(Apologies if you've already seen this. Reposted from an email.)
They're not hoping for Harry Potter levels of success, but the organisers of a new initiative to connect Australian fantasy and science fiction authors with American and other international publishers expect that it will result in book deals and a higher profile for Australian writers in general.
The project, coordinated by ACT Writers Centre Chair Trevor Stafford, New York Times-bestselling author Garth Nix, renowned editor Jonathan Strahan and award-winning writer Deborah Biancotti, has at its core a print and web promotional booklet that will feature forthcoming books to be published in Australia in the year ahead, writer profiles and contact information for authors, agents and publishers.
In November the booklet will be distributed at several events in New York City, including a reception at the Australian Consulate for key publishing figures. The booklet will also be given to delegates at the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, New York, a significant international industry event which gathers together several hundred agents, publishers, booksellers, librarians and other essential publishing decision-makers and gatekeepers.
"The catalogue will allow us to showcase Australian writers in the genre and we hope will result in book deals with publishers in the United States, United Kingdom and in translation," said Stafford. "Publishing is often about connecting a work with just the right person, and this catalogue will make Australian books much more visible to potential publishers and agents."
The catalogue will cover all forthcoming Australian speculative fiction book-length works that are to be published from October 2007 to December 2008, and will include an appendix for all Australian writers in the genre, whether they are writing novels or short fiction.
The project has been assisted through funding from Copyright Agency Limited and the Literature Board of the Australia Council.
It is being coordinated under the auspices of Conflux, which stages annual science fiction conventions in the nation's capital. Conflux 4 will be held from September 28 to October 1, 2007.
Authors and editors are invited to submit details of forthcoming books or short writer biographies at www.conflux.org.au/wfc by August 31, 2007.
The catalogue will be available for download in November.
Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)