Thursday, May 28, 2009

Music from another Country

My book Music from another Country is now available. You can order it online through The Bookshop Darlinghurst. Or order it from your local bookshop -- it won't always be in stock so the shop needs to order ISBN 978-0-9590350-3-2. I hope you enjoy it.

More Alice Springs Writers Festival/Sydney Writers Festival

I so much enjoyed the Alice Springs Writers Festival. I remember it keenly. For me, it was a better experience than the recent Sydney Writers Festival, which has become such a big occasion in which writers tend to feel a bit lost.
In Alice, while the crowds and the events were small, us writers were able to talk together easily and communicate about common concerns. It helped that we were all isolated in the Centre. The country definitely was influential. I doubt anyone who was there will forget the Sunday evening reading by Arnold Zable at Simpsons Gap. We sat or lay on the sand of the dry river, listening to Arnold's words. Roos came up behind us in the dusk to listen too. Overhead the stars sparked in a clear sky. Words were the only sound echoing from the rocks.
Then the readings around the candle circles in the dark. Powerful stuff. I can still hear Yvette Holt's poems. I know I returned inspired.
While I enjoyed the Sydney Writers Festival , it didn't leave me with the same feeling. It didn't charge my muse. Maybe that's because it's really the Sydney Readers Festival. It's not for writers, it's about writers.
Alice was for writers. May there be more festivals like it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Legal Matters Seminars Sydney and Ballarat

Sydney, 22 May 2009
Ballarat, 29 May 2009

A typical day at the ASA brings questions about contracts. There are queries about terms, rights, digital contracts, and of course the legal jargon. A different publisher will present a different contact, and you need to clearly understand your obligations and entitlements. Be informed before you sign. Prepare yourself for the legal challenges involved with getting published at this customised workshop. In addition to contracts, other topics covered in this half-day workshop include:

• Who owns copyright? Intellectual property rights
• Copyright protection and moral rights, copyright territories
• Copyright permissions
• Reaching other markets: licensing your rights
• Winning negotiations with your publisher
• Services to the creator – PLR, ELR and CAL
• Avoiding defamation: being clear and careful.

The ASA’s popular Legal Matters workshop has been held in various capital cities and regional venues. Here are some participants’ comments on the benefits of a Legal Matters workshop:

‘You can read things till you're blue in the face, but sometimes they don't strike home till you're part of a discussion about them. The interactive nature of it and the differing concerns of other authors was a big plus for me.’

‘More confidence to read and negotiate terms of contracts.’

‘Lots of good solid information!’

‘Adds to understanding of a very complex area.’

‘Interaction with a variety of writers … made it additionally interesting as different points came up.’

: 22 May 2009, 2-5 pm
Venue: Australia Council, Rover Thomas Auditorium, 372 Elizabeth Street (cnr Cooper Street)
Cost: $55 ASA members, $187 non-members. Non-members pay the member's rate plus $132 – the cost of Affiliate membership. We encourage non-members to join and receive all the benefits of ASA membership.
Download your registration form here.

: Friday 29 May 2009, 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm. Afternoon tea provided.
Venue: BEST Community Development Conference Centre, 28 Victoria Street, Ballarat, VIC.
(03) 5329 1500
Download your registration form here.

For further information phone 02 9318 0877 or email Kris Clarke.

Sydney Writers festival: So you want to be an author?

I will present my popular half-day workshop ‘So you want to be an author?’ This workshop is a must for those who want to understand the big picture of the publishing industry and other issues of vital importance to writers.

Workshop outline:

Why be a writer?
• The book is dead. The cultural context for a professional writer.
• Despite a lot of comment to the contrary, books, publishing and reading are actually doing very well.

The book publishing industry in Australia: An economic background to being a professional writer in Australia
• Value
• Number of books
• Number of publishers
• Imports versus Home-grown titles

Know your rights: Copyright, contracts and other contentious issues
What is copyright?
• How does copyright work?
• Why is it important?

Know your market: Opportunities for writers
• Getting the words down: Tips for creating your manuscript.

Presenting your work to a publisher or agent
• Do you need an agent?

Date: Wednesday 20 May 2009, 10.00 am - 1.00pm
Venue: State Library of NSW, Target Room, Macquarie Wing, Macquarie St, Sydney NSW
Cost: $70 concession price for ASA members, $80 non-members

To register, phone the Sydney Theatre Box Office on 02 9250 1988.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Perfect Timing; Co May Dung Lac (Vietnamese Translation)

My book Perfect Timing is now available in a Vietnamese edition from Vietnam Literature Publishing House (Nha xuat ban Van hoc, 18 - Nguyen Truong To, Badinh - Hanoi - Vietnam. Phone: 84-4-8294684, 84-4-8294685. Fax: 84-4-8294781). It sells for 20,000 Dong.

Eye of the Storm: Alice Springs Writers Festival Northern Territory

John Maynard, Kate Grenville, Jeremy Fisher, Andrew McMillan and Kenny Laughton before their history panel at the Alice Springs Writers' Festival.

Tanya Heaslip reads from her mentored work in Alice Springs.

I spent May 1 to 4 in Alice Springs at the Northern Territory Writers Centre Eye of the Storm Festival. What a great event for central Australian writers.
I was able to work with Tanya Heaslip, winner of an ASA Mentorship on one session as well as chair another panel on 222 years in the telling with Kate Grenville, Kenny Laughton, Andrew McMillan and John Maynard. I was also on a panel on Pathways to Publication which looked at the strengths of Australian writing.
During the festival I went to the launch of Fishtails in the Dust, a compilation of extraordinary writing by central Australian writers from Ptilotus Press. It's well worth its $35 price. You may have to ask around for it, though. Dymocks Alice Springs have copies, but distribution outside the Centre has been tricky.
Contact the Press if you are having trouble finding a copy. A percentage of sales goes towards the Indigenous Literacy Project.