The Greenhouse Blog

Introducing our EWF Adelaide Artists: Simon Collinson

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What is your writing/publishing background?

I’ve been a bookseller for five years and a student magazine editor for three. I started freelancing in earnest as an ebook designer and book reviewer after I graduated late last year, and I’m currently Geek-in-Residence at the local trade publisher Wakefield Press, responsible for overhauling their ebook business. I’ve been working for The Lifted Brow since March as their online editor, and I’m also the editorial manager for the boutique ebook publisher Simply Ebooks SA, which we’ll be launching officially in just a few weeks.

Where is your favourite place in Adelaide?

I get withdrawal symptoms if I go more than a couple of weeks without visiting Chinatown and the Central Market. So much good, cheap food in one place (and with free parking nearby, to boot). Plus, I frittered away many many many teenage hours playing Counter-Strike in Chinatown’s seedy internet cafés, so there’s probably a bit of nostalgia there too.

What are you doing for the EWF Adelaide Roadshow?

I’ll be on a panel called ‘Digital Futures’ as part of The Writers’ Masterclass on Saturday 6 September, talking about digital writing in all its forms, with a particular emphasis on some of the stuff I’ve been commissioning for The Lifted Brow—criticism by email, coding ​ and​ writing for Tumblr, ‘Snow Fall’ type parallax pieces, JavaScript ​-enabled​ ​pieces, etc. etc.

I’ll also be at the SA Writers’ Centre on Friday 5 for ‘Night of the Living Journals‘, helping to launch the latest issues of The Lifted Brow, Voiceworks, Kill Your Darlings, and Dubnium, as well as a few other rad little mags. Plus, the Brow’s ​hosting ​’​Mixtape Memoirs​’​ ​​on ​the ​Saturday ​night​ ​​, which is going to be excellent.

 

Over the first weekend of September, the Emerging Writers’ Festival will be knocking on Adelaide’s door for the first time ever, with three days of discussions, performances, workshops, and networking opportunities for emerging writers.

This exciting program begins on Friday with Adelaide’s largest-ever simultaneous literary magazine launch. On Saturday, The Writers’ Masterclass program will allow Adelaide’s writers to upskill, with the day capped off with Mixtape Memoirs, our flagship performance event, featuring a line up of local and interstate writers, musicians, and comic artists. On Sunday, the festival will wrap up with a laid-back series of fun, hands-on events aimed at connecting Adelaide’s emerging writers.

 

 

Introducing our EWF Adelaide Artists: Rory Kennett-Lister

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What is your writing/publishing background?

 I’ve worked as a freelance writer for around 8 years, in that time moving from fawning album reviews of my favourite bands, to slightly more considered non-fiction and fiction pieces. My work has been published in Collect, Overland, The Lifted Brow, and Monocle, among others. I am a former editor of Adelaide University’s On Dit (2011) and currently work as a copywriter in advertising.

Where is your favourite place in Adelaide?

Himeji Garden in the South Parklands, The Exeter Hotel on Rundle Street, and the Adelaide Hills, particularly when viewed from a moving motorcycle

What are you doing for the EWF Adelaide Roadshow?

I will be one part of a writerly melange at the Night of the Living Journals. This will involve a reading of something/s I have written for The Lifted Brow, preceded by numerous, nerve-calming trips to the bar.

 

Over the first weekend of September, the Emerging Writers’ Festival will be knocking on Adelaide’s door for the first time ever, with three days of discussions, performances, workshops, and networking opportunities for emerging writers.

This exciting program begins on Friday with Adelaide’s largest-ever simultaneous literary magazine launch. On Saturday, The Writers’ Masterclass program will allow Adelaide’s writers to upskill, with the day capped off with Mixtape Memoirs, our flagship performance event, featuring a line up of local and interstate writers, musicians, and comic artists. On Sunday, the festival will wrap up with a laid-back series of fun, hands-on events aimed at connecting Adelaide’s emerging writers.

 

Mixtape Memoirs is Coming to Adelaide!

