October is probably my favourite month of the year in New York. The leaves are falling, one suddenly needs to put on a jacket again after months of perspiring, and it’s the hectic social season of the travelling Australian — specifically, the travelling Australian who works in publishing and migrates to the northern hemisphere to participate in a range of activities that surround the annual Frankfurt Book Fair irrespective of an actual trip to Frankfurt.
I stayed put and enjoyed a few refreshments courtesy of an $AUD expense account, which is about 10 per cent more valuable than it was this time last year. In between social engagements I did manage to keep track of what my clients are up to, and by the looks of things it was a busy month for many. Some highlights:
- I sold a partial manuscript by Brooke Hemphill to Affirm Press and wrote a case study here about how the deal happened in order to help aspiring nonfiction authors understand more about the agenting process.
- Fiona Higgins was a guest of the Ubud Writers’ Festival, talking about her novel The Mothers’ Group, now out in paperback.
- Lily Brett was busy promoting Lola Bensky (which I edited but did not agent) around its US release.
- Friday Night Fictions, an initiative by Kirsten Krauth to help promote debut fiction, was mentioned in the Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘Undercover’ literary blog.
- This wonderful piece by Australian Women Writers Challenge founder Elizabeth Lhuede reflecting on issues of gender (im)balance in literary book review pages and what prompted her to establish the Challenge rightfully got a lot of attention.
An added late-October personal bonus was waking up to find myself listed as a ‘Top 10 Oz-Lit Tweep’ — a person who Tweets — by novelist and fellow-Tweep Annabel Smith, who lists us, complete with reasons, here. Her novel Whisky Charlie Foxtrot has been shortlisted for the award of Most Underrated Book Of The Year and will be announced in a couple of weeks. Thank you Annabel, and good luck!