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I have a confession to make. Some of my short stories began their lives as novels. Novels that were cumbersome, messy affairs, that had no cogency or idea of an ending, some being relegated to the bottom drawer before they could even reach first draft status. But having been brought up in a household where […]
I don’t have an office so my writing desk is tucked away in the corner of the living room with plastic tubs filled with papers, old uni files and floor to ceiling shelves of books. A guilty shopping addiction, the books are now double banked and the smothered tomes seem to be creeping into other […]
What draws you to write short stories, and who has influenced your writing practice of this form? I had never written a short story until I started studying creative writing at university. Writers that influenced me included Tim O’Brien, Janet Frame, Jorge Luis Borges, and Alice Munro. O’Brien’s story, ‘The Things They Carried’ (1990), was […]
The prize is getting into the chair every day. The prize is saying to myself, this isn’t over. Because my story isn’t finished. I regard submission of a story as an achievement. It signifies that I’ve written a story, which puts me a long way in front of the earlier me, the person who dreamed […]
In some writing workshops, there’s an inverse ratio between how closely someone has read a story and how much they’ve got to say about it. I’m a diligent reader. I pay attention to the stories people have submitted; some might say too much attention. My friends judge me as intense. The judgement of others tends […]
I don’t know many writers. In the town where I was born no-one ever admitted they were a writer. Contemplation was an illness, and its practitioners were people to be avoided. Perhaps nobody wrote. Or perhaps the irrigation plains of northern Victoria were so plain that people thought they couldn’t write about them. I decided […]
Flannery O’Connor was born in 1925 and died in 1964. Whenever I read those dates, I wonder what she might have written if she’d had a few more years. YouTube has a video of her reading ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ in her sardonic, Southern drawl. It’s a serious story, but in the […]
There is a power in writing. This is a sentence I have written here before. In that post, the first I offered in this series, I was daydreaming of riding—there was an element of self-indulgence, even while I argued for the power a horse has to take me somehow outside myself. The more subtle indulgence […]
[The following is an excerpt from a work in progress—a piece of creative nonfiction which, as the title suggests, I have been developing slowly for some time…]   I take my glasses off to swim. I leave them tucked in the folds of my discarded dress, follow the softened outline of Lucas’s body down and […]
 1. A lot of my writing, over the last few years, has involved playing with fragments. The style appeals to me as holding the capacity to embed uncertainty, a sort of tongue-in-cheek response to that old Realist assumption that writing ever could describe anything with certainty anyway. The philosophical (or perhaps self-absorbed) part of me […]
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