Submitting your manuscript to the big Aussie publishers

The Cat's Write

While I decided a few months ago that I would be self-publishing my work, I feel like it’s a compulsory #riteofpassage to submit your novel to one of the big publishing houses that accept unsolicited manuscripts.

I’ve researched enough to accept the reality that I have zero to no chance of being picked from the slush pile of a big publisher, let alone a smaller press. Doomsday articles aside, if we don’t try we’ll always wonder and you never know, you might be that puny 1% that does get their unagented, unsolicited manuscript published!

For example, Katherine Brabon recently won the Vogel’s Literary Award and is getting published by Allen & Unwin. She never even wanted to be a fiction writer and only wrote one short story before writing her first novel. Imagine if it could be that easy for all of us…

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Submitting Your Manuscript to the Big 5 US Publishers

The Cat's Write

Here’s a list of the Big 5 US Publishing Houses, their submission requirements and links to submission details. I’ve also included at the end of the list two smaller US Publishers that I have submitted to in the past (received real feedback!) I thought they would serve as good examples of what’s out there if you decide to try the smaller publishers.

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A Case of Writer’s Block??

I feel like writing and writing and writing. But it’s getting clouded by the need to look after a baby, doing the housework and helping the other half out with his businesses. Which then leads to not a lot of time to write. Or read the ever growing pile of to-read books that I have stashed away.

And then when I do want to write and sit down to do it, I feel a little stuck, like I’m not sure where to go from point A to point B and there’s no inspiration popping up to help out (although my baby does seem like an inspiration point for one of the stories I want to write).

Perhaps I have a case of writer’s block or perhaps I procrastinate too much (or maybe it’s just a combination of both those things).

I really do need to put my writer’s hat on and make time to write …..


Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

My mother in law, my daughter and I went to see the Marilyn Monroe art exhibition today and all I can say is – OH. MY. GOD!

It was brilliant and amazing. There were some of her personal possessions, such as a luggage trunk, some childhood photographs, perfume and make up pieces that she had used and a few pieces of her clothing that she wore in her personal life, on the red carpet, in photographs or in some of the movies she was in.

I couldn’t get over how tiny the clothes were. I had to Google to find out what size she was. Back in the day (the 1950’s), she was considered a 12-16. But by today’s (Australian sizing) standards, she was a possibly 4-10 (depending on brands). And she would have had to have her clothes custom made like she did when she was alive as, not only did she have an hourglass figure, but she was a 34D in bra size and had a 35 inch bust, a 22 inch waist and 35 inch hips. And clothes these days (and apparently back then) don’t cater for a figure with those measurements. And she was a very similar size to models these days (who are 34-24-34) but a lot shorter (she was only 1.66 metres tall which is about my height).

I wasn’t expecting her to be so small. She’s such a big figure in our culture and I was expecting her to be physically bigger than what she was. I was expecting her to be taller and bigger around the hips and the boobs (her boobs were around the size I was expecting them to be anyway).

Overall, it was a pretty good exhibition and I really recommend it for people to see.


7 Lessons I Wish Someone Had Taught Me Before I Started Writing

Sacha Black

lessons learntWhen I first started writing, I was worse than a kid in a toy store. I wanted it ALL…NOW. I was desperate to be ‘good’ at writing. I didn’t want to just ‘be’ a writer, I wanted to Stephen King that shit.

I was deluded. Not because of my dream, but because I was unconsciously incompetent!

I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Which frankly, at that point, was less than fuck all. So I set about rampaging my way through everything that had even the faintest whiff of ‘writing tips’ attached to it.

The problem was, I got overwhelmed, saturated with conflicting advice and utterly bewildered as to which direction to go in. I didn’t know what to learn or how to learn it.

I realised there was no avoiding the fact it really does just take time to develop your writing muscle. However… along the way, I also picked up some pretty nifty tricks that…

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What I’m Currently Reading

So I finished reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I had read her first novel, Sharp Objects, and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I was hoping to have a similar experience with Gone Girl but I didn’t.

The first third to half of the book was a bit slow in getting off the ground, so I didn’t enjoy it as much as the second half of the book. I loved the plot and how well planned everything was. I just didn’t like Nick and Amy. They are the first main characters with whom I didn’t connect to very well or even like that weren’t the villains (they were villains and the good guys in a sense). Nick and Amy just weren’t all that great and way too manipulative and nasty towards each other.

Other than that, it was worth the read.

gone-girl-film-tie-in-aus


Happy 2 Year Anniversary To Me!

With an ever changing and quickly growing baby taking up most of my time, I have missed the date for my two year anniversary for having this blog (hence why this blog post is a little late in the making).

Well, what can I say? This year’s blogging journey was certainly different to last year’s blogging journey. There has been a few big things in my personal non-online life happen – getting a job and becoming a mother, for example – that have changed things a lot for me. It has definitely changed the amount of time I have to blog (but perhaps create more ideas and inspirations to create blog posts with :D). I have grown a little as a person and as a blogger and a writer too (I think). And I seem to have started to go in another direction with the blog posts. Or just really added another dimension to things.

I can’t wait to see what the next year of blogging will bring and where it will lead to …


Writing Outside The Box

Thanks for the post!

Live to Write - Write to Live

“Think outside the box” has always been one of the phrases I love to hate. In my agency days, it was something that echoed up and down the corridors, usually tripping lightly off the tongue of some overpaid creative director-type who couldn’t come up with a more helpful way to articulate his “vision.” The writers and designers would cringe in unison and wonder exactly what the hell they were supposed to do. Most of the time, they weren’t even aware they were in a box, never mind understanding how to get out of it.

Still, getting “outside the box” does have some validity in the world of marketing if you think of the box as the “shoulds” of marketing.

The myth of “best practices”

I have some bad news: there is no silver bullet, no 100% guaranteed roadmap, no one-size-fits-all solution. I also have some good news: there is no…

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What I’m Currently Reading

So I am onto the last of the Cormoran Strike trilogy written by Robert Galbraith aka J. K. Rowling. I’ve always been a big fan of J. K. Rowling’s writing (even The Casual Vacancy which probably is one of her weaker novels even though it was still good). Career of Evil is still good, but there is several plot lines going on at once as well as three viewpoints. I don’t mind these but some people may think the story is bogged down by this.

I recommend the trilogy to anyone who doesn’t mind a good private detective novel.

career of evil


Some Great News

Sorry it’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve just been a bit busy lately.

I ended up giving birth over the Easter weekend to a little girl. I had to be induced as the placenta levels were low and the doctors were worried about the baby staying in there over the 40 week mark. So they decided the best option was inducing labour. They got me to come in the Thursday before Good Friday to start the induction and they were going to continue the induction the next day. The doctors were waiting for a theater to be open before breaking my waters but as it Good Friday was a public holiday, the only theaters open were the emergency ones which got filled up with emergency walk ins. The doctor decided to put me and three other people off to the next day when there were more theaters open.

It took twelve hours of labour before I gave birth. It ended up being a forceps delivery as I had an epidural and she wasn’t coming out even though I was pushing well (according to the doctor). A few hours later, I ended up having a post-partum hemorrhage and lost 900ml of blood. I had to have a blood test the next morning to find out what my levels were and ended up having a transfusion of two units of blood that afternoon.

And then my daughter had a few problems, some due to her forceps delivery. She had a sore head (of course), had a tongue tie, a high bubble pallet and now has torticollis. All of which has lead to her not being able to latch and suck on the breast properly so I now have to express breast milk as much as possible and have her on formula as well since I am not producing enough breast milk.

All in all,it wasn’t too bad and I am enjoying being a mother (so far haha).