Yesterday I bought my ticket for the Speculative Fiction Festival held by the NSW Writers Centre.
(From the website) “Speculative fiction is an umbrella term for many of the world’s best loved genres. Fantasy, science fiction, supernatural, utopian and dystopian, horror and alternate history stories are all part of this heady and diverse literary category, and they’re all on the agenda come Saturday 16 March. Presenters include: Juliet Marillier, Ian Irvine, Marienne de Pierres, Alison Croggon, Richard Harland, Melina Marchetta, Lisa Hannett, Garth Nix, John Flanagan, Cat Sparks, Kim Wilkins, Sophie Masson, Russell Farr, Dionne Lister, Pamela Freeman, Belinda Murrell, Ben Chandler, Kate Forsyth, Robert Hood, Jason Nahrung, Kirstyn McDermott, Angela Slatter and Dirk Strasser.
You’ll hear from authors about their challenges and advice on writing speculative fiction in its many publishable forms: short stories, novels and series. You’ll get to listen in and be part of the conversations taking place in the writing and publishing world about the trends and future of speculative fiction. And you’ll hear from editors and publishers about exactly what they’re looking to publish in the coming years.”
If you are keen to come along you can find out more here! Do it, we can hang and I wont have to stand there looking like some creepy, awkward weirdo, as per usual (though if you are coming along to be some weird internet stalker, remember: I’m a kickboxer.)
As well as that, I’m planning on doing something crazy – I’m applying for the Clarion West Writers Workshop… in Seattle, Washington… USA. Yep, for a chance to spend six weeks at workshops led by some of the world’s best Speculative Fiction authors, I’m willing to get on a terrifying plane and fly to a whole other country.
Now, the cost is enormous, I don’t even know if I can get six weeks off work, the competition to attend will be astounding (I’m not sure how many people usually apply but only 18 get in,) and the chance of me actually getting accepted is slim. On the extremely off-chance that I do get accepted, I’ll work out all the stuff then. For now, I’m focusing on getting a bunch of good writing together to submit with my application.
The instructors this year include Elizabeth Hand, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Margo Lanagan, Samuel R. Delany and Ellen Datlow. That’s one hell of a line-up. It’s an amazing opportunity for writers and though the whole thing seems daunting, but I’ve nothing to lose by trying (well, nothing bar the $40 application fee…)
You can find out more about the Clarion West Writers Workshop here. In the meantime, I’m off to busy myself with knocking some of my best words into shape for the application.
You can send me your well-wishes and best, most lucky thoughts in the comments section below!