Friday, 14 January 2011

Around on the internet: news, facts, competitions

Get with it, January: give me your gloom, your grey skies, and the ever-present threat of snow. Slippery pavements, icy ground, imminent local authority cuts and job losses, and BRITAIN'S TRANSPORT CHAOS.

Never mind, readers. Here are three reasons to be cheerful:

"In America, it appears that certain ink-friendly literati are so into their books that they're getting tributes to them engraved on their bodies." Read the story and goggle in disbelief at the fact that people are willing to get tattoos in order to get free books. Just join a library, you buffoons.

Lightship publishing has launched a first chapter competition. The aim of the competition is to encourage new writing talent, since there's little encouragement to be had in these tight times (BOO YOU DAVID CAMERON). They're hoping to find some of Britain's brightest literary talent, here, and there hasn't been a new writing competition this exciting for a while. The whole thing is Andrew Motion-approved, and Tibor Fischer is one of the judges. The closing date is in June this year, so get your nibs a-squeaking and get to work.

In other Hot News, the Bridport prize is open for 2011 entries. The judge this year is the completely smashing AL Kennedy.

Happy new year, everyone!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The waiting never stops, and: We Are All In This Together

AL Kennedy is Living Proof that the trauma of being a writer never quite ends. By whichever measure you gauge success, the job of being a writer comes with its very own set of particularly distressing pay and conditions. Even Stephen King - yes, STEPHEN KING - sometimes wistfully thinks about getting a job in a garden centre. In today's Guardian, AL Kennedy is articulate on the matter of waiting during the Christmas holidays, hoping to hear back from her editor over a book which took her three years to write.

"This is only the 13th time that I have footled about, gone for walks, tried to start other things, sketched hollow-sounding plans for the coming months, stared blackly at the ceiling and generally failed to avoid the constant, low-level nausea generated by waiting to hear.... try to imagine one of those insultingly-lengthy TV elimination round pauses which somehow elongates over days or weeks, blends with your driving test outcome, the announcements of every important exam result upon which you have ever relied, every time you've asked someone lovely to have a coffee, or hold your hand, or subject you to intimate forms of relaxation and every naked-on-the-roof-of-Sydney-Opera-House-while-your-parents-and-in-laws-and-primary-school-teachers-render-you-in-watercolours anxiety dream you've ever had. Only it's less pleasant than that."

Published writers are often heard to pipe up that "being published isn't all it's cracked up to be". Here, in the full article, AL Kennedy explains exactly why.. You're still skint all the time. You're still in the waiting game. And you still can't get anybody to return any of your phone calls.

Facebook quote of the week:


Noah is making an appearance at Fictions of Every Kind: Cuts on Tuesday March 22nd. Looks like he's getting his teeth into the theme already! Good work, Noah.

Fictions of Every Kind on Facebook
Fictions of Every Kind: Cuts Event Page

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy new year!

Look at these beautiful "words of encouragement for writers" cards! Made on the Arab Platen Letterpress at the 1 in 12 club in Bradford, there are four different slogans to choose from; and they will be available as gifts for those writers who brave the open mic at the next Fictions of Every Kind.

Fictions of Every Kind: Hungover and Underwhelmed is on January 11th, at The Library pub in Leeds. It's £3 in and is all open mic, all night - although there will also be a short set from visiting vocal harmony group and barbershop quartet These Men. The night runs from 19.30 - 22.30.