January News

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January has been a huge month!

This month I took part in the January Submission Challenge, organised by UK Author Raymond Daley.

The challenge was to submit at least one story every day for the month of January – that’s 31 stories!

After deciding to take part in Ray’s September Submission Challenge at the very last minute, and managing 15 submissions (from which I received two acceptances), I was keen to try again. This time I was much more organised: I had my market lists (compiled from some of Ray’s list, and some from other places I’ve submitted to in the past/wanted to submit to), and my list of polished, unpublished stories (a whole fourteen of them).

I jumped into the month very gung ho – submitting seven stories on day one, and four on day two, etc. Which would have worked well if I had enough stories, but by the middle of the month they were all out under consideration and I had nothing else to submit. (I did also write a new story for the Australian Writers Centre’s Furious Fictin competition – so I had a total of fifteen stories, and I spent a good deal of the month working on a story for Australian Speculative Fiction’s Zodiac series,which I may have finished had I not come down with a virus in the last few days of the month and been stuck in bed with a pounding head.)

Some of the places I submitted to, like Fantasy and Science Fiction, and the JJ Outre Review, have a super fast turn around for rejections (a day or two at most – though my quickest rejection took about 6 hours), giving me the freedom to resubmit those stories elsewhere. Others I may not hear back from for a couple of months yet.

I managed 30 submissions for the month, which I am super-pleased about, which has resulted in (so far) 17 rejections, and 2 acceptances.

Which brings me to my biggest news for the month: my acceptances!

First, my story ‘Raven’s Sacrifice’ was accepted into Australian Speculative Fiction’s anthology ‘Stories of Hope’ (see image at the top of this post). This anthology is about raising money for those affected by the horrific bushfires that have burnt through large swathes of Australia over the past couple of months. While I am lucky enough to live away from the bushfires (this time), I have friends who have been on high alert and have been watching the news closely for updates, absolutely horrified by the devastation that has been wrought on our beautiful country. I am so pleased to have been able to contribute something, however small, to help the people and animals affected by this. I know it’s going to be filled with all sorts of fantastic stories, so keep your eye out, and support this great anthology.

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My second acceptance was for something very different, a 100 word dark fantasy, ‘The Consequences of Climate Change for the Merpeople’. This will be published in Black Hare Press’s ‘Oceans’ anthology, expected out in early April 2020.

If you’re on Facebook you can follow me to get updates through out the month, otherwise look out for my next blog post later in the month.

And if you’re a writer and you like the idea of joining in a submission challenge, the next one is planned for May this year. Keep an eye on Ray’s blog for more information!

2018: What a Year!

2018 was immense!

For someone who prefers to be a hermit and hide away at home this year has pushed me miles outside my comfort zone!

I’ve home schooled my children through grades 4 and 6, and started sporadic lessons a lot earlier than planned for my 4 year old who is insistent that she be taught how to read and write, NOW!  While this is mostly, obviously, at home, we’ve done excursions to all sorts of places, visiting a whole bunch of different historical sites, bushwalking, swimming, getting lost in mazes, attending theatre productions, experiencing our local Indigenous culture at the Naidoc week celebrations, visiting Writers Festivals and Sustainable Living Expos, and so many other things!

I’ve chauffered the above mentioned children to a bajillion activities (no… I don’t know if bajillion is a real word, and yes it certainly felt like there were that many!) – dance,drama and music – lessons,rehearsals and performances. I spent a good deal of the year sitting in the car reading/writing while waiting for said children, or doing laps around our beautiful river.

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If you look closely you can see a platypus in the middle of the river…

I’ve made hundreds of  Tasmanian beeswax candles; melting and colouring and pouring and levelling and packaging to send off to the handful of shops who stock the candles my husband and I make (with the children’s help, when they are feeling particularly keen).

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And I spent some time volunteering – transcribing convict records. That was a fantastic experience – there was a new, fascinating, real-life story at every turn, some of which I hope to share with you all next year.

As for my own writing, 2018 has been a huge year for me.

I’m not sure if I’ve written about this before, but for the last few years I’ve had a goal to submit on average one piece of writing each and every week. Now, I need to specify that I don’t necessarily mean one new piece of writing per week. Most of my submissions are older short stories that haven’t found a home yet. However, some of my stories are brand new, and this year, amongst the 56 submissions I made 18 of them were new stories, written just this year.

