At around 10am yesterday I rocked up to Surrey Hotel in Grey Lynn, to begin a spec fic writers workshop. I was surprised to find only a few of us there (and a friendly arthritic cat who sat on each of us in turn), as $40 for a full-day writers workshop is pretty darn decent (at least I think so!). Dave Freer and Lyn McConchie facilitated. Between them they must have written something like 50 books. I have to admit that I started to feel quite lazy, since procrastination doesn’t seem to be something they admit into their daily lives. Dave gets up at 4.30am, and begins writing by 8am. Lyn writes about 6000 words per day. I, on the other hand, struggle to get out of bed before 9am, and am pleased with myself if I squeeze 600 words from my head. I’d hoped that the workshop would give me a much needed boot up the arse, and I think it has. At least… I hope it has. At least, I plan to create a plan for myself…
As well as feeling terrible about my writing practices I also learned quite a bit about the NZ and international writing industry. Unfortunately it seems even worse than the music industry OMG, and I’m likely to be even poorer than I imagined. A new writer can’t expect much more than 3K for an advance, and will only get around 6% from sales, which of course they then pay back for their advance. You truly do it for the love of it. Sometimes I just wish I loved, say, marketing. (I take that back, no I don’t).
With the start of Conclave, the 35th National New Zealand Sci Fi and Fantasy Convention, began the start of the voting period for the Sir Julius Vogel awards. In fact click here for the voting form. To be eligible to vote, you’ll need to join Conclave. You can do this as a ‘supporter’, by paying $20, here. The good reasons to do this are (a) you can vote for me in the Best Novella of 2013 category, and (b) your money will likely go straight to the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust, as all profits go there, and since the convention is half-way through, well, I’m just figuring on most things having been paid for already. Voting closes TOMORROW at midday.
A full list of the nominees can be found here.
Anyway. Onwards and upwards.
UPDATE: I didn’t win the award BUT was very pleased to hear that this year there were over 400 nominations for the different categories (so to be short-listed was pretty special). The winner of Best Novella of 2013 was Lee Murray (whom I found to be a really friendly lady, who moved over for us at her table when we came in late and had nowhere to sit), with her story ‘Cave Fever’. I was happy that the winning story was one I’d actually read and enjoyed!