Why I’ll avoid the Sunday Star Times Short Story Contest again in 2017

Exposure is what kills people who go hiking without being prepared. Writers should always get paid.

Sean Monaghan - Writer

sst-logoLast year I posted about not entering the Sunday Star Times Short Story Contest, New Zealand’s “premier” short story contest (free entry, up to $3000 prize, has launched many careers, etc.), because the rules were egregarious. That is, designed to have writers forfeit rights to their stories.

That’s just plain wrong.

And this year, the contest is doing the same thing.

Last year I was disappointed. This year I’m kind of mad. Not because I would expect to win–I’m far too much of a learner-writer to be so bold–but because the organisers should know better than to have conditions or rules that make it possible to prey on naive writers. Especially young writers.

Here’s the rule I take exception to: “Fairfax Media and Penguin Random House New Zealand have the right to publish the winning and highly commended manuscripts of the Open Division and Secondary School Division entered without fee

View original post 387 more words

Advertisements

Tankbread 4: Black Snow

tankbread-4-9781682612231_hr

Tankbread 4: Black Snow

Tomorrow the fourth and final book in the Tankbread series is released by Permuted Press.

I was reminded of this through the power of Google Alerts. Which (as the name suggests) alert you when key words appear on the Internet.

I have alerts for the usual key words, Paul Mannering, Tankbread, Engines of Empathy, Cross-dressing Gnomes with bangle fetishes.

The most common alert I get is for Tankbread, and it’s always a link to the latest site offering pirated copies of the book. Which is why I was reminded by Google Alerts that Tankbread 4: Black Snow is out tomorrow.

The pirate sites have it on offer already – or at least they have the page waiting for it to be on offer tomorrow. You can download it in mobi or PDF format.

If you do, you can also go and fuck yourself with a rusty chainsaw.

There have been screeds written on the issue of online piracy. You can probably download all the literature for free from pirate sites.

It’s a difficult issue – you can’t control it. You can’t stop it. You also can’t ignore it.

Responses from content creators (the Millennial term for people who make stuff that people click on to generate advertising revenue for websites) ranges from Pulp Fiction style Biblical rage (And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger…) to the rather quaint idea that all information should be free.

Some will say, “They weren’t going to buy it anyway.”

I’m not going to buy a new Mercedes either, but it doesn’t give me the right to fucking steal one from the local European car dealership.

Others will say, “It’s not really stealing, because it’s copying.”

Yes, it is copying – but I get paid for the thousands of hours I put into writing these books by selling copies. Every time you acquire a copy without paying for it – I don’t get my return on the investment. If you don’t want to buy a copy, don’t fucking read it.

This is like raging at the ocean because a wave came up the beach and made your shoes wet. It doesn’t change anything and just leaves you feeling frustrated, powerless, with wet shoes.

Publishers have to take the losses into account – which is nearly impossible because (the downloaders weren’t going to buy it anyway) so you can’t easily put a value on the lost income.

The only way to be sure would be to say, “If offered the choice, would you buy this book or download it from a pirate site?”

Anyone who says yes to the pirate download, you can quote Ezekiel at them and eat their burger.

Where The Wild Thinks Are

A couple of years ago I spent the day at a High School, talking to English classes of students aged 15-17 about writing. It was a fun day, the kids were smart, engaged and I like to perform.

During a library Q&A session a girl asked, “Where do you get your ideas from?”Poop

It’s the most common question authors get along with, “Why?”

My stock answer is, “I order my ideas online. They come from a factory in China, in a cardboard box labelled Tractor Parts.

I then went on to talk about how it works. For creative types (which is anyone who actually stops long enough to poke at a random thought) ideas come from everywhere.

The best ideas come from asking What If?

The rest is just typing until your fingers bleed.

Continue reading

22 Reasons Living in Wellington will Ruin Your Life

Wellington, where I live.

Wizard's Guide to Wellington

Buzzfeed has 53 Reasons Living In New Zealand Will Ruin You For Life here…So in the same spirit, here are 10 reasons Wellington will ruin your life…

Because whatever the weather, or the disaster…blue skies are always just around the corner.WGBuilding

You can ride the cable car to work (or play) every dayIke-riding-Cable-Car.

You never know who you are going to meet…631

…when you’re off to the theatres, the coffee, the waterfront and the…DSCF0046

museum.Museum 220

Everyone gets in on the action…including the suburbs (Upper Hutt’s biannual jousting tournament and medieval fair).IMG_4345

Gollum lives in the airport.Gollum with Ike

Work or play, there’s almost always a view…Wellington Wellington 102

…balls…Wellington 135

…buckets…Wellington 300

sails…WAterfrontSails

…and sunsets.Wellington 140

There’s a little excitement around every corner. IMG_3551

A little more excitement. birdman s 004

…and maybe a little mystery.Perrin Alec 087

It’s gorgeous…At the Bay.2001wharfgood

It’s still the capital city, full of busy bees (and politicians -but we’re a forgiving lot).Wellington 338

Opportunity is always knocking…

View original post 117 more words

My husband is more to me than a living jar-opener

There’s a million reasons to love your significant other. Their physical abilities for opening jars and lifting heavy shit – is not why you love them.

Fit and Feminist

If you’ve been on the internet at all in the past week, you’ve probably already seen the Women Against Feminism tumblr going around, or at the very least read about it.

I didn’t think too much of it when I saw it, for two reasons. For one, most of the women had a tenuous grasp (at best) on the definition of feminism, one that seemed like it was informed in its entirety by Rush Limbaugh and Jessi Spano, and also the belief that “misandry” jokes are actually serious.

The other reason was that most of the “women” actually looked like teenage girls. Considering that I was super into Ayn Rand when I was a teenage girl, I can’t get too far up on my high horse with regards to the contributors. Let’s just say that if Tumblr was around in the late 1990s, I’m sure there’d be a photo of…

View original post 760 more words