Archive for the ‘My Writing’ Category

Finalist in Van Diemen History Prize

November 18, 2022 Leave a comment

As part of my PhD studies, I have been researching the lives of early Vandemonian sealers with a particular emphasis on George Briggs, an important but mostly elusive figure in this history. I’m pleased to report that my piece “Pardoned to serve His Majesty by sea: The Life of George Briggs” has been chosen as a finalist in the Van Diemen History Prize and thus will be published in the resultant anthology, to be launched at the Hobart Writers Festival in 2023. I’m looking forward to attending the festival and hopefully meeting some of the prizewinners and finalists. Congratulations to Phillipa Moore and Terry Mulhern for taking out this year’s prize! 

You can read more about the prizewinners and finalists on the Forty South website. 

Categories: My Writing

Humans of the Wheatbelt 2 is out now!

August 10, 2022 Leave a comment

This is the second volume of Humans of the Wheatbelt, featuring some amazing and amazingly inspirational interviews with people from all over the Wheatbelt. I had the honour and pleasure of writing up these interviews and co-editing the book, so any typos are on me!

Head over to the Humans of the Wheatbelt site to find out more.

Categories: My Writing

‘The Empire Never Ended’ in The Saltbush Review

I have a piece of Tassie nonfiction, ‘The Empire Never Ended’, in the latest issue of The Saltbush Review. This is a new mag out from the University of Adelaide. Lots of really interesting work here, all free to read!

Categories: My Writing

‘New Year Island’ Highly Commended in Stringybark Stories Short Story Award 2022

‘New Year Island’, which is the first chapter of my work-in-progress Diemens, recently received a Highly Commended certificate in the Stringybark Short Story Award 2022. The winning and highly commended stories appear in Fruitcake Frenzy from Stringybark Publishing.  

Meanwhile ‘The Empire Never Ended’, my latest nonfiction piece related to Tasmania, has been accepted to appear in an upcoming issue of The Saltbush Review.

Categories: My Writing

‘In lutruwita’ published in Traces and Backstory Journal

November 25, 2021 Leave a comment

My non-fiction piece ‘In lutriwita‘ recently appeared in Issue 16 of Traces, which is available in newsagencies. It is also available to read free online over here at Backstory Journal. This is my first piece of Tasmanian writing to see publication and there will be more like it over the next few years as I work on my PhD in Tasmanian Fiction at Curtin University.

Categories: My Writing

Complicity City is out now!

August 22, 2021 Leave a comment

Complicity City is a domestic noir in the style of Megan Abbott’s The End of Everything. The book is set in Perth, Western Australia. It is the story of one woman’s quest for justice for her slain friend Klara, and the dark deeds and secret men’s business she uncovers along the way.

Complicity City is available via Amazon.

Categories: My Writing

Recent Publications: Archipelago and Once: A Selection of short short stories

February 8, 2020 Leave a comment

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!

Categories: My Writing

Enjoy Yourself, It’s Later Than You Think

The mild Western Australian winters have always appealed to me more than the harsh summers and I’ve often done my best writing at this time of year. As a high school English teacher, I know when my windows of writing opportunity open—for two weeks in April, two weeks in July, two weeks in September/October and six weeks in December/January. Twelve weeks a year when I can write instead of going to work. At least that’s the theory.

The winter holidays have often been my most fertile period of the year. In July 2013, I wrote ‘A Void’, which was later shortlisted for the Carmel Bird Award and published in The Great Unknown. In July 2014 I wrote ‘Enter Sandman, Exit Light’, which found a home in Tincture Journal. In 2015 it was‘Epoch O’Lips’. 2016 was a rare winter strike out, but in 2017 I produced ‘The Centre Cannot Hold’, which won the Joe O’Sullivan Writer’s Prize and was published in Award Winning Australian Writing. 2018 was another bust, but I had the excuse that my wife had just given birth to my third child and thus I was otherwise occupied. Between July 2018 and July 2019, I wrote precisely one story. Not surprisingly, I called it ‘Mr Agoo’.

In writing short stories, I’ve often found it helpful to rely on some kind of visual or musical stimulus. Some competitions, such as the City of Rockingham Short Fiction Award, require authors to respond to a painting in written form. In 2015, the painting was of a lighthouse in Fremantle entitled ‘(Light) House of the Rising Sun’. In preparation, I listened to the famous song by The Animals before starting work each day to get into the mood. For once the planets aligned for me and ‘Frank’ became my most successful story, not only winning the City of Rockingham Short Fiction Award but also finding homes in Award Winning Australian Writing and Westerly: New Creative.

This probably helps to explain why I carried around a leaflet from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, pictured (on fire!) above, for more than six months even though I am and remain the staunchest of atheists. It was the title, ‘It’s Later Than You Think’, which inspired me. At nearly thirty-eight years of age, I’m conscious of the fact that my time in this vale of tears is limited and no one knows just how limited it might be. Turns out there’s an old song by Guy Lombardo, ‘Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)’, that the Jehovahs had (presumably unwittingly) referenced in their leaflet. I’m sure you can picture me huddled over the computer screen, religious material in hand, listening to a song from 1949 that exhorts listeners to seize the day by asking, ‘how far can you travel when you’re six feet underground?’

In a celebratory mood upon finishing the draft of the story, I finally got to do something I’d been itching to do for months—burn the leaflet. It’s not that I have anything against the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but the symbolism of a cleansing flame appeals to me deeply as a sort of writerly ‘scorched earth’ policy. So, phone in hand to capture the requisite picture, I burned it. And now, the more I look at the photograph, the more I can see a hummingbird or maybe even a penguin jumping out of the flames at  me. What does it all mean? Who knows, but if I’m lucky I might get another story out of it.

Maybe next winter . . . .

Categories: My Writing

Digital Writers’ Festival 2018

October 30, 2018 Leave a comment


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.

Categories: My Writing Tags: ,

Award Winning Australian Writing 2018

September 26, 2018 Leave a comment

This slim volume from Melbourne Books is jam packed with award-winning Australian fiction and poetry and has recently been released. It contains my story ‘The Centre Cannot Hold’, which won the 2017 Joe O’Sullivan Writers’ Prize, and is available from all the usual online outlets. Huzzah!