Well... March has been a crazy month (as if it's April in three days?!) but there are lots of fun things happening, so I thought I'd share a few of them with you! I haven't posted any short stories on the blog for a while, and this should explain why...
I'm currently working on two short story collaborations through the wonderful Aussie writing website Needle in the Hay. Basically what happens is, a bunch of writers work on a short story each, riffing off a chosen theme, and then go through an arduous feedback and editing process together. We read each other's stories and give notes, and then make changes to our own stories based on the feedback of others. I cannot tell you how much I have learnt from this process alone!! The final drafts are all then compiled and prepared for publication. As Needle in the Hay is a not-for-profit website, we will be running a Kickstarter campaign very soon to fund a limited print run of the compilations, which will also eventually go up on all of the major ebook websites. It's super exciting to know that my words will be out there in the world in printed form in the near future. I get giddy every time I think about seeing the words "by Tobias Madden" on a real-life page in a book.
The first collaboration is called WOLVES and will feature altered/extended/reworked versions of the shortlisted stories from Needle in the Hay's WOLVES serial fiction award. My story, 'Wolf Pack' (formerly featured on the blog), has been reworked and will be presented in its new form - complete with new twists - in the WOLVES compilation. We are currently working on our final drafts, and there is a way to go yet, but keep your eyes peeled for this awesome short story collection!
The second is called Seasons of Discontent, and contains a collection of wonderful stories specially crafted for the collaboration. It'll be on its way soon after WOLVES... stay tuned!! :)
I'm also working on a one-woman show with my dear friend and incredible actress Francine Cain, and we're chugging along nicely. We've so much work to do, but we're super excited about what we've got so far!
On top of all that, I decided it was high time I wrote a novel! I'm six chapters in (some 31,000 words) and loving every single minute of the process. The working title is Seven Dials, and it's a young adult fantasy tale about two brothers, one of whom goes missing... and that's all I'm giving away for now! My somewhat ambitious aim is to have the first draft of the manuscript finished by my birthday (13th of Oct) so we'll see how that goes! But goals are good, right? Haha
So, that should more or less explain why I've had no time to write any short stories for fun lately! Yes, there is a lot going on, and yes, I have my fingers in all of the pies, but I'm confident that I can juggle it all and hopefully create some wonderful things!
That's it for now; stay tuned for more developments! I'll have another Recent Reads post coming soon (after I work my way through the entire Harry Potter series again and find some other wonderful books to read). If anyone ever wants to chat about anything reading or writing related, feel free to get in touch through the Contact form on the About page, or via any of my social media platforms.
Also, if you're keen to do some writing yourself, check out Needle in the Hay for awesome weekly competitions, or have a look on the AWR page for a list of writing competitions nation wide. The ABR Jolley Prize, one of Australia's most prestigious short fiction awards, closes on the 10th of April, so make sure you check that one out ASAP! And the Melbourne Writer's Festival will be back at the end of August, but it's never too early to put it in your calendar; last year's festival was AMAZING!
Happy reading and writing everyone!!!