How to Write Horror, by Shelley Timms

Image from Pexels free images What makes a good horror story? Is it the shocking gore, or the slow burn of psychological torture that the reader is subjected to? In my experience, both types of horror can have similar effects—it is how the author constructs the story that matters. With the Underground Writers Horror issue…

Issue 31: Sci-fi has arrived!

Cover art by Lola Issue 31: Sci-fi can be downloaded for FREE here Issue 31: Sci-fi features short stories from Jake Dean, Rachelle Erzay, Rob Johnson and Kirstie Nicholson, exploring themes of futurism, technology, space, voyages, and robots, but also families, friends, communities, and living beyond survival. Inside you’ll also find a book review of…

Review: An Inheritance of Secrets by Sonya Bates, by Shelley Carter

Title: Inheritance of Secrets Author: Sonya Bates Genre: Historical Thriller Publisher: HarperCollins Australia (2020) After the horrific death of her Oma and Opa, Juliet Dunne must trace her family history and uncover secrets that were supposed to stay buried forever. She discovers that her grandfather, Karl, somehow had a connection to the Nazi party before…

Six Historical Fiction Books by Aussie Authors, by Shelley Carter

When I’m in a reading slump, or feel as though I need an escape from the world, I tend to gravitate towards historical fiction. There’s something about diving back into a different era that makes me forget about what is happening in the real world, and helps bring back my passion for reading. I have…

Issue 30: Thriller is here!

For your reading pleasure we are pleased to present issue 30: Thriller, hot off the virtual press!  Interview Coordinator Shelley Carter compiled and edited the issue, which contains new original creative writing by Underground debut writers Justine McGinnis, Tara O’Brien, and Camille Booker, and we’re pleased to welcome back Esme Lee Wilmot, who was also…

Review: The Daughter of Victory Lights by Kerri Turner, by Shelley Carter

Title: The Daughter of Victory Lights Author: Kerri Turner Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: HQ Fiction, HarperCollins Australia imprint, (2020) After serving her country proudly in World War II, Evelyn Bell is not ready to go back to a life of domestic duties. The independence she gained as a member of the all-female 93rd Searchlight Regiment introduced…

Is literature elitist? By Shelley Carter

Our taste in books is often a very personal and very unique aspect of our personality. Not only do the types of books we read depend on what stories we personally enjoy consuming, it can also depend on the access we have to those books. It is an immense privilege, financially and otherwise, to have…

Review: Challenge Accepted by R J Amos, by Shelley Carter

One of the most difficult aspects of being a writer is remaining consistent with your writing, and pushing through the all-too-common writer’s block. One of the ways that we can combat this is challenging ourselves to write every day, even if it’s just for a month at a time. That’s what author R J (Ruth)…

Issue 29 release!

Cover art by Liana Wright The first edition of the Underground Writers zine for 2020 is here! ‘Romance’ is special because, apart from being our 29th issue, it marks the first issue since 2015, that Jemimah has not compiled the issue, instead mentoring another editor on how to assemble it. Since Underground is about expanding…

2020 Australian Women Writers Challenge at Underground, by Jemimah Brewster

Here at Underground we’re always looking for ways to support Australian writers, particularly authors from marginalised and underrepresented groups. With that in mind, in 2020 the UW team will be undertaking the Australian Women Writers Challenge. The AWWC was started in 2012 by Elizabeth Lhuede, an Australian writer and reader. From the Challenge’s Background page:…

Review: The Lost Summers of Driftwood by Vanessa McCausland, by Shelley Carter

Title: The Lost Summers of Driftwood Author: Vanessa McCausland Genre: Fiction Publisher: HarperCollins Australia (2020) This book was provided by NetGalley and HarperCollins Australia in exchange for an honest review. From the outside, it seems as though Phoebe has it all. A successful job at luxury champagne company Joet et Halo, a relationship heading for…

Review: A Constant Hum by Alice Bishop, by Shelley Carter

Title: A Constant Hum Author: Alice Bishop Format: Short stories Genre: Fiction Published: 2019 A Constant Hum is a collection of short stories all relating to the Black Saturday bushfires that tore through the Victorian bush in 2009. Split into three sections, Prevailing, Southerly and Northerly, the book brings the reader increasingly closer to the…

