Mothers & Others, Collection

mothers and others, mothers and others review, aussie book reviews, Australian book reviews, book review blog, blog reviews

Feature image MOTHERS & OTHERS

Mothers & Others is an anthology of short stories and non-fiction essays from twenty-eight different Australian women; many of which are writers.  It was edited by Natalie Kon-Yu, Christie Nieman, Maggie Scott, Miriam Sved, Maya Linden and published on 1st May 2015 by Macmillan Australia.

Each ‘chapter’ is a meditation on parenting, children, and mothers.  The anthology includes stories about infertility, choosing to remain childless, adoption, step-children and pregnancy.

The contributors are amazingly different and their experiences so diverse, Alice Pung, Brita Frost, Deborra-Lee Furness, Simmone Howell, Maggie Scott, Brooke Davis, Cate Kennedy Celeste Liddle, Rosie Waterland, Christie Nieman, Shakira Hussein, Miriam Sved, Debra Adelaide, Dianne Blacklock, Emily Maguire, Estelle Tang, Frances Whiting, Rosie Batty, Kathleen Mary Fallon, Liane Moriarty, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Geraldine Brooks, Melina Marchetta, Maya Linden, Natalie Kon-yu, Jessica Rudd, Enza Gandolfo and Sue Gillett.  These women formed a well-rounded read on the topic of motherhood, in all its forms.

The flap copy of Mothers & Others promises unflinching honesty and clear-eyed wisdom.

A work that holds a mirror up to the most romanticised, demonised and complex roles women play; those of mother or non-mother, and daughter.’

Twelve Years of Looking After Luke, by mother Rosie Batty, as told to Maggie Scott, was a standout of the collection.  Rosie Batty’s harrowing journey as a parent through domestic violence, paternal mental illness and, of course, the very public death of her son Luke at the hands of his father, is told with warmth and calm. Continue reading

Amazing Babes, Eliza Sarlos & Grace Lee

amazing babes review, amazing babes book, childrens book, emerging writer, emerging writers, reviews, australian books, aussie book reviews

Feature image from AMAZINGBABES

AMAZING BABES by Eliza Sarlos and Grace Lee.  This is the book that inspired a traveling writers singing spectacular!

Amazing babes, amazing babes book, emerging writer, emerging writers, reviews, australian books, aussie book reviews I first heard about Amazing Babes at the EMERGING WRITERS FESTIVAL.  At the festival, it was in song form, but I got the drift of it.

So it’s a beautiful book.  It’s well made, lovely to look at and easy to read.

Amazing Babes is a celebration of innovative, brave and world-changing women.  When I first read this book I felt a little tingle run down my spine.  It’s a really inspiring book, for grown-ups as much as little people.

AMAZING BABES was published in 2013 by Scribe in Australia.  It’s a collaboration between writer and illustrator which started as a one of a kind book, written by Eliza Sarlos for her son Arthur.  It was a birthday present for Arthur.  Eliza asked longtime friend Grace Lee to help bring the words to life and the result is gorgeous portraits that introduce new readers to the lives of these strong, powerful and world changing women.

I actually have a copy of this in my library and we have a house without children.  Friends and family love reading it when it’s laying around on the coffee table.

Images from AMAZING BABES

children's books, amazing kids books, aussie book reviews, Australian book reviews, book review blog, blog reviews children's books, amazing kids books, aussie book reviews, Australian book reviews, book review blog, blog reviews

 

 

Australian Women Writers Challenge

reviews, meghan brewster reviews, book reviews, australian writers reviewed, Australian literature review, aussie writers, book review, aussie writers, australian women writers

reviews, meghan brewster reviews, book reviews, australian writers reviewed, Australian literature review, aussie writers, book reviewFeature image from GOOGLE

This is probably me being very ambitious, but I’m going to join a reading challenge seven months too late.  The AUSTRALIAN WOMEN WRITERS’ CHALLENGE is part of a worldwide movement to raise awareness of Australian Writing by women.

The Challenge is primarily intended to challenge subconscious stereotypes that govern our choice of books to read.  With that in mind, I just agreed to read and review 20 books by Australian Women by the end of 2015.

Ok.  If you’d like to join in the challenge, SIGN UP here.  I better get cracking.

I wonder how this will go?

Kate Liston-Mills, kate liston, waterfowl are drunk, kate liston mills writer, Emerging writer, emerging writers festival, what is an emerging writer, young writer, your writers, australian writers blog, blogger or writerBlog, how to start a blog, starting a blog, start a blog, young writers, emerging writers, blogging, literary blod, book blog, book review blogthe strays, emily bitto, Books, ebooks, books online, book, gift ideas, buy books online, free ebooks, ebooks online, emerging writer, emerging writers, reviews, australian books, aussie book reviewshannah kent, burial rites, reviews, meghan brewster reviews, book reviews, australian writers reviewed, Australian literature review, aussie writers, book reviewthe thorn birds, reviews, meghan brewster reviews, book reviews, australian writers reviewed,Mireille Juchau, the world without us, reviews, meghan brewster reviews, book reviews, australian writers reviewed, Australian literature review, aussie writers, book reviewgood fiction books to read, good books, book blogs, books, book reviews, book review blogs, good fiction books, kate morton, the lake house, the lake house review

