Tag Archives: Conflux

Conflux – Blog roundup

Conflux 12 Red Fire Monkey is done!

Convention Book Cover by Shauna O'Meara

Convention Book Cover by Shauna O’Meara

Here’s what our members had to say about it:

Elizabeth Fitzgerald‘s report dives deep into the panels she attended: Part One and Part Two.

Tim Napper‘s report comes primarily from the bar, where the writing conversation is good and the rugby league grand final participation rates are disappointingly low: The Writer’s Training Regime Part V.

Leife Shallcross split her report into two photo-filled parts: Part One and Part Two.

David Versace was less organised with his posts (he blames exhaustion!): Day One, Days Two through Four and a somewhat abashed afterthought post.

Bonus Pictures

Finally, the illustrious Cat Sparks took some beautiful photos of the convention goers, which you can check out at her Conflux 12 Flickr gallery.

CSFG/Conflux 12 Short Story Competition – Red Fire Monkey

The CSFG/Conflux  Short Story competition is back for Conflux 12

We want your stories of 4000 words or under, in any speculative fiction genre, on this year’s theme, which is: red fire monkey.

The competition is open to all Australian residents and members of either the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild or Conflux 12.

Entry is $5, unless you are a member of the CSFG or Conflux 12 or you are aged 16 or under, in which case it is free!


First prize is $200 and a 2017 Conflux 13 membership! Second prize is $50 and a discounted Conflux 13 membership, and third prize is $25 and a discounted Conflux 13 membership.


Stories should be written in English, suitable for a general audience (ie, no gratuitous violence or erotica), and, of course, your own original, unpublished work.

Please submit them in the following format: RTF, double spaced, courier font, with the story title in the top right header.

Make the first page of your document a cover sheet that includes your name, contact details and story title (we’ll remove this before we give it to the judges). YOUR NAME MUST NOT APPEAR ON ANY OF THE OTHER PAGES OF THE STORY.

Get it to us at csfgshortstorycomp@gmail.com before midnight on 31 July 2016.


Fees can be paid by direct deposit (BSB: 805022 Acct: 03421621) or Paypal to canberra.specfic@gmail.com (For other options or any more information contact us directly at the csfgshortstorycomp@gmail.com address)

Members’ new – August/September 2015

We have comparatively little news to report this month – so little that I suspect we’ve missed something huge – but as usual CSFG members have been busily infiltrating the ranks of the world’s SFFH elite!

Short stories

Tim Napper is continuously his riotously busy writing year with sales of “A Strange Loop” to Interzone and “The Four Deaths of Taylor Ngo” to Straeon Magazine.

David Versace’s“Seven Excerpts from Season One” will appear in the At the Edge anthology from Paper Road Press in 2016. He has also sold a flash fiction piece “Incidental” to EGM Shorts.

Online Fiction

Justin Woolley’s experiment in diarised horror is now appearing online at Listening to the Other Side. New blog entries are appearing regularly.


Craig Cormick’s second book in the Shadow Master series, The Floating City, has been published by Angry Robot Press, and is being launched at Conflux 11 by Isobelle Carmody.

Gillian Polack’s newest novel is out soon from Satalyte Publishing. The Time of the Ghosts will be launching at Conflux 11 as well.


Gillian’s The Middle Ages Unlocked was launched at the Harry Hartog store to much acclaim in August and is now available in Australia. Gillian also has an article on Australian writing and criticism (specifically Indigenous Australian) in the forthcoming issue of Foundation. Finally Gillian has an article on Canberra and science fiction in Aurealis.

Chris Large also continues his contributions to Aurealis, with his interview in Issue #84 with Thoraiya Dyer. They discuss Thoraiya’s award winning story “Wine, Women and Stars” and her recently-announced three-book deal with Tor.


Tina Faulk was recently shortlisted for the Templeberg Writing Award. Congratulations Tina. It looks like a great prize!

Workshops and courses

Check out our page featuring forthcoming courses and workshops being conducted by CSFG members! As usual we have new stuff coming from Ian McHugh, Gillian Polack and others. (And we expect to add new courses soon!)

