Saturday, December 21, 2013

Books in 2013: A list with no order

I wish I could give a huge top 10 list of the best books of 2013 but I haven't read all of them so it would be disingenuous.

I spent the first half of this year finishing my degree in Literature and didn't have much time for reading outside of the curriculum so unless you want me to recommend Beowulf (Which I don't) here are the top books I have actually read this year. These are in no particular order, except that of my memory

1. Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas. nothing needs to be said it it freaking amazing. Read it or regret your own life forever.

2. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I enjoyed my first foray into the Russians and it was a pleasure to read for school.

3. The Most Beautiful Walk in The World by John Baxter. Francophiles unite and read about one writer's great gig running literary tours for writers in Paris.

4.How to Be Alone by Jonathan Franzen. Essays that made me rethink my whole outlook on myself as a writer and reader. Franzen justified my own beliefs in loneliness and it's likelihood of producing great fiction writers. If you are a loner, and because you read you most likely are. Read this.

5. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. I wrote by Ernest Hemingway. That should be enough to persuade you to read it. Also, most of it set in France. I like France.

6. Taipei by Tao Lin. I think he got mad at me at Melbourne Writers Festival but his book is excellent. Specificity is an underutilised tool in fiction. Not for Lin though.

Read them and be amazed. If you hate them email me and tell me why. If you love them email me and tell me why.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

On Being an Online Writer

When I first learnt about being a blogger it was 2007. I googled making money from writing and I found a post on the ProBlogger website about making money from your blog. To me this site just looked like any other site, I was young and dumb. I read a whole lot more articles by Darren Rowse in the coming days and I joined Blogger. Between high school and studying at University my blogs dwindled in readership and page views. I never really developed a website that would be able to compare to ProBlogger.

I felt like I was failing and I wanted to know why. I was inconsistent, that was my first problem, and my other was that I knew nothing about marketing my work online to others. I got Twitter in 2008 and started sharing my posts, unbelievably (to me anyway) I was getting traffic. I spent a long time researching how to market my work on twitter, even publishing an article for Darren's website about the retweet feature changing marketing on Twitter.

I turned to writing screenplays and poems, I wrote short stories and last year I wrote a novel. I self-published it, I didn't even send it in to any publishers. I felt that my connection with my readers would be strong enough to warrant sales. I was wrong.

Being an online writer involved in Twitter, Facebook and Google+ I felt I was in a prime position for the people that were retweeting me and mentioning me and following me back and liking my posts to buy my book. What I realised is that being a writer online is a lot like being stuck on the subway, you want to get out and be mainstream, the people around you seem to want to help but what they really want is for you to help them and retweet them when they retweet you, they want you to follow them when they follow you.

Don't get me wrong, I don't blame others for my books poor sales. I don't have a problem with my community of peers. What not only I, but most of us have is a problem with being too nice to each other.

We only offer help, we won't critique each other's work, some writers online unfortunately will only interact based upon some unspoken rule that you must interact back. I try and help newer writers out; at I publish new writers almost exclusively. Being a writer online is like starting a business from the ground up whilst thousands of other business' are crowding around you. It is like opening a pizza shop in the middle of a million other pizza shops. It is a little harder to get people to buy your slice with so many options.

Being a writer online is hard work. I critique movies, television, books, I write short stories, poems, novels; I write news pieces and do short reporting. I wake up every day and treat myself like I am working in a newsroom; I treat myself in my own home like a professional writer.

I am an online writer, a freelancer from the comfort of my own chair/bed/floor/car; I am building the business of ME from the ground up among millions of others screaming "it's my turn now!" With a little constructive help from the community it can only get better from here. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Carbon Pricing and the future of Australia.

Dear Mr. Abbott

I understand the importance of Carbon pricing, I am willing to pay more on bills if it means companies will have to pay for their pollution. I understand the logic behind a carbon tax initiative. The Liberal party obviously doesn't and they think that pandering to the public promising price cuts will change the way we feel about it.

I try to show no bias in my writing, but this time I have legitimately had enough. This to me is as clear as the debate on same-sex marriage. Mr Abbott, most people either want it or don't care either way. Just do it. I know Nike doesn't sponsor the Australian Government (but how cool would the election ads be?) but we can still make a positive difference in this country in this generation, in this leadership if you try and do something that will change the climate for the better.

