Author Mentor Match
April 2018 was my first time being an Author Mentor Match mentor, a fantastic mentorship program created by Alexa Donne. I was privileged to read so many new writers’ work, and I’m happy to report that my mentee has found representation!
It’s great to see there are some really exciting voices in YA. I hope to be part of the program for some time.
Pitch Wars is a mentorship program that pairs unpublished writers with experienced authors. I entered my manuscript in July 2017 and it was a long month waiting to find out that a mentor had picked it. They announced the successful entrants on the day of my wedding, so the reality didn’t sink in for a few days.
After two months of revisions came the agent showcase. I was up at 6 AM every morning to check my emails, as requests from US agents would come during the night in Australia. One of the requests I received was from Hillary Jacobson at ICM Partners. She was exactly what I was looking for in an agent: editorially minded, savvy and personable, so I was excited to sign with her.
That’s my brief ‘how I got my agent’ story. Want to know more about my experience with Pitch Wars? Just ask!
Workshop with Nova Ren Suma
Every day, myself and nine other writers sat down together to write and workshop each other’s manuscripts. You should meet some of these amazing writers and check out their books and what they are up to: Alison Cherry, Leigh Shadko, Randy Ribay, Rachel Lynn Solomon, Imani Josey, Nora Revenaugh, Kim Graff, Tamara Mahmood Hayes and Sara Ingle. I also saw my first weasel, gopher, skunk and rattlesnake, so that was kind of exciting!
I received a development grant from the Australia Council to help pay for the costs, since the workshop took place near San Francisco.
Are you going to apply to the next one? You should. Feel free to hit me up with any questions about it or about grants in Australia.
In 2016, I was awarded the Grace Marion Wilson Glenfern Fellowship through Writers Victoria. The fellowship is awarded annually to emerging writers.
The fellowship offered three months of unfettered writing time in the historic and beautiful Glenfern House, during which I worked on my Young Adult fiction manuscript The House of Skin and Ash. It was a brilliant experience as I was part of an exciting community of other writers.
Photo credit: Built Heritage in Victoria
How Cold the Northern Lights
Short fiction, runner-up in the Grace Marion Wilson award for Emerging Writers.
How Cold the Northern Lights was inspired by the time I spent in Greenland and backpacking through Europe, and how it can be a surprisingly isolating experience trying to connect with others.
It was published in the October 2011 edition of The Victorian Writer.
Antithesis is a contemporary arts journal that showcases fiction, peer-reviewed essays and other non-fiction. It has been published annually at The University of Melbourne since 1987 and is the oldest graduate-run journal in Australia.
I was the Art and Fiction Editor for the 2014/15 edition Wake. I also produced promotional artwork, such as the image opposite. I was the MC for our symposium, with a range of speakers, such as Kimberly Moulten from Bunjilaka at Melbourne Museum, anaesthetist Dr Vanita Bodhankar, and Father Bob Maguire.
Listening in Thin Places
This self-published comic featured interconnected stories about Thin Places, and about my time in Iceland and Greenland looking for something but never finding it. Like liminal spaces, thin places don’t always feel quite real and are qualitatively different from ordinary, everyday places. They are places we travel to, to feel outside of ourselves, and that inspire awe.
Each story features a story within a story: The mermaids of Myrvatn lake, for instance, is about the disappearance of the rare moss balls that are only found there, but also of myths—in this case, the selkie.
The Final Flight of the Morrigan
My self-published graphic narrative about the last act of an aging Goddess of War. The image opposite is one of the completed pages and below are some roughs from individual panels. I worked with a combination of watercolour and ink, and I also used human models.
I produced this comic for my Graphic Narratives class at The University of Melbourne. The Morrigan has aged and is living in one of the rougher towns of Ireland, missing her glory days when people went to war under her banner. When a man is killed in a violent fight in her neighbourhood, he asks her to perform her duty one last time by taking him to heaven, as was her purpose when she was a young goddess.
I’ve long been fascinated by the idea of what happens to gods when we no longer believe in them. How do our relationships with myths and their characters change with time?