A week on, we have a project!
We have 150 submissions with hope of at least the same number, if not more, on their way in the next eight days. We have stories pledged from Anita Heiss and Sue Moorcroft, along with interest from at least three other well known Aussie authors and several lesser known ones, from off the beaten mainstream track.
We have an amazing group of 20 volunteer readers who have braved a brand new submissions platform and all the glitches involved in getting to know how to use it effectively, who ploughed through a deluge of submissions in the first couple of days, as we were getting our heads around the new system. We have a brilliant core management team of Trevor, Maureen and David who cut through the bull shit, deal with problems which spring up, brain storm creative paths, and also know how to make you laugh and are just generally wonderful folk to work and chat with. We have a group of 10 editors on stand-by to work through the list of 100 stories in the first week of February, along with several dedicated proof readers.
We have Tehani Wessely ready to do the layout mid February and Russell B Farr working on the front cover. Both jobs I am so glad someone else is responsible for. We have a logo and website, designed and donated by Dale Challener Roe. We have Greg McQueen (yes, the man himself) committed to produce an eBook and Emma Newman, to assist in creating a podcast.
All in all, more than 30 volunteers are attached to this project.
The project has reached across the world, and genres, appearing in blog posts from The Wheeler Centre in Melbourne to Apex Books in the US, and countless personal blogs. Not to mention the steady stream of messages on the #100storiesforqld Twitter hashtag and Facebook links and comments. And tonight Annie Evett and I did what will be the first, hopefully of many, radio interviews.
To date, this is everything and more than I hoped it would be when Trevor called us all together last Tuesday evening.
While the project has found its legs and the global writing community has pulled together, the water has risen and begun to fall leaving behind a trail of destruction, thick layers of mud, homes destroyed,businesses oblitereated, thousands of displaced persons and a rising death toll. As I write this, townships are still cut off, without food and some with compromised water supplies, relying on supply trucks and chopper drops. Families wait to hear about loved ones, as the SES and army go about the grisly task of locating and indentifying bodies in flood ravaged locales. And now, two years after the worst drought in a hundred years, the gathering of storms clouds and the distant rumble of thunder strikes a wave of anxiety rather than one of relief or hope for the coming of rain