Monthly Archives: February 2018

Entries Open for NSW Premier’s History Awards

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Okay Australian writers and creators of historical non-fiction, get your game faces on. It’s your time to shine for nominations are now open for the NSW Premier’s History Award. With a total of $75k in prize money it is one of Australia’s most hotly contested awards. It is open to historical works first published, screened, broadcast, or made publicly available between April 1 2017 and 31 March 2018.

The categories are:

Australian History Prize ($15k) for a major work of non-fiction in either print or ebook form on Australian history which address a specific area of national significance. Past winners include From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories by Mark McKenna and Australia’s Boldest Experiment: War and Reconstruction in the 1940s by Stuart Macintyre.

General History Prize ($15k) for a major work of non-fiction published in print or ebook on international history on an area of national or international significance. Past winners include Japanese War Criminals by Sandra Wilson, Robert Cribb, Beatrice Trefault and Dean Aszkielowicz and Intolerant Bodies: A Short History of Autoimmunity by Warwick Anderson and Ian R McKay.

NSW Community and Regional History Prize ($15k) for a major work, either print or ebook, that makes a significant understanding to community or institutional regional history. Past winners include Stories from the Sandstone by Peter Hobbins, Ursula K Frederick and Anne Clarke, and Coast: A History of the New South Wales Edge by Ian Hoskins.

Young People’s History Prize ($15k) for a published book or ebook, publicly screened or broadcast film, television, or radio program, DVD or website – fiction or non-fiction aimed at increasing the understanding of history in children or young adults. Past winners include Maralinga’s Long Shadow: Yvonne’s Story by Christopher Mattingley, and One Thousand Hills by James Roy and Nöel Zihabamwe

Digital History Prize ($15k) for an Australian historian’s interpretation of a historical subject using nonprint media. Past winners include The Amboyna Conspiracy by Adam Clulow and Brilliant Creatures by Dan Goldberg and Margie Bryant.

Find the nomination form and guidelines here. Entries close 5pm Friday 5th of April, so get on it.

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S.M. Carrière: #Robinpedia

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Author image found on Goddreads.

S.M. Carrière is a speculative fiction author shared by Australia and Canada. Actually, Ecuador has a claim on her as well…. Author of the world? Her mother is Australian, her dad is Canadian, she was born in Ecuador and then lived in Gabbon and the Philippines before moving to Australia at the age of 6. THEN she moved to Canada in her late teens to engage in some light crime. Okay, she moved to Canada to study Criminology but quickly switched to Celtic Studies. As my mother is from Glasgow, I say – good call.

With a love of epics and stories of heroes and villains coursing through her blood published The Dying God and Other Stories in 2011. She has published a book a year ever since (we’ve even used the same editor, the super duper Cait Gordon, on occassion) and has become a regular fixture at Can-Con. Her other titles include Daughters of Britain, Dear Father, Ethan Cadfael: the Battle Prince, Human, The Seraphimè Saga and the Your Very Own Adventures.

When she’s not writing you can find her being YouTube famous on the Silver Stag Entertainment channel. It’s a place for all things speculative fiction. Contributers include author S.M. Carrière (obvi), writer and gamer Eric Desmarais, book nerd and crafter Jen Desmarais, costumer and theatre geek Jasmine Murray-Berquist, tech nerd and giggler Pierre-Yves Lanthier, modeller and traveller Bill Eggleton, martial artist and king of sarcasm Jonathan Palmer, and POSSIBLE VAMPIRE SUSAN N. Enjoy.

On top of the writing and the YouTubing she’s also an artist. Drawings, paintings, digital art, whatever. You can even buy her merch courtesy of Redbubble.

Also, she’s a nice person. S.M. is part of the Have a Heart Campaign which helps struggling people realise their dreams. Helping one person can have a ripple effect to help all those connected to them.

Oh yeah, and she also does kickboxing, northern mantis, san shou and equestrian archery…. She’s Xena. Deal with it.

Photo of Cait Gordon, S.M. Carrière, and myself…. Oh okay, I’ve never actually met her, it’s Gabrielle, Xena and Callisto staring off in a most magnificent fashion.

Find S.M. Carrière’s website here.

Find her on twitter here.

Find her on FB here.

Find her Insta here.

Find her on YouTube here.

Find her books here and everywhere.

Learn more about Robinpedia here.

Learn more about me here.

Read about my views on being a dyslexic writer here.

Read about my thoughts on author branding here.

Marissa Price: #Robinpedia

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‘A second book is different to the first one. People give you leniency in primary school, because you’re young and inexperienced.’

Marissa Price is an Australian reader, writer, and criminal mastermind. I know that last one seems like clickbait but she does have a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice. She writes YA crossover.

Into the Abyss: Vault of Veronica is Marissa’s debut novel and takes Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet then puts it through a grinder. Best of all, it has Australian characters with Harriet Hunter, a woman from Tasmania, as the central character. She is sucked through a portal from modern Tasmania into Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juilet. The follow up to this novel is Into the Abyss: Scourge of Scotland. This time Marissa tackles Macbeth. The abyss is full of Shakespeare – so many of my past year nine students would agree with this sentiment. These books examime how seemimgly simple decisions can set off a cataclysm of results leading to more complex and fraught choices.

When she’s not being sucked into literary vortexes Marissa Price heads up The Literature Factory. The Literature Factory provides both tutoring for children and publishing assistance for adults. The tutoring devision designs individual support programs for children to help bolster their weaknesses, and play to their strengths and interests. Their are six specialised tutors with different skill sets. The publishing division helps connect authors with editors, artists, printers etc.

Find Marissa Price’s website here.

Find Marissa Price on FB here.

Find Marissa Price on Goodreads here.

Find Marissa Price on Twitter here.

