If you’ve had a chance to check out the recent interviews with former NiTH writers Adrian Collins and Clarissa Goenawan, you’ve probably noticed a trend. A lot of writers who have come through Needle In The Hay tend to go on to bigger and better things.
Later this week we will release our annual ‘Moving Forward’ report that outlines the plan for the next 12 to 18 months of Needle In The Hay. In previous years this report was only circulated in house among the writers, editors and volunteers directly involved in Needle In The Hay. Because we’ve grown so much, we’re now making the reports public, so anyone who is interested can have a read about where we’re going and how we want to get there. Here’s just a taste of what we’ll be covering in this report.
Over the last few months we’ve opened a lot of doors. A multitude of projects and collaborations, serial awards, writing courses, editing and feedback services. It’s been a great opportunity to see what we are capable of, and what people are interested in.
One big takeaway for the editorial team is that writers involved in projects and collaborations still want to compete in weekly comps. That can place a lot of pressure on authors trying to manage multiple workloads. The feedback model for projects and collaborations; 3 rounds of drafting, with feedback provided by different authors, while good in theory, tends to hit a roadblock when authors drop out, or find it hard to communicate with each other.
To circumvent these problems and streamline the process, we’re going to try integrating serial awards with publications. Once a serial award has run its course, shortlisted authors will offered to opportunity to edit their serial for publication. This way, were still providing a workshop environment to develop stories with feedback, but also preventing burnout from opting in to too many projects.
Providing New Opportunities For Authors
First we provided contests, then feedback, then workshops. You guys are growing and we want to make sure NiTH grows was well. In our report we’re going to outline some of the new opportunities we’re providing for writers, and how we see them functioning in the greater world of writing and publishing.
These opportunities include publishing, workshops, learning courses and resources, as well as the ability for writers to have more control over their profile at NiTH and use it to their advantage, as well as how we’re handling contracts and negotiations.
Needle is a weekly comp that provides feedback to its authors. It’s a disruptive force, in that it changes the way writing competitions have normally been presented. Expectations like feedback and quick turn arounds, communication from the editor and the opportunity to publish simply don’t exist from most contests.
As we add new types of opportunities to NiTH, we want to make sure we remain a disruptive force, not just mimicking existing models, but looking at ways to crack them open and share around the delicious juice. We always want to be a place that puts writers first, that listens to what you guys want, and tries to provide it in an ethical, efficient and FUN dynamic.
This disruptive nature is at the core of Needle In The Hay. When we make choices, we try to make sure we’re not just doing ‘the same old thing’, because while the ‘same old thing’ is good for some writers, for most of us, it’s not.
… And that’s just a taste of what will be in the report.
Anyway, let’s get to the winner announcement.
There’s really not so much to say this week about the contest. While closely contended for the most part, our winner really put some distance between them and the pack this week, having claimed several wins in this category already, writing in a style I think we should call ‘Southern Australian Gothic’ Nick Lachmund has once again claimed top spot with ‘4’ in his 9 Greatest Deaths In The History Of Marsden Creek.
Well done Nick! And well played to all our authors.
Thanks to everyone for playing, stay tuned for more info on the ‘Moving Forward’ Plan later in the week.