Tag Archives: News

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

Conflux short story contest – Blood, Gold, Lies

We are excited to announce that Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild is once again partnering with Conflux Inc to bring you the CSFG/Conflux 13 short story competition!

This year’s theme is (wait for it…)


These bright and bitter threads wind through the heart of many a grim tale and we want to see what you make of them. We want your tales of 4000 words or under, incorporating these three words somehow, in any speculative fiction genre. It doesn’t have to be a twisted fairy tale, but it does have to be speculative.

The competition is open to all Australian residents and members of either the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild or Conflux 13.

Entry is $5, unless you are a member of the CSFG or Conflux 13 or you are aged 16 or under, in which case it is free!


First prize is $200 and a 2018 Conflux 14 membership! Second prize is $50 and a discounted Conflux 14 membership, and third prize is $25 and a discounted Conflux 14 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in English, suitable for a general audience (ie, no gratuitous violence or erotica) and, of course, your own original, unpublished work.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 2017.


Fees can be paid by direct deposit (BSB: 805022 Acct: 03421621 Acct name: Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild) or Paypal to canberra.specfic@gmail.com

(For other options or any more information contact us directly at the csfgshortstorycomp@gmail.com address)

Membership fees raised

The CSFG Committee agreed at the March meeting to raise annual membership fees. As of 16 March 2017, memberships will be at the following rates:

  • General membership – $30.00
  • Concessional membership – $20.00
  • Outer Canberra membership – $10.00

The Committee regrets this unavoidable increase. The hike in membership rates is specifically intended to cover new expenses for Public Liability Insurance and accommodation costs.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact the Committee:

Event – An Evening of Awesome – 24 August

CSFG members may be interested in an event next Wednesday:

As part of the Canberra Writers Festival fringe event, ten of Canberra’s best writers – including CSFG alumni Kaaron Warren and Craig Cormick – have come together to showcase the talent we have inside our small, but passionate, territory. Join Canberra’s award-winning authors for a night of readings and celebrations about being a writer in Canberra.

An Evening of Awesome

7:30 – 10:00 pm
Main Hall, Gorman Arts Centre
Ainslie Ave, Braddon

ACT Writers Centre are excited to announce the authors and writers reading at this event include: Craig Cormick, Zoya Patel, Hal Judge, John Clanchy, John Stokes, Kaaron Warren, Melinda Smith, Shu-Ling Chua, Sarah St Vincent Welch and Tony Eaton.

Book early as space is limited.

Never Never on Tor.com

CSFG’s latest anthology The Never Never Land has been featured in Alexandra Pierce’s recent Aurora Australis column over at Tor.com.

AA is highly recommended as a great monthly resource for all the buzz in Australian and New Zealand/Aotearoan speculative fiction. Check it out!


Opportunity – All the King’s Men

Canberra-based author-illustrator Shane W. Smith, who spoke at a recent CSFG meeting about writing and producing comics, is seeking contributions for his upcoming anthology All the King’s Men. Shane is looking for original short stories and comic scripts set in the galaxy-spanning science fiction universe of his previous graphic novels: The Lesser Evil, Peaceful Tomorrows and The Game. Prospective contributors are asked to familiarise themselves with the background of the setting (or to read the graphic novels!) so they can pitch outlines for either an original story or one of a number of concepts sketched out by Shane.

The theme of the anthology is: “sometimes it’s impossible to mend what has been broken.

Note that this is a paid writing gig – Shane has a grant to produce the anthology from artsACT and is offering at least 4c a word for prose stories.

For more information on All the King’s Men, or to contact Shane to discuss your ideas, check out the submission guidelines. Submissions close on 31 March 2016.

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!)

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

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.