August 2020

Say hi to our newest authors

After months of keen anticipation, we are excited to announce the 2020 Slinkies Under 30s.

Co-curated by Kalhari Jayaweera, Hannah Janssen and Emma Wortley, this freestyle writing competition allowed entries of any form or genre up to 10,000 words. Out of many talent-filled pieces of work, eight submissions were chosen. Cover design by Hannah Janssen.

The five authors of our 2020 Slinkies digital singles are:

Drift by Sophie Overett

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Sophie is an award-winning, published writer who has previously won the 2020 Penguin Literary Prize for her novel, The Rabbit, the 2018 AAWP Short Story Prize and has been shortlisted for a range of awards including The Text Prize and The Richell Prize.

Drop Dead Gorgeous by Liam Higham

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Liam maintains is an emerging writer from Bathurst who has already published a satire called Hoboman and his second novel Project Thirteen is soon to released.

Linesman by Emil Cholic

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Emil studied Advertising and Graphic Design at Curtin University, before moving onto gaining a wealth of copywriting experience. This new-to-fiction, Perth-raised writer is now living and working in Amsterdam.

Moreton Bay Figs by Harry Goddard

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Harry is a Sydney-based English teacher and short story writer, with previous work published in Going Down Swinging, Mascara Literary Review, and the UTS Writers’ Anthology. He also studied creative writing at UTS.

Stumps/Smokes by Thomas Alan

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Thomas is a graduate of the University of Queensland, majoring in creative writing. While establishing himself in the world of writing, he simultaneously fills his days working as a carpenter.

Announcing:  Slinkies Shorts

Our Slinkies curators were really impressed with the great quality of writing submitted this year and in addition to the five short stories above, they decided to launch the inaugural Slinkies Shorts for the best in microfiction by emerging authors. Meet this year's contributors:

Synaesthetic Nights by Ch’aska Cuba de Reed

Ch’aska is a creative writing student at the University of Technology, Sydney, and has previously been published in UTS’ Vertigo magazine and Baby Teeth.

Different Seasons and Midnight Sandwiches by Sky Carrall

This is also Sky’s entry piece in the world of fiction publishing, written while studying creative writing and English at the University of Wollongong.

Rosie by Tehya Nicholas

This is Tehya’s first published piece of fiction, which she wrote while studying creative writing at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

Purchase Slinkies Shorts 2020 at:


Slinkies Audio is here

Changes are coming for the 2020 Slinkies top picks! Not only will the winning choices be released in eBook format, but they will also be released as audio files for a more immersive audience experience.

To help bring each story to life, five actors are coming on board as narrators, including Aileen Huynh, Briallen Clarke, Eleni Schumacher, Mark Dessaix and Tom Burt.

Each actor brings a wonderful tone of voice that makes for an easy and engaging listening session.

To purchase Slinkies Audio Stories 2020 or listen to the trailer, click here.

Microflix 2020 Closing Soon


A message from Microflix's Taj Luksic:

With just a few weeks to go til the submissions deadline date (August 31st), many of you filmmakers, animators and storytellers are progressing somewhere through the second half of your projects! Maybe you are near the end or have already submitted? Or you are just beginning your Microflix now and are in need of support to get through the tough bit: just doing it.

Looking for inspiration? Or want to find out more about text to film adaptation? Over at the Microflix website I am pleased to be sharing with you some Process Diaries from some of our entrants. You can read them here.


Calling all LGBTQI+ writers

Do you have an amazing story idea floating around in your head? Is there something you want the world to read? Are you always looking for the opportunity to sit down and write it out, but lacking in motivation?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then think about submitting to Spineless Wonders for this call out!

Spineless Wonders is looking for LGBTQI+ writers who have a story to tell. We’re after stories that mean something to you. That means no theme is too dissonant, and no genres is too outrageous.

Write about a moment you’ll never forget, or something that you can’t wait to experience. Write about the things you love and the things that don’t make sense. Write about freedom and misery, or victories and injustices. Whatever being LGBTQI+ means to you, we want to hear it.

