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The International Short Story Conference

The 15th International Conference on the Short Story in English will take place from June 27-30, 2018 at the University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal with the theme: “Beyond History: The Radiance of the Short Story.”

In an age when private lives appear to be ruled by the force of historical events, we are contradictorily challenged by creative achievements that, even if originating in History, develop a self-sustainable energy, a radiance, so to say, that supersedes material circumstances and/or envisages alternatives for them.

The 15th International Conference on the Short Story in English brings writers of many nationalities to Lisbon, a city where the cultures of the world meet and stories of history unravel around every corner. In this scenario, fiction writers in English, or authors who have been translated into English, together with scholars of the short story, will join in reading sessions, roundtable discussions and panels, as well as in the more traditional paper presentation sessions.

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the Society for the Study of the Short Story, the Conference looks forward to the opportunity of highlighting the variety of ways in which the Short Story becomes a specific form, blurs the boundaries with other literary forms, goes beyond the written medium and borrows from other artistic processes/languages, shaping itself anew in an endless process. Indeed, proving to be an extremely resilient medium, the Short Story has been changing throughout the times and aesthetic tendencies, without losing the kernel that makes it a distinctive mode of the human expressive genius.

Workshops will be offered on June 26th, the day before the opening of the Conference.

For more information on how to submit, visit their website.

CINDER: Creative Interventions & New Directions in Expressive Research

 

CINDER Journal is a new initiative from the AAWP to offer a space for a forum for original research articles up to 4,000 words from higher degree students and early career researchers (within 2 years of doctoral submission).

If you’re a postdoc and you delivered a paper to our conference in November, this would be the perfect opportunity to develop it into a peer-reviewed publication! Submissions close on January 25.

You can email the editors for more information about how to submit.

Meet our winners!

At the recent conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, we celebrated the winners of our Emerging Writers’ Prizes. You can read more about our prizes and prize-winners below. You will also find some feedback from prize-winners, explaining what winning the prize meant for them and their writing.

The AAWP is very proud to offer these publication pathways and networking opportunities for emerging writers. We would like to thank our esteemed partners: Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF), the Australian Short Story Festival (ASSF) and the University of Western Australia Press (UWAP).

We would also would like to acknowledge the generosity of our partners who provide bonus prizes for the winners, and ace literary surprises for our conference bags: Overland, Meanjin, Review of Australian Fiction, Pilot Press Writers’ Diary, Westerly, The Lifted Brow, and Griffith Review. The AAWP is very grateful for the overwhelming generosity of these organisations.

We warmly encourage emerging writers to submit to our prizes in 2018. Please contact Julia Prendergast: jprendergast@swin.edu.au or any member of the AAWP executive team if you have questions about our prizes.

Our 2017 prize winners (left to right) Melanie Pryor, Ruth Armstrong, and Andrew Drummond (Joshua Kemp was unfortunately absent). On the far right stands our Deputy Chair and prizes portfolio holder, Julia Prendergast!

AAWP/UWRF EMERGING WRITERS’ PRIZE

The ‘AAWP/UWRF Emerging Writers’ Prize’ is offered in partnership with Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF). The winner receives accommodation for the duration of the festival and $500 towards economy airfares. In addition, the winner receives fully subsidised conference fees to attend the annual conference of the AAWP, where they are invited to read from your work. The editors at Meniscus consider the winner’s work for publication.

The prize represents a stunning opportunity to celebrate the craft of writing at South East Asia’s largest and most exciting literary festival, and the chance to be welcomed in to the thriving community of writers here at AAWP. Heartfelt thanks to the judges for donating precious time: for managing the judging process with such integrity.

The 2017 winner was Andrew Drummond for Song of Shadows. You can read Andrew’s story in the most recent issue of Meniscus.

About Andrew Drummond:

Andrew works in education and community mental health, and writes as often as possible. He lived in Bali for a while when he was younger, and met many wonderful people. He has been fascinated by Balinese culture ever since. In particular, he is drawn to traditional dance and gamelan music. This fascination inspired his story.

