2018 Australian Shadows Award Winner!

Winner: Australian Shadows Award

I am honoured and thrilled to have received the Australian Shadows Award (best Collected Work 2018) for my short story collection Shadows on the Wall. To be frank, I was both stunned and over the moon.

Thanks go to: Gerry Huntman and the IFWG Publishing Australia team for having faith in my work and publishing the book. Shaun Tan for his generosity providing a fantastic cover painting and an internal illustration for one of my stories. Isobelle Carmody for writing a generous and beautiful introduction. Rebecca Fraser for her great editing.

Thanks to the Australasian Horror Writers Association for making the award possible, and to Silvia Brown for organising and emceeing the awards, and to the convenors and judges.

I would also like to recognise and the other finalists, Kaaron Warren, Andrew Cull, Brian Craddock and David Schembri. I have read their books and they are great, well worth your attention. Go read them if you haven’t already and you’ll see what I mean.

And last, but not least, thanks to support and generosity of my friends the Aussie SpecFic community, those writers who have helped me improve my work, gave me blurbs for the book, launched and spruiked it!


2018 – Winner: Australian Shadows Award

Winners of the 2018 Australian Shadows Awards have been announced. The award is given by the Australian Horror Writers Association (AHWA) for “the finest in horror and dark fiction published by an Australasian within the calendar year.”

Shadows Award: Collected Work

*WINNER: Shadows on the Wall by Steven Paulsen.

Bones by Andrew Cull
The Dalziel Files by Brian Craddock
Exploring Dark Fiction: A Primer by Kaaron Warren
Beneath the Ferny Tree by David Schembri


Ballarat Book Launch Pics & Interview

The Ballarat Book Launch for my short story collection Shadows on the Wall was a great success. Thanks very much to Jason Nahrung and Kirstyn McDermott for hosting, and to everybody who came along and made it such a success. I had a lot of fun and I hope you did too.

For anyone who was unable to attend the event here are some pics (courtesy and copyright, Jason Nahrung), and a recording of Kirstyn McDermott interviewing me.

Rather than just have me speak at the launch, which might have been quite boring, Kirstyn McDermott interviewed me instead (fantastic suggestion, Jason and Kirstyn!). Here’s the recording of the interview for anyone interested:

Ballarat Book Launch

If you’re in Ballarat on Sunday 18th February, Kirstyn McDermott and Jason Nahrung will be launching SHADOWS ON THE WALL in The Printer’s Room (behind Sebastiaans) starting at 2:30pm.

Ballarat Launch FB Pic

• We’ll have a few drinks and nibbles to start.
• Kirstyn and Jason will do their stuff.
• I guess I’ll have to say a few words and do a short reading.
• Collins Booksellers will be there selling copies of the book
• Then I’ll be happy to sign a book for you if you wish.
• After that there will be music and the bar will be open at regular bar prices.
I plan to have some fun so please come along and join in. Feel free to invite any friends you think might be interested. Hope to see you there!
The Printer’s Room is located behind Sebastiaans (58 Lydiard Street, Ballarat), right next door to the Bluestone, directly across the road from The Sporting Globe, down the road from Faux, and up the street from Karova.

Publication Day!

My new book, Shadows on the Wall, is out TODAY! 

It’s available in paperback and ebook from your preferred online retailer (links below) or from your favourite bookshop, so please buy yourself a copy if you like weird and dark stories of science fiction, fantasy and horror. And don’t forget to tell your friends.

If you read it and like it (and even if you don’t like it), please post a review on the platform of your choice.



Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Book Depository | Booktopia | Angus & Robertson


Cover painting and internal artwork by Shaun Tan

Foreword by Isobelle Carmody

Shadows on the Wall contains the very best of Paulsen’s dark and weird tales…plus stunning new fiction written expressly for this volume.

