How Not to Communicate with Publishers

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How Not to Communicate with Publishers

 

In my time I’ve done a lot of writing courses and gone to a lot of writing seminars/festivals/workshops. I’m not just saying that to brag, I’m going somewhere with this. Because of this extensive training I have become a bit of an expert on what publishers don’t want. Me, would be a simple yet hilarious answer, and however crushingly truthful it might be, it would not help any of you good folk. So below I have collected all the insights I have had revealed unto me by publishing house reps and published authors alike.

 

How Not to Approach a Publishing House Representative

  1. NO GLITTER! Don’t put it in envelopes, don’t glitter bomb them in passing, don’t offer them glitter lip gloss. These people fucking hate glitter. No surprise really, glitter is the herpes of the craft world. I have three kids and I can tell you, that once you get that stuff on you then you may very well never get rid of it. I have probably accidentally glitter bombed countless people because I can never guarantee that my hands are glitter free. If you want to get published do not come into contact with young children or parents of young children, they are riddled with glitter.
  2. In addition to the whole no glitter thing, I would suggest that strip-o-grams, fat-o-grams, kiss-o-grams, or indeed any kind of o-grams are well out. I’ve never heard publishers despair at length over them as they do over craft herpes, but I suspect they wouldn’t like them much either.
  3. Do not write – “Well, well, well, as if this isn’t your lucky day. I’m about to give you Dan Brown mixed with J. K. Rowling with a side of Stephen King and a spicy E. L. James sauce drizzled over the top. If you pass on this little puppy I’ve got in my hot little hands you will literally kill yourself. That’s a scary thought, but you will. That’s how good this script is.”
  4. Do not say – “Yo, bitch, stop being such a lefty, leso, femmo, right winged, Nazi, bitch and read my script. You might not like it because you’re such an uptight frigid slut, but other people will love it. Then we can roll about in a hot tub full of money together. Call me, you’ll thank me for it later.”

 

How Not to Deal with Rejection

  1. Do not say – “Fuck you, fuck your sales team, fuck the marketing department, and fuck the work experience kid. Seriously, fuck you all. I hope you get sent a chain status update on Facebook that you get cancer if you don’t pass on.”
  2. Do not email – “You are an idiot. I am going to be the biggest thing ever and you have missed out. I’m going to make J .K. Rowling look like a destitute hooker begging for favours in Gateshead, and you’re going to miss out. Suck on it losers.”
  3. Do not voice message – “I never liked you anyway, so get lost. You smell like a butt.”
  4. Do not write – “Jesus Christ, I can’t believe I got rejected by even you. You’re like the arse end of publishing. I only submitted to you because I’ve been rejected more times than Danny DeVito at a sex party. If I can’t get anywhere with you I may as well load a shotgun with deep fried chicken and shoot it directly into my mouth.”

 

Suggestions on How to Deal with Publishers

  1. Oh, I don’t know, maybe treat them like they’re hard working individuals, with a busy job, and respect their privacy. Don’t try to corner them in the bathroom/elevator/shower.
  2. Submit your manuscript using the submission guidelines provided on the Publishing Companies Website. If they ask for a 200-300 word synopsis, give them one that is 200-300 words. If they ask for the first three chapters, give them the first three chapters… If they ask for glitter give it to them, if they haven’t just leave it at home.
  3. Make sure you edit your work before sending it. As much as everybody loves a good mystery and discovering the exact meaning of your manuscript because not one word is spelt correctly, and the tense is constantly shifting, does seem fun, publishers are busy people so maybe just keep it simple.
  4. Deal with rejection with some dignity. By that I mean, cry, eat a lot of cake, bitch about it to your friends, and then send a polite “thank you for your rejection” letter.

 

I hope that helps. Cost me many, many, lots of dollars to learn this. Don’t worry, I’m not going to charge you. Me, eradicating craft herpes from the publishing world will be thanks enough.

Aurealis Awards 2014 nailed the Australian Women Writers Challenge – #AWW2015 @aurealisawards

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aww-badge-2015Aurealis Awards prove that anything men can do, women can do just as well.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Aurealis Awards I suggest you check them out, they’re the premiere awards for the Australian Speculative Fiction crowd. A chance for Spec Fic writers to get recognized, connect, maintain a professional discourse, and to sink a few bevies. Or French Champagne for the more successful authors.

