Nest has been longlisted for the 2015 Stella Prize. It’s among fine company, including Helen Garner’s This House of Grief, Maxine Beneba Clark’s Foreign Soil and Ellen Van Neerven’s Heat and Light.
I’ll be taking part in the lovely Perth Writers Festival this year. It looks like a great line up, including Maxine Beneba Clarke, Brooke Davis, Kristina Olsson, and Ellen van Neerven. I’m looking forward to Bob Brown’s opening talk and Elizabeth Gilbert’s hook up with Hillary Mantel.
I’ll be talking with Emily Bitto about small communities and secrets of the past, and Annamarie Weldon and Deb Fitzpatrick about nature as muse.
I’ll also be teaching a workshop on how to develop your first draft into a finished manuscript.
And I’ll be reading from Nest along with some of the other authors longlisted for this year’s Stella Prize as part of the Domestic Double Standards panel.
Details and bookings here.
Inga will be teaching a nature writing workshop as part of the Reality Bites Writers Festival at Cooroy Library on Friday morning, 24 October. Reality Bites is a wonderful non-fiction festival (though touches of fiction are creeping in, showing how blurry that line can be), which this year will be held in Eumundi as well as Cooroy.
The workshop is designed for fiction and nonfiction writers with a passion for the natural world, as well as professional writers in environmental fields. You’ll focus on techniques for bringing landscapes, flora and fauna to life for your audience, including: evocative description, effective use of emotion, and the importance of story.
The workshop combines instruction, writing examples from the world’s best nature writers, and a range of writing exercises to help you hone your craft and learn more about the inspiring genre of nature writing.
You can book your place in the workshop here.
I’ll be teaching a masterclass about how to develop your novel from zero draft to masterpiece at this year’s Brisbane Writer’s Festival.
We’ll be looking at a mix of practical techniques for structuring and mapping your story as well as some more playful ideas for developing your themes and characters – finding the magic in your story.
You can find details about the workshop, and the other sessions I’m involved with at the festival here:
I’ve kept this picture of two Lewis chessmen on the wall by my writing desk for more than ten years. There’s something about the beserker, crazy-eyed and biting his shield.
Seventy-eight chessmen were found on the Isle of Lewis, in the outer Hebrides, in 1831. They date back to the twelfth century, and are thought to have come by sea from Trondheim, Norway. Perhaps that’s the appeal; I’m of Scots descent, with suspected Viking influences, and a medieval obsession.
Today, the chessmen and women (eight queens) are held between the British Museum and the National Museum of Scotland. This has been controversial, with Scotland believing the pieces should come ‘home’ – even more relevant given this year’s Scottish independence referendum.
I long to hold one piece, to smooth the walrus ivory, the carved detail, all that history. And … slip it into my pocket.
The picture inspired a gift from my former partner: a replica Lewis chess set. She was upset that the beserker’s teeth are not as prominent as the originals, but I handle them – the rooks – most days.
This month, my mother returns from a tour of the Scottish Isles, including the Isle of Lewis. I’m hoping a chessman makes one more journey.
We’ll be ‘glamping’ at The Escape, at Shallow Crosssing, near Bateman’s Bay, on the south coast of NSW. It’s a beautiful, wild setting: river frontage, amid a forest of spotted gums and cycads.
There’ll be daily workshops, one-on-one feedback on a piece of writing submitted beforehand, a nature walk, plenty of writing time – and great food! There’s also a full day workshop open to non-residential writers.
You can find more information here: The Great Escape
I’m participating in a few panels and teaching a workshop at the 2014 Sydney Writers Festival from 19-25 May. I’m also excited about seeing Melissa Lucashenko interview Alice Walker (Yes, Alice Walker!); Sarah Blasko & Josh Pike performing; and Emma Donoghue’s closing address.
You can view the whole program here: http://www.swf.org.au/documents/SWF2014_Program_SMH.pdf
Or the details of my sessions can be found here:
Don’t miss Maleny’s Celebration of Books this weekend – now in it’s second year.
There’s a great program, including Steven Lang’s in conversation w Christos Tsiolkas on Monday night. He’ll be talking about his new novel, Barracuda, among other things.
I’m the support act, doing a quick chat and a reading from Mr Wigg – and signing books afterwards. As will Christos! Tickets ($15) include free nibbles and cheap drinks from the bar.
More info on the Outspoken website.