Mr Abbott, please, please, I am literally begging you. Don't scrap carbon pricing, you will only be considered a white collar jerk, I will never call you a jerk, I will never say you are stupid, or you are not fit to lead, I respect the office of Prime Minister more than most. Just because I disagree with you, it doesn't mean I don't respect you for winning the minds of the Australian people. That being said, don't be the Prime Minister known for looking out for the priorities of big business and not Australia as a whole. The people will learn to pay the little extra. You are not winning a battle, you are starting a war that will end when Labor eventually regains leadership and puts the tax back on. This isn't tug of war, this is Australia, leave carbon pricing as it is, oh and legalize same-sex marriage too.

That would be great


Adam Meyers

Monday, November 11, 2013

Will writing ever make you any money?

Earlier this year upon finishing my first novel and having fellow author Christopher Wheat read over it and offer me feedback I was shocked, though not entirely, when he told me to get a job outside of writing. Even though I had written a good novel. I was studying Literature at the time and have since graduated. I had planned to have my degree and then write novels for the rest of my life, I wanted my first one to be a best seller, it wasn't, though it did sell a medium amount on Amazon.

What Mr. Wheat had told me essentially boiled down to the following point

"Writers don't make much money"

My initial thought was of my childhood writing hero J. K. Rowling. Who has more money than the Queen of England. But that is children's literature, fantasy literature has a wide readership. Literary novels don't do as well, that is true, the Franzens of the world will attest to that.

It is my assumption after several talks with other authors that in this world, there exists more writers than readers. Writing a book that doesn't make much money must tell you that the book wasn't very good, that however was not true for Annabel Smith who wrote 'Whisky Charlie Foxtrot' in 2012 and received rave reviews, the marketing was excellent and her novel sold more copies than the average 700 for first time authors. It is an excellent novel and the reviews told of that. It sold 1300 copies and she received in royalties a meager $2200.

So what now? Live poorly until you write the next Harry Potter? Of course not, you have to get a day job. Outside of Australia Council grants for writers your only option is getting a day job, my preference is to have one that doesn't involve writing, writing is my home job. My day job is teaching taekwondo.

Christopher Wheat told me that writing is more of a supplement to income rather than a full time job for most writers. So before you give up on writing all together, keep the hope alive, maintain the dream of selling 1,000,000 copies and keep writing. I don't write full time but the meager income I receive is enough validation for me. Meager income is more than you would make writing nothing.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Literati Magazine First Issue Release

First issue comes out January 1st. Get on it

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Can you write a good novel in a month?

Is it possible to write a good novel in a month? On Friday I will be commencing my second NaNoWriMo. For those who don't know what the hell I'm talking about NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it challenges the aspiring writer to finally put down 50,000 words of a novel. Weather or not the 50,000 is the total of your word count is up to you. Completing the gargantuan task will make you a NaNoWriMo winner.

Critics have said that if you are just writing to put down the words you mustn't be putting down the prose necessary to create a good novel. Let alone a great one. Last year I wrote my first novel during the month of November called Twenty Two  and it was good enough to garner entry to a Master of Arts (Writing) program. I spent the first half of this year work shopping Twenty Two and getting it ready to sell on Amazon which I did with a medium level of success.

So the question remains, can you write a good novel in a month? My answer is no. You can write a good first draft but if you enter into the event with the idea that Penguin Random House will come calling on December 1st you will be sorely disappointed. Join in the forums and get involved, buddy up and get a first draft out. I read a lot of blogs by writers who complain about not having finished a novel yet. Find an idea, throw editing to the wind and write without fear. Good luck in November.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Education as Priority