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We’re super excited to be bringing Mixtape Memoirs (one of the most popular Emerging Writers’ Festival events ever invented) to Adelaide with the support of The Lifted Brow!

To whet your appetite for Mixtape Memoirs’ Adelaide debut, our friends at All The Best have recorded three stories from the last Mixtape Memoirs event. Listen in rapture/horror as “nascent love God” Chad Parkhill talks about losing his virginity, Anna Dunnil speaks about “clinging to other people who are hitting rock bottom just as hard as you” and totally nails a badass ukelele cover of The Mountain Goat’s ‘This Year’, and Sam West explains why he find “aggressive cyborg music” truly romantic.

To get you even more excited about Adelaide, have a listen to ‘You Can Have It All’, by Summer Flake. Steph Crase (aka Summer Flake, aka a bit of a musical genius) will be sharing her memoir at Mixtape Memoirs in Adelaide, and following it with some tracks designed to get you swaying soulfully while considering your place in the universe.

Mixtape Memoirs takes place on Saturday 6 September, 7.30pm, at Tuxedo Cat. Find out more and book your earlybird tickets here!

 

Mixtape Memoirs is run in partnership with The Lifted Brow. EWF Adelaide is run in partnership with SA Writers CentreCarclewThe University of AdelaideFifth Quarter, and the Centre for Youth Literature.

Introducing our EWF Adelaide Artists: Amy Maynard

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What is your writing/publishing background?

I’m a PhD student, freelancer, and short story writer. With my research, I study modern Australian comic book publishing. It’s pretty sick, to have a day job where I just study comics. The end game is to write a book about it. Last year I wrote a paper on the cultural capital of Batman graphic novels in the 1980s, and managed to present it at Mansfield College, Oxford. To say that was a wonderfully surreal career highlight is an understatement.

I’ve been a freelance contributor to Pop Matters, WhatCulture, Sequart, Fringe Review, the Australian Comics Journal, Comics Forum, and On the Record. I’m currently the editor of the Writers Bloc Tumblr, Hell Yeah Writers Bloc, where we publish strips and single panel comics, do artist profiles, and event coverage.

My freelance work usually entails me sitting down at my laptop writing about comics and film and and whatever else, trying to keep my profanity to a minimum. (I’m not always successful). The only times I get out the house when I’m freelancing are when I’m reviewing Adelaide Fringe shows. That’s when I turn up to a show three sheets to the wind, scribbling in my little notebook, NEEDS MORE CLOWNS. Even if the show is not about clowns.

Lastly, with my short stories, I’ve only recently started giving it a crack, but I’ve been published in a few places. Hearsay and Dubnium, mainly. I write stories in my spare time. The rest of the time is spent being as nerdy as possible (see above).

Where is your favourite place in Adelaide?

The Grace Emily Hotel. Where can you find a shrine to Bert Newton? The Grace. A tiny Jesus holding a cigarette in a Nativity play? The Grace. A TV showing old cult TV shows at strange hours? The Grace. And then there’s the beer selection! I once had this espresso stout there which was canned nirvana. I don’t remember what the blazes it was called, but it had a sumo wrestler flaunting his butt on it, and it was just perfection.

What are you doing for the EWF Adelaide Roadshow?

I’ll be reading out a story of mine on behalf of the lit magazine Dubnium, and doing some emcee work at comics events.

 

Over the first weekend of September, the Emerging Writers’ Festival will be knocking on Adelaide’s door for the first time ever, with three days of discussions, performances, workshops, and networking opportunities for emerging writers.

This exciting program begins on Friday September 5, with Adelaide’s largest-ever simultaneous literary magazine launch. On Saturday September 6, The Writers’ Masterclass program will allow Adelaide’s writers to upskill, with the day capped off with Mixtape Memoirs, our flagship performance event, featuring a line up of local and interstate writers, musicians, and comic artists. On Sunday September 7, the festival will wrap up with a laid-back series of fun, hands-on events aimed at connecting Adelaide’s emerging writers.

