Author Archives: Science Fiction And Fantasy Writer

New Writers’ Services page

A number of CSFG members provide editing, web, promotion and other services for writers. We’ve started bringing them together on our new Writers’ Services page.

Check it out (and watch this space, we expect to add more service providers in the near future).

On Making Up Words

by Leife Shallcross (writing at leifeshallcross.wordpress.com)

In 2011, when I decided to ‘get serious’ about my writing, one of the first things I did was book myself into a Year of the Novel course with the very knowledgeable and generous Craig Cormick, through the ACT Writers Centre. One of the very first exercises he got us to do, was describe our favourite kitchen appliance in one sentence, without mentioning what it is. I came up with:

When it’s packed, the mess is gone, and I can go and write.

(Can you guess?) Then, of course, we had to condense it down to one word. One word? The man is crazy, I thought. Then he uttered the magic phrase… “If there isn’t a word, you can make one up.” (Or something like that.) Awesome. It came to me almost straight away.

Read more…

CSFG Member News (August 2013)


To Kaaron Warren, who’s novella “Sky” (having cleaned up all the available Australian awards and the Shirley Jackson Award) has been shortlisted for a World Fantasy Award!

To Donna Hanson, who’s story “She’ll be right” has been long-listed for the Carmel Bird Award.

To the 3 CSFGers whose stories have been included in Ellen Datlow’s recommended reads from her reading for The Best Horror of the Year: Alan Baxter, for “The Goodbye Message” and “Burning, Always Burning”; Rob Porteous for “The Subjunctive Case”; and Kaaron for “Sky”, “Creek”, “Mountain”, “Road”, “The History Thief”, “The Lighthouse Keepers’ Club” and “The Pickwick Syndrome”.

Sales and Publications

Kaaron’s new re-print collection, The Gate Theory, has been released as an e-book by Cohesion Press.

Simon Petrie’s poem “At the Dark Matter Zoo” has been accepted for the speculative poetry anthology The Stars Like Sand.

Alan Baxter’s stoy “” has been published in issue #2 of Crowded Magazine.

Conflux Writers’ Day – information session

Conflux will be holding an information session about the Conflux Writers Day (to be held in April 2014 in conjunction with the Aurealis Awards) in The Snug at King O’Malley’s pub in Canberra City at 7:30pm on Thursday 29 August.

The session is particularly for those who might be interested in presenting on the day. See also the call for abstracts on the Conflux website for more information about presenting.

It’s been a chatty time again for some

Gillian Polack has been interviewed about her writing and editing at Galactic Chat.

Ian McHugh has been interviewed in his capacity as El Presidente of CSFG Inc at Dark Matter Zine.

Nicole Murphy has been interviewed in her capacity as El Prsidente of Conflux Inc, also at Dark Matter Zine.

We wrote our book in a day!

The CSFG Team staged our entry for the the 2013 Write-a-Book-in-a-Day Contest on Sunday 4 August at a top-secret venue somewhere in Canberra.Patch logo

Well, actually, someone was teaching in the room at the ACT Writers Centre that CSFG normally uses, so we had to find somewhere else. But no matter because…

We raised over $870 for PatCH! Big thanks to everyone who sponsored our team!

Read more… (including our book in a day!)

CSFG Member News (July 2013)


To Kaaron Warren, whose novella “Sky”, having cleaned up all the available Australian national awards, has gone on to win the international Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novella!

To Simon Petrie, whose novella “Flight 404” won the Sir Julius Vogel Award for best Novella/Novelette!

The cover illustration, by original CSFG member Les Petersen, for Simon’s anthology, Light Paper, Stand Clear (co-edited with Edwina Harvey) won the Vogel for Best Professional Artwork

Upcoming Workshops

Alan Baxter is teaching his Write The Fight Right workshop at the ACT Writers Centre on Sunday 4 August (Tomorrow!)

Ian McHugh is teaching his Writing Short Stories for Publication workshop at the ACT Writers Centre on Sunday 18 August and his new Bringing Characters to Life workshop at the same venue on Saturday 31 August.

Gillain Polack is teaching her Grammar Basics and The Perils of Punctuation workshop at the NSW Writers’ Centre on Saturday 24 August.

Booking information and links are on the Workshops and Courses page

Sales and Publications

Nicole Murphy’s new novel (writing as Elizabeth Dunk) The Lies We Tell has been published by Escape Publishing.

Kaaron Warren’s new story collection The Gate Theory will be published by Cohesion Press.

Rob Porteous’s story “A Drought of Tears” and Simon Dewar’s story “The Wire Bird” have been accepted for The Sea anthology from Dark Continents Publishing.

Rob’s story “The Tale of Kasim and the Alchemist”, Simon Petrie’s story “Suckers for Love” and Ian McHugh’s story “Grey Snow in the Shadows” were published in issue #58 of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine.

Simon P’s story “Emptying Roesler” was published in the Regenerations: NZ Speculative Fiction II anthology from Random Static

Other News

The inaugural Conflux Writers Day, which will be presented alongside the Aurealis Awards in 2014, is calling for abstracts from people interested in presenting.

Also: We’re writing our book in a day tomorrow!

How to handle rejection – 20 tips!

by Zena Shapter (writing at www.zenashapter.com)

A writer-friend asked me the other day how I handle rejection. What a great topic for a blog, I thought!

Over the years, I’ve developed a fantastic set of tactics to handle rejection, so I thought I’d share them with you…

PLEASE NOTE: these tactics don’t always work, but they sure do help!

ALSO: while I use the collective word ‘story’, these tips can apply to short stories, novels, poems, plays, scripts, non-fiction or any other creative writing endeavour. Good luck!

Read more…

First review of Next!

Next_front_cover_26MarA positive review of Next at Adventures of a Bookonaut: “Now despite what may appear to be a rather open theme this collection hangs together very well. I doffs me hat to the editors for their selections and the collation of the work. There’s some well known writers with absolutely cracking work and some new faces with a good tale to tell.”

Everything We Know About Storytelling We Learned From Star Wars

Guest post by the CSFG Hive Mind (written by Ian McHugh)

Star Wars being the endless font of storytelling wisdom and etceteras that it is, and after some lively discussion at our monthly CSFG members’ meeting, Everything I Know About Storytelling I Learned From Star Wars has spawned a not-very-long-awaited sequel.

Here’s our next ten everythings: Read more →