Knack Writer Profiles: Tracey Hawkins

Tracey is an award winning author, who easily slides between the worlds of creating books for children, writing crime, freelance writing, editing, critiquing and teaching writing classes at CIT and the ACT Writer's Centre. In her spare time- she is a guest presenter at National Conferences, schools, community events, moonlights as a Trainer and Assessor at Open Colleges, and is the ACT Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. When not tied up in the writing world, Tracey enjoys stepping into the real world to find inspiration and creativity in all that surrounds her.

Why do you write?
That’s easy- because I have to. I absolutely love what I do. My head is always thinking and churning words into stories- it never stops.  

How would you describe your work?
It is a mixed bag at times. However, I mostly write fiction. This encompasses any genre from picture books for little people as tall as a yard stick, through to YA and works for adults. My real passion is writing crime - I love writing really dark and gruesome stuff, which makes me wonder how the hell this stuff pops into my head. I also write non-fiction and freelance works for any topic. 

What's your party trick?
I have a habit of wring plots for stories on paper tablecloths at restaurants and then having to apologise to staff as I rip those brilliant ideas off to take with me. 

What are you looking forward to in 2015?
It's been a busy few months and soon I'll have the time to spend hours in the mind of a psychopathic serial killer, and complete my YA crime novel.

 

Knack Writer Profiles: Eleanor Malbon and Nikki Mikhailovich

Ellie and Nikki are Canberrans who ride their bikes around; sometimes in the Brindabella's and sometimes around whole countries like Estonia. Ellie writes performance poetry and stories. Over the last year her work has been featured at the You Are Here festival, CRACK Theatre festival, BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT!, Bloody Lips and various happenings around Canberra. Nikki documents his travels through found objects and photographs, and has just started to record his adventures online. Their internet homes are eleanormalbon.com andtheunmarkedtrail.com

Photo: Adam Thomas

Why do you write?
For Knack we're trying something new for us; we're collaborating on a writing project. We decided to write together because Nikki likes to suggest topics for poems for Ellie to write, and this project gives him a chance to get in on the action. When we ride long distances together our experiences can mirror each other, or sometimes be drastically different, and we’re interested to see how this will play out when we collaborate on a story.

How would you describe your work?
(Ellie) My poetry has been narrative based for the last few years. I like to write stories about people. When I consider all the characters that I’ve written I see that they’re all facing a decision about whether to ‘push back’ on the situation they’ve been thrown into and try to change it, or try to accept it. My last major piece of work was called Eucapocalypts Now, co-written with Aaron Kirby, and it was about the human experience in a radically climate changed Australia.

What are you looking forward to in 2015? 
Winding back from an officebased lifestyle and watching the seasons change in our Pialligo allotment garden. Also, we’re building a new bike for Ellie and it’s called an ‘Inbred’.

Knack Editor Profile: Hannah Purdy

Hannah Purdy is a news-addicted communications strategist and compulsive note-taker. Hannah is also the managing editor of Inside Indonesia (T: @InsideIndo) and a self-proclaimed CBR cheerleader. Check out her tweets here.
 

What do you like about editing? 
I love the satisfaction of completing a jigsaw puzzle and looking around to share that joy with my team mates (writers, usually). 

How would you describe your work? 
As editor, my role is to imagine what the final product might look like, piece together the awesome work of KNACK's writers and be amazed and surprised at what my visualisation turns out to look like in real life (and in this case, in your ears and on screen).

What's your party trick? 
Sleeping... although I generally whip this one out during the recovery period. 

What are you looking forward to in 2015? 
Seeing a real-life sumo wrestling match and making it into 2016 with minimal injuries. 

Knack Writer Profile: Alix Foley

Alix is an avid reader, a recreational eater, and an avid homebody. Her aspirations are many and varied but include completing a one-armed pull-up, and developing a sophisticated palate when it comes to wine. She has lived in Canberra a long time and is too poor to leave, which is fine, because she likes Canberra anyway.

 

Why do you write?
I love stories too much not to create my own.

