I’m very pleased to announce that my short story, ‘Mr Agoo’, has found a home in Not keeping mum: Australian writers tell the truth about perintatal anxiety and depression in poetry, fiction & essay. All proceeds from the sale of the book will go to Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia. I’m especially chuffed to be the only male author in the book. You can check it out here:
Some welcome news on the publishing front: three of my short fiction pieces have been selected for inclusion in two anthologies, one in the U.S. and the other here in Western Australia. “Ray”, which was shortlisted for the Sutherland Shire Literary Competition, is slated to appear in the second annual Archipelago anthology from Seattle publisher Allegory Ridge. “Ray”, set on Tasmania’s Bruny Island, is about one man’s journey as south as he can go with two small children in tow. I’m stoked to have finally found a home for this story and a wonderful home it is too, albeit one on the far side of the globe.
Secondly, two of my flash fiction stories, “Super Snipe” and “The Ballard”, appear in Once: A selection of short short stories from new WA outfit Night Parrot Press. I recently attended the Perth launch for this anthology and met some of the other authors included herein, as well as editors Linda Martin and Laura Keenan. “Super Snipe” is about a love triangle involving a vintage car and “The Ballard” is my love letter to the late, great J. G. Ballard.
I have a handful of other stories doing the rounds presently, so with luck I’ll be able to report on further publication successes in the near future. Here’s hoping!
Ever wondered what a lonely wine bottle thinks about once the wine has been imbibed? If so, you can explore the ‘Room’ as part of #DWF2018 and listen to six writers’ tales on the secret lives of inanimate objects. The Digital Writers Festival starts today and runs until Nov 3rd.
The Dying Rain and Other Forays into the Bramble Noir is on the Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award longlist
Meet Tyler Bramble, the grimy future’s answer to Philip Marlowe. Armed with what he considers to be a razor-sharp wit and what his supervisor considers to be a troubling history vis-a-vis illicit pharmaceuticals, Tyler takes on drug dealers, dodgy doctors and extortioners, and it’s all in the name of the long suffering Victorian taxpayer. These Bramble Noirs—wise cracking, off-beat, occasionally zany tales in a post-apocalyptic Melbourne—reboot Raymond Chandler for the twenty-first century, critiquing toxic masculinity and poking fun at the tired tropes of the tawdry PI genre along the way. At least that’s what it says on the label.
You can read an extract from ‘Blue Swirls’ here.
The Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award longlist announced
Eleven finalists have been announced by renowned Australian author Carmel Bird in the first year of the Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award.
Launched at the State Library Victoria in December 2017, The Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award showcases new works of short fiction from Australian and overseas writers. The longlist was judged from a field of over 130 submissions, including short story collections as well as novellas, many of which included digital narratives with multimedia elements.
Carmel Bird was pleased with the diversity of entries to the award: “I was surprised and delighted to see the large number of entries, coming from a great range of writers, some of whom were unpublished, many of whom were students in writing courses, and others who were established writers.”
“It was fascinating to observe what was a kind of broad snapshot of the thinking and practice of fiction-writing in Australia today. The energy of so much of the work, the range of subject-matter, and the confidence in the use of language and form were a source of great pleasure,” Ms Bird said.
Finalists in the 2018 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award will be showcased by State Library Victoria via the online platform, Tablo. Visitors to Library’s Tablo page will be able to read and respond to an extract from each submission. The three winning entrants will receive cash prizes totalling $5000 as well as publishing agreements with Spineless Wonders. The winners will be announced in September.
Justine Hyde, State Library Victoria’s Director of Library Services and Experience, said the Library was always looking for new ways to shine a light on digital writing: “The Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award is a great way for us to highlight talented and creative authors who bring together the literary and digital worlds. We are thrilled to support this award in unearthing innovative and exciting new digital work.”
The longlisted entries are:
Ashley Kalagian Blunt, Flicker of Justice, No More
Craig Cormick, Everybody Loves a Good Cook Book
Susie Greenhill, Maps for the Lost
Mel Hall, Goodbye Tom Morrow
William Lane, Small Forest
Catherine Moffat, Remnants of Sound
Ruairi Murphy, Two Sets of Books
Arna Radovich, Mosaic of Loss
Bronwyn Rodden, Darkness
Guy Salvidge, The Dying Rain – And Other Forays into the Bramble Noir
Beth Spencer, The Age of Fibs
On Sunday 3rd December I was honoured to receive the 2017 Joe O'Sullivan Writers' Prize from the Australian Irish Heritage Association for my story 'The Centre Cannot Hold'. The award was presented by Denis Bratton of the AIHA at the Irish Club in Subiaco in conjunction with the annual Brendan Awards. I was made to feel very welcome indeed and was treated to an afternoon of singing, laughing and of course a couple of pints of Guinness! 'The Centre Cannot Hold' will shortly appear in the AIHA's quarterly publication, The Journal, as well as on their website. Thanks very much to Denis and the rest of the Perth Irish community for making my day/month/year.
