Snapshot 2020

The Australian SF Snapshot Project was started in 2005 and has taken place six times in the past 15 years. It is designed to provide and overview of Australian (and now New Zealand) writers working in the Spec Fic scene. In 2020 in was compiled by Tehani Croft who undertook the mammoth task of interviewing over 200 writers. The full 2020 list is here and my interview is here.

They Are Us

Following on from the successful Weathering the Future exhibition in Ballarat, I have a short story titled “Why?” published the They Are Us exhibition, another collaboration between Ballarat Words Out Loud and the Soldiers Hill Artist Collective (SHAC). Once again, the exhibition is curated by writers Jason Nahrung and Kirstyn McDermott, except this time it is a reversed ekphrastic process where the writers wrote their pieces first and the artists responded to the prose and poetry in a variety of media, including painting, photography, woodwork, weaving and sculpture.

My story, the “Why” was represented with artwork by artist Helmut Stenzel, who works in a diverse range of creative media, with a strong interest in typography and the process of traditional Letterpress printing.

If you’re going to be in Ballarat between February 24th and April 5th call in and have a look at the They Are Us ekphrastic exhibition being held in the Lounge Gallery at Billy’s Bar and Bistro, Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre, 613 Main Rd, Ballarat. Photo of Helmut with his artwork and my story courtesy of Jason Nahrung.

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-awards/

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


The Best of the Scream Factory

Fantastic news! The William Atheling Jr. Award winning article “The Hunt for Australian Horror” that I wrote in collaboration with Bill Congreve and Sean McMullen has been reprinted in a beautiful, limited edition hardcover titled The Best of the Scream Factory (edited by Peter Enfantino, Robert Morrish and John Scoleri). At 600 pages long, the book reprints more than 70 articles from the magazine’s golden age. It is published by Cemetery Dance Publications, “widely-considered the world’s leading specialty press publisher of horror and dark suspense”. The entire print run quickly sold out, but not before I got hold of my contributor copy.

Weathering the Future

I have a short story titled “Yellow Palms” published the Weathering the Future exhibition, a collaboration between Ballarat Words Out Loud, the Soldiers Hill Artist Collective (SHAC), and communication design students from Federation University’s Arts Academy. The exhibition is curated and convened by writers Jason Nahrung and Kirstyn McDermott.

The project was a dual ekphrastic process in which the artists of SHAC responded to the theme of “Weathering the Future”, looking at the hurdles and innovations we face at the beginning of the Anthropocene. Writers at various stages of career responded to these artworks in flash fiction and poetry. These written works were embodied in text art by the Arts Academy students.

If you’re going to be in Ballarat between 6th and 23rd of December 2018, check it out at the Ballarat Backspace Gallery on Camp Street. It will be open Thursdays to Sundays, from noon to 4pm, so drop in for a unique experience if you’re in town.

My story, the artwork by artist Lorraine Huddle, the poster by Bridget O’Brien from the Federation University’s Arts Academy, and an audio of my reading of the story are available online here.

The exhibition was made possible by the City of Ballarat’s Backspace Gallery community arts program.