Warm up: A few things to sink your brain into. Jeff Sparrow wrote a really interesting article for Future of the Book on the subject of ‘not writing’. Bringing out the big boys, Orwell and Benjamin, the article explores the issues of egotism, purpose and routine in writing practice, activism and the Australian literary climate and, ultimately, the big question: ‘Why write?’ Handle it. Here.
If you’ve forgotten how much you love the New Yorker fiction podcast, remember here, with Gary Shteyngart reading Lorrie Moore. And, if you still haven’t got your head around the passive voice (and how to avoid it), allow Rachel Johnson to teach you below:
BONDI FEAST is coming right up (thx to Zoe NL and Phil Spencer). The full program is here, but some things you can expect: PPR mixin' and matching stories and multi-course meals, short play nights, Shabbat dinner with Jessica Bellamy, and FOOD (Veggie Patch, Bondi Harvest, Miss Chu etc). Festival runs from the 16–27 July so get in on the winter/beach action.
This Saturday, step outside your inner-west nest and take an afternoon trip over to Penrith. Penguin Plays Rough are out and about again at the Penrith Regional Gallery from 3pm (think J. Wolf, V. Berry and Shirin Borthwick) opening the gallery’s latest exhibition, ‘Story’ (think Shaun Tan, Star Wars and more).
In the Paramatta area, Michael Mohammed Ahmad and his team at Sweatshop are doing amazing things too, which you can read about in this recent article published in the Paramatta Sun.
AND, just in case you have not had nearly enough storytelling fun – head over to Story Club on Monday. The theme is “Fool Me Once” and will be featuring the likes of Tom Ballard, Jess Bellamy, Zoe Norton Lodge, Mark Sutton, Lewis Hobba and Kristine Keneally. Tix here.
If you’re a fan of our weekly Flashers posts, this is up your alley. The Australian Writers’ Centre has announced the finalists from round one of their Shortest Short Story Comp. Have a read over some of the neat little entries here and then crack open a bottle of red and nail your 49 words for round two (the theme is ‘Wine’).
The Canary Press is also open for submissions – we're particularly excited by their call-out for ‘famous animal’ fiction (e.g. the snake that bit Cleopatra), not to mention travel fiction and POSTCARD FICTION.
Overland has also just announced a holy mumma of a short story comp, formally titled: The Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize for New and Emerging Writers. First prize is 6k (whaaaat), plus publication in Overland. If you’ve got a nugget of short story gold hiding in a little blue folder on your desktop – this could be the comp for you. The Writers Victoria Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Competition is also closing this weekend, so get those fiction and creative non-fiction entries in quick sticks. Poets don’t despair, Island has got you covered with the Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize. Closing at the end of this month!
Pheeeew. TTFN xoxo