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From the Director’s Desk

Editorial: Smart State Writing?

AQ Awards IP 2004 Grant!

Staff Changes

OzCo Takes an Interest

Focus: IP Picks 2004 Winners!

Paul & Vincent Hits the Boards!



Out & About

Your Deal

Vol 6, No. 1 — ISSN 1442-0023


Welcome to our first issue for 2004 and what a terrific start to the publishing year! We’re announcing all the winners and commendeds in the third annual IP Picks Awards, complete with a summary of the judges’ comments and profile of the winning authors. For all you future entrants, read and learn!

And don’t forget to check out the details on IP.assess, our expanded assessment service. We’re looking for qualified freelance assessors as well as new clients.

We welcome Karin Wong to our editorial team and announce some changes to our staff structure.

David Reiter remains as Director of course and retains the right in his editorials to take on the bureaucrats at Arts Queensland about the state of arts funding. But it’s not all doom and gloom and he does thank them for the minimal support we did receive for the coming year. There is brighter news from the Australia Council and young authors (30 and under) should be aware of some new opportunities with IP. (erm, certainly counts me out!)

Congratulations to David on his own growing list of literary achievements. Bestlinks features Lothian’s release of The Greenhouse Effect, his first title for older children and we review the successful production of Paul and Vincent at the 4MBS Performance Studio. Given the hectic schedule at IP, I often wonder if he has a double!

Out and About gives us a brief summary of David’s recent trip to North America and previews events leading up to our Autumn publishing season. The next eNews will feature a complete schedule of events and profile the five new titles we’ll be releasing.

Meanwhile, sit back, keep cool (those of you Down Under) and enjoy the newsletter. Don’t forget our devilish deal offers and buy a book or six before you leave.

Sara Moss, Editor, IP eNews

From the Director's Desk

DR_roofAs IP heads into its seventh year, you could forgive us for itching to get on with some more exciting developments. We are expanding on all fronts, with our most exciting publishing program to date in the year ahead. The Australia Council is taking a keen interest in what we’re doing up here and has invited us to apply for special funding (always welcome!), and Arts Queensland, after a year of neglect, will be funding us once again in the coming year, albeit at very modest levels (more on that in my Editorial).

On the heels of a very successful collaboration with 4MBS Classic-FM, we have at least two new collaborations on the drawing board, and we are beginning discussions with the Queensland University of Technology that will hopefully see a partnership develop between us and their new Cultural Industries Precinct.

I was delighted by the explosion of interest in our IP Picks 2004 national literary competition, which saw the number of entries more than double, and a marked improvement in the overall quality of the average manuscript. There was so much interest, in fact, that we’re still receiving requests for entry forms months after the close of the competition! I know the judges had a difficult job in declaring the winners, and I’m sure you’ll be interested in Sara and Morag’s summary of the results. You may recall that we agonised a bit over the future of IP Picks this time last year, but the results this year have made it a fixture on the IP horizon and the national literary calendar for the next few years at least!

More work than ever is flowing through Treetop Studio these days, and it gives me pleasure to announce a change to our organisation that acknowledges the hard work of our staff. Sara Moss now takes on the role of Poetry Editor as well as Newsletter Editor, and Morag Kobez-Halvorson has been appointed Fiction Editor. Joining the staff to replace Heidi Kefer, whose work experience contract has ended, will be Assistant Editor Karin Wong
, who has a special interest in IP’s business activities. We've updated our Contacts page to reflect these changes.

We have an exciting program of launches coming up for our Autumn Season that will include events in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and maybe even a tour of New Zealand to spread the IP word there—Kiwis, be warned!

Welcome to our many new subscribers. We hope you’ll continue ro enjoy IP eNews and consider it one of your first ports-of-call for what’s happening in Australian writing at the moment!


Dr David Reiter

Smart State Writing?

Recently, Queenslanders went to the polls and returned the Beattie Government with only a slight reduction to 63 seats (at this printing) in its record-breaking majority of 66 out of a Parliament of 89 members. Premier Beattie saw this as support for his “Smart State” strategy, which supposedly extends to Arts policy. But when decision-makers take him too literally in trying to position Queensland apart from the rest of Australia things can go wrong — as they did in the recent Major Grants round.

After not funding IP last year, Arts Queensland (AQ) has awarded us a grant of $15,000. This is a modest sum, compared to the generous support enjoyed by the University of Queensland Press. Despite UQPs spotty support for poetry over the past five years, AQ has significantly increased funding to them in direct grants and in perks such as production money in support of the various awards such as the new Tom Shapcott Award for poetry.

