Tag Archives: Member News

Member News for July 2015

As usual, the brave little quokkas and quolls of the CSFG semi-autonomous collective have been busy racking up wins, plaudits and sparkling achievements! Here’s just some of their outstanding accomplishments for the month of July!


In possibly the biggest news of the month and a distinctive career highlight, Kaaron Warren’s story “Death’s Door Cafe” has been shortlisted for the 2015 World Fantasy Awards. Good luck Kaaron!

Tehani Wessely has announced that nominations for the 2015 Aurealis Awards are now open. Says Tehani, “We invite entries for the Sara Douglass Book Series Award (closing August 31), the Convenors’ Award for Excellence, and all regular Aurealis Awards, and encourage immediate entry of all work already published in 2015.” If you have eligible works you wish to enter, please get them in as early as possible to give the judges time for careful consideration of your work.


This is your last chance to sign up for Chris Andrews’ “Creating Compelling Characters” workshop at the ACT Writers Centre on Saturday 25 July.

Following on from that, Gillian Polack’s “Fiction Writing and History” workshop is on Saturday 1 August.

Ian McHugh’s “The Basics of Fiction Writing” workshop is on Saturday 11 October.

Kaaron Warren has an evening “Horror Writing” workshop on Friday 13 November (spooky!)

Short courses

Ian McHugh will be presenting “Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy” on Wednesday evenings from 5 August to 9 September at CIT Bruce.

Ian McHugh will be presenting Writing Better Stories on Wednesday evenings from 21 October to 25 November at CIT Reid.

Chris Andrews will be presenting “Novel Writing” on Monday evenings from 10 August to 21 September at CIT Reid.

And finally, Gillian Polack’s short courses “From Gildas to the Grail – Discovering Medieval Arthur” and “Using the past to build your world – History for writers”  have been pushed back to October and November. Firm dates will be on the Workshops page when available!

Short story publications

No new short story sales to report this month (unusual!) but Chris Large’s story “Girl Finds Key” from CCSFG’s 2013 anthology Next received an Honourable Mention in the Twelfth Planet Press 2013 Year’s Best Young Adult Speculative Fiction list from a few months ago! Chris shares the distinction with little-known scribblers toiling away in obscurity like Neil Gaiman, Nancy Kress and Ken Liu.


Alis Franklin has published her new novel Stormbringer (Book 2 of The Wyrd), the sequel to Liesmith, featuring Ragnarok, gaming nerds and bitter Norse gods. (Great combo).

Patty Jansen has just published Shifting Infinity, the sequel to her Indonesians-in-space hard SF book Shifting Reality.

Patty also wishes to direct our attention to the frankly-gorgeous new cover of her fast-paced SF space-diplomat thriller Seeing Red (Ambassador Book 1)


Chris Large’s two-part interview with John Scalzi is now appearing in Aurealis Magazine: the first part is in Aurealis 81, while the more fun segment is in Aurealis 82.


First of all, if you’re reading this blog post more than three hours after it goes up, you *might* have missed the deadline for the Conflux 11 short story competition, which closes on 20 July! If you are still ahead of the clock – stop reading and get typing!

Zena Shapter has been announced as one of the judges of the  ‘Ghostly Stringybark’ Short Story Award. They’re after short, Australian themed ghost and horror stories.

Appearances and Conventions

Ross Hamilton is the new Blogger-in-Residence at the ACT Writers’ Centre.

Kaaron Warren is going to be one of the special guests at Genrecon in Brisbane this year (30 October to 1 November). If you still have convention-going energy left after Conflux, Genrecon is a great new convention well worth checking out.

The NSW Writers Centre held a special Speculative Fiction Festival in Sydney on 18 July. Sadly this post goes up too late for you to participate, but convenor Cat Sparx was as always out and about with her camera, so you can at least check out the studious luminaries in residence.

Writers Retreat

Finally, our coastal cousins at the The Writers of the Far South Coast are having a writer’s retreat during the last weekend in August (28th / 29th / 30th) at Kianinny Cabins. As organiser Amanda notes, “Writing is often very anti-social, it kinda has to be; and so the weekend will be about gathering writers together to socialise, discuss our craft and of course… focus on writing. There are lots of idyllic spots scattered around Kianinny to inspire or to get stuck into it.”

Sounds pretty idyllic to me!

Member News – April/May 2015

CSFG members have been busily working away at their craft and appear to be taking over Australia’s premier online magazine of speculative fiction Aurealis, if this month’s news is anything to go by. Congratulations to everyone getting their art out there!

For those of you eager for news of CSFG’s upcoming anthology The Never Never Land, we don’t have anything quite yet but we hope to bring you comprehensive coverage soon.


