Tag Archives: Awards

Members News – April – May 2016


The Australian Horror Writers Association recently announced the winners for the 2015 Australian Shadows Awards, representing the very best in horror works produced by Australian and New Zealand writers in the calendar year of 2015. CSFG members taking home the incredibly cool Shadow Award statues this year included:

We should also give a shout-out to Marty Young’s Blurring the Lines, which won the Shadow Award for Best Edited Work and includes stories by CSFG members…wait for it…Alan Baxter and Kaaron Warren.

Professional development

Leife Shallcross and Rob Porteous are both pleased to announce this week that they have been accepted into ACT Writers Centre ‘Hardcopy 2016’ professional development program for writers. Congratulations to Leife and Rob, and for any of our local members looking for some assistance with their novel manuscripts in 2017, check out the Hardcopy program.

Games and Interactive Fiction

A number of CSFG members are pursuing non-traditional writing gigs you may not have considered.

Matthew Farrer, Elizabeth Fitzgerald and Rik Lagarto all contributed to Under Quarantine, an expansion book for the Through the Breach roleplaying game from the Wyrd games company.

Felicity Banks  has written several new interactive fiction adventures recently:


Dawn Meredith’s The Boy Who Went to War, a five-year project written in collaboration with 92 year old WWII veteran Jim Haynes, will be launching soon if you happen to be near the Blue Mountains: 2:00 pm on 30th April 30th at Wentworth Falls School of Arts.

The launch of Gillian Polack’s most recent work The Wizardry of Jewish Women has been deferred due to ill health and publication problems. Hopefully it’s no more than a temporary pause. (And get well soon Gillian!)

Workshops and Short Courses

Chris Andrews will be presenting a new short course at CIT Solutions this semester: Creating Compelling Characters. If you need to spice up your characters and turn them into people your readers will love (or hate!), check out Chris’ course.

Craig Cormick is presenting a free session at Gungahlin Library on Wednesday, 27 April, talking about “How to Make a Short Story Better”. Unfortunately the session is completely booked out, but keep an eye on the Gungahlin Library site for similar upcoming events.

Members’ news – October to December 2015

CSFG members have been busy as usual – here’s the latest news. Congratulations in particular to everyone who picked up various awards and gongs! And here’s to a bountiful and successful writing year in 2016!

Short story

Alan Baxter has enjoyed a few publications in an end-of-year rush:

Alan also has a heap of stuff coming out next year:

  • “Under Calliope’s Skin” – SNAFU: Future Warfare anthology (ed. Geoff
    Brown and A J Spedding, Cohesion Press, due Feb. 2016)
  • “Served Cold” – Dreaming in the Dark anthology (ed. Jack Dann, PS
    Publishing, due 2016) (Novelette)
  • “Golden Fortune, Dragon Jade” – And Then… anthology (ed. Lindy Cameron,
    Clan Destine Press, due mid-2016) (Novelette)
  • “Crying Demon” – Suspended In Dusk 2 (ed. Simon Dewar, Books of the Dead
    Press, due mid-2016

Darren Goossen’s “Every Useless Parameter” is coming out soon in Kaleidotrope,

Tim Napper’s short story “A Strange Loop”, which the CSFG critiquing group helped him to polish, will appear in the next next Interzone (#262 – Jan/Feb).

Serial fiction

Kaaron Warren and Craig Cormick have serialised stories coming out over ten days during the Christmas & New Year period on the RiotAct website. This link takes you to Part One.


Elizabeth Dunk (the nom de plume of Nicole Murphy) has the third in her series of contemporary romances Much Ado About Love coming out on 5 January 2016.

Gillian Polack has sold her novel Secret Jewish Women’s Business, to Satalyte. Gillian describes it as “a very Australian feminist Jewish novel with magic and superpowers and bushfires”.


The Wheeler Centre has commissioned new CSFG member Nalini Haynes to write a piece on disability: “Eye and Prejudice: A vision for equity

Chris Large recently interviewed Ann Leckie for Aurealis #86 (the current issue). He also spoke with Trudi Canavan about the release of her new novel Angel of Storms. That interview will appear early in 2016 when Aurealis goes global.