This is inconsistent with a Government that supposedly welcomes competition. How Smart is it when funds are directed to a single publisher? Its high time that the Government puts more dollars behind their rhetoric.

This year, we were obliged to once again compete with individual artists for a pathetically underfunded pool of resources. UQP, on the other hand, gets an easy nod via the Cultural Infrastructure Program (CIP), where it has no industry competition. If the Government were serious about funding its policy commitment to a vigorous publishing industry in this State, it would allow publishers to compete on a level playing field for publishing funds, whether these be in the form of grants or other perks currently enjoyed exclusively by UQP.

Shed a tear for the Peer Review Committee charged with finding a way to distribute the scarce funds available to it in the September round. They had to find a rationale for underfunding us, so they played the Queensland Culture Card.

For those of you who believe that Queensland is part of Australia and benefits from exposure to cultural currents from across this country, you may be surprised to learn that, as a condition of our grant, we must apply the funds to authors resident in Queensland.

No such parochialism applies to the Premiers Awards, which more often than not fund winners from interstate. Nor does it apply to the money UQP gets.

Essentially the message to us is we dont care about the realities facing you as a national publisher and maintaining a credible stable of authors from interstate. We are well within our rights to set conditions defined by artificial cultural boundaries, and if you lose quality interstate authors as a result, well, thats tough beans.

Consider the consequences of applying such a policy over the long-term. Authors who have just moved to Queensland would be eilgible, no matter what their State — or even country — of origin might be. Authors who have lived their whole lives in Queensland and then moved elsewhere would be punished for their betrayal of local culture, even if they write about it from afar. Such policies such we should think of ourselves as Queenslanders first, and Australians a distant second.

When I wrote to AQ to object to this rationale for underfunding us, the Director-General and her Deputy tried to reassure me that the grant amount had nothing to do with the high regard AQ has for IP and our contribution to the cultural scene in this State. I couldnt help but ask if they would have felt slighted if someone had cut their salary by 25%!

The time has come for IP to test that supposed regard AQ has for us. The current system no longer works for us. If AQ values IP as much as they say, they will have to find a way to more adequately fund us. Things must change.


<title>IP eNews</title>

From the tone of our Editorial you might think that we are ungrateful for the money Arts Queensland offered us this year. That’s not true — we appreciate any funding received from the taxpayer, however modest the amount might be.

The grant was $15,000, significantly less than the $20,000 we received in 2002, and the salt in the wounds was that it came with strings. We had to apply it to projects by artists resident in Queensland.

As it happened only two of the nine projects we put to AQ fit the bill, owing to IP’s increasing profile as a national publisher. We argued that Merle Thornton, who has strong connections with Queensland, and who visits her regularly, should have been supported. But because she lives in Melbourne, AQ was not moved to rule her project eligible under the conditions of the grant.

So, the projects we will be able to support will be the Audio + Text version of Swelter by Yeppoon authors Louise Waller and Kristin Hannaford; Popular Mechanics by Brisbane author Liam Ferney; and a CD of Paul & Vincent, David Reiter’s stage play recently co-produced by IP and 4MBS Classic-FM.

We had applied for over $60,000 in this round and are disappointed that most of those worthy projects put to Arts Queensland will have to go unsupported. But you get used to “making do” in this industry, and IP will continue to do the best we can with the taxpayer funded dollars we receive.
We only wish we could have done more for the other worthy projects we have in the queue.

<title>IP eNews </title>

One of the best kept secrets about IP is that we have an assessment service! It hasn’t been something that we advertise, yet we get a steady flow of authors seeking us out by word-of-mouth.

Not that there’s any shortage of assessment services out there. The quality of service they provide, however, is, by the anecdotal evidence we receive, uneven. How does one qualify to be an assessor? Is it by publishing a few books yourself and then offering to share your experience with the less experienced? Or does surviving a writing program qualify you to advertise your wares?

As a publishing house, we get a fair share of submissions from authors who have received assessment reports from these companies, and I must say that sometimes the actual ms bears little resemblance to the report the author proudly attaches as evidence of the book’s immediate publishability!

Perhaps the problem is that some assessors have actually had limited experience in the publishing industry and write reports more related to their personal tastes than what publishers actually want.

That’s why we’ve decided to go public with our assessment service, and even given it a name: IP.assess.

There will be three key differences between IP.assess and your run-of-the-mill assessment service.

