Friday Night Fictions: for debut authors

Taylor Kitsch, Tim Riggins, Friday Night Lights
Taylor Kitsch, Tim Riggins, Friday Night Lights

When you are releasing a first novel, the most unexpected things can happen. One is that you attract guardian angels — fellow readers and writers who decide to champion your work (even complete strangers).  This is especially important for debut novelists. If a writer with a following retweets you, invites you to guest blog or writes a review, it makes an enormous amount of difference to how your work is perceived, and whether it gets any attention. Two champions for me have been the authors and social media experts  Walter Mason and Angela Savage. Both have done everything in their power to help promote my book (without me even asking). I had never met Walter before the Sydney launch, and only recently met Angela for the first time in Melbourne (after conversing via blogs).

It started me thinking. What I am hearing via FB and blogs is that many debut authors are releasing books or stories into the current climate and the reaction is … NOTHING. Can you imagine spending many years on a project (12 years in my case) to get absolutely no reaction in the media? It can be heartbreaking. Especially as the books are often well-reviewed (if they finally do get reviews). On Twitter it can be like millions of writers all with their own little megaphone, and you can’t hear a thing.

So, I thought I’d take a hint from Walter and Angela, and start a new item on my blog called Friday Night Fictions, with the sole purpose of promoting debut authors’ fiction. I’m also keen on digital fiction, short stories, and Flash or micro-fiction. If you can link to it, even better. The idea is to start a club that promotes first-timers, and we can check out and comment on each other’s work too…

I also realise how important bloggers and reviewers have become in promoting first time writers’ work. If you review any of the works featured, or interview any writers, in Friday Night Fictions, I will link your reviews in the following edition so there is a developing dialogue around each writer’s work…Email me and let me know.

The scope of the internet means first-time works don’t have to come and go without a trace. Unlike printed book publishing, there is time online — to reflect, to debate. Works can stay current and relevant for as long as readers want to look at them, with ebooks available…that’s why I encourage writers who have published in 2013 and 2014 to contact me.

The title comes because I’ve become addicted to the TV show Friday Night Lights. I started watching it on Friday nights. I know, I always come to things a bit late. I’d get the kids to bed early, wrap myself in a doona, hold my husband’s hand and settle in for some good drama and great southern American hairstyles. Then it eked out to Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays. Then series one ended and now I’m wringing my hands each night as I wait for the next series to arrive in the post on DVD. Sometimes it’s good to wait for good things. You know, like we used to. I originally discovered the series when a friend sent me this article written by Lorrie Moore (you now need to subscribe to get it, but it’s worth it).

Back to Friday Night Fictions. If you would like to be included, I have a series of conditions.

1.If you submit work, you need to subscribe to my blog at Wild Colonial Girl (http://www.wildcolonialgirl.com).

2. You promise that when your work is published on the blog, you will help promote Friday Night Fictions on social media and to your mates. You also promise to read at least one OTHER writer’s work featured, and comment on it.

3. All work needs to be fiction and published in 2013 and 2014.

4. All books need to be debut novels (any genre, from anywhere on the planet). E-books and self-published books are fine.

5. Short stories and Flash/micro-fiction OK, as long as you can link to it.

6. You can only enter a particular work once.

7. Please email submissions to info(at)frecklefeatures(com)au with FRIDAY NIGHT FICTIONS in the subject line.

8. Email submissions need to include: Author’s name and title made clear, and up to 150 words on the work (I will not be editing down so if you include more words than this, it won’t go in); a small image, preferably of the cover, where applicable; a link to where readers can buy or access the work; a link to an extract already available online so readers can get a sense of the style, if possible. Please note: emails must come from authors. No publishers or publicists/agents please.

9. Friday Night Fictions will go up on the last Friday night – every three months. The next issue is May 2014…

10. Reviewers can only send links to reviews of works featured in Friday Night Fictions. These will be updated for the following edition, so featured writers can see responses…

11. Each month I will choose a writer/work from the submissions whose work EXCITES me – to feature for the following edition.

Please pass on to anyone who has had a debut novel published this year, or any emerging writers in fiction. I look forward to your comments and hope we can build a global community of first-timers in fiction…

48 Comments

  1. Annabel Smith August 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    I love this idea Kirsten – it’s great to give back.

    Reply
    1. Kirsten Krauth August 1, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      Yes, I hope it will help some newer writers ease in a bit, and give me some idea of what’s happening!

      Reply
  2. Jenn J McLeod | Come home to the country... August 1, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Good karma to you, Kristen Krauth! (love those ‘k’s) I will be sharing this blog in my author network.

