News! A Hand of Knaves


The CSFG has announced it will be opening to submissions on 1 August for its newest anthology, A Hand of Knaves, to be published in late 2018 and edited by my good friend Chris Large… and yours truly!

I’m not sure this is the most sensible decision of my life – I’ve got plenty of stuff going on next year after all (*cough*The Beast’s Heart*cough*), but Chris asked so nicely and I think the concept (which is totally his), of an anthology of stories about scoundrels and ne’er-do-wells is just brilliant. My imagination has already exploded with ideas!

We’re going to be looking for stories of up to 5000 words featuring knavish characters who are anything from mischievous rogues right through to evil bastards. It’s got to be speculative; we want a good mix of sci fi, fantasy and horror and all the sub-genres in between. We welcome stories from and about the full and glorious spectrum of human beings. Our main criteria (apart from those listed above) is that it just has to be good. The catch is that, given CSFG anthologies are a showcase of Australian speculative writing, you do have to be Australian, or an Australian resident, or at least a member of CSFG to submit. Head over to the CSFG Publications page to find out more about the kinds of stories we’re going to be looking for and how to submit.

This is going to be awesome.



Getting edits

I love getting edits. It’s like having someone else brush my hair.

I love having to focus on a word or a sentence or a paragraph and really think about what I wanted it to do. What is the meaning I want it to convey? What is the feeling I want it to build? Which other bit of the story do I want it to point to? Which pieces of information do I want it to connect?

Of course I try and do that anyway, when I edit my own work. But there’s something about having someone sift through your writing and point out a fumble or a piece of fuzziness that is like having a skilled masseuse find out a bothersome knot in your shoulder and work it away.

Unpicking the seems

260 pages in to a final polish edit before sending novel project #1 out into the big wide world, and I have already removed 63 instances of variations of the word “seems”. Seemingly, I seem to use it a lot, it seems.

Ugh, the shame.

*Update: from 552 pages & 118,000 words, I deleted 152 instances of variations of the word ‘seems’. I had no idea. An example, if ever there was one, of the value of beta readers. Thank you Jane Ainslie.