Short stories

David Coleman’s story ‘Discarded Pieces’ was published in Aurealis #78. David’s poem ‘Closing time, Gilgamesh among the drunks’ was published in the latest edition of Kaleidotrope

Chris Large’s interview with Aussie writer/director Ahane Abbess about his upcoming movie Infini appears in Aurealis #79. Chris also has a story ‘Perfect Kills’ coming in issue #83 of Aurealis.

Tim Napper’s story ‘Dark on a Darkling Earth’, which appeared in issue #254 of Interzone, recently placed third in the magazine’s reader’s poll of best stories of 2014.

Kaaron Warren’s story ‘’Mine Intercom’ appears in a recent Review of Australian Fiction.



Donna Maree Hansen’s YA SF romance Rae and Essa’s Space Adventures has been released.

Nicole Murphy (writing as Elizabeth Dunk) has signed a three book deal with Escape Publishing for contemporary romances based on classic plays. The first one is due out later this year.



Beneath Ceaseless Skies’ e-book anthology of weird western fantasy stories Ceaseless West: Weird Western Stories from BCS is out now from Weightless Books, Amazon Kindle Store, B&N, iBooks, and Kobo. Among many outstanding short story writers, the contributors include CSFG luminaries Alan Baxter (‘Not the Worst of Sins’) and Ian McHugh (‘Songdogs’).

Writers of the Future Volume 31 is out on the 4th of May 2015, and includes Tim Napper’s quarter final-winning ‘Twelve Minutes to Vinh Quang’.

The End Has Come is the third volume in the apocalyptic triptych of anthologies from John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey. It includes ‘Wandering Star’ by Leife Shallcross.

Kaaron Warren guest-edited the latest issue of Midnight Echo magazine, which is available now.


Gillian Polack’s ‘The Art of Effective Dreaming’ launched!

Gillian Polack’s long-awaited, much-anticipated, allegedly-cursed novel “The Art of Effective Dreaming” was launched in Canberra on Wednesday the 1st of April 2015! After enduring quite a few setbacks, included among which were several hurricanes and more than a decade of waiting, “The Art of Effective Dreaming” is now out from Satalyte Press in both paperback and ebook formats.

Gillian had the great pleasure – and no doubt some considerable sense of relief – of launching the book at Harry Hartog, a bookstore in Woden (well worth checking out!). Simon Brown did the honours on the night. In case you were not able to make it along to the event, Simon has done the right thing by posterity by preserving his speech at his website.

Congratulations to Gillian and we wish her all the best with the book.


One night in Harry Hartog's

One night in Harry Hartog’s

Member News for March 2015 – Part Three of Three!

Workshops, training and other events

CSFG includes a number of members who provide training through workshops and courses of study. the following opportunities are coming up very soon:

The art of science fiction and fantasy (Woden Library, Wednesday 18 March 12:30 – 1:30 pm)

Gillian Polack will be presenting an intriguing literary journey. Travel through Gillian’s literary past, present and future as she explores what’s involved in writing science fiction and fantasy novels.

Bookings are available here.

How to write A Game of Thrones (Australian National University, commencing 28 April)

Unlock the mind of George RR Martin and the world he created in his ever popular A Game of Thrones to enhance your fictional writing and start your own award-winning series. An invaluable insight into world-building, novel writing and the publishing industry for anyone interested in writing novels, science-fiction or fantasy series.

For more information go to the ANU Centre for Continuing Education site to enroll.

Writing your family’s history (Australian National University, commencing 30 April)

All families have great histories – the problem is finding out what they are and preserving them. This course gets you started, with the basic skills you will need to research and to write. By the end of it, you will have at least one part of your family history written and you will know where to go next.  The course provides that starting point to discovering your family’s history and preserving it. It covers basic research skills, oral history collection skills (how to interview people and what to do with those interviews) and writing skills.

For more information go to the ANU Centre for Continuing Education site to enroll.

Historical Novel Society Australasia Conference 2015 (Sydney 20-22 March)

Gillian Polack will be presenting sessions, attending panels and launching books at the inaugural HNSA Conference in Sydney. A number of Australian historical fantasy authors will be in attendance, including Kate Forsyth as the conference’s patron.

Go here for more information or to book a ticket.

Where the Wild Things Are (Noted Festival, St John’s Anglican Cathedral, Friday 20 March )

Let your imagination run wild as local horror writers Kaaron Warren and James Doig read you stories and provide you with writing prompts to write the spookiest prose. BYO torch.(Bookings not required: more information is available here)


Where the Wild Things Are will be one of a series of similar events as part of Canberra arts events over the weekend of 20-22 March: You are Here (Canberra’s new experimental arts festival) and its experimental literary offshoot Noted Festival (a somewhat unorthodox writing festival).