I'm pleased to report that 2017 is finishing on a positive note. Four of my stories were recently selected for Just off Message: a 20th year anthology from Interactive Publications. Two of the stories are reprints, but two ('Killjoy' and 'Losing Her Zen') appear here for the first time. 'The Kennedys: A Yellowcake Story' is a bridge of sorts between Yellowcake Springs and Yellowcake Summer. It first appeared in the now-defunct Eclecticism E-zine. 'Epoch O'Lips: A Tyler Bramble Mystery' is the fourth tale featuring Tyler Bramble. It first appeared in P3 WA. Thanks to David Reiter and IP for helping to bring these stories back into print.
I’ve been busy this week, not only in chipping away at the draft of City of Rubber Stamps, but also with some other writerly events. Firstly, my review of David Whish-Wilson’s excellent Perth crime novel Old Scores is up at Westerly’s Editor’s Desk. My wife and I had the pleasure of attending the novel’s launch at the suitably noirish Buffalo Club in Fremantle on Wednesday night. There I caught up not only with David but with a cadre of Perth crime fiction aficionados and writers like Ron Elliot, Bruce Russell, Michelle Michau-Crawford and Ian Reid. Old Scores is a rip-roaring trip through eighties Perth and highly recommended. You can read more about it and even a sample chapter over at the Fremantle Press website.
Tonight I’m off to my second launch for the week, this one at the Centre for Stories in Northbridge. It’s launch day for Writing the Dream from Serenity Press, which is a book of non-fiction pieces on writing and publishing by 25 mostly WA authors, including the likes of Juliet Marillier, Natasha Lester and Louise Allan. If you are keen on meeting the authors and picking up a signed copy, then you’ll need to head up to the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centrein Greenmount on Sunday 27th November for the second launch date. I’d love to attend this myself, but as I’ll be on my honeymoon in Tasmania it’d be a long way to travel. Writing the Dream is an outstanding and highly practical ‘how to’ guide to writing and publishing as well as being a source of inspiration for aspiring writers. It’s available now from any number of online outlets such as Amazon and Booktopia.
‘Frank’ and a bevy of other works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry by emerging WA writers are online and free to download in Westerly: New Creative as of this minute. I’m really stoked to have a piece in such a venerable publication and I’m also looking forward to the official launch of the ebook at the upcoming Australian Short Story Festival on October 23rd. Thanks to Rashida Murphy for pointing this out and to Josephine Taylor for working with me on editing ‘Frank’ for publication.
My crime story 'Frank', which won the 2015 City of Rockingham Short Fiction Award, has been selected for publication in Award Winning Australian Writing 2016, which is being launched at the Melbourne Writers Festival on 31st August.
This story has led a charmed existence. Written in October 2015, 'Frank' was entered into the Rockingham competition a few days before the deadline. By mid-November, I'd been informed of its win, so I sent it off to Westerly: New Creative before their November 30 deadline. In February of this year I was informed that it had made the cut, so I sent it off to AWAW, and in July I was told that 'Frank' was in.
Huzzah for 'Frank', basically.
Three pieces of recent publishing news: first, my story ‘Frank’, which won the 2015 City of Rockingham Short Fiction Award, has now been chosen for publication in Westerly’s upcoming ‘New Creative‘ online issue. I’m really looking forward to appearing alongside a host of other (as yet unnamed) emerging authors.
Secondly, my baroque future fantasy piece, ‘when the jellyfish rule the oceans’, has been published online in Pound of Flash.
And finally, a non-fiction piece about my (torturous) pathway to publication, ‘Hard Travelin’, will be published later this year in Writing the Dream.
I’m pleased to be able to report these successes, but I’m still looking for homes for my fourth Tyler Bramble detective story, ‘Epoch O’Lips’, as well as a literary story about obsessive compulsive disorder and a dead ferret, ‘Losing Her Zen’. Hopefully I’ll find suitable homes for them in the coming months.
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