I enjoy surprises. Anti-dad books. Anti-gender books. Books that weaponise their readers. Books that teach me. Books that scold me sometimes but in a loving way. Books not afraid of hope in hopelessness. Books that spit on bankers. Books that set cities on fire. Books that are cities burning. Favourite novellas? Flesh by Brigid Brophy though some would argue it's a novel, but to me it's a novella.
Nanni Balestrini's novellas. The combination of waged and unwaged labour gets me up in the morning. Threats of, that is. I wake up so I can read things and then dream about them at night. Except mostly dreams are forgotten and intangible except for one time when Mikhail Bulgakov threw hot coffee in my face. A cat laughed in the corner. Diane di Prima once hugged me for a long time, too, and both our bellies were expanding at the same time. There are emotions from seeing things like the sun and water and clouds that can be positive.
I get to ride the bus across the Harbour Bridge twice a day, and that's another reason. There are also some other secret motivations I have, which authors lucky enough to work with me will get to find out more about. I currently have a punnet of blueberries in my fridge and it is exciting to wake up in order to eat some. Writing terrible poems for fun. Actually, one of them is in video form, recently published by the wonderful editors of The Claudius App, issue V.
If you look at the site you might see we have, I suppose, crossover interests. Name: Patrick Allington. Twitter: PatrAllington. Always first: a ripper story. Yes, I want to be entrapped within the worlds that writers create. Yes, I want to read stories that convince and transfix and unsettle me from start to finish, and which leave me awed and envious. I re-read it recently for the first time in ages and was surprised all over again by how seriously good, weird, funny, sad it is. The epic saga that is my second novel is drawing to a close … I think, I hope.
I have another novel, a screenplay, and a couple of novellas in various states of disarrary. Name: Carody Culver. Twitter handle: carodyc. Other linkage: bibliostrumpet. Literary pets: I have a big weakness for YA fiction, especially if it doesn't involve anything supernatural or dystopian—call me boring, call me a masochist, but I love nothing more than a good old-fashioned dose of real-world teenage angst.
I love literary fiction that doesn't take itself too seriously; complex characters, and sentences that make me wish I'd written them myself. Sometimes—like maybe twice a year—I read a book that isn't fiction, vow that I'll do this more often, and then pick up a novel and immediately forget my resolution. What are your favorite novellas? I love food and can think of no better way to start the day. On a more serious note, loving what I do and feeling genuinely enthusiastic about my work—and, just as importantly, the people with whom I work—is what eventually makes me throw back the covers and start the day although I can't pretend that decent coffee doesn't also play a significant part in this process.
I work at two of Brisbane's best independent bookshops, Avid Reader in West End and Black Cat Books in Paddington, where I get to talk about books all day and pour my wages straight back into the till. I'm a regular Contributing Editor at Peppermint, Australia's first sustainable fashion and lifestyle magazine, and a freelance writer and editor.
Anything else you'd like to mention? For the last few months Seizure has been receiving applications from editors around Australia as part of our Stepping Stones project whose main aim is to create more career pathways for editors. In that time we received over 50 applications of a superior standard. We deliberated and put a shortlist of ten together who then submitted to an email interrogation.
After much howling and gnashing of teeth it was terribly difficult to choose we are ready to announce the four editors we'll be working with for Viva la Novella 2 in reverse alphabetical order because how often do you get to do that? Each editor displayed knowledge, experience and enthusiasm and we look forward to being their best friends for the next year or more. Thank you to all who responded. We can tell that there is a great demand for such projects in Australia and we hope other groups can try introducing such a programs as well.
Now everyone: get writing. December is coming and we want another flood of novella entries. Nanowrimo is going to happen in November so it really is writing season. Enter here. So, the Viva La Novella competition is open again for He has kindly given us permission to reproduce it.
