Short Australian Stories
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Nobody likes you when you’re 23. So say Blink-182. But here at Spineless Wonders we’re here to say ‘Hold on, Bessie, just because you can’t listen to Taylor Swift’s 22 un-ironically anymore doesn’t mean nobody wants you’, because we do.

We do.

Through our new digital platform, Slinkies, we will publish and promote the work of a handful of carefully selected Australian under-30s.

We look for writing that isn’t afraid of trying stuff out. The hypercolour t-shirt of creative non-fiction. The crimped hair and butterfly clips of collected micro-fiction. We want writing that is ‘happy, free, confused and lonely, in the best way’. That is still amused by prank phone calls.

Coming soon.

‘Here are nineteen fantastical, uncanny stories that mirror something just not quite right in Australia today.’ AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVIEW

‘These unsettling tales from a fantastic Terra Australis Incognita reveal uncanny facets of our landscape and psyche, crafted to a sinister glitter.’ Claire Corbett, When We Have Wings

The Great Unknown edited by Angela Meyer

Watch The Great Unknown booktrailer, here.Available in paperback and ebook formats, click here for details.

“When he was gone, I felt like we were set adrift.  The world was so big and scary, and there was no-one there to protect us.”

This line from ‘The Cradle Arms of Strangers’, the fifth story in this collection of ten by Western Sydney-based writer Jane Skelton, neatly encapsulates some of the recurring themes in many of these haunting and memorable pieces: abandonment, loss, fear, and one’s connection with the often harsh environment.

from Heather Lunney’s NSW Writers’ Centre Book Review. To continue reading, click here.

Lives of the Dead, a collection of short stories by Jane Skelton.Jane Skelton

Watch the booktrailer for Lives of the Dead, here.

To purchase the paperback or ebook, click here.

Who’s the clever dick now? Eleven soliloquies and still they shove me – me! – out to the wings behind an arras and cast the very title of our play, the whole catastrophe, to that Elizabethan clothes horse.

It’s O’Flynn’s mastery of voice and character that makes reading White Light such a pleasure. Every piece offers us something different from the last. And yet, the effect of all these voices never feels confusing or overwhelming. There’s a steadiness about this collection, an unwavering confidence borne of the ability to create, in so few words, characters that ring true.Mark O'Flynn

from Michelle McLaren’s revies of White Light, NEWTOWN REVIEW OF BOOKS. Read the whole review, here.

Watch the White Light booktrailer, here.

Click here, to purchase the White Light paperback, ebook or audio stories.

EscapeMasterIf you like your genres with a bit of edge, you’ll love this diverse collection of stories from Spineless Wonders.

Features award-winning writers such as Ryan O’Neill, Jen Mills, Andy Kissane, Louise Swinn, Julie Chevalier, A.S. Patric and Kim Westwood as well as stories chosen by Sophie Cunningham in the inaugural Carmel Bird Short Fiction Award.

Contains illustrations by talented young artist, Paden Hunter.

‘Quality short fiction, packed with surprises. Prepare to be transported.’ Marion Halligan

Purchase here

Read interviews with our contributors, here.

Listen to audio samples here.

9780987089731This entertaining collection includes a romp of a novella called The Rattler, as well as short stories and micro fictions all set in and around contemporary Melbourne. Sometimes serious, sometimes seriously playful –always written in breathtakingly beautiful prose – these stories uncover the heartbreaking tragedies, slow-burning emotions and serendipity of ordinary lives.

Cover image by Miles Allinson, illustrated by Miles Allinson & Maxine Beneba Clarke

Buy Now

Praise for The Rattler & other stories:

“Spare and taut, sometimes tricky, sometimes shocking, yet always deeply and satisfyingly tender. A great collection.”
Paddy O’Reilly.

“An explosive mix of muscular prose and sharp originality. In this collection, A. S. Patric proves himself to be a writer who must be taken very seriously.” Vanessa Gebbie, author of Short Circuit, A Guide to the Art of the Short Story.

“A.S. Patric is that rarest of writers- he is absolutely fearless.  His stories take risks, his characters soar and his prose sings.  Be careful.  These stories might cut you.” Ryan O’Neill.

9780987089717In Permission to Lie, Julie Chevalier casts a curious eye into many different worlds. Her characters ride the citybound bus route, spend the night in a nudist colony and wait tables. Quirky and beautifully-written, these stories provide insights that ring with integrity and compassion.

‘A new voice in Australian fiction, wry, gritty, knowing and true.’

Fiona McGregor, Indelible Ink

Read an interview with the author, here.

Purchase this book.


Fault LinesWhat makes a man?

In this collection of short stories, Pierz Newton John moves through the full range of masculine experience, with an openness not afraid to show men at their most lonely, sexual, loving, sometimes vulnerable, sometimes abusive. First touch of a woman’s body in a cold and foreign land, tender moments between father and son, the deep love of a father separated from his child, treachery and opportunism mixed up with loneliness and internet dating, the casual violence of young boys exploring the world, rites of passage from young rebels to comfortable suburbanites, and what men feel and think about women. In Pierz Newton John’s stories it always come back to emotion?tenderness with children, warmth with wives after dreams of alienation, the pain of treacherous girlfriends, the loneliness of men. Plus ça change plus c’est la même chose…….the reader is lulled by the seamless prose, undercurrents of contemporary music, the urbane writing, the suburban settings, but it is all happening behind closed doors.

