Skywriters Anthology schedule

14 July 2019

Dear Skywriters, Big Skies Collaborators and friends,

Am home from China and ready to focus again on the first Skywriters Anthology, our historic collection of astro-themed prose and poetry works by more than 50 Skywriters from all over Australia.

Our publisher, David Reiter of Interactive Publications P/L, Brisbane, tells me that he needs the full draft manuscript by early August. Just a few weeks away. Which means that our publication schedule is now much tighter than I would have wished. (See David’s update below.)


Because, on returning from China, I found my 92-year-old mother in hospital and in urgent need of permanent care … so she had to be my first priority.

Anyone who has had to organise nursing home accommodation for an aged parent at short notice in the bush will understand how emotionally fraught, time-consuming, frustrating, stressful and life-changing this process can be, especially since it typically involves negotiations with several government agencies, complicated financial arrangements and multiple service providers!

The experience left me too addled, sad and exhausted to focus on the anthology — or anything else much — until now. My apologies to all our contributors for the delay.

Our very tight schedule

So yes, our schedule is tight but we can do it!

JULY – revising, polishing and editing
Authors who’ve already revised and polished their submissions need to send me their most recent drafts ASAP. Please.
Many of the submitted works need minimal revision but a few require substantive editing to bring them up to publication standard or to conform to our maximum word length. I’ll be contacting the authors of these works personally this week.

AUGUST – final editing and proofreading
I’ll be working with authors who need a bit of support to get their submissions ready for publication, while my fellow volunteer editors, Val Clark and Gai Lander, will be copyediting authors’ final drafts. We’ll then compile the works, send the full Ms to our publisher, and manage the formal contracting process etc.

SEPTEMBER – designing, formatting, final proofing
David and his team will transform the raw text into a very classy book complete with an arresting front cover image and back cover blurbs, and then send the proofs to another of our volunteer editors, Dr Suzie Gibson, who’ll check for typos, recalcitrant commas and all that.

OCTOBER – printing, uploading to online platforms, promotion, etc

NOVEMBER – Launch season!

Launch dates

Our current plan is to launch the anthology at Regional Arts NSW’s big gig, ArtState 2019, in Tamworth, on the first weekend on November, and to then celebrate it with local launches in as many towns as possible along our Inland Astro-Trail.

Seems we’ll have quite a strong presence at ArtState with several Big Skies Collaboration panel discussions already programmed. If we meet our publication deadlines we’ll also be able to launch the anthology as part of the ArtState Fringe, probably with the Tamworth Regional Astronomy Club (and their telescopes?) and other partner groups.

So – we’re nearly there! Any support to review, promote and market our anthology will be gratefully accepted.

Update from our Publisher

(received 15 July 2019)

To All
Here at IP, we’re locked and ready to receive the draft anthology early August for final copy editing, design and layout and then production in print and eBook. Much thanks to Merrill and her team for progress to date.
Following the much-anticipated launch season of the anthology, we’ll look to spin-off work in the multimedia space for scientists and artists involved in the Project under the Outer Space, Inner Minds umbrella. During the November tour, I plan to collaborate with interested people, interviewing them, recording their work in their milieu to capture and bring alive sites along the Inland Astro Trail.
In the meantime, polish your work for the next stage of the anthology, and keep up the chat about our upcoming Tour!
Best wishes


I’m looking forward to re-connecting with all our authors very soon.

So, may the sky deities and other celestial entities, real and imagined, smile upon us!


Dr Merrill Findlay
for The Skywriters Project
Big Skies Collaboration
T: 61 404057162
F: facebook/SkywritersProject

This newsletter was sent to all the people on our mailchimp newsletter list on the evening of 14 July 2019 and posted on the website the following day, 15 July, with the following correction: For some unknown reason I named our esteemed curating editor, Dr Suzie Gibson from Charles Sturt University, as Suzie Foster in the first iteration! My apologies Suzie.

I also added the update from our publisher and Big Skies Collaborator, David Reiter, which I received on the morning of 15 July, to the online version of the newsletter. Thank you David.