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the dungeon behind door number four

This week I’ve been tidying up the new book before I send it off to my publisher with its best outfit on. I sound a bit like Mary Poppins describing it like that but the work itself is more grueling than twee – rising early and beginning in the dark seems to help. Of course there is more dungeon time ahead, rereading, editing, packaging and (hopefully) discussing the thing, but I’m pleased I’ll have a little time back as of this weekend. I wish to spend the next month reading books that I am not reading for work – I’ve been sneak-reading Edna O’Brien all week, and it’s both satisfying and daunting to read such masterful short stories at the end of the day. Although my partner scoffs when I say this, I really just want to write short fiction forever and not bother with those messy, unwieldy things called novels ever again.

Yeah, that’s her laughing from the other room.

Meanwhile, other work has been trundling along. Overland’s 60th anniversary year has involved a little project I’m calling “fancy cuts” – four short story commissions, in the service of intertextual fun with the archives – subscribe and see what four brilliant writers come up with for this year. Being an editor is deeply rewarding, in many ways more rewarding than writing. But see above re: lying about giving that up.

Myself and Overland ed Jeff Sparrow shared a stage with erudite Adelaidean Kerryn Goldsworthy at Writers Week, where we chatted about book reviews and reviewing culture. The conversation was recorded and you can listen to the podcast here. I say mean things about The Australian in it.

Or you can do what I might be doing next week, which is give up your day job and listen to all the Adelaide Writers Week podcasts here.

And before I forget, I have a couple of workshops coming up at the SA Writers’ Centre, including a half day talking about literary journals, and a whole day writing about animals at the Adelaide Zoo – book early for that one!

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