It was a fantastic event, organized by two women, Nicole Murphy and Tehani Wessley, and MCed by the talented, multi-award winning, Margo Lanagan. Those unfamiliar with her works, might I suggest Tender Morsels as a starting place. Her writing is spectacular, you will not be disappointed. Cat Sparks, demonstrated her multi-dimensional talents by, presenting, photographing, and if you check out twitter, also doing a spot of glamour modelling. On top of that, Kate Forsyth (if you haven’t heard of her… have you been living under a rock?) presented the Fantasy awards. I am pretty sure I was not the only one who had to pop on shades when she walked onto the stage to dim her radiance. She is truly amazing. And the cherry on top was Angela Slatter. Angela Slatter essentially won the Aurealis. Well, she won pretty much every category she was in. She even beat out internationally acclaimed, juggernaut, Garth Nix.

The Australian Women Writers Challenge was up for the Covenors’ Award for Excellence this year and although it didn’t win, I think it actually kind of did. The Australian Women Writers Challenge is about showcasing the enormous depth of talent that is demonstrated by Australian women who are writers. These Aurealis Awards certainly nailed that brief. So bravo Aurealis Awards, bravo Australian Women Writers Challenge and bravo all Australian women writers. If nothing else, you all get a vag badge from me.

So let’s have a ‘Clam Bake’ and celebrate these wonderful women of the Aurealis Awards and go check out their wares. Names listed below for your convenience.

Angela Slatter

Margo Lanagan

Kate Forsyth

Juliet Marillier

Kim Wilkins

Cat Sparks

Lian Tanner

Amanda Bridgeman

Amie Kaufman

Carole Wilkinson

Charlotte Nash

Deborah Biancotti

Deborah Kalin

Faith Mudge

Glenda Larke

Goldie Alexander

Jaclyn Moriarty

Judith Rossell

Karen Foxlee

Kathleen Jennings

Keri Arthur

Kirstyn McDermott

Lisa L Hannett

Liz Argall

LynC

Lynnette Lounsbury

Marianne de Pierres

Meagan Spooner

Nina D’Aleo

Nova Weetman

Rebecca Lim

Rosaleen Love

Thoraiya Dyer

Tehani Wessely

Nicole Murphy

Up and coming Australian women writers at the Aurealis Awards: @LisaFleetwood , @helen_petrovic , @RobinRiedstra (me!)

Up and coming Australian women writers at the Aurealis Awards: @LisaFleetwood , @helen_petrovic , @RobinRiedstra (me!)

Book Review: Take me to Paradise by @_WritersJourney #AWW2015

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Here we go. Review number 2 for the Australian Women Writers Challenge. Today I am tackling Jan Cornall, not only a writer but an institution in this country. She sings, she performs, she teaches, she is a mentor to many an artistic soul. Australian artists salute Jan Cornall, so let’s take a look inside her first published novel.

Take me to Paradise follows the journey of Marilyn, both her physical and emotional Journey. Marilyn wakes up one morning and instead of catching the bus to work, catches the ‘I don’t like Mondays’ flight to Bali. It is a poignant journey of self-discovery and self-recovery. A woman getting out of her element and in doing so she can strips away the trappings of her life and discovers what is truly her and versus what is a construction of her. It has many nods to metaphysical thought but also has that feeling of rebellion of like expressed in feminist movies like Thelma and Louise. I think this book would resonate with anyone who has had an existential crisis, midlife crisis, or went through those awkward teenage years, because all of these times are  a deeply perplexing and painfully personal experience. The novella has a beautifully rich setting, with sights, smells, and sounds blasting at you. You feel as if you are immersed in this world. The tropic jungle descriptions in particular are quite powerful and make you want to travel. Take Me to Paradise shows how different the paradise dream can be: for a western woman, for a Balinese man, for a Balinese wife, and the many characters Marilyn meets.

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Breastfeed discretely… #FreeTheNipple

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Image purchased on fotolia, text added by me.

Image purchased on fotolia, text added by me.

