The first Brisbane Literary Mafia Zoomcast was a great success. Author and advocate Bri Lee gave some helpful insight into choosing which project to work on next and I certainly found her advice very inspirational! Unfortunately Krissy was unwell and unable to attend but she will definitely be back for the next event, as always on the last Monday of the month: 27 July. Stay tuned to find out who our special guest will be next time! And of course, watch out for some great reading recommendations of latest releases by Aussie authors.
Online events at Avid Reader and elsewhere continue unabated – who has time to go out anymore?! My exciting news this month is the first Brisbane Literary Mafia Zoomcast at 6.30pm on Monday 29 June hosted by Krissy Kneen and me. Each episode of this literary chat, on the last Monday of every month, will focus on one Brisbane or ex-Queensland author with a particular topic close to their heart, and finish with current reading recommendations of new Australian fiction. This will be such fun! We’ve all long known that Brisbane is the country’s cultural capital…now we have the zoomcast to prove it! These episodes will be free but please book. Our first guest is the amazing BRI LEE.
I’m so excited to be sharing some positive news in this time of uncertainty. Once again, Avid Reader Bookshop is thinking ahead in terms of ways to continue important (life-saving?!) engagement between authors and readers. Avid has set up a Zoom series of online author in-conversation events. These will be live-streamed, with the audience able to ask questions at the end through the text function on Zoom (easy!) which will then be answered by the featured author. It’s not the same as being in store (you have to supply your own wine and cheese!) but in this chaotic time, it is definitely a safe and socially distant activity in which you can participate, keeping you involved with the literary community, supporting authors, booksellers and publishers, and you can do it all from the comfort and privacy of your own home! The first Zoom event will be held on Tuesday 24 March from 6.30pm to 7pm and will be a FREE TRIAL event with Avid’s Fiona Stager and I discussing NEW AUSTRALIAN FICTION.read more…
Amidst all the fear and justifiable concern around the virus, protective measures, panic-buying and mass gatherings, everyone will be hit hard by this crisis, at least economically even if not directly health-wise. Spare a thought for all those authors with new books coming out this year, whose launches and book tours may now be postponed or cancelled. Think about all those literary festivals that won’t go ahead, and the authors/publishers/booksellers who rely on such events to promote their work. While this disruption is necessary, there are things you can do to support the book industry. Self-isolation is the perfect time to read more books! Books can be ordered and delivered online without fear of infection. Books are a great gift for those stuck at home and a great distraction for both children and adults from the pandemic information overload. Social media is ideal social distancing. If there is a book you love, share it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…promote your local bookstore and link to your favourite authors. People will keep reading (in fact, I’m sure we’ll do more of it) but spreading the news about new and favourite writing will help keep the literary industry afloat. Amidst the anxiety, let’s all be kind to ourselves by reading more books.
Catching up with author friends is one of my favourite ways to spend time. I recently spent a couple of days in Sydney and managed to see Lauren Chater, Cassie Hamer, Eleanor Limprecht and Ashley Kalagian-Blunt, along with new friends Sam Selinger and Cathy Perkins. All wonderful women writers. Check out their work! I’ve got some great events coming up at Avid Reader (see Events on left). Hilde Hinton’s book The Loudness of Unsaid Things (9 April) sounds amazing, and Sophie Hardcastle’s Below Deck (24 March) is intriguing. Watch out for reviews soon! Plus of course the wonderful Writing War panel on 20 April, featuring Nigel Featherstone, Simon Cleary and Melanie Myers, and then a Characterisation workshop in May. And don’t forget the first ever Brisbane episode of The First Time Podcast with Kate Mildenhall and Katherine Collette, recording direct from Avid Reader on 17 April! Be there to share in the fun. There is no better way to connect with other writers and readers than to attend bookstore events, which are intimate enough to feel that you are among friends.
