May 2016


Spineless Wonders turns 5!

Who’d have thought! A publishing company devoted to short, quality fiction produced by Australian writers could survive five years.

And we’ve not just survived.  We’ve thrived.

We can say with pride that in the past five years Spineless Wonders has:

• published 21 paperback titles, three digital series and scores of audio stories showcasing the work of hundreds of writers across Australia and living overseas;

• expanded the definition of the short form to encompass single author collections, anthologies, long stories, novellas, verse novels and microlit — a hybrid of flash fiction and prose poem;

• developed the Fiction Plus imprint for publishing short stories plus reflective essays on how they were written;

• used internet and social media platforms such as the online book club, blog and panel discussion videos for authors to discuss their process and to engage directly with readers;

• hosted two annual writing awards in honour of two women writers — Carmel Bird and joanne burns — renowned for the short form and experimental writing;

• created Slinkies, a digital platform for emerging writers under 30;

• pioneered innovative ways to showcase short stories and their authors on stage (Little Fictions) and on screen (with Melbourne video artist Richard Holt); and

• participated in regional and national literary festivals, including Darwin, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Wollongong and Newcastle, arts festivals such as Surry Hills, Sydney Fringe and Vivid as well as the international short story conference in Vienna.

In recent years, Spineless Wonders has initiated collaborations between writers and a range of practitioners from disciplines such as the performing arts, musical composition, visual arts and audio production. This passion for transforming short fiction from the page to the streets has led to the creation of the multidisciplinary collective dubbed #storybombing.

Publisher, Producer and Curator Bronwyn Mehan says Spineless Wonders is delighted that its projects continue to attract funds from a range of organisations such as the Australia Council, Copyright Australia and the City of Sydney and she looks forward to producing more great stories.

“I would like to pay tribute to all of the people who have been part of the Spineless Wonders team over the past five years — to the writers, editors, judges, proofreaders, graphic artists, publicists, actors, MCs, websters, technicians, caterers, as well as the many interns and those who have volunteered their time, skills and knowhow and to those who have donated money. It has all helped.

“Most of all we want to thank our readers and our audiences who are, after all, our reason for being.”


Micro-lit at Vivid

Spineless Wonders is thrilled to be part of Vivid Sydney 2016, contributing to an installation at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on May 29.

‘Micro-lit’ features Sydney Conservatorium composers teaming up with video artists and Spineless Wonders’ wordsmiths in a collection of multi-sensory vignettes led by Daniel Blinkhorn.

Rolling Stone illustration by Carla Uriarte

Little Fictions at the Sydney Writers’ Festival

Hear Lion Attack author Oliver Mol read ‘The Most Beautiful Story In The World’, just out in Rolling Stone, at Little Fictions’ ‘Sydney Stories’ with guest MC Jack (Mr Comedy) Gow.

This part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival program, set in one of Chippendale’s grooviest venues, reinvigorates the simple pleasure of being read to.

Our short tales, read to you by talented actors, will reveal the many faces of Sydney: toy Sydney, tourist Sydney, business Sydney and the Sydney of the writers and poets. 

Monday May 16, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm at the Knox St Bar, 21 Shepherd Street, Chippendale. Tickets, $15, available at the door.

Keep missing our live shows? Or just want to relive the magic? You’ll be pleased to know that we’ve been putting together highlights from some of our past Little Fictions at Knox St Bar. Follow us on SoundCloud so you can listen at your leisure.


‘Quote’ unquote

Laurent says, ‘Wagner would be good out here. Or Eminem. Something violent.’

He tells them about the painting he’s planning, a canvas as big as a garage showing only the sky and one huge thorn bush with a bird nesting among the thorns. ‘Not that you’ll be able to tell it is a bird—just a black blob like Ernst’s rossignol.’

Sam decides against turning the volume up. ‘Rossignol—crow?’

‘Nightingale. It’ll be menacing. Clouds like carnivorous animals, the bird cowering in the thorns. I’ll scatter the foreground with bird bones.’

‘Don’t the thorns protect the bird from the carnivores?’ asks Olympia.

‘That’s the whole point of menace, isn’t it? There are no certainties. Especially about protection.’

Extract from ‘Black Opal’ by Mary Manning, Damaged in Transit.



Karen Lethlean from Heathcote, NSW, is the winner of last month’s competition.

This month: SILKIEST WEALTH is an anagram of the title of which new Spineless Wonders release? To win a copy, email with your answer in the subject line. 


Dates for your diary

May 16 - ‘Sydney Stories’, Little Fictions at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.
June 20 -  ‘Addictive Text’, Little Fictions @ Knox St Bar,  7pm.
July 11 - ‘Dire Straits’, Little Fictions @ Knox St Bar,  7pm.


Sluglines is prepared by Marjorie and Stephen from You Need a Writer.