First, IP’s assessments will be focused on advising clients on how to meet the market with their projects. This will mean less effort to stroke the author with praise and more hard-hitting detailed suggestions on how to improve on what’s there. Some of those projects may come to us, while others may ultimately end up with other publishers—and happy sailing to them!

A second difference is that ALL of our assessors will be certified as qualified to assess mss in their field of specialty and will be assigned projects accordingly. A plumber may be a tradesperson, but that doesn’t qualify her to re-wire your house!

Finally, IP.assess will provide a premium service to our clients. The average assessment for an average length novel by an average assessment house is about $450. IP.assess will charge more than that, but then you get what you pay for. Your assessor will be available for follow-up queries, rather than melting into the night after the report is written. And if one of our assessors says that your book is good and recommends that we publish it, that will certainly give you an inside track.

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably either interested in working for us as a freelance assessor or having your ms assessed by our new service. If it’s the former, please send us an expression of interest, with a CV that demonstrates what you can offer as a part of a premium service. If it’s the latter, have a look at our new IP.assess page for details on the process and the cost.

<title>IP eNews </title>

We’ve recently made some important structural changes here at IP. These changes better reflect IP’s growth and the skills and special interests of our editorial team.

Sara Moss will now be Poetry Editor and remain as your Newsletter Editor. Congratulations to Morag Kobez-Halvorson who has been promoted to the position of Fiction Editor.

Morag’s promotion opened an opportunity for a new Assistant Editor, and this position has been filled by Karin Wong.

It is our pleasure to welcome Karin to IP and introduce her to our readers:

KarinWMy name is Karin Wong and I’m an international student from Singapore. I’m here in Brisbane to pursue a degree in Mass Communication. I am currently a final year undergrad at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), undertaking a Bachelor of Mass Communication and majoring in Public Relations and Media Communication. I also hope to pursue a career in the publishing industry specifically in the areas of promotion and publicity.

<title>IP eNews </title>

[This issue, our Focus will be on the winners of the IP Picks 2004 national literary competition.]

Judging for the IP Picks Awards 2004 concluded at the end of January. During a steamy meeting on the Gold Coast, three winners were chosen from an outstanding shortlist of six entries.

Two winners were chosen in the poetry section: Nora Krouk’s Skin for Comfort and Cate Kennedy’s Joyflight. Joel Deane was commended for Subterranean Radio Songs. In the fiction category, Joel won for his novel, Another. Margaret Metz of Sydney was Highly Commended for her novel, Live by the Bottle and Wendy Jay Evans of Melville, W.A. was commended for her collection of short stories, The Diggings are Silent and Other Australian Stories.

We congratulate the winners and commendeds and thank all the entrants for supporting the IP Picks Awards.

— Sara Moss and Morag Kobez-Halvorson

Winner IP Picks Awards 2004 Best Fiction
Another by Joel Deane

Judges’ Comments:

A bleak story of life in the suburban wasteland – a family merely existing on the edge of the Australian urban sprawl in that place called ‘Another’:

Slowly but surely, subdivisions are sold, homes are built. These are the homes of the naïve and desperate.

The story focuses on the adolescent relationship of Toby and Suzie exploring the cycle of poverty and the hopelessness it reaps throughout three generations of Toby’s family. There’s no doubt the author manages to capture the despondency and barrenness of this landscape and those who inhabit it.

The author’s portrayal of the cycle of violence and poverty is incisive. Technically the novel is well written and solidly structured, maintains a good pace throughout, and intelligently tackles many of the bigger issues of contemporary western society.

I found myself drawn into this story with its haunting and uncomfortably familiar setting and characters. Deane effectively captures the desolate atmosphere of the urban fringe with its servos, maccas and air-conditioned shopping towns:

Toby keeps cutting around the perimeter of the subdivision, past the backsides of the houses. The front subdivisions are full now—finished off with lawns, fences, and street lights—but every second or third subdivision in the back blocks is either grass and thistle, with a FOR SALE sign pegged in the middle, or a just-finished brick-veneer shell (no curtains, no carpets) plonked in a raw clay yard.

At the end of the electrified fence is another fallow paddock roped in by rusted barbed wire. Toby places a palm on top of a wooden post, propels himself over the wire, lands up to his armpits in the paddock’s long grass.