Elizabeth Fitzgerald will be one of a number of writers reporting on Noted and You Are Here events for the Canberra-based Scissors Paper Pen literary collective.


Recent events

Due to the lateness of this report, we missed a couple of recent events. My sincere apologies for not getting the word out in time.

Tehani Wesselly was a guest speaker at the CSIRO Staff Association’s International Women’s Day luncheon on March 6, speaking on subjects related to Cranky Ladies and “making stuff happen”.

Zena Shapter presented a workshop to the Society of Women Writers NSW at the State Library of NSW on Friday 12 March.

Member News for March 2015 – Part Two of Three!

Short stories

Ian McHugh’s story “Uncle Bob’s Crocodile” is out in this month’s edition of Urban Fantasy magazine (available now for subscribers and it’ll be archived online for everyone else later in the month).

Ian wanted to mention that he credits this story to a discussion with fellow CSFG’er David Dufty in a 24-hour story challenge workshop a couple of years ago. Proof positive that CSFG membership conveys rich rewards and lasting fame!

Alan Baxter has two stories coming out soon, both in anthologies from Cohesion Press:



CSFG members are well represented in several upcoming and recently released anthologies:


Cranky Ladies of History (Fablecroft Publishing)

  • “Another Week In The Future, An Excerpt” by Kaaron Warren


Insert Title Here (Fablecroft publishing)

  • “Circle” by Darren Goossens
  • “Beyond the Borders of All He Had Been Taught” by Alan Baxter


Hear Me Roar (Ticonderoga Press)

  •  “The Silica Key” by T R Napper
  • “Function A:save(target.Dawn)” by Rivqa Rafael
  • “Veteran’s Day” by Cat Sparks



Congratulations to everyone who’s managed to break through the Wall of Rejectomancy!

Member News for March 2015 – Part One of Three!

There’s so much news to catch up on after the summer break that we’ve broken up the details into three posts. This first one covers the books coming out from (or already out) from our busy, busy members.


Donna Maree Hanson, in her alternate guise as Dani Kristoff, has a new novel coming out on 22 April 2015: Spiritbound is available for pre-order from Amazon now. Spiritbound is a paranormal romance featuring witches or a ro-magic novel: “The Sydney coven is suffering from a man drought – some witches complain, and some witches just get creative.”

The sequel to Donna’s YA science fiction novel Rayessa and the Space Pirates is called Rae and Essa Space Adventures and will be out soon!

Patty Jansen has continued her prolific output: the fourth installment of her For Queen And Country series is called Fire Wizard. Patty is planning at least two more books in this series (and for readers who would like a taster, the first volume of the series, Innocence Lost, is available for free download).


Dawn Meredith has announced that Satalyte will be publishing her YA fantasy novel Flight (publication day TBA). Keep watching here for the final details.


Gillian Polack’s probably-cursed novel The Art of Effective Dreaming is out soon from Satalyte Publishing. As Gillian notes, the novel has taken “18 years, three hurricanes, two cyclones and many other catastrophes for it to read its readers”.

Another of Gillian’s long-gestating projects The Middle Ages Unlocked: A Guide to Life in Medieval England, 1050-1300 (by Katrin Kania, Gillian Polack and Elizabeth Chadwick) is out in June and is also available for pre-order. Gillian describes it as an invaluable resource: “It’s actually a writers’ guide to medieval England – very handy for world building.”

Tehani Wessely’s Fablecroft Publishing has several projects coming to fruition all at once (isn’t that always the way!). Several CSFG members feature in the tables of contents of these two publications.

Karen Middleton of SBS News launched Fablecroft’s new anthology Cranky Ladies of History in Canberra on 8 March to great acclaim at a well-attended afternoon gathering at the Front Gallery. CSFG’ers turned out in force to celebrate the International Women’s Day event and snag a copy of the new release (or at least those of us who didn’t back the crowdfunding campaign last year!)

(Late update: read Tehani’s detailed launch report here!)

Fablecroft’s new anthology Insert Title Here is aiming for a Swancon/Natcon release (over Easter in Perth). Drop by the launch if you’re planning to be at the con!

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!

CSFG Member News (December 2014)

It’s the end of the year, and CSFG is on hiatus until early February, but that doesn’t mean our members aren’t busy beavering away at their craft. Several CSFG members have reported exciting publication news:


Justin Woolley’s first novel A Town Called Dust is out now from Momentum.