Gillian Polack study of the past decade or so will be going to press sometime in 2016. History and Fiction: Writers, their Research, Worlds and Stories. Several CSFG writers were interviewed in the early stages of this and are quoted.

Awards and Honours

Alan Baxter is going to be the Special Guest at Conflux 12 in October 2016.

Donna Maree Hanson is about to commence a PHD in Creative Writing at the University of Canberra; her topic will be Feminism in Popular Romance.

Nalini Haynes recently graduated with an Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing. Her grades were sufficiently high to attract an invitation to join the Golden Key International Honours Society.

Chris Large’s story “Future Me, Future Her” was highly recommended by the SciFi Film Festival and won a Dimension6 encouragement award at the ceremony.

C.H. (Celia) Pearce won the Marjorie Graber-McInnis Short Story Award for a speculative short story titled “Torvald’s Year”.  The ACT Writers Centre will publish the story on their blog and in their magazine early next year.


Gillian Polack teaches creative writing course through Belconnen Community Service every Wednesday morning during term.

Gillian also has a number of courses available through the Australian National University Centre for Continuing Education:

(These will all go on the Workshops and Courses page soon)

CSFG members up for awards!

It’s officially awards season for the Australian spec fic community.

The two major speculative genre awards in Australia are the Ditmar Awards, which are the awards attached to the Australian National Science Fiction Convention (this year that’s Swancon 40 in Perth), and the Aurealis Awards, which will be awarded in Canberra on 11 April 2015 (get your tickets here!). The Ditmars are voted by members of the Australian speculative fiction community, while the Aurealis Awards winners are selected by panels of judges across a range of speculative categories.

CSFG is very proud to acknowledge its members who have made the shortlists for their work in 2014:

Ditmar Awards

Alan Baxter for Bound (Best Novel)

Alan Baxter for “The Darkness in Clara” (SQ Mag 14) – Best Novella or Novelette

Cat Sparks for “The Seventh Relic” (Phantazein) – Best Short Story

Tehani Wessely (Editor) for Phantazein – Best Collected Work

Shauna O’Meara – Best New Talent

Tehani Wesselly (with Jo Anderton and Alexandra Pierce in A Conversational Life) for The Eddings Reread series – nominated for the William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review.

Tehani Wesselly (with David McDonald and Tansy Rayner Roberts) for the Reviewing New Who series – nominated for the William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review.

Aurealis Awards

Alan Baxter for Obsidian – Best Horror Novel

Liz Argall for “Falling Leaves” (Apex Magazine) – Best YA Short Story

Tehani Wessely (Editor) for Phantazein – Best Anthology

Simon Petrie for Difficult Second Album – Best Collection

Ian McHugh for Angel Dust – Best Collection


Good luck to all the nominees!

2014 Awards Season – Aurealis Awards and Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror

Aurealis Awards

Nominations for the annual Aurealis Awards for Australian speculative fiction are open. Any work of speculative fiction written by an Australian citizen or permanent resident and published for the first time between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2014 is eligible to be entered. The conditions of entry are here. Nominees are reminded that as of this year a $10.00 entry fee applies in all categories except short fiction and entries in the Children’s categories. All entries must be received by 7 December 2014.

Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror Volume 5

Liz Grzyb & Talie Helene are now accepting submissions for their annual collection of the best in horror and fantasy short fiction by Australian and New Zealand authors. Stories under 8500 words in length published between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2014 are eligible for consideration. The full submission guidelines are here. Stories must be received by 15 January 2015 to be considered.

CSFG Member News (March 2014)


To Kaaron Warren, who continues to win all of the awards, taking out Best Science Fiction Short Story at the 2013 Aurealis Awards with her story “Air, Water and the Grove”.

To Rob Easterbrook for finishing his PhD!