Read an interview with the author, here

Purchase a copy, here.

small wonder

An anthology of prose poems and microfiction from 30 Australian writers.

  • Includes award-winning writers Michael Farrell, Keri Glastonbury, Judith Beveridge and Peter Boyle.
  • Features prose poems and microfiction selected by competition judge, joanne burns.
  • Cover and evocative sketches by talented artist, Paden Hunter.
  • Read interviews with our contributors here
  • Click here to here audio

To purchase, click here

Damaged in TransitIn these seventeen stories, Melbourne writer, Mary Manning, looks at the ways people are shaped, or damaged, by their circumstances. The results may sometimes be humorous, sometimes tragic. Whether set on a tram, along a highway or on an outback road?it is the journey, the characters and the telling of the tale that will capture your attention.

Cover and illustrations by Paden Hunter

‘Mary Manning takes her stories to places few writers would dare to go. She ranges across different styles with ease in a unique voice that is tart, tight and compulsively readable.’ PADDY O’REILLY

Read our interview with the author, Mary Manning here

To purchase, click here

Every word counts when writers craft their stylish narratives in just half a page. Flashing The Square, the companion book of screen-sized stories flashed across Melbourne’s Federation Square, is packed with the best micro literature from around Australia. These 200-word gems sparkle with life, love, laughs, politics and poetry.

Order your copy now at our special pre-Release price, here.

Join us at the Melbourne Writers Festival when we flash fiction on to the large screen at Federation Square and for our panel on microliterature:

Very short stories have been around a long time: even Kafka, Woolf and Hemingway wrote them. The challenge is to embrace the brevity – to experiment with notions of character, conflict and resolution and to evoke place and mood, in few words. Join microfiction aficionado, Angela Meyer in conversation with Flashing The Square’s curator, Richard Holt and writer/ critic, Cassandra Atherton and writer, A.S. Patric. Our panel will discuss the origins of micro-literature, its increasing popularity, its challenges and its delights, from the perspectives of author, digital artist and blogger. Includes readings and screenings of microfiction and prose poems from Flashing The Square.

The World to Come showcases an incredibly diverse exploration of the themes of Science Fiction: future sex, alternate history, racism, procreation and energy.’
KAARON WARREN, Canberra Critics award-winner

In selecting these stories from a global call-out, we looked for pieces that contemplated ‘the world to come’ in ways that, regardless of genre, surprised, delighted, enthralled or horrified us. Here, science fiction mixes with fantasy, with realism in all its sub-genres, with speculative fiction, with the almost unclassifiable.

To be launched at the Melbourne Writers Festival by Australian journalist, Jeff McMullen.

To order your copy at pre-Release price, click here.

‘Vivienne Plumb’s second book, The glove box and other stories, is a collection of short fictional stories about women on the road.

Each of her character-driven tales tells of hitchhiking adventures—and misadventures—across the Australian continent. Some of the women are looking for work, others are running from their past, and a few aren’t quite sure what they’re doing. But there’s one thing they all have in common … they’re women in transit.

Providing just the right amount of detail is not easy when you’re writing short stories, but Plumb manages to get it spot on. By offering this depth of detail she connects with her readers and lures them further into her web of stories.’

From Candace Davis’ review, NSW Writers Centre Book Reviews. Click here to continue reading.Vivienne Plumb

To purchase, click here.

‘New voices, new ideas, refreshed old ones and all in degustation morsels to get those creative and imaginative juices flowing. There are terse epigrams full of resonance and affect, gnomish haikus of condensed truth, pithy aphorisms from Melbourne to Marrakesh, from Sydney to Paris.’

For a special pre-launch bargain, click here. Offer ends August 16, 2014

Read interviews with contributors on our blog, The Column. Audio coming soon.

‘Literature, life, landscape, history: the whole gamut of Antipodean experience may be gleaned from its pages. An ideal resource for those interested in Ozlit, Cracking the Spine is also a pure pleasure to read.’

‘A great resource for the classroom, and a great read for anyone who cares about how short stories work.’

Cracking the Spine Ten short Australian stories and how they were written

Stories and essays by Claire Aman, Tony Birch, Rjurik Davidson, Michael Giacometti, Marion Halligan, Andy Kissane, Jennifer Mills, Ryan O’Neill, Maria Takolander and Patrick West. With an Introduction by Amanda Lohrey.

Paperback and ebook available here.

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Product Specials

Writing To The Edge – bookclub subscriber discount

Price: $20.00

You save: $2.99

SW online bookclub Membership10 (2) Offer

Price: $15.00

You save: $35.00

Flashing the Square *pre-Release offer

Price: $17.00

You save: $5.99

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