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…

Writing opportunities for March

Writing Opportunities for March 2018 Western Australia Museum – WA in Words What novels, poems, plays or song lyrics paint a literary picture of Western Australia?  The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize Open in two categories: prize for best published adventure novel and a prize for best unpublished manuscript by a debut author. Closing 12th…

Review: Small Farm Success Australia, by Jemimah Halbert Brewster

Title: Small Farm Success Australia Authors: Anna Featherstone & Andrew Campbell Genre: Non-fiction Favourite part: The case study of the farmer in Tasmania who rents tiny plots of land to farm organic rhubarb Favourite quote: ‘Though wineries sell romance to customers, we’re not a romantic industry. We’re in agriculture and you need a strong business…

Jess Rae’s TBR – round 2

A new year and a new pile of books! Christmas and New Year’s made my bedside table look particularly healthy. Christmas brought me book subscription boxes and January brought me bookshop adventures in both Perth and Melbourne. Suffice to say I have quite a collection to talk about, but I’ll only mention the ones that…

Review: Grace Beside Me by Sue McPherson, review by Kate Lomas Glendenning

Caution: strong language quoted in this article – not recommended for readers under 16 years of age Title: Grace Beside Me Author: Sue McPherson Genre: Young Adult Favourite part: When Fuzzy explains Gran’s meticulous rules on how to hang out the washing Favourite quote: “I never enjoyed playing with dolls as a child so I wasn’t…

3 Reasons Every Writer Should Use Pinterest, by Shelley Timms

Let’s be real: not every writing session is spent madly tapping the keys, scenes unfolding effortlessly as you ride the wave of inspiration into the early hours of the morning. Unfortunately, writing can be a struggle sometimes and we can find ourselves stagnating when it comes to smashing out that manuscript or assignment. On the…

Issue 21: Mythological Figures

Issue 21: Mythological Figures is here! This issue is packed full of poetic goodness form MTC Cronin & Peter Boyle, Alys Jackson, Elise Kelly, and Maddie Godfrey; with room to sink your teeth into short stories from Jude Bridge, Sian Tondut, and Antony Millen. There’s a whole lot of re-tellings, re-visitings, revisions, and cheeky adn…

Interview: Louise Allan, author of ‘The Sisters’ Song’

An interview with Louise Allan by Shelley Timms How did you first get into writing fiction? My previous career was medicine, and I hadn’t written creatively since leaving school around 25 years earlier. I took singing lessons in my 30s, and did that for around 7 years until I realised that singing wasn’t something that…

Jess G.’s TBR list – round 2

The great thing about the New Year is that I get a chance to re-evaluate my reading goals. In 2017 I had two main goals: to read more and to read things outside of my usual genres. Whilst I accomplished my second goal, I did not accomplish my first. Looking back I realise that the…

Writing: What You Need to Know for 2018, by Dylan Dartnell

If you are like me, a stupendous procrastinator with wild ambition, you might have exhausted Facebook’s ‘save’ function and now have an archive of writing tips and tricks, and a reading list longer than the Dymock’s Top 100. Soon, the heaping volume of saved articles, podcasts, and videos will be enough to incite an aneurysm….

Review: Defying Doomsday, by Jemimah Halbert

Defying Doomsday is a Pozible-funded anthology of short stories published by the indie publishing house Twelfth Planet Press. Twelfth Planet is an organisation that seeks to ‘interrogate, commentate, inspire or provoke thought’, and to ‘raise the awareness of underrepresented voices in science fiction, fantasy, horror and… crime’. They have certainly achieved that with this anthology. Defying…

Writing opportunities for January

ABR 2018 Calibre Essay Prize Seeking non-fiction essays from 3,000 to 6,000 words, written in English. Entry fees are $15 for current ABR subscribers, $15 for full-time students, and $25 for non-subscribers, plus a further four options if the entrant wishes to subscribe to a print subscription of ABR and resides in Australia, NZZ and…

Australian titles reviewed in 2017!

