Review: Fire Front poetry anthology, by Shelley Timms

Title: Fire Front: First Nations Poetry and Power Today Editor: Alison Whittaker Genre: Anthology/Poetry collection Publisher: UQP “Our legacies become futures, written from and for anywhere.” Evelyn Araluen, Too Little, Too Much “When non-Indigenous people tell us to move on, they assume we want to be stuck in a painful place. That we love having…

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)…

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: I Am Change by Suzy Zail, by Shelley Carter

Title: I Am Change Author: Suzy Zail Published: 2019 Publisher: Walker Books Australia Genre: Young adult fiction Lillian wants so much more out of life than what is expected of her. Growing up in rural Uganda, her life is destined to follow the same path as her sisters, mother, and so many women before her:…

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…

Issue 28: Invitation

Cover art by Frank Candilaro ‘Invitation’ is special because, apart from being our 28th issue, it is being released on the 10th birthday of Underground’s conception in a coffee shop in Perth, way back in 2009. We’re incredibly proud of the work we do at Underground, and we look forward to growing, reaching new audiences,…

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…

Interview: Australian YA author Lisa Walker

Interview by Shelley Carter Lisa Walker is an established Australian author with a range of works under her belt, ranging from young adult fiction to radio plays. Her latest novel, Paris Syndrome, has been likened to author John Green and features a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of Paris. Editor Shelley Carter spoke to…

Interview: Nova Weetman, middle-grade and YA author

An interview by Shelley Carter Nova Weetman has been writing since she was a preteen and has not stopped since! True to the Underground Writers’ aesthetic, her writing career began with an old, black typewriter. I spoke to Nova about her writing career and what it’s like to write for a middle grade and young…

Interview: Poppy Nwosu, YA author

Poppy Nwosu is an Adelaide-based, young adult author. Growing up in central North Queensland, she enjoyed a thoroughly wild childhood surrounded by rainforest and cane fields. Her debut novel, Making Friends with Alice Dyson, was published in March this year and has just been shortlisted for the prestigious Readings Young Adult Book Prize 2019. Editor…

Review: The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean, by Shelley Carter

Title: The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone Author: Felicity McLean Genre: Fiction Thriller/Mystery Favourite Part: When a young Tikka re-enacts (unsuccessfully) the Lindy Chamberlain saga as her talent show act — it was a great juxtaposition to the seriousness that was happening regarding the Van Apfel sisters during the climax of the story, and also…

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: Lorna Hendry, author

An interview by Shelley Carter Lorna Hendry is a writer, editor, graphic designer and teacher, and studied a Bachelor of Science at university before writing children’s non-fiction. She currently writes for Wild Dog Books and in her current published work How to Win a Nobel Prize, she teams up with Nobel Prize winner Barry Marshall…

Stella Prize 2019 Overview: what was shortlisted this year? By Shelley Carter

Picture credit to 2ser Tuesday Book Club Since its inception in 2013, the Stella Prize has aimed to “recognise and celebrate Australian women writers’ contribution to literature.” It celebrates those who courageously and authentically share their stories, subvert genres, and experiment with form. This year was no different, and both the longlist and shortlist offering…

Interview: Dee White, author & playwright for children & young adults

An interview by Shelley Carter Dee White is a published author of 18 books and two plays for children and young adults, with two new books due out this year. She has had extensive experience in the publishing industry, including conducting writing workshops and online classes about writing. She has presented at a number of…

8 BookTubers to Spice up Your Reading, by Shelley Carter

I discovered Booktube back in 2016. It was like a whole new world of literature had opened up to me. Books I had no idea even existed made their way onto my TBR list, and I even discovered Goodreads because of the people I was watching. I had found a community of people that were…

Interview: Hadley Wickham, author of ‘My Bed is a Blackhole’

Interview with Hadley Wickham, emerging author of My Bed is a Blackhole, by Shelley Carter When I was first introduced to emerging Perth author Hadley Wickham, I was more than intrigued. A Google search gleaned nothing more than a sample of her debut novel, and a single interview. I was put into contact with her through…

Review: Blue in the Red House by Sarah Madden, by Shelley Carter

Title: Blue in the Red House Author: Sarah Madden Genre: Magical Realism & Memoir Favourite Part: When Ms. De Beer and Me-Two meet for the first time Favourite Quote: “She had been poised to triumph, to step out into the world with new resolve and the battle won, but now she was sucked back into…

What We Learnt in 2018

2018 was a big year for learning, and our editors were happy to discuss and share as much as they could. This post pulls together everything we learnt over the year about writing, reading and publishing.  Take a look and check out the posts you may have missed or the ones you might want to…

Aussie Titles Reviewed in 2018

 2018 was a huge year for reviews with our editors covering a range of genres, themes and authors. Take a trip down memory lane to see all the great Aussie titles we reviewed in 2018!   Defying Doomsday edited by Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench, reviewed by Jemimah Halbert Brewster Grace Beside Me by Sue…

9 Audiobooks to add to your 2019 TBR, by Shelley Carter

Featured image from Canva free stock images As someone who spends a decent amount of time commuting to work each week, audiobooks have been my saviour when it comes to smashing out my Goodreads goal and feeling like I haven’t just wasted an hour sitting in traffic. While some people consider audiobooks to not be…