Well, it’s all official and such. The results for this year’s AHWA Short Story and Flash Fiction Competition are as follows:
SHORT STORY COMPETITION
WINNER: “Always a Price”, Joanne Anderton
HONOURABLE MENTION: “Life, Death and Customer Service”, Nicholas Stella
WINNER: “Blood Lilies”, Shauna O’Meara
HONOURABLE MENTION: “Fragments of a Botanical Journal”, Matthew J Morrison
(more info here http://australianhorror.com/index.php?view=57)
Congrats to the winners, and well done to all who entered. I was especially chuffed to see Jo win the short story contest – all entries were blind-judged, so we had no idea who the authors were until we’d made our decision. Jo is going great guns with her writing, and her story in Midnight Echo #6 was top-shelf.
Many thanks to fellow judges Alan Baxter and Felicity Dowker, and huge high-fives to Martin Livings for wrangling this thing, and keeping it together when we judges got all Battle Royale on each other. I have it on good authority that the winners will be getting the plague through the post soon. Erm, I meant their plaques, of course :-)
My assault on the Karaoke World Championship continues. Last night my cheer-posse and I descended on the Rex Hotel, for the venue finals. A great night of song and fun, and the hosts have to be commended for putting on a great show. End result, I came 2nd for the night, and along with the winner I will be competing in the State Finals in a couple of weeks.
First time I’ve competed in this level of singing, and I quickly learnt a couple of things. It’s SOP to have a change of costume between your songs (serious!). It’s also a bad idea to stick to only the one artist/group. Variety and versitility can have an effect on your final score. One kind soul also suggested not looking at the screen so often, and learning all of the words. True, and a quick squiz at the offical KWC Youtube clips (world champions at the international finals) proves that these folks are more or less singing as pros – entertaining the crowd, dancing, and belting it out with full confidence. Turns out it’s serious business!
Next, the State Finals await. Bring it on
(Here is part 1 of my epic adventure for those who missed it: http://jasonfischer.com.au/?p=136)
So after returning to the Author Services building turning in our 24-hour stories, John Goodwin (President of Galaxy Press) dropped by to give our class a bit of a talk about media, self-promotion, and interviewing skills. This was really invaluable stuff – I’ve done other writing courses/camps/retreats before, and not once has anyone ever told me about how to conduct myself in an interview situation. Here’s a great example: If someone says to you “so, what’s your story about?” can you neatly summarise your tale in thirty seconds or so? Pretty much every time I’ve been asked this question, I come out with “there’s this guy, you see, and he lives in this land where so-and-so happens, and he has the ability to so-and-so, and then…” by which time the other person has a glazed look in their eyes and you’ve officially lost their interest.
Now change this into an interview setting with the media. You’ve got thirty seconds to sell yourself and your new product, to an interviewer who is probably not interested in the genre and who will unconsciously attempt to derail the conversation to more familiar territory. We were taught how to be concise, how to present ourselves, how to stick to the topic and answer the question we really want to answer (much as politicians do in interviews).
We were put into practice with our “twins” (person you’re sat next to for the workshop), and did dry-runs of our interviewing skills until we were blue in the face. This was invaluable, as later on we first prize winners did film and radio interviews, and all the contestants did film and taped interviews with the folks from Author Services after the awards ceremony. At some stage a filmed interview with us will appear at neverendingpanel.com, and we each did a spot for XM Radio. I’m sure glad we had a bit of practice first!
All books published by WOTF winners are kept in a very cool library, and I too have a book here! It’s the skinny one next to The Jane Austen Book Club.
Well, it’s been a week since I announced the Gravesend haiku competition, and it’s judging time. There’s been some great entries from a bunch of folks, and I’ve enjoyed them all. Still, I had to get down the serious business of judging these poems. I weighed up emotional resonance, usage of seasons, and sneaky Romero references, but mostly I counted syllables
Without further ado, the winners are:
now snowflakes curl on undead
flesh; unmelting, still.
Til death do we part;
chewing on my dear wife’s brains
silencing her screams
- Peter M Ball
Skulls are way too hard.
Softest way to get at brains:
through the eye sockets.
- Lisa Hannett
And a bonus winner, because it’s just too awesome, and captures perfectly the true angst of zombie haiku composition:
Brains brains brains brains brains
Brains brains brains brains brains brains brains
Brai- ai- ai-ai-ns
Your zombielicious copies of “After the World: Gravesend” will be in the post shortly. Congratulations!
ETA: Because he’s a classy haiku-loving kind of guy, Peter M Ball has donated his prize back into the contest. Here’s a poem that narrowly missed out on a spot in the top 3, which I’m now pleased to add to the winner’s circle.
Roused to seek fresh meat
As winter freshens the air:
I shall hunt you; hide.