Over the last few days, I’ve been privileged to have the opportunity to read an advanced review copy of the new Writing the Dream anthology, to be published in November by Rockingham-based Serenity Press.
You may have noticed me sharing my excitement and enthusiasm for this book on my Facebook pages and Twitter accounts during its genesis and development in recent months.
Its creation is the serendipitous result of an imaginative and professional collaboration by two people I greatly respect and admire (and genuinely adore!).
Serenity Press founder Karen McDermott and her newly appointed co-director Monique Mulligan have been planning and working on the Writing the Dream project for close to a year, and their hopes and aspirations for this magical book are nearing fruition at last.
With the book’s launch just a few weeks away, they have every right to feel immensely proud of what they have produced – as should each of the other contributors to the anthology.
If you haven’t seen any of my earlier posts, I should explain that Writing the Dream is a collection of engrossing, entertaining, informative and illuminating essays by 24 talented Australian writers, each at a different point on their individual writing journeys. Each contributor also shares their top five writing tips — and there are many gems among them.
Prolific historical novelist Anna Jacobs has dozens of published novels under her belt and has accumulated a significant fan base here in Australia and overseas, while Natasha Lester, Sara Foster and Jenn J. McLeod each have several novels published to date and are seeing their latest titles jostling for space at the top of best-seller lists.
Teena Raffa-Mulligan has been quietly and consistently writing and publishing children’s picture books and chapter books for decades, and recently published her first romance novella.
Rebecca Laffer-Smith writes a mix of fantasy novels, educational texts and children’s stories and has launched her own publishing company with the aim of making reading more accessible for those who find the pastime challenging.
Tess Woods’ delight in having her first novel published as an e-Book in 2015 has been surpassed by the recent launch of paperback version through one of Australia’s leading publishing houses, and Louise Allan currently has a sought-after agent presenting her first novel to potential publishers.
Sonia Bellhouse has achieved outstanding success in short story writing competitions and harbours ambitions to publish novels; T. W. Lawless is experiencing considerable success with his thrillers involving Peter Clancy; and Sandi Bowie realised her dream to write about life with cystic fibrosis.
Melinda Tognini’s desire to share the ‘invisible’ tales we often don’t hear about led to the publication of her collection of stories about the lives of West Australian war widows, and my former colleague and kindred spirit Michele Nugent, who has been earning a living from her writing for thirty years, is now taking tentative steps on the path toward having her first novel published.
The West Australian’s Books Editor William Yeoman, in his foreword for Writing the Dream, says ‘it’s the individuality and intimacy of their personal narratives which will touch and inspire’. I have to agree with him.
Writing the Dream will occupy a prime position among my comprehensive collection of references, practical and inspiration texts on the craft of writing. I’m confident it will become a firm favourite — equally perfect for those days when I am buoyed by my aspirations and believe I can take on the publishing world, and those days when I’m teetering on the edge of doubt.
Writing the Dream can be pre-ordered at Serenity Press and for a limited time is available with a complimentary – and complementary – notebook, with space for aspiring authors, poets and writes to dare to put their own dreams onto paper.