How would you describe your work?
Wistful, weird, poorly plotted?? (I'm trying to work on that last one.)

What's your party trick?
I can light a lighter using my toes; I can also undulate my stomach in an upsetting fashion.

What are you looking forward to in 2015?
As a graduate: writing because I want to, not because I need to. 

Knack Writer Profile: Indigo Trail

Indigo is currently at ANU; she is solemnly studying things like Star Wars and violent baroque painting while simultaneously balancing her overzealous investment in memes, coffee and bizarre trivia. She is extremely fond of chocolate sultanas, memorising as many obscure words as possible and declaring loudly that she will fight people over their opinions on fiction. Her crowning achievement continues to be tweaking the wikipedia page on North Canberra to sound like an episode of Game of Thrones, but she also writes and reviews regularly for BMA Magazine.

Why do you write?
It's a mix of reasons, but mostly because I like to understand things that are external to myself. Words have a very unique ability to take as much of a complete, cohesive thought as possible and deposit it, verbatim, in the head of another person and for me, that really is the most magnetic thing about writing. Personally, I don't have that mystical compulsion writers often talk about - that feeling they get right in their gut that says if I do not write I will go mad. I definitely don't have that, but that might be because I'm already a bit mad. I think everyone is. Writing is just a way for me to try and decipher that madness, that eccentricity, that mercurial side - I want to deconstruct that and build it up again.

How would you describe your work?
A real conglomeration of whatever happens to inspire me. It's very slippery - it changes every week. If I've been watching too much 30 Rock (again) I'll want to write mildly offensive jokes and ridiculous characters; if I've been reading about fairytales, I'll want to write something about why 'once upon a time' is such a ubiquitous but overlooked phrase. It's a real patchwork of catalysts and ideas.

What's your party trick?
I am a human IMDb.

What are you looking forward to in 2015?
Memorising as many collective nouns as I can and firing them off when least expected. I just think it's a total travesty the phrase 'a sneer of butlers' isn't known to all.

Knack Editor Profile: Reuben Ingall

Reuben Ingall makes art with computers, mostly music, from iteratively-mangled guitar-scapes, to absurd dancefloor mashups, to scores for dance and film.

You can follow him on the below links: 
twitter.com/deadDJjoke666 
facebook.com/ReubenIngallMusic

What do you like about editing?
I guess I’m not an editor in the formal sense. I’ll be recording and producing the short-story audio component. I expect it’ll be a bit like recording and producing a band - the writers are the creators of the art, but I’ll get to help realise it and shape the final result. And that’s what I love about it: I get to participate in the making of art after the hardest part has been done!

How would you describe your work?
Most often I’m a music-maker but I’ve enjoyed working with audio in a variety of different kinds of projects. My work seems to take turns focussing on texture, duration, space and process. 

What's your party trick?
um… air-horn sound effects. 

What are you looking forward to in 2015?
Foremost in my mind is the impending release of the limited edition Cadbury+Vegemite chocolate block (for real), but I’m also releasing a new album and taking a holiday in Japan.

Knack Writer Profile: Allison Morris

Allison Morris is a Canberra-based writer and freelance editor who arranges her books by colour and travels when she can.

Why do you write?
I write to find out what happens next.

How would you describe your work?
I would describe my work as YA magical realism. But who needs labels?!

What's your party trick?
My party trick is speaking other languages. I speak some Spanish, a little bit of French, a tiny bit of Czech, Chinese, and Greek, and a few Norwegian curse words.

What are you looking forward to in 2015?
In 2015 I am looking forward to buying my first car and driving to places I've never been.