2017 judges’ report:

‘Song of Shadows’ is a quietly graceful and perceptive text that straddles genres and cultures. It explores the fragility of our connection to where we have come from and to where we will eventually return, a theme encapsulated in the Hindu philosophy ‘Sangkan Paraning Dumadi’. A lyric story interspersed with traditional verses, ‘Song of Shadows’ offers the spiritual assuagement its title promises and shows Andrew Drummond emerging as a major talent. Each section of ‘Song of Shadows’ attunes us to a different aspect of ‘origin’ and gestures to what strange connections might be revealed when we properly attend to the ambiguous and ambivalent connotations lurking behind the word in its plural form.

It was our pleasure to welcome Andrew to AAWP, and to present him with annual subscription to: Overland, Meanjin and Review of Australian Fiction, as well as to give him a copy of Pilot Press Writers’ Diary.

AAWP/ASSF EMERGING WRITERS’ PRIZE

The AAWP/ASSF Short Story Prize is offered in partnership with the Australian Short Story Festival. We are thrilled to partner with ASSF, to offer this exciting opportunity for emerging writers. Heartfelt thanks to the judges for donating precious time: for managing the judging process with such integrity.

The winner receives a ticket to the Australian Short Story Festival, accommodation for the duration of the festival, and return economy airfares. In addition, the winner receives fully subsidised conference fees to attend the annual conference of the AAWP, where they are invited to read from their work. The editors at Meniscus will consider the winner’s work for publication.

The 2017 winner is Ruth Armstrong for Paper Cranes. You can read Ruth’s story in the next issue of Meniscus.

About Ruth Armstrong:

Ruth is currently undertaking an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Technology, Sydney, with a focus on short story writing. ‘Paper Cranes’ was short listed for the 2017 Overland Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize. Ruth works as an editor at the health website, www.croakey.org.

2017 judges’ report:

In a field where we could quite easily have awarded half a dozen first prizes, Paper Cranes distinguishes itself from the remainder of the shortlist through its unwavering focus and effective scene changes, its characters who seem to walk straight out of real life and onto the page, its subtle and mostly unspoken conflicts, and its intelligent imagery. The story is well-paced and restrained when it needs to be, yet never sags; its dialogue rings true, yet avoids the banalities of everyday chitchat; it demonstrates an understanding of classic plot structure, yet remains lively and intriguing. In other words, it does its job. And in doing so, reminds us once again why short stories matter. Congratulations to the author.

It was our pleasure to welcome Ruth to AAWP, and to present her with annual subscription to: Overland, Meanjin and Review of Australian Fiction, as well as to give her a copy of Pilot Press Writers’ Diary.

AAWP/UWAP CHAPTER ONE PRIZE

Chapter One is the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP) publication pathway for emerging writers. The prize is open to authors who have written a poetry collection, literary novel, short story collection, or a hybrid work that crosses genre boundaries. The AAWP is delighted to partner with University of Western Australia Press (UWAP) to provide this publication pathway for emerging writers. Heartfelt thanks to the judges for donating precious time: for managing the judging process with such integrity.

The winner of the ‘Chapter One’ prize was Joshua Kemp for Boneyard. Joshua received a $500 cash prize and fully subsidised conference fees to attend the annual conference of the AAWP (November 2017), where he was invited to read from his work. Unfortunately, Josh could not join us for the conference. His work was read at the awards event, and applauded warmly by all. The University of Western Australia Press agrees to assess Joshua’s manuscript as a matter of priority.

About Joshua Kemp:

Joshua is an author of Australian Gothic and crime fiction. His short stories have appeared in Overland, Seizure and Tincture. He has been shortlisted for the S. D. Harvey Award and longlisted for the Margaret River Short Story Competition. He is currently undertaking a PhD at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia.

