I was lucky enough recently to become part of the Australian Crime Writers Association, a group of terribly clever and friendly people who organise the Ned Kelly Awards, and who in their website, http://www.austcrimewriters.com, have built a place full of all the most pertinent information on penitentiary writing. (The website is much more clear and less laboured than that pun, sorry.) You can join ACWA as a publisher or a writer for a nominal fee, and have a place to share your wares; you can join as a reader and get all that delicious knowledge FOR FREE. BETTER YET, and you bet I’m ALL CAPS ABOUT THIS, November – aka the 133rd anniversary of Ned Kelly’s death – is ACWA’s membership drive, which I’ve had a hand in helping with, and YOU GUYS, you won’t believe how amazing the prizes are. Sadly, as an associate of the association I can’t enter any of the competitions, but I’m thinking of quitting just so I can win some, and then hoping they’ll accept me back when I am armed with things like THE ENTIRE PENGUIN GREEN CLASSICS COLLECTION, and so many other excellent books you’ll have to take all your annual leave and hole up in an attic to read them all.
The competitions to win include fashioning a Ned Kelly beard, writing a 133 word short story or great opening line, or acing a quiz. So the worst case scenario is that you’ll have fun and be part of a site that has all kinds of great news, new releases, events, and everything you could want to know. DO IT!