I read an interesting article in The New York Times earlier today. It described, through stories from Amanda Ripley’s new book ‘Smartest Kids in The World’ that Finland, South Korea and Poland have better education systems than America. As someone who has spent a good deal of time within the education system it was intriguing. 
The rigor of the syllabus in Poland was what seemed to be leading to clever graduates. Not that American students aren’t clever but on average they are less clever. What do you think would happen in Australia if a policy was implemented that made school days longer, like in South korea? Or that the work was both more complex and of a higher quantity, like in Poland? What would happen in Australia if getting into an Education degree was harder than getting into medicine, like in Finland?
Of course all of these would cause chaos within parents groups. They would scream for less homework because of stress, even though the South Koreans seem to relish the opportunity. They would complain of higher failure rates, even though the kids in Poland manage to pass what is referred to as the hardest High School Syllabus on Earth. The only issue with Education being a harder course to get into is that the highest ranking high school kids won’t pick it if the pay doesn’t add up to what they could earn in Medicine or Law. 
In Finland teachers are paid extraordinary amounts, because only the very best students can become teachers. The government in Finland promises to invest in Education and then, unlike Australia, actually does.
I know it is a crazy thought, imagine a country that is better at something than Australia. The culture in this country favors sports over education and that leads to a population of under achieving kids that hoped they would make the AFL but didn’t and now don’t have anything to show for it except stories from Junior footy.
If Teaching at University was a 95 ATAR only the best would apply. The best will apply only if the Government would focus on paying teachers what they are worth and not on fixing skills shortages. Making something easy to get in to doesn’t do anything but create a cohort of graduates that aren’t smart enough to do well in High School but because of easy acceptance are smart enough to teach other kids to do what they themselves couldn’t?
How could a kid who gets an ATAR of 60 tell someone effectively how to get an ATAR of 99? They have no idea how to get that score. 
ATAR is not everything though, kids who get into other University courses will have more trouble upon graduation finding a place for themselves in the global economy than kids from South Korea, Finland or Poland would. Because our courses are too easy, high graduation rate means nothing if the average graduate can’t spell ‘necessary’.
Therefore, it is necessary for Australia to stop dropping the ball when it comes to Education, improvement means real investment in teachers and coursework, not giving all the kids an iPad. A smart whiteboard and a projector won’t do as much if you can’t entice the best students to become teachers. Education is the future, every politician has said it, what they need to do now is to make positive steps towards the future and stop investing in new laptops, kids are using them for Facebook guys, it’s a waste of money.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Alice Munro wins Nobel Prize in Literature

Alice Munro recently won the Nobel Prize in Literature and whilst reading about this news I thought of two things. 

1. Alice Munro is a legend already. What a great capstone on a career
2. Why don't I know all of the other Nobel Laureates?

I was embarrassed in myself when I realised that despite dedicating so much time to literature I don't know many people who have won the biggest honor available. I know Hemingway has one, he is my favorite author. I know of Faulkner and Toni Morrison I know of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, William Goulding, Saul Bellow, Mo Yan and Jim Steinbeck. 

I didn't know Pablo Neruda had won in 1971. I didn't know Sartre had won or that Thomas Mann had won. My Brother is a film expert and he could tell you who won and in most cases who was nominated for any of the past 60 Academy Awards in any category. As a reader and writer of literature I felt a little ashamed not knowing who had won so many of the 106 Nobel Prizes in Literature. 

I most likely know more than the average person would but is that enough? Why aren't book buffs as knowledgable about their specialty as film buffs are? Just something to think about. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Don Draper mentality of Men

As a white male I am acutely aware of the lottery I have won during birth. I try my best to understand the difficulties women go through and the difficulties other races go through. Don Draper is the epitome of white male dominance. An executive in a time in which women and people of colour are treated like second class citizens. They get better treatment now but it still isn't perfect. 

He treats women like objects and gets away with it. The behaviour is disgusting but the appeal still exists. When I was 19 I started watching Mad Men and with great excitement I found a fictional character that embodied everything that was great about life, he did whatever he wanted, he drank scotch at work, he wore cool suits and he was creative and in charge. Then the pilot ended and he was cheating on his wife. 

Discovering things about people is hard, sometimes you don't agree with their motives but I chose to ignore the adultery and focus on the things I liked about Don. Now, many years later I feel less connected to him, I am in a committed long term relationship and to think that the things he does in the show would ever be repeated by me is ludicrous. 

Don embodies mens culture and has influenced style and in some cases attitude. I take on Don Draper's attitude when it comes to success and it makes me feel more successful. I do what I want more frequently than before whilst still maintaining control. The point I am trying to make is that even if a character does bad things, or even if a real person does bad things, you can still find positives in them and emulate and learn from the positives rather than focusing on the negatives.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

France legislates against Amazon

A few weeks ago France created legislation that would prevent Amazon from offering free delivery alongside a five percent discount on a book. The move will curtail the increase in book sales amazon has had in the country, a number that has increased exponentially over the past ten years, in 2003 the amount of book sales conducted online was 3.2 percent, in 2011 however it was 13.1. The increase of Amazon's power over the book selling industry has affected brick and mortar stores all over the world, not as heavily though in France.

