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Spilled Ink Newsletter Issue #3: April 15th
Hello Dear Reader,
 
Welcome to Issue Three of the
Spilled Ink Newsletter,
presented by ScratchThat Magazine!


Welcome to our third issue of Spilled Ink! This week features an artist interview from one of ScratchThat's own Samuel Maguire who shares some of his influences and his work with local Brisbane publisher Tiny Owl Workshop.

We've got a wide selection  of events and submissions in our What's On section, Willow has some wonderful writing advice from The Tip Jar, and our What We're Loving features just slightly less Bridgerton than past editions!

And, as announced on our social media this week, our Issue Eight launch is set for the 29th of April! We can't wait to see you all there. 

— Jasmine, Grace, Téa, & Willow
Local Events
 
Lee Kopfman - The Writer Laid Bare
When:  21st of April, 6:30pm @Avid Reader OR Online
Cass Moriarty is in-conversation with Lee Kofman discussing The Writer Laid Bare. Inspired by her popular writing courses, Lee also offers practical advice on drafts, edits and how to achieve a life/writing balance. The Writer Laid Bare is a book for everyone who loves the craft of good writing. 

Anna Featherstone Workshop - Look – It's Your Book! A Guide to Self Publishing
When: 23rd of April, 10am @Avid Reader 
Join Anna Featherstone, author of Look–It’s Your Book!, for this informative and inspirational workshop where you’ll discover why more Australian writers are choosing to be authorpreneurs and the nitty gritty of how they’re doing it.

Ruckus Slam - Royal Show Edition
When: 27th of April, 6:30pm @Lefty's Music Hall
Brisbane's weirdest and loudest poetry slam is back - and this time - we've got showbags, This month you get a poetry slam plus all the best bits of a country fair. Ruckus Slam is an open mic comp, where you get 2 mins 30 on the mic to show us your best original poem, rap, rant, or song lyric, then the crowd judges you, someone wins, we all cheer, oh what a time.
 
Open Submissions
 
QUT Literary Salon April FOLKLORE 
Closes: April 15th
The QUT Literary Salon is a monthly salon run by students for students. Submissions for their April Salon FOLKLORE are now open!

The Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction 2022
Closes: April 15th
The 2022 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction is accepting entries of creative, insightful fiction up to 2000 words that engage with the theme AFTERMATH and is open to all women and nonbinary writers. 

Voiceworks 2022 Winter Issue GLEAM
Closes: April 17th
Voiceworks Magazine are now open for submissions to issue 127: GLEAM for writers under 25. 
WRITING TIP #3

Chekhov's Gun
Who is this Chekhov fella and why do I care about his gun?


Chekhov’s Gun is a writing principle inspired by Russian playwright, Anton Chekov, who advised:
 
“If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there.
 
Of course, this shouldn’t be taken in the literal sense (unless you’re writing a crime novel, I guess). Basically, don’t put emphasis on unnecessary details in your story if they aren’t going to have significance to the narrative by the end.
 
Not to be mistaken with foreshadowing (to drop hints for the future narrative) or red herrings (clues meant to mislead and misdirect the reader), Chekhov’s Gun is an unspoken rule among writers to follow through with the details we give readers. Otherwise, we might leave them feeling unsatisfied or confused.
 
Imagine if they introduced Rapunzel’s glowing, magical hair at the start of Tangled, only to never speak of it again. Obviously, this is a much more extreme, plot-altering example, but you get what I’m saying, right? Significant details need a purpose, or else they shouldn’t be significant.
 
I’d suggest keeping Chekov’s Gun in mind during the editing process. Look for details that you might have written in the beginning with the intention to develop later, only to completely forget about them in the end.
 
And remember, there are always exceptions to every ‘rule’ in writing. Although Chekov’s Gun is a valuable guide to creating fulfilling narrative structures, even Chekhov himself has broken his own rule once or twice.
 
— Willow
Willow

Reading: I am finally, after months of putting it off, reading the final Throne of Glass book. I'm expecting a lot of character deaths. Wish me luck.

Listening: Taylor Swift always, and Hamilton the Musical (Preparing for this weekend in Melbourne!)

Viewing: I had to stop watching Bridgerton before I lost my mind, so I'm rewatching Outer Banks and Shadow & Bone.
Jasmine
 
Reading: I'm still slowly getting through Twilight and still (not so patiently) waiting for my Bridgerton books to arrive. 

Listening: Lizzy McAlpine just dropped her second album Five Seconds Flat which I have absolutely been devouring. 

Viewing: I'm going through my Gilmore Girls phase again, which normally happens twice a year, and no, I'm not ashamed. 
Téa

Reading: I have started My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh this week. I am definitely branching out from why usual reading habits, but it's good so far!

Listening: One of my old favourites has taken over this week, Silver Springs by Fleetwood Mac. Its as amazing as ever.

Viewing: I've been rewatching Friends this week on Netflix, just for a bit of background noise.
Grace

Reading: I'm currently indulging in a re-read of Midnight Sun, it's so bad it's almost good and I will die on that hill. 

