Wahey! I Googled myself today (was thinking of applying for an Emerging Writer grant with the Australian Society of Authors so was searching for any eligible writing credits)(as if I need an excuse to Google myself ;-)) and discovered I am a runner up in the 2009 Independent on Sunday/Bradt Travel-Writing Competition. Stoked! Apparently that means was “nominated for the final by one or more judge, but didn’t quite make it.” Just as well really! The first prize was a holiday for two to Columbia, taken within 12 months of winning (not something we could readily undertake with a new baby, due any day now) and “unpublished” catetgory prize was a writing retreat in Spain, also not something that goes well with a newborn 😉
Congratulations to the six writers who made it through to the finals… Although Judge Matthew Parris makes the final decision, you can read the finalist’s articles online and choose for yourself who the winners should be…
And in other news: the publishing contract from Frances Lincoln Books, my Takeshita Demons publisher, is on its way (apparently I should call if it doesn’t arrive by Wednesday!) and I am biting my nails waiting for a response from an agent who has Beyond the Safe Zone, my 50,000-word adventure thriller for kids. And of course, I’m days short of 39-weeks pregnant, which leads to nail-biting of an entirely different kind. (Is this my last free weekend? Or are there still weeks to go?).
I’m not good at waiting around, so we’re booking dinners (Japanese!) and I’m working on some science writing for G-Day UK‘s Square Kilometre Array event. Not heard of the Square Kilometre Array? It’s going to be the world’s largest radio telescope, formed from thousands of individual dishes spread over a million square kilometres and giving us the power to see more of the universe than ever before possible: a 10,000-fold increase on anything previously possible. Awesome huh!
Then there’s the computing behind it: Apparently our planet generates an exabyte of data every year. The SKA will produce the same data volume every day. How’s that for incentive to innovate!? Watch this space: I’ll post a link to the full article and you can follow progress on this massive project.
Oh, and did I mention? My home state Western Australia is one of two places in the world still in the running to host the telescope. Apparently the population density at the proposed site (three millipeople per square kilometre) is just right for minimal interference from mobile phones, microwaves and garage door openers…that sort of thing. Being a desert state has its advantages… Go WA!