Find Marissa Price on Insta here.

Learn more about Robinpedia here.

Learn about my views on author branding here.

Robert Lukins: #Robinpedia

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Robert Lukins is an Australian journalist, writer, drinker of instant coffee and nemesis of Sarah Schmidt. To be honest I’m not sure which one of these is his crowning glory (why am I now thinking of childbirth?) so I’m just going to tackle them in the order stated.

The name Robert means famed or bright and shining. Adding to this Lukins is a variant of love. It is perhaps this auspicious name, famously loved, that has given Lukins the edge when it comes to forging his career. And to be perfectly honest he needed this extra bit of luck to counteract the fact that he used to style his hair in a greasy approximation of The Rachel (yes from Friends). As an art researcher and journalist his work has been published in The Big Issue, Rolling Stone, Crikey, Broadsheet, Writers Bloc and Overland in spite of his questionable hair choices.

Quick break to take a few deep breaths. I’m starting to have a mild panic attack. I kinda, sorta talked this entry up.

Now I’m feeling a lot of pressure to do a good job and we all know that I’m not up to it. I’m no David Grann. Oh God, what have I done! Definitions of names? Hair styles? Nobody cares, Robin, nobody cares!!!!

Onto Robert’s authorial endeavours. Robert, or Rabbie as nobody calls him, became inspired to write by The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 1/2 by Sue Townsend.

This was the cover when I read it.

I can testify that this was a cracking good novel as I read it and its sequels several times in primary school. Robert identified closely with the titular character, unappreciated author Adrian Mole. This steady devotion to Mole has culminated in Lukins’ debut novel, The Everlasting Sunday, being published through UQP this year. It has been endorsed by Lucy Treloar, author of Salt Creek. The novel is a book about growing up and growing wild. Yes you can expect a review from me to pop up next month.

Onto the instant coffee issue. Robert swears by International Roast and drinks NOTHING else.

As I said, he loves it and it is his exclusive drink of choice. In fact he swears by it. He uses it as a salve for aching wrists, a facial scrub to freshen his skin, and as a topping on toast. He loves International Roast so much so that other writers must bring him cans of it as tribute in order to be allowed to bask in his divine radiance.

Award winning philosopher and author Damon Young looking totally thrilled to be buying IR for Robert Lukins.

However, you can’t please everyone and Robert Lukins has gathered some enemies along the way for his Adrian Molesque, International Roast swilling tendencies. Most notably would be crime obsessed, road-kill aficionado, Robinpedia alumni, author Sarah Schmidt who has declared Robert Lukins her literary nemesis for 2018. I must admit that I thought this babe in the woods would be a dead duck for sure when stuck in the sights of the Shmidtinator. Even her book trailer is effing terrifying.

However, I have to say that Robert Lukins has shown some spirit and really impressed me on the nemesis front. Far from running away, hiding in a closest and sobbing uncontrollably, he has taken the front foot.

This is just impressive on so many levels, mostly because like Xena he embroiders. Such a bold strategy to engage in voodoo right off the bat. Bravo. Make sure you keep your eyes on both Robert and Sarah’s Insta and Twitter profiles to see how this all unfolds. I don’t want to talk it up but this is going to be more epic than Gore Vidal versus Norman Mailer.

In his spare time he enjoys signing books in a hot room, sitting all alone in a hot room, and pretending to be MacGyver. He built a humane moustrap out of pencils and stickytape, true story.

Photo stolen from his website. Photographer is Eve Wilson.

Find Robert Lukin’s website here.

Find him on twitter here.

Find him on FB here.

Find him on Insta here.

Find his book here or anywhere.

Learn more about Robinpedia here.

Learn about how I feel about being a dyslexic writer here.

Happy Birthday Mr Dickens and Congratulations NSW State Library and the NSW Dickens Society

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Today is Charles Dickens’ birthday and the State Library of NSW have celebrated by making a big announcement in conjunction with the NSW Dickens Society. Sydney has won the bid to host the Dickens Fellowship Conference, it’s now in its 112th year. Last year was held in Cararra, Italy and the year prior Aberdeen, Scotland. The 2018 conference will be held during Australia’s glorious springtime from October the 25th through to the 30th in Sydney.

The announcement was made in Centennial Park beneath the life-sized statue of Dickens as part of the birthday celebrations that the NSW Dickens Society have arranged. As it turns out, NSW doesn’t just love Dickens, he loves us too. He reportedly encouraged people to move to NSW and sent his two sons to live here. Consequently Charles Dickens holds a special place in our hearts.

When I spoke to Walter Mason, vice-president of the NSW Dickens Society, he commented,

It makes my heart sing that there are still enough people out there sufficiently excited about 19th century literature to make an even like this happen. As part of the organising committee I can tell you that hosting this conference in Australia is a very big deal indeed – we are a small society and a long way from the rest of the world, so the whole thing has been the enormous undertaking. But worth every minute – and our President Louise Owens has already put in hundreds of hours of work over the past few years to make it work, We have a stellar lineup of speakers covering fascinating topics. And what I love about this conference is that it’s NOT for academics and specialists – it is for everyone who loves books, writing and literature. We are all enthusiastic amateurs, and it is in that spirit we have created this event.

Dickens enthusiast and Booker Prize winner Thomas Keneally is heading up the impressive line-up of speakers. He will be discussing his fascination with Dickens oldest son and exploring his life in Australia. Other conference highlights include exploring the Dickens Museum, a trivia night (wine? Yes please), displays in the NSW State Library, and a banquet at Vaucluse House which sounds incredible.

What fabulously exciting news to celebrate Charles Dickens birthday! I have... great expectations for this event. I’ll leave you with some Charles Dickens quotes to warm the rest of your day.