It’s not been a good start to the year. Fires are raging across the continent, countless communities are under threat, and the death toll continues to rise. We watch on in despair and in frustration. Our government was told this would happen – and not in vague, uncertain terms either – and their response has been to cut funding to the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation), cut funding to the fire services, and attack anyone who thinks climate change is an issue. They have refused to meet with fire chiefs, refused requests to upgrade the fleet of water bombers, and instead bought far more expensive warplanes.
The fires have caused unprecedented destruction and devastation. And I can’t bring myself to share photos of the cost, the buildings and vehicles destroyed, the dead and injured animals. It hurts too much.
But what I want to share is the good news. That people are donating goods, volunteering to assist, and looking for ways they can support the fire services, the devastated communities, wildlife support and rescue groups. There are ways we can help, no matter where we are in the world.
#AuthorsForFireys is an initiative created by Emily Gale, where authors are auctioning off signed books, artwork, manuscript critiques, opportunities to meet over a coffee or lunch or dinner to discuss writing and publishing, and so much more. You can be a space commando in John Birmingham’s new book ‘THE SHATTERED SKIES’ and punch Space Nazis.
Clementine Ford is offering to cook dinner for you and two friends.
Yassmin Abdel-Magied (a personal hero of mine) is offering signed copies of her books plus a chance to have a coffee with her when she returns to Australia.
Ellie Marnie is offering signed AU and US copies of her first book ‘EVERY BREATH’ and is offering to kill you off (as a named character) in her next book,
And these are just four offers that are available, the numbers of authors etc involved (some of which are auctioning multiple things) is well into the hundreds – and the things that are on the table are extraordinary.
Just go over to twitter and look up the #AuthorsForFireys.
Another way to help is through Charity Anthologies, You can support these charity anthologies by submitting stories for the anthology, and by purchasing copies once they have been released.
The first anthology is ‘STORIES OF HOPE’ by Aussie Speculative Fiction, where all proceeds go to the bushfire disaster relief. They are after speculative fiction stories with a hopeful theme by authors from Australia and New Zealand. Max 2,000 words, reprints accepted (as long as you have the rights). One story per author. E-mail submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Stories of Hope’ by the 18th of January. Find out more here.
Fantasia Divinity Magazine & Publishing are also seeking submissions for their anthology ‘BURNING DREAMS: AN AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRE CHARITY EFFORT’ which is open to authors all over the world. They are after stories between 100 and 3,000 words with the theme of fire, sacrifice, fighting back and surviving. They are open to all Speculative Fiction genres except for outer-space sci-fi and will accept submissions until the 31st of Jan (unless it fills up earlier). Find out more here.
Things in the Well have an open call for submissions to a magazine-sized flash fiction anthology ‘BURNING LOVE AND BLEEDING HEARTS’ in support of the victims of Australia’s bushfires. It is a valentine’s day themed anthology, so they are looking for stories of human love gone wrong or monster love gone right. They are looking for stories of around 1,000 words, and submissions are open until the 31st of January. Find out more here.
Of course, this is not the blog post I wanted to start the year off with. I wanted to write about my achievements in 2019, and what I am excited about in the new year. But that can all wait.
Thank you for reading my blog, and to anyone who joins in the #authorsforfireys auctions, for anyone who submits to or purchases the charity anthologies, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
- Originally published January 2020