Take your Nonfiction to the Next Level by Shelley Carter

Image from Canva Free Stock Images Writing long-form nonfiction can be difficult; there is a fine line between cramming as much interesting information into a book or article, and the resulting work coming out drier than a Gingernut biscuit. Originally, my field of study was journalism, and my lecturers often shared bits of advice that have stayed with me up…

Review: The Orange Grove by Kate Murdoch, by Shelley Carter

Title: The Orange Grove Author: Kate Murdoch Publisher: Regal House Publishing Genre: historical fiction The Orange Grove follows an extensive cast of characters within an affluent French chateau in the 1700s. When the duc takes a new mistress, Letitia, and brings her to live in the chateau, tensions flare within the household. Fellow mistress Henriette…

Underground Writers 10 Years On

On Friday, November 1st 2019, Underground Writers held a birthday party at PICABar in Perth to celebrate 10 years supporting Australian emerging writers. Our full team of editors were in attendance, and we were joined by a large crowd of supporters. What follows is the speech given on the night by our Editor-in-Chief, Jemimah Halbert…

Review: On The Sunday, She Created God by Gerii Pleitez, by Shelley Carter

Title: On The Sunday, She Created God Author: Gerii Pleitez Publisher: Kara Sevda Press (2019) Genre: Literary Fiction Novella THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS On The Sunday, She Created God is a gritty, unapologetic glimpse into the lives of urban outcasts. It paints a picture of life in the underbelly of the city, fuelled by…

5 Books You Can Read in One Sitting by Shelley Carter

Life gets pretty hectic sometimes. There isn’t always time to dedicate to our hobbies or to relaxation. According to studies, reading can reduce stress up to 68%! That’s why events such as the Australian Reading Hour are so important; to remind us to take a step back from our busy schedules and indulge in some…

Review: Half Moon Lake by Kirsten Alexander, by Shelley Carter

Title: Half Moon Lake Author: Kirsten Alexander Publisher: Bantam (Penguin Random House); 2019 Genre: Historical Fiction/Crime When Sonny disappears without a trace in the summer of 1913, his family is thrust into the media spotlight and his case stays in the public eye for years. What is different about this case, however, is that the…

Review: If I Tell You by Alicia Tuckerman, by Shelley Carter

Title: If I Tell You Author: Alicia Tuckerman Publisher: Pantera Press (2018) Genre: YA Contemporary If I Tell You follows the story of small-town teenager Alex Summers as she navigates her final year of high school and a budding relationship with her first love, Phoenix Stone. When Phoenix moves to the farming community of Two…

Review: The Wounded Sinner by Gus Henderson, by Shelley Carter

Issue 26’s Review Review by Shelley Carter (this review can also be read in the Underground zine, issue 26: Ashes) The Wounded Sinner is a slow-burning, gritty glimpse at the lives of a group of Western Australians brought together by random circumstance on a hot summer’s day in the bush. It’s an intense character study,…

Issue 26: Ashes

Cover by Ari Moore Issue 26: Ashes is here for your reading pleasure. This month we bring you a tasting plate of short fiction, flash fiction and poetry by writers from around Australia, including Sophie Roberts, Elaine Mead, Nadia Kim, W.D. Farnsworth and Ash Leonard. Editor Shelley Carter gives us a run-down of Gus Henderson’s…

Interview: Jaime Collins, literary agent at The Nash Agency

An interview with literary agent Jaime Collins of The Nash Agency, by Shelley Carter née Timms Firstly, introduce yourself! How did you find yourself in the Publishing industry? Funnily enough, I started as a writer! After having my first baby, I figured I finally had time whilst on maternity leave to write a book. I…

Issue 24 has arrived!

Issue 24 has arrived! The cover this issue was designed by WA-based artist Jonathan Park, whom you can find on Instagram at @fresh_kb Our Editors shone throughout this year, and they’ve worked hard on the short stories and poems you’ll find within the pages of issue 24. Download the issue for a fresh assortment of short…

Review: ‘Black Cockatoo’ by Carl Merrison & Hakea Hustler, by Shelley Timms

Title: Black Cockatoo Authors: Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler Genre: Middle grade fiction Favourite part: The inclusion of words from the Jaru language throughout the book – very educational and it added to the authenticity of the story. Favourite quote: “You have his mark, Mia, between your shoulderblades. The dirrarn is your totem. Your jarriny…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…