Knack Writers Profile: Lee Constable

Lee grew up on a sheep farm in regional NSW and first came to Canberra to pursue her combined passions for science, arts and humanities. At ANU she did a Science/Arts degree majoring in a very mixed bag (Plant Science, Earth and Environmental Science, Sociology and Drama) and went on to do honours in Biology. Spending her days going from lectures to labs and from the theatre to the field, Lee was often asked ‘Why?’ and was told ‘These things just don’t go together!’
Lee currently spends her time whispering ‘THIS is why!’ under her breath as she combines her passions for science, society and the arts. She produces and hosts a weekly radio show on 2XXFM called SoapBox where she interviews people about their passions and projects which relate to social justice and environmental sustainability. Lee is also currently studying a Master of Science Communication Outreach at ANU which gives her the opportunity to be a presenter in the Questacon Science Circus, travelling around regional Australia performing science shows for schools and communities. Lee is always looking for new opportunities to combine her passions with purpose so who knows what’s next!

Why do you write?
I like to write to communicate with others on topics that are important to me.

 How would you describe your work?
I am in the process of figuring out what ‘my work’ is... At the moment most of my work is a part of my Masters program, learning different writing styles and uses of language to more effectively communicate scientific concepts to the public. I wrote a poem for Feminartsy this year around the theme of gender expectations, stereotypes and ‘looking like a scientist’- I had not written anything in that style since school but I enjoyed expressing an important issue in a new way. I’m in the process of writing some blogs on environmental issues for the Conservation Council too. The long and short of it is... I have no idea how to describe ‘my work’ but I hope in the future someone will say it’s ‘funny’, ‘thought-provoking’, ‘enjoyable’ or any combination of those things.

What's your party trick?
I’ve never tried it at a party but I can crack a stock whip pretty fiercely! Cracking two at the same time continuously in figure 8 formations (cracking behind and in front of the body) is probably the coolest thing I’ve done with them but I’m a bit rusty at the moment...

 What are you looking forward to in 2015?
Too many things! I’m looking forward to watching my radio show, SoapBox progress and turn it into a podcast with the help of my co-hosts. I’m always looking forward to learning new things from guests on the show. I’m also really excited about the many travels ahead with the Questacon Science Circus through remote and regional areas of Australia. Performing science shows to communities and school groups is a lot of fun and very rewarding!

Knack Writer Profile: Hugo Branley

Hugo was born quite young and has no real memories of how it happened. He’s basically winged it ever since. He first realised he wanted to be a writer at the tender age of eight, after reading the back of a Cornflakes packet and deciding he could write better copy than the talentless cereal-industry hack who had penned such an insipid ode to a mid-range maize-based breakfast food. In conversation, he often describes himself as a spiritual person, being under the false impression that all this refers to is his fondness for whiskey.

Why do you write?
To be perfectly honest, I don’t really know. Often it just  feels as though there are things can only really be expressed in a written medium – things that don’t really live on the breath, that need to be captured on the page and read and re-read in order for them to really emerge in their own inner truth. That, and I accidently bought a bumper pack of 200 biros from Officeworks the other week and I’d feel really bad if they went to waste. 

How would you describe your work?
Inconsistent and often over-punctuated, but basically readable. I’d recommend it anyway, without too much hesitation. This piece is essentially a meditation on transitoriness, on the way time does not flow by smoothly when we experience, but pools in moments and in certain junctures of events. The way natural cycles, of seasons, ripening, preparation and consumption are irreducibly singular; the way they are eternally repeatable and yet indefinably unique. I guess the implicit contrast that I’m looking to bring out is with the way we ordinarily approach our time: as regulated, even, and under our control. I’m hoping to bring out this tension by writing only in terms of the fragmentary and momentary – the complex and meaningful instants that Joyce called “epiphanies.”

What's your party trick?
I’ve got this great one I do that involves half-a-glass of water, an apple, three paperclips and a Sumatran tiger.

 What are you looking forward to in 2015?
New Years Eve. No other day of the year keeps you in suspense for as long. 

Knack Writer Profile: Emily Allen

Emily has a BA in Journalism and Creative Writing and a subsequent Diploma of Music Industry (Business) after playing in a local orchestra for a number of years. She is currently the Communications Coordinator and Secretary for MusicACT and has just wrapped up as the Marketing and Publicity Coordinator for the Canberra Multicultural Fringe. These role sees her combine her passion for social media, writing, music and arts administration.
 

