Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Awaye! Saturday 28 June

Hello and welcome to my blog. This home blog is a chronicle of memoirs, a repository of short stories and where I post updates and pitches for new work. 

It used to be big and where I come from, we still call it the wireless. Take Johnny Cash for example, if you need convincing. Two sounds as a young boy he heard at night - a distant train across the flat, and songs out of a bakelite box. 
That's what you hear in those Johnny Cash songs - the driving, unstoppable, rhythmic steel of a wide gauge freight train, with a well timed warning blast, transformed into song that pierced the darkness. 
Radio, it still excites me. And I'll be on it, this Saturday night. 

Two things I wanted to let you know...I've got a special Twitter event you may be interested in, starting this coming weekend...and also I wanted to let you know about the free anthology recently released via itunes. I'm in it.

ABC Radio studio ...
Beyond Unaipon: Parts 1 & 2 looks at the development of the Australian Indigenous literary sector, with a new generation of writers exploring new genres and forms. 
ABC Radio National Awaye! website here
Awaye! Saturdays 6.05pm and repeated Tuesdays 9pm EST 
Awaye! Beyond Unaipon: Part 1 is here
Awaye! Beyond Unaipon: Part 2 is here

 :: Special event #tweetyarn series ::
Commencing 7pm 28 June 2014  
Concluding Saturday 5 July 2014 

'An Outsider: Yarns from the Fringe.''

Question:  What is a tweetyarn? 
Answer:  It is a story written in a series of tweets.
Apart from being a challenge to those who don’t naturally write all their stories, or write at all in installments of 140 characters at a time – until Twitter, who did that? -  it also has it’s risks. 

Being known as a writer who is only capable of typing tiny stories is a big risk. So at the same time I have also regularly posted short stories of the traditional kind - and a selection is freely available here.

I posted the Maisie May tweetyarn on 26 January 2014 – and it was subsequently collated and included in an ibook released earlier this month and available now free, for download from itunes -  Writing Black: New Indigenous Writing of Australia

Available FREE itunes 

Writing Black: New Indigenous Writing from Australia brings together leading and emerging Indigenous writers, highlighting the strength of tradition and innovation in Australia’s oldest living cultures.

There are many other surprises in store, with Siv Parker’s ground-breaking twitter fiction storytelling...

Epilogue to Maisie May, is included in the anthology in the form of a traditional short story. I think it was an essential accompaniment to the tweet yarn. I intended that this short story stands on it’s own feet, in the event that the tweets, ibooks or other technologies disappeared over night.

Inclusion of the Epilogue in Writing Black draws together threads from the January tweetyarn that continue to be ‘live’.

And more importantly I thought, it would give a reason to seek out a story that by the time the i-book came out, had been online for five months.
Tweetyarns positions me as a writer. 
Many people take up their devices to use Twitter to sell something - but handle self promotion badly, and you risk ending up with a product that you couldn't even give away ,

A more reliable means of publishing live tweets may come along in the future. This would add a whole new dimension to using twitter to publish stories. The ‘Storify' platform is a current option but it is frequently unstable, and it lacks visual delights.
The overwhelming impression I was left with after my first writers' festival (Byron Bay WF) was there are a lot of people just like me - we all want to be published and have to find a way to find a good fit with someone who cares enough to make that happen.

My writing room ...
An unknown writer in the middle of no where aiming for an international readership needs to do the hardlifting themselves. I need to develop my writing, be resilient enough to keep going alone and think about how I want to position myself. If I didn't believe it was possible I would have stopped a long time before now.
Some may say it is risky behaviour to post 'raw' work, but when you have nothing to start with, staying under the radar is a bigger serve of nothing. 

And the best advice I've received is 'back yourself and your writing'.  

The best return on my tweetyarns to date have been - joyfully - paid commissions for short stories and OpEds. 
But I've come to value the conversations my works have started – these are the benefits of producing quick-read, accessible stories, that suit the smaller eyebytes that we're all looking for amongst the traffic that never sleeps.

To get attention, you need to be instantly engaging and entertaining enough so that who ever comes across it, wants to find their way to reading the end of it. I may be alone on this one, but I've always thought that a handy skill to develop with any piece if you want to be a writer, with something to offer a publisher.

This formula certainly applies to a yarn of any kind worth telling around a fire.


As always - comments and feedback are welcome. 

You can contact me via email here

Or via Twitter here.



#tweetyarn Maisie May 26 January 2014

#tweetyarn Dog Act


Awaye! Beyond Unaipon: Part 1 is here
Awaye! Beyond Unaipon: Part 2 is here

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