While most of the western world experiences closures of bookstores France seems culturally immune to ditching the paperback in favor of the e-book. In France there are over 2,500 bookstores spread across a population of around 65 million. That is about 1 book store for every 26,000 people. In Britain the population of around 60 million has only 1,000 bookstores, 1 book store for every 60,000 people.

In France book culture is not just book culture, it is French culture. They do not tread lightly when it comes to matters of literature. Melbourne is one of UNESCO's cities of literature and rightly so, we have a thriving culture, a whole bunch of festivals and some real standout writers. France though is what still comes to my mind when I think of literature. I think of the lost generation, I think of the word 'expatriate' and I, like other authors would love to move to Paris, stroll the left bank and write books that the world will remember forever.

Personally I don't care if readers reach my books from brick and mortar sellers or by Amazon but I like to think that somewhere in paris there is an apartment waiting for me and waiting to be filled with paperbacks of the greatest novels ever written, not just a lone kindle resting on a shelf.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

NRL Grand Final and a built in Audience

With millions of people watching around the country tonight Twitter and Facebook will be inundated with NRL Grand Final posts. Sport is big in Australia and we take Grand Final days very seriously. The amount of tweets tonight will leave no one, especially if you are in NSW or Queensland, any doubt as to how the game is going. If you were away from the TV you would still be able to find out what was happening.

Sport has a such a built in audience that excitement via the internet is impossible to avoid. How do we as writers garner that much excitement? Become a celebrity.

I don't want to audition for Big Brother (Although it would be fun) I would love to be on Survivor (life dream), I would hate to be involved with something like Jersey Shore. Snooki from Jersey Shore has a book out and at times she has struggled speaking the english language. Why would a publisher take a chance on Snooki and not a more serious writer? Built in audience.

Snooki, just like NRL players, AFL players, any kind of celebrity or someone with some built in exposure will have the publishers eye. Although these books won't win prizes they will do what a lot of beginning authors will not, sell large amounts of copies. This is an almost certainty, publishers can rest assured that whatever Snooki or an NRL Grand Final player puts out will sell because they have cross over fans.

If I had become famous for example on the show Survivor (only in my dreams) then I could publish something that might not even relate to the show at all and still gain a contract because people will think of it as 'The book by that guy on Survivor' without the show just like Snooki without Jersey Shore the book will be looked at as 'the book'. See the difference?

The goal isn't to become a celebrity from being stupid like Snooki and then taking advantage of it. If you want to be taken seriously as a writer you still have to produce great work. Snooki's book is, I'm going to go out on a limb here, probably shit.

No one expects any more, the publisher will put out another one though,  because in this business, just as much as quality literature talks, money shouts.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

How to Develop a Writing Habit

I read in The Essentials of Screenwriting by Richard Walters two years ago that it is important to develop a writing habit. As I treat myself like a professional writer I find that having multiple means to write helps me motivate myself to write something new everyday. I can write a little of a novel, I can write an article for Helium, a poem, a short story a blog post on this blog or for my magazine Literati.

I set myself  word counts and I am generally happy to write about 400-500 words a day. For NaNoWriMo I will write much more than that but that is an extraordinary circumstance. Developing my skills day to day makes me feel I am progressing through my work at a good pace and that I never have to dwindle and pull my hair out over one project day in day out. Expand your horizons and start a few projects. Write a little everyday and finished products will pop up after a few weeks from just a little work a day.

The best way to develop a writing habit is to write! No tricks involved, no magic dust that i can sprinkle over you to make you produce like Hemingway did. Write and write and write until you can't write anymore. Start with small goals each day will help you feel the success that your writing could bring you.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Importance of Gaining a Readership

The thing with being a self-published author is that without a loyal readership you put that book you worked so hard on up on Kindle or Smashwords or whatever you want and still get peanuts. That isn't an accurate representation of the work you must have put in to the novel.

Start a blog, write about things you love and people will feel the passion you have for the topic. Gain a readership, these people will be familiar with your work. I write as often as possible. I work on my novels in between writing for this writing tips/personal blog, I write a Travel Blog and I contribute to and edit a Literary Magazine, I also contribute to a Film and Television industry blog with my brother found here.

