2012 Queensland Literary Award Shortlist

Unpublished Indigenous Writer – David Unaipon Award

Siv Parker for Story
Ellen van Neerven-Currie for Hard
Dorothy Williams-Kemp for My Journey that May Never End

Emerging QLD Author – Manuscript Award

Aaron Smibert for Scratches on the Surface
Luke Thomas for Home Mechanics
Catherine Titasey for Island of the Unexpected
Ariella van Luyn for Hidden Objects

Literary or Media Work Advancing Public Debate – Harry Williams Award

Science Book Award

Robyn Arianrhod for Seduced by Logic
Frank Bowden for Gone Viral
Rob Brooks for Sex, Genes and Rock ‘n’ Roll
Dr Richard Smith for Australia: The Time Traveller’s Guide

History Book Award

Fiction

Peter Carey for The Chemistry of Tears
Anna Funder for All That  I Am
Kate Grenville for Sarah Thornhill
Alex Miller for Autumn Laing     
Frank Moorhouse for Cold Light

Non-fiction

Robin de Crespigny for The People Smuggler
Jane Gleeson-White for Double Entry
Patrick Holland for Riding the Trains in Japan
William McInnes & Sarah Watt for Worse Things Happen at Sea
Alice Pung for Her Father’s Daughter

Australian Short Story collection – Steele Rudd Award

Rodney Hall for Silence 
Marion  Halligan for Shooting the Fox 
John Kinsella for In the Shade of the Shady Tree
Ryan O’Neill for The Weight of a Human Heart 
Janette Turner Hospital for Forecast: Turbulence

Judith Wright Calanthe Poetry Award

Anthony Lawrence for The Welfare of my Enemy
David McCooey for Outside
Rhyll McMaster for Late Night Shopping
Peter Rose for Crimson Crop
Simon West for The Yellow Gum’s Conversion 

Children’s Book Award

Pamela Rushby The Horses Didn’t Come Home
Flanagan John for Brotherband: The Outcasts
Libby Gleeson & Freya Blackwood for Look, a Book!
Elizabeth Honey for Ten Blue Wrens
Briony Stewart for Kumiko and the Shadow Catchers

Young Adult Book Award

Kirsty Eagar for Night Beach
Neil Grant for The Ink Bridge
Judith Clarke for Three Summers 
Margo Lanagan for Sea Hearts
Vikki  Wakefield for All I ever wanted

Drama Script (Stage)

Angela Betzien for War Crimes
Wayne Blair for  Bloodland
Patricia Cornelius for Taxi
Rita Kalnejais for Babyteeth
Lally Katz for A Golem Story

Television Script

Blake Ayshford for The Straits  (episode 3 )
Brendan Cowell for The Slap (episode 3)
Liz Doran for Dance Academy (season 2, ep 24)
Anthony Mullins for Strange Calls (episode 3)
Sue Smith for Mabo

Film Script

Louise Fox for Dead Europe
Miro Bilbrough for Being Venice
Shane Armstrong & Shane Krause for Rarer Monsters
Brendan Cowell for Save Your Legs

Submission Guidelines « Midnight Echo magazine

Midnight Echo Issue 9 – Mythical Horror
(edited by GN Braun)

Research and modernise a myth, legend, folk-tale etc. The tale must be written in such a way that the myth is recognisable, yet without ‘info dumps’. What we are looking for are re-workings of myths and legends, brought into the modern world and ready to scare the pants off us.

Remember, though: the tale must have horror as a central theme.

The Brothers Grimm defined legend as a historically-grounded folktale. For this purpose, that is not quite the definition we are looking for. We all know legends, yet not all of them are grounded in history. Loch Ness, Bigfoot, Johnny Appleseed… the list goes on. Use this concept to shock and amaze us.

Myth: a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being, hero, or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.

Myths have defined society for as long as there have been human beings. Whether those myths are religious or cultural or a mixture of both, we have always lived with them, one way or another.

Ancient Greece, Egypt, Sumeria; they all have their unique mythology. Sometimes, the myths cross over, due to immigration or expansion or colonialism.

NOTE: Any stories involving cultural borrowing from indigenous cultures should be respectful of the beliefs of the traditional owners.

via Submission Guidelines « Midnight Echo magazine.

Writing rules, misapplied: kill your darlings « Wendy Palmer

…originally the phrase was ‘murder your darlings’, and it came from Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch: “Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it – whole-heartedly – and delete it before sending your manuscripts to press. Murder your darlings”

via Writing rules, misapplied: kill your darlings « Wendy Palmer.

Ins and Outs of Publishing Your Book via the Web – NYTimes.com

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Not long ago, an aspiring book writer rejected by traditional publishing houses had only one alternative: vanity publishing. For $5,000 or $10,000, or sometimes much more, he could have his manuscript edited and published, provided that he agreed to buy many copies himself, often a few thousand or more. They typically ended up in the garage.

