5 Fantasy Cliques and How to Make Them Different, by Jess Rae

Fantasy is hands-down my favourite genre to read, and just like any genre fantasy comes with many tropes, some overused. Some of these tropes are so overused that a quick peruse of the blurb or scan of the first chapter gives me a pretty good idea of the plot of the book. Not to say…

Review: Oriental Vagabonds by Richard Regan, by Fred

Title: Oriental Vagabonds: A Tale of a Far East Tramp Author: Richard Regan Genre: Fiction Favourite part: Captain Rowden finds himself entangled with Chinese warlords. Favourite quote: “Aye, life’s tough enough tramping around these waters. But it’ll get harder, much harder if General Tojo and Herr Hitler get their way.” Oriental Vagabonds chronicles the trials…

Call for Submissions – Bedtime Stories project

Underground Writers is seeking flash fiction submissions for an exciting new project in partnership with the 2018 Kaleidoscope Festival. The Bedtime Stories project will see three winning stories selected for performance as part of the 2018 Kaleidoscope Festival, which takes place in Joondalup on 1-4 November 2018 and attracts approximately 80,000 visitors each year. The…

Writing Opportunities for September 2018

Writing Opportunities for September 2018 Big Sky Publishing Big Sky Publishing is currently accepting unsolicited non-fiction manuscripts in the genres of history, military history, true crime, current affairs, self-help, health, business, autobiography and biography, humour, and lifestyle. Bloodhound Books Bloodhound Books is currently accepting submissions of crime and mystery thriller manuscripts. Manuscripts must be at…

Review: Rohypnol by Andrew Hutchinson, by Fred

Title: Rohypnol Author: Andrew Hutchinson Genre: Australian fiction Favourite part: The narrator’s revelation in the finale. Favourite quote: ‘The New Punk is not about moving towards your future. It is about your life right now, impatiently standing still.’ Trigger Warning: Sexual Abuse, Sexual Predators, Rape, Sexual Assault Rohypnol by Andrew Hutchinson is the story of…

Jess Rae’s Character List

A character list by Jess Rae Choosing literary characters that have impacted me is like trying to choose among friends, because that’s what they are to a lonely bookworm: friends. Some are powerful, some are quiet, and some are ruthless, but they’re all important and have all impacted me in some way. Rose Hathaway, Vampire…

Underground Books is now open for all your Australian debut reading needs

Underground Books, the new online bookshop from Underground Writers, officially launches this weekend. The online store will only stock debut titles from Australian or Australian-based authors with all profits from the sales going towards funding the group’s projects to support emerging Australian writers. Operations Manager and Editor-in-Chief Jemimah Halbert Brewster said the store had ‘already…

Review: ‘Alfred’s War & ‘Benny Bungarra’s Big Bush Clean-Up’

Editor Kate Lomas Glendenning reviews two recent children’s book releases from Magabala Books. Alfred’s War by Rachel Bin Salleh, illustrated by Samantha Fry Alfred’s War is the stunning debut from Rachel Bin Salleh and Samantha Fry. The story follows Alfred, an Indigenous veteran who served in The Great War (now known as World War One),…

Interview: Maddie Godfrey, author of ‘How To Be Held’

An interview by Shelley Timms  Photo by Michael Reynolds Firstly, tell us a bit about your book! How To Be Held is my debut poetry collection. It’s pretty vulnerable, to be honest. The dedication is to my teenage self, and all the ways she was resilient without even realising it. The book is meant to not…

Issue 23 is here!

Issue 23 is here! This issue features our first ever visual storytelling piece: South Pacific by Louise Falconer. Our short stories are from Bayveen O’Connell with The Sun on the Snow Grave and Tea With a Bun by Margaret Pearce. Our poetry comes from repeat author Allan Lake with Winter Sunshine, and newcomers Wendy Lichtenberg with how beauty feels, Sara Morgillo’s Bugs Taught, and…

Review: How To Be Held by Maddie Godfrey, by Jemimah Halbert Brewster

Title: How To Be Held Author: Maddie Godfrey Genre: Poetry Favourite quote: ‘oh kneecaps, you equator of ankle and thigh/you who feel the breeze through torn/windows of my dungarees’ Favourite part: the poems Porcelain, Past Self, Halsey and I Shave Our Heads in the Dark, and Ode to My Kneecaps How To Be Held is the…

