Win a thing with writing in it! (an actual giveaway) (closed) – Anna Spargo-Ryan

Win a thing with writing in it! (an actual giveaway) (closed)

Win a thing with writing in it! (an actual giveaway) (closed)

Something I do a lot is read. You may have guessed this by all the times I talk about books, and all the time I spend procrastinating. I really love reading. To that end, I subscribe to a lot of readtastic magazines, in which I aspire to be printed, one day, in an imaginary parallel universe.

Australia has some great literary journals. I’m telling you so that you can decide to also subscribe to them. I recommend subscribing to any and all of: Going Down Swinging, Kill Your Darlings, Meanjin, Overland, Griffith Review, The Canary Press, Tincture, The Suburban Review, Mary Journal and, of course, Bide.

Going Down Swinging is this brilliant journal with paper like butterfly wings and poetry just spilling out everywhere. They put out loads of digital stuff as well, and it’s all excellent and I am not even biased by the fact that I used to stalk editor Geoff Lemon at weird parties in the early 00s.

They recently had a Pozible drive to raise funds so that this great work could continue, and I pledged some money to it. No no, put down your medals; I did it for the short story editorial review reward. But! part of the reward was a four-year subscription to Going Down Swinging. Four years just bathing in a pool of literary wonderfulness. However, I already have a subscription, as mentioned in my bragging above.

So I want to give it to one of you.

If you would like to win a four-year subscription to Going Down Swinging, and have an email exchange with me wherein I continue to pester you about whether you’re reading enough Australian writing, please enter! Entering stuff is great! Entering stuff and reading are two of my favourite things!

This is the first time I’ve given away anything on my blog. Don’t leave me hanging. My dad will be so embarrassed.

Entries have now closed.

  • Alex Kidman

    November 7, 2014 at 4:41 pm Reply

    “the best comment”

    Well, that’s what you asked for. I don’t expect to win, but somebody has to go first.

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      November 7, 2014 at 4:42 pm Reply

      I can always count on you, Alex Kidman.

    • sam bond

      November 8, 2014 at 8:26 am Reply

      Hi Alex, great initiative to both draw attention to your blog and our wonderful Australian Literary Jornals. Id love for more of us to support these publications so they’re around for a long time. I used to subscribe to Wet Ink which was awesome and has unfortunately now “gone down swinging”. You’ve pricked my conscience to subscribe to another worthy journal and I hope others do likewis.

      • Elinor

        November 9, 2014 at 10:32 am Reply

        Her name is Anna.

  • Lyndal

    November 7, 2014 at 4:48 pm Reply

    the only ‘going down singing’ I have ever heard of is when fall out boy sung it regarding some messed up love affair or other with a very catchy beat. regardless, I am socially awkward and a major introvert so if it involves reading, in a quiet room, with snoring dogs and no one disturbing me for hours, I am totally in. or something. as long as someone can dial me pizza and some hot chips so I don’t have to exit the batcave then we are totally cool.

  • Belinda Bekkers

    November 7, 2014 at 4:51 pm Reply

    I was going to say “any comment” because you said on Facebook to leave any comment. Alex beat me to being smart though.

    I would love to win it because I don’t have enough to read already (sarcasm much?).

  • Ruth

    November 7, 2014 at 4:58 pm Reply

    So the best job I ever had was working at the Edinburgh Book Festival. It was just a front-of-house job when I was a student, but it meant that I got to watch dozens of incredible authors talk about their work, and spent the summer with a group of brilliant people. The only problem with the job was that I spent my wages just as quickly as I earned them. I’d spend all day seating people, and filling jugs with water and running around the audience with a microphone… And then at the end of the day I’d go and blow a hundred quid in the onsite bookstore, buying things by all the people I’d seen that day.

    Being a writer in Australia feels a bit the same. You pitch and pitch and finally get a piece accepted and you work on it for weeks and submit and then your payment comes through… And you immediately go and spend it on a subscription so you can read other people’s writing.

    It’s s nice problem to have.

  • Suzi Bradford

    November 7, 2014 at 5:39 pm Reply

    Not for me, but I would love to give it to my 16yo daughter. She has a real love for books. She has quite a library developing in her room and she actually gets through reading them all!