I have multiple ways for potential readers to connect with me. Blogs and websites are a great marketing tool. You should use them.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Harper Collins signs up for Scrib'd

Harper Collins has come to an agreement with book subscription service Scrib'd which entails including the publishers catalogue in the service. Scrib'd for those of you who don't already know is a digital library not unlike what Netflix is for movies and television. The Chief Executive Trip Adler told The Australian that Scrib'd wants to be the "Netflix of books". They are well on their way, once Harper Collins has their books up Scrib'd will have over 50,000 available.

Harper Collins will however not include new release titles on the service which they have come under fire for. What the audience and members of Scrib'd have to understand is that Netflix doesn't get new release movies from studios either. If you want a library service you can go to a library and get the book for free.

The idea is that if Harper Collins released their new titles on Scrib'd at the same time they hit stores they significantly reduce the impact the Scrib'd members have on brick and mortar sales. You wouldn't pay $24.99 for a new release book if you could borrow it from Scrib'd for nothing more than you already pay per month for the service.

Customers sometimes have the 'Customer is always right' emblazoned so permanently on their brains that they fail to see that business is give and take. The sole purpose of book publishing isn't to provide a customer with a book, it is to sell a customer a book. The sooner consumers realize that the better.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Buddy Franklin and a Million Dollar Book Deal

Sometimes when I see the news reporting an athlete being offered exuberant amounts of money makes me wonder what the book industry would be like if we could get millions of people every week to go out and spend 20 dollars on a book instead of a football game.

I am not saying football players earn more than what they are worth, as an athlete myself I understand the rigors and hard work they have put in. They are not meatheads told to kick balls in between posts. It takes an instinct for decision making, athletic prowess and strategic knowledge to be a successful football player.

To be a successful writer requires the same kind of skills, besides the athletic prowess. Football players are paid what the market can handle. If millions of people are turning up and paying all that money to watch them play, if the players are the ones drawing the crowds in they should receive a fair share of the profits. If you sold a work of fiction that sold a million copies, wouldn't it be fair to expect a cut of profit from the publisher in the form of royalties?

What we as writers need to do is form a full contact version of writing. Maybe have authors read their works against each other, in a battle with fireworks and light shows, in an arena with beautiful women holding up cards with the page numbers on them.

This is obviously an unrealistic expectation. Football is a national culture in this country, books don't draw in the same kind of crowd. While we wait for this to happen though, I am here at my desk writing a novel a medium amount of people will enjoy, maybe one day the GWS Giants or the Sydney Swans will offer me 12 million dollars to write a novel, until then, back to the keyboard I go.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Big W opens Ebook store

Big w story

Retail giant Big W has entered the ebook market. The retailer who claims to already be the biggest seller of hard copy books in Australia has opened an online store in which customers can download ePub or PDF files of Australian autho. 

 Big W said that the store was to complement the already large amount of e-readers and iPads it sells. 

According to Big W the store is to foster the growth of the Australian book market. If it becomes popular it could certainly open up new avenues for Australian authors into the hard to crack US market. 

 As an author I would love to have my books available to such a wide audience within Australia. But we shouldn't veil ourselves from the truth. 

Australian authors already have the option to sell on Kindle and iBooks and on multi-platform sellers like Smashwords. The internet is already worldwide, so why sell on an Australian site?

The upside is the Australian dollars earned on sales. 

When selling on Amazon Australian authors are paid in USD of which some is taken by the IRS. Lessening the already small amounts independent authors typically earn. 

Sure we would have to claim income from the AUD earned on Big W's venture but the paperwork isn't as frustrating and the rate won't be as high because of the lack of international transaction fees. This means, should sales be similar, Australian authors would likely benefit from their books being available on Big W's ebook store. 

Big W has stated they will be supporting emerging Australian authors. There is no author portal on the site as yet. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

David Gilmour won't teach female or Chinese writers

University of Toronto Professor and Giller prize long listed Author wont teach work done by women or Chinese writers in his modern short fiction classes. The only exception is Virginia Woolf, but only one of her stories will be included in a syllabus that includes mostly American and Russian men.

Their exists no rule that states he must teach work by women or by Chinese writers, but to exclude them is to deny his students of great learning experiences. His role isn't to impart what he personally thinks is good literature, his job is to teach modern short fiction, not 'modern short fiction as judged by me'. If the unit of study was called 'modern fiction by males' the University would have more of a PR issue than Gilmour does.

