Author Archives: donnamareehanson
Conflux 9 is currently collecting expressions of interest for workshops. If you are interested in presenting a workshop at Conflux 9, please download this form and email it back to us.
Donna and NicoleWorkshop Application Form
Pitching session with Marc Gascoigne
Managing Director and Publisher of Angry Robot Books
Do you have a completed speculative fiction manuscript?
Would you like to pitch your novel to Angry Robot Books’s Marc Gascoigne?
Conflux 9 is providing the opportunity for 10 to 15 debut and previously published authors with the opportunity to pitch their novels to Marc Gascoigne in April 2013 as part of the Australian National Science Fiction Convention to be held in Canberra from 25 April to 28 April 2013. This is a professional development opportunity to have your novel manuscript in front of an editor.
What do you have to do?
Ensure your MS is as good as it can be. Send the first 30 pages of your MS in standard format RTF or DOC file and a maximum two page synopsis (that is, summary of characters, plot and your intentions/inspiration, in that order) to email@example.com during the submission period and using the subject line AngryRobotPitch.
It may pay for you to check out some of Angry Robot’s publications beforehand to ensure your work is what they might be looking for. Here is a link to their submission’s page for more information. http://angryrobotbooks.com/submissions/
If you are already member of Conflux 9 you don’t have to do anything more than wait.
If you aren’t a member of Conflux 9, then join up. The minimum requirement is for entering is a $30 supporting membership.
To attend the pitching workshop during Conflux 9 you need to be attending Conflux on the day of the workshop and a full attending membership is preferred. Those who win a place and cannot attend Conflux 9 will have to give up their place to those the next in line.
What is the process?
The manuscripts will be assessed by two readers and a final list of up to fifteen decided. The authors of these manuscripts will be invited to a preparatory workshop and then to the pitching session.
A two-hour workshop on how to pitch novels will be presented by author, Rowena Cory Daniels. This will be followed by a one-on-one pitching session with editor Marc Gascoigne for 5 minutes.
When will this take place?
Submissions will be open from 1 January to 31 January 2013. The entries will be read during February 2013. The announcement of the shortlisted authors will be made during March. The top ten synopses will be sent to Marc Gascoigne in early April.
And then what?
Marc Gascoigne may invite authors to send him manuscripts for consideration. However, there is no guarantee he will do so. Conflux 9 and Marc Gascoigne do not provide any guarantees that authors who are selected to pitch novels will be invited to submit a full manuscript. All decisions are final and discussion will not be entered into.
Marc will be available during Conflux 9 for any member to talk to, either during general events or in the bar.
To make this a special occasion, I have made a steampunk-themed cake for the Conflux 9 table. Come on over a drool. Take pictures. The cake is edible art, I think. Cakes are very transient.
I’m not sure what we will do with the cake. Perhaps we will auction it at the closing ceremony to raise money for Conflux 9.
And another view.
Underneath all that sugar is a white mud cake with white chocolate ganache (top layer) and a caramel mud cake below with Belgian dark chocolate ganache.
The link to online booking with Rydges is currently down. We have put in a call and hope to have it repaired soon. You can still ring and book your rooms using the reference number. The online booking form allows you to reserve rooms by leaving your credit card details, but will not charge your credit card now.
We will let you know when it is up and running again.
Donna and Nicole
NOTE: EXTENDED DEADLINE
The short story competition is launched!
Conflux loves encouraging writers, and this is a fabulous opportunity. You can win large cash prizes and publication!
The Conflux 9 Short Story Competition is now open and will close on September 15, 2012. The competition is only open to amateur writers ie those who have not made a professional sale. For the purposes of this competition, a professional sale equates to either being paid more than 5c per word for a short story sale, or having sold a novel to a publisher. Size of publisher doesn’t matter. Self-publishing does not equal a professional sale. We welcome and encourage writers who are yet to be paid for their writing to enter.
The theme is ‘Steam, Angels, Junk’. All entries will be judged by a panel of esteemed writers – Dirk Flintart, Jenny Blackford and Joanne Anderton.”
The competition is administered by writer and editor Elizabeth Fitzgerald.
First prize is $500, second prize $250, third prize $100. Stories will also be published in the Conflux 9 con book, under the priviso that the story is either already of a publishable standard or the author is willing to work with an editor to polish it.
To enter, you must be a member of Conflux 9 (either a full, attending membership or a supporting membership). Note! To be more inclusive we are opening in the competition up to non-members for a $5.00 entry fee. You can pay this by paypal and write the receipt number in your entry. If you do take a membership up, we will deduct this $5 from your membership. Here.
We would also like to acknowledge the support of the Australian Science Fiction Foundation, which can be found here.
- Stories must be no more than 3000 words
- Stories must be speculative and fit the convention theme ‘Steam, Angels, Junk’
- Stories must not be previously published, no simultaneous entries
- Writers can enter more than one story, but only one story per writer can win a prize
- Stories must follow usual formatting eg 12pt Times New Roman, double spaced, one inch margins
- The stories will be blind-read so please ensure your name is not present on the story, in either the body or the header
- Stories must be submitted by RTF attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight August 30, 2012
- The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into
- The judges are unable to give feedback on submissions
First of all, Marc, congratulations on the World Fantasy Award gong.
How did it feel to get nominated for Angry Robot Books? It is a big nod from the international industry isn’t it?
And the win, how fantastic was that? What were your thoughts when you heard that you had won?
