storytellers will each offer their unique insights into writing at a mentoring retreat at Kelly’s Beach Resort, Bargara on the coast near Bundaberg, in Queensland.
The Bundaberg based professionals will mentor emerging novelists, short story crafters and playwrights over three days from 15-17 October 2010.
Mentoring the Muse is proposed as an intensive retreat-style development program similar to iniatives like the Varuna Manuscript Development Awards in NSW or the QWC/Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program. These have been highly successful at supporting writers to improve their work to publishable standard, resulting in numerous publishing contracts for participants.
There is nothing like getting away from family and work and concentrating on your writing in a beautiful environment with other writers, while being mentored by someone who ‘gets’ your writing!