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23 November 2009

Voiceworks, The Words We Found + a COMPETITION

A lot of people ask me how I first got published.

It happened when I was twelve. My mum bought me a copy of Voiceworks magazine. Voiceworks (in case you are unfortunate enough not to know) is Australia's literary journal for under 25s, published by Express Media. It's awesome.

Well, I wrote a poem and sent it off to Voiceworks, and to my utter joy it was accepted, and soon afterwards I received a cheque for $40 and a shining copy of the magazine. My first publication.

That was in 1994 (I think). I had an opportunity to revisit that poem recently, and let me tell you - it isn't very good. It's bloody awful, actually.

2009 is Voicework's 21st birthday, and I'm totally excited to still be involved (I'm on the management committee of Express Media). Voiceworks gave me my start, and 5 published books under my belt, I couldn't be more grateful or admiring of the work it does.

Happy Birthday, Voiceworks!


Do you want to read that terrible first poem I wrote? Here's your opportunity. To celebrate the 21st, Express Media has published The Words We Found, an anthology of Voiceworks' best writing by young people (edited by Lisa Dempster).
To WIN a copy of this anthology, leave a comment on this post. A winner will be picked at random on Monday 29/11/09.

And wondering what to get a budding young writer for Christmas?
Buy a copy of The Words We Found.
Subscribe to Voiceworks.

16 November 2009

NaNoWriMo: Half way

So yesterday was the half-way mark for NaNoWriMo.

I'm on track, with 27 000 words under my belt. It's certainly the most I've ever written in such a short time. I'm not sure if any of it's any good, but I think some of it will be salvagable. I'll need to put it in a drawer for a month or so and then spend some serious time reworking it, but as I always say, it's much easier to turn a crappy story into a great story than it is to turn a blank page into a great story.

But I have to say I'm kind of enjoying the pressure. I like only having to write a small amount each day (1667 words). I like being able to compare my progress with other people (I am a competetive little monster). I like the idea of a REAL deadline, no extensions allowed.

And I really like updating my word count at and seeing the blue line get a little longer each day.


I have a friend who is a jellyfish*.
I've known her since I was born (she is a couple of months older than me).

We used to play a game called Hawaiian Grandmother. It involved some wire-rimmed glasses and a hula-skirt.

When we were about 4, we climbed up her chest of drawers, pretending we were scaling a mountain. We pulled the whole thing down on top of us.

Now we are grown up, my friend Jellyfish lives next door to me. Sometimes mean people pull her tentacles, and that makes her a sad Jellyfish.

Which is annoying because she is not a poisonous jellyfish, and she doesn't sting.

My friend Jellyfish is very good at her job (teaching little jellyfishes to share and read and do maths). She is totally awesome and I'm very proud of her.

*Did you know that the collective noun for jellyfish is "bloom"? Pretty.

05 November 2009


When I was in the UK I read an article in one of the Sunday magazines. And like the very best lazy-Sunday morning reads, I thought - that'd make a great book.

So I've put the murder-mystery-in-a-natural-history-museum on hold for a month, and am delving into NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a 50 000 word first draft in the month of November - 1667 words per day.

So Michael (who has also signed up) and I headed down to the Great Ocean Road for a few days to get some serious, internet-free, no-distractions writing done.

pretty place makes pretty writing?

I know there're some days this month where I won't be able to get any writing done at all, so I wanted to get a good head start. So this is the morning of Day 5 and I'm sitting on 10 715 words. Not very good words, I admit.

Back to it!