Susannah Fraser Interviews Kate Liston-Mills

Kate Liston-Mills, Kate Liston-Mills, interview, Kate Liston-Mills, the waterfowl are drunk, Kate Liston-Mills books, Kate Liston-Mills short stories

 Feature image from KATELISTON-MILLS 

Growing up as a young girl in Pambula, Kate was “super uncool”. She read the Silver Brumby while everyone else discussed The Baby Sitter’s Club. She watched the Man from Snowy River most days of the week and spent far too many afternoons bored at her Nan’s. These Australian themes appear to have left their mark on Kate and are explored in her new book, THE WATERFOWL ARE DRUNK! which launches on the 10th June in Wollongong. This short story collection is based in her hometown of Pambula and traces loss, hope and connection through a family living in a small coastal Australian town.

These short stories are woven together to paint a portrait of a family experiencing the ups and downs of life, in a community where relationships are important and tea and bickies are the comforts that make the roller coaster all the more sweet, and a little more bearable.  I won’t delve too much into the content here, but you can read our REVIEW.  I will highly recommend you grab yourself a copy and read it. It is a fantastic book.

I was running late for my Skype interview with Kate. As I clutched my bags and scrambled for a seat on the bus, I managed to text her a quick update on my whereabouts. Kate messaged back – she was in the garden and covered in mud. Would that be ok? She would feed the dog and get tea ready. She sounded like a character in her book – warm, friendly, domestic. 

As the bus jerked through tight inner city streets, I realised I have known Kate, distantly, for about ten years.  I met her on a stinking hot summer’s night in Sydney through a mutual friend. She has popped up in my life about once a year, at various gatherings. My impressions of her were always of fabulous hair, a hearty laugh, and an ability to talk to anyone. However, I knew nothing about Kate, the Writer, and on the verge of her book launch, I was curious to find out!  Continue reading

What are Writing Festivals For

Writers festival, purpose of writers festivals, what are writers festivals for, Emerging writer, what is an emerging writer, young writer, australian writers blog, blogger or writer, australian blogger, female writer Australian,

Feature image from EMERGINGWRITERS’FESTIVAL & MARKGAMBINO

Today is the final day of the Emerging Writers’ Festival 2015.

After two major Australian writers festivals and a few thousand dollars later, all I’m left with a pile of books I might never get time to read and a whole heap of already fading memories.

As I sit at my desk in the last of my clean clothes and look down at my half-unpacked bag spewing with notes, dirty washing, receipts and signed books, I can’t help wondering what writing festivals are actually for.

Was it all worth it?

Would I be the person (writer) I am today if I didn’t go?  Can writers actually afford to go to festivals? Or are they for fans and readers?  The crowd at the Sydney Writers Festival was mostly middle aged women and very old men. Continue reading

EWF15 – Inside the Publishing House

tips from publishers, inside publishing house, How to publish a book, how to publish an ebook, book writing software, formatting an ebook, self publishing, uploading ebook, selling ebook,

Feature image from MEGHANBREWSTER

On the 29th of May 2015, I went inside a publishing house, metaphorically speaking.  As part of the EMERGING WRITERS’ FESTIVAL, I was able to attend a Publishing Masterclass with one of Australia’s largest and most successful publishing houses, HACHETTE AUSTRALIA.  Here’s what I learnt, straight from the Hachette’s mouth.

Submitting Your work

When submitting your manuscript to a publisher, be clear, direct and slightly business like.  You need to convey an awareness of what you’re selling.  ‘This is the book, this is the type of book it is and this is the hook.  That’s all we need to know.’

Getting Rejected

There are a number of reasons why a publisher will say no to a manuscript.  Firstly the manuscript might actually be very bad or nowhere near publication.  Alternatively, it might have potential, but the publisher is already working on a similar manuscript.  The manuscript might be in direct competition with a writer the publisher has already signed.  It might also have a lot of potential, but the publisher simply does not have time to get the work ready for publication. Continue reading

EWF15 – A Discussion About Interviewing

ewf15, interviewing writers, writers who interview, Emerging writer, what is an emerging writer, young writer, australian writers blog, blogger or writer, australian blogger, female writer australian,

Feature image from THEWRAP

I had never really thought much about what makes a good interview; never mind what makes a good interviewer.  I thought interview skills were for journalists and police officers.  I was wrong.  Being able to interview a stranger is a wonderful skill that most writers and bloggers don’t know they need.

As a writer, interviews are a wonderful way to flesh out characters, delve into unknown areas and accurately portray various professions.  Interviewing skills help when writing profiles and long-form articles for publications.  Many novelists even recommend conducting interviews with your own characters as a means of getting deeper into their minds.