Every time I come across an article or a person saying that they’re all for breastfeeding in public as long as it is done discreetly I cannot help but think, what the? They then follow up with stories of women deliberately flaunting themselves in front of people and being really in your face about breastfeeding and how it was ‘unlady like.’ Again, what the? When I pursue people for what that means they go a bit quiet and mutter about how they don’t want to have an argument and either change the topic or walk off.

Here’s why they go quiet, lean in closer, closer, much closer, I am about to let you in on a big secret here, I don’t want to blab it out for the world to hear, it is just between you and me. The reason they go quiet is because it is UTTER BULLSHIT! People are not going out breastfeeding like a bunch of wonton hussies. They are not vile strumpets out to both steal your man and shame you for bottle feeding. I have never seen someone rip off their top in the middle of the café, stand up and donk their bazoongas on random people’s heads, scream out, ‘behold my fabulous mammaries, they are both sacred life givers that make me better than non-breastfeeding mothers, but also are super sexy and I’m being heaps indiscreet and flaunting them at you in a most sexual way yet still claiming they are natural and not sexy,’ – then plonk down and begin feeding. And you know why I haven’t seen it? Because it hasn’t happened! Seriously get a grip people. A woman should be able to quickly pop her nipple out of the top of her dress in order to put it in a baby’s mouth to feed it. You probably won’t even see the nipple because it usually is just that quick. There is less nipple exposure than there is on a beach where women are sunbaking topless.

So next time you feel like telling someone to wear a wrap, or do it discreetly, perhaps you should think if you actually mean you want them to be discrete, totally separate and alone and away from you. And if you think that, you better ask yourself why. Ask yourself do we have this perception that boobs are okay in movies, on the beach, in magazines, on billboards but not okay for feeding.

Women who breastfeed do it discreetly already, stop trying to force them to do it discretely.

Image purchased from fotolia text added by me.

Image purchased from fotolia text added by me.

Vale Terry Pratchett #RIPTerryPratchett

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Terry Pratchett will forever be one of my fondest memories. My brother and I both loved his books and it was a real joy to hear my brother’s laugh, echoing my own in the middle of the night, as he secretly read under the covers in the room just next-door to mine. It became standard practice that we would give each other Pratchett for our birthday presents and my most prized possessions is the signed copy of Mort that my brother had signed for me when Sir Terry Pratchett visited Wollongong. Vale Terry Pratchett, you were a big source of joy in a childhood that was oft times bleak.

Here are some memes I’ve made in his honor.

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Friday Favourites – Aussie Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Young Adult Stories

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riedstrap:

I cannot wait to read Dreamers Pool. I love Juliett Marillier, she inspired me to start writing again. True story.

Originally posted on Paper Wanderer:

In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8, I’m highlighting some of my favourite reads from female writers during March. To start off the March book recommendations – a few gems by Australian female authors I read in 2014:

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Dreamer’s Pool (Blackthorn & Grim #1) by Juliet Marillier

Published: October 2014, Macmillan Australia

Genre: Fantasy

“Embittered healer Blackthorn, wrongly condemned to death, is offered a lifeline by a mysterious stranger. In return, she must set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once loved. Not only that: for seven years she must agree to help anyone who asks for her aid. She and her companion Grim settle on the fringes of a mysterious forest in Dalriada, far from the place of their incarceration, and start a new life.

Oran, the crown prince of Dalriada, is waiting for his bride-to-be, Lady Flidais. Her letters and sweet…

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Book Review – Tiddas by @AnitaHeiss #aww2015

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aww-badge-2015Okay, here is my first review as part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge. I’m not exactly sure how to do it, so let’s just take a deep breath, hold hands and get through this together. I’ve chosen Anita Heiss as my first author to review as I believe that she would be a firm, yet gentle, writer. Perfect for my first attempt at this. So here goes….

Tiddas- by Anita Heiss

Love that the main characters of this novel are slightly older than what is standard in this genre. There seems to be lots of books about women in their 20’s, 30’s then a big gap and they start again over 60 with some saucy senility texts. This book fills a big fat gap that has just been waiting to be filled.

I’m in my 30’s and loved this book. It’s about friendships, it’s about success, it’s about questioning what your dreams are and negotiating your own morality in the face of friends and society. Heavy themes but covered in a very fresh way so that you do not feel lectured at. Loved it.

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