  • Belinda

    November 7, 2014 at 5:43 pm Reply

    Too many books, not enough time! The most memorable book I have read in the last six months would have to be Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. And I might just have to read Amy Poehler’s ‘Yes Please’ after reading your review.

  • Mandy

    November 7, 2014 at 6:21 pm Reply

    I beetled over to the Going Down Swinging site and it is exquisite, as is your description of its butterfly wing pages. The Holy Grail knight, which I first equated with the journal’s name, is not exquisite. But he is very funny.

  • Bec

    November 7, 2014 at 7:37 pm Reply

    The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain. She’s got it! By George, I think she’s got it! (The prize, that is…)

  • Larry James Canda

    November 7, 2014 at 9:14 pm Reply

    I just started reading books and reading this book would definitely be a great thing and it is an honor.

  • Mick Neven

    November 7, 2014 at 9:17 pm Reply

    Something worth reading
    Inspiration for writing
    Going Down Swinging

  • Crag HB

    November 7, 2014 at 9:20 pm Reply

    I like words. I like Going Down Swinging. I like your words.

  • Alison Asher

    November 7, 2014 at 9:31 pm Reply

    Things in the world I like, in order:
    1. Words.
    2. Words put together in the right order to make sentences I like.
    3. Free shit.
    4. Free shit.
    5. Entering completions (I once one a vibrator, ahem, shoulder massager but you already know that)

    So pick me, and hit my top five.
    Unless you have a spare vibrator- I’m happy to have that in lieu.

    But don’t pick me if I will be so jealous of the beautiful writing that I will stalled forevermore. I don’t want it that bad.*

    *does not apply to vibrators

  • Trisha Diona

    November 7, 2014 at 10:50 pm Reply

    Past life: I was a literary writer for our high school news paper.

    I wrote a series (of short stories) called tne Train Station. Vividly described a place where I thought was just imaginaton going dreamland.

    Four years later I found it-Central Station.

    AND because I actually went to AWC :)
    Pick me! Me! Me! Me!

  • marina

    November 7, 2014 at 10:51 pm Reply

    I am a self confessed red wine lover and cheese whore. I think the subscription would give me beautiful words to read as I succumb to my Whorish ways… :)

  • Joel

    November 7, 2014 at 11:24 pm Reply

    this seems like as safe a context as possible to admit that I do not, emphatically and embarrassingly, read enough Australian writing. Outside the small pool of my friends’ work, and the work of a few people I desperately long to convert into friends, I’m terrible at it, and would love to be better. That’s where you come in, Anna. :)

  • Helen K

    November 7, 2014 at 11:49 pm Reply

    I’m just leaving a comment to boost your numbers and so your dad isn’t embarrassed, which is to be completely avoided (but please don’t pick me – I’d love to read one edition, but have a shocking track record with journals remaining unread. Much more worthy winners above!)

    • david ryan

      November 8, 2014 at 10:27 pm Reply

      dad never embarrassed … wouldn’t mind winning it myself BUT that would be “unacceptable” – notice the PARENTheses????

  • Bec

    November 8, 2014 at 2:03 am Reply

    I would HATE to have you embarrassed in front of your dad!

    So here:

    Sometimes I feel as though there is so much amazing writing out there, and what I put out is never as beautiful as I want it to be, and there is never enough time to make it that beautiful, and perhaps I don’t even know how to. But a few months ago, one of my children was having a sleepover, so the other three all slept together in one room, and I made up a story about three brothers in a castle and it was inane and had a glaringly obvious moral at the end which the oldest child got straight away. And I kissed them all goodnight and they went to sleep.
    Then a few weeks ago, the oldest said to me, ‘Hey, Mummy? You remember that story you told us that night when Talia was away?’ I had to screw up my face to think of it, but then I remembered. And he said, ‘I think it would make a really good movie.’
    And as much as I want so badly to be able to finish stories and publish them and share them and – yes, I admit – make money from them, it’s those moments, where the ones I care about say to me, ‘I love this thing you did,’ that make my heart warmest.

