Two things that are very dear to me: Queensland’s Gold Coast, and a love of writing. In some way both help define broader aspects of who I am. You see, I am a Gold Coast story, even though I now live in Victoria. And I will always be a writer.
I grew up in Mudgeeraba in the early-mid eighties. Back then it was just a little country town. I attended Mudgeeraba Primary School. There were only about two hundred students back then. If you didn’t know a kid’s name, you can guarantee you knew his brother or sister in the grade above or below. We moved closer to the coast in my early teens, and settled in Mermaid Waters. In my teenage years and twenties, I lived either solo, or flatting with mates in Benowa, Nerang, Southport, Main Beach, Broadbeach Waters, Tallai.
I love the Gold Coast for what it is. I also love it for what it isn’t. To me the city is like a coin with two sides. You pick it up in your palm and marvel at the shiny gold surface: so pretty, so enticing. This represents the beauty that frames the Gold Coast, from the lush and ancient Hinterland to 57 kilometers of pristine beach and 860 kilometers of navigable tidal waterway. A rich and chequered history. A playground for all ages. It represents the hedonistic façade; night life, fun-filled family holidays, theme parks, ostentatious canal front homes sharing fence lines with quaint weatherboard Queenslanders. Unforgettable personalities. Lifestyle. Location. Home. The Gold Coast means so many things to so many people.
You flip the coin in your palm to examine the other side. It is dull and tarnished. The underbelly. Every city has an underbelly. It seethes and crawls with unsavoury, insalubrious characters. Drifters and grifters. The users and the used. Thieves and con artists. Low lifes and scum bags. Freaks, geeks and desperados.
And, my! What good stories both sides of the coin inspire.
That’s why I am so excited about the current project my writers’ group, Prana Writers, is involved in: the Gold Coast Anthology. Funding assistance for the project is provided by a Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grant sponsored by Arts Queensland and Gold Coast City Council. This is the third Grant the Prana Writers have secured over the past six years, but the first time we have tackled a project of this magnitude.
The Gold Coast Anthology will celebrate the city with a diverse collection of stories. Submissions are invited from all genres (yes, all genres). Stories will be inspired by photographs on the Gold Coast Anthology website and be penned by writers with a connection to the Gold Coast. The Anthology will be released both in print and as an eBook. Payment will be made at $100 per story, which is not too shabby in today’s paying market!
Submissions close 31 August. You can find the full guidelines, along with the gallery of photographs at the official website here: http://goldcoastanthology.info/
You can also find the anthology on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/GoldCoastAnthology or follow on Twitter @GC_Anth
In the meantime, happy writing, happy reading and, of course, happy days 🙂