14 January, 2011

The Faber Academy—and a giveaway!

Writers from Sydney and surrounds, take a look at this wonderful thing: the Faber Academy’s ‘Writing a Novel’ course. If you’re a novelist, either developing or fully fledged, who needs a kick in the pants—well, several kicks in the pants by the sound of it—and some extensive hand-holding over a whole SIX MONTHS of Tuesday nights and Saturdays, you couldn’t do much better.

Thirty people will get to take this course: Kathryn Heyman (look at the fire in those eyes—will she ever get you churning out the chapters!) will teach fifteen people and the broodingly handsome The Resurrectionist author James Bradley will teach the other fifteen. Those are two top teachers, people.

As well as your tutor, you’ll get to hear from Malcolm Knox, Sue Woolfe, Bernard Cohen, Kate Grenville, one of the excellent A&U editors, Charlotte Woolfe and David Malouf. *wonders how she can sneak in to some of those guest nights*

The course will to be tailored to the class group’s needs, and there’s a pile of individual work going on in that provisional-ish course outline. I love the sound of ‘Individual Novel Surgeries’. There’s also a publishers and agents reading night—what might happen there, do you suppose?

Here’s Allen & Unwin’s press release about the Faber Academy venture, from back in November. Here’s Allen & Unwin’s page about the Academy, containing links to the extensive course outline (because it’s an extensive course!) and the instructions on how to apply.

Faber (for whom A&U are the distributor in Australia) started these courses in London in 2008, and now they’re all over the place. Some august names associated with them: Jeanette Winterson, Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood, Hanif Kureishi.

This sounds like a really solid course. A&U are hoping, they say, that you’ll emerge with a completed novel draft at the end of it. If you’re at the right point in your writing (and your finances), think about it.

I was going to blog about the Faber Academy anyway, but A&U have offered to support this post with a giveaway: a copy of James Franco’s short story collection Palo Alto. As you see, this book is not out until February, so you have the chance to be a whole week (see closing date) ahead of all other readers in Australia (although the contest is open to anyone, anywhere). ‘Claustrophobic and ominous’, ‘vices of all kinds, self-destructive, often heartless nihilism’, ‘stark, vivid, and disturbing’—can you resist?

If this sounds like your kind of read, tell me the stupidest thing you did in your misspent youth. You have one week to delve back into those embarrassing memories and come up with an impressive mistake you made, near-death experience you inflicted on yourself, or wild thing you did that makes you cover your eyes and shake your head today. (This contest is open to people still enjoying their misspent youths, too. I don’t mind how fresh the embarrassment is.) Type it below, and make us cringe!


Blogger chrisbarnes said...

Mmmm, looks like a good read. OK, so here is an embarrassing moment from my past:

I once (knowingly) snorted a line of salt at a party. It was *that* stage of the party when the madness kicks in, someone else had snorted cinnamon and I wanted to up the ante.

It hurt. A lot. I don't recommend it.

18 January, 2011 14:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once got locked out of my third floor dorm and tried to break in through the window. Unfortunately I got stuck and had to be rescued by the RA.

Having said that, I have a friend who once thought orange bubble bath would make a good vodka mixer. Turns out no.

21 January, 2011 08:48  
Blogger kate.o.d said...

bahaha! as teenagers we spent one lunchtime at school taking it in turns to snort whizz fizz (sherbert). bubbly.

hey is the contest still open?

wildwilwild...what did i do in my wild youth...?

i went out dancing in cannes in stilettos (wild enough for me, believe me) at a bar full of transvestites with three near-strangers and a friend. we stayed until the sun came up where we got a taxi home and had a few more nightcaps and got to know each other and one of the near-strangers started saying some slightly racist things and i burst into angry tears and sobbed for half an hour then had to spend the next two weeks living with these people, who turned out to be lovely people and not racist at all.

this was both a wild and very embarrassing time for me.

if it turns out the contest is closed, at least i've got that story off my chest...

25 January, 2011 16:32  
Blogger Therese said...

Nice to see you at the pool today Margo. Good luck with all your deadlines. Therese

26 January, 2011 20:54  
Blogger Among Amid While said...

Thanks, Chris and Briony and Kate for your willingness to humiliate yourselves for the Franco. Luckily, A&U sent me 2 copies, so Chris and Briony both get to be winners (one copy, I can't remember whose, is already read by me, but I made sure not to eat anything crumbly or drippy while I read, so it's, hey, as good as new!).

LESS luckily, Kate, the competition was actually closed by the time you entered, but thank you for your stories. (I remember Wizz Fizz, the little packets, the liquorice straws you sucked the sherbet through—never snorted it, though. :D ) Also, just spotted you saying nice things about me over at Raych's blog, so, you know, nice things back! *hugs*

28 January, 2011 18:12  

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