Listening: I've been loving podcasts lately and I've been picking and choosing from episodes that interest me. In particular I've been enjoying Red Web, which is a conspiracy, internet mystery, true crime combination. 

Viewing: I live in a perpetual state of re-watching. Currently it's Stranger Things since the new trailer just dropped. 
Samuel Maguire
Samuel Maguire is a Brisbane author and trade-certified hot mess. His debut novel No Point in Stopping was published in 2018, and he has had work published in ScratchThat Magazine, Scum Magazine, and currently works as an editor for Tiny Owl Workshop. You can find more of his fiction, poetry, and brain-wrongs at his blog skydekkerix.com. He is currently editing a collection of short stories by Brisbane writers called Far-Flung, which is due to be released later this year.
 
Tell us a little bit about you as a person. 
 
Well, on top of the whole heap of mental I’ve got going at the best of times, I’m a barista, a colossal nerd, and a soon-to-be dad. I’m from a lot of places, as my family jumped around a lot, but I mainly grew up in rural Queensland. I was diagnosed with Bipolar type 1 when I was nineteen, and I still experience vivid hallucinations and delusions of grandeur, but as a writer, I think that might just be par for the course.
I’m a barista and caffeine junky by day to pay the bills, and I work as a commissioning editor at Tiny Owl Workshop by night to pay the rest of the bills. I love both of these jobs, but of course commissioning new works, creative producing projects, and writing about wizards and spaceships are slightly more rewarding.
My other great interest is traditional games, mainly tabletop wargaming and pen and paper RPGs. I’ve been designing my own RPG for about twenty years now, and have since used that same system to generate a fantasy novel that is in the works with Tiny Owl. Mainly though I leave it just for fun and spending time with friends and family, monetizing your hobbies is a slippery slope.
  
How would you describe your type of art?
 
I am a writer first and foremost, though I do a little painting and drawing on the side. When I first started writing I mainly wanted to write horror, though because of what I was experiencing with my mental illness it was a short step from there into the genre I’m most comfortable in, memoir. I have since branched out into lit fic, fantasy, romantic comedy, sci-fi, poetry, and any blend of each of those genres. I love to experiment with genre, stylistics, and form, and I am just as likely to put a list or poetic line breaks into prose as traditional dialogue and paragraphs.
      My list of influences is a hot gumbo. I initially started reading sci-fi collections in my primary school days, then Stephen King horror novels in my teens. After my first, brief stint at uni, I read a lot of lit fic and fell in love with writers like Annie Proulx, Cormac McCarthy, and Primo Levi. I’m strongly influenced by fantasy writers, ever since my dad read The Hobbit to me as a child. I’ve read The Lord of The Rings eleven times and watched the extended edition DVDs more times than I dare to count. I also love Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, and their ability to weave humour through their genres of fantasy and sci-fi respectively. It’s something I can’t help but emulate in my own writing, as I can’t stop myself from making jokes even at the most inappropriate times.
 
How long have you been practicing your type of art?
 
I’ve wanted to write stories since I learned to read at four years old. When I finished high school, after a brief and badly thought-through diversion in a failed attempt to join the air force, I studied creative writing at uni. After being diagnosed with bipolar, I dropped out and found myself on the disability pension. At this point, I created a blog, and I think this was the thing that saved me. I was able to write with complete creative freedom and experiment with anything I wanted, so I wrote every day and developed a voice of my own. I wrote solidly from the age of nineteen to now in my early thirties, getting pieces published in a variety of places and getting my first book, a memoir about bipolar, suicidal ideation, and wizard fights, published in 2018.  Now, after over ten years of working in the industry, I am back at university with unfinished business, namely finishing my degree and building a solid community of Brisbane writers to collaborate with.
 
What inspires you?
 
I tend to write very visually, I picture what the story I want to tell looks like and then describe it, so visuals tend to inspire me the most. Usually, I draw from visual art, my environment, or the completely wack nightmares I experience almost daily.
      I also tend to feel very strong emotions due to my condition, and a lot of my memoir or poetry comes from me grappling with these emotions and coming to terms with them. Kind of like showing your working out in a high school maths sum. Writing is my way of processing my deeper thoughts, and the art I make often, is the by-product of this process.
 
Where can people find you? 

 
I am on both Instagram (@maguiresamuel) and Twitter (@Skydekkerix), though beware, that way lies garbage. My blog is skydekkerix.com, and there you can find over ten years' worth of writing exploits of various quality. I keep the bad ones up because a healthy dose of self-loathing is good for the ego, though I am proud of a large amount of the pieces on there.

Have you submitted to our Flash Fiction competition?
The current prompt is CHERRY.

Guidelines
Our submission guidelines are as follows:
Word limit between 100-250 for prose (and poetry)
We ask for submissions to be in a Word Doc, Times New Roman, 12pt and 1.5 spaced.
Please make sure your name and the prompt you are responding to is in the submission file document title. 

Submissions for ALL prompts close May 23rd. 

Submit Here
That's it for this week!
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