Why do you write? 
I have always loved the immediacy of being able to pick up a pen and write down an idea or thought, then pick it up at a later point and grow on it. It's also a nice feeling to see structure and coherence made from words bumbling around in your head.

How would you describe your work? 
I was often met with strange looks when mentioning I chose journalism and creative writing, two opposite writing styles, to study. The freedom of creative/fictional writing teamed with the researched background of journalistic writing is a nice mix though I think. 

What's your party trick?
 Smokebombing 

What are you looking forward to in 2015? 
Balance. And getting better at answering bio questions.

Knack Writer Profile: Camilla Patini

Camilla Patini is a 22-year-old English Honours student at the ANU. Her writing has appeared in various places such as Lip Magazine, Woroni, and Verity La. She's been an ACT Writers Centre Blogger in Residence and was a Papercuts and Buzzcuts editor last March. Find out more about her here.

Why do you write? 
I write because it's fun (sometimes).

How would you describe your work?
I mostly write non-fiction and it can either be very tongue-in-cheek and silly or very serious and academic (or somewhere in between) depending on my audience. Either way, I hope that whatever I write is interesting in some way.

What's your party trick?
I can hold a handstand for up to 60 seconds, yes. And walk, while in handstand.

What are you looking forward to in 2015?
I am looking forward to handing in my Honours' thesis, getting more experience in writing and editing and, in general, having an all-round more mature life. Perhaps the ability to talk politely to my mother and to hand in essays on time.

Knack Writer Profile: Kathryn Ford

Kathryn Ford is one of those twenty-somethings that enjoys wrangling words, Palace Electric and the exquisite duo that is pumpkin and chocolate.

Why do you write?
Writing is one of the best ways to try (and repeatedly fail) at working out what the hey! people are on about. And you know, what it all means.

How would you describe your work?
Ruminative

What's your party trick?
I can roll my tongue? Probably not as impressive as those people who can create a four leaf flower with their tongue. 

What are you looking forward to in 2015?
Learning a yet to be determined new skill. The planning or the actual occurrence of an overseas adventure.

 

Knack Writer Profile: Niki van Buuren

Niki van Buuren is a thirty-something art teacher and hopeless writing addict. She particularly enjoys writing Young Adult fiction about badass female characters with wicked senses of humour. She also writes semi-regularly on her blog, which can be found at http://holyshiitake.net 

Why do you write?
I write because I can’t avoid it. As an angsty teenager I kept two journals where I put everything that pissed me off down in poetry form. Nowadays I write to wind down after a day of teaching angsty teenagers.

 How would you describe your work?
Open, honest, relatable, and with a certain level of humour.

 What's your party trick?
At parties, my trick is to usually stand in a corner and hope that nobody notices me. Outside of parties, I am known for being able to cross one eye and stare straight ahead with the other.

What are you looking forward to in 2015?
More writing! Also, graduating from the Grad. Dip. in Writing at UC.

Knack Writer Profile: Jordan Morris

Jordan Morris

Jordan Morris’s first novel, Round and Round, was highly commended and shortlisted for the 2014 ACT Writing and Publishing Fiction Award, and a quarterfinalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Competition.  He won the 2005 A.C.T. Writers Centre Young & Emerging Writer Mentorship with Jackie French, who taught him everything he knows about writing (and everything he didn’t know about writing.)  Jordan wrote the sold-out Noir Revue for the Spiegeltent in the Old Parliament House rose gardens for Canberra’s Centenary, and rewrote it for its 2013 Australian tour.  In 2015, Jordan was a featured artist in Canberra’s inaugural Noted writing festival, for which he was a live literary game-show panellist, and wrote a third of a novel on Twitter.  In a previous life Jordan ran a boutique hotel for writers and artists.  He hopes that in at least one other past life he was a dinosaur.  Jordan’s next novella, Revolution’s Eve, will be out this year.

