My bike has been rusting under my deck for a couple of months. Too much rain to ride. On the way to work today, my thigh muscles let me know it had been awhile. I’m dreading the South Bank climb to the veloway on the way home this afternoon.

My writing skills have been getting a little rusty, too. Yesterday I struggled to produce 400 words (I’m usually a ‘1000 words per session’ gal). It will take a while to regain the focus.

This is my first day back in the office since our building was inundated in the floods early this year. Like many people, 2011 has brought disruption and distress to our team. Fortunately our workplace has recovered completely, and we should be back to normal operations by next week, although like most businesses our projections for the year will need to be revised – in a downwards direction.

image of our building inundated by flood

12 Jan 2011: Our office stays dry, but all our essential services are inundated [pic by Robert Hoge)

The natural disasters occurring around Australia – flood, fire, cyclone – have turned many lives upside down. Those directly affected are shouldering the work of rebuilding their lives. Those not directly affected face reduced and disrupted access to many of the goods and services we have taken for granted.

Writers around Australia are throwing their support behind Queensland flood victims. The Australian Writer’s Marketplace invites you to show your support by purchasing tickets in the Writers On Rafts lucky draw, organized by Queensland Writers Centre. Incredible prizes give you access to opportunities to take your writing career to the next level, for example:

  • manuscript appraisals by publishing powerhouses, such as literary agent Selwa Anthony or UQP’s Kristina Schultz
  • author visits by Linda Jaivin, Marcus Zusack, Nick Earls, Mia Freedman and many more
  • contract advice by leading industry expert, Alex Adsett

Tickets are only $5, available here, and there will be a winner for each category in each State or Territory. All ticketholders also go in the Super Special Prize Draw for great prizes such as free tickets to Byron Bay, Melbourne or Sydney Writers Festivals, or a weekend at a Bed’n’Breakfast for your own personal writing retreat. The more tickets you buy, the greater your chance of winning. Entries close 25th February 2011.

AWM is also rolling out some exciting changes this year, aimed at supporting Australian writers to further develop their art and business of writing – more on that later.

Get on board Writers On Rafts to help people rebuild their lives. And stick around AWMonline to help your writing focus.


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