Conflux 11

Finally, a quick reminder that Conflux 11 is just a couple of weeks away, but there’s still plenty of time to buy memberships and make bookings for special events. CSFG will be launching its newest anthology The Never Never Land on Sunday 4 October at 5:30 pm. We hope we’ll see you there! (So many launches, you guys!)

The inaugural CSFG/Conflux 11 Short Story competition is now open!

The competition is now closed for submissions. The winners will be announced at Conflux in October!


The CSFG is partnering up with Canberra’s premier speculative fiction convention, Conflux 11, to run a short story competition. We want your stories of 4000 words or under, in any speculative fiction genre, on this year’s theme, which is: light and light based technologies.

The competition is open to all Australian residents and members of either the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild or Conflux 11.

All the details can be found on the Short Story Competition page.

We’d appreciate it if everyone could get out the message through their social media channels. The more entrants we get the better!


Setting yourself up for rejection

Guest post by Ian McHugh

If you’re writing for publication, you’re going to encounter rejection a lot. As a short story writer, and even now that I’m selling most of my stories to professionally paying markets, my submissions still get rejected about nine times in every ten. So for my thirty-odd original sales, I have somewhere upwards of three hundred rejections. And it’s harder to sell novels than short stories.

So how do you cope with riding the all-stops bus to Rejection Central? A lot of people try to pretend that rejection doesn’t bother them, or play mental games with themselves to try and avoid the sting. I think that’s a mistake. Rejection feels awful and the prospect of failure is frightening. I think it’s better to be honest with yourself about that. I’ve touched on some of this before, and the basic mechanics of Step 2 for getting published (submit the damn thing), but here’s my rules for surviving as a writer: Read more →

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 →

The Elements of Novels

Guest post by Chris Andrews

Eleventeen years ago (clearly too many to count) I decided on a brilliant Get Rich Quick Scheme, or GRQS for complexity.

It involved writing a Number-One International Bestselling Novel and retiring before I’d left my teens.

To a kid without any real-world experience it seemed like a solid plan, but some years into it things weren’t working as well as I’d hoped. Ignorance can be just a little bit heartbreaking (just saying).

Ever the optimist I decided to do some actual learning in order to supercharge my GRQS.

A further three years and a university degree later I figured I knew everything there was to know about writing (you might like to refer back to my comment about ignorance just now).

Real Life also insinuated itself into my GRQS at that time. You know, the usual suspects:

  • girlfriend
  • marriage
  • mortgage
  • kids.

When the dust settled I blew it off the old manuscript and reignited my dreams of an early retirement.

Unfortunately, the manuscript was a mess, and not due to the dust.

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.

On using technology to help your writing

Guest post by Marcus Amann

As a full-time writer in the IT industry by day and a comedy writer by night, I take my writing tools seriously. With all the writing I have to do, I have to maximise my productivity. I’ve learned that to achieve my writing goals, I have to hit a daily word count, so I can’t afford to let the technology get in the way. I also consider my smart phone an important element to my writing, which I use far more for research than for making phone calls!

Unfortunately however, I found myself using different editors depending on what device was handy at the time:

  • On my Windows laptop I used Microsoft Word and sometimes the no frills free application Notepad for quick note taking.
  • For my eBooks, I’d typically convert my carefully formatted Word documents to PDF using Adobe Acrobat and used other tools for other eBook formats.
  • If wanted to write something on my iPhone or iPad, I’d typically open the Notes app, mostly for tapping out ideas and lists, but both devices ended up having different shopping and to do lists!
  • I’d email myself copies of these lists and files for backup.

This messy workflow and mix of applications meant I had a swelling repository of files in my email inbox. I wanted to reduce my dependence on email and get rid of this overwhelming sense of digital clutter. Eventually I found a way. Since 2012, I now use just two tools for all my writing, Evernote and Scrivener.

Read more →

Conflux Writers Day program is now live!

The program for the Conflux Writers Day, a new event ahead of the Aurealis Awards on 5 April 2014, is now live on the Conflux website. The program features CSFG members Kaaron Warren, Ian McHugh, Phill Berrie, Donna Maree Hanson, Chris Andrews and Rob Porteous.