February 2018

Stars of Australian microlit

Newcastle Writers Festival and Spineless Wonders are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2017 joanne burns Microlit Award.

Winner of the national category is Tess Pearson (pictured) for ‘Traces’.

Winner of the Hunter category is Luke Evans for ‘You Can’t Go Home Again’.

Award judge Cassandra Atherton described the two winning entries as “tightly crafted pieces of microliterature, memorable for their quirky originality in their exploration of the theme, and for their brilliant control in this short form”.

A very large round of applause for these two very short pieces of fiction – and all the other entries. Read more about the winners and the competition at the SW website.


A timely book launch

Both award-winning works appear in SW’s fab new microfiction anthology, Time. The new book, edited by Cassandra Atherton, will be launched on Saturday, April 7, at the Newcastle Writers Festival, where Tess Pearson and Luke Evans will also receive their prizes.

You can pre-order Time now from Spineless Wonders.

And while you’re there, check out our interview with editor Cassandra Atherton in which she talks about microlit as a form, as well as our Q&As with some of the authors.


SW's new $5000 literary prize

Last year we announced a new award for collections of short stories, micro-fiction and novellas up to 30,000 words. The winner will receive $3000 and two runners-up $1000 each; all will be offered digital publication by Spineless Wonders.

Submissions close on April 3, so there’s still time to enter. If you have any burning questions about the competition, don't miss the information session at the State Library Victoria at 6pm on Thursday March 1 with award judge Carmel Bird and publisher Bronwyn Mehan. You can register to attend the event in person or join the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #CBDLA.


Expert advice

To give you inspiration we’re putting together Q&As with established writers on how to approach the challenges of creating a short story collection. We start by chatting with regional NSW writer Kate Liston-Mills on Tablo about her place-based collection The Waterfowl Are Drunk!


"Truly addictive" new fiction

Toni Jordan has described Richard Holt's debut collection What You Might Find as "truly addictive: perfectly formed, funny and tragic glimpses under the surface of life”.

You can listen to David McLean's interview with Richard Holt on 3CR's Published Or Not, here.

Order a copy of Richard's book from SW or ask for it at your favourite bookshop.

What You Might Find will be launched by Cassandra Atherton at the Newcastle Writers Festival, April 7. 



The winner of the mistaken identity challenge in our last Sluglines is Karen Lethlean, who scores a copy of My Life & Other Fictions by Michael Giacometti.

“Representing Australia, as an age-grouper Triathlete in Montreal, I was mistaken for Jackie Gallagher, a top-five professional place winner, by Mexican Triathletes. Confronted with language difficulties, and their insistence, best I just smiled, for cameras.  All I have in common with Jackie is short hair and AUSTRALIA emblazoned clothing.”

To win a copy of What You Might Find by Richard Holt, tell us, in 50 words or less, about the oddest thing you've come across in a flea market.


‘Quote’ unquote

Although he was experiencing great pain, Eduardo Martinez continued to smile and attend to the many people that came to him. He knew he would die. The doctors had already told him there was nothing they could do, then left. As soon as the carriages that held him suspended like a marionette were parted, the toxins from his crushed chest would overrun his body, killing him instantly. He could live only as long as he remained the coupling link.

‘The Uncoupling of Eduardo Martinez’ from My Life & Other Fictions by Michael Giacometti, 2017.


Where are they now?

We bring you another instalment in our Where Are They Now series, which profiles our former interns. They look back at their internship/work experience with Spineless Wonders and tell us about the highlights, what they found most useful, and where it has led them...


Dates for your diary

March 1 – The Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award information session, Seminar Room, State Library Victoria, 6pm.

March 1 – Release of Time anthology edited by Cassandra Atherton.

March 14Vaginal Spray: feminist stories. Little Fictions, 107, 107 Redfern St, Redfern, 8pm.

April 6-9 – Newcastle Writers Festival – microlit panel, Time anthology launch by Ed Wright, What You Might Find launch by Cassandra Atherton, #storybombingnwf18. See NWF website for details.

April 7 – Home-making installation, Joynton Avenue Creative Centre, #storybombingGreenSquare. Details to come.

April 30 – Deadline for The Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award.


This month’s Sluglines was prepared by Mark Vender.