March 2020

Editor's Note

Eleven ways Spineless Wonders can support you when staying at home is the safest course of action.

Even before COVID-19, we had a number of activities specifically geared to online audiences, but as enforced lockdowns become a reality, we have stepped up our efforts to entertain and engage with people online.

Our team has been thinking long and hard over the past weeks about how best to cater for the needs of people stuck in lockdown. With so many of you now working from home, we have thought about how to help you get away from your screens.

We’ve thought about your desire to connect with others – but in ways which don’t necessarily involve being in a Zoom meeting with your hair done and your clothes ironed. We’ve also thought about how to turn this time of enforced isolation into a chance for you to be creative. So, here are the eleven COVID-19-boredom busting activities we have come up with. We invite you to take part in as many as you wish.

Most of all we wish for you and your loved ones a safe and healthy time over coming months.

Stay safe everyone,
Bronwyn Mehan
Publisher | Curator | Producer

LISTEN

• INFECTIOUS FICTIONS

Each day we will be delivering the world to you in the form of short audio stories under 5 minutes in length. Narrated by actors at some of our recent live events or recorded in studio by some of authors, these stories are drawn from our annual microlit anthologies.

• AUTHORS ON VIDEO

This year’s joanne burns microlit award, held in collaboration with the Newcastle Writers Festival, encouraged writers to use microlit to explore physical, psychological, environmental and historical scars. Hear (and watch) readings by writers included in the Scars anthology.

• SHUFFLE IN TRANSLATION

Get global – let us transport you across the world to hear readings from the microlit anthology Shuffle translated into a variety of different languages…

• LOCKDOWN LITERATURE

Audio stories that take you places. #Stayathome – give your eyes a rest, get away from the screen, lie back and be read to.

• COFFEE POD|CAST

Produced and co-hosted by Ali Morris and Emma Walsh, each podcast episode involves an actor performing a work of microlit, followed by a bookish chat over a cup of coffee.

• LITTLE FICTIONS ON AIR: THE PODCAST

 Little Fictions is a half-hour storytelling program presented by Kate Liston-Mills. The show features contemporary short stories by authors from across Australia and read by actors, recorded at live performances or in studio. 

The show is packed with interviews with actors, authors and behind-the-scenes chats with Little Fictions’ curators and producers.

CREATE

• MICROFLIX AWARDS

The Microflix Award & Festival aims to encourage more Australian filmmakers to use work by Australian authors and to foster excellence and creativity in film adaptations. Create a film based on your choice from a wide range of texts submitted to Microflix.  Check out the Microflix blog for ideas for filmmaking in the age of COVID-19.

• PHONE IT IN

Calling all 15 to 18 year old creatives. Here is a chance to produce and submit an audio recording of an original piece of writing to a publisher. The theme is SOUND and entry for your 2min max recording is free. Submissions close 30 May 2020. You can simply record and upload from your mobile phone, or get creative by adding sound effects and soundtrack. 

• NWF/joanne burns MICROLIT AWARDS

This competition is for best writing in the forms of prose poem and microfiction in honour of foremost Australian experimental poet, joanne burns. Finalists chosen by each year’s judging panel are offered publication in our annual anthology alongside invited writers. This year's theme is Pulped Fiction.

• AUDIO BOOKCLUB

In this new iteration of the Spineless Wonders Bookclub we will be adding the element of audio stories read by actors. Each Wednesday fortnight we'll meet on the Facebook Spineless Wonders Bookclub group between 8 and 9pm to chat about the short story featured in our half hour radio show, Little Fictions On Air.

• RICHARD HOLT'S CORELLA VIRUS WRITING PORTAL

Corella is a fictional virus for writers and readers; an epidemiological conceit with infinite possibilities. The Corella virus, as examined in these pages, generates birdlike symptoms in the general population and invites flights of fancy from creative minds. All submissions of microlit (to 500 words) infected with (or at least with a nod towards) the Corella virus’s avian symptoms, are welcome.

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This month’s Sluglines was prepared by Hannah Oakshott.

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