Exactly that, such an honour. It was, well, amazing, as my rather sweary Tweets and Facebook posts celebrating the news made clear. I hadn’t expected anything like it for AR – yes, it’s been such a lot of work getting AR off the ground for all of us involved in the imprint, but frankly it’s authors who should win awards, such as our Lauren Beukes taking the Arthur C Clarke Award in 2011. The danger is that it’ll go my head and I’ll start demand to be carried to and from editorial meetings in some kind of bejewelled palanquin affair.
It was shame I couldn’t be there in person to collect the, um, delightful melted silver head of HP Lovecraft that is the award, but I rather like the idea of Angry Robot types being sinister, shadowy figures plotting away behind the scenes. The committee were kind enough to mail it to me and it takes pride of place in the AR office, next to some voodoo chickens and a head-hunter brain fork Kaaron Warren sent us from Fiji.
Since your win, you have announced a new young adult imprint for Angry Robot Books, Strange Chemistry. How did this new imprint come about? (Is there a particular gap in the market you are aiming for?)
We have always had a younger SF/fantasy market in our sights. With its fresh take on stories and packaging, Angry Robot appeals particularly for younger or would-be younger readers, more 20s/30s than 40s/50s. But at the younger end there is plentiful crossover with the new approaches to SF settings that some definite YA fiction employ. In short, some of our readers are already enjoying YA, some teen readers are already enjoying Angry Robot titles, and we think our approach will suit YA too.
Under new editor Amanda Rutter, previously a very dedicated and clever blogger, Strange Chemistry is taking shape rapidly, with five books out between Sept and Nov 12, and a full programme hard on its heels. All are somewhere on the fantasy-science fiction-supernatural axis, but other than that the only thing that unites them really is that they’re rattling good reads.
You also mentioned that you had another imprint on the horizon. Can you give us any hints about that?
It’s no real secret that we advertised for a crime fiction editor a few months ago. We’ve just appointed someone rather special to head it, and will be announcing the whole thing any day now, just as soon as we’ve stopped having fist fights over what to call it.
It’s a pretty tough market for publishing at the moment. Launching new imprints seems counter intuitive in such an environment. What do you know that the rest of us don’t?
In short, people will always want stories. Right now, we’re in a period in which no one is quite certain what will end up being the vehicle to carry those stories, but other than that it’s business as usual. In some ways we’ve been helped by starting now, I would argue – no legacy of doing things a different, more traditional way that has had to be unpicked. Ebooks and audio as standard. Simultaneous releases in the US, UK and worldwide wherever possible. It seems so sensible, frankly.
Marc you are guest of honour for the Australian National Science Fiction Convention (Conflux 9) in 2013. Have you been to Australia before?
I haven’t – not been further from the UK than the US or Italy, in fact. I’m very excited about the trip, and I hope to spend perhaps a week seeing more of what sounds like such a beautiful country. And more of Canberra if I have to as well.
You have a few Australian authors in the Angry Robot Books publishing list. Will you be looking for a few more?
I am definitely not being held at gunpoint nor being pressured in any way when I say that we would be delighted to publish more authors from Australia, to join Kaaron, Jo and Trent. These days the world is so much smaller thanks to the internet, authors can come from anywhere. All you need is to be bloody great. Simple.
Thanks for giving us the interview Marc. We are looking forward to having you down under.
Nicole and I are really excited by the news that Conflux 9 guest Marc Gascoigne has won the World Fantasy Special Award (professional) this morning in San Diego.
Angry Robot Books is one of the most interesting publishers in the business at the moment – not just in terms of who they are publishing (such as another Conflux 9 guest Kaaron Warren) but also in how they’re approaching the industry at the moment.
In fact, there’s going to be an interview with Marc going up here in a week or two – there’s exciting things happening at Angry Robot and we’re looking forward to talking to Marc about it.
Until then – Congratulations Marc!
Further venue information and a booking reference number has been added to the venue page. It is okay to book now. Don’t wait to reserve your room. You can use your credit card to secure your booking over the phone without charge. Don’t worry if your card is going to expire before Conflux 2013 because you can update it closer to the convention time with the new card number and expiry date.
We don’t have the rooms blocked out. We have to make sure we book them. So if you want the venue to ourselves (and it’s not that big) then book away. We have to share with Qantas, but I’m not picky.
I’ve booked the Embassy Suite because I like to spoil myself.
Since we have officially launched. We thought you should see the poster the wonderful Grant Gittus did for Conflux 9.
I hope you like our animated header, courtesy of Grant Gittus. Grant has also created our Conflux 9 poster to be revealed at Conflux 7 next weekend.
Fan artists are often unsung heroes. They do creative design and artwork for events like convention or publications. So we thought that we should give Grant Gittus a bit of a shout out.
Here is some information about Grant.
Grant Gittus works in Melbourne running a small graphic design business. He has illustrated some book covers, interior illustrations and co-authored the children’s book “Biker Baby Learns to Count”, giving him a published output of around 25 words. He has also written and illustrated a picture book which garnered the praise “..the illustrations are dark and forbidding, the text doesn’t make sense. It is hard to imagine who would want to publish this manuscript” from one editor. He hopes one day to learn how to draw properly, so he no longer has to rely on mere sexual attraction for success.
Grant has also hung around the fringes of the SF&F fan community for a number of years, mostly waiting for the court order to be lifted. Along the way, he has designed logos and convention material for AussieCon3, AussieCon4, Conflux3, Conflux4 and Convergence 2.
A big thank you to Grant from Nicole Murphy and Donna Maree Hanson