Interviews with novelists on beta reading

Writer and editor (and CSFG member) Donna Maree Hanson is posting a series of interviews with novelists on beta reading (ie, having their draft manuscripts read and critiqued by friends and colleagues). The first interview, with Gillian Polack, is up now.

Useful insights for the beginning novelist and, as Donna says, being a beta reader for someone else’s work is one of the best ways you can learn about writing novels.

Honourable Mentions!

A bunch of CSFG members have received honourable mentions from Ellen Datlow in her reading for The Best Horror of the Year #4:

Baxter, Alan, “Punishment of the Sun”, Dead Red Heart

Hanson, Donna Maree, “The Life Stealer”, Dead Red Heart

McHugh, Ian, “The Godbreaker of Seggau-li”, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, #50

Murphy Nicole R., “The Fairy King’s Child”, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, #50

Shortt, Robin, “Babel”, Winds of ChangeRobin’s second published story!

Warren, Kaaron, “A Pot to Piss In”, Voices from the Past

Warren, Kaaron, “All You Can Do is Breathe”, Blood and Other Cravings

Warren, Kaaron, “Lucky Fingers”, The Conflux Cookbook

Free Fiction!

We’re adding links to stories from our anthologies that are available to read for free online! Go to the anthology pages and look for the linked titles.

Upcoming world-building course with Gillian Polack

Gillian Polack is delivering a 6 week course, “Build your own medieval society for writing or playing”through the ANU Centre for Continuing Education, commencing on Thursday 3 May. For more information go to the ANU CCE website.

Book before 25 April!

Course summary: Well-constructed fiction and games require solid underpinning. This course takes you through key issues to consider in developing the setting for a novel or game and, step by step, using medieval history and daily life, develops the skills of world creation. Students will take home an understanding of what fields and historical knowledge need developing to create a convincing society and techniques useful to develop a setting. Students will understand the principles of world development and will have increased knowledge and understanding of the Middle Ages. They will also understand the differences between history and history for world development.

Please sponsor our entry in the Write-a-Book-in-a-Day contest!

CSFG is entering a team in the Write-a-Book-in-a-Day charity fundraiser contest.

We’ll be writing our book in a day on 8 July 2012 at the ACT Writers Centre. All sponsorships for our team will go to the Paediatrics at the Canberra Hospital (PatCH) program.

Go here to find out more about the contest and how to support us.

CSFG Member News (March 2012)

Gillian Polack’s novel Life Through Cellophane, originally published by Eneit Press, is being brought back to life by Momentum Books.

Ross Hamilton’s story “Demons are a Girl’s Best Friend” has come first in the latest Spinetingler’s contest.

Alan Baxter’s novelette “The Darkest Shade of Grey”, published by The Red Penny Papers, has been released as an ebook through Amazon and Smashwords.

CSFG Member News (Jan-Feb 2012)

Kaaron Warren’s story “All You Can Do Is Breathe” is shortlisted for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction.

Kaaron’s novel Mistification and her story “All You Can Do Is Breathe”, and Ian McHugh’s story “Boumee and the Apes” were included in the Locus 2011 Recommended Reading List.

Ross Hamilton’s story “A Good Idea At The Time” placed second in the Spinetinglers February 2012 short story contest.

Donna Maree Hanson’s story “Through these eyes I see” and Alan Baxter’s story “The Everywhere And The Always” were published in the Mythic Resonance anthology from Specusphere Publishing.

Alan’s novelette “The Darkest Shade of Grey” is being serialised at The Red Penny Papers.

Rik Lagarto has sold his story “Cold Coffee” to the Beginnings graphic novel anthology.

Alan has sold a story to the Dark Prints Press anthology The One That Got Away.

Donna’s story “Sangue Sella Notte”, Alan’s story “Burning, Always Burning” (with Felicity Dowker) and Nicole Murphy’s story “The Black Star Killer” have been sold to the Ticonderoga Publications anthology Damnation and Dames.

CSfG members at Conflux

Conflux 7, Canberra’s speculative fiction convention, is set to get underway on Friday. A large number of multi-talented CSFG members will be there to launch books, speak on panels and participate in kaffeeklatches. If you’re keen to support them or are looking to find out more about the CSFG, you can find our members at the following events:


10am—Kick off Conflux with Nicole Murphy’s workshop on  Revising your novel: strategies and documents you can use to consider your work objectively.