Digital technology has changed all that. A writer turned down by traditional publishers — or even avoiding them — now has a range of options. Among them are self-publishing a manuscript as an e-book; self-publishing through myriad companies that print on demand, in which a paperback or hardcover book is printed each time it is purchased; and buying an array of services, from editing and design to marketing and publicity, from what are known as assisted self-publishing companies.

via Ins and Outs of Publishing Your Book via the Web – NYTimes.com.

The Greening of Society

If you think that the police are protecting your children by taking cannabis out of society, you’re wrong.
By removing cannabis, you ensure that a majority of smokers will look elsewhere to get their high. This may be alcohol, speed or prescription medicines, but for many cannabis smokers, it will be something.
I should know. I spoke to young drug-users. I also used illicit drugs for most of my life. I smoked dope, I used speed and heroin, and, on occasion, I used pills when I couldn’t get hold of anything else. For most of the time, I preferred cannabis to all the other drugs. If there was no grass available, I turned to other options.
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Based on responses to the 2004 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, over a third of the Australian population aged 14 years and over had used an illicit drug at least once in their lifetime and nearly 20% had used an illicit drug at least once in the previous 12 months.
Marijuana/cannabis was the most common illicit drug used, with one in three persons having used it at least once in their lifetime and 11% of the population having used it in the previous 12 months.
There are no real statistics to show what happens when police reduce the amount of cannabis in any area, but by interviewing some local marijuana users, I found there is a trend to move towards other substances to get ‘high’.
Neil X, a 16-year old cannabis user says, “…when I can’t score some dope, I turn to alcohol or speed to get off.” A poll conducted by High Times magazine in the US seems to confirm this is the case. Australian substance-abusers likely follow the same trend, although no formal studies have been done so far.
In the UK, “[A]lcohol consumption causes far greater harms to the individual user and to society than does the use of cannabis,” according to a review published online in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, the journal of the British Association of Psychopharmacology. The trend (when cannabis is unobtainable) to move towards drinking is alarming.
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Researchers determined: “A direct comparison of alcohol and cannabis showed that alcohol was considered to be more than twice as harmful as cannabis to [individual] users, and five times more harmful as cannabis to others (society).”
Neil X says that he just wants to get high, and if he couldn’t, then the next best alternative is alcohol.
“I’ve done some really stupid things when I’m drunk,” Neil says. “I’ve damaged property, I’ve gotten into fights, and I’ve stolen things just for a laugh.
“My friends are the same,” he says. “We all prefer a smoke, but sometimes we can’t get it.
“Then we go out and buy some piss and get drunk.”
Neil is one of many young smokers who turn to other substances when cannabis in unavailable. He makes no apologies for his behaviour.
“It’s normal,” he says. “All me[sic] mates do it.
“If we can’t get stoned, we get pissed. It’s not as much fun, but it’s better than nothing,” Neil says.
He goes on to tell me that other substances, such as speed or prescription drugs, are another alternative for him.
“I’ll raid me[sic] Mum’s pills, or steal from her purse to score some goey [amphetamines],” he says.
“It’s all the same to me and me[sic] mates. As long as we get off our heads, we don’t give a f***,” he laughs.
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When I asked him what he preferred to use, he replied: “Out of all the shit, I’d rather sit around and have a bong [marijuana pipe], but if it ain’t there, I’ll do whatever it takes to get off.
“When we smoke, we just sit around and talk and laugh,” Neil says, “but when we use goey or pills or get pissed, we always end up in trouble.”
The opportunistic rationale of most drug-dealers means that if there is no cannabis available to sell, they will source other drugs to ensure their weekly profits are as unaffected as possible.
In this case, other drugs may include speed [amphetamines], ecstasy or prescription pills. When the drug-users arrive to score cannabis, the seller informs them that he/she has none. He then goes on to suggest trying something new.
I’m aware that this article could be misread as supporting the sale and use of marijuana. This is not the case. It is simply an attempt to look at the practice – and ramifications – of taking out of circulation the most visible and prolific drug in Central Victoria.

Bendigo Writers Festival – Part One

Arrived just before ten, armed with a coffee. Managed twenty minutes of the ‘Truth in Writing’ panel before I got a text to meet a friend outside. I was holding their ticket for them. That gave me the opportunity for a ciggie before hitting the ‘hot seat’ room, where Ian Irvine interviewed grunge-poet Neil Boyack. Great talk.

Then it was outside to chat for a while with a fellow TAFE student over coffee before meeting up with Cameron Oliver, Brett McBean and Lucy Sussex to discuss the best way to run Sunday’s panel on the future and direction of horror and spec-fic.

After chatting with them for at least an hour and a half, it was time to meet up with my lovely family before hitting the ‘hot seat’ myself. I was interviewed by Dr Tom McWilliam, and it was a great session, with about thirty people and some great questions from the audience. Then it was time to chat outside for a while, and finally on to the launch of Scintillae, the festival anthology of writing.

Great launch.

After, went out for a meal with some friends. Now on to day 2!

Full report and photos to come tomorrow.