June 2019

Spineless Wonders publications shortlisted for Awards

We are pleased to announce that two Spineless Wonders publications have been shortlisted in the Woollahra Digital Literary Award, which celebrates writing first published online or electronically.

Ashley Kalagian Blunt’s My Name is Revenge, is a “compelling and contemporary” crime story that shows the long-reaching effects of the Armenian genocide. Three companion essays provide historical context. This novella was a finalist in the 2018 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award and was recently launched in paperback.

Meanwhile, 2133/Osaka by talented Melbourne author Alex Bennetts has also been shortlisted. The novella is an intriguing and intricately-woven tale of futurist art, Airbnb scams and dislocation.

Congratulations to both Ashley and Alex! The winners were announced at an awards presentation ceremony at Woollahra Library in Double Bay on 30th May.


joanne burns Microlit Award

The joanne burns Microlit Award was established in 2011 to showcase the best writing in the forms of micro prose and poetry, in honour of the Australian experimental poet. Finalists chosen by the judging panel are offered publication in Spineless Wonders’ annual anthology, as well as a range of our multiplatform collaborations including #storybombing and Microflix. Cash prizes of $300 will be awarded to the winner of the National and Hunter categories.

The 2019 theme is ‘Scars’. We acquire scars sometimes by accident and sometimes by design. Scars may be evidence of past and ongoing hurt. They can stand witness to our rites of passage or transformation. They may mar or they may make our appearance. They may be invisible.

Your submission may be fiction or creative nonfiction, memoir or speculative. You may choose to write in any prose genre or mode (including prose poetry) – in fact, hybrid forms are encouraged. Your approach may be playful, witty, political, philosophical or all of the above.

Deadline: 30th September

Please see our website for terms and conditions: joanne burns microlit award.


Filmmakers Gear Up for Microflix Festival Deadline

Microflix is a short film festival that showcases Australian fiction in unique, innovative ways. Last month, writers were encouraged to submit microlit to Spineless Wonders – and now, filmmakers get the first chance to adapt them into 3-minute films.

Using whatever equipment you can get your hands on – smartphones included – we encourage you to choose a piece of fiction on our website: Microflix, and get your creative juices flowing. This year’s theme is SOUND.

There are prizes up for grabs including Best Adaptation ($1000), Best Film Made on Smartphone ($1000), Best Direction ($200) and Best Sound ($200). 

Check out the blog for tips, tricks and interviews with authors and last year’s winners.

Deadline: 30th June


Late Night Lawn Library

The award-winning Late Night Library series from the City of Sydney has announced a special showcase of Little Fictions at Tramsheds on 13th June. Psychotherapist-turned-comedian Sophie Long will MC the night, providing witty humour to weave between the dark tales that talented actors Jessica-Belle Keogh and Alex Neal bring to life on stage.

The eerie, reflective short stories include:

 ‘Whipped Cream’ by Tanya Vavilova, bringing to mind a Handmaid’s Tale-style dystopian future where sex is currency.

An extract on life as an anorectic from the novella, Panthers and the Museum of Fire by Jen Craig, accompanied by a unique soundscape created by Stephen Adams.

‘Sleepwalk’ by Krissy Kneen, where a young couple’s relationship is haunted by ectoplasm.

There will also be musings on the corporeal in microfiction form by Dominique Hecq, Kim Waters and Tess Pearson.

It’s the perfect night out with friends made even better by the location – Tramsheds is the site of some fabulous restaurants and a Messina ice-cream to enjoy before the show.

Bookings recommended as places are limited.

Harold Park Community Hall
Thursday 13 June 2019 from 7.30pm to 8.30pm


Little Fictions on Air Goes National

'Little Fictions on Air' is Spineless Wonders' 30-minute podcast, featuring recordings of stories from our live events at Knox St Bar, Late Night Library series and studio sessions. Presented by Little Fictions actor Ella Watson-Russell, we broadcast fortnightly on community radio station 2RPH, and after less than a year on local airwaves, we are excited to announce that we are now going national.

Little Fictions on Air has been picked up by the Community Radio Network, which means hundreds of stations across the country will now have access to the program to broadcast. More details on our launch date and which bandwidth you can catch us on will be up on the website soon.



To win a copy of My Name is Revenge by Ashley Kalagian Blunt, tell us in 25 words or less about a historical event you would like to write about and why.

Email your answer to info@shortaustralianstories.com.au

Last month's winning entry:

The song that always makes me tear up when it comes on the radio is "Little Ray of Sunshine" by Axiom (1970). Mostly because it makes my Dad tear up, because it played on the radio in the car when he was driving from the hospital to my grandparents' place to tell them they had a granddaughter. My Dad was always troubled by his red hair, which gave him a lot of difficulty throughout his school years, so the line "have you noticed she's just like her father, I think that I'd rather her hair was much darker" really rings true, because in the delivery room when I crowned the doctor declared "Well I don't know if it's a boy or a girl yet, but it's a redhead!"
Bronwyn Lovell, South Australia

Bronwyn scored a copy of Spineless Wonders' latest anthology publication, Shuffle.


‘Quote’ unquote

Myrtle presses her lips to the bars. Her face is near.

'Who's a pretty boy?'

Squaaawk! Twitters. Twitters was the pretty boy. A downright flirt. I wonder if I have time to peck out an eye? No. She's fast for an old duck.

Her tea. Her breakfast. Her washing up. I can't go on, so I suppose I'll go on. 

'Oh my goodness, Bluey, you haven't had your muesli.'

I have, Myrtle. I have. Look. Don't you remember? She'll forget me altogether one day.

From Bluey and Myrtle by Mark O'Flynn, published in Spineless Wonders short story collection The Great Unknown, 2013.


Dates for your diary

June 13 - Late Night Library at Tramsheds

June 30 - Microflix Sound deadline

July 4 - My Name is Revenge talk with Ashley Kalagian Blunt at Better Read Than Dead

July 24 - Ashley Kalagian Blunt in Conversation at Avid Reader, Brisbane

August 28 - Ashley Kalagian Blunt in Conversation with Toni Jordan, Readings Hawthorn, Melbourne

September 30 - joanne burns Microlit Award deadline


This month’s Sluglines was prepared by Hannah Oakshott and Marion Thomas.