Review: Off the Track by Cristy Burne, by Kate Lomas Glendenning

Title: Off the Track Author: Cristy Burne Genre: Australian children’s fiction Favourite quote: ‘Around them leaves rustled and birds sang and he felt alive.’ Set in Western Australia,  the story follows the pre-pubescent Harry as he hikes the Bibbulmun Track with his mum, her friend Ana, and Ana‘s daughter Deepika. Off the Track is an…

Writing big topics for the small page, by Jess Gately

[Image Description: A silhouette of a soldier carrying another soldier who is presumably injured or dead across an empty battlefield. The text reads ‘The bigger the issue, the smaller you write. Remember that. You don’t write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid’s burnt socks lying on the road. You pick…

Review: Stay Well Soon by Penny Tangey, by Jemimah Halbert Brewster

Title: Stay Well Soon Author: Penny Tangey Genre: Australian Middle-grade fiction Favourite part: The times when Stevie is playing imaginative games and her friends come to join her. Favourite quote: ‘[Mum] can’t stop me going to the toilet, it is against the Geneva Convention.’ Stay Well Soon by Penny Tangey is told through the eyes…

Jess G.’s Character List

A Character List by Jess Gately Have you ever read a book and when the character died you cried, or when something good happened to them you smiled, and when they didn’t get the ending you thought they deserved you were angry? I love a character-driven novel, and I love to fall in love with…

Writing Opportunities July

Writing Opportunities for July 2018   Windfall: Australian Haiku A small annual print publication which seeks to publish fine examples of contemporary Australian haiku. Submissions are welcome in July each year. The Next Chapter The Next Chapter is a scheme presented by the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne to support writers by giving them time and…

Underground Writers announce bold new initiative to support debut Australian authors

Underground Writers have announced that they will launch an online bookstore called Underground Books which will only stock debut Australian titles. All profits from the store will go towards supporting the group’s projects which provide information, education, and encouragement to emerging Australian writers. Underground Operations Manager and Editor-In-Chief, Jemimah Halbert Brewster, said the bookstore will…

7 Books That Celebrate Books, by Jemimah Brewster

I’m a book person: I read them, I write about them, and I like reading about how great they are. Deep meta. The following are novels that have, as a central theme, the importance of books, stories, reading, and writing. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Annie Barrows & Mary-Ann Shaffer I’ve written…

Shelley’s Character List

A Character List by Shelley Timms Growing up, I had a hard time identifying with characters in the books I was reading. For me reading was, and still is, escapism. The worlds in which I delve into are often far removed from my own, the stories separated from my own life by fantasy, history, or…

Review: The Sisters’ Song by Louise Allan, by Jess Gately

Title: The Sisters’ Song Author: Louise Allan Genre: Historical Fiction A review by Jess Gately If you’re struggling to understand why gender roles are so persevering, this book might be a good place to start. As more and more mothers admit to feeling judged, Louise Allan’s debut novel can tell us a lot about the…

Writer’s Block. Is it real and how to get past it? by Jess Gately

Writer’s Block is the bane of all writers. Whether it takes the form of staring at a blank page not knowing what to write, or helplessly writing and rewriting the same line over and over again and never actually moving forward, writer’s block can be very destructive to those who allow it to rule them….

Writing Opportunities for June

Writing Opportunities June 2018 Girls Will Be Girls submissions GWBG is currently open for submissions for their winter-spring issue. ‘Accepting words, art, comics, music, videos, feminist ponderings – anything creative!’ Work is prioritised from women of colour, trans, binary and gender non-conforming individuals, women with disabilities, sex worker women, queer women, working class women, and…

Kate’s Character List

Welcome to our newest series: Character Lists! Each month one of our editors will explore the literary characters that have had an impact on them, good or bad, humorous or heartbreaking. We kick off with Kate Lomas Glendenning’s list, so read on! A Character List by Kate Lomas Glendenning I shall never forget some literary…

Interview: Graham Wilson, author of the ‘Old Balmain House’ series

Graham Wilson, self-published author of the Old Balmain House series and the Crocodile Dreaming series Graham Wilson, author An interview by Shelley Timms Graham Wilson is an established Australian author residing in Sydney, NSW. He has written two book series, the Old Balmain House Series and the Crocodile Dreaming Series, and has recently completed a memoir, Arnhem’s…

You Don’t Have to Finish the Book, by Jemimah Halbert Brewster

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles and posts recently about not finishing a book once you’ve started reading it, and I feel it’s time to share my journey with this issue. There are many reasons a reader will resist giving up on a book, and for me they looked something like the following: “I…

Review: Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein, by Jess Rae

Title: Small Spaces Author: Sarah Epstein Genre: YA Psychological Thriller Favourite Quote: “But different is okay. Different will feel normal after a while.” I came across this book on one of my many peruses through bookshops. There’s a small sense of accomplishment when you come across a newly-released book that no one else around you…

Issue 22 release!

