Aurealis Awards

Aurealis Awards Finalist Logo

I’ve been lucky enough to have my short story, Phoenix Pharmaceuticals (published by Deadset Press) shortlisted in the Best Horror Short Story category of the upcoming Aurealis Awards. Competition will be stiff, as always, and I’m up against a number of prestigious authors. As always, being shortlisted is a win all on its own, and had me doing happy dances round my kitchen and bragging to everyone I know.

I’ve pasted the shortlist for my category below, and you can find the complete list of Aurealis finalists for the year on the Aurealis Awards Website. It handily brings together some of the best of last year’s published works by Australian authors, so have a browse. If anything catches your fancy, consider supporting our local creators by buying a copy or ordering it to your local library (library copies help fund authors via lending rights).


“The Genetic Alchemist’s Daughter”, Elaine Cuyegkeng (Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, Omnium Gatherum)

“The Bone Fairy”, Martin Livings (Midnight Echo 15, Australasian Horror Writers Association)

“Phoenix Pharmaceuticals”, Jessica Nelson-Tyers (Cancer, The Zodiac Series, #7, Deadset Press) 

“Many Mouths to Make a Meal”, Garth Nix (Final Cuts, Blumhouse/Anchor)

“How We Felt”, Helena O’Connor (Aurealis #136)

Story in Zodiac Anthology

My short story, Phoenix Pharmaceuticals, about a magical cure too good to be true, is now available as an ebook in the Cancer anthology, book seven of Aussie Speculative Fiction’s Zodiac Series. This series is full of dark and mysterious stories inspired by zodiac signs and mythology. The Cancer installment will be available in paperback soon . Aussie Speculative Fiction is a fantastic group full of creative people committed to showcasing some of the amazing speculative fiction produced in Australia and by Australians. It’s well worth checking out their other projects too, and it was a pleasure to be included in this.

Zodiac Series


One of my short stories has been accepted for an anthology in the Zodiac Series by Australian Speculative Fiction. Each anthology in this series is filled with stories inspired by one of the star signs and it’s symbology. The first Zodiac books are available now in print or ebook from

The Shell Collector

Plastic rustles in my grip.

I smell salt breezes:

One million shells to collect.

I’m ready for conches, scallops,

Fingernails and cones,

Abalone rainbows and

Shells in delicate pink.


The first into my bag:

Fifteen butts of cigarettes,

Littered on the grass

Where my baby sister played

And picked them up.


The next:

A bottle, ready for breaking

Shattering through sand

That soft skin will tread

Ready to be rounded


Into prettier pieces.


And then:

A release of balloons

Flat and floppy

Coloured like jelly,

A terminal

Turtle’s banquet.


I don’t leave the beach

With shells

But I leave it with sand

Clean as conscience.



My sister dances and twirls

Burnt leaf from the 2020 Australian bushfires, Sapphire Coast NSW

like a burnt leaf in the wind,

crackling with laughter.

She snatches and catches

at strange black objects

stark against mandarin skies.


A sieve of ash

like icing sugar topping a cake

sprinkles our shoulders

and I can’t help but think:

it’s a forest falling upon us

and everything in it turned to dust.


As Mum packs boxes in the car

(a Tetris game with photos, laptops, pyjamas, toys)

I unpack new boxes of fear:

things that never frightened me before,

like a whisking west wind

and a warm summer’s day.


As I pick pieces of fern

from frizzled hair

my sister starts spluttering.

I run to pat her back.

‘It’s like catching snowflakes,’ she says.

‘But you shouldn’t use your tongue.’


Endless Stars Magazine


I should have posted about this earlier, but the fires had me fleeing my beautiful bush home and my writing routine. I was devoured by worry for  friends and family as they faced the fury. While everyone I know came through things okay, our community will never be quite the same, with the bushfires destroying hundreds of homes in my area.

My good news from December, before everything went wild, was that my short story, “The Clockwork Baby” was selected as the feature story in the debut issue of Endless Stars Magazine. This is a new endeavour, created and edited by my extremely talented friend Joel Schanke. The idea is to produce a speculative fiction magazine combined with a platform for agents and editors to approach authors whose work they love.

If you visit the Endless Stars website, you’ll be able to download the complimentary first issue and escape into some gorgeous fiction. If you’re a writer, take note: submissions for issue two will be opening soon.


Story in Spaceports & Spidersilk

48d47c8b04255e888c3f20cded598148216c68e8 I was lucky enough to have one of my favourite stories published in Spaceports & Spidersilk this month. It’s a fantastic magazine packed with poetry and stories for kids who enjoy speculative fiction –  fantasy, sci-fi, & scary stuff. You can pick up the July issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk for just USD $1. 

“Deflated” is about a girl’s birthday party gone terribly wrong. I hope you enjoy it!

Aurealis Awards Shortlist

I’m so very excited to see two of my short horror stories on the Aurealis Awards finalists list for 2018. It really feels like a win already.

One of the nominated stories is By Kindle Light, published in Antipodean SF #235. This is a changeling story I wrote while I was still breastfeeding my younger daughter, devouring books on my kindle all the while. The other story is Hit and Rot, published in Breach Magazine #8. I don’t want to give away too much about this story, but it will make you drive carefully on the back roads.

Wish me luck, although I feel quite lucky anyway. Have a lovely day.