While living and working in Edinburgh in 2008 I set out to write one million words in 366 days... but only managed 800,737.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

In which the writer takes a significant step towards becoming an author and explains the feelings of vindication expressed late last week

The news: my short story collection will be published by Random House New Zealand in 2010.

I received this news on Thursday, but was waiting until I saw the contract (as proof I didn't dream it rather than a fear of being had) before going public.

In some respects, 2010 seems a long way off (I'll be 27 before the book comes out - gasp!). But the major advantage is that it gives me time to write 1 or 2 or 3 more kick-ass stories before I have to submit the final manuscript in June 2009. Fingers crossed a kick-ass story supplies a kick-ass title which inspires a kick-ass cover...

Considering the fact I will be M.I.A. from Christmas until around Anzac Day -- at least when it comes to writing fiction -- June 09 is not so far away.

And hopefully that credit crunch malarkey has died down by 2010 and people are in the book-buying mood!!

For those of you curious as to how this all ties in with the Year of a Million words shtick:
Of the 17 stories currently included in the manuscript, seven were written from beginning to end in 2008. A further four were commenced in late 2007 (after settling in Edinburgh), though most of graft took place this year. The remaining six stories were all 'complete' at the beginning of the year (some previously published), but all have undergone numerous revisions since then. And then there's all the stories I worked on '08 on which didn't make the cut...

I can't say for sure what I would have written this year without a target of 2,732 words per day, but I can guarantee that some of the newer stories would never have been tackled. Other stories, old and new, would have been allowed to drift along, perpetually unfinished/unpolished/unloved.

I thought I needed to say something pro-Quest, since most of the time I'm pretty down on what a harebrained gimmick this is. With that out of the way... I have a kick-ass story to write. Excuse me.


dan said...


Rachael King said...

Hey Craig - I didn't see thi snews until you mentioned it again. A huge congratulations - what a nice feeling. We are so lucky in NZ in that publishers don't shy away from publishing short stories.

Craig Cliff said...

Thanks Rachael
I agree that NZ is lucky with it's publishers/history of supporting short stories. Charlotte Grimshaw, Alice Tawhai, Sue Orr, Paula Morris, Tim Jones... the NZ short story seems to be in pretty good health right now.