I see this paddock as it will be. A giant car park. Perfectly flat, with newly painted parking bays and creamy black bitumen that burns the soles of bare feet. This giant car park funnels shoppers into the hallowed halls of an Ozymandius of a shopping centre, a glass-and-concrete behemoth that shimmers in the heat, dominates the skyline. The giant car park is covered with cars—blanketed—just as a canopy of giant trees once covered the paddock.

Toby passes through the grass and thistle paddock, oblivious to the shadows that brim about him in the tall grass like fish in deep water ... red kangaroos ... tiger snakes ... bandicoots ... native birds that did not survive occupation long enough to be named ... two Koori hunters, motionless, waiting to strike—the reflections crowd Toby. These are the shadows of so many thousands of generations: each impression layered over the one that passed before. On the far side of the paddock sits a twenty-four hour service station and a McDonald's. Toby climbs the fence, slouches across the car park toward the McDonald's Drive-Thru menu board, leans on the fibreglass ORDER HERE box, waits, squints up the Drive-Thru at the cashier's window, then, finally, bends over, says Hullo into the microphone…

The violence that runs through the veins of Deane’s fictional family is deftly handled. Deane shows us how personal violence can be a natural outcome in a physically violent and alienating landscape.

The novel’s highly literary ending and striking imagery stayed with me long after I put it down.

<title>IP eNews </title>

About Joel Deane

Joel was born in Melbourne in 1969 and spent his childhood in the Goulburn Valley before returning to the city as a teenager. At 17, he became a copyboy at The Sun News-Pictorial, going on to work as a reporter on The Sun, Sunday Sun and Sunday Herald-Sun. He has also worked as a press secretary for the Australian Labor Party.

JoelDFrom 1995 to 2001, he lived in San Francisco, working as a multimedia journalist, editor and producer.

His poetry and short fiction has been published in Antipodes, Famous Reporter, Imago, the Moving Works Exhibition, Navigations, Overland, Quadrant, Salt-lick, Spindrift, Studio, Ulitarra and Vehicle. He has also performed at Melbourne’s La Mama Poetica, Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco’s Mission District and the M.H. de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

Joel lives in Melbourne with his wife and two children. Another is his first novel.

<title>IP eNews </title>

IP Picks Awards 2004 Best Poetry
Winners: Skin for Comfort by Nora Krouk;
Joyflight by Cate Kennedy

Judges’ Comments on Skin for Comfort
Skin for Comfort covers a lot of ground, historically geographically and emotionally in the experiences of a Russian Jewish émigré. The collection is very well structured and divided intelligently into six sections that reflect the emotional journey of the author as she explores and comes to terms with her own personal history in the wider context of the history of the Jewish people, including the impact of Stalin in Russia, the Holocaust and the Middle-East conflicts.

Through the journey of Skin for Comfort, Nora Krouk successfully establishes an intimate connection with the reader. This is reflected in the title of the final section, Given that we know each other.

There are many powerfully confronting poems here. “Breath” addresses the Holocaust, calling the silent witnesses to murder to account:

… But, others? Those farmers
along the way past
rows of poplars
and yellow flowers
and the green fields…
Safe in their homes
these people
the townsfolk
praying in cracow churches
breathing the poisoned air
of their knowledge.

The Holocaust has been addressed extensively in literature, but the importance of doing so never lessens, particularly when a voice from the era adds to our insight and understanding.
“ Yesterday” addresses the subject of Stalin’s atrocities from the invaluable perspective of a voice with an intimate connection to the victims:

… Efim and I dream collective dreams
He saves his Father Stops them in time
They’re still in China He wakes with a smile
E. not all is lost;
But I descend to the permafrost of the frozen bones
back to 1937 USSR and the mincer grinds
Krouk Lipa Yankelev
from Harbin
Spy for a foreign Power
On the same day
they collected Guita
seventeen year old enemy of the state
Wife Liza
taken in ‘38
Young Lilya
left to fend for herself
step back to the edge back to the walls’
congealed horror back to the cell
with the blood-sticky floor
back to improbably weird confessions

The value of this personal account of history cannot be overstated, yet there are many strong poems of more personal nature. “She touches luminous wood” addresses an ageing couple’s lack of intimacy and the underlying longing of the speaker:

… Now they know
touching saves babies’ lives
This skin to skin
palms holding
insistent hands
warm warmer
coaxing the cells
Touching as the old don’t
Living together
moving in pantomime
handling odd things
limbs cooling
brushing past one another
chafing not touching
not in a way children or lovers do
She strokes luminous wood

The title Skin for Comfort is drawn from the fifth section, The Smoke Grass, exploring the experiences of the author as a migrant and the vital theme of survival. I particularly liked “Bar Mitzvah 22 February 1997”. I found myself laughing aloud in response to this poem; the laughter is an essential release for the reader, just as writing about hats was essential for the author:

… E. is disgusted – you write about hats!
He waves the paper – Deng Xiaoping dies
the world is watching a global story
You write about hats!...

