5 June 2015

Day 6: Bad Advice for Young Writers

This week we’ve (hopefully) held true to our promise of tons of writing opportunities and resources. We’ve had great advice from Eliza Henry-Jones on how to get started down the long and winding publishing road. Sian Campbell has helped us to put pen to paper with Start Your Story. Ben Riley has shown us how to pitch our way to glory with Polish Those Pitches. Then Across State Lines saw each state connect, commiserate and celebrate writing and all its challenges and rewards.

Amongst all this great advice, you’ve probably come across some dud guidance too.

There’s often some good in the bad though. For example, write what you know often figures as the worst advice ever. Does George R.R Martin know what it feels like to see his wildling comrades rise from the dead? No. He has an imagination though – and his advice, delivered at the Sydney Opera House in 2013, is not to limit it. Part of writing (and reading) is learning to put yourself in another person’s shoes and empathise. Martin does know the fantasy genre inside out, however, and has a stellar understanding of medieval warfare and history. So take what you know into the unknown and see what happens.

Events and Opportunities:

For emerging art writers and critics, Un Magazine is a free, independent art magazine distributed across Australian art institutions and online. A bi-annual publication, Un is accepting submissions until the 8th of June for their next issue. For writers who need a little extra support, Un is offering the option of a mentorship program. Head to the website to read past editions online or to download a proposal form.

SafARI is after unpublished or emerging art writers to contribute to their inaugural Explorer Writing Program. SafARI is a fringe biennale to the Biennale of Sydney, and showcases the work of Australian art zeitgeists. As part of the program you will work in partnership with an editor who will guide you through the process of publishing. For application details and more information on SafARI, head to their website or Facebook page. Submissions close June 13.

Writing Challenge #2

Now that you’ve heard the bad advice, let’s put it all to good use: write a short story or article using only clichés. Want an extra challenge? Write it in 140 characters and tweet it with the hashtag #NYWM15