CSFG

Author Archives: Leife Shallcross

A Hand Of Knaves authors and stories announced!

CSFG received a huge pile of story submissions to our upcoming anthology, A Hand Of Knaves and our editors Chris Large and Leife Shallcross had some very tough decisions to make in deciding on the final cut. Thank you to everyone who trusted us with their work. We are now pretty damn happy to announce the final author lineup.

And here it is:

  • Eugen Bacon, Ace Zone
  • Amy Brown, A Tale Of The Marriage Of Gawain
  • David Coleman, Immortal, Coiled
  • Tom Dullemond, The Killblaine Legacy
  • Maureen Flynn, Gardening Through the Danse Macabre
  • Rebecca Fraser, The Pedlar
  • Isobel Johnstone, The Apothecary’s Apprentice
  • Grace Maslin, A Question Of Identity
  • Chris McGrane, Trojan Thoughts
  • Claire McKenna, The One Who Walks The Permanent Way
  • Cassandra Page, The Best Heist Yet
  • CH Pearce, The Last Magicians of Sad Hill
  • Simon Petrie & Edwina Harvey, On the Consequences of Clinically-Inhibited Maturation in the Common Sydney Octopus
  • Louise Pieper, A Widow’s Worth
  • Robert Porteous, A Fair Wind Off Baracoa
  • Charlotte Sophia, Stardust
  • HK Stubbs, Lost Property
  • David Versace, A Moment’s Peace
  • Angus Yeates, Anchor Point

Congratulations! We can’t wait to share these fantastic stories with you.

What kind of stories, you ask? Well. You want knaves? We’ve got knaves. We’ve got space pirates, smugglers, hackers, thieves, shysters, time bandits, sorcerers, tricksters, assassains, schoolgirls, rogue demon hunters, insidious cephalopods and vengeful queens.

These submissions were read blind, so Chris and Leife didn’t know who they were reading until after they’d put together their shortlist. But we’re pretty thrilled to have a bunch of CSFG authors in the mix, along with some familiar names and a few new ones you’ll no doubt be seeing more of in years to come.

And just to add sugar to the spice, thanks to all the generous supporters of our recent crowdfunding campaign, we were able to double the base payment to our authors, who will now get $60 per story.

Congratulations again to all our AHOK authors. We’ll let you know when you can start pre-ordering your copy!

CSFG goes wild and howls at the Solstice moon

If you missed our November meeting, you missed a wild time.

Leife and Louise traipsed us through the woods and the wilds with a view to learning a little more about all creatures big and small, and how an understanding of animal folklore can enrich the stories we write.

We talked about beastly bridegrooms and selkie brides, heraldic symbolism and animal-related superstitions, and how your choice of familiar can tell the reader a great deal about your witch.

If you’re curious to enrich your writing with folklore, you can learn more by taking a walk in the woods with author Terri Windling – http://www.terriwindling.com – or follow #folklorethursday – http://folklorethursday.com/

With only half a month left of 2017 you might be ready to review your writing year. Whether you’re looking at word count tallies or publications, rejections or successful plot-wrangling triumphs, there’s no need to do it alone.

Share the highs and lows of your writing year, and your plans for 2018, with the rest of CSFG at our end-of-year celebration. It’s conveniently timed in between the full moon and the solstice, leaving you free to pursue other, er … commitments.

Join us at The Snug, at King O’Malleys, on Wednesday 20 December at 7:30pm for drinks, dinner if you wish, and festive frivolity liberally laced with silly puns (you know that last aspect is inevitable – just embrace it).  

Submissions window open!

And our A Hand of Knaves submissions window is open! Check out our guidelines (for the love of all that’s holy, please read the guidelines) on our submissions page, then submit your word sorcery to knaves.anthology.csfg[at]gmail.com.

And check out our fabulous art from Shauna O’Meara. If you love it like we do, keep an eye out for our crowdfunding campaign for ways and means of scoring awesome Hand of Knaves swag featuring these images.

And follow all the news and updates on our new A Hand of Knaves Facebook page!

A Hand of Knaves – anthology update

The A Hand of Knaves (AHOK) editorial team (Leife Shallcross, Chris Large, Simon Petrie and Juliette Morley) has been hard at work behind the scenes organising a solid base from which to build our exciting new anthology. The premise of stories featuring rogues, scoundrels and ne’er-do-wells in speculative fiction seems to have struck a chord with writers and we’re looking forward to reading some fantastic stories when submission open next month.

The CSFG committee may have some announcements to make about some exciting AHOK-related developments in coming weeks, but for now we just want to remind everyone thinking of answering the call, that submissions will be open from the 1st of August to the 15th of November 2017.

