Tag Archives: Ian Mchugh

What CSFG’s up to in July and August


For our July meeting, Ian McHugh took us to market, to market to buy … well, to sell our short stories.

Ian provided insight on the short story market for speculative fiction, and the process of getting our work out there, and published. It all boiled down to a simple three step process:

  • Write the story (and edit it to goodness)
  • Submit the story
  • Repeat

Simple, but harrowing. Nevertheless, we persisted…

Here are the links to the two genre-focused submission lists which Ian mentioned:

and submission savvy members also recommended Submission Grinder.

Ian spoke from experience on the practical, and important, aspects of being professional, and checking for fit, response times, pay, status, and more. He talked about Helsinki buses (it’s a metaphor for persistence in creative endeavours) and about keeping things real when dealing with rejection.

And even though submitting your short stories to market meets Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result) Ian recommended it, to general acclaim.


What’s coming up next month? Well, they say every dog has his day, but every thoroughbred horse has its birthday on the 1st of August, and for our August meeting we’re talking horses.

Is it time to send in the cavalry on your WIP?

  • Does your writing include fictional horses which you don’t know how to whip into a shape which resembles something believably horse like?
  • Is your story languishing in the hard drive because your protagonist is riding around on a horse which currently has the personality of a grass-eating Skoda? (I’ll just park that over here, shall I?)
  • Have you always wanted to know more about a unicorn’s fetlocks?

Our panel of experts will be on hand to answer your questions about all things horseful … horsish … steedly – OK, let’s run with equine.

Best of all, if you ask your questions early, in the comments here, or on the group chat, our panel members will be able to give more thought to providing you with the details you need to make your fictional horses prance off the page.

Don’t miss our August meeting:

7.30pm, Wednesday 16 August

We’ll again be in the Metis Room, upstairs at the Canberra City Hellenic Club – it’s warm, it’s got fantastic food and coffee, as well as the bar, so you can have dinner before the meeting, or order something to be delivered to the meeting room.

See you there!

And now, a message from the President

What we’ve been discussing at the CSFG…
…and what’s up next.

Here at the CSFG we’re always trying to challenge ourselves – push our craft of writing into what might be unfamiliar or challenging areas – and by doing so become more dynamic writers.

So, for our May meeting, we discussed writing the ‘other’ gender. Men writing women and women writing men – we’ve all seen it done poorly and we’ve seen it done well. Our very own Louise Peiper ran us through some of the different mistakes, hurdles and misconceptions and, importantly, how we can avoid and correct these. Louise artfully facilitated some lively, mature discussion in what can sometimes be a fraught topic.

If you missed out, then don’t be disappointed, because in our June meeting we’ll have Ian McHugh, one of our most experienced, talented and award-winning short-form writers, discussing submitting to short story markets. He’ll regale us with his considerable experience, describing where, how and who to submit, dos and don’ts, hints and tricks.

Come along and for some valuable insights.

Angus Yeates
CSFG President

Donna Maree Hanson Interview

CSFG luminary Donna Maree Hanson is currently doing a blog tour to promote her Dragon Wine duology: Shatterwing and Skywatcher.

Dragonwine Postcard


Ian McHugh has an extensive interview with Donna about the reception to the books’ launch last year and to the thorny topic of writing about confronting subjects. Here’s an excerpt:

When we talked about the books coming out last year, you said that it was scary that your baby was finally going to be out in the world for people to read. How’s that been going for you?

I think I’m a little bit more relaxed about my baby being out in the world now. There have been some fabulous reviews and some negative ones, but overall I get the sense that the people who have read it have respected it as a story. It was always going to be difficult for some readers given the dark content. I don’t wish to defend that and I can totally understand their views. The darkness is what came out of me when I wrote the story and writing the story was me processing this world we live in. I’ve been surprised too by some readers who thought nothing of the content. I’ve even said,”Beware chapter ten” but they are like, meh! Others have been traumatised.

What’s stood out most to you about people’s reactions?

Oh dear. I think I covered some of that. I can only go on some of the comments and reviews. I have been so blown away by comments from readers who loved the story and gave me feedback like, “Give up your day job and write more. You’re an awesome writer.” Or emails, “Is there more? If so, when?” I think the most interesting comment was on Goodreads where a reader totally did not like how the relationship between Danton and Salinda went and absolutely hated Nils. She refused to read more of that Salinda and Nils part. I sort of smile and think the story is not over yet. Most of all I am really astounded how some people really get the story, get the message I was going for. Something along the lines of: yes, there are scary monster dragons, but some of the people here are even scarier.

You can read the rest of this great interview over at Ian’s blog.

Donna’s publisher Momentum Books is currently running a free giveaway for Shatterwing, the first Dragon Wine book. You can pick up a free copy of the ebook here.


Update: This is just one entry in an impressive blog tour that Donna is running throughout December and January. Donna has the full list of interviews here at her web site. When it’s all done we will post more links to the entries hosted by other CSFG members!