Welcome back, dear readers. I have missed you and that face you are making right now. I know it's just your face. I know that's just how your face looks! Look, I don't want to fight, we've been apart for two weeks. I have face-blindness anyway.
Seizure goings ons
Flashers! The Eye in the Wall by Carody Culver reminds you to turn on all the lights, in this suspenseful piece about loneliness and fear. Speak softly and carry a big stick. Berlin-Mitte by Holly Friedlander Liddicoat is short and sweet, and pastel hued like a sea-punk.
Now, for a new series of political themed writing, we have artwork by Luke Marcatili accompanying political speeches that never were. Patrick Allington, editor from round two of Viva la Novella, has challenged some of his favourite authors to write a speech in the voice of a politician or activist. You can read Republicanism is Dead by David Hunt, as Lachlan Macquarie; a farewell speech for Bob Brown by Jane Rawson; The Forgotten Peopleby John Birmingham as Robert Menzies; Pauline Hanson’s eviction speech from celebrity Big Brother by Michelle Law (excellent). Patrick writes about his inspiration for the series here.
What's more, my dear fellows, we have something special from a shortlister from Viva round two! Click here for an exclusive extract from upcoming novel The Bit Inbetween by Clare Varley, which feels to me to be a romantic exploration of the butterfly effect. The extract showcases Clare's impressive, introspective writing. Congratulations Clare!
Seizure TV has a Blind Date for you! Meet Maria Lewis, Scorpio, mermaid icon, owner of purple hair. Treat yourself to some time with Alice Grundy in an interview with this well-spoken author, journalist and documentarian. Click here to pick your poison; 12 minute short cut or 1 hour long cut. She also likes Jem and the Holograms. (Jem is truly outrageous.)
All else, or else
Ursula K. Le Guin, no longer possessing the stamina to continue writing her own works, has decided to participate in an online workshop, where writers may ask her questions. Questions can be submitted on Book View Café, a website Le Guin co-founded. Answers are updated every Monday, so cross your fingers and hope she answers yours. Side-note: applications for the Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship are open until 5pm October 1. The fellowship is based at the University of Oregon and awards $3000 to the winning applicant.
The Magic Oxygen Literary Prize is now open for submissions of short fiction (up to 4000 words) and poetry. Entry is £5, and the nifty thing is, every entrant will have a tree planted in their honour, and the GPS coordinates to said tree will be sent out after entries have closed at midnight, December 31. Enter now for the chance to win many pounds and hand out many oxygen.
Two things for you to listen to: Hilary Mantel reading her short story The School of Englishfor the London Review of Books podcast, and Jeanette Winterson on the BBC World Service, discussing her breakthrough novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.
An author recently discovered that she was eight times more likely to be published if she used a male pseudonym, which is annoying, to put it lightly. I don’t want to change my name to Beauford S. Wallyganger, but I will if it means a book deal. Here’s a list of 10 famous female authors who wrote under male names, none quite so magnificent as my new nom de wang.
Two infographics from the folks at Electric Lit. For the screenwriters in the crowd, I present The Science of the Movie Screenplay. Follow the rules; Hollywood doesn't like rebels or communists. For those of you struggling to find a title for your masterpiece, simply adhere to the rules of The Bestseller Formula!
How long will it take you to read all of those books with bookmarks in them approximately three pages in? Use this calculator to find out, and weep.
That is all, for I am weeping. Unread books, how you mock me!