• Deadline: 1 November 2020

• Length: 2,000 words or less

• All styles and genres are accepted including graphic artworks

 Find out more here.


Meet the 2020 Slinkies

Have you ever wondered how award-winning stories came to be? Were the ideas prompted by personal experiences, or did they simply come from a dream? There are many ways for authors to get their dose of inspiration.

We interviewed the eight 2020 Slinkies authors and  here’s what stirred them to write their outstanding short stories.


Thomas Alan speaks about how his adolescent experiences informed his writing, bringing us on the journey of how Stumps/Smokes came to be.

“I think growing up is messy and it’s revealing and it’s endless, and I think that a small country town like Tennby [where the story is set] is the perfect embodiment of how claustrophobic those years can seem.” See full interview here.


Tehya Nicholas reveals that this Slinkies short was inspired by the scandals of Instagram influencer Caroline Calloway and her very public falling out with her best friend.

“I wanted to invent a character based off Calloway, who was somewhat toxic and tragic, and the plot unspooled itself from there.” See full interview here.


The idea of writing about line workers came to Emil Cholic decades ago when a friend told him they were pursuing the career for the danger pay.

“It always stuck with me how direct it sounded. I thought that exchange of risk for money being so blatant was very confronting.” See full interview here.

Different Seasons and Midnight Sandwiches

Both of these coming of age stories were written by Sky Carrall to showcase the personal challenges and large-scale issues through the view of a child.

“Everybody understands what it’s like to grow up and deal with change, so these stories can bring a universal sense of innocence and hope unique to this particular genre.” See full interview here.

Drop Dead Gorgeous

According to Liam Higham, this quirky take on horror fiction could’ve had a number of influences.

“Perhaps it is a comment on how entrenched the expectations of beauty culture is in our society that, even in death, we still have to make ourselves look beautiful for the rest of the world…

“Or perhaps I just thought it would be funny for a zombie to wear makeup.” See full interview here.

Synaesthetic Nights

This story’s concept was brought on by Ch’aska Cuba de Reed’s captivation with Synaesthesia – a condition that drew her to studying neuroscience before instead pursuing creative writing.

“It isn’t a condition that I have, but descriptions from my father’s experience and reading up on the way that it can manifest itself from as small as association to as large as colour taking over your landscape in response to a word or number fascinates me.” See full interview here.

Moreton Bay Figs

In this story, Harry Goddard wanted to explore the ‘what ifs’ when it comes to humankind and the potential disasters we could face.

“My main concern is not picturing how much we have to lose; I just wonder if we would abandon everyone else to keep what we have.” See full interview here.


While Sophie Overett labels the experiences within the story as entirely fictionalised, there are some components she can relate to.

“I think Hest’s reluctance to move past a difficult experience, and her fixating on learning how to levitate to distract herself from facing that is something that – as much as it’s probably a little embarrassing to admit, haha – is not foreign to me.” See full interview here.


Win the set of 2020 Slinkies

For a chance to win a full set of the 2020 Slinkies books, tell us in 25 words or less what motivates your creativity and how do you channel it?

Submit your response to:


‘Quote’ unquote

I feel the boys watching me as I approach the front door and realise, with a shock, that it’s locked. Mama never locked the door. Women, children and dogs were always wandering in and out, bringing food, gossip, fleas. I fumble in my purse for the keys and jiggle the lock until the door springs open. I slip off my sandals and sigh as my bare feet hit the woven mats inside.

From To My Maker by Lisa Dowdall, Slinkies 2017




Dates for your diary

Catch Little Fictions on Air (LFOA) every fortnight where all good podcasts are found. LFOA also airs live every Monday fortnight on 2RPH radio at 3pm.

31 August – deadline for Microflix entries deadline (find out more here)  

1 November – LGBTQI+ callout deadline (find out more here)



This month’s Sluglines was prepared by Elaelah Harley.