    Reply
    1. Kirsten Krauth August 1, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks so much, Jenn. Hope it garners some attention for emerging writers.

      Reply
  3. Damon August 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    You’ll be excited to know season 2 of FNL arrived today and will be hand delivered to you shortly. I guess I know what you’re watching tonight, tomorrow…

    Reply
  4. Damon Girbon August 1, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Good idea. I’m retweeting and FB posting all your posts now. You’ve got 1000 FB likes!!!! I’m jealous.

    Reply
    1. Kirsten Krauth August 1, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      Amazing what a little bit of advertising can do.

      Reply
  5. Lorraine Pestell August 1, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Kirsten,
    This is a fantastic idea! Thanks for supporting us first-timers!
    I would love to be a submitter and a reviewer, so will e-mail right now…
    Lorraine

    Reply
  6. angelasavage August 1, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    More power to you and your generosity of spirit, Kirsten. I’m sending a few debut authors the way of Friday Night Fictions…

    Reply
  7. Louise Allan August 1, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    What a great initiative — I’ll publicise all I can! And it doesn’t hurt to have a good-looking guy’s photo at the top of the post, too. PS/ Just bought your book.

    Reply
    1. Kirsten Krauth August 1, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      Louise, that is brilliant. Yes, can’t complain about gratuitous use of Tim Riggins. And I really appreciate the purchase – look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

      Reply
    2. annabelsmith August 1, 2013 at 11:36 pm

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed that dreamboat. I got all excited tho because I thought he was an Aus author who I might some day meet #disappointment

      Reply
  8. Melissa Wray August 1, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    A great initiative Kirsten, best of luck with Just A Girl. I look forward to reading more about debut authors!

    Reply
    1. Kirsten Krauth August 2, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Thanks, Melissa. Submissions are coming in already! I’m looking forward to seeing what unfolds too…

      Reply
  9. writers' web August 1, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Love your idea to support emerging writers – we’ll promote to ours at writers’ web

    Reply
    1. Kirsten Krauth August 2, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Thanks, that would be terrific. Do you want to post here a bit of info about writers’ web?

      Reply
      1. writers' web August 2, 2013 at 9:08 pm

        Sure, absolutely, happy to! We connect emerging writers with reviewers who read their work giving them much sought feedback and then reviews to use in their marketing. It’s about turning writers into authors by giving them a reading audience. http://writersweb.com.au/.

        Reply
        1. Kirsten Krauth August 7, 2013 at 9:35 am

          Brilliant and okay, then. I will be in touch (about my own work)!

          Reply
  10. clairethomaswriter August 1, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Oh dear Riggins. What a face. I am crazy excited about reading the Lorrie Moore essay on FNL. That combination is almost too good to be true. Thanks for the link.
    Nice idea for your site too, of course! Claire

    Reply
    1. Kirsten Krauth August 2, 2013 at 11:23 am

      He is mesmerising. I think he is both yin and yang. Extremely beautiful and also extremely manly (in a deep voice). He looks like a big cat on the prowl. Maybe I am overdoing it. The essay is wonderful…

      Reply
      1. clairethomaswriter August 2, 2013 at 6:55 pm

        I agree completely. You are not overdoing it. 😉 And Coach Taylor also has a face that needs to be cupped in one’s palms intently. Haha. (He gets better as the show goes on.) The essay is poised for reading. Thanks again for that.

        Reply
        1. Kirsten Krauth August 7, 2013 at 9:36 am

          Completely agree re Coach Taylor. Beautifully phrased…

          Reply
  11. Suzanne Donisthorpe. August 1, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Brilliant idea. I have also been inspired by the dauntless Angela Savage. She in fact sent this link to me. I would love to submit my novel for consideration and will be more than happy to read and review other people’s work. And by the way- there is another connection. I live part time in Taradale. So hopefully I shall meet you in the real world too.
    Best wishes.

    Reply
    1. Kirsten Krauth August 2, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Look forward to your submission, Suzanne. And Taradale! This area continues to inspire me with its artists and writers. Yeah, let’s meet up one day. Angela and I managed to do it:-)

      Reply
  12. wherewindowsmeet August 2, 2013 at 10:33 am

    As an ’emerging writer’ this fills us with a bit of hope. Great idea and I look forward to what comes out of this.

    Reply
    1. Kirsten Krauth August 2, 2013 at 11:26 am

      Yeah, there can be a lot of negativity around publishing (doom and gloom) and I am guilty of it sometimes too. But there’s no reason for writers not to be heard – the internet affords an opportunity if we can just work out a way to do it.

