04 May 2012


I am off to Darwin next week to speak at WordStorm, the Northern Territory's literature festival.  This is definitely a treat - not only for the opportunity to escape these cold Adelaide mornings as I walk to the bus covered in all the woolens I can find, but also because it's years (let's see, my youngest was eight when we last visited and he turns 21 this year) since I was last there.  Darwin is a long way from the rest of Australia but such a remarkable part of our country that I am very much looking forward to returning.  I only wish I had the opportunity to visit some of the more spectacular places while there, but sadly that is very unikely.  I hope to have the opportunity to meet and talk with plenty of N.T. writers and illustrators - in particular indigenous creators.  It has long been my wish to publish more indigenous writers and illustrators to complement Omnibus' wonderful backlist in this area.  So if you will be there, come up and say hello.  If you are an illustrator be sure to have a portfolio somewhere handy - include your sketch books; these are where I get most of my inspiration.  Our author Leonie Norrington lives in the Top End and I was excited to be able to visit her 'in situ' so to speak.  But Murphy's Law says Leonie will be in France when I am in Darwin.
Let's hope I get another opportunity to visit in the future.

 ABC radio have just started a monthly on-air bookclub.  They look like starting with our very own Monster Blood Tattoo.  I will post more when I have the details.

I have been thinking a lot about the list recently.  I am really keen to find new writers - people who are capable of realist fiction with powerful narrative and strong story lines. In the past couple of months the in-box has been crowded with picture books again.   I need three new Mates too - if you don't know what these are take a look at the link.

And this picture is not related to any of this post at all, but simply proves I'm doing more than reading on the weekend.

My first croquembouche.
A note from your Conductor.


  1. Anonymous05 May, 2012

    Hi Dyan,
    I was hoping to meet Leonie and Rosemary Sullivan too. I know Diane Lucas will be there.

    How many ~words in a 'Mates' series book?
    1,000 - 1,500?

    Kind regards,

  2. A Mate is approximately 2300 words. These stories are very specific in terms of the theme - it must reflect what it is to be Australian - that is a broad brush but we find many writers struggle with it. Funny is good, but we also have more serious titles.

  3. thanks for the brolly tip. I have been looking at the temperatures - hmm. what to wear?

  4. Anonymous07 May, 2012

    Hi again,
    Thanks for clarifying word count and have read up more on theme.

    I always take a cardigan in my bag, if your the cardy wearing type.
    Never can tell how cold the air conditioning will be.

    It's always 32 degrees at the moment, very windy and a bit humid, not unbearable though.
    (but I live out east from Darwin)

    Read you later,

    Natural fibres are best....