That’s a pretty wide window, so there is absolutely no excuse for missing out. But don’t leave your submission to the last minute. Remember, Simon (our slushwrangling knave) will allow up to three of your stories to pass. That’s three bites at the cherry. So even if at first you don’t succeed, you can literally try, try again. Perhaps that makes us gluttons for punishment, but we don’t see it that way.

We want to read your stories of mayhem and misadventure. So get scheming, plotting, and scribing. Send us your brightest treasures, but polish them until we’re dazzled by their brilliance.

A Hand of Knaves will be a character-based anthology, so give us characters we can’t ignore, and will never forget. And writers of a darker bent don’t despair, while we’re definitely after tales of thigh-slapping adventure, we are entirely open to stories of heartache, woe and spine-tingling terror. If you still need inspiration, Leife and Chris (our editorial knaves) have opened up their (until now super-secret) Pinterest board – containing over 200 pins – to get those creative juices flowing.

Go get inspired here.

CSFG in June and July

For those who weren’t able to make it to our June meeting, we road-tested our new venue – the Metis room upstairs at the Canberra City Hellenic Club. This proved to be a bit of a winner, with members taking advantage of the opportunity to grab a coffee or a drink, or even dinner, before the meeting. The Chess Club next door proved to be very rowdy and based on the uproarious cheering, we can only imagine there were some very devious queen-takes-rook moves and dramatic checkmates going on. (Or maybe that was the crowd watching the State of Origin downstairs…)

Our scheduled session with Ian McHugh was unfortunately not able to go ahead (there is a happy ending to this, though), so we enacted our cunning Plan B. This was a round table discussion on was “What advice would you give your younger writer self?”, which generated some thought-provoking conversation. A sample of the advice offered included (paraphrased and possibly embellished by Leife):

  • Angus: make your villain someone you admire, make them the hero of their own story.
  • Rik: get that first draft done; polish the sucker later.
  • Dave O: Find your writing community. You will blossom like a flower in spring.
  • Louise: authors are human beings, not divinely appointed, godlike beings (which means you, yes YOU, have a shot at this); AND give yourself a deadline.
  • Juliette: don’t let anyone distract you from writing. Don’t let them tell you it’s not a real job or it’s a worthless activity.
  • Shauna and Amelia: Start earlier.
  • Tim R: make reading fun. Put the non-productive, non-fun things aside. Read and write the stuff you enjoy.
  • Simon: Take chances. Write the crazy stuff.
  • Leife: (Paraphrasing Ira Glass) You have good taste. Keep at it and one day you might measure up to your own standards.

And because Leife is actually writing this post, here’s a handy vid of the Ira Glass advice that struck a chord with her.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

And that happy ending you were hoping for? Well, if you missed the June meeting, or if you were there, but disappointed you didn’t get to hear what Ian McHugh has to say about getting your short stories published, we’ve rescheduled him for our July meeting:

7.30pm, Wednesday 19 July

The Metis Room, upstairs at the Canberra City Hellenic Club

See you there!

 

CSFG announces new anthology: A Hand of Knaves

We are very excited to announce that CSFG will be publishing a new anthology of Australian speculative fiction in 2018!

A Hand of Knaves

Edited by Chris Large and Leife Shallcross

Rogues, thieves, pirates and ne’er-do-wells abound in speculative fiction. Sometimes heroic, sometimes villainous, often somewhere in between, rogues are as likely to steal one’s heart as one’s purse, and show little remorse while helping themselves to either.

So why do we love them? Because they’re imperfect, fallible, and even vulnerable under that carefully-maintained, world-weary exterior.

Rogues represent something we rarely see in our daily lives: ordinary people prepared to take on the “powers that be” by way of guile and subterfuge. But are they only in it for the loot, or are they – deep down – romantic at heart?

We want swashbuckling adventures brimming with humour, loot, and bad blood. Gut-wrenching dilemmas, resolved (for good or ill), by the thrust of a knife in the dark. Thoughtful stories exploring the foggy spaces between justice, and the law. Heroic deeds performed by someone with a less-than-heroic past. Magic and/or technology, combined with charm and charisma, to pull off an impossible heist. Hilarious sea shanties. Sweaty tales of betrayal and Machiavellian intrigue. We want to discover passion, righteous indignation, and the depths of one thief’s hatred of another. How far will the lure of gold, revenge, or the promise of a midnight tryst push one toward the brink of what is honourable, and that which lies beyond? What horrors await a scoundrel who goes too far?

Has this got your imagination going? Good.

Our submissions window will open in August. The full details are available on our publications page.

What are you waiting for? Get writing!