From the judges:

Boneyard impresses immediately with a style that is both simple and pared back, yet distinctive, ‘tactile’ and very forceful.  The vocabulary is spare, but very vivid, and works by a careful selection of very telling images, presented with an impressive brevity and vividness.

The writing offers a special kind of intimacy – a closeness and responsiveness to the sights, sounds and scenes of the novel, which seems at times almost onomatopoeic – and offers the perfect, inviting medium for the story, the characters and the core concerns to follow, as set out in the synopsis. The language itself offers the feeling that the writer is somehow ‘down here’, with the characters, with the kind of closeness and intimacy you can usually only achieve with a first person narrative.  The writer trusts the characters to speak in their own voice, and to define themselves through dialogue.  Authorial intrusion or commentary is minimal, throughout.  ‘Semi-autobiographical’ – as indicated in the synopsis – is usually a recipe for literary disaster.  We see no sign of it, in this case.   ​

Highly commended:

This year the judges also awarded a highly commended entry: Melanie Pryor for Girl, Swimming. The University of Western Australia Press has also agreed to assess Melanie’s manuscript, as a matter of priority, and Melanie also receives subsidised fees to attend this wonderful conference.

About Melanie Pryor:

Melanie is a Creative Writing PhD candidate. Her research project, comprised of a travel memoir entitled Girl, Swimming and an accompanying critical exegesis, examines gender, walking, and landscape in contemporary memoir. Melanie teaches in Creative Writing and English Literature, and is a member of Flinders University’s Life Narrative Research Group.

Melanie is a Co-Founder of The Hearth, an Adelaide-based creative readings event. Her personal essays and literary fiction have been published in OverlandSoutherly, and Lip, and her academic writing in a/b: Auto/Biography Studies.

The judges had this to say about Melanie Pryor’s manuscript:

Girl, Swimming is fearless, imaginative, ‘transformative’ and unusual.  This is a familiar world—but not one that is seen in a familiar way.

It is our pleasure to welcome Melanie, as our guest, to AAWP, and to present her with a copy of Pilot Press Writers’ Diary.

 

Lecture B positions open – UNE

The University of New England, Armidale, is offering two continuing, full-time lecturer in writing positions (level b) to join a team committed to the research and development of writing as a discipline. Applicants must have a doctorate in writing and a track record of research and publications.

Further details can be found here.

AGM agenda

For AAWP Members:

We’re excited to announce the Annual General Meeting for the AAWP will be at 4pm on 29 November at our conference venue. We have a full lineup of important items to bring AAWP members up to speed on, so we’d love it if you can make it. You can find the full agenda here.

The Hope Prize

The Hope Prize, the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s national short story competition, is open for entries

The prize aims to explore resilience in the face of poverty and disadvantage, encouraging Australian writers to look beyond common stereotypes to investigate the strengths that people show in dealing with hardship, whose voices are rarely heard.

Short stories entered for The Hope Prize can be fiction or fact. Whatever the genre, the story submitted must convey the experience of people facing hardship in their lives.

The total prize pool is $17,500, and two Women’s Writing Career Development Scholarships — of $5,000 each — will also be awarded.

Authors must be Australian residents and entries must be between 2000 and 5000 words. The closing date for entries is January 31, 2018.

The Hope Prize was made possible by the generosity of the late Prudence Myer and the support of her family, as well as with the support of Simon & Schuster — which published the Hope anthology of the winning stories from the first competition — and Readings book retailer.

Judges

The eminent judges for the first competition are again judging The Hope Prize. They are former governor general Dame Quentin Bryce, actor Cate Blanchett, and author Kate Grenville.

Prizes

The prizes for the competition are:

First prize— $10,000

Second prize — $4,000

Third prize — $2,000

Highly commended stories — $250

Award for an emerging writer under 18 years — $500

Women’s Writing Career Development Scholarships

Two Women’s Writing Career Development Scholarships — of $5,000 each — will be awarded to recognise the many additional challenges women face in our community. The patron of the scholarship hopes that the scholarships will give two women a special opportunity to thrive.

