June-July 2016


New faces at Little Fictions

You probably didn’t know that you can vacuum your lungs.

Well, actors can.

Along with lip fluttering, spine rolling and repeating ‘BDGD’ and ‘PTKT’ at an amazing rate of knots without slurring or stumbling.

These, and many other vocal tricks and tips were imparted by Holly Myers in the voice and microphone workshop she ran for Little Fictions’ actors earlier this month.

Holly, a designated Linklater vocal practitioner, actor and voice artist, has recently made the move from Adelaide to Sydney. A seasoned performer with Spineless Wonders Presents …, the Adelaide-based forerunner of Little Fictions, and all-round nice gal, Holly is a very welcome addition to the team.

We welcome Nicholas Starte, Oscar Morphew and Patrick Zoerner to the team and look forward to seeing them on stage very soon.

Also new to the stage this month was guest MC, Hayley Scrivenor.

A well-read and witty raconteur, Hayley is a peripatetic writer, student and stationary seafarer. Here’s how she describes herself:

Hayley currently lives on an old sailing boat and sometimes in other people’s houses looking after their dogs. Only when they ask her to, of course. She spends her time thinking about the first person plural in literature (for which she miraculously receives money from the Australian government) and combatting seasickness (for which she has found singing loudly and off-key to be a cure-all). You can find some of her stories in Seizure, SCUM, Phantasmagoria, SWAMP, prowlings and Verity La.

We are thrilled to have Hayley back on stage on July 11 to introduce stories and generally entertain us before she jets off to America for several weeks.

Join us at the next Little Fictions @ Knox St Bar on Monday July 11 at 7 pm to hear stories on the theme ‘Dire Straits: tight spots and moral dilemmas’.


New Slinkies on their way

Our Slinkies editor, Emma Wortley, along with assistant editors Martin Veres and Cherisse Kelly, are currently working with three new authors to get their manuscripts ready for publication.

The three new works are ‘Farblondzhet’ by Melbourne writer Laurence Levy-Atkinson; ‘Buzzing’ by Wollongong writer Kyra Bandte and ‘Slave Girls’ by Sydney writer Lisa Dowdall.

The digital stories will soon be available.

Our Slinkies platform is for talented, emerging writers under 30. You can read interviews with Slinkies authors here.


Microlit landmarks … enter yours now

Spineless Wonders is very excited to announce that the 2016 joanne burns Microlit Award will be jointly-sponsored by the Newcastle Writers Festival and Spineless Wonders.

• Theme: Landmarks

• Length: 200 word max.

• Closing date: August 31

The 2016 joanne burns Microlit Award will comprise both national and local categories.

The national category, open to Australian citizens living anywhere and to any person residing in Australia, will be judged by the award-winning writer, scholar and critic, Cassandra Atherton (pictured centre).

The Newcastle category, open to Hunter residents, will be judged by Joanna Atherfold Finn (pictured left) and winner of the 2016 Newcastle Writers Festival Microlit Competition, Karen Whitelaw (right).

Winners of both categories will receive cash prizes of $300 and entries by all finalists will be considered for publication in an anthology, alongside invited writers.

Selected entries will be included in Spineless Wonders’ multi-platform #storybombingNWF17 project.

We are looking for writing which responds imaginatively to the theme of ‘landmarks’. Landmarks may be critical or celebratory watershed moments or turning points in history and culture or in relationships. There are literal landmarks and marks on the land(scape).

Interpret the theme as broadly as you wish, using any tone, from the serious to satirical, from whimsical to witty.

Microlit includes any form of short writing such as flash fiction, prose poem or dramatic monologue. Please note that we do not accept poems with line breaks for this competition.

Follow this link for submission guidelines.

About joanne burns

joanne burns is a contemporary Australian poet and prose writer who has published more than a dozen books of poetry and whose poems have appeared in numerous Australian and overseas literary journals and poetry magazines.

She has been particularly concerned with the blurring of the distinctions between poetry and prose in her work and has written extensively in prose poem/microfiction forms.

She has also written monologues and short futurist fictions and ‘farables’ (fables/parables). burns was awarded the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry for her most recent collection brush (published by Giramondo). The prize was presented to her at the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards ceremony on May 16.


‘Quote’ unquote

In one of the exercises you were supposed to visualise a person you were scared of. The psych said, now picture this person a little shorter than you, then shrink him to knee high. Look down at the top of his head, move him closer. You pictured the smart ass crim in the weights yard. You made him drop the weights, wiped the sneer off his ugly face, then scooted him around like something in a video game. Dress him in something ugly. You snort when you remember the bubblegum pink dressing gown, his hand holding the toilet brush, cover your nose and mouth with your hand too late to muffle the noise. When the psych asked you to do the exercise again, you shrank Dad, tied an apron around his gut, added oven mitts. Do this if someone is giving you a hard time, the psych had said. Don’t give them the satisfaction of seeing your anger. You don’t even have to speak.

Extract from ‘Meant’, Julie Chevalier, Permission to Lie.



Congratulations to Penelope Cottier, Lyneham, ACT, who won last month’s competition. She received a copy of The Last Wilkie’s and Other Stories by Jon Steiner.

This month’s competition: TRIAD SISTER is an anagram of the title of which band that features in the theme we’ve chosen for the next Little Fictions @ Knox St Bar readings in Sydney on Monday July 11? To win a copy of the Spineless Wonders anthology Crime Scenes, email with your answer in the subject line. 


Dates for your diary

July 11 - ‘Dire Straits: tight spots and moral dilemmas’, Little Fictions @ Knox St Bar,  7pm.
July 31 - Entries due for Writing Down Parramatta Road Call Out (we’ve extended the deadline).
August  31 - Closing date for 2016 joanne burns Microlit Award on theme of ‘Landmarks’.


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