Wonderful news from Black Inc Books: calls for autobiographical accounts of growing up Aboriginal in Australia for an anthology aimed at high school students, to be published in 2018. This is a timely and brilliant idea – have we really not had such a collection before this?
Dr Anita Heiss, lifetime ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and author of Am I Black Enough for You? will edit the anthology, Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia.
Submissions must be between 800 and 3,000 words, and are due on May 1st. The publisher states:
The pieces can be written in a wide range of styles, voices and tones, as long as they are original, honest and reflective; we are not looking for abstract or sociological treatments. The anthology will be aimed both at high school students and general readers. The submissions can deal with any aspect of growing up as a Blackfella, and must be engaging while providing insight into the diverse lives of Aboriginal people in Australia today. We are looking for voices that defy, question or shed light on the usual stereotypes.
When final copies of a book arrive from the warehouse, it’s not only the author who smiles with pride and relief.
To get from a draft manuscript to a printed book, ready for distribution to the booksellers who have ordered copies from the publisher’s sales reps, requires a lot of time and many pairs of eyes and hands. The chief stewards, respectively, of the production process and the author, are the publisher (Jeanne Ryckmans of Nero, an imprint of Black Inc) and the literary agent (moi). We are almost as excited as the author, Brad Hutchins, to see the fruit of that months-long labour in this vivid standout cover.
Brad and I will be doing a Q&A here soon on the development work we did to bring his unsolicited manuscript to a standard that attracted a book deal. But for now, it’s more than enough to celebrate the fact that Game, Set, Cash! his terrific memoir about the secret world of international tennis trading, will be in bookstores in June. Click the link for ways to buy or order a copy.
Reviewing my client list the other day, I was struck by the fact that they are really a fine looking bunch of writers. When I get around to updating my website, I must add photos. The chap on the left, for example, is Brad Hutchins, whose memoir Game, Set, Cash! will be published in 2014 by Black Inc.
Given that I typically find my clients on the quality of their query letters and manuscripts, without clapping eyes on anything but their prose, it’s a serendipitous result.
But enough of that. Some exciting things have happened for my lovely clients in November, such as:
Lily Brett’s novel Lola Bensky (of which I was the editor, not the agent) has been nominated for the prestigious IMPAC Dublin award. She’ll be appearing on Wednesday at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City.
Author of the bestselling The Mothers’ Group, Fiona Higgins, showed me her freshly baked novel and I can’t say much right now except IT’S FANTASTIC and will be published in September 2014.
Jenny Ackland has submitted a very exciting new manuscript which is both literary and gripping — basically your Holy Grail for literary fiction publishers, who are skittish as cats these days.
And as of the last days of the month I’ve found a publisher for a fascinating work of nonfiction/biography which I won’t disclose until the ink’s dry on the contract. But the story of its path to publication is worth waiting for, and I couldn’t be happier for the author.
So why bother listing all of this? I want you to know that publishers DO want to publish great stories, well told. It’s just a lot harder to do than many unpublished writers think. I hate saying no to so many queries, but the truth is that most of them are not nearly ready to go out into the world. Even when the manuscripts are of a high quality, there’s still more editorial development work to be done, whether it’s with me or with the publisher, or most often, both.
Here’s my question for you: What sorts of things do you want to know about how the book publishing industry works? I have the most experience in Australia — as an in-house editor, published author, and literary agent — but I’ll answer a genuine question from anywhere.