Submissions open for Queensland Literary Awards, and other writerly news

queensland literary awards logoBehind the 8-ball on this news: submissions are open for the Queensland Literary Awards — these are the community-based awards put together in quick time after newly elected premier Campbell Newman scrapped the government-supported awards in short order after this ascension. Subs close May 6, and winners are due to be announced on September 5.

Awards on offer are:
Fiction Book Award
Emerging Queensland Author – Manuscript Award (UQP will be offered publishing rights for the winning MS)
Unpublished Indigenous Writer – David Unaipon Award (UQP will be offered publishing rights for the winning MS)
Non-Fiction Book Award History Book Award
Children’s Book Award
Young Adult Book Award
Science Writer Award
Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award
Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award
Literary or Media Work Advancing Public Debate – The Harry Williams Award
Film Script Award
Drama Script (Stage) Award
Television Script Award


This piece in The Age by Jane Sullivan helps to explain why what the Australian newspaper brands the ‘vocal minority’ — a new collective noun for writers, apparently — got so vocal about Newman’s ill’conceived and poorly executed move.

  • Amazon sniffing around in Australia? That’ll save some postage. But it might cause a fresh cold sweat for bricks and mortar shops …
  • Speaking of Amazon, here’s an article about how Amazon is a happy hunting ground for knock-off merchants, as opposed to simple plagiarists.
  • Affirm Press seeks writers for its Slow Guides to Brisbane and Melbourne.
  • Check out the Ellen Datlow news, as reported at 13 O’Clock: a bunch of Aussies made her honourable mentions list, and a couple even made the print-book shortlist — Margo Lanagan flies the Southern Cross in the actual TOC of selected yarns — and the venerable US editor is on the prowl for this year’s best horror yarns. Send ’em in!
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  • Notions Unlimited opens, and other writerly news

    Yay for Chuck McKenzie who, after four years running a Dymocks shop, has gone it alone with Notions Unlimited spec fic book store at Melbourne’s bayside Chelsea. Ensconced between a coffee shop and a liquour outlet and with a sushi store right outside the door, he must be occupying some prime real estate. Add in an amazingly wide range of genre reading — a dedicated small press section, graphic novels, and all the F, SF and H you can point a stick at, whether big guns or more oscure or up-and-coming writers — and a seriously luxurious looking set of sofas, and he might be needed a bouncer to kick the customers out at closing time. It’s a tough time for bricks and mortar enterprises, but a niche store with a knowledgeable and welcoming owner is in with a chance. There’s nothing quite like that human element when it comes to, ‘if you bought this, you might also like…’

  • In what at times feels like a stampede to be published — by someone, anyone, even ourselves — it’s worth taking a breath and deciding just how much we value our written words and the time and effort (yes, it takes effort!) taken to tell that particular story. Check out these posts at Writer Beware, giving pause for thought about writing contests and dodgy publisher deals.
  • Ellen Datlow, much awarded and respected editor of all things grim and ghoulish, has a new Best Horror on the way — Aussie Margo Lanagan flies the flag in the TOC. Ellen’s listed her honourable mentions, and Antipodeans Alan Baxter, John Harwood, Terry Dowling and Kaaron Warren are included. Nice.
  • Ian Irvine is giving away an iPad3 as part of a Facebook promotion.