We are thrilled to introduce you to creative writer Maz Howard whose short story ‘The thing with teeth’ is published in the 2022 Slinkies anthology. In this interview with Kathleen Kelly (publishing intern), Maz talks about the opportunities available for young Australian writers, a poetry manuscript they are working on at the moment and their favourite writers and writing styles. To find out more about this year’s Slinkies, join us on 29 September at 7.30 pm AEST for the online launch of this excellent publication and the lowdown about Slinkies 2022. Register here.

What genres do you like to write in?

I love to dabble in different genres with my writing, though I’m most comfortable writing contemporary or light/urban fantasy. Read more

Have you written about any other creatures apart from werewolves?

Not a huge amount, though I did spend most of my teenage years writing a novel that featured several human characters with animal features, such as antlers and wings. The first draft has since stayed firmly put in my abandoned folder, but maybe I’ll dust it off one day!

Do you prefer writing short stories, or do you enjoy other art forms?

My favourite (and most familiar) form of writing is poetry, so short stories are definitely something that I still have to challenge myself with, but I’ve lately been enjoying working in longer prose forms too.

In Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, I’m guessing you were on team Jacob, not team Edward? Were you a fan? What authors do you read?

I actually never read Twilight! I only just watched the films this year because my partner couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen them. I think my love of werewolves came more from reading Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver series as a teenager. These days my favourite writers include Alexis Wright, Akwaeke Emezi and Mary Oliver.

Do you think there are good opportunities available for young Australian writers?

Definitely! I think we’re really lucky in Australia to have so many opportunities catered specifically to young and debut writers. I can’t speak for other states, but here in SA there are also several events and workshops for young writers, which is a great way to start engaging with the writing community.

Do you have ideas for a future piece?

There’s always something flitting around in my head. At the moment, I’ve been working on a piece that deals with grief and siblinghood—mostly in the form of ghost hunting! I’m also slowly putting together a poetry manuscript that features lots of writing about growth and nature and being trans.

Where can we find you on the socials?

I’m on Instagram @maz.s.h!

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