Issue 22: Pop! is here! This issue we’re very happy to have our cover designed by the talented Perth-based Alisa Dempster—you can follow her work on Instagram @trexia.art. We have both new and familiar authors this issue, hailing from Australia and further afield: our poetry is brought to you by Pat Tompkins of the San…

Review: Bird Country by Claire Aman, by Jemimah Halbert Brewster

Issue 22’s review Bird Country (2017) by Claire Aman A review by Jemimah Halbert Brewster (this review can also be read in the Underground zine, issue 22: Pop!) Bird Country is Claire Aman’s first book, a short story collection featuring works that have previously been published by Black Inc., Griffith Review, Spineless Wonders, Margaret River Press,…

Review: Fire Boy by Sami Shah, by Shelley Timms

Title: Fire Boy Author: Sami Shah Genre: YA Urban Fantasy Favourite Part: The interludes between the regular plot that describe the destruction and pain Djinns cause to civilians. Sounds dark, but it gave more insight into the mythology surrounding them! Favourite quote: “The only thing more powerful than a horny djinn is a girl who…

Dylan Dartnell’s TBR list – pt 2

Dylan Dartnell’s TBR list, part 2 You Belong Here, Laurie Steed I have seen this little number advertised quite a few times in the last couple of weeks, but what sealed the deal for me was when it appeared on Amanda Curtin’s blog, Looking Up/Looking Down. The story follows the lives of a couple who…

When Should I Write? By Kate Lomas Glendenning

When should I write? How do I motivate myself to write? How do I make time to write? Honestly? It’s up to you! One method isn’t going to work for each person, so below I’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to make time and motivate yourself to write. During the commute: On my way…

Interview: Jo Hunt, book designer, by Shelley Timms

An interview with book designer Jo Hunt, by Shelley Timms We’re all guilty of purchasing books based on the pure beauty of their covers. I have a whole shelf dedicated to the “oh, but it was so beautiful!” justification, and do not regret it one bit. It’s so easy to take a book at face…

Writing Opportunities for April

Writing Opportunities for April Australian Storytellers Festival  Sunday 8th April at the Literature Centre in Fremantle Monash Undergraduate Prize in Creative Writing This prize seeks entries of 1,500-3,000 words of creative writing, including fiction, creative non-fiction, and short stories on any theme. Open to all undergraduate students currently enrolled in Australia or New Zealand –…

Review: Honey Farm Dreaming by Anna Featherstone, by Jemimah Halbert Brewster

Title: Honey Farm Dreaming Author: Anna Featherstone Genre: memoir Themes: Australian farm life, sustainability, agriculture, animal husbandry, humour, learning Favourite quote, p. 167: “There’s no chooks or compost within a concrete mile and I can’t believe how much I care. I wonder how tower-dwellers exist and connect, when their feet can’t touch the ground; when…

Review: Stone Circle by Kate Murdoch, by Shelley Timms

Title: Stone Circle Author: Kate Murdoch Genre: Historical Fantasy Favourite part: The scenes that involved Antonius learning how to transform, and learning about the extent of his powers. Favourite quote: “A third image on the next page was an eagle, its coal-black wings extended, its beak a noble flash of gold. Traces of the coloured…

21 Things I Learnt from Books, by Jess Rae

In mid-April I turn 21 (I know: I’m such a baby) and so of course I’m having a 21st birthday party. In true book nerd fashion, my 21st is book-themed and so I’ve spent the last month or so reflecting on what books changed my life throughout my 21 years. I thought to celebrate my…

Jemimah Halbert’s TBR – round 2

In 2018 I’ve challenged myself to read further outside my usual habits, so this To Be Read list features two memoirs, a historical fiction work, a paranormal murder mystery, and a quintet of science fiction novels. A delectable selection of reading material! Honey Farm Dreaming by Anna Featherstone A memoir about a family who moved…

Review: Songs That Sound Like Blood by Jared Thomas, Jess Gately

Title: Songs That Sound Like Blood Genre: New Adult Fiction Themes: Coming of Age, Change, Coming Out, Racism Favourite quote: “[Dad] always said that people are supposed to move, that it recharges and calms us down. He explained that our ancestors formed our country perfectly to give us everything we needed. Water and bush tucker were…