I was in Melbourne on Thursday for the launch of The Sleepers Almanac No. 7 at Bella Union Bar, Trades Hall.
The evening kicked off with a hearty welcome from Louise Swinn and Zoe Dattner, editors of the Almanac and founders of Sleepers Publishing.
Other Almaniacs who gave readings were Rosanna Stevens (The Silences, praised in yesterday’s review by Owen Richardson in The Age), Pierz Newton-John (with a story I love called Growing Sickness) and Eric Dando (with Human Beans, which had everyone laughing).
This is a photo I took on stage just before reading from my story, Teapot Piñata, which was written in the months after I quit corporate law to concentrate on fiction writing. Around that time, V.S. Naipaul was reported by The Guardian to have made comments about the inferiority of female writers, which he claimed was due to our sentimentality and narrow view of the world, as well as the fact that a woman “is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too”. In response, I kept the working title of my story, keen to prove that the quality of a person’s writing has nothing to do with gender or whether or not that writing has a whiff of the domestic about it.
The Sleepers Almanac No. 7 is out now. You can buy it online in paper book and ebook formats. (A little secret: Teapot Piñata is available in its entirety as a free sample.) The Almanac is also on the shelves of all good Australian bookstores. Alternatively, if you’re on the fly and have an iPhone, you can get all the stories from Almanacs 1 to 7 by downloading The Sleepers App.
Thanks to Lou and Zoe for publishing Teapot Piñata and for having me at the launch. It was a great night and I was chuffed to have met so many lovely fictional people.