Zena Shapter (along with her coauthors in the Northern Beaches Writers Group) wrote two speculative fiction teen fiction books as part of the Write-a-Book-in-a-Day charity fundraiser. They were recently launched by award-winning, bestselling author Susanne Gervay:

  • Scribbles in the Dark is a fantasy adventure about two outback boys on the hunt for home
  • A Dolphin for Naia is a sci fi adventure about one boy’s quest to save his parents.

Giulio Zambon has published a historical romance novel under a pen name  (shh, don’t tell anyone): The Gladiator and the Vestal by Monica Venier.

Short stories

Shauna O’Meara’s story “In the future there will be birds” is currently appearing in Cosmos Magazine.

Mike Pieloor’s short story ‘The Trap’ has been published by Grinning Skull Press as part of the charity horror anthology Return to Deathlehem.

Cat Sheely will have two short stories (one of them a flash fiction piece) accepted for the EFAW anthology ‘Flight of Fancy’ to be published early in the New Year.

David Walker has stormed the gates of Antipodean SF, with one story “Deserted Village” in the December issue, and two – “Chlorophyll Haven” and “Corporate Body” – in the upcoming 200th edition in February 2015.

Wangmo Whitethorne’s ghost story “The Moat” will appear in David Tyson’s Ghost anthology in 2015.

Non-fiction and workshops

Zena Shapter has been very busy of late:

  • Article published in Women’s Ink, the magazine of the Society of Women Writers NSW, on the evolution of communication and how I believe technology has changed the way we share our lives.
  • My story Shy also featured on Episode 53 of the award-winning podcast Galactic Chat, as a sample of what AntipodeanSF does best – flash fiction!
  • I did a guest appearance at the NSW Writers’ Centre‘s First Friday Club, talking about online author promotion, winning competitions and my novel Towards White.
  • For workshops, I taught teenage writers in a one-day writing workshop as part of the Manly Arts Festival (and then published a volume of their work), went up to the Central Coast to teach my Vividness & Voice workshop to Ettalong Writers and Hunter Writers, and I taught my first online workshop Know Yourself as a Writer via Google+ Hangouts.
  • On 15 November I ran a Creative Writing Bootcamp at Mosman Community College. Details here: http://www.mec.nsw.edu.au/modules/details?ModuleID=40201

And last but not least, Bob Phillips’ non-fiction book A Risky Life: How Bad are Your Chances? will be published by Halstead Press in early 2015.

CSFG Member News (November 2014)

It’s been quite a while since we’ve updated our member news. Here’s a probably-incomplete roundup of the action since July:


Donna Maree Hanson’s Dragon Wine duology has launched from Momentum books: Shatterwing and Skywatcher

Alan Baxter’s Alex Caine series is now out from Harper Collins in Australian and New Zealand. Bound (Alex Caine #1) is in bookshops everywhere, while Obsidian and Abduction are available as ebooks.

Craig Cormick launched two new books at Conflux: The Shadow Master from Angry Robot Books and Uncle Adolf from Ginninderra Press.

Gillian Polack’s Langue(dot)doc is now out from Satalyte Publishing.

Anthologies and Collections

Simon Dewar edited Suspended in Dusk, a dark fiction anthology out now from Books of the Dead Press.

Simon Petrie’s second short story collection, aptly titled Difficult Second Album, is out now from Peggy Bright Books.

Short story sales

Tim Napper’s story “An Advanced Guide to Successful Price-Fixing in Extra-Terrestrial Betting Markets” will appear in a forthcoming issue of Interzone. Tim has also sold a story to Grimdark Magazine.

Leife Shallcross’s “Pretty Jennie Greenteeth” will appear in the Strange Little Girls anthology from Belladonna Publishing.

David Versace’s “The Teahouse of Serendipitous Unions” will appear in the The Lane of Unusual Traders anthology from Tiny Owl Workshop.

Other news

Kaaron Warren was recently awarded a Fellowship with the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

Kaaron was also announced as a jury member for this year’s prestigious Shirley Jackson Awards.

And finally, two CSFG members are represented in Ticonderoga Publications’ forthcoming Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2013 volume: Nicky Rowlands’ “On the Wall” from CSFG’s Next anthology and Kaaron Warren for “Born and Bread” from Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales.

Three other contributors to Next also made the list: Claire McKenna (“The Ninety Two”), Angela Rega (“Almost Beautiful”),  and Janeen Webb (“Hell is Where the Heart Is”). Well done to editors Simon Petrie and Rob Porteous for their acclaimed selections!


That’s the news for this month. Congratulations to all our CSFG compatriots working down in the word mines.