Tag Archives: Conflux

Conflux Writers Day program is now live!

The program for the Conflux Writers Day, a new event ahead of the Aurealis Awards on 5 April 2014, is now live on the Conflux website. The program features CSFG members Kaaron Warren, Ian McHugh, Phill Berrie, Donna Maree Hanson, Chris Andrews and Rob Porteous.

On Step 2

by Ian McHugh (writing at ianmchugh.wordpress.com)

A common question that crops up at writing workshops is “How do you go about getting stories published?” So much so that I’ve started building the short version of the answer into my workshop introductions. The short answer goes like this:

McHugh’s 3-step Guide to Getting Published

1 Write the damn thing.

2 Submit the damn thing.

3 Repeat.

Then I add in a Step 1a – Good.

Step 1a – writing the damn thing good – is the real trick. As Donald Maass says, “Ninety-five percent of a story’s success is in the manuscript.” Put most of your energy into Step 1a. But pulling off a good story isn’t going to get you anywhere if you don’t send the damn thing out into the world for editors to read.

So, how about that? Where do you even start with Step 2?

Approaching the market with your work is daunting. Actually, it’s fucking terrifying when you’re freshly starting out. But having some understanding of how it all works can help get you past that.

Read more…

Conflux Writers’ Day – information session

Conflux will be holding an information session about the Conflux Writers Day (to be held in April 2014 in conjunction with the Aurealis Awards) in The Snug at King O’Malley’s pub in Canberra City at 7:30pm on Thursday 29 August.

The session is particularly for those who might be interested in presenting on the day. See also the call for abstracts on the Conflux website for more information about presenting.

CSFG at Conflux 9


Book Launch

Friday 26 April, 6-7pm – launch of Next, edited by Simon Petrie and Rob Porteous

Dealer’s Room

 From 1pm, Thursday 25 April – come see the special offers at the CSFG dealers table


Thursday 25 April, 12-3pm – Writing using the five senses with Gillian Polack

Friday 26 April, 8-10am – Polishing your turds (or, how to edit your stories) with Ian McHugh

Friday 26 April, 8-10am – Distilling your story with Chris Andrews


Friday 26 April, 9:30-10am – Simon Petrie

Friday 26 April, 11-11.30am – Leife Shallcross

Friday 26 April, 3-3.30pm – David Coleman – UPDATED

Saturday 27 April, 9.30-10am – Ian McHugh

Saturday 27 April, 11-11.30am – Kaaron Warren (Conflux 9 Special Guest)

Sunday 28 April, 11-11.30am – Al Baxter

Sunday 28 April, 1.30-2pm – Shauna O’Meara

Sunday 28 april, 1.30-2pm – David Coleman

Art Show

Works by Shauna O’Meara


Friday 26 April, 11am – kafeeklatsch with Gillian Polack

Saturday 27 April, 4-4.55pm – Guest of Honour talk by Kaaron Warren

Saturday 27 April, 8-8.55pm – The Romance Gauntlet (Leife Shallcross, Rob Porteous, Simon Petrie, Shauna O’Meara, Ross Hamilton)

Sunday 28 April, 11-12am – launch of In Fabula-divino, edited by Nicole Murphy

Panel Program

Thursday 25 April

10-10.55am – Taboo subjects for authors (Gillian Polack)

3-3.55pm – Self-publishing (Phill Berrie)

Friday 26 April

10-10.55am – What was great about SF when we were young? (Phill Berrie)

12.30-1.25pm – The politics of steampunk (Gillian Polack)

2.30-3.25pm – Better than they Should Be Anime (Shauna O’Meara, Elizabeth Fitzgerald)

4-4.55am – Podcasts and multimedia (Phill Berrie)

5-5.55pm – Speculative Art (Shauna O’Meara)

Saturday 27 April

10-10.55am – Writing communities (Phill Berrie)

11.30-12.25am – Using history to inspire fiction (Gillian Polack)

8-8.55pm – Star Wars the rebirth (Chris Andrews) UPDATED

Sunday 28 April

10-10.55am – Does a Cover Sell a Book? (Shauna O’Meara)

12.30-1.25pm – Defining the essentials of a short story (Gillian Polack)

12.30-1.25pm – Secret life of Writers (Elizabeth Fitzgerald)

2.30-3.25 – Junkyard Writing (Rob Porteous, Rik Lagarto)

3.30-4.25pm – Technological optimism vs political pessimism (Phill Berrie)

Conflux 9 Book Specials

The following special offers on CSFG books will be available at Conflux 9:

FREE copy of Encounters with any purchase upon presentation of the voucher from your con bag!