  • Megan Sayer

    November 8, 2014 at 8:24 am Reply

    Last Summer (which, by God, is nearly a year ago already), I packed up the family and hauled them off for a few days at the beach. Only got a quarter of the way there when I realised that I’d forgotten (duh!!) my five year old son’s bathers. Didn’t feel like turning back, so we pulled over and I ducked into the local op-shop, where, miraculously, I found a pair of blue and white boardies and a green rashie in his size for a grand total of $3.50. I took them back to the car proudly and showed him, only to be met with a disgusted “I’m not wearing THEM, they’re GIRL’S bathers! They’ve got FLOWERS on them!”
    “No they’re not,” I said. “They’re boy’s bathers. Sometimes boy’s shorts have flowers on them like these. Haven’t you ever heard of Hawaiian?”
    “HAWAIIAN?!” he said, in a voice dripping with incredulity. “Why? I’m not a PIZZA!!”

    That has nothing to do with anything at all, but you did say it didn’t have to. And anything that might involve winning a subscription to an Australian literary journal is worth sharing irrelevant stories for :)

    • Ktn

      November 9, 2014 at 10:51 am Reply

      Haha, I love this.

  • Sophie Thompson

    November 8, 2014 at 8:40 am Reply

    In a former life, I worked at Mary Who? Bookshop in Townsville, an oasis of calm sanity and wry humour. Do visit Sue and Kerry, the owners, next time you are up this way. I would like to give them the subscription you’re offering. I’m curious about it myself, but it may get lost in the triffid-like piles of books already comfortable at my place. Many thanks.

  • anne gleeson

    November 8, 2014 at 1:21 pm Reply

    would love to win as reading is one of my great loves

  • Erin

    November 8, 2014 at 1:38 pm Reply

    I am an actual anxiety driven introvert (driven where? who knows) and sometimes I feel like I’m falling into the void wherein nothing ever gets done nor will ever get done (hello nihilism) or that maybe oblivion could not come soon enough, regardless of the fact that I would die happy if I could feel like I wrote something once that touched someone (and perhaps was not published by me on the internet) but: occasionally I am found to be throwing things out into that void, even though it may be hopeless, and sometimes I can fake oblivion if I lie still in a dark cool room with soft music playing (think The Mountain Goats or perhaps a little Clare Bowditch) and maybe it’s not so bad like that when I can wake up and contribute to something. Like a grand collection of comments on a website I have never before visited, just because I can.

  • bede mckenna

    November 8, 2014 at 7:14 pm Reply

    Look, Anna, let me be honest with you.
    I’m desperately in love with my postman. I have been for years. I really don’t know who or what a ‘Going Down Swinging’ is, but anything that forces the postman to come to my house more often is what I need right now.

    I really think that with just a few more visits he will realise that he loves me just as much as I adore him. I’m really struggling to find the time to send letters to myself.

  • Jocelyn R

    November 8, 2014 at 7:30 pm Reply

    Anna banna, banna, bo banna…. you do know the rest :)

  • Ktn

    November 9, 2014 at 10:48 am Reply

    Your blog posts make me smile. I’d love to win this. I can’t think of anything witty or clever to write. :(

  • Alyson

    November 9, 2014 at 3:21 pm Reply

    Perversely, I am inside, with hayfever, reading..and all I can think about is how badly I’d like to be outside, weeding. My brain is a cat.

  • Angela Nikulinsky

    November 9, 2014 at 7:13 pm Reply

    I went to the book release for an Australian author’s latest book this week and from the first word he read from the book I had tears streaming down my face, it was that good. My husband and I gave him a standing ovation at the end. We went to a pub round the corner after and the author walked past, and graciously paused to absorb the praise we lashed upon him. It was magical. Then we went to eat pasta and talk about literature . Perfect book-loving evening.

  • Erin Marie

    November 10, 2014 at 9:13 am Reply

    When I was fourteen I was going to be an author. I was the only person I knew who was writing a novel, and even though it was basically a fantastical re-hashing of what was going on in my life I knew that I was Going. Somewhere. I went to a writer’s camp in the Bunya Mountains where it was cold and rainy and we huddled around a pot-bellied stove and I showed a famous author an excerpt of my story in the hopes that he would say I was a prodigy and send my story to his publisher immediately.

