So, a novella

May 4, 2015

So last night I read through my 20,000 word Novella I wrote in a week as a dare… and it’s not bad!


I had the feeling that it started well and then descended into cliched sci-fi (complete with aliens), but I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not saying it is a masterpiece – or that it will ever be a masterpiece – but the bones are strong enough for me to invest some time into it.


Watch this space!

Why you need a writing group

April 26, 2015

In an effort to blog more, I plan to just throw out a few of the more “though bubble” type blog posts, and this is the first.

Why you need a writing group:

1. So much of what you write will never see the light of day: to commit time (in a busy world) to write some of us need more of a reason to do so. Having a group to hold yourself accountable can be a wonderful mechanism to do this.

2. Keeping up with the Joneses: there is nothing like seeing the success of your colleagues to spur you on. When you take part in their achievements (and see the effort required to produce quality work) it motivates you!

3. Trust: you need someone you trust to tell you when what you’re working on is shit. Sometimes we all chase the rabbit down the hole and refuse to give up on something that is just no good. A good writing group will help you focus.

4. Belief: Writing can be quite disorganised. You lose track of good material. You get a few rejections and you shelve stories that have value. You need someone who remembers when they liked your stuff, and who has an emotional investment in getting you across the line with them.

5. Creativity doesn’t exist in a vacuum: Don’t expect to toil in the real world then come back to a dark room and write. Creativity thrives in a creative environment. Surround yourself with writers, film guys, painters, sculptors and photographers. Watch them, listen to them, reinterpret what they do.

6. Give back: In all aspects of life, I have always thought that you don’t get anything of value without giving first. Give your time to other writers and you get back more than their reciprocated efforts. You get exposure to the work and style of others, you get access to their ideas that you may argue against, or riff off. And you contribute.

The impetus for this post: last week my writing buddy, Anthony Panegyres, reminded me that I wrote a 20,000 word novella that I had completely forgotten about (as you do). I found it and he called me a few days later to challenge me to a novella editing challenge.

As a high school English teacher (Anthony is Head of English at a prestigious Perth school), Anthony is the ultimate writing group member. Every time we catch up he name checks EVERY SINGLE STORY of mine that he believes I’ve shelved too early.

Support you can’t pay for.

Published: “The Winter Stream”

April 20, 2015


At the recent NatCon in Perth, my latest story, “The Winter Stream” was published in Fablecroft Publishing’s Insert Title Here anthology.

I’m very proud of this story, and excessively proud of the home it has found. Fablecroft have been a favourite publisher of mine and the other names in the Table Of Contents are impressive.

Check out some early reviews here and here.

Get a copy here!

Emerging in the Spec Fic scene

April 20, 2015

Hi guys,

Long time no blog! Going to try and fix that, starting with a couple of blog posts today.

First post is to point you in the direction of The Writers’ Bloc blog, where they have just posted a piece I wrote about the opportunities for emerging writers in the Speculative Fiction Field.

Spec Fic affords the new writer fertile ground to practice and refine their craft, and my piece explores (what I think are) the reasons for this.

Check it out here:



October 1, 2013



I haven’t written anything in a good while.

This is my first really prolonged period of zero creative output and it really gets you wondering about whether you were ever a “creative type”, whether it was actually just a hobby.

Whether “it” is gone.

Then, yesterday, I spent an hour with my son building Lego. The aim was to build something for each other. He built me this awesome robot:


I built him my version of a “Blacktron” ship:

photo 1

Yes, it took more than an hour.

The thing is, I have kept thinking about this ship. How it could be better, what lived up to my expectations, what failed. What I would improve on the next version. My son’s reaction to it.

I’ve thought about that ship all morning. Given it way more consideration than it deserves. The brain is buzzing with little plastic blocks.

It doesn’t matter whether it is writing, painting, music, or building bullshit-awesome lego: this is the essence of creativity. You have an idea and your desire that it find expression in the world suffocates your ability to do anything else.

It’s a great feeling. I’m glad it came back, even if – or perhaps especially because – it took the form of a kickarse Lego spaceship.

photo 2

Cover for CSFG anthology ‘Next’

April 2, 2013

Feast your eyes on this awesome cover for the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild’s next anthology ‘Next’:




My story “Those Days’ has made its way into the table of contents – can’t wait to read all the other stories from a very impressive list of writers.

Story sold!

January 2, 2013

Really stoked to announce that my short SF story “Those Days” has been picked up for publication.

The Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild (CSFG) will be including it in their next anthology – the theme of which will be ‘next’:

Next suggests ‘change’, perhaps, but it doesn’t have to invoke change, it can simply be an account of cause-and-effect.  Soemtimes it’s the absence of change, the sense of inevitability, that gives the story its terrible power and its resonance.  Or it might be a rite-of-passage; of invention and exploration; of the testing and transgression of boundaries; or a story laden with doom or hope or just the inevitability of inescapable repetition.  Yup, this theme is a theme for all seasons; it’s a cut and come again theme that can mean pretty much whatever people want it to mean.

Check out the excellent TOC here. Previous anthologies from CSFG have been filled with some excellent names and this one is no different. Some of the names I recognise include:

Alan Baxter

Richard Harland

Martin Livings

Ian McHugh

Gillian Polack


I’m looking forward to discovering everyone else on the TOC too!




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