Friday, November 26, 2010

our psychedelic and phantasmagorical experiment is at an end...

Well folks the amazing, psychedelic and phantasmagorical Fabostory experiment has come to an end for 2010 - there were laughs, drama and illustrations, there were crazy one-upping authors, dedicated and encouraging teachers and talented student submitters and worrying things like jewel encrusted trapeze pants, vomiting dinosaurs and posh english accented alien gorillas. The best thing is everyone survived - except me. In a stunning twist our final chapter winner Angus Smith wowed us all by pulling the nine fabo authors into the story and tying everything up incredibly smartly. I am not sure how to feel about the ending Angus gave me. Go read it here and let me know what you think. I am sure we will be seeing more of Angus in the future (although not on the dinosaur populated planet Awe in 3629). And you will also, most likely, be seeing more of Fabostory. Watch out for new Fabo developments in 2011, when like Lazarus, I rise from the dead...

I participated in a Meet the Author event (organised by the human dynamo Maria Gill and Kiwiwrite4kidz) on wednesday afternoon at Albany Junior High with a bevy of other writers and illustrators, speaking to and talking with school teachers and librarians from around the area. A good time was had by all, I busted some fiction myths (no Virginia, not all authors are rich and famous), spilled all my state secrets about writing and hopefully gave some useful tips for teaching creative writing in the classroom. It is very encouraging to find so many teachers and librarians keen to foster a love of books and writing amongst their students.

Not so encouraging? Once again I was turned down for Creative New Zealand Funding. The money would have been incredibly helpful and it is always a knock to one's creative confidence to be unsuccessful. I can't imagine having a better project to apply with than a contracted novel, with letters of support from several important industry folk. I am at a loss to know what is missing from my application. I now have a cold (to add insult to injury) and am feverishly applying lashings of chocolate and alcohol. I have a ship load of writing to do :)


Fifi Colston said...

poetry was missing.
You should have written your application in Haiku.
Seriously though, what a bummer- still waiting for my results which must have got lost in the post. If I don't get it this time, that'll make an even 10 rejections.
Haha- the word verification is poningse...which seems appropriate for 'stink'

Tania Roxborogh said...

Melinda, Melinda, Melinda. has no one told you? Writers for children's lit are at the scrap of the barrell? I got my first two grants in the late 90s when someone, (I think David Hill was on the panel) pushed for children's lit to be helped - after that - nothing.

We don't count.

Despite the fact that our book sell more copies than the 'big people's' books we don't count.

Even though it is children's lit which actually helps kids become readers, the authors of these books don't count.

How I wish I could have penned a sensible, profound first novel.

Oh, wait. I did. But it was deemed YA and despite fab reviews (which were nice even though I can't bare to look at it now) never saw the light of day - except for the lovely Women's Bookshop sponsoring a gig in Takapuna where I had my first taste of being a real writer.

As to funding? I apply all the time. I hate the effort wasted but I figure, if I annoy them enough, maybe one day they will throw 5 grand at me to shut me up.

The thing that really irks me is that a few get a lot. Why can't a lot get a bit. Why give 45,000 to a writer to write a book that few will buy when you could give 10,000 to four writers (three of whom will produce books the world will read?)

Intellectual snobbery is at the heart of it all, me thinks.

Ironically, one of the books I was funded for (and which won me the Dunedin residency) has not yet see the publication light. Despite it being a fantastic story and well written. It's a 50,000 word unborn baby.

I call CNZ each time and ask for a justification for my rejection and the last time was so stupid: it would help if you had a contract with a publisher (check); It would help if you had supporting documents from your publisher (check and my NYC agent); it would help if you had positive reviews for the first book in the series(Um, yeah and awards and best seller stats).

But I still got nothing.

However, maybe, this time I might. Or not.

Melinda Szymanik said...

well Tania, its not that I'm a children's writer. A children's writer friend got the new writer's bursary.