These here times on fire &how we heat ourselves upon embers

I have been shortlisted for the inaugural Richell Prize.

I have been described as 'fresh', which, up to this point, had only been done by my friend Cinnamon Smith, and she says it to everyone anyway so I didn't feel all that special.

But now.

What's interesting about my shortlisting is two things: 
1) I thought I submitted a different manuscript than has been shortlisted
2) I submitted the same manuscript to the Queensland Literary Awards around the same time and was not shortlisted there

Each of these points tell us many things. Most significantly, the following: first, that luck is something that happens to stupid people. Second, and most significantly, that art is subjective, and that not every panel will look upon you with the same warmth in their gaze. And that's okay, too.

Submit widely, submit broadly. If it costs nothing, then you must submit. Get eyes on your work, so long as you truly believe in it. Submitting things you do not believe in are a different story--and it tends to be different for each person.

See you in October.

Jonathan O'Brien