A little shout out for the NSW Writers’ Centre’s Speculative Fiction Festival (click on the highlighted text to be taken straight to their webpage), being held a the centre in the beautiful grounds of the former mental asylum at Callan Park. I have previously enjoyed many speakers and panels at the Speculative Fiction Festival and also the Genre Fiction Festival, found new writers to read, and picked up on the buzz of being surrounded by so many people interested in writing, and even a few who make their living from it. If you are in Sydney on 18 July, I can recommend it.
This year’s convenor/director is Cat Sparks. At a panel a few years ago, she challenged the audience: are you actually finishing your stories? And then, are you submitting them? And are you aiming your sights high, are you trying to sell in foreign markets? I had to admit, with a couple of minor exceptions, that my answer to all three was ‘no’. And so I did something about it. I set targets. I finished work. I sent it out. I haven’t set any worlds on fire, but I’ve now made pro and semi-pro sales in Australia and overseas, of stories I am proud of, in publications I am excited to be associated with. So: thank you, Cat Sparks!