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Greetings from Escalator Press, May 2017
Erin Donohue on the creative process
Escalator Press is featured publisher
Writing competition for young creatives
Erin Donohue talks about writing her first novel

This month we interview up-and-coming young adult fiction author, Erin Donohue, whose debut novel Because Everything Is Right But Everything Is Wrong will be published by Escalator Press in November.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing forever, I think. I wrote as a child and a teenager: fiction, poetry, and a lot about my own life.

What led you to Whitireia’s Creative Writing Programme and the Diploma in Publishing?

I found the writing course by accident. I was always going to study dance, but when I got too unwell to continue with that I didn’t know what to do. I found the Whitireia prospectus in a waiting room somewhere, and saw the creative writing page. From then on there was no other option.

Within the course, I really enjoyed workshopping other people’s work, something that, with my newfound publishing knowledge, I can now label as manuscript assessment. I wanted to do more of that. Books and words were so precious to me, and publishing seemed to be the best way for me to work with the things I love. The publishing class is right next door to the writing room, so I always knew about the course. In my last year on the writing course, I decided I had to do it.

Can you tell us about your writing process?

Both of my novel manuscripts were developed entirely on the writing course. Having only a year to write a novel is pretty intense, so I started to write 1000 words a day—no matter what. Often I didn’t have the time to wait for the urge to write. Some days, the 1000 words were useless and were deleted the next day. But sometimes I could write over 3000 good words in a day too.

It’s important to have a balance between planning and letting the story lead you. There has to be an element of surprise, or it can get tiresome, but not too much or the writing can become aimless.

Which writers have shaped you?

My favourite writers constantly change. In recent years I’ve loved Elizabeth McCracken’s short stories. In my creative writing degree, all of the tutors were hugely inspirational. I worked with Anna Taylor for the last two years, and her passion and love of words was, and still is, so inspiring.

Because Everything Is Right But Everything Is Wrong follows Caleb’s journey through his final year at high school, when the arrival of a strange new friend causes his life to take a dark turn. This young adult novel sheds light on the intricacies of friendship, mental health, and masculinity, in the ordinary lives of New Zealand teens. Available from early November this year.
 
Booktown festival celebrates local publishing and writing

This year the Featherston Booktown festival will host Escalator Press as one of the featured publishers. Escalator authors L.J. Ritchie (Like Nobody’s Watching), Rob Hack (Everything Is Here), and Trish Harris (The Walking Stick Tree) will all speak on Sunday, 14 May, at the Royal Hotel. We are lucky to be taking part in this bibliocentric movement, which is finding increased traction around the world.

Although reasonably young, Featherston Booktown has already contributed greatly to the celebration and support of local authors and publishers. It’s great to see people excited about the process of publishing from 
beginning to end, and to see new and upcoming local writers getting recognition for their hard work. We at Escalator Press share the same ideals that this movement epitomises, and are looking forward to contributing to this event. Featherston Booktown runs from 12–14 May in Featherston, Wairarapa. The programme on their website can be viewed here.
 
Escalator Press young writers' competition

Watch out for our nationwide high school competition promoting young adult novel Like Nobody's Watching by L.J. Ritchie, released by Escalator Press in November last year. Students in the second year of Whitireia's creative writing course are organising the competition in partnership with Escalator Press.

Theme: Cyberbullying

Categories:
- flash fiction
- poster design
- short fiction

There’ll be some great prizes! Entries open in Term 
2 and close at the end of July.

Keep an eye out on our website for more details as they become available.

 
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Featherston Booktown image credit to Pete Monk | Photographer
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