The novella I wrote after finishing A Superior Spectre has won a big prize! Joan Smokes is set in the early 1960s and centres on a woman who attempts to escape the past by travelling to Las Vegas. It tackles themes of reinvention, grief, trauma and love. Prize judge and Galley Beggar Press co-founder Eloise Millar praised the … Continue reading ‘Joan Smokes’ wins the Mslexia Novella Competition (UK)
I have a personal-literary essay, about a complex fantasy I experience when I'm deeply anxious, in the latest Island mag. This one was very hard to write – I had to tackle some unexpected feelings of shame – but I'm glad I pushed myself to go deep into it. The essay actually ties in fairly well with … Continue reading ‘Running Away’ in Island #153
'Anxiety is a state of being tuned... like a hypersensitive nervous system, and that manifests in all sorts of terrible ways... but it also makes you very aware of what's happening around you, which is a quality that writers and other artists benefit from.'
I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books. I aimed to read them all in 2011, but that’s beginning to look unlikely. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? I think I knew about the film before the book, but I’m yet to see it. The main reasons I wanted to read it … Continue reading 20 Classics #9: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
A new committee is being set up to pursue equal rights for women writers in Australia. Besides research, lobbying and setting up mentorships, the committee is looking at establishing a literary prize for Australian women writers, along the lines of the UK's Orange Prize. The steering committee (including novelist and publisher Sophie Cunningham, critic and … Continue reading Let's read writing by women
Text Publishing 9781921758133, March 2011 (Aus) (also UK) Reviewed by Imogen Baratta Helen Hodgman’s Blue Skies tells the story of an unnamed young wife and mother living in the 'heart shaped island' of Tasmania. The agonising banality of her day-to-day life plays out within the confines of stark, suffocating suburbia, amid the manicured lawns and … Continue reading Guest review: Imogen Baratta on Blue Skies by Helen Hodgman
Ticonderoga Publications, 2011 9780980628883 (Aus, US, UK) reviewed by Lyndon Riggall In my first year at University I studied fairytales, and more specifically Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber, a book which is arguably the poster-child of fairytale re-imaginings. Carter writes well, and in many cases her stories spin beautifully away from tradition while remaining neatly tied … Continue reading Guest review: Lyndon Riggall on The Girl With No Hands by Angela Slatter