Next week is the second part of the ACT Writers Centre HARDCOPY program. It is set up as a series of seminars and panel sessions over three days, like a mini writer’s festival, just for us lucky participants.
The sessions will focus on the publishing industry: What do publishers want? The role of an agent. Copyright and contracts. What I wish I knew before I was published. Let’s get digital. Telling your story with social media. Reviews – the state of play. Overcoming stage fright. Publishing in a digital environment. Experiments in the reader-author relationship.
It sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? And the speakers are very highly credentialed: Alex Adsett, Eva Bui, Mary Cunnane, Paul Daley, Jacinta Dimase, Linda Funnell, Charlotte Harper, Anna Maguire, Karen Middleton, Gordon Peake, Peter Stanley, Meg Vann, and Jen Webb.
There is also a Part 3 in November, where ten of the thirty or so HARDCOPY participants will be selected to spend time with former literary agent Mary Cunnane and have their manuscript read – and reviewed – by agents and publishers.
I’ve been reviewing my notes from the May workshop.
I was familiar with many of the writers we discussed: Helen Garner, Christopher Hitchens, Truman Capote, Ariel Levy, Kurt Vonnegut, Rian Malan, Robert Hughes, Donald, M. Murray, Lee Kofman, Jill Bolte Taylor, Don Watson, Tom Wolfe, Lee Gutkind, Geraldine Brooks, Joan Didion, Anne Deveson, Katherine Boo, John McPhee.
But I’d like to delve further into the works of at least some. According to my notes, the following texts were, during the course of our discussions, recommended by one or another of us:
- Truth in Non-Fiction by David Lazar
- If you want to write by Brenda Ueland
- The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe
- You Can’t make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction—from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between by Lee Gutkind
- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo (I’ve read this one – it is excellent)
- The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson;
- The Colour of Water by James McBride
- Giving Good Weight by John McPhee
And some more books were recommended specifically to me, because I might find them interesting and relevant to my Elizabeth Macarthur research:
- The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (about Quaker women)
- Beaten by a Blow by David Mcintosh (about the life of a shearer)
- Mrs Cook: The Real and Imagined Life of the Captain’s Wife (2003) by Marele Day (an Australian writer)
- Chasing the Light: A Novel of Antarctica by Jessie Blackadder (about the first women who went to Antarctica)
Once again, I can’t wait!
The ACT Writers Centre is supported by the ACT Government. HARDCOPY has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.