Why do you write?
To paraphrase Frank Norris, I don’t so much love writing as I love having written.  No one else could (or would) tell these stories, and I’ve got to write to get them out of my head.  Then I need to polish the words until they’re in their Platonically ideal form.  Once everything’s right, I feel like a detuned guitar string with all the tension released.  And then I have to write the next thing.

How would you describe your work?
I write about the mythic nature of what we consider to be mundane (and often suburban) life.  Even if you’re the least-privileged person reading my words, you still got to be human and literate and have access to 21st Century technology and books.  We all won the universal lottery, and our lives are incredible, even when we feel they’re at their worst.  Most of my writing is targeted at young adults and new adults, but is equally apposite for old adults.

What’s your party trick?
Give me a party popper or a lit candle, and I’ll show you. 

What are you looking forward to in 2015?
Living a magically real poetic philosophical romantic comedy coming-of-age fairytale.

Updates August 2014 – May 2015 (whoops!)

Sorry we are terrible at blogging (we are much better at keeping our facebook and twitter up to date).

Here is a list of things that we have been doing:

We ran a Slow and Tell blog series and held a live story telling night at Gorman Arts Centre.

We teamed up with Photoaccess to run Light Years, a blog series where local writers responded to the photographs by the late Lin Richardson.

We ran the East Row Museum (with complimentary audio tour) as part of the 2015 You Are Here festival where artists from a range of backgrounds used collections of objects as a tool for storytelling.

We had a call for writers for Knack and Jumble Junior. Both projects are about to start so stay tuned for more information! 

Submissions open: Show + Tell

Remember the first bike your parents gave you? It was red. You rode it around the neighbourhood block every day after school until you wore out the back tyre.

Or what about those denim jeans you were wearing when you found out your grandma died?

And what’s that jar sitting on your windowsill? You know, the one with the ‘do not touch’ sign scrawled in blue texta.

Objects. They all have a story or another. Why do we hold on to some things more than others? Why do some things have any uncanny ability to teleport us back to a particular moment in time?

What’s your story?

Show + Tell is a blog series, examining objects and identity. We want your stories (fiction or non-fiction). They can be funny. Or serious. Or funny-serious.


Submit

Please e-mail contact@rip-publishing.com with your name and a brief pitch for your proposed piece (a short paragraph will do).

If we like the look of your idea, we’ll ask you to write a 500 word story and publish it on our website (www.rip-publishing.com) as part of rip publishing’s Show + Tell blog series.

All writers will be paid $20.

PITCHES DUE 29th AUGUST (remember, it's just a pitch so you can keep it brief) 

 

Questions?

E-mail Yas, Farz or Adam at contact@rip-publishing.com or reach us on Facebook (rip publishing) or Twitter (@rippublishing) or Instagram (yadda yadda you know our name by now).

 

 

Jumble: lift-off!

Hey there, rippers.

In case you missed our launch of Jumble, here are a few photos (courtesy of Yas). Canberra (brrr-ah) may be cold, but the readings and music warmed us all.

Thanks to Reuben Ingall and Bec Taylor for playing, and Raph, Yen and Lex for sharing their stories from the book.

Also, you see that ace mural in the background? That's from the Food Co-op. They're rad, and you should definitely pop in to their shop when you're in town.

The dog ate our first blog post

Have you ever had to use the excuse 'the dog ate my homework'? 

Probably not, right? It's the kind of thing you hear in movies and TV shows, and even then, it's not very believable. 

Well, Jumble Creative Director Yasmin Masri found out (the hard way) that dogs not only eat homework, but credit cards. 

Yes. Credit cards. Specifically, the rip publishing credit card. The very same card was intended to be used to purchase printing for Jumble, our upcoming book of migrant memoirs in recipes.

Don't worry, we're still printing the book. At this very moment, in fact! Want to find out more? Head here for details of our launch.

In the meantime, whatever you do, don't leave a scruffy-faced scamp near your valuables. 

Lulu. Is that a face you could be angry at?

Lulu. Is that a face you could be angry at?