We all know that writers have a superior sense of humour and, true to form, the funnies came out this April Fools Day. Penguin had a crack with the launch of their Penguin Now! series, which updates those much-loved classics with 'modern grammar' (aka !!!). Over at Momentum the team announced they'd be ditching digital to embrace that 'exciting new system' - print publishing. Furthermore, books would be printed on demand and be hand delivered by a fleet of drones feat. the face of publisher Joel Naoum. And Reddit fired up its loyal following when they released a list of banned books for their forum subreddit aiming to combat classic-lovers harping on about 1984 and LOTR etc etc etc puh-lease. They came nice and clean though with a moral for everyone: 'banning books is a horrible thing to do'.
The weather's getting cooler which means festival season is just warming up. Things got exciting when the National Young Writers' Festival put out their first call for artists for its 2014 program on Wednesday. If you haven't been before, the festival is held every year in Newcastle on the October long weekend and is a wonderful opportunity for writers to come together and talk about writing, perform their writing, do some writing, meet writers, and generally give/receive good writerly feelings. If you want to get involved this year, you can register your interest here.
The Emerging Writers' Festival also announced their 2014 Ambassadors and it's a killer line-up. This year, young and emerging writers will have the pleasure of being mentored and guided by the likes of Hannah Kent, Benjamin Law, Krissy Kneen, Maxine Beneba Clarke and Felix Nobis. The full EWF program is being released on April 30 but in the meantime, be sure to polish off your entry for the 2014 Monash University Undergraduate Prize for Creative Writing - it's a darn lucrative prize for a talented uni student and a great opportunity. But get in quick, entires close next Thursday (April 17).
In other award news, the big kahuna of lit prizes, the Miles Franklin, announced its long list yesterday. There's an interesting mix of new and established authors and the list is always a great way to discover some new Australian literature. See the full list here. The Blake Poetry Prize has just opened for entries. Submitted poems must explore the theme of religion or spirituality in some way, and entries will be judged by an amazing panel of Martin Harrison, Astrid Lorange and Peter Boyle.
If novels are your thing (and you're an author under 35), then you should seriously consider submitting to The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award. The award has launched the careers of some of the greats including Tim Winton, Kate Grenville, Gillian Mears and Andrew McGahan. Entries close on May 31, so get that manuscript polished off!
If you haven't heard of Asymptote, now is a great time to get acquainted. The literary journal passionate about translating works of great writing are embarking on a global tour to celebrate their third anniversary and will be stopping by in Sydney! Translation nation? is being held at Gleebooks next Friday (11 April) and will feature readings and panel discussions by writers, translators and academics. More info and bookings here.
Okay. I think that's enough for this week. Remember, if you've got anything coming up/out there that you think might tickle our readers' fancy, drop us a line @seizureonline or @slatterbrain.