I say let boys bar mitzvah Mothers wear hats
even as Deng’s ashes are scattered.

The author manages the challenging task of bringing fresh meaning to a theme that has been the focus of so many literary works.

Reading this collection imparts an historical perspective on the experiences of Russian Jews, as well as the impact of these events on the author personally.

The language is unapologetically brutal in the early sections of the collection when the author is establishing the wider historical premise for the more personal poems which follow. The voice and tone softens in the latter sections, finding a balance in the transition between cultures:

Sense of belonging is the best
ballast: even the ghosts may rest
now: the poor junks sink, once and
for all, and the old phantoms of
a Gulag be appeased by naming sons
after dead uncles. Hot sun dries
tears. Encapsulated memories throw
out shoots – an unexpected crop of
live senses. This land of smoke-grass
and strange vastness quietly swallows
the cosmopolitan hoards fathering
them into new contexts.

This is a well-organised collection that melds the universal and personal perspectives in original and refreshing ways.

<title>IP eNews </title>

About Nora Krouk

Nora Krouk was born in Harbin, China to a Jewish mother and Polish Catholic father, with a Russian Orthodox uncle and family friends of various ethnic and religious backgrounds. She considered herself Russian.

NoraKNora began writing Russian poetry in childhood, switching to English while living in Hong Kong, where a collection, Even Though (now disowned) was published. She also worked as a Russian-language journalist in Shanghai, and as an English-language journalist in Hong Kong, for the South China Morning Post and other newspapers.
Throughout her life Nora has been obsessed with languages, studying and becoming fluent in German, French and Spanish, as well as Russian and English. She translates Russian poetry into English.

Her Russian poetry has been published in magazines in Shanghai, New York's New Review, Yegud Yotseisin in Israel, an anthology of Russian poets in Australia and another of Russian poets from China published in St Petersburg (Winter of Russian Buker). Her poetry in English has also been widely published and anthologised. In 1993 she won the Fellowship of Australian Writers' Jean Stone award.

Nora lives in Sydney. She is married with two sons, one now deceased, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

<title>IP eNews </title>


[IP Picks 2004 (continued from previous column)]

Judges’ Comments on Joyflight
A collection of poems dedicated to exploring the moment and rich with the details of life. Cate Kennedy is an intelligent poet with a remarkable ability to freshen the language. In Joyflight, she turns her subjects inside and out to help us view the world from unique perspectives.

A strong connection with nature is evidenced in many poems, including the excellent long series “Five Encounters with birds” where we’re shown how these creatures teach us about our own fragility and innately destructive curiosity:

… Its beak is buried in its chest, head bowed,
its captor praying for someone, inconceivably,
with pity and money for an owl, for the shame
to reduce itself to a transaction,
for something to happen
before death makes everything worthless.
I saw a child like this once—for sale, in Pattaya, Thailand
standing with the same patience
outside a bar on the prostitutes’ strip
gazing at the ground, hands resting on thighs
fingers folded and touching like tucked wings
the head and shoulders too big for a body
designed for anything
except this offering up…

… These birds, and the million others
tilting through dusk light
in the decreasing spaces, in dwindling free air
struggling across oceans, claw-scratching at our memories
those tiny collisions
with our glazed right-angled surfaces
shock a tiny gentleness from us
eggshell-thin, our fragile pity
jolts a circuit like a glimpse of open sky
our shoulders twist
our fingers hover, not wanting to touch
yet still weaving themselves, helpless,
into nests.

Kennedy doesn’t allow the detail to detract from the emotional qualities of her writing. Many of her poems are deeply moving, for example, “The Weaners”:

… I put on talkback radio to drown out their wails
but that’s a mistake.
It’s a litany of grievance
the weaners
are only learning what we all have to learn:
you learn to live without it
only you don’t know why
you keep pressing along those fences.

“The Next Month” is a moving account of miscarriage; the final lines are heartbreakingly beautiful:

I am without instruments, an abandoned craft
bereft of my best idea.
Show me what star will guide me now
what constellation.

