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I was surprised to learn that circling birds are a symbol of danger for a character, that this is a predatory act foreshadowing doom rather than a delightful aesthetic touch. Circling birds, flocks of screeching galahs, are a breathtaking sight, how could they be viewed as apocalyptic? Charlotte Wood’s Stella Prize-winning novel The Natural Way […]
On a strong recommendation from my local bookshop I started reading Mammoth the new novel by the talented Chris Flynn that’s currently receiving a lot of praise for its unusual narrator, a prehistoric mammoth skeleton from the Museum of Natural History. As part of my study I’ve been reading a lot of stories with non-human […]
Periods. I don’t want to talk about how growing up in the 90s we were taught to hide it, that it was a shameful embarrassing thing. Those of us who were there know it. Some of us are still there. And I don’t want to talk about how I have tried to be more open […]
Not all my first drafts have won awards, but all my awards have been won with first drafts. As I write this blog post a week before its due, I am forced to thinking about my propensity for uncovering last-minute gems. I have been entering prose and poem contests since I could write but, like […]
The story so far: A visit with my grandson to story time at the library has made me ponder the many privileges men have over women. Where some of those privileges are able to be viewed as statistics and percentages, the one that is embedded in our language and literature is less often identified. I […]
The story so far: children’s books are biased towards males and the use of the masculine pronoun despite evidence being available for at least the last 40 years that ‘he’ is not a gender-neutral term. I wonder how my own childhood reading relates to this literary privilege for males. I may not have said that […]
The story so far: I’ve taken my grandson to story time at the library, where I am silently boiling as the librarian, as usual, identifies every creature in every game as male. No one else at story time seems to be as bothered as I am by the insistence on ‘he’ in the library books […]
Once upon a time, we didn’t have to worry about gathering in cafes or playgrounds. We could take our grandchildren to story time and listen to the librarian. But there was a flaw in this utopia. My story starts in the distant past of 2019, but quickly reaches the present, when we have the time […]
I am very fond of writers who share their work … Yes, alright, you got me, I am very fond of writers full stop. They are so supportive, and kind, and understanding.  And so here, for my last blog post with Margaret River Press—thank you, it’s been an honour and a privilege—I am sharing a […]
In March, my Gothic fiction manuscript, Sargasso, was to my absolute joy shortlisted for the ASA/Harlequin Commercial Fiction Prize. Before the announcement I received a phone call from Harlequin telling me that while I was not the winner, they loved Sargasso and wanted to take it to acquisitions. I still don’t fully understand what taking […]
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