      Reply
  13. Ellie Marney August 2, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Hey Kirsten,
    Sounds great, sign me up! I’ll promote on the blog/Twitter/FB too – I think it’s a fabulous idea. Looking forward to the first round! xx

    Reply
    1. Kirsten Krauth August 2, 2013 at 11:53 am

      That would be great, Ellie. Look forward to your submission… and wonderful book too.

      Reply
  14. Alison Doherty August 3, 2013 at 10:41 am

    What a nice way to try and pay it forward. I’ve been trying to read more debut authors (since I hope to be a debut author when I finish my novel) so this will be a great series for me!

    Reply
    1. Kirsten Krauth August 7, 2013 at 9:33 am

      Thanks, Alison. Well it seems we all have something in common, so I’m looking forward to seeing newly minted writing!

      Reply
  15. Glen Hunting August 3, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Kirsten, I think this is a really generous thing that you’re enacting. All of us anonymous or semi-anonymous toilers in the field owe you a debt of gratitude for it.

    As a writer (thus far) of predominantly short fiction, I need to ask what you mean by ‘published.’ I have had stuff printed in journals and anthologies, but not this year. Would an online link to a short story posted on the web this year satisfy your selection criteria? How about if it was something that had already appeared in a journal or a book?

    Congratulations on your recent novel publication, by the way. I didn’t realise you spent twelve years bringing it into being. Gives me hope. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Kirsten Krauth August 7, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Hi Glen, sorry for delay. I have two small kids and only work certain days. I will reply to your email now!

      Reply
  16. adriandeansAdrian Deans August 9, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Apart from its flagrant prejudice against those who’ve been published more than once, this is a wonderful initiative. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that those with more than one work on the shelves are just as ’emerging’ (if not downright invisible) as debut novelists. I shall picket this movement until allowed entry!

    BTW, I have been trying to send you an email (with attachment) for some weeks but it keeps bouncing back to me.

    Also, JAG is bloody fantastic. It took Dymocks Erina ages to get it so I’m not quite finished but I’m really impressed…and in awe of how gutsy you were in putting out a book like that. Amazed you haven’t had any controversy. You’re probably disappointed you haven’t had any controversy.

    Reply
    1. Kirsten Krauth August 9, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Hi, A. I had to limit the submissions somehow! I know what you mean. Emerging can go on for a long time. Maybe towards the end of the year I can do a ‘Xmas sale’ FNF and broaden it out…

      I’ll try and email you now – see if you can reply (how annoying).

      Thanks re JAG. Thrilled you like it. Funny, one of my key insiders into the whole being ‘evangelical as a teen’ lived in Erina growing up. I wasn’t really expecting any controversy. There’s so much coverage of sexting, etc, in the media. Other aspects of the novel haven’t been discussed at all (who Layla has an affair with) but I think it’s because most reviewers are being quite kind and aren’t revealing key plot points (this DOES surprise me). I guess if it was released as a novel for teens, it would have generated more discussion, but it’s mostly adults who are reading it. And I’m guessing they are aware that a) girls think about sex b) girls masturbate c) girls distribute images of themselves online…even if no-one wants to talk about it, really.

      Reply
      1. adriandeansAdrian Deans August 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm

        People may know that girls do a, b and c, but they don’t expect to discuss it (except in furtive whispers) or read about it!!!

        It’s one of the many social blind spots that are such fun to write about.

        Reply
        1. Kirsten Krauth August 9, 2013 at 4:09 pm

          I’m reading Jo Case’s memoir at the moment and she talks about how a mother at her school is SO upset when Case’s son uses the word ‘vagina’ in front of her own child. And I’m thinking, really? We’ve got to 2013 and we still aren’t comfortable talking about parts of our own body? Oprah used to call it ‘va jay jay’ because she was uncomfortable with the word. I really believe in being direct.

          Reply
  17. katebellex August 22, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    So excited to discover your blog, thanks to Jenn McLeod. And you’re from Castlemaine, one of my fave parts of the world. We often visit Newstead and make the trip to the Newstead Folk festival every year. Will send you some stuff on my debut novel and will share this around for other readers/authors. Great initiative. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Kirsten Krauth August 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      Hi Kate. Yep, we just moved to the Maine about a year ago, and it is such a great place. Newstead too – I love it there. Look forward to receiving info on your novel…

      Reply
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    1. Kirsten Krauth December 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks, Elizabeth. Look forward to seeing your work here soon!

      Reply
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