  • Glimpse a future where population controls force families into terrible choices.
  • Visit Colonial British India and experience the awakening of an eldritch horror.
  • Walk the steaming jungles of Vietnam alongside the spirits of the forest.
  • Light an ancient oil lamp but beware, the shadows on the wall.
  • And more…

These stories are beautifully written and subtle, and in their subtlety, they linger uneasily in the minds…Their particular potency lies in the honed sharpness of the writing, in the repertoire of emotional responses to strangeness they offer through brilliant and detailed characterisation…They are shadows, shifting on the wall, barely seen, slipping into our minds to lie, light and cold over our hearts…

  • Isobelle Carmody – author of the Obernewtyn Chronicles

Paulsen’s body of work, as evidence by this impressive collection, explores the nature of our fears, effortlessly exposing us to shuddering horrors and milder terrors while drawing us in with utterly real characters.

  • Kaaron Warren – author of the multi-award winning The Grief Hole

Shadows on the Wall will take you into some dangerously dark places, places that you know you should not enter, but enter you will, for, alas, you won’t be able to help yourself. The stories contained within are rocket-fuelled with narrative drive. These subtle, ironic, humorous, and sometimes horrific extrapolations and fantasies showcase Paulsen’s wild talent and tight grip on craft.

  • Jack Dann – multi-award winning, international bestselling author


Distributed by Dennis Jones (Australia) and IPG/SPU (North America)

Cover Reveal

IFWG Australia have revealed the cover for my forthcoming short story collection Shadows on the Wall. It’s based on a fabulous piece of art by the multi-talented artist, Shaun Tan. Check it out, I’m thrilled!

The publisher wrote: Earlier this year we informed you that we had the great pleasure to have acquired Steven Paulsen’s dark collection of stories, Shadows on the Wall. This will be released on 1 January 2018, but in the meantime we are very excited to reveal the front cover of the collection, with original artwork by Academy award-winning artist and animator, Shaun Tan (Elizabeth Lang, designer).


More information can be found here on IFWG Publishing Australia’s web site:

Cover Reveal: Shadows on the Wall by Steven Paulsen

New Short Story Collection

I am thrilled to announce that IFWG Publishing Australia will be publishing my short story collection, SHADOWS ON THE WALL, early in 2018.

The book will include the best of my previously published stories, plus new work written since I returned to writing. Shaun Tan has kindly provided art work and Isobelle Carmody has written a lovely foreword for the book.

Thanks very much to Gerry Huntman and IFWG, Shaun, and Isobelle for their support. Here is the IFWG Publishing Australia publicity announcement:

New Signing: Shadows on the Wall collection by Steven Paulsen

New Signing: Shadows on the Wall collection by Steven Paulsen

It is with great pleasure that we announce the acquisition of publishing rights to Steven Paulsen’s dark and weird collection of short stories, Shadows on the Walls. The  collection contains stories from award winning anthologies, as well as original fiction. Original cover and internal art will be supplied by the Hugo and Oscar Award winning artist, Shaun Tan.

The collection is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2018.


Photograph by Kirstyn McDermott

Steven Paulsen is an award-winning writer whose speculative fiction has appeared in publications around the world. His bestselling dark fantasy children’s book, The Stray Cat, illustrated by Shaun Tan, has seen publication in several English and foreign language editions. His short stories, which Jack Dann describes as rocket-fueled with narrative drive, have appeared in a variety of magazines and in anthologies such as Terror Australis, Strange Fruit, Cthulhu: Deep Down Under, Fantastic Worlds, The Cthulhu Cycle, and the World Fantasy Award winning Dreaming Down-Under.

Steven has also written extensively about Australian horror and fantasy for publications such as Eidolon, Interzone, Bloodsongs, Sirius, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, Fantasy Annual, The St James Guide to Horror, Ghost and Gothic Writers, and The Melbourne University Press Encyclopaedia of Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy. His interviews with Australian SF writers have been published in magazine and book form in Australia, UK, Europe and the USA.