WAVERLEY WRITERS OF FOWL (Friends of Waverley Library) Meeting Report, 18 June
Waverley Writers of FOWL held its 25th meeting on the 3rd Sunday of June from 2-4 pm in the Theory Room in Waverley Library. Despite the cold and blustery weather, there were 6 people at this meeting, which Anne Skyvington convened.
Each participant contributed a piece of writing to this feedback session. There were two poems, a synopsis of a novel, some excerpts from novels-in-progress and a short piece of biography. It was a varied and interesting meeting with lots to talk about and to critique.
There was also enough time for our convenor, Anne, to give us some information about the publishing world:
I recently attended an excellent seminar held by the Australian Society of Authors at their premises in Waterloo. It was entitled “Pitch Perfect”. The convenor, Emily Booth from Text Publishing House in Melbourne, covered important aspects of finding a publisher for your manuscript, including how to go about pitching your novel or non-fiction work to publishers.
Emily detailed the three categories of Publishing Houses: Multinationals, Independent and Small Presses. She focused participants’ attention mainly on the Independent Publishers, such as Affirm Press, Allen and Unwin, Scribe and Text. These specialise in certain kinds of books and will take risks on smaller print runs. An editor will work with the writer and help to shape the book. Independent publishers are interested in books that will last, not necessarily in immediate sales.
Some small presses, such as Finch, Pantera Press, and Giramondo, have a good reputation. These publishing houses are tiny and are often run by volunteer staff, so will expect more input from the author. Participants were warned against contributing financially to a publisher.
The importance of knowing which genre your work belongs to, was stressed. The convenor presented a list of broad literary genres to consider, compiled by Cathy Yardley from “Rock Your Writing”, e.g. the “Women’s Fiction” genre. Then the distinction between literary and commercial fiction was discussed, with the latter being linked to Sales, while literary fiction might emphasise the stylistic component of a work.
The workshop part of the session involved participants writing a 300-word synopsis of their manuscripts. They were encouraged to role-play pitching their books to friends, using this synopsis.
Thank you, Anne, for sharing that informative workshop with Waverley Writers!
Waverley Writers is also pleased to note that our relationship with FOWL Deeds continues to prosper. Two of us expect to have pieces published in the next edition of the quarterly newsletter. This latest edition is due to come out shortly. 250 words or less is the desired length for articles to be submitted to this quarterly, which is read by over a hundred people. Let’s aim to submit more!
Our next meeting will occur on Sunday the 16th of July, from 2-4pm in the Theory Room in Waverley Library.
We’re looking forward to seeing you there.
Susan Beinart (Liaison), Waverley Writers of FOWL
Anne Skyvington (Convener of the Group)