Category: Conventions

Campbell Awards – get ready to vote!

Campbell Awards – get ready to vote!

“The John W. Campbell Award is given to the best new science fiction or fantasy writer whose first work professional publication in the previous two year. of science fiction or fantasy was published in the previous two years” (Campbell official website).

I’m not sure if I’m in my first year of eligibility, though I am listed on the website! I open a terrible can of worms with Cracked Leather as it is a fairly interstitial piece. I’ve checked in with the moderators to make sure I fit, but I have not yet heard back from them. Lets focus on some other folks.

It is a pleasure to know some of the talented people who are eligible for nomination. These are the folks I know who are in their second year:

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Clarion collection of posts have been updated

Clarion collection of posts have been updated

I try to update the collection every month with a slow, catchemall plan (sustainability is crucial). This month my new catch, harking back to 1985, is from The Ferret. Thanks for flinging them my way dude.

William Shunn and Geoffrey A. Landis have been added to the collection.

Other news

The skribit question (see right hand side of the webpage): How to find a comics artist? has been buzzing around in my head a lot. I’ve composed about 20 zillion answers, generally while trying to fall asleep or not wanting to get out of bed. I have finally found an approach that pleases me and a very rough draft has been written longhand (yep, I’m old school). I have a few other things I have to write before I’m allowed to indulge in finishing it off, but it is coming.

Writers Bootcamp – for all funky fiction writers (including folks who want to write comics)

Writers Bootcamp – for all funky fiction writers (including folks who want to write comics)

This is for everyone who wants to develop their writing, but it’s especially for folks who want to write comics. Please pass it on.

Clarion Writers Workshop was a fantastic experience and really exciting for me. I write across many genres (from ‘literary’ to horror to spec fic) and I write across a range of media (prose, poetry, song and comics) and I felt developed and respected in all my guises. The focus of this workshop is the short story, but the lessons learned go much deeper and broader than that. As someone who has been slogging away at comics career for quite a while now Clarion made me really excited for emerging comic writers.

The life of an aspiring comics writer can be lonely, frustrating and it can be very difficult to get access to tha constructive criticism that will help you develop your craft. I see enormous potential for comic writers to deepen their storytelling craft through this writing workshop. I also see how comics writers can give different approaches to the craft of short story writing -> the discipline of writing comics schools you in different ways.

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Clarion 2010

Clarion 2010

The instructors for Clarion and Clarion West have been announced.

Clarion will have the pleasure of:

Jeff and Ann VanderMeer will be the bring it home team for the last two weeks. I’ve just finished reading Delany’s essay on Clarion, I’m so excited for next year.

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Clarion reading list

Clarion reading list

Updated 5 September – as I go through my notes and find more recommendations.

One of the many joys of Clarion was to get recommendations for good reads from wise teachers and co-clarionerds. This is an incomplete list, I forgot to jot down the list on the fridge and I’m sure there are ones mentioned in passing that I neglected. My dear co-clarionitics, if you read this and see absences and would like to recommend… or indeed other wise minds who read this and want to add to my enormous reading list please make some suggestions. It’s delightful to have such a rich and diverse list.

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Kathryn Heyman – Emerging Writers Festival, 7 Enviable Lines

Kathryn Heyman – Emerging Writers Festival, 7 Enviable Lines

Kathryn Heyman was the last Ambassador to speak, novelist and with a very sharp mind. After her speech I chatted to her over coffee and she was very thought provoking. In addition to her writing she teaches workshops and occasional mentoring. From my brief and fascinating encounter with her I would not recommend her for a shy author still finding their voice… perhaps because I think it’s important to write that self indulgent poetry without fear when finding your voice (which is very different to expecting that work to be published).

Once you’ve found your voice and are prepared to be properly challenged and made uncomfortable she’s fascinating, fearless, intelligent, will ask you hard questions and won’t let you wimp out on the answers. I can see why she’s very picky about who she mentors. After and while I was speaking to her I went through a rainbow of emotions… and then went back to the hotel and made the script stronger.

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David Milroy – Emerging Writers Festival, 7 Enviable Lines

David Milroy – Emerging Writers Festival, 7 Enviable Lines

If Ambassador Milroy has a website I can’t find it, but google David Milroy and you will find his name attached to a range of really interesting and well regarded projects. He’s a musician, writer, playwright, artistic director, he’s won Deadly Awards and he has a really nice presence. I found him to be a really down to earth interesting guy with that rare combination of thoughtful plus active plus playful mind. His key points were:

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Rachel Hills – Emerging Writers Festival, 7 Enviable Lines

Rachel Hills – Emerging Writers Festival, 7 Enviable Lines

Rachel Hills was the third Ambassador to speak at the Emerging Writers Festival. Rachel’s a widely published journalist and editor. She’s also an awesome blogger (with many of her articles available to view) and posts interesting tweets linking to interesting articles. I wish I was half as retweetable as her. I was excited to finally meet her, having met her virtually years and years ago when she was working on a story about labiaplasty (now that’s a long story).

Rachel has in her fabulous blogging way put up a transcript of her full talk, you may find it interesting to see the difference between what I distilled and what she said. The distillery says:

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Luke Devenish – Emerging Writers Festival, 7 Enviable Lines

Luke Devenish – Emerging Writers Festival, 7 Enviable Lines

Five skilled wordsmiths, each providing seven gems of knowledge at the Emerging Writers Festival. Luke Devenish was the second to speak. Ambassador Devenish witty, charming and, as is appropriate for a screenplay writer, does good punchy dialogue. He’s a novelist, coming from the land of TV and the stage. He also teaches for AFTRS and has got me seriously considering going back to school. He too has a website. Here’s my paraphrasing of his enviable lines.

  • I wish somebody had told me not to believe my own PR. Don’t get a hyped up, bloated ego head.
  • I wish somebody had told me the importance of doing more than clever dialogue. To start with I was just a dialogue monkey (ed: Luke didn’t say monkey, Liz just likes to say monkey). Good story takes you to the next level and writing for TV forces you to be a story machine.
  • I wish somebody had told me the real deal about agents – you don’t need to have them to get published.
  • I wish somebody had told me to keep my gorram mouth open. You must learn how to talk about your work and promote your work. It is a skill you can learn and get better at with practice.
  • It pays to be multi-skilled
  • It is impossible to have a career without spelling and punctuation
  • There is no shame in the lowest common denominator. Next to my computer I have two words SEX and DEATH.
  • Just do it

Tomorrow, Ambassador Rachel Hills.

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