3pm—Gillian Polack will be teaching a workshop on how to Mind your Medieval Ps and Qs.

5:30pm—Conor Bendle and Mik Bennett head the first panel of the convention: The Media “Franchise” and other tales of TV success.

7pm—Join Elizabeth Fitzgerald and the CSFG at the launch of the CSFG’s 9th anthology Winds of Change.

10pm—Round out the evening with Nicole Murphy as she moderates a very steamy panel on Erotica.



9am—It should be far too early for the Evil Overlord panel, but evil apparently never rests. Join Phill Berrie as he offers his expert opinion on the get-away vehicle.

10am—Nicole Murphy starts the day on the Starting the Journey panel.

11am—Conor Bendle and Elizabeth Fitzgerald will be running a discussion on anime.

12:30pm—Phill Berrie moderates a panel on Putting the Science in your Fiction.

Alternatively, join Elizabeth Fitzgerald for her kaffeeklatsch.

1:30pm—Conor Bendle and Mik Bennett offer their expertise on the Comic Adaptions panel.

2:30—Nicole Murphy will be collecting ideas and discussing plans at the Conflux 9 presentation.

3:30pm—Gillian Polack will be launching the Conflux cookbook at the Eneit Press Party.

Alternatively, join Simon Petrie for the Writing with Dinosaurs panel.

4:30pm—Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Gillian Polack and Nicole Murphy will all be participating in the mass book signing.

5pm—Phill Berrie moderates “From here to then” Time Travel and other quantum by-products.

7pm—Join Gillian Polack at the Hellenic Club for her last historical banquet.


10am—Simon Petrie and Patty Jansen will be having a Q&A session about Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine at their kaffeeklatsche.

11am—Join Val Toh at the Speculative Poetry panel.

1:30pm—Gillian Polack discusses her experiences as part of the Creative Writing at University panel.

2:30pm—Gillian can then be found at the Great Libraries of Fantasy panel.

3:30pm—Bob Phillips stars as the captain of the Great Space Liner “Titanic III” on the Whodunnit? panel.

4:30—Nicole Murphy moderates a panel on publishing.

5:30—Nicole can then be found on the Paranormal Romance panel.



10am—Put on your thinking cap with Gillian Polack at the Critical Mind panel.

Alternatively, join Val Toh for a tasty discussion at the SF Food panel.

11am—Elizabeth Fitzgerald discusses her recent experiences at the editing panel.

11:15am–Alternatively, those in dire need of chocolate or medieval photos should relax with Gillian Polack at her kaffeeklatsch.

2:30pm—Join Matthew Farrer and Phill Berrie on the Speculating in Canberra panel.

Alternatively, Conor Bendle and Mik Bennett discuss franchise reboots at the Drop the Dead Donkey panel.

3:30—Nicole Murphy launches Conflux 9 at the Closing Ceremony.

And, of course, no matter what is going on you can always find us at the CSFG table in the dealers room.

WINDS OF CHANGE book trailer!

A wonderful trailer for the upcoming CSFG anthology Winds of Change, courtesy of Nicole Murphy.  Stay tuned for launch and preorder details!

Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2010 – the reading list

A little while back we were delighted to announce that several CSFG members had had work selected for Ticonderoga’s Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthology.  The editors of that anthology have now released a supplementary reading list to accompany the release of the book.

We congratulate everyone whose work made the reading list, but we’ll give a particular shout-out to CSFG members Simon Petrie (listed for “Running Lizard” in his collection Rare Unsigned Copy: Tales of Rocketry, Ineptitude and Giant Mutant Vegetables); Kaaron Warren (for “Sins of the Ancestors” and “The Coral Gatherer” in her Dead Sea Fruit collection and “Hive of Glass” in the Baggage anthology) and Gillian Polack, whose Baggage anthology published Kaaron’s story and two others on the list, Lucy Sussex’s “Albert and Victoria/Slow Dreams” and Deborah Biancotti’s “Home Turf”.

You can see the full reading list here on the blog of editor Talie Helene.  Congratulations once again to all the authors listed.