She also creates an authentic atmosphere through a highly sensual use of language. We can feel that familiar heat in “Following the Game”:

… sweat
trickled down our adolescent cleavage
as we watched, sucking icecubes
the fan’s face a mechanical, slow-motion negation
the ball clocked gently
so much molten time
that rhythmic, momentary taste
of moving air

The title poem describes an event from her father’s past, exploring the defining moments of life in dazzling detail:

I want to carry this talisman carved like a rune
for my father, for my uncles, for my grandfather, and for that   pilot;
for that pure torn-open moment where they each slipped free   of the earth…
… that everything forgotten will blaze, every joy burnished
every recollection of unexpected flight shared
and passed from hand to cupped hand,
carved next to the skin,
recited for courage.

A collection of poetry focusing on nature, the loss of life and identity, isolation and the handing down of family legacies.

It offers harsh insight into the plight of Irish people during the potato famine in poems such as “The Blight”. The epigraph preceding “The Poor Commissioners” likens the hungry poor of the potato famine to the displaced poor of today’s Third World, the poem itself compelling the reader to consider this parallel.

It is the past we find containable, folded along old certainties
like a map or a card, a stone to mark distance,
reduced to well-worn lines, and observed through a square   glass pane:

the Hungry Poor, outside the gates at Delphi House
the villains and the victims, the snow
soaked with amnesia,
frozen her
rendered into monochrome by this driving rain

but they are with us
trudging with the last of their energy,
thousands of miles now, from poorhouses and famine fields
chilled and exiled, holding pitchforks or their children
or their unsigned paperwork,
forged, faded identifications,
the wrong currencies,
they are with us and we will not see them
as they come through the valley spurred by a mirage of lit   windows
and laughable hopes of some borrowed hearth
they are with us, and we are done with them
we will not meet their eye.

The poet shifts focus effortlessly from the universal to the personal, giving voice to her despair and sense of failure in the very moving “The Next Month”:

My husband drew me this bath
your father
who wept tears I’d never witnessed
as your sanctuary bled from me
who wants me to relax.
I hate every period pain
every unmistakable precursor
sharpening into cramp this month.
My head rests on the rim
detached from my failed body;
my pelvic bones,
cupping nothing,
rise like empty islands.

The title poem emphasises the value of storytelling, and making sense of oneself within the framework of one’s ancestry:

Everyone but my father who witnessed that event is dead now.
He hands me the story, a small recovered legacy,
Glinting and bright with disuse.
Now I carry those three buffeted grinning children in their   Sunday clothes
hardly able to believe their luck,
astonished by joy and flight.

Many of the individual poems in this collection create an easy intimacy between author and reader in a style that is natural and beguiling, prompting the reader to search for their own perspective.

About Cate Kennedy

Cate Kennedy’s first collection of poetry, Signs of Other Fires was Highly Commended in the Victorian Premier’s Awards, and won the Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize in 2002, allowing her to travel to Ireland where many of the poems in this collection were inspired.

CateKShe has had poetry published in Cordite, The Newcastle Poetry Anthology, Blast and The Journal of Australian Studies, and broadcast on ABC Radio National. She has also won several national prizes for short fiction. She teaches creative writing, and lives on a farm on the Broken River in northeast Victoria.

<title>IP eNews </title>

The Australia Council has had some bad press over the years in Queensland, with charges from individual artists right up to the State’s Arts Minister that the Federal body was selling short the arts in Queensland. The Literature Board has always maintained that it plays an even hand between the States, pointing to low participation rates of Queensland artists as a possible explanation of why our share of the federal pie has historically been slim compared to that enjoyed by New South Wales and Victoria.

Whoever was right may still be open to debate, but the Literature Board has shown considerable interest in IP’s activities of late. While we haven’t been exactly overwhelmed by funding from the Board, it has supported our publishing program two years in a row.

Recently the Board invited us to apply for special funding arising out of the Federal Government’s new Young and Emerging Artists’ Initiative, which we are about to do. If successful, IP would offer mentoring support to up to three young or emerging artists who have a promising body of work in hand. While there’s no guarantee that their work will be published in the end, that would certainly be our goal.

The invitation acknowledges the quality of titles IP has published in our Emerging Authors’ Series, which has been active almost since IP was established in 1997.

With the Initiative in mind, IP asked the State writers’ centres to invite expressions of interest from potential candidates. We are asking them to send us a letter of introduction, providing details on their writing and publications, if any (to be eligible, the authors can have at the most two books previously published); a synopsis of the project they have in mind; and a sample of their work. In the case of poetry, this would be 6-8 representative poems. For fiction and non-fiction, they should include a chapter or two.

