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As you know, I was bitterly disappointed when Satalyte shut up shop as it might have meant the end of my admittedly short career as a publi...

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

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The first two novels of my trilogy, The Talismans, are not available as e-books at present, but I expect to get them back online shortly. However, I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

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The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

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Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

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Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

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Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

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Places I've lived: High View, WV

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Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

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Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

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Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Back on the reviewing trail

Regular readers will know that for the last few years I have been Reviews Editor for The Specusphere, a webzine for the SF community. Friends of long standing will also remember that at one time I garnered a fair proportion of my livelihood by writing reviews and feature articles for arts-oriented journals such as Music Maker (which later became ArtsWest), Dance Australia, and others and also for newpapers incuding The Australian and The West Australian. Not only did I get paid, but I got free tickets to many fabulous shows.

Since I've been on the pension there has been no money for such frivolities as theatre tickets, so when a friend recently pointed me in the direction of ArtsHub the lure of free tickets led me to investigate.

Artshub is a kind of clearing house for all matters pertaining to the arts. It is a very comprehensive site, and well patronised. Their articles and reviews are of a high standard. So I thought, "Why not", and asked to be added to their list of reviewers. Now, for the first time in years I am going to the theatre again!

I've reviewed three shows so far, two of them marginally related to matters Shakespearean, and the third a wonderful dance performance by Daryl Brandwood, a fellow WAAPA graduate. I hadn't seen Daryl dance for about fifteen years, so it was a joy to watch the show, Helix.

And the two Shakespearean ones were very, very funny. You can read my reviews of all three shows if you're interested:

The Enchanters

Helix

The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)

While it's fun to be reviewing again, I feel a bit uncomfortable about the fact that I am doing it gratis - apart from the free tickets, that is! When I was writing for print journals, I would be paid anything up to about $350 for an article. But web sites simply can't afford to pay people. The Specusphere, for example, is run completely by volunteers, and, in fact, our editor-in-chief has to cough up the necessary to have the site on line at all. We tried taking advertising, but it brought in little or nothing. What's more we had no control over the content, and some of it was dodgy, to say the least. (Be published today! It will only cost you an arm and leg and last year's income...)

I suspect this is another sign of the amateurisation of so many things that seems to be a result of the internet. Maybe it is not such a bad thing - it means everyone's voice can be raised.

But in the cacophony, who is listening?

5 comments:

Sue Bursztynski said...

I've only been paid once for a review, which was done for Viewpoint Magazine some time ago - $100 for an 800 word piece. The shorter ones you just got the books. I'm actually happier to do it for copies; it means i don't have to review the book if I just can't finish it - and I'm more likely to get books I want to read. A friend of mine who used to review professionally told me the editors kept the good stuff for themselves and sent her books about oil wells! Of course, I'm not trying to make a living out of reviewing. You might like to try article proposals for such magazines as Magpies - I assume you like children's books as I do? :-)

Satima Flavell said...

It's not my getting paid or not that bothers me, Sue - like you, I enjoy the freedom of choosing whether or not to review a partciulat book or show - but what does bother me is that anyone can set up shop as a writer, musician, reviewer, or whatever. We only have to look on Amazon or Smashwords to find any number of godawful self-published books and check out YouTube or Live Journal to see how many kitchen sink musos there are out there. Likewise with reviewers - some of the reviews on Amazon are pathetic, and some are obviously written by friends of the author - at least, that's the only reason I can see for someone to praise some of the truly terrible stuff that's up there.

The internet has become a noisy, busy marketplace and separating wheat from chaff sometimes seems more trouble than it's worth. In doing free reviews I hope I'm helping demonstrate at least some level of professionalism. I also hope I'm not being lumped in the same bag as some of the empty vessels who are making so much of the noise.

OTOH, the internet does provide a platform for artists (and I'm including reviewers here)to become known and maybe even to cut their teeth on their chosen field. It all depends on how I look at it, and that varies according to the latest gem or piece of drivel I've discovered:-).

divaflip said...

Hi Satima,

I'm glad you are doing some reviews and getting to the theatre again! I have to admit you were the first person I thought of when Richard put out the call.

Arts Hub is considered the industry bible, and while you don't have to subscribe to read it, many people do. I have a personal sub, and also use a work one to promote our own events and exhibitions.

In a publication such at that one, even if it is online, the target audience is made up of industry professionals who respect the work of the reviewers. Many of us put our own shows and exhibitions out there to be reviewed by Arts Hub, so we know the reviews are legitimate.

Anyway I hope you keep enjoying it :-) And I wasn't able to log in with my Synaesthezia account, possibly because it is hosted on its own domain instead of on Wordpress.

cheers,
Philippa

Satima Flavell said...

Good to hear from you, Philippa! ArtsHub is great, isn't it? Sadly, the sub is beyond my pension-based budget, but just reading the open parts of the site is enough to keep me busy for an hour or two each week!

Try signing in with your FB or LJ a/c next time. They usually work.

Satima Flavell said...

Oops - just noticed - you did use your LJ a/c!

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