Australian Literary Agents' Association

National Bookshop Day – 9 August 2014

Australia has a variety of bookshops for readers to choose from, including chains and independents. We are lucky to have robust independent booksellers who make up a higher proportion of our bookshops than can be found in other countries, and publishers and authors know how important these bookshops are when it comes to breaking new authors, in particular, and in supporting Australian authors in general.

National Bookshop Day on 9 August is an initiative from the Australian Booksellers Association to encourage readers to visit their local bookshop. At bookshops such as Pages & Pages, Australian authors will be ringing up your purchase – and, of course, helping you with a recommendation if you need one … just don’t be surprised if they recommend their own books!

If you’re not sure where your closest bookseller is, visit and use the ‘Find a Bookshop’ tool on their home page.



SA Writers’ Centre to host romance writing festival

The South Australian Writers’ Centre and Romance Writers of Australia are joining forces to present Weekend Romance: A Fair to Remember on 14 and 15 June in Adelaide. It promises to be  ‘a weekend for writers and lovers of romantic fiction’ – two days of ‘whirling workshops, panel sessions, masterclasses, industry advice, meet the authors sessions, book signings’ and more. Guest authors include Fiona McIntosh, Helene Young, Keri Arthur and Victoria Purnam.

For the full program, visit and you can book here.

New literary journal Gargouille open for submissions

Gargouille is a new print-based literary journal from Melbourne and the editors are seeking submissions for their first ever edition, due in the third quarter of this year. They are looking for short fiction, poetry and scripts, and ‘aesthetic essays’.

Go to for details. Submissions close 1 July 2014.

New worldwide poetry competition

The London Magazine has launched a worldwide poetry competition which is be open for all ages. The London Magazine is the oldest and most prestigious literary journal in the UK; it has been home to Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Christopher Reid and many more.


  • 1st Prize: £200 (and published in a future issue of The London Magazine)
  • 2nd Prize: £150 (and published on The London Magazine website)
  • 3rd Prize: £100 (and published on The London Magazine website)

Entry fee: £5 per poem.

Deadline:  30 June 2014.

Judges: Hugh Dunkerley and Michael O’Neill.

For more details, please visit the website:

The Proverse Prize

The Proverse Prize is a Hong Kong-based international competition for unpublished fiction, non-fiction or poetry. Australian authors have previously been represented among prize winners. Entry is open to all aged 18 or above, irrespective of residence, nationality or citizenship. Work may be previously edited, acknowledging the editor.

The entry fee is HK$200 (A$28 approx.) and the winner receives publication of the entered work and HK$10,000 (A$1400). Additional publication prizes may be awarded.

Full details, including background, previous winners and winning and other entered works already published are available from the Proverse Publishing website: The deadline for entries is 31 May 2014.

Reading Australia

Copyright Agency has launched an exciting new venture, Reading Australia. An initiative of Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, Reading Australia is intended ‘to benefit readers both in Australia and across the world, along with providing direct benefit to Australia’s authors and publishers who have created the diverse and significant works that tell our nation’s story.’

Reading Australia aims to make it easier and more appealing for Australian texts to be taught in schools and universities, offering teaching materials and essays written by contemporary authors, for the titles which appear on the website. Those titles – 200 to begin with – were selected by the Australian Society of Authors’ Council.

To explore the list, and see the materials on offer, visit


Mary Cunnane – new endeavour

Mary Cunnane has closed her eponymous literary agency and has started a new endeavour, offering her considerable skills as an editor and consultant for authors and publishers.

We wish Mary all the best in her new business. Her presence at ALAA meetings and as an agent in the industry shall be missed.

Mary’s new online home is at


Short Story Competition for Rural Women

This year, the Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network (QRRRWN) celebrates its twentieth birthday.  In celebration QRRRWN, together with writers’ web, is launching a short story competition open to all Australian women, 16 years and over, who live in rural, regional and remote areas. The theme for the competition is ‘Looking Forward, Looking Back’, based on the twentieth year of the Network.

Entries are open in either fiction and non-fiction. Judges will select one short story as the ‘Most Inspirational’ which will be published as the lead story in the eBook and possibly in a print version of the collection.

The stories will be judged by a distinguished panel of remarkable Australian women writers: Terry Underwood, Jane Grieve, Alice Greenup and Carmel Rowley.

The long-list – the best 10 entries from each category – will be announced at the QRRRWN conference in Blackall 9-11 September.  The ‘Most Inspirational’ will be announced and the collection launched on World Rural Women’s Day is 15 October 2013.

Submissions are to be no longer than 2,500 words and entry forms are available for download from

The competition  closes at midnight on 30 July 2013.

New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing

New England Writers Centre has announced an exciting new national literary award, the New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing.

The prize is for unpublished short-form crime writing in three categories: fiction, non-fiction and poetry. It has been inspired not only by New England’s traditional association with the legendary bushranger Captain Thunderbolt, but also because of the region’s many associations with crime writing.

For instance, Rolf Bolderwood, author of the classic 19th century novel Robbery Under Arms was a magistrate in Armidale for some years; Tom Keneally’s The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith was partly filmed at Saumarez Homestead; and best-selling crime novelist Gabrielle Lord is a graduate of the University of New England. Also, current and former residents have been successful with cross-genre crime, mystery and suspense novels, including Wendy and Rebecca James, Bronwyn Parry, and NEWC Chair Sophie Masson, whose book The Hunt for Ned Kelly won the children’s category in the 2011 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

Strong local support has made possible the following generous awards:

The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Fiction: First Prize: $500, for a story of up to 2,500 words. Sponsored by the School of Arts, University of New England.

The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Non-Fiction: First Prize: $500 for an article of up to 2,500 words. Sponsored by The Armidale Express.

The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Poetry: First Prize: $500 for a poem of up to 60 lines. Sponsored by Collins Booksellers (Armidale and Tamworth), Dymocks Bookshop (Armidale) Chaucer on Bridge Street Gallery (Uralla), and the Armidale Dumaresq Memorial Library.

There will also be an extra prize of $200 for the best entry by a writer resident in New England, sponsored by the New England Writers’ Centre.

All winning entries will be published in the Armidale Express.

Open to writers all over Australia, whether published or unpublished.

The three judges, all residents of New England, have a national and international profile and high reputation in their various fields. Fiction judge is Bronwyn Parry, best-selling author of three mystery novels, As Darkness Falls, Dark Country and Dead Heat, published in Australia and overseas; poetry judge is Michael Sharkey, eminent poet with more than twenty books to his name, who has also taught literature in universities in Australia, New Zealand and China, run his own poetry press and taught writing to prisoners; and non-fiction judge is Dr Xanthe Mallett, criminologist, forensic anthropologist and presenter of TV shows including BBC 2’s History Cold Case and the US-based series The Decrypters. She is currently filming series 1 of Coast Australia.

Closing date: 30 September 2013

For more information and entry forms, please visit

KSP Writers’ Centre 2013/14 Residency Program

The Katherine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre in Western Australia is offering several positions for writers in residence.

- 2013 Young Writers-in-Residence – three positions available – applications close 26 July 2013.

- 2014 Established Writer-in-Residence – one position available – applications close 14 July 2013.

- 2014 Emerging Writer-in-Residence – three positions available – applications close 30 August 2013.


For guidelines and application forms, please visit their website:



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