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An Australian Fiction Writer's Big Break

Filed under: Headline Shooter

Cate Kennedy

From Australia's The Age:

Next month is going to be a big one for serial short-story award-winner Cate Kennedy. First, her collection Dark Roots is to be published by Scribe. Of course, that's plenty exciting but the icing on the cake is provided by The New Yorker, which is going to include one of her stories, Black Ice, in its September 11 edition. (She's following in the footsteps of great Australians such as Amy Witting.) So Kennedy is chuffed. "It would never have happened if I'd just sent it to them. It's really thanks to Henry Rosenbloom (of Scribe), who sent it to their New York agents." The Benalla-based writer, who has twice won the Age short-story competition, is in the final stages of working with New Yorker editors - there are five who work on the magazine's fiction - on her story. They are concerned with some of the Australian terms, musing over gum trees and weatherboards apparently. "I do have the power of veto but I am saying yes to whatever they say," Kennedy says. So with the combination of Dark Roots appearing and the story in The New Yorker, is she expecting big things? "I just want to get the collection out in the world and get people reading it. I'm not sure it will lead to an international signing." What Kennedy wants to do now is write a novel. "I need to write one. It's like my albatross. I've done a bit of poetry, non-fiction, this collection. I have to address the novel question." This might not be helped by the presence of her six-month-old daughter, Rosalyn. "She does dictate my writing time but I actually find I'm more productive."

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