The Literature Board will advise us of their decision some time in May. Thereafter we will short-list candidates from the submissions we’ve received and get the mentorship under way in June.

The important thing is for interested authors not to leave things until the last minute. They should submit their expression of interest to IP ASAP, but certainly no later than 1 May. Submissions should be addressed to: Young & Emerging Artists’ Initiative, IP, Treetop Studio, 9 Kuhler Court, Carindale 4152. Alternatively you can submit via email.

If you know of likely candidates, please spread the word!

<title>IP eNews </title>

Promotion is the life-blood of any enterprise, and our Director, Dr David Reiter, was more than happy to accept an invitation to be interviewed by fuel4arts, an organisation that advises arts organisations across Australia on behalf of the Australia Council on strategies for success on the business side of the industry.

The case study was published in February and can be downloaded for free from the fuel4arts site. You must subscribe to fuel4arts, but you can do this for free, and the registration is instantaneous, so you’ll be able to register and download the interview in the same session. Plus you can sign up to fuel4arts other mailing lists and chat rooms, which provide a constant flow of valuable information about how to succeed in the arts industry.

David talks not only about IP’s innovative approach to the business side, but also gives valuable advice to individual artists seeking insights into what the industry wants. Here’s a brief excerpt from the feature, just to whet your appetite:

I’m amazed by the number of people who know next to nothing about what drives the publishing industry — this, despite the proliferation of long and short courses, panel discussions and even Ph. D programs that supposedly deliver the inside story about how to get published.

As Director of IP, an independent publisher located in Brisbane, I have a stake in seeing that the word gets out — and often — to those who should be listening. But, as an author of 11 titles going on 13, I do have sympathies for those who find their head continually banging against a proverbial wall of indifference.

There are certain urban myths about getting published that need to be buried along with the one that says you risk being blown up if you gossip with your agent — or anyone else — on your mobile while filling your car with petrol. And this is what this feature is all about — increasing your chances of getting noticed, and then published.

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A brief column covering Davids visit to Ohio and a sneak preview of events ahead leading up to Autumn Season 2004.

Difficult as it was to tear himself away from the excesses of Thanksgiving, David managed to visit Cleveland State University and his alma mater, Cleveland Heights High School, as well as making contact with several libraries.

Cleveland State University (CSU), at less than 40 years old, is the youngest of Clevelands three universities — four if youre counting Case Institute and Western Reserve, which formed Case Westerrn Reserve University some time ago.

CSU is unique in having its own prestigious Poetry Centre, which hosts readings by visiting poets from around the globe. While David doesnt have quite the profile needed to warrant a reading at the Centre, Head of Department Dr John Gerlach invited him to give a guest lecture to his creative writing workshop and then help organise a reading at Macs Backs in Cleveland Heights, a bookshop in the same vein as Gleebooks, though somewhat smaller.

The CSU creative writers were particularly keen to hear about IPs digital publishing program and Davids work in literary multimedia, so, have digital projector, will travel (actually the universitys AV Center had one to lend out).

David was expecting to find a fair bit of knowledge about multimedia composing and the like at CSU, but it was all rather new to them. Perhaps the Mid-West lags a bit behind places like New York and Brisbane? In any case, Davids demos were greeted with interest — and lots of technical questions.

A few days later, David gave several classes at Cleveland Heights High, talking about his career as a writer, and how he ended up there as opposed to the career in medicine he had in mind as he completed a full battery of science and math courses in Grades 11 and 12.

Most of the students had never met a “real” author and they had several probing questions about how a publisher survives Down Under. One even asked about the type of pets he had, no doubt expecting that he had a shed full of koalas and the like!

Visits to libraries at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Heights-University Heights, and Shaker Heights revealed much interest in contemporary Australian writing, and, more importantly several orders!

Minus many kilos of books, David returned to Australia in early December, hoping to build on that American connection.

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February-March will find David out & about in South-east Queensland, catching up with libraries in Ipswich, Toowoomba, Cleveland and Redlands, with readings from his new novel Liars and Lovers, and perhaps from his newest release, The Greenhouse Effect, a novel for older kids.

Liars_LoversOn leap-year day, David will run a follow-up workshop at Stanthorpe Library from 1 p.m. for the newly-formed writers’ group there. The date coincides with the last day of Stanthorpe’s annual Grape Festival and has absolutely nothing to do with David’s love of fine wines. The group has been going very well since his first session with them last year. He’ll also be reading from his new fiction after the workshop.

