Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Queensland Literary Awards - helping out at Avid Reader

The betrayal of our Premier to the literary community of Queensland is already well-documented. It is a shocking and unjustifiable decision that makes me genuinely sad. What Mr Newman's cut means for the industry, for emerging and indigenous authors, and for people growing up in Queensland - what kind of shitty message this 'cost-cut' sends to the world. I can't believe I ever liked that guy. What a douchebag.
This is like, one quarter of what arrived each day I was helping out.
I don't want to dwell on it negatively like this for too long though, because from the burning rubble of Mr Newman's mindfuck, a movement has well and truly begun, and we're seeing a community come together. It's a sign of defiance and it's fucking fantastic. I spent two days at Avid Reader this week volunteering for the independant version of The Queensland Literary Awards - which will flourish this year.

In this month's Queensland Writers Centre newsletter, a note from Kate Eltham was included and she agreed that "the grassroots response of the Queensland literary community has been nothing short of astounding." She also singles out a few of Brisbane's most awesome writers/personalities, one of which is Krissy Kneen, with whom I've been working at Avid Reader with! Krissy is the bomb, and she's working so damn hard, it just renews my faith in the very essence of grassroots movements. I went to the post office with her and the wonderful Michelle (you know, to help lifting boxes, because I'm so strong and shit) and in just one day, we filled a whole car with boxes and boxes of submissions. Processing all the entries takes hours every day, and every day new volunteers turn up to help because they love books and they want to be proud of their community - and seeing all these people come together for this makes me proud of my community.
These are my favourite pants. Easily.
You should also know that the submission deadline for the awards has been extended to the 20th of May - so there's no excuse not to submit your work-in-progress. Especially because they're calling for more "emerging writers'" submissions.  This is their latest press release:
"There has been an extension to the deadline for submissions to the Qld Literary Awards. Originally slated to close at close of business on the 6th May, submissions will now be open till Sunday 20th May. The reason for the extension is a change to the rules of entry. After many queries from publishers we have decided to change the 'residing in Australia' status to clear up all confusion and to bring the awards into line with similar awards in other states. The guidelines previously stated that an author needed to reside in Australia for a minimum period of three years prior to the closing date of the award. This particular rule has caused great confusion for submissions and due to a high number of requests to bring this award into line with awards in other states we have agreed to adjust the rules and to extend the deadline for submissions.
The guidelines and entry form can be downloaded from and from

We encourage everyone to enter this year particularly in the Emerging Qld author and David Uniapon catagories which will continue to have publication support from University of Qld Press.

We have already received a huge amount of submissions to the awards and we welcome more submissions for all awards by the new 20th May deadline. Good luck."
The piles of processed entries ready to be judged - they're being stored
under the State Library of Queensland, and I got to go to this special underground
place where they store all the SUPER old newspapers.
If you have any free time over the next  few days, I urge you to get in contact with Avid Reader or Krissy and help out however you can. As usual, buying books by Queensland authors is one of the best ways to put your money where your mouth is - and buying them from an indie bookstore like Avid is even better.

So I just want to conclude by saying thanks to my hometown. I'm so proud to be from Queensland and I'm pissing myself in excitement for the awards. Eloquent, I know. Wink.

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