Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Publication news

Thanks again to Matthew Lamb, editor of digital literary journal  'Review of Australian Fiction', for supporting Australian authors, both established and emerging. It was great to be partnered with established author, Kate Gordon, in one of seven issues for volume 7*, with a focus on Tasmanian writers, curated by Rachael Edwards (previous co-editor of Tasmania's literary magazine, 'Island'). 

 Other exciting news is the upcoming March 2014 writers festival in my region of the Tamar Valley - 'Beaconsfield Festival of Golden Words' - with 70 authors booked, including recent 'Miles Franklin' winner, Hannah Kent, top selling author of 'Burial Rites.'
I'm looking forward to meeting her!

For anyone else writing historical fiction, you might also like to join the newly established Tasmanian branch of the 'Historical Novel Society':
contact Steve Rossiter:


*Shameless plug: copies of my short story can be purchased for $2.99 at

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Getting Published - in literary magazine 'Review of Australian Fiction'

Getting published is one of a number of reasons why fiction writers write.

One of my favourite bloggers, West Australian writer, Amanda Curtin, recently wrote about the reasons that writers write:   She aligned herself with Joan Didion who, in the article 15 Famous Authors on Why They Write, is quoted as saying: ‘I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means.' 

I responded to Amanda that, first and foremost I'm driven by the creative urge, discovering characters who I chase into the imagined places I have them inhabit - yes, the pure pleasure of that experience. After that, it is a bit of every other reason that the article identified including the desire to be read, to be published. 
With that in mind, I was happy to learn that Matthew Lamb, editor of the digital literary magazine, Review of Australian Fiction,  was publishing my short story 'The Space Between', in his next issue, Volume 7, Issue 5I met Matthew for the first time recently at the launch of the latest issue of Tasmania's literary magazine, Island (see sidebar for link) which he also co-edits (busy man). We talked about his focus on Tasmanian writers in the latest volume of the Review of Australian Fiction: six fortnightly issues where an established Tasmanian writer mentors an emerging writer, with their linked stories published together in each issue. An exciting opportunity for emerging writers. 

My gratitude to writer, and friend, Kate Gordon, for inviting me to partner with her. 


Monday, August 26, 2013

Update: Three novels and a Masters

I started this blog several years ago when I began writing fiction fulltime (as opposed to being an academic, domestic violence researcher and a social worker fulltime), because that's what contemporary, hip and happening writers do - they blog. Prospective publishers will want you to have an on-line profile, I heard - an audience they can tap into. I joined Facebook and surfed the social media waves (I couldn't bring myself to tweet - that was a bridge too far). 

But, in the same way that it is a journey of discovery to find your voice when you write fiction, finding my voice when blogging has been harder. Or is that just me?  I struggle with who is my audience, which aspects of myself am I portraying, what will be my focus? 

When I created the blog in 2010 I wrote that I thought about interviewing Australian women writers, inspired by the Women Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews. I even bought the latest you beaut recorder. But my own writing took priority and it never happened (and now another writer has done something similar with female and male authors, establishing a subscription PDF 'magazine', and I love it!).

Consequently, my blog has languished this past two years while, happily, my fiction writing has progressed (three novels: an adult fiction novel, currently with an agent; a co-authored young adult (YA) fantasy novel, currently with a manuscript assessor; and a historical/legend YA work in progress, the writing component of a recently completed Masters of Creative Writing. 

I could delete the blog but hey, it's doing no harm. So, I shall post this update and maybe, just maybe, I shall return a little sooner next time. 

In the meantime, here are some sites I've found useful on my writing journey.

Best wishes, 

Shirley    A Sydney, Australia literary agent decodes the world of publishing to assist writers.     Two stories every week from Australia's best authors.     Australian Literary Magazines.