 

 

Introducing our EWF Adelaide Artists: Jane Howard

 

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What is your writing/publishing background?

What is your writing/publishing background? I am a freelance culture critic, writer, and researcher. I started blogging theatre reviews completely as a hobby during the 2009 Fringe, and discovered this untapped passion for analysing performance. At the time I was studying a degree in genetics and working in a research lab, so I certainly never thought writing was where my career would end up. I was lucky to find some early champions of my writing, including local artists and producers, who pushed me in the direction of Lowdown Magazine, which was a youth arts publication – about youth arts or by young writers.

Since then, I’ve been a writer- or blogger-in-resdience on various projects, including two Australian Theatre Forums and an endurance performance art work Mass Action: 137 Cakes In 90 Hours, and I’ve written for publications including RealTime, ABC Arts Online and un Magazine. I’m now a regular contributor to Guardian Australia, and am having some fun doing ‘experimental theatre criticism’ for The Lifted Brow.

Where is your favourite place in Adelaide?

My go-to spot is Coffee Branch on Leigh Street for coffee and what ever lovely baked good they have for sale that day. I always go in just planning to buy a coffee, but it rarely works out that way! It’s good coffee, it’s good for a meeting, and it’s also one of those perfect Adelaide places to always (and I mean always) bump into several friends while you’re there.

What are you doing for the EWF Adelaide Roadshow?

I’ll be chairing a panel on performance writing during the Writers’ Workshop. I don’t know if writers often think about how their work can intersect with performance. Playwrights tend to gravitate towards theatre communities rather than writing communities, which means someone from a creative writing practice might not necessarily meet theatre writers and think about expanding their work out. By the same token, lots of writers who are interested in criticism tend to look towards literature criticism over performance. I hope we can tease out what it is about the genre of performance we love (both writing for and writing about) and inspire some people to think about their writing in a way they perhaps haven’t before.

 

Over the first weekend of September, the Emerging Writers’ Festival will be knocking on Adelaide’s door for the first time ever, with three days of discussions, performances, workshops, and networking opportunities for emerging writers.

This exciting program begins on Friday with Adelaide’s largest-ever simultaneous literary magazine launch. On Saturday, The Writers’ Masterclass program will allow Adelaide’s writers to upskill, with the day capped off with Mixtape Memoirs, our flagship performance event, featuring a line up of local and interstate writers, musicians, and comic artists. On Sunday, the festival will wrap up with a laid-back series of fun, hands-on events aimed at connecting Adelaide’s emerging writers.

 

 

 

Introducing our EWF Adelaide Artists: Heather Taylor Johnson

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What is your writing/publishing background? 

I have had three poetry collections and one novel published. When I write poetry I feel like I’m indulging, and when I write prose I feel like I’m working. It’s such a wonderful thing to be able to switch between the two depending on my mood. I have been working as an editor for eight years. I was Poetry Editor for Wet Ink magazine, a guest Poetry Editor for Etchings, and I’m the current Poetry Editor for Transnational Literature. I was also a Co-editor for Australian Poetry’s first members’ anthology, Metabolism, and for a little book put out by Wakefield Press called Cracker: a Christmas Anthology. Actually, Cracker was published in 2013, so I guess I’ve been editing for 11 years! I have also written critically about the arts and literature as a reviewer for more than a decade, and I’ve had my moments of teaching Creative Writing at university too. I’m currently giving essay writing a go.

 Where is your favourite place in Adelaide?

I love the Port. It’s really grungy and artsy but still very local, not at all commercial. It’s quite diverse in its socio-economic and ethnic make-up, so a perfect place to raise our kids. I also love the Mockingird Lounge, which is a used bookstore in Glenelg. They’ve taken a house and transformed it into a store, with each room a different genre. They serve delicious Reuben sandwiches for lunch, which remind me of America, where I come from.

 What are you doing for the EWF Adelaide program?