For further details on the workshop, which is open to newcomers as well as group members, and the reading, please contact Di Rieger at Stanthorpe Library.

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David is planning another of his whistlestop tours, albeit by car this time, to regional centres in NSW and Victoria to coincide with our Autumn Season launches in Sydney and Melbourne. These can include readings a la Stanthorpe, so if your library or writers' group is interested in him paying you a visit, please contact us ASAP before the itinerary is set.

The only firm event to date is the Brisbane launch of Merle Thornton’s novel Time for Claire, which will be hosted by the historic Regatta Hotel at Toowong on 21 April. It promises to be a lively affair, given Merle’s long love-hate relationship with the hotel during her younger years!

Cafe BoogieThe next issue of eNews will have a more complete schedule of Autumn Season 2004 events, which will include two new releases of Commended entries from the IP Picks 2003 competition, including Sydney author Jenni Nixon’s feisty poetry collection, Café Boogie.




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After a nerve-wracking set of rehearsals, David Reiter’s script Paul and Vincent went to stage at 4MBS’s Performance Studio on 11 October. The production was booked out, which pleased everyone involved, except for those unfortunates who left their bookings until too late.

In keeping with David’s multimedia interests, we had not only live actors Michael Churven and Eugene Gilfedder, but also period music arranged by 4MBS staff and an image show of the artists’ work keyed to the action on stage. The performance was recorded live in 4MBS’ Performance Studio, the CD co-production should come out very well indeed.

The production was so well-received that 4MBS is planning to propose it have an extended season at Brisbane’s Powerhouse Arts Centre later this year. And there are plans afoot for a film version, if production money can be raised. Watch out Cannes!!

The Paul & Vincent CD will be produced with the assistance of Arts Queensland, under its 2004 grant to IP.

Director Janelle Evans was so impressed with David’s skills with the laptop and projection equipment that she asked him to assist with some images she had for another 4MBS production the following week, on Jane Austen!

Stay tuned for news about a new collaboration, which will see David prepare a script on the letters of the Russian composer Tchaikovskyand his lady friend Mme von Meck. The production is scheduled for May, during 4MBS’ annual Classical Music Festival and will again star Eugene Gilfedder.

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We don’t often feature the sites of other publishers here, but Lothian Books in Melbourne is an exception that makes the rule.

An established house specialising in educational text and gardening books, like IP it is an independent venture still run by the family that set it up (Peter Lothian is their Managing Director). Lothian is well-known for its children’s books, especially its lavish picture books, which have drawn on the talents of Maleny-based author Gary Crew and multi-award winning illustrator Gregory Rogers. A worthy alternative to the titles off-loaded by the branch plant and multinational publishers crowding so many of our bookshop shelves.

But our real reason for calling your attention to Lothian is the fact that they have just released David Reiter’s first book for older children, The Greenhouse Effect. It’s a novel of magical realism and humour that deals some of the key issues facing us in language that will appeal to younger readers.

From the back cover:

Greenhouse CovWhen Tiger the cat moves to Canberra with his owner, he befriends a local, Wanda the blue-tougued lizard, who is suspicious of introduced species.

Tiger even condescends to speak to the two mongrels next door, Cleon and Tony. At the local park he meets Prince of the Sacred Pool, a royal bullfrog, and his loyal followers; and Eudora, a raven with magical powers. Together they must save Earth from the Great Danger, but first Tiger has to prove himself to his new friends. He’s game, so long as it doesn’t involve missing out on his Cat Gourmet!

Watch out Harry Potter!

The Greenhouse Effect is available for order from the Lothian web site, at local bookshops, or from David.

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Deal 1: Order any IP poetry title and get a second one for 50% off.

Buy any two titles from the IP Shop via our order page to qualify. Do it before 1 March and and we’ll throw in free postage and handling (a flat $5 charge applies thereafter.

Quote YD:21_1. Payment by cheque, money order or EFT only. Credit card orders, add $2 per title.

Deal 2: Order an IP Six-pack for $66 + $6.

Your choice of any six IP titles published before 2003 for just $11 each, GST-inclusive, plus a flat $6 postage and handling

uoting YD:21_2. Payment by cheque, money order or EFT only. Credit card orders, add $3.

FIPC members get a further 10% discount off the cost of either package plus free postage. Sign up now and get the benefits of Club membership today.

Offers available only to individuals.