My latest article on SBS Voices 'I learnt not to compete in the ‘hardship Olympics’ with my daughter.' I think this is a common phenomenon with our parents sacrificing for us and then trying to get us to appreciate our opportunities, instead making it feel like we have no right to feel bad about problems. And then I did it! https://www.sbs.com.au/topics/voices/family/article/2023/03/23/i-learnt-not-compete-hardship-olympics-my-daughter
26th wedding anniversary
It's my 26th wedding anniversary. I can't believe that I have been married to this handsome fella for 26 years. We've had many lives, many adventures, the highs of highs and the lows of lows, and we keep going, strong and together. I am so happy to have you to witness my life with and can only hope we have another 26 years more.
sabiha character art
Using Stock Image AI through App Sumo and am experimenting to create character art for the Sassy Saints Series. Sabiha is the main character that started the series. Originally inspired by my grunge-loving ways as a teen, she became who I wished I had been-fierce and tough, someone who didn't care what others thought because she had grown up with a mother who was a bipolar sufferer and so developed a tough veneer, loyal to a fault with a sarcastic mouth that got her in trouble. I gave her some of my favourite adolescent memories of mischief.
The Sassy Saints series is about six young people searching for identity and belonging. The first two are out: Sabiha's Dilemma and Alma's Loyalty. The third, Jesse's Triumph, is soon to be published.
my essay st albans in meanjin
My latest essay St Albans in Meanjin journal about being a teacher at a government high school, being working class and from a migrant family caught between cultures, about racism and prejudice and assimilation, but mostly a love letter to my suburb. It’s behind a paywall and available to subscribers. https://meanjin.com.au/essays/st-albans/
to pitch or not to pitch
All I need is a break, time to recover and let my brain swirl, and new pitches come. It's always a force of will pitching new stories and putting myself out there, but the more I do it, the more it gets easier. I have a document titled pitches and I collect them all there, noting where I have submitted and been rejected, so I can return to a pitch and re-focus it in a new way for another publication. In the beginning I could only pitch on the back of a successful acceptance, using my joy as fuel to push through the imposter syndrome, but as I have created a foundation of success I am developing more confidence and the rejections roll off without a sting. So to pitch or not to pitch is never a question. Take a deep breath and launch yourself out into the world. This morning I submitted two pitches and followed up on another. I hope one of them lands, but if not, I'll re-pitch them again somewhere else
The Export Market Development Grant is open to independent authors to promote their books internationally. Check out my online course Grants for Australian Writers and Publishing Businesses to find out how to apply and help you build your author business.
the climb-a ya romance
The Climb was originally inspired by a chapter that never made it into my memoir Things Nobody Knows But Me, about my high school puppy love. Our relationship was a slow burn and our timing timing was always slightly off and he was always slightly immature and not ready for me, but he was the first boy who told me he loved me, who showed it, and with whom I shared my first romantic kiss of passion.
By creating Noah and Zephyra I had the opportunity to put things to write and tell a story about two friends and their romantic misadventures as they try and work out whether they should be more than friends. By writing in an alternating point of view I could play with my favourite romantic tropes of slow burn romance and friends to lovers.
The Climb references the physical climb of their bike marathon as well as Noah and Zephyra’s emotional climb as they traverse new territory of being more than friends and try and hit the right timing where they are both interested in each other at the same time.
Goldcoast holiday is drawing to a close with our return tomorrow. Some beautiful memories: the lovely swimming pool at the hotel and the beach a 2 minute walk away, the ferry ride on the Nerang and the skyline in the sunset, Movieworld a bit of a let-down, the skywalk rainforest in Tamborine was absolutely beautiful and this little town was just a gorgeous little gem where we did quite a bit of retail therapy, Seaworld and the lionseal show was so much fun. Then we went on the Trident ride and sat in a flimsy chair 42 metres above the ground. There were whimpers, trembling limbs and nausea. It will be a funny story, one day. But not today. Not today.
My short story collection The Cuckoo's Song is 20 years in the making featuring my prize-winning and unpublished stories. It deals with themes that represent who I am. As I was parented by a mother who was a Bipolar sufferer I find myself coming back to themes that deal with mental health, especially within the context of Non-English-Speaking Communities as this places particular pressure on a sufferer and family due to stigma and lack of awareness.
Growing up I did not see myself represented in fiction and I write own voices stories exploring my Bosnian heritage and culture so that young people who have an ethnic cultural background feel validated in seeing their lives represented in fiction.
I love reading stories that explore the real life effects of being in a war and providing a slice of history. As a writer I love the process of immersing myself in real life research to write stories set during the Balkan War of 1992-1995 when Bosnia became an independent country.
Growing up raised by a single mother for most of my childhood, and then becoming a nuclear family when my mother married my stepfather, I am fascinated by the notions of family ties and family loyalty. I am also an advocate of LGBTQI rights and write characters who are part of this community.
'So devastatingly real' Maxine Beneba Clarke
I also wrote teaching notes for this collection with reading, research, analysis and writing activities.
Did you know I have been successful in receiving creative development, residency and business grants to develop my author business? I've now partnered with www.BoldAuthors.com to deliver an online grant writing course that includes a step by step guide, a successful funding application for you to look and a a list of grants that you can apply for in Australia.
#EMDG #EMDGGrant #emdggrants #writinggrants #literarygrants #AustralianWriters #AustralianAuthors #AusLit #amwriting #writingcommunity #authorbusiness #amrapajalic #BoldAuthors #CreativeAustralia
Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. She writes memoir, young adult and romance under the pen name Mae Archer.
Sign up and receive free books.