I’ll be on a panel addressing freelance writing, so basically how to make it as a full-time writer. I’m not sure I’ve ‘made it’ but I’m really happy with what I’m doing and I’m busy every day. I feel I’m on the path I should be on.

 

Over the first weekend of September, the Emerging Writers’ Festival will be knocking on Adelaide’s door for the first time ever, with three days of discussions, performances, workshops, and networking opportunities for emerging writers.

This exciting program begins on Friday with Adelaide’s largest-ever simultaneous literary magazine launch. On Saturday, The Writers’ Masterclass program will allow Adelaide’s writers to upskill, with the day capped off with Mixtape Memoirs, our flagship performance event, featuring a line up of local and interstate writers, musicians, and comic artists. On Sunday, the festival will wrap up with a laid-back series of fun, hands-on events aimed at connecting Adelaide’s emerging writers.

EWF TRAVELS TO INDONESIA FOR ‘ISLAND TO ISLAND’

The Emerging Writers’ Festival and Asialink Arts are very pleased to announce that a group of emerging writers will be travelling to Indonesia presenting a new immersive cultural exchange program, Island to Island, supported by Arts Victoria.

Island to Island will see two exceptional emerging Australian writers – André Dao and Gillian Terzis (pictured below) – travelling to Jakarta to meet with two emerging Indonesian writers – Maggie Tiojakin and Ninda Daianti – before travelling from Jakarta to Bali in time for the 2014 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival.

Thomas McInnis Photography

The writers will be joined by Emerging Writers’ Festival staff Sam Twyford-Moore and Connor Tomas O’Brien. Along their journey, they will be meeting writers and cultural organisations, all while documenting their trip and new connections on a special travel website.

At the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival – whose vibrant and diverse program was launched today – the writers will partake in a number of panels and events, before collaborating during a week long writing residency.

Director of the Emerging Writers’ Festival Sam Twyford-Moore said, ‘We are so excited to continue our relationship with Indonesia with ‘Island to Island’ following two incredibly successful exchange programs. This international exchange, comprising of both a tour and residency, with both writers and artistic staff, is a completely unique program, and we are excited to be working with Asialink Arts to allow writers from Australia and Indonesia to travel together and form meaningful connections and expand their professional practice, too. We can’t wait to pack our bags and head over in a couple of months!’

The tour will take place from September 26 and run until October 13, taking in the dates of the 2014 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival from 1 October – 5 October.

 

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Island to Island is presented by Asialink Arts and the Emerging Writers’ Festival, supported by Arts Victoria.

Congratulations Writer Pals!

Hey! Remember our opening night back in May, where we announced the winner of the Victorian Premiers Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript? Well, more congratulations are in order for winner Miles Allinson, because he’s just signed a two-book deal with Scribe! Congrats, Miles!

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Runner up, hot desk fellowship-er, EWF panellist, and all round babe Jennifer Down also deserves a thousand rounds of applause, securing a deal with Text, who will be publishing her manuscript, Our Magic Hour, in 2015.

Congratulations guys! We look forward to seeing many of our emerging writers on the cover of lovely books in the future.

Open Callout: Melbourne Writers Festival 2014 Digital Reporters

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The Emerging Writers’ Festival is on the lookout for five Digital Reporters to become the voice of the Melbourne Writers Festival!

Digital Reporters will be given the run of the Melbourne Writers Festival, with exclusive media passes to MWF events, a $200 stipend, and professional development from the Emerging Writers’ Festival team. Reporters will have their coverage of the MWF published on the Melbourne Writers Festival website, and will participate on stage in a special MWF event.

Sound interesting? We’re looking for applicants with unique approaches to digital reporting: bloggers, vidcasters, podcasts, photographers, illustrators… coders?

The selection of Digital Reporters will be based on the standard of the applicant’s writing sample, the standard of the applicant’s existing blog/vidcast/podcast portfolio, and their ability to report in a tone that suits coverage of the MWF.

Applications are open now and close Tuesday 8 July!