As a blogger, interviewing skills are also wonderful.  Interviews are a refreshing way to cover the content you might not be proficient in writing about yourself.  Interviews with other bloggers, who are also experts in your niche make wonderful articles and give your readers a break from your ‘voice’. Continue reading

Aren’t Bloggers and Writers the Same Thing

Emerging writer, emerging writers festival, what is an emerging writer, young writer, your writers, australian writers blog, blogger or writer

Feature image from SRTRENDS

The Writing Festival Season is about to start and I’m absolutely thrilled to be participating in the EMERGING WRITERS FESTIVAL for 2015.

This year I’ll be joining SAM VAN ZWEEDEN and  MICHELLE McLAREN to talk all things blogging.  I’m nervous, excited and starting to wonder if I am completely out of my depth.  As the days tick by and the panel discussion looms ahead, I realise I have no idea what the hell blogging even is?

Firstly, I want to make one thing clear.  I hate the words Blog, Blogs, Blogging, Blogger and Blogged.  They sound like they’ve come straight from the toilet.  I try at all costs to never say these words out loud.

When people ask me what I do for a living I tell them ‘I write…online…for a few websites…that I own.’ Continue reading

Australian Book Reviews

Emerging writer, emerging writers festival, what is an emerging writer, young writer, your writers, australian writers blog

Feature image from MANUSCRAPPED

My Year of Critical Thinking: Why I am going to review Australian books.

I have known for a long time that I’m not a book reviewer.  My lack of formal education on the subject of books and reviewing was my first clue.  Having never wanted to review books before, nor sought out Book Reviewing as a profession, I was almost convinced.  It wasn’t until I realised I had no previous experience on the matter nor had I tried in any way to learn about book reviewing that I knew; I was / will never be a Book Reviewer.

But when has that ever stopped anyone from verbalising their opinions on things they know nothing about?  The internet is a testament to the under skilled / under qualified making it big by saying it loud.  All you really need these days is a debit card and a basic understanding of html.  <sarcasm>Everyone deserves to have their say about everything</sarcasm>

This year I have decided that there is no way forward for me if not through the marsh like swamps of the book review world.  I must start critically reading and thoughtfully reflecting on the books I consume.  I must start seriously learning from those around me.  I do it not for the glory, but for the expansion and mental exercise of my brain muscle.

I am burning through books at the moment, consuming them as quickly as I can before moving on; thinking that this would teach me something simply by osmosis (Ok so part of that is actually true, by reading a lot, I am getting much better)!

Everyone tells you, writers should read a lot.  I have been reading, but I have not been reading critically.  I want to actually think about books, and stories, and writing, and authors, and where books are placed within a writers’ life and career.

I want to really look at the vocabulary within a book, at what that book can teach me about stories and literature.  How was that book received when it was first released?  And how is it seen now?

How to Review a Book?

I really know nothing about book reviews.  I love to read them, but have never really pulled them apart before either!  (Ohhhh curse my sluggish-post-university-Netflix-saturated-mind!)  The Book Pages are the first part of the paper I read.  It is my favourite part of the paper on the weekend.  I love adding new titles to the ‘must read’ note in my phone, now so long it spikes adrenaline within me just opening the tab.

How does one review a book?  Do I have to spoil the ending?  Do I have to tell you everything that happens?  If so, how much information is too much?  I don’t want to drop too many spoilers but what is a spoiler?  Is telling you the book is crap the biggest spoiler of all?  I have so much to learn.

I will do a little research and get back to you….

Here is what my reviews will look like…

I am going to review books from the perspective of an Emerging Writer, by pulling them apart the same way any Emerging Writer would (should).  I am going to look at the whole book.  I want to know what that book could teach an Emerging Writer.  I am going to look at how that book fits with in the writer’s career and the story, if there is one, about how it was published.

THIS HOUSE OF GRIEF, by Helen Garner

THE LAKE HOUSE, by Kate Morton

THE WORLD WITHOUT US, by Mireille Juchau

RUSH OH! by Shirley Barrett

BURIAL RITES, by Hannah Kent

BREATH by Tim Winton

THE THORN BIRDS by Colleen McCullough

CLADE, by James Bradley

 

 

To have your Australian fiction novel REVIEWED, inquire here.

 

Susie Mander, An Interview

Susie Mander, Bird of Chaos, Harpies Curse

 

australian authors, young authors, female writer, female writer australian, Susie ManderMeet Susie Mander, a Sydney based writer who from her earliest memories has been writing and telling stories as she walked round and round a huge date palm in her back yard.  In just one year this incredible lady has released her first novel and given birth to her first child.

She wrote her first novel (seven pages long) somewhere around the age of ten and by the time she started high school she had already accumulated a pile of rejection letters from publishers.  But it was not a direct path to the release of her first novel.

With a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master’s of Teaching, Susie Mander has found herself in a number of different careers, Teaching English, designing a mobile phone app and getting involved in running a tech start up, before finally realising that writing was the only thing that was going to make her truly happy.

 After being released on the 10th of August, just under fifty days before her daughter was born, Bird of Chaos; Book one in the Harpies Curse, has already been downloaded hundreds of times.

As Mander gets to work on Book Two, Manuscrapped caught up with this new mother and Emerging Writer to find out which was harder; giving birth or publishing a book? Continue reading