But the biggest news of my writing year was my involvement in The People’s Library project.

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It started last year, really, with the invitation in December to submit my work to The People’s Library. That resulted in the editing and polishing of my novella ‘What the Tide Brings’, to bring it up to scratch, followed by months of checking and re-checking emails as news on the project dripped in – dates, covers, and most importantly – edits, while myself, Pearl and Isabel (two other members of my writers group who were also invited to include their stories) planned events to make sure we made the most of this fantastic opportunity!

When September hit, it seemed everything happened all at once.

I had a drabble (a story that is exactly 100 words) published on September 1st, and then on the 7th writers from all over the state made their way to Hobart for the opening of the library – what must have been the biggest book launch ever as 113 books were launched.

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The first author event of The People’s Library. myself and Isabel Shapcott, reading our work in the gallery.

The following morning Isabel and I were the first readers in a month long string of events all centred around the Library. (Part of my reading was filmed… you can view it here, if you like).

That was just the beginning. This reading was the first of three public readings, the next held a fortnight later in Deloraine (although I had lost my voice, so Isabel did my reading for me), and another approximately 6 weeks after that, at the Little Laneway Festival, also in Deloraine.

My fellow Deloraine writers and I were in the local newspapers, The Examiner, and The Meander Valley Gazette, and some of my fellow writers were even interviewed on ABC radio.

Throughout the year I’ve also been posting regular stories on my rarely mentioned Patreon Page. While most of these stories have been published before, most are not easily available – if at all, and I’ve started branching out into some newer, only-available-on-Patreon short stories. (If you’re interested to see what I’ve written, there are some free stories on the page, and for $1 you’ll have access to the entire backlog of stories for a whole month.)

And my year has ended with the acceptance of another of my flash-fiction pieces ‘Tea with Grandma’ on a new Australian website – Lite Lit One. This story was written for a ‘Zine’ my local writers group planned, but which unfortunately fell through, so I’m so glad to find it a home!

Publication with a difference – at the Tasmanian Craft Fair

So last year, in that gap while I wasn’t blogging, I was still writing, and submitting my writing, and being published, though not in the usual sense.

Every year in November, the little town of Deloraine plays host to the world renowned (is it? I’m sure it must be!) Tasmanian Craft Fair. Deloraine I’m sure must be the creative hub of Tasmania – or one of them at least – and among the many artistic and creative endeavors are the sculptures scattered along either side of the main street.

Last year, writers from Deloraine and across Northern Tasmania were invited to pick a sculpture and write a short piece (short being the key – we were given an approximate figure of 30 words) in some way linked to the sculptures. There were all sorts of pieces – fiction and non-fiction, lists and stories. I was lucky enough to have two of my pieces chosen:

 

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There were so many wonderful interpretations of the sculptures – I’m hoping they repeat the idea this year!

JUST RELEASED! ‘Insignia Vol.1: Japanese Fantasy Stories’

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I am so excited to announce my latest published story “Kitsune” included in the anthology Insignia Vol. 1″ Japanese Fantasy Stories. There are some wonderful stories in this collection, ranging from YA to Adult, Adventure to Literary, there is something here for everyone. Check it out! 😀

Insignia Vol 1: Japanese Fantasy Stories is now available from:

| Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon JP | Amazon AUS | Amazon Canada |

| Amazon IT | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon ES | Amazon MX | Amazon IN | Amazon BR |

| Smashwords | Barnes & Noble |

*Update 21 Nov 2014: Joyce Chng’s story from this anthology – ‘Megami’s Quest’ – was selected for inclusion in Twelfth Planet Press’ Best of YA Speculative Fiction 2013  Congrats Joyce!! 😀 For more info, head over to the Insignia blog: http://insigniaseries.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/congratulations-to-joyce-chng/

A Sustainable Dream is up!

And it’s up! For those of you who caught my post last Sunday and want to read more, or if you’ve only just come across this today and you like stories about self-sufficiency, and overcoming odds to follow your dreams, check out narratorAustralia!

http://www.narratoraustralia.com/2013/05/a-sustainable-dream-heather-jensen.html