It makes for good reading and is a good reminder of what is so marvellous about the novella form. The Copyright Agency of which I am Chairman is a membership organisation for writers and publishers that licenses secondary uses of books and other writing in schools, universities, government and businesses. Most of the money comes from photocopying, but increasingly it involves digital distribution. And it is increasingly important for writers and publishers to find ways other than bookshop sales to make their activities viable. In that context the role Copyright Agency plays, defending copyright and asserting that people using photocopied or scanned books pay for that usage, is very important.
As part of our role we have established a Cultural Fund that each year identifies projects to financially support. That is projects that align with our overall objectives of building a vibrant literary and cultural community. Apart from my role at Copyright Agency, my day job is running a publishing business, so I am well aware of how hard it is for anyone to break in to the business and especially how hard it is to get into a good editorial role and from there to be given the responsibility to be a publisher, choosing new books and taking responsibility for getting them out to the appropriate audience.
Stepping Stones aims to create a bridge between working as an editor and becoming a publisher — offering mentoring and guidance through the whole publishing life cycle and at the same time creating four brilliant new cultural works. It is an exciting project that allows editors to gain experience in the wider world of publishing whilst bring their passion for publishing to the participating writers.
This year the project will involve the publishing of four novellas and by coincidence last week at the Sydney Writers Festival I sat through a session talking about novellas. I learnt that the novella is defined as between 15, and 50, words and that usually they are built around a single voice — often in a confined time, space or subject. It is a great form — and one that I think is a bit underused, mainly because the economics and optics of selling very short, very slim books.
Fifty-page books are a bad look and offer bad value. Maybe too many readers think 'Never mind the quality, feel the weight! One of my other favourites is Kate Jennings Moral Hazard — a jewel of a book without a wasted word, something you can achieve in short form. I think that tells you it is a way for writers to learn their craft and build an audience and reputation before they are confident enough to tackle a really ambitious book.
It is a reflective, sentimental book that could only have been written by someone of his age. So the novella is an interesting, underestimated form and I am really pleased Seizure chose that idea for their project. As for learning to publish — maybe I should have entered the competition.
It is hard work at the moment as bookshops close and e-books stretch their wings. Firstly: in a lot of ways publishing is a fashion business — we need to ride intellectual fashion, literary fashion, aesthetic fashion and even format fashion Kindles are in — hardbacks are out this month.
Editorial Reviews. From the Author. "This is my home." Distaste lined his face, as though he "A Wish to Build a Dream On" (time travel novella). See all Editorial. Mary Samson never dreamed that stepping into a fairy circle would send her back in time to medieval Ireland, into the arms of warrior chief Cian MacCorban.
We need to pick when paranormal romance or erotica is on the rise and then make good investment decisions. The primary investment being the authors you choose. As a publisher you need be totally absorbed in the world of writing to know who the next wave of writers are and what directions they are heading. Secondly: there is a very fine line between success and failure. We never get it all right all the time and we all miss bestsellers regularly.
I can give you long lists of titles I rejected that went on to be bestsellers It's Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong — it turned out that it was about the drugs, but how was I to know — and more prosaically — Who Moved My Cheese? Just last year the Griffith Review launched The Novella Project — a special edition which published six novellas selected by a panel of judges. Some of this attraction has been attributed to the digital publishing revolution — with the online marketplace providing a new space for this in-between length fiction.
This is a form that lends itself well to being grounded in the times — a text which can be comfortably situated around a particular character or event and has the added advantage of being easily consumed in a single sitting. Seizure started this whole thing with the vision that the novella is a useful and exciting!
If you have a story, a piece of news or an event worth telling, if you have a character you want to put to the test, or you simply want to try to write something longer and more important than a short story, if you have an interest in trying to write tightly and make every word count, then the novella is the form for you. The last of our Viva la Novella Shortlister profiles, meet A. I work in a bookstore.
The reason I write might be both a way of understanding that second question and answering it at the same time. Do you have a process for writing or does it depend on the project?