Below are all the Australian titles reviewed by Underground Writers in 2017!     The Other Woman by Kylie Jones, reviewed by Kate, Shelley, and Jess Rae That Eye, the Sky by Tim Winton, reviewed by Kate Lomas Glendenning Rubik by Elizabeth Tan, reviewed by Jess Gately Portable Curiosities by Julie Koh, reviewed by Jemimah…

Shelley’s TBR list – round 2

My TBR list seems to get more and more ambitious the more time I spend perusing Goodreads, and watching YouTube videos from avid readers like myself has definitely broadened my horizons when it comes to genre and theme. I’m also trying to explore more diverse literature and the online reading community is especially helpful when…

Review: My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier, reviewed by Jess Rae

My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier A review by Jess Rae 17-year-old Che only wants 4 things: to go back home to Australia, to be allowed to spar, to get a girlfriend and most importantly to keep his little sister Rosa under control. Angelic, intelligent and only 10, Rosa seems like the perfect, talented little…

Books to read if you loved ‘Moana’, by Jemimah Halbert

In the spirit of Summer I recently re-watched Disney’s Moana, one of my favourite Disney movies to date, and it got me thinking about books that centre on strong adolescent or young adult characters who love their island home, embracing the place where they are meant to be and the person they want to become….

Review: ‘Women of a Certain Age’, reviewed by Shelley Timms

Women of a Certain Age is a collection of 15 vastly different, but all beautifully written stories about what it’s like to be “woman on the other side of 40, 50, 60 and 70.” Masterfully collated by editors Jodie Moffat, Maria Scoda and Susan Laura Sullivan, the book features stories from both the past and…

3 Things I Learnt During NaNoWriMo, by Jess Gately

3 Things I Learnt During NaNoWriMo By Jess Gately Over the years I have participated or skipped NaNoWriMo as I see necessary. For me, NaNoWriMo has always been an opportunity to fully explore an idea and get the groundwork going for a novel. It’s also a great time to build your writing skills, identify your…

Gift Guide for Writers & Book Lovers, by Jess Rae

‘Tis the season my sweets, and I don’t know about you but I love Christmas, especially giving gifts. Maybe it’s a sign that I’ve grown up and I’m truly adulting, because I think I love giving gifts more then receiving them; I’ve been told I’m a stellar gift-giver. However I imagine I am not the…

Writing Opportunities for December

Emerging Writers Festival 2018 Artist call-out Artists and writers are invited to submit expressions of interest to participate in the 2018 Emerging Writers Festival, including ideas for events, topics and conversations they want to be included in the festival. The festival will be held in Melbourne from 19-29 June 2018. Fill out the expression of…

Interview: Emma Michelle, author of ‘Watching Cartoons with Boys’

Emma Michelle, photograph by Bryn DC An interview by Jemimah Halbert Brewster Become a Patreon supporter of Underground Writers and receive all content before everyone else, as well as exclusive Patreon-supporter-only content such as the extended version of this interview and others! Watching Cartoons with Boys is quite a personal work. Did you know from…

Kate’s TBR List – round 2

A post by Kate Lomas Glendenning Lord of the Flies, William Golding My first experience of Golding’s Lord of the Flies was a short film clip in my 8th grade Society and Environment class, and I found it extremely disturbing. Since then, I have never sought out Golding’s book; however, a couple of months ago a…

3 Tips for Generating Ideas During NaNoWriMo, by Jess Gately

Stuck for ideas during NaNoWriMo? Here’s 3 tips to get you back on track… Whether you’re pantsing it and having a bit of a dry spell or planning it and need a little something to fill the gaps, it’s almost a given that at some point in NaNoWriMo you’re going to be stuck for ideas…

Issue 20: Nostalgia

Issue 20: Nostalgia is here! This issue you’ll find some excellent poetry by Allan Lake, Jan Price and Bradley Baronner, a few delectable short stories by Sarah Widdup, Jane Downing and Caitlin Farrugia, and a whole lot of fond and bittersweet Nostalgia: from places and people to time and things. We’re especially excited about our…