Personally my favorite short story writer is Ernest Hemingway, of modern writers I like Tao Lin. The two of my favorites are males but that doesn't mean I don't read women or Chinese writers and i certainly wouldn't exclude them from a syllabus. That is a ludicrous idea. Why wouldn't you include Ann Beattie? Why not include Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan? Surely logic would prevail inside of the mind of a fiction teacher at the University level. What do you guys think?

5 ways to boost your writing productivity

Some of the biggest problems we have as writers relate to our ability to produce. Whether it be creating ideas, making time to write or literally putting the words down on the page. Here are a few tips to boost your productivity.

1. Go on a Holiday

When my characters are stuck and when I am stuck in a story I send them somewhere else. This is a tip I picked up during completion of NaNoWriMo last year. They suggested sending your characters to the circus, I sent mine to Paris and I found myself with another 10,000 words of ideas in no time and I found a great way to finish my novel.

2. Interview your character
Ask them five or so questions to find out what they are like, what is their favorite movie? What kind of music do they like? Do they like Orange juice? It could literally be anything, try and ask them their opinion on the events that are happening in your story, you may find your imagination knew the answers already.

3. Set an easily achievable word goal
There is no point saying "I'm going to write 1,000 words a day" if you don't think you can write that much. I set mine to be between 400-500 words a day, because I know I can get to 400 easily. Once I get to 400 I can stop and sometimes I do but most of the time I find myself hitting 500-600 even 1500 on days I feel productive. Writing isn't about writing a novel a day. You don't have to finish everything everyday, take it one step at a time and don't stress about the pressure of word counts.

4. Make an appointment
I set 11 am as my writing appointment, I schedule it as if it is a class I have to attend. I have to be there at my desk or I am going to be late. Knowing what time I am going to write makes me feel more comfortable with the other things in my day. I am not as worried about finding a time because I include writing in my day planner.

5. Experiment
I just rearranged my office so my desk faces another way, it gives me the feeling of being in a new office. I feel more productive because the computer looks newer (even though it is 4 years old) a different view may even give you a different perspective on your writing. I even tried writing standing up like Hemingway, for a couple days I was exceeding my word count goals but eventually I got tired. 

It is okay to try something and not like it because the most important aspect is the trial. "I'll do it one day" writers don't get anything done today. What do you guys think? What are some of your techniques?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Christopher Koch and an Asian Australia.

One of Australia's greatest novelists Christopher Koch died in Hobart on Monday. His best known work "The Year of Living Dangerously" was even better known worldwide as a film. He was 81 and the cause according to his agent Margaret Connolly was cancer.

The book was loosely based on his little brother Philip and his reporting for the ABC on Indonesia in the 60's. The novel was published in 1978, the film starred Mel Gibson. The book was credited with showing a greater connection and shifting focus from the western history of Australia to a more intricate connection with our neighbors in Asia.

The fact of the matter is that in recent years, especially since 1978, Australia has maintained strong alliances with Asian countries. Most of our trade agreements are with Asian countries and we rely heavily on economic powers like China and Japan for our exporting and importing efforts.

Financially, Australians are more likely to holiday in Asia because of cheaper flights and your children are more likely to have Asian friends in Australia than in any other western country. If not for a chance discovery by British discoverers hundreds of years ago we would more likely be an Asian nation.

Growing up in an area with a large Asian population I can't help but be drawn to the places my school friends have told me about, I can't help but be drawn to Asian culture and food and it shows in my writing. My creative writing involves aspects of Asian culture, I am drawn to books like Taipei by Tao Lin and Growing up Asian in Australia edited by Alice Pung.

I wasn't around when Koch published "The Year of Living Dangerously" but the connection it made between Australia and Asia creates an appeal that I am aware of today. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Man Booker Prize open to United States.

So the Man Booker Prize is open to the United States now. I don't really know how I feel about this, it is kind of negative thing from my personal point of view being Australian, I now have less chance of being nominated but on the other hand I wasn't getting nominated anytime soon anyway.

The US market is so large that the inclusion of those writers creates a distinct disadvantage to commonwealth writers who will likely now be pushed out by bigger and badder publishing and marketing budgets.

A different kind of prize would be more appropriate, a non-commonwealth award would suffice, in a population of over 350 million you are just more likely to find great writing talent. If 1 in 500,000 people are published authors (completely made up stat) then the US would of course be statistically more likely to have more competitors than little old England or Australia.

What do you guys think?

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I'm a Taekwondo and MMA athlete. I also write novels and screenplays.