A callout of sorts, plus some killing, space and Eggers

madmen_fullbodyHello litnibblets,

Exciting things are afoot. Book launches, Melbourne Writers Festival, my first spoken word poetry gig, an illustrated short story zine project, and in a few months, National Young Writers Festival and Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (I’m doing panels at both).

How did you like Sam Cooney’s guest review? I’m looking to do more guest reviews – just one every two weeks or so, for a few reasons. One is that as more publishers and authors become aware of LiteraryMinded, I am being sent more books. I feel bad for them sitting around, getting dusty on the floor and shelf. While I’d love to read them all myself (obviously), I have come to the realisation that I’m just one person (despite the printed MWF program claiming I am two) – plus, I have a shitload of festival-related books to read.

The second reason is that I like the idea of emerging writer/reviewers (and some established ones) having a platform here. So if, as an audience, you like their style, you might click through to their own blogs, follow them on Twitter, keep an eye out for their work etc.

But… as you’ll recall in my post about cultural blogging, I’m a fan of personalisation, consistency and most definitely quality writing. Thus, I’d like to be very selective about the writers I choose to do guest reviews (and guest posts/interviews). Mainly, I’ll choose the books, I’ll choose the reviewers based on samples of their writing (and gage how it fits in with my readership, and how effective they are at analysis and insight), and I will edit the reviews so they fit the style of this blog.

Having said all that, if you are interested in being put on a list of potentials, drop me a line (literaryminded [at] gmail [dot] com). Use the subject ‘LM guest reviews’, or similar. Please include writing samples (preferably reviews) and tell me why you’d like to do a guest review on LM. Feel free to just email with questions, too. Sometimes I take a week or so to chase up all my emails, just so you know.

Here’s a round-up of some bits and bobs I liked this week:

* Exit wounds: poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy commissions war poetry for today.

* I just finished listening to Crikey editor Jonathan Green talking to Jeff Sparrow on his new book Killing. Another book I’d like to get around to. I’m fascinated by something Jeff mentions – about soldiers who go to war but return home not having been ‘in combat’, or not having killed. My novel ms, Smoke & Dancing has a character who writes home from Vietnam – he is not in combat but on ‘clean-up’ duty (horrible – imagine it). This idea actually came from one of my uncles. I remember hearing about how he had to clean a blasted-out tank, and how his fellow soldiers locked him inside (he was teased for being too straight-laced or something, not smoking pot with them etc.). If you don’t have time to listen to this now, Jeff will be speaking about the book at MWF, too. He’s always very engaging.

* I’m very excited about this blend of science, poetry and music, ‘Elemental’, to be held at the Melbourne Planetarium during the Arts Festival in October. Includes science writer John Gribbin, and some of my favourite spoken word artists Sean M Whelan, Alicia Sometimes, Emilie Zoey Baker and Paul Mitchell.

* China Mieville will be a guest at MWF this year. I enjoyed reading Tim Howard’s review of Mieville’s The City & The City on The Enthusiast.

* I enjoyed learning more about Dave Eggers and his enviable career in the Independent.

I’m very enthused about tomorrow’s blog post – a ‘responsive’ interview with the one and only Krissy Kneen, about her memoir Affection. Make sure you click on in.

6 thoughts on “A callout of sorts, plus some killing, space and Eggers

  1. So can’t wait to hear Mieville speak. I’ve got ticket for both of his adult sessions. He’s always got fascinating reviews especially because as far as the blend of politics and genre goes, we’re pretty similar.

  2. Lol. I’m bad with the poetry, though sometimes I find it useful to write in blank verse and rework it into prose. I shall try to make a trip in tonight to watch you then. 🙂

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