Get Gastro for a dollar with every Conflux Cookbook! $21 for the pair.

gastro cookbook

$44.95 for Elsewhere + The Outcast + Masques + Winds of Change (that’s $64.75 value, including your free copy of Encounters!)

4 anthos

Half-price on any other CSFG book when you buy a copy of Next!next_front_cover_26mar_thumb

Come to the launch of Next at Conflux 9!

6pm, Friday 26th April, Rydges Capital Hill, Canberranext_front_cover_26mar

  • Janeen Webb (World Fantasy, Aurealis and Ditmar Award winner)
  • Richard Harland (Golden Aurealis and Aurealis Award winner)
  • Readings from emerging CSFG authors Leife Shallcross and Rik Lagarto
  • Get your copy of Next signed by the contributors.
  • Get a voucher for a HALF-PRICE book from the CSFG table in the dealers room.

On being a professional

blog post sponsorship

Guest post by Nicole R Murphy

Attending a conference like Conflux can take you into the area of being a writer that can be extremely uncomfortable – being a professional.

Yep, even if you’re not getting PAID like a professional, it behooves you to behave like one.

Yay me for using the word ‘behooves’.

Here’s the thing – publishing is very much an industry built on relationships. The work you do with a publisher as an author isn’t just focussed on the words – it’s very much about how you relate and interact with each other. And it’s becoming much more important in this new publishing environment, where having a publisher who will work as a partner is valuable.

Working with an editor successfully requires a certain understanding and sympatico – not all editors/authors can work together successfully. Working with publicists and marketing requires the same. Working with an agent can be almost like a marriage in terms of how the two of you need to have similar views and aims for your career (and breaking it off can be almost as hard as ending a relationship, so make sure you choose a good agent when the time comes).

Because publishing is such an industry, everyone looks warily at the troublesome author. The one with a ego. The one who isn’t able to get along with people. The one who only takes and never gives. Read more →

All About Pitching

blog post sponsorship

One of the hardest tasks to befall a writer is turning months, years of labour and hundreds of pages, thousands of words, into a few brief sentences.

But that is the task that you will take on if you decide to take part in one of the pitches at Conflux 9.

So far, we’ve got three agents lined up to hear pitches at various times during the conference, and we’re talking to several publishers as well. But don’t think you’ll have forever to win them over – five minutes, folks. That’s all you get.

Some lucky folk are going to get to participate in a workshop on pitching with Rowena Cory Daniells before they pitch to Angry Robot Head Mechanic (aka publisher) Marc Gascoigne. There’s also going to be a panel on pitching on the first day of the convention, for people to share their tips and thoughts. CSFG member Chris Andrews is running a workshop on Friday about it.

But what if you can’t attend any of those things but you’re desperate to sit down in front of an agent or publisher and convince them that they want your work?

Read more →

Conflux Guest Post: workshops and the ‘a-ha’ moment

by Nicole Murphy

One of the great ‘a-ha’ moments in my writing came courtesy of a Jack Dann workshop.

It was a good thing it happened during that particular workshop, because that weekend also ended up being one of the hardest things I’ve gone through. We were critiquing each other’s stories – submitted prior. I, for some reason, ended up last. We were running out of time, it was late Sunday afternoon, so there was no sugar coating of the crits and no opportunity to talk them through as other people had. I stumbled from the workshop into the car for the trip from Canberra to the South Coast and burst into tears. I cried for about an hour I think.

Despite that I’ve been back to two more of Jack’s workshops, and he’s one of the few people whose workshops I will attend again and again and that’s because I know he can give me more ‘a-ha’ moments.

So what was that particular ‘a-ha’ moment? Well, I’m paraphrasing, but it was this – the difference between a good story and a truly great one is in the details.

Read more →