Alan Baxter’s forthcoming novel, Bound

bound cover

Patty Jansen’s new novel,For Queen and Country: Innocence Lost


The e-book omnibus edition of Nicole Murphy’s Dream of Asarlai trilogy


(more on these books shortly)

Upcoming workshops and courses

Editing Your Own Stories with Ian McHugh, at the ACT Writers Centre, Gorman House, Braddon
10am-4pm, Saturday Saturday 12 April 2014

Sales and Publications

David Walker has a new flash fiction, “Mappa Tuesdi”, free to read on line at Antipodean SF

Gillian Polack’s PhD dissertation, “Novelists and their history”, has been published at Taylor & Francis Online

Giving Writers a Hand

Guest post by Nicole Murphy

One of the great things about being a speculative fiction writer in Australia is the speculative fiction community and the way it supports and encourages writers of all levels.

Here in Canberra, there’s a couple of opportunities for people interested in writing spec fic to gather with others and not only talk writing, publishing, industry, but do courses, workshops and become better writers.

CSFG was established in 2000 and since then has grown to be one of the most active and interesting writing groups in Australia. Whether you write short stories or novels, there’s a part of the group that can help you write and polish your work. The monthly members’ meetings go into various types of writing craft and industry talk with sessions on things such as characterisation, self-publishing, robots and even writing sex scenes. (Ed: Go explore the website to find out more!)

The annual Conflux Science Fiction Convention is another opportunity for writers in Canberra. 9837 Conflux 10 LogoWriters from all over Australia converge to join in panels and discussions about writing, industry and our love of everything spec fic. There’s writing workshops and the opportunity to meet and pitch to editors. As a result of last year’s Conflux, a Canberra writer has signed with Angry Robot Books, one of the most famous publishers in the industry.

Then there’s the two brand new events happening this year which will make Canberra the focus of the speculative fiction publishing industry in Australia.

Read more →

CSFG Member News (February 2014)


To Kaaron Warren, whose story “The Human Moth” is shortlisted for Best Horror Short Fiction and whose story “Air, Water and the Grove” is shortlisted for Best SF Short Fiction, and Ian McHugh, whose story “Cold, Cold War” is listed for Best Fantasy Short Fiction at the 2013 Aurealis Awards.

Upcoming Workshops and Courses

How to Know Yourself as a Writer with Zena Shapter
Mossman Community College, Spit Junction, Sydney
10am-3.30pm, Saturday 29 March

Editing Your Own Stories with Ian McHugh
ACT Writers Centre, Gorman House, Braddon
10am-4pm, Saturday Saturday 12 April 2014

More details here.

Sales and Publications

Simon Dewar has sold his horror anthology Suspended in Dusk to books of the Dead Press.

Alan Baxter has sold his story “Shadows of the Lonely Dead” to Simon for Suspended in Dusk and his story “Upon a Distant Shore” to Dimension6.

Simon Petrie has sold a series of seven drabbles to SpeckLit.

Ian has sold his story “Remembering Zheng He” to new Indian magazine The Affair.

Mike Pieloor has a story out in the Dark Hall Press Cosmic Horror Anthology.


Simon P’s collection Rare Unsigned Copy is the subject of a detailed and glowing review at Tsana’s Reads and Reviews.

Voting now open for the Ditmar Awards!

Voting for the Ditmar Awards is open until 30 March 2014 to members of the 2013 and 2014 natcons (Conflux 9 and Continuum 10). Cast your votes here!

A list of eligible works by CSFG members is here.

Ditmar Awards – eligible works by CSFG members

CSFG members have a whole swag of stuff that’s eligible for this year’s Ditmar Awards.

Voting is due to open soon. Members, including supporting members, of the upcoming and previous national spec fic conventions (Continuum X and Conflux 9) are eligible to vote.

Red titles below link to stories that are free to read online.

