The Sydney Writers Festival – Live and Local

I work in Wollongong and walk passed Wollongong Town Hall every day. They have some great events advertised and sometimes I feel like going along to a classical music afternoon, or a nostalgic step down memory lane, but I usually can’t because these events take place while I’m at work.

However, yesterday I noticed a different type of poster — Writer’s Festival. Yes, that got my attention, but I was in a hurry so kept walking. Today, I paused and read the poster properly and decided to look it up on the internet when I got home. Which I’ve now done.

On 5 May, a Saturday, there will be a writer’s festival. It’s an all day event with multiple sessions writers (or non-writers who are just interested in words) can attend. Whilst it is streamed live from the Sydney Festival, there will be talks and a workshop by local writers. If you’re an aspiring writer, and you’re based on the South Coast of NSW, then you might be interested in this event.

Go to The Sydney Writers Festival – Live and Local for session details and times.

Available Now: Manuscript to Ebook Conversion Service

Are you an independent writer who wants to publish their own books but need help with part of the process? If so, I may be able to help.

It might be that you don’t feel confident preparing your manuscript for conversion to an ebook. Or, you simple don’t have the time. Well, I have converted many manuscripts to ebook and I am now offering my services to you, at a very low price.

If the cleaning process is not done properly, the author will be disappointed with the results and the reader won’t bother reading the actual story because it will be too difficult. Why? Because when we use writing software, everything we do is placing secret coding in the background. The author might sometimes use a tab at the beginning of a paragraph or sometimes spaces. Perhaps half way through indents are discovered and used instead. Some headings might use 14 pixels while others 12 or 16. There might be a * between some scenes, but *** or * * * between others. If all this is not unified and that code is not removed, it will play havoc in your ebook conversion and the end result will not look pretty. Or professional.

That’s where I come into the picture. I can prepare or clean your manuscript so that it can be converted to an ebook; and it will look professional. An ebook you can be proud of without the stress of tying to do it yourself. And I will do this for only $20 for a fiction manuscript and straight forward non-fiction manuscript. Contact me for a price if you have a non-fiction manuscript and are not sure if it’s straight forward or not.

Then, once your manuscript is clean, for an additional price I can format and convert the manuscript to an ebook. You will get three versions — epub, mobi and pdf. I will create the additional pages you will need. Your will approve these pages before I continue on to the conversion stage. After conversion, I will test your ebook on several readers to ensure they look great.

If you want more information or you want to place an order, refer to the following pages:

For Hire: Manuscript Formatting and Conversion to eBook Service

FAQ: Ebook Formatting and Interior Design

Order Prepare and/or Format & Convert Manuscript to eBook

Short Story Tips

I’m experiencing serious problems with two short stories I’m writing. One is for younger readers, 9 to 12 year olds, and the other is for readers in their late teens. The problem is the same in each story, which tells me something. The problem is actually me, or the way I write — not the story itself.

This afternoon I set about researching tips for writing short stories in the hope that the problem can be fixed. Lots of the information I’ve read today is common sense and most of it I’ve read before. Having said that, I feel a writer can forget the basics when attempting to put together a strong story. And it’s also possible to get caught up in what’s acceptable and what’s not.

Nothing really helped me until I came upon Short Story Writing Tips by Short Story Group (website appears to have disappeared). There are five tips, but I will only quote one of them:

Have a clear theme. What is the story about? That doesn’t mean what is the plot line, the sequence of events or the character’s actions, it means what is the underlying message or statement behind the words. Get this right and your story will have more resonance in the minds of your readers.

This simple paragraph helped me to realise that the themes of my two stories have been lost in the telling. The story is fine, the author (that’s me) has lost sight of the theme. That’s the problem! That’s why I can’t fix them!

Now, armed with this knowledge I’ll be able to revise my stories again and this time, hopefully, get them back on track.

Indie Author Community

I must be a glutton for punishment. Honestly, I cannot believe I’ve done this…but I have. I’ve reopened the old Scribe’s board. However, Scribe’s will never return. I’ve changed in the last 14 months. My outlook and goals have changed too. Now, I want to be a part of a community. I miss being with people who care about the things I care about. Hence, the birth of…

Indie Author Community Message Board {link removed as the board has since been closed down again}

Yes, there’s a section for writing, but the main focus of this board is indie publishing. As I learn the ropes, I’ll share my experiences. If you want to learn with me, then feel free to join the board and share your experiences too. If you’ve already travelled the indie road and have information we might be interested in, then please join the board and share. And, yes, if you’re a writer and haven’t even thought about publication yet but want to mingle with other writers, then join the board…ok, I won’t say it again. Anyway, the more the merrier.

I don’t want the community to be swamped with rules and regulations. Not like last time. Use common sense and respect and everything should be fine.

I hope to see you at the board soon. 😀

Finish Your Manuscript

These days, many people want to write a novel. They talk about it. They may even plan it in their head. Others will go as far as making notes. Several of them will even open a blank document and start writing. But very few of them will finish the manuscript.

There’s no trick to finishing a manuscript. Except, perseverance and dedication. If you truly want to finish a manuscript, you will. There will be no excuses, distractions or hard luck stories that will stop you. You’ll want to sit and write, so you’ll find the time or make the time to do it. It’s that simple.

If you do make excuses, then maybe you don’t really want to write. Maybe the idea of writing is pleasing, but the actual hard work of writing isn’t for you. That’s for you to decide.

Yesterday, I wandered onto the site of Timothy Hallinan and found a page called Finish Your Novel. If you decide you do want to be writer, yet you’re having trouble getting the words down, then maybe the articles of Timothy’s website will help you.

Medieval Demographics Made Easy

It’s common for fantasy stories to have a medieval backdrop – castles, men (or women) on horseback and fire torches instead of battery operated torches. Of course, writers don’t have to use this setting. They can do whatever they want, because it’s fantasy! That’s the beauty of the genre.

Anyway, by accident I stumbled on a great resource for those of you who do have a medieval type world (like me). The page is called Medieval Demographics Made Easy and I believe it will help anyone get started on a world that is believable.

Varuna The Writers’ House

Varuna The Writers’ House is situated close to me, but I had never heard of it until today. I’ve spent some time today going through the awards, competitions and events and feel this website could be useful to me.

I have already put my name forward to be added to their mailing list. Unfortunately, they had the Sydney Writers’ Festival last weekend and the Sunday program was of interest to me, but I missed out which is a shame.

However, there is a short story program coming up that I’m thinking of submitting to. A selection of stories will be published in an anthology in 2011 in Scribe’s (not associated with me) New Australian Stories 2.0. I have to write a short story first!