Interstate Mates: Meghan Brewster

This years bloggers were the loveliest bunch of writers, each bringing a unique perspective to the table. While our not-so-secret headquarters are based in Melbourne, Victoria, one of our intrepid reporters, Meghan, flew all the way down from Merimbula just to be part of the festival!

We caught up with Meghan to get her thoughts on living rural, travelling solo, and attending an interstate festival.

Me At the Fest

Hey Meghan! Did you get hit with post-festival blues or post-festival inspiration?

Oh wow…yes to both! It was certainly post festival something.  I felt a huge surge of post-festival freak-out, maybe?  I left with so many lists of books to read, and blogs to follow and grants to investigate, and articles to write that I spent days afterwards trying to sort everything out and re-calibrate my plans.

I have to admit I was glad when the festival was over because I was having an inspiration overload in Melbourne and I think one more great blogger to follow on Twitter could have pushed me right over the edge! It can be hard to process so much happening all at once.

 

What was your favourite event at EWF? 

What a horrible question!  It was all so powerful and interesting.  It’s hard to explain to people who weren’t there – It sounds like I joined a cult! From the very first event I attended, Emerging Editors, I knew the standard for the rest of the festival was going to be amazing. I left every event inspired and challenged in such a way I was not expecting.

Can I say which was the most surprising event? The biggest surprise for me was the “You Are Here’ session.  I did not quite understand what was going to happen and was not sure if I should stay.  I was tired and hungry and it was the last session of a huge weekend. In the You Are Here session, members of the audience were asked to exchange places with the writers who had been speaking all day and they got to be interviewed.  It blew me away.  It was so funny and such a great session to be a part of.

I was so glad I made the decision to stay.  I always knew that the people on the stage during the festival were going to be talented – but knowing the great achievements of the other audience members made me feel like I was partying with kings.  My biggest regret from the festival is not putting my hand up and volunteering to go up.  But I was a bit sweaty and tired and had not prepared myself for it.  It will be my challenge to myself next year.

 

What did you feel you got out of being an EWF blogger?

One of the best things I got out of being an Emerging Writers’ Festival blogger was actually sitting down and writing the application.  It is not something I usually get to practice and it is a process that is quite intimidating to me.  The application forced me to back myself and made me step forward to apply.  It was a big barrier I had been struggling with as a writer for a while – Am I enough – Should I even apply? I was full of doubt as I hit send, and was certain I wouldn’t be accepted.

I thought the best thing to ever happen to me was meeting Hannah Kent.  Then I realised that meeting everyone else from the festival was even better!  Meeting the other bloggers was wonderful.

As a Festival Blogger, I certainly looked at the festival from a different perspective.  I knew that the more events I attended, the more other people would be able to share in the festival. I made more of an effort on behalf of those who could not come, and tried to share as much as possible on line.

 

Heading home

 

What did you feel you got out of being an EWF blogger, and traveling from interstate to do so?

Traveling is an incredibly underrated medical practice.  It wakes you up. Traveling gets you away from your dirty washing, your half made bed and your filthy car; away from the broccoli heads that have gone to seed in your back yard and the grass that is now half a metre tall.

Traveling from interstate to the festival took me out of my daily life and planted me in an intensive writing environment.  Without the travel I would not have had the focus that I felt, or been open to as many crazy things.

I was so exhausted from the festival that I over slept on my last day and missed my flight home!  I was stuck in Melbourne not sure what to do next.  Lucky no one ever wants to go to Canberra (Ha) and I was able to get a cheap flight.

 

Was it worthwhile?

Absolutely.  I will be there next year for sure…

 

Tell us where you’re from, what’s the writer-scene there? Lots of sexy dorks?

Oh yes – Sexy dorks – Umm… No comment.

I am from Merimbula on the Far South Coast of NSW and the writing scene here is more active than I first thought.  I just moved here 6 months ago with my partner.

There is a big Writers Group (Writers of the Far south Coast) who get together regularly and have lots of guests and speaker come and educate us.