Best Collected Work

Simon Petrie and Rob Porteous (eds)

Next (CSFG Publishing)

Cat Sparks **NEW ENTRY**

The Bride Price (Ticonderoga Publications)

Kaaron Warren

The Gate Theory (Cohesion Press)

Best Novelette or Novella

Ian McHugh

Grey Snow in the Shadows (ASIM)

Cold, Cold War (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

The Canal Barge Magician’s Number Nine Daughter (Clockwork Phoenix 4)

Tim Napper

The Gambler (Omni Reboot)

Zena Shapter

Darker (Midnight Echo #10)

Kaaron Warren **CORRECTION**

The Unwanted Women of Surrey (Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells, Tor Books)

Best Short Story

Alan Baxter

Not the Worst of Sins (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Roll the Bones (Crowded Magazine)

The Beat Of A Pale Wing (A Killer Among Demons, Dark Prints Press)

The Fathomed Wreck To See (Midnight Echo #9)

On A Crooked Leg Lightly (Dreaming Of Djinn, Ticonderoga Publications)

Quantum Echoes (Next, CFSG Publishing)

A Time For Redemption (Urban Occult, Anachron Press)

It’s Always the Children Who Suffer (Midnight Echo #10)

Exposure Compensation (Midnight Echo #10)

Ian McHugh

When the Rain Comin (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2013)

Vandiemensland (Next, CSFG Publishing)

From Sorrow’s Gate (Crowded Magazine)

Shauna O’Meara

The Dream Tracker (Next, CSFG Publishing)

Leife Shallcross

A Little Warning (Next, CSFG Publishing)

Cat Sparks **NEW ENTRY**

Daughters of Battendown (One Small Step, FableCroft Publishing)

Scarp (The Bride Price, Ticonderoga Publications)

Dave Versace

Imported Goods – Aisle Nine (Next, CSFG Publishing)

Kaaron Warren

Born and Bread (Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales, Prime Books)

Air, Water and the Grove (The Lowest Heaven, Pandemonium Press)

Sleeping with the Bower Birds (Shivers 7, Cemetary Dance)

The Human Moth (The Grimscribe’s Puppets, Miskatonic River Press)

Best Artwork

Shauna O’Meara

Cover art (Next)

Internal illustrations (Next)

Cover art (In Fabula-divino)

Best New Talent

Zena Shapter

Best Fan Writer

Zena Shapter

Body of work including blog series How Editors Select Short Stories and Where Writers Write

Best Fan Publication

Zena Shapter

Conflux 9 / 2013 Natcon progress reports

CSFG Member News (January 2014)

(and for the last bit of December when we were all flaked out on holidays)


To Kaaron Warren, whose story “Air, Water and the Grove” has been included in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2014 from Prime Books.

To Alan Baxter, whose story “The Fathomed Wreck To See” and Ian McHugh, whose stories “From Sorrow’s Gate”, “The Canal Barge Magician’s Number Nine Daughter”, “When the Rain Comin” and “Cold, Cold War” were included in the Tangent Online 2013 Recommended Reading List

To Kaaron, whose story “The Unwanted Women of Surrey” and Ian, whose “The Canal Barge Magician’s Number Nine Daughter” made the 2013 Locus Recommended Reading List

To Gillian Polack, who on the Get Up-and-over Fan Fund (GUFF) ballot to get to Loncon 3. Voting information is here.

Upcoming Workshops and Courses

Ian’s first “Fiction Writing – The Basics” evening course for 2014 begins on Tuesday 18 February at CIT Reid Campus

Registrations are open for the Conflux Writer’s Day on Saturday 5 April 2014, at which several CSFG members will be presenting sessions.

New Writers’ Services Listings

Phillip Berrie – continuity editing and proofing
M.A. Dunham – copy and content editing
Rivqa Rafael – sub-editing and copy editing

Sales and Publications

Nicole Murphy, writing as Elizabeth Dunk, has sold a collection of four paranormal erotica novellas, titled Release, to Escape Publishing, due out in June.

Nicole also sold her story “The Wild Colonial Clockwork Boy” to the Kisses by Clockwork anthology from Ticonderoga Publications

Patty Jansen has released her latest e-book, Ambassador 2: Raising Hell, the sequel to her 2013 novel Ambassador: Seeing Red.

Donna Hanson has a new book out, Bespelled from Escape Publishing, under her Dani Kristoff by-line

Simon Petrie’s free story sampler Needs More Dinosaurs is free to download from Peggy Bright Books

Alan’s story, “All the Wealth in the World” is free to read online at Lakeside Circus

David Walker’s story “Rogue Wave” if free to read online at Antipodean SF