Thursday, June 19, 2008

I could be making a fortune

I predicted in that last post two days ago that Steve Carroll would win the Miles Franklin Award and I have just discovered that he did.

*Does Grace's "I told you so" dance from Will & Grace*

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

2008 Miles Franklin Literary Award

Without Michelle de Kretser's The Lost Dog on the shortlist I've kind of lost interest in and therefore track of the Miles this year, but have been reminded today that the dinner at which the announcement will be made (by Geoffrey Rush, I believe) is on Thursday night.

There's a shortlist of five -- Gail Jones' Sorry, Steven Carroll's The Time We Have Taken, David Brooks' The Fern Tattoo, Alex Miller's Landscape of Farewell and Rodney Hall's Love Without Hope. I'm tipping Carroll.

Monday, June 16, 2008

So you want to be a book editor?

If you want to be a book editor then one of your jobs will be fact-checking. This includes making sure the writer has not misspelled any proper names, including place names.

For example, 'sienna' is the clay pigment used in oil paints; the colour comes in two varieties, raw and burnt. It is not the name of the beautiful walled city in Tuscany where they make panforte and have the annual medieval horse race. That is called Siena. (NB neither of these is to be confused with senna, which is a naturally-occuring laxative.)

Similarly, the boot-shaped peninsula in South Australia is called Yorke Peninsula, not York Peninsular. 'Peninsular' is an adjective, meaning 'peninsula-like'. Cape York Peninsula, without an 'e', is the big pointy one in Queensland.

These errors should not have made it past a first read-through by the author, much less all the way through successive MS drafts and proofs re-read by the author and two different editors into a finished book and a Penguin book at that.

It is your particularly bad luck if they happen to be two of the book reviewer's favourite places on the entire planet. And I'm only on page 125 out of 450; who knows what sloppy horrors are yet to come.

Cross-posted at Pavlov's Cat.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Australian Book Review: reviewing competition

Press release from ABR:

2008 ABR Reviewing Competition – entries close 30 June

It's on again – the 2008 ABR Reviewing Competition – and the first prize is now worth $1000!

First prize: $1000 and publication of the review in ABR and at least two future commissions
Second prize: $250
Third prize: a set of Black Inc. books, valued at $200

All reviewers are eligible – including past and present ABR contributors. This competition is a particularly good opportunity for younger and emerging writers and students who wish to establish a career in reviewing.

All categories of books are eligible, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s and young adult books. Reviews should be 800 words. The book being reviewed must have been published since January 2006. Please click here for full details in the entry form.

Entries close 30 June 2008. Winners will be announced in the October 2008 issue of ABR.

Please pass this on to interested colleagues and students.

For further information, e-mail:; telephone (03) 9429 6700 or visit the ABR website: