April was one of those months where there was a lot going on behind-the-scenes, but we haven’t quite seen the results yet. There’s been settling into new jobs, freelancing, talking with publishers, training new writers, shortlisting for Kindling Volume II and tonnes more…
Currently, Red Hands is still being considered by two small Aussie publishers, but I’m thinking it’s time to branch out and try the overseas markets and possibly literary agents. It’s amazing how quickly this game changes pace – one minute you hear back straight away from editors, and the next, you’re waiting weeks. It’s like the best, but most unreliable date you’ve ever had.
Writer’s Edit has been doing extremely well these past few months. Myself and the team have been working around the clock on strategies for increasing our subscriber base and ramping up our Twitter followers and it’s worked! We’ve hit over 10,000 followers. Many thanks to our in-house Twitter expert and Head of Tech, Dave Hickman.
I may be biased here, but I think the overall standards for our site have risen dramatically, and the calibre of writers is only getting better and better. I’ve really loved getting to know the new additions to the team, and working with them on their writing.
Another big achievement: We’ve been approved for media passed for the annual Sydney Writers’ Festival. This is a major coup for us. Not only does it mean we get to cover the majority of the events, but it also means we get to reward our writers with free tickets to these events. I really can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of the festival. Our articles for May are going to be incredible!
Kindling Volume II is still in its infant stage, with the editors having turned in their shortlists for my approval. We’re still discussing a number of entries, and whether or not to do a second call out. Kyra and I were speaking about this at a rather informal meeting over wine and beers, and we said the hard thing about Kindling is that there’s no ‘theme’ for submissions, because Kindling is about providing a feeling, as opposed to a specific subject matter… We’ll be knuckling down on production soon!
the AU review
The work I do for the AU review is quite similar to my work for Writer’s Edit in some respects. I’m working with writers to improve their articles, providing feedback and publishing their work. But I’m also a bunch of different things as well. Over the past month, I’ve reached out to over 20 different musician’s PR reps in hope of setting up tour diaries with them for Canadian Music Week. I’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response! Already 19 artists/bands have signed up.
You may also like a snapshot of some articles I’ve written or curated for the AU: the AU interview at SXSW: Safia…, Tour Diary: On the road with Mansionair, and Five Emerging Artists from Brisbane You Need to Have in Your Life Right Now. For a more comprehensive list of what I’ve done for the AU recently, click here.
Only a few days ago I attended an event hosted by General Assembly and the Australian Writers’ Centre called The Future of Media: How Tech is Disrupting Journalism. Valerie Khoo, Founder and Director of the Australian Writers’ Centre was facilitating an impressive panel consisting of Jenni Ryall – Australian Editor at Mashable.com, Steph Harmon – Managing Editor of Junkee.com, Marina Go – General Manager at Hearst-Bauer Media, and Mark Drasutis – Head of Innovation at Newscorp Australia.
The evening offered up discussion on how technology is changing journalism and where media is heading. There was much talk on the importance of responsive sites (Writer’s Edit – check!), driving user-generated content (again, check!) and the crucial nature of sharing your work (a big check!). Although I didn’t feel as though the event offered anything particularly new in terms of tech and the media, it was amazing to see all the journalists and digital publishing buffs out in force, despite the dreary weather and the hump-day blues.
I definitely related to Steph Harmon and Jenni Ryall the most:
“There’s always going to be a place for legacy brands in journalism… but the industry needs a shake-up if it wants to evolve faster” – Steph Harmon
“You’ve got to go and find your audience. You’re writing a headline not for you, or for your readers, but for your readers’ friends” – Jenni Ryall
What I’ve Read:
- Allegiant – Veronica Roth (re-read)
- Go Ask Alice – Anonymous
- The Accidental Billionaires – Ben Mezrich
- Steve Jobs – The Exclusive Biography – Walter Isaacson
With the annual Sydney Writers’ Festival just around the corner, May is set to be a massive month for myself and Writer’s Edit…
Until next time!