    When I was sixteen I was convinced that I was a poet. I spent a lot of time writing poetry about boys I was in love with, and sometimes about things that were going on in the world. I would lay on my bed and recall half-remembered fragments of dreams, mix them with creative metaphors and write them on a bright green legal notepad in the middle of the night. I showed my poems to select few people and posted them on a terrible blog in the hopes that people would think that I was deep and moody.

    When I was twenty-two I started playing the guitar and putting my poems to music. For a little while I thought I was a songwriter, and all the intense experiences I had would be set to music. On stormy nights I would sit on the wrap-around veranda of the old Queenslander in Red Hill in which I lived and strum softly so as not to annoy the neighbours. I played my songs at people in the hopes that they would like them and say that I was talented and cool.

    When I was twenty-six I became a lawyer and started writing advices and legal documents. I knew then that I was a Real Lawyer and that was what all my previous writing passion was all about. I spent hours in my windowless office crafting documents that people would want to read, even though they were about personal injury litigation. I asked staff in the office to ‘proof read’ my work in the hopes that they would tell me that I was a Real Lawyer and good at my job.

    When I was twenty-eight I broke up with my fiancé, quit my job and moved to Melbourne to study my Masters. When writing my first essay I decided that academia was my calling because it meant I got to write long essays and argue at the same time and lecturers didn’t mind so much if I used descriptive prose from time to time. I would sit at my dining room table under a blanket with a cup of tea and look at the trees swishing in the wind outside whilst I came up with articulate and novel ways to argue old issues. I asked for feedback from my lecturers in the hopes that they would tell me that I was brilliant and should do a PhD.

    When I was thirty I got promoted and was asked to appear in court on an issue that had never been argued before. As I drafted written submissions and prepared to get up in court to argue I decided that this was the kind of writer I was meant to be – one who wrote in preparation to speak. I stayed back at work until well after dark carefully choosing words that were persuasive but objective crafting submissions that would win the argument and impress the judge. I called a barrister I knew to discuss my approach in the hopes that he would tell me that I’d hit the nail on the head and should consider a career change to the bar.

    Now I’m thirty-two. I’m about to start a new job but I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. Sometimes I sit down to write short little bits of prose that seem to come out nicely. Sometimes I write a poem and it makes me feel good. Sometimes I sit down at the piano and a chorus and bridge and verse comes out. Sometimes I write legal advices that make a difference to how my organisation does things. Sometimes I write academic journal articles about things I care about. Sometimes I write legal submissions that win cases and get praised by judges.

    I’m not being dishonest when I say ‘I’m a writer’. I write, therefore I am a writer.

    How come, then, it feels so much like a lie?

  • Sophie

    November 10, 2014 at 4:53 pm Reply

    I have a subscription to Overland and am a member of Writers Victoria. I became engrossed in your essay on writing a novel (something I am attempting) earlier today which led me to google you and read your blog with its invitation to enter this comment competition. Currently I’m enjoying Cate Kennedy’s Australian Love Stories collection and am keen to read more Australian writing of this calibre. I’d love to have a subscription to Going Down Swinging.

  • Louis

    November 12, 2014 at 9:42 pm Reply

    Going Down Swinging is the first literary journal I discovered, when I was a teenager in a young writer’s group and we had a presentation by the editor. I’ve always followed them but never submitted anything or subscribed. I plan on remedying both of those things in the coming weeks. You could always help me with one…

  • Natalie Hennekam

    November 14, 2014 at 8:07 am Reply
  • Erin

    November 14, 2014 at 5:10 pm Reply

    Here’s the thing: I will read anythign Geoff Lemon writes. He is excellent. Also, I still rewatch his hilarious video about Shane Watson at the ashes. Seriously, google it.

    So the truth is I will probably subscribe anyway, but it’d be extra nice if I didn’t have to fork out my hard-earneds to do so.

  • Sarah Van der wal

    November 14, 2014 at 5:11 pm Reply


    Lucky that I found you,
    Lucky that I drowned in you,
    Floundering in a sea, I cannot float.
    The minute that you entered me,
    I entered you
    And I was lost in you.
    The sum, the best, the all of me
    Was lost in the nothing of you.
    And still you say, in that same way,
    I am Lucky
    If I drowned in you.

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