Wednesday, September 10, 2008

UTS Writers network at the Hughenden Hotel: Blood Shall Have Blood (Picador India)

On Saturday 6 September, in atrocious Sydney weather, I made my way to that artistic oasis, the Hughenden Hotel, in Sydney's Woollahra to give a talk to the UTS Writers Network. I spoke to the group, which is a UTS alumni inititiative (and I am a UTS alumni myself) on professional issues I felt they needed to consider for the development of their careers as writers.
These days the need for authors to present and market themselves as "brand names" is crucial to their success and sustainability. The ASA's professional development program offers assistance in this area. One of the attendees at the Hughenden (in fact its gracious co-host) is my freind Suzanne Gervay, who was one of the presenters at a recent successful ASA professional development seminar titles "The author as brand name".
I also spoke about the need to authors to raise their profiles through websites and engagement in social networking sites.
The attendees, reduced in number because of the bad weather, listened very attentively and asked a number of pertinent and revealing questions afterwards.
The UTS Writers Alumni Network is run by Sharon Rundle, who also operates Round Table Writing from her home in the Hunter Valley. She's dedicated to the UTS group. Her four wheel drive had to be towed out of the mud so she could make it to Sydney.
Sharon is also dedicated to increasing understanding and awareness between writers in different countries, particularly India. With respected author and academic Meenakshi Bharat, Sharon has edited Blood Shall Have Blood, a collection of narrative fiction that looks at how terrorism impacts on normal life. Picador India is publishing it November 2008.
I'm delighted to have my contribution "The Liberation Centre" included in the book, which also includes works by far more significant authors including Sir Salmon Rushdie, Thomas Keneally, David Malouf and Susanne Gervay.
As I write, the book is still without an Australian publisher, despite the stellar list of contributors (oops -- this makes me think that maybe I'm the problem!).
Look out for the book anyway.
Suzanne, Sharon and I will be making a big fuss about it.
And if you are a UTS alumnus in Writing, check out the Network and do yourself some good!

1 comment:

Sharon said...

No problem with your story, Jeremy, "The Liberation Centre" is a story that becomes increasingly sinister and resonates with other stories of inhumanity across time and space.

All the stories in the collection "Blood Will Have Blood" are of very high quality and the authors have contributed to the book because they really believe that the theme is one that needs to be explored. What has amazed me is the originality and variety in the way the authors have tackled this theme. The stories in this collection go beyond the stereotypes and the sensationalism to the individual and the personal. Each of the authors conveys through engaging and powerful narratives the effects of global terrorism; in addition, they offer an insight into this all-pervasive fear that is infiltrating our lives. Some of the stories are touching and poignant, others are confronting even disturbing, a few manage to weave irony and humour into the narrative – and all offer a gripping read.

You’re absolutely right that we’ll be making a big fuss of it. Meenakshi gave a presentation at the Indian Association for Studies of Australia (IASA) Conference in Kolkata in January, 2008; which was also attended by Professor Bruce Bennett from the India Australia Council. Meenakshi read from the manuscript for "Blood Will Have Blood" and received a very positive and favourable response to her presentation. Meenakshi has been invited to give a keynote presentation on the topic of “Tied by Terror: Bringing Asia and Australia Together in Contemporary Australian Fiction”, at the Modern Language Association annual convention to be held in San Francisco, California, 26th to 31st December, 2008. I’ve been invited to speak about the book and give readings at the University of Delhi and the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi next January, with the support of the Australia-India Council. We’re also planning media promotion and would love to be able to say we’re publishing a local Australian edition and promote that too. We really appreciate your support. It will be a terrific book.