$50,000 Prize for Mid-Career Authors

The Privileges by Jonathan Dee 2011 winner of the St Frances PrizeEntries are now open for the St. Francis College Literary Prize for 2013. This biennial prize awards US$50,000 to an author for their 3rd to 5th published work of fiction.

There are no citizenship restrictions with this prize and eligible authors can be based anywhere in the world. Nominated books can also be published anywhere in the world, although only English-language books may be entered (translations accepted). Uniquely, self-published books are also eligible for consideration.

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The Shapes of Stories by Kurt Vonnegut

The Shapes of Stories, a Kurt Vonnegut

Watch Kurt Vonnegut explain The Shapes of Stories himself in this great video.


Designer: Maya Eilam
Sources: A Man Without a Country and Palm Sunday



F. Scott Fitzgerald eBooks Collection

The Great Gatsby 1925 Cover (First Edition)

The Great Gatsby first edition cover art (1925) designed by Francis Cugat.

Thanks to the University of Adelaide, readers in Australia now have access to an amazing free and legal eBook archive of the most popular works by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  The books are available to be read online, downloaded as ePub files (suitable for most eReaders), and in a format accessible on Kindles.

Why only Australian readers you ask? This is because up until recently Australia followed the ‘life of the author plus 50 years’ copyright rule. Fitzgerald died in 1940 which meant that his books entered the public domain in Australia in 1991. Many parts of the world, including the United States and the United Kingdom, generally follow a copyright rule of ‘life of the author plus 70 years’. Most people therefore expected Fitzgerald’s back catalogue to enter the public domain in 2011. However, books originally copyrighted in the US between 1923 and 1964 had to have their copyright renewed in their 28th year. This resulted in a copyright extension up to a total of 95 years. Based on this rule, Fitzgerald’s works published before 1923 (This Side of Paradise and The Beautiful and The Damned) are now in the public domain in the United States, while The Great Gatsby (published in 1925) will not enter the public domain until 2021.

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The Story Spine: Pixar’s 4th Rule of Storytelling

Once Upon a Time
In 2012 Pixar Story Artist Emma Coats tweeted 22 storytelling tips using the hashtag #storybasics. The list circulated the internet for months gaining the popular title Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling. We reposted this list two weeks ago and the response has been phenomenal with thousands of likes, shares, comments and emails.

Since posting the story, a number of people have contacted us regarding rule number 4 on the list, also known as ‘The Story Spine’:

Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

Reports were that this tip did not originate with Pixar but instead with writer/director/teacher Brian McDonald. Intrigued, we contacted Brian to find out more. He replied as follows:

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Hilary Mantel’s Ten Rules for Writing Fiction

In 2010, inspired by Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing, The Guardian asked some of the world’s most respected writers to share their best tips. Here’s how Hilary Mantel, the first British author to win the Man Booker Prize twice, responded to the task.

  1. Are you serious about this? Then get an accountant.
  2. Read Becoming a Writer, by Dorothea Brande. Then do what it says, including the tasks you think are impossible. You will particularly hate the advice to write first thing in the morning, but if you can manage it, it might well be the best thing you ever do for yourself. This book is about becoming a writer from the inside out. Many later advice manuals derive from it. You don’t ­really need any others, though if you want to boost your confidence, “how to” books seldom do any harm. You can kick-start a whole book with some little writing exercise.
  3. Write a book you’d like to read. If you wouldn’t read it, why would anybody else? Don’t write for a perceived audience or market. It may well have vanished by the time your book’s ready.
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