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meet the judges of the 2017 rachel funari prize for fiction: lucy adams

Image: Supplied

Image: Supplied

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing you to our stellar line-up of judges for the 2017 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction. Today, meet editor of Voiceworks, Lucy Adams.

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What are you working on in 2017?
Editing Voiceworks. I’m hatching plans for the year – things Voiceworks has never done before – and first up is publishing longform fiction (between 7,000 and 10,000 words). We’ve just called out for submissions and I’m keen to see what comes back. My stretch goal for 2017 is to achieve Inbox Zero. We all need impossible dreams.

The Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction calls for a focus on women’s stories. What’s your view on the current state of women’s stories in media and publishing?
Perhaps the question we should be asking is, ‘What’s the state of men’s stories?’ Answer: so great! Good job, boys.

What comes to mind when you think of our 2017 theme, ‘rebirth’?
My birth canal obliterated twice over. I recently read Vendela Vida’s The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty, and after the physiologically vivid labour scene, I was compelled to call my mum to remind her of her solid work.

Are there any positive experiences from your career journey you’d like to share?
Voiceworks is the first site of publication for many young writers, and often their first encounter with the editing process. I get to tell a young writer who doesn’t yet know they’re great, that they are in fact great. What a treat. Then there’s the editorial committee – the rag-tag gang of misfits I always wanted growing up (meet our latest inductee). Together we help writers develop their work to a point where they’re genuinely proud of it and excited by it.

What are you reading right now?
NW by Zadie Smith, Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh and a few hundred submissions to Voiceworks.

What’s on your To Be Read pile?
The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, Small Acts of Disappearance by Fiona Wright andThe Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke.

What do you read to feel inspired?
There’s nothing quite like a Wikipedia ‘open new tab’ adventure to ignite (and, four hours later, fatigue) the mind.

Is there a writer or book that has influenced your work?
I’m not a writer, but I’m drawn to writers who are interested in something else as much as, if not more than, writing.When there’s pressure to specialise, to funnel all your energy into one creative pursuit, it’s nice to be reminded that the arts aren’t everything. It’s good to explore a wide range of things, including sciencey things. Naturally I love Oliver Sacks – he was a fine writer but, above all else, he was obsessed with brains. And who can resist that adorable lisp.

Why have you agreed to get involved with the judging of the 2017 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction?
For young writers, there are very few external markers of success or sources of validation. Prizes like this one provide early recognition for women and non-binary writers, and remind them that their work is legitimate.

What’s the secret to writing a good short story?
Must have fishing with dad.

What will you be looking for when judging the competition?
I expect all the shortlisted stories will be carefully crafted and emotionally resonant. Beyond that, I’m a sucker for weird stuff, funny stuff and stylistically playful stuff – but I won’t be looking for anything in particular, aside from fishing dads.

Entries for the 2017 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction are now OPEN and close 5pm Friday 21st April, 2017. Submit stories up to 2000 words that engage with the theme ‘rebirth’. For more information, click here.

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