Please see www.bsl.org.au/events/the-hope-prize for competition guidelines and entry form.

Email: shortstory@bsl.org.au

Cultural Musing – The South

The Department of English and Creative Writing, in collaboration with University Collections of the University of Adelaide present The South with Nobel Laureate, JM Coetzee; Australian novelist and academic, Gail Jones; and Miles Franklin awardee, Alexis Wright with Nicholas Jose, Professor of English and Creative Writing, the University of Adelaide and Bath Spa University, UK.

In a conversation with readings, four writers discuss their experience of writing in and from the South. What is the South as seen through Southern eyes? Can it be free of the weight of the Northern gaze?

For more information, visit the website

Lecturer in Creative Writing position at Southern Cross University

The School of Arts and Social Sciences at Southern Cross University is seeking to appoint a Level B academic to continue the development of programs in creative writing.

The School of Arts and Social Sciences is a large, multi-disciplinary School offering programs online and across the University’s Lismore, Coffs Harbour and Gold Coast campus locations. The School offers a range of awards in the areas of Humanities, Media, Contemporary Music, Arts and Design, and Social Sciences on-campus and flexible delivery modes, all of which include Honours programs.

Click here for more information on the position, or see the Pdf for more information

Creative Readings Night ‘What’s Lost, What Lingers?’

Wheatsheaf Hotel, 39 George Street, Thebarton – Wednesday 29 November 2017, 6:30pm

When you come to our conference in November, you will have the chance to attend the Creative Readings Night presented by The Hearth collective.

Catch the tram a couple of stops out of the city to Thebarton and then it’s a short stroll to the Wheaty on George Street (adventure map to guide you coming soon), for a creative readings night curated by a Flinders University creative writing collective: The Hearth.

Listen to readings on the theme of ‘What’s Lost, What Lingers?’ from your fellow conference delegates while you sip on a craft beer or whisky, the specialties of this beautiful old no-pokies pub that’s a favourite with the locals, or sample one of South Australia’s many delicious wines. Nibble on a cheese platter or some chips from the bar, get a tasty meal from a food truck out the front of the pub, or order in a wood oven pizza delivery from the menu behind the bar.

If you’ve been accepted for the creative stream of the conference, you are welcome to present at The Hearth instead of the daytime sessions – just let us know. Otherwise, if you would like to read your creative work, head over to the Call For Presenters and submit your proposal.

You can find more details here

Winner Announcement AAWP/ASSF Emerging Writers’ Prize

It is our very great pleasure to announce the winner of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs / Australian Short Story Festival Emerging Writers’ Prize. The winner is Ruth Armstrong for ‘Paper Cranes’. AAWP/ASSF are proud to support emerging writers in offering this opportunity for emerging writers.

AAWP/ASSF would like to thank all authors who submitted to the prize. The judges were overwhelmed by the quality and diversity of entries. This made the judging process inordinately challenging.

Judges’ appraisal:

In a field where we could quite easily have awarded half a dozen first prizes, Paper Cranes distinguishes itself from the remainder of the shortlist through its unwavering focus and effective scene changes, its characters who seem to walk straight out of real life and onto the page, its subtle and mostly unspoken conflicts, and its intelligent imagery. The story is well-paced and restrained when it needs to be, yet never sags; its dialogue rings true, yet avoids the banalities of everyday chitchat; it demonstrates an understanding of classic plot structure, yet remains lively and intriguing. In other words, it does its job. And in doing so, reminds us once again why short stories matter. Congratulations to the author.

About Ruth Armstrong:
Ruth is currently undertaking an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Technology, Sydney, with a focus on short story writing. ‘Paper Cranes’ was short listed for the 2017 Overland Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize. Ruth works as an editor at the health website, www.croakey.org.