Verandah 31 Launch!

After months of editing, designing and emailing, we are finally ready to launch Verandah‘s 31st issue! We are incredibly excited to present our journal to you in Melbourne, and for the first time ever, in Geelong!

Details for each event are located below, and they are both FREE events. Come along for live music, drinks, nibblies, and readings from V31 and beyond!

Creating this journal has been an incredible experience, and I’m so excited to have my name in this book. We’ve worked tirelessly over the past year to uncover the potential of talented artists and writers, and our 31st issue holds great examples of the fantastic work our worldwide contributors have produced. You will be able to purchase this volume online in a few weeks, and in various other places which I will announce when we have a complete list, including at both of our launches!

ONE MORE THING!

This year, we are launching Verandah as an eBook for the first time! If you’re strapped for cash, please consider a smaller donation to ensure the continuation of small publications like ours through the purchase of our eBook, available from our website in a few weeks time.

Please come and celebrate with us at The Owl and Cat Theatre in Richmond and at Beav’s Bar in Geelong!

The Owl and Cat Theatre 
34 Swan St, Richmond
VIC 3121
Date: Sunday 4th September, 2016
Time: 12pm-3pm
RSVP: here

Beav’s Bar
77/79 Little Malop St, Geelong
VIC 3220
Date: Sunday 11th September, 2016
Time: 2pm-5pm
RSVP: here

 

I’ve been a Busy Bird

After months of searching for an editorial internship, I have finally found one at Busybird publishing! Busybird is a small publishing house based in Melbourne, founded by Blaise and her husband Kev, who are both wonderfully talented publishers, editors and designers.

I’ve been travelling to their offices for the past month (only one day a week) and have already seen improvements in my proofing skills, as well as learnt quite a lot about successful blogging!

I have never really considered myself a writer; I don’t make time to sit down and write, even writing blog posts is difficult for me! I’ve never felt very passionately about my fiction writing skills, though the work that Blaise has had me complete over the past few weeks has given me a kind of spark. I actually want to write now.

Their website showcases their weekly blog posts that help writers move through writer’s block, improve their fiction through structure and planning, and quite a lot more! Take a look if you’re a struggling writer like me; their tips have been incredibly helpful in persuading me to take up writing again.

Aside from their help with my writing, they’ve also given me an insight into the publishing world. Some days, I look at my editing work and wonder whether I’ve made the right decision in choosing this as a career. I love working with authors and focusing their work so that it’s the best it can be, and a publisher does that but from afar. Having the chance to move away from constant editing is fantastic and keeps my editing focus strong. (For those who don’t do a lot of editing, let me tell you that it is frustrating, tedious and incredibly rewarding, even when you’re still finding things that need to be altered as your publication goes to print *insert angry emoji face*).

Blaise has taught me a lot through her blogs, specifically about the different ways that you can publish a book. Traditional publishing is all that I had previously considered as a fulfilling route (e.g. being selected by a big publishing house such as Penguin, HarperCollins etc.), but there are heaps of self-publishing options. Publishing houses like Busybird help authors with editing, typesetting and designing their books, and the author pays for the printing, meaning that the author makes all of the profit from sales. In the traditional route, the publishing house that has commissioned the work, or is paying for the printing, will take a cut of all profits made. Of course with bigger publishing houses also comes a bigger marketing plan and you have the little penguin in the corner that makes it feel more legitimate, but that doesn’t always mean that it’s going to be a huge success.

One thing that has been burned into my brain through reading Busybird’s blog is that no one knows what will be a best seller! There’s no special algorithm or way of knowing what will sell a million copies, or even a hundred copies! Publishing is a tough business and giving someone the opportunity to create a novel, whether fiction or non-fiction, is ultimately what I would love to do, whether that’s with a smaller publishing house, or with Penguin.

Maybe I should look into creating my own publishing house…

Future Lauren, get onto it!

 

 

What I’m currently reading: Game of Thrones Book 4: A Storm of Swords Part 2, Blood and Gold

(Phew, what a long title!)

‘I am most grateful for two things: that I was born in North Korea, and that I escaped from North Korea.’

I like to think that I’ve read quite a few biographies, though none stand close to this particular one. Yeonmi Park is one of the most resilient people I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about. Well, to tell the truth, reading the beginning of her story was anything but a pleasure. It was heartbreaking and confronting from page one. She has had a cruel life, but still maintains the courage to speak about her struggle to get out of her home country, North Korea.

I was anxious to see inside a country we have all heard about; to hear stories of its looks and its people and the way life is in this place we have never seen, and will most likely never be allowed into. It was astonishing and honestly, almost unbelievable, to read about the faith that North Koreans citizens place in the hands of their leader, their ‘God’, Kim Jong-Il and his father Kim Il Sung, even after having lived for decades in unrelenting poverty. We are also shown into Changbai, a city on the border of China and North Korea; a place where prostitution and the like are commonplace. Park mentions that she has never told this part of her story before writing about it in her biography: ‘I convinced myself that a lot of it never happened; I taught myself to forget the rest’.

It was difficult to read, but don’t let that put you off. English is not Park’s first language but I promise you, you won’t notice. Her writing is impeccable, her story so much more than painful. The horrific things that she has survived are a testament to her character; I will leave these for you to read in her novel, it is more than worth the purchase.

Her life now is one of perseverance, as she is still followed closely by the North Korean Government. She speaks to University graduates about dreaming larger than they could have ever thought to dream; Park escaped from her home country when she was just13 years old, having the literary and mathematical skills of a seven-year-old, and ended up finishing high school and graduating from a top university in Seoul, South Korea. Her determination to succeed is a marvel in itself.

If you are looking for a reason to read ‘In Order to Live’, then look no further. Penguin Books have made her dreams of sharing her story worldwide possible.

Yeonmi Park and her family are awe-inspiring women. Take the time to read about her life; you will be forever changed afterward.


 

What I’m currently reading: Game of Thrones Book 2: A Clash of Kings

Why do I want to be an editor?

Being a literary major, I’ve always been told to think outside the words on the page in front of me; to see their effect, to see their purpose, and to understand their importance.

I’ve always believed that the most important thing about the words on those pages is that someone found value in them, enough to share them with the world. I am here hoping to do the same thing.

‘But words are things, and a small drop of ink,

Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces

That which makes thousands, maybe millions, think.’

Lord Byron, Canto III, Stanza 88.