Back from Australia, fully recharged (I’m solar powered) and bravely facing down the remains of a bleak Vienna winter, I thought I’d share a few updates:
My latest short story, Shadow Town has just been released in Scoop Magazine (issue 14) in the UK. A copy should arrive in the mail any day now. Here’s the link to Scoop Magazine.
Two books on my recent holiday reading list:
- The Blue Cat by Ursula Dubosarsky
- Nevermoor by debut Australian novelist Jessica Townsend
Both wonderful middle-grade novels.
In a second-hand bookshop in Victor Harbor, South Australia, I discovered a hardcover of an Australian classic, The Nimbin by Jenny Wagner. Now out of print, an entire Australian generation still remembers it. At every book shop I asked after The Nimbin (it was hard to find), people browsing near the counter looked over and said, “Oh, I remember that book. I loved it!”
Why was The Nimbin so loved? What makes it so special? And why the heck is it out of print?! I’ll reread The Nimbin this February and unlock its secrets from a writer’s perspective.
“How to Write a Short Story” Workshop
I ran this fun workshop last week at The Vienna Workshop Gallery. A vibrant mix of participants, many with an international background. Together we read and discussed, “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian as found in The New Yorker December 11, 2017. You can read it here.
We then went on to look at what makes a good story, and applied this understanding to collectively lay the canvas for a story with a title drawn by our fun word lottery:
Pride Tears Lavender Left
Here’s our story logline:
A narcissistic inventor of make-up colour names must face the harsh reality he is not his deceased friend’s only best friend.
The story opens at the funeral. Lavender (the narcissist) is the protagonist. Every participant in the group went on to write their own story openings.
At the end of the workshop, each person then set out to write their own stories. I wish them all every success. At least one or two participants may go on to do the 6-Week Short Story Program.
YA Novel Writing Workshop with Keith Gray
Good friends at Write Now offered this wonderful writing workshop run by award-winning YA novelist, Keith Gray. I came away with some fantastic insights and the inspiration to finally start writing my novel. Keith has another workshop coming up in February. Check out the Write Now website for more details.
Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Austria Meet Up
One coming up! If you’re interested in writing or illustrating for children or young adults, perhaps you’d like to attend. Where to register: Meet Up
My own writing projects for 2018
- A middle-grade novel. Writing has begun (Many thanks, Keith!)
- A few short stories, including a couple to connect with the themes sought by The School Magazine. More about what they need here: The School Magazine writers guidelines
- Another writing project…top secret at this stage
- A few more story publications are on the horizon!
The next open mic at Cafe Korb in Vienna is only a few weeks away (Thurs, Feb 15). If you’d like to attend, here’s where to register.
Creative Writing on the Go Workshops
They’re up on the website. The creative writing and short story programs are starting in the next few weeks. As always, I am very excited to be running these. I hope to see you there!