2020 promises to be full of creative opportunities, fabulous reading and some fascinating author events at Avid Reader. Some upcoming events for me include: 31 Jan – an interview with Dr Ginni Mansberg about her book THE M WORD (menopause in all its glory!); 3 Feb – a discussion with JP Pomare about his new crime novel IN THE CLEARING; 20 Feb -meet Mary Garden with her family memoir SUNDOWNER OF THE SKIES; 20 April – a fantastic panel of authors on WRITING WAR including Nigel Featherstone (BODIES OF MEN), Simon Cleary (THE WAR ARTIST) and Melanie Myers (MEET ME AT LENNONS); and on 24 May – a 3-hour workshop on FINDING YOUR CHARACTER’S VOICE. Booking details on the Events section to the left. So much to look forward to in the new year!
I’m thrilled to announce that my work is now represented by literary agent Alex Adsett of Alex Adsett Publishing Services. I’m a long time admirer of Alex’s dynamic personality, her strong and ethical professionalism and her encouraging and uplifting manner. I’m very excited to join her list of talented authors and to begin imagining and planning for the future. Alex Adsett Publishing is on fire and achieving great things, and I look forward to a productive, mutually beneficial working relationship.
I’m going on a crime spree! Join me in conversation with crime writer Chris Hammer (SILVER) on 20 Oct, and a crime panel featuring Christian White, Ben Hobson and Sarah Thornton on 1 Nov, both at Avid Reader. Strong female crime characters will feature in my evening with Tara Moss at State Library of QLD Talking Ideas program on 28 Oct. And international best-selling author Garry Disher will discuss his latest book Peace on 5 Nov. And less crime but more fairy tale, I am thrilled to launch Melissa Ashley’s new novel The Bee and The Orange Tree at Avid Reader on 30 Oct. See events for details!
Lots of great events coming up over the next few months. On 28 October, I will be in conversation with the fabulous Tara Moss about her new book Dead Man Switch, crime culture and feminism, in the State Library of Queensland’s fantastic Talking Ideas program. On 13 October, I am running a workshop at Avid Reader for emerging authors on preparing your work for submission, entering competitions and awards, and networking with your writing community. For details and bookings, see the Events section. Other upcoming author interviews include Heather Morris and Garry Disher. Find something that appeals and book now!
Your state writing centre, local writing groups (often found at libraries) and also your local bookstores often have great opportunities for courses and networking. In Brisbane, QWC, Brisbane Libraries and bookstores such as Avid Reader Bookshop, Riverbend Books and Books@Stones offer everything from a quiet writing space to author talks to skills courses and networking events. Over the coming months, I will be in conversation with authors Garry Disher, Gabrielle Jackson, Melanie Myers and Heather Morris with a great selection of fiction, crime, memoir and non-fiction. I’m also presenting FREE writing workshops at Logan (see events section for details). Book here: https://avidreader.com.au/events for a wide selection of events at Avid Reader Bookstore, including workshops, author talks and quiet writing space at The Monday Office.
So much coming up for the second half of the year. The 2018 winner of the Glendower Award for an Emerging Author at the Queensland Literary Awards, Melanie Myers, will launch her debut novel MEET ME AT LENNON’S at Avid Reader on 18 September. I’ll also be in conversation over the coming months with authors Phil Brown, Sarah Thornton, Gabrielle Jackson and Heather Morris. There are lots of workshops to choose from, and don’t forget Avid Reader’s Monday Office (write in peace and quiet on the back deck!) and their amazing Crafting Words Workshops Series. I attended Kris Olsson’s Memoir workshop and it was pure gold.
Avid Reader Bookstore in West End is always searching for new ways to support avid readers and avid writers. From 13 May, you can now attend The Office at Avid and for a mere $5, enjoy a quiet workspace surrounded by books and other writers, unlimited tea and coffee and the satisfaction of saying ‘I’m off to the office to work today!’ Also new this year is Avid’s Crafting Words series: workshops designed for writers (and readers) to hone their skills in particular areas such as science, submission, psychology and screenwriting. Click here to find out more:
https://avidreader.com.au/events My upcoming events include two great events at Avid Reader in June: a fascinating panel discussion on commercial fiction with Minnie Dark, Kim Wilkins and Katie Rowney on 12 June, and I’m VERY EXCITED to be in conversation with the 2019 Stella Prize winner Vicki Laveau-Harvie about her memoir The Erratics on 13 June. Don’t miss out!
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© 2017 by Cass Moriarty