‘First Published’ session at New Zealand Writers Week 2014, Wellington

Writers festivals are, it seems, like buses. You wait for ages — nothing — then two come along at once. I’m so pleased to be part of my second writers festival: New Zealand Writers Week, part of New Zealand Festival 2014. New Zealand Writers Week runs from 7 to 12 March 2014. You can browse the full programme in all its … Read more…

The festival is over, baby

I’m home in Wellington, nearly a week after Perth Writers Festival finished, and still coming down from the experience: my first writers festival as an invited guest. It was everything you want a writers festival to be — the venue with its tents and pavilions put the ‘festive’ into festival; the high flyers, both established (Martin … Read more…

Perth Writers Festival 2014

Finally, the news I’ve been itching to share: I’m thrilled to be part of the Perth Writers Festival program for 2014, launched this week. The festival runs from 20–23 February, with most of the events held at the very beautiful campus of University of Western Australia, where I studied and worked, many years ago. The lineup … Read more…

Debut author profile: Tracy Farr

The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt (Fremantle Press 2013)

Australian author Kirsten Krauth‘s debut novel, just_a_girl – it’s been described as “Lolita with a webcam” – was published by UWA Press last year to great reviews. Kirsten is also a generous and enthusiastic promoter of other debut novelists, particularly via the Friday Night Fictions feature on her blog Wild Colonial Girl. The Life and Loves of … Read more…

Theremin in the (a)ether(wave)

Okay, what the hell is going on? Everywhere I look it’s theremin (TV), theremin (film), theremin (novel). Is theremin the new ukelele? The new black? Or is it just out there in the (a)ether(wave), morphically resonating?   Theremin on television All over Twitter this last week was the episode of American Horror Story: Coven titled … Read more…

The year that was – a whole lotta love

At this time of year it is, as we all know, traditional to sum up the best and worst of the year just gone, and/or make plans, resolutions or predictions for the year to come. I’m feeling a bit sandblasted by the thought of doing that (maybe it’s just the Wellington wind). But I’ll give … Read more…

A room of my own (for three weeks) – inaugural RAK Mason Writers Fellowship

A week or so before Christmas, I was delighted to find out that I’ve been awarded the inaugural R.A.K. Mason Writer’s Fellowship. This’ll give me a room to live and write in for three weeks in April 2014. The new fellowship is offered by New Zealand Pacific Studio, Mt Bruce, Wairarapa. The call-out stated “the … Read more…

Underrated and overlooked?

Posting on the excellent Killings blog on the Kill Your Darlings journal website last week, S.A. Jones mused on why great Australian books are being overlooked. Writing in the wake of The Small Press Network’s Most Underrated Book Awards of 2013, Jones considered what it means to be ‘underrated’. She quoted MUBA 2013 nominee Ginger … Read more…

Otago Daily Times reviews The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt

The review by Ian Williams in the Otago Daily Times (Saturday 23 November 2013) of The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt grabbed me — and not in a good way — with its opening sentence: I meant to send this first novel back to the books editor, it seemed so obviously a “woman’s book”. I was poised to get all outraged … Read more…