Short Story Clinic

Angela Slatter, fabulous writer, and one of the finest short story writers I know has given me a reminder (and much appreciated kick up the bum).

I’m running a short story clinic with the QWC over the next six months (starting March).

The Dates are:

If you like my short fiction (or my novels) you’ll know I’m very genre friendly – I tend to come at this stuff from a spec fic perspective – but I don’t stop there. Cate Kennedy is one of my favourite short story writers, as is Maile Meloy (check them out).

What you’ll get in these clinics is talk, some writing exercises (I didn’t do this the last time I ran a clinic, and I think it suffered for it, I love writing exercises and these will be fun and instructive), and critiquing – which if you’ve not experienced it before can be a great introduction to editorial-like feedback, and it can be a great way of finding a person who reads your work with sensitivity, and who you trust – a lot of friendships come out of these clinics.

You’ll also get me. Six months of being able to hurl stories at me (well, at least a few), and get critiques, and some of that experience (six books, around seventy short stories, and my years of living a Hemingwayesque lifestyle – drink lots of water, and learn how to swear, or something).

So six clinics, six months of hanging with a group of writers, six months of deadlines and time devoted to writing (and time is precious), and me as your fearless leader (well, slightly fearful, I don’t like heights, much, not at all, really).

Think about it. You can book here where you will see a rather young-looking picture of me (without a beard, it was a phase I was going through).






Well, I wrote up this post and promptly forgot about it, still!

Had a great week last week watched Jason Nahrung (with the help of the wonderful Kim Wilkins) launch his novella Salvage – it’s a great book. And I read something new in front of an audience at the State Library Cafe thanks to the QWC and their Whispers Salon.

Whispers was great, lots of wonderful readings from Kate Cantrell, Robert Cook, Meg Vann and Kathleen Noud. Every story left me wishing they could read for another ten minutes at least.

And I got a chance to test out the new WiP The House in Arbitrary. Thanks to the State Library Cafe for the lovely venue, and Aimee and the QWC for organising this event. You rarely (well, I rarely) get a chance to read aloud, let alone headline something so I felt just a bit special.

I love reading my work aloud, and I only discovered this as a result of the QWC, way back around 2004 (ish). Every reading you learn something new. The chance to read has also made me braver, I like to throw myself into a reading. Reading is performance, a chance to show the different edges and rhythms of the work (if you can remember that through the roaring of terror in your ears) you have an opportunity to give the audience something different. They’re your words, read them with conviction, read them sly, read them so people want to know what happens next. It’s a rare thing a reading, if you get a chance to do one leap at it.

In that instant feedback between you and the audience you’ll learn so much, an audience is a gift. You have people wanting to listen, give them your best.

Thanks again to the QWC for the gift they’re giving writers: the scary white-knuckle wonderful gift.