I am in the process of making a bloggers group – much like a writers group, but we all talk in HTML… Oh god! I am the dork.  I just ran a Blogging Workshop last weekend and realised  there are lots of young motivated women around who are keen to start blogging and writing with me so I am feeling particularly blessed at the moment.

 

What are some of the differences, career or otherwise, as a writer living in a rural area?

You are on Facebook alllllll the time! And I joined Twitter now – Which I have never touched till a few months ago.

I guess I am not really sure about the differences as I have never ‘been a writer’ in a city before.  All I can tell you is that it is a lot slower – the writing community is smaller and tighter.  If there is something on, like a writer has come for a book launch, then everyone goes!

We all go to everyone else’s gigs!  If we aren’t there to support each other – People notice.

You are a lot more accountable living in a small country town.  It is true what they say, everyone does know every one else.  I certainly drive differently here than I used to in Sydney.  If you ever find yourself in a coastal NSW town and you are wondering why everyone is driving so slowly, it is because they are trying to avoid ending up on the front page of the local paper.

Part of the reason why my partner and I moved to a rural location was because of the lower cost of living, which has allowed me to write almost full time.  While I was living in the city I was working 5/6 days a week and so much of what I earned was paying to my rent.  I was a waitress who thought a bit about writing every night before I went to bed. Wow – So I guess the country has made my career?

I do feel isolated from what is ‘happening’ in a way, and worry that I am not very cool any more.  But I am working and I have to remind myself of that. I now have my own office in our home, with enough space and support to write.

 

We had a few people say that they love where they live, in smaller communities, but they feel like they have to travel to places like Melbourne or Sydney for the opportunities they want. Do you think that’s true, is the tide changing at all?

When you think about amazing opportunities such as the Emerging Writers festival, it is definitely true.  There is no way that something like that would ever come to Merimbula. Though I did invite Sam Tywford-Moore and Hannah Kent and to come and stay at my house… I haven’t heard back from them yet.

But it is far more complicated than just moving to Melbourne or Sydney to get a job.  Just because you live in a city doesn’t mean you don’t have to still make a huge effort to make your writing work.  I think it all comes down to the opportunities you are seeking and the kind of writing you are hoping to produce.  Yes, the tides are changing.

I went to High School in Eden on the Far South Coast, and our isolation from inner city hubs gave us incredible opportunities.  When I tell people from Newtown High that we could do Scuba Diving as a sport in year 9 and ten their heads explode.

I think being in the city you can take a lot of things for granted and perhaps get a bit lazy.  Being away from the action stimulates an urge to compensate on things I feel I have missed out on.  I might make more of an effort than those who have a writing community at their fingertips. You crave what you don’t have – city writers look for country retreats and country writers look for inner city book launches.

 

Where I sit and write

 

What do you think needs to happen, if anything, to create more creative hubs outside of the inner city mentality?

I have a spare room at my house, and I have had an idea for a while which is like Air BnB but for writers… So I would post my house online, but then also write about what I am working on, my favourite writers, who I am and any skills I have to share – as well as writing weaknesses I need help with. And then people from the city who are looking to get away and work for a cheap week who have the same interests as me, could come and stay for a week and we would have a writing holiday together?

It’s a start – If there is anyone interested in making my idea work – let me know. Other than that I am not sure.

 

Anything else you want to share with us?

Since being at the Writers Festival in Melbourne the one biggest changes I have noticed is that I now tell people I am a writer when we meet for the first time.  Before the festival I always told people I was ‘writing something’ or ‘working on something’.

Now I can say – I am a writer without hesitation.

 

 Any projects or thoughts?

My thoughts are – I can’t wait for next year.

And – I am pushing for a blogging component of the Emerging Writers Festival next year.  If anyone else wants to help me bully the festival, send me a message.

 

If you are into Meghan’s Writer AirBnB idea, or just want to read more of her awesome writing, head over to her site Manuscrapped and get in touch!

This year we’ll be taking EWF on the road to rural locations less-touched by the festival crazy, so stay tuned for more info!

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