Dust and Dogs

Photo of elderly man sitting in a chair, holding a black and white puppy.

Longlisted short story written for Australian Writers Centre 500-word Furious Fiction competition. March 2023 Smithy drags a cobwebbed canvas chair under the patio and sits listening to the sporadic ticking of the tin roof. Sweat drips. Out on the baked flattened lawn, Collie lays gnawing at a mutton bone she’s dug up from a month-old […]


Picture of two pink crochet hearts.

Leaving: Excerpt from Oleanders Are Poisonous High Commendation in the 2015 Monash Short Story Writing Competition I hear Samuel get up before five o’clock and start knocking about the house like a blowfly. He’ll be trying to find stuff to keep himself busy: cleaning up last night’s tea cups, turning on the washing machine, cutting […]

Sexual Healing

Sexual Healing

Profile | Dr Vikki Prior The shady side of sex addiction and the trauma of surviving domestic abuse. First published in Go Festival magazine, 2014 Vikki smiles as she slides into a seat at my table. Alluring. Any man would be happy to park his shoes under her bed. Inappropriate? Perhaps. Although she’s just come […]

Lauren’s Lion Heart

Photo of Lauren Tyrrell.

It’s every new mother’s worst nightmare: finding out your newborn child might die before she reaches her first birthday. This article was first published in print and online in Go Festival Magazine, 2016. I’m sitting in Lauren Tyrrell’s lounge room in Kurunjang, near Melton. Four-year-old Ava, a cheeky blonde toddler, is clambering on her mother’s […]

Grace From Grief

Photo of Deborah Vanderwerp.

‘Shit happens. Life happens. It’s our job to do the best we can in whatever circumstance we’re given. There are things we can control and things we can’t. I couldn’t control Lance dying, but I could control how I chose to respond.’ This article was first published in print and online in Go Festival Magazine, […]

The Ungiver

Back kitten sleeping

Six-year-old Katie questions the authenticity of religious dogma and the harshness of adults who qualify the importance of kindness to suit their own limitations. Originally published by Lizard Skin Press in 2012. Awarded First Prize in the 2010 Monash Short Story Writing Competition. It seemed a miracle had happened. All the time Katie had spent […]

Hardcopy 2018 – autumn in Canberra


I laughed in shock and wobbly excitement when Nigel Featherstone’s email dropped into my inbox, offering me a placement at Hardcopy 2018. If you haven’t heard of it, Hardcopy is a professional development program for Australian writers, run by the ACT Writers Centre at the National Library of Australia. The program is held yearly (alternating […]

Editing is a strange life

Editing: A Strange Life

Any writer knows that the creative mind is a tenuous friend, given to disappearing just when you need it most. You think you’ll never speak again, that the relationship has desiccated into a hot crumbly mess you could use as chili flakes. But then, like a cool fifty bucks you find in the pocket lining of […]

Wringing pain into writing

Elderly person's hand

Many writers question whether they should take advantage of witnessed pain by incorporating their family or friends’ stories into their writing. Helen Garner is famous for it in ‘The Spare Room’. Lee Kofman has just released a glaringly honest account of her personal relationships in ‘The Dangerous Bride‘. I’ve been facing this dilemma recently with my […]

Speed dating demons


I’m about to face my demons This week I have cut myself off. From everyone and everything not writing related. It’s intense, euphoric and gloriously selfish. A week of me. A week of solid writing. Why? Preparation for today’s speed dating session. Not the romantic kind, but the literary, heart-stopping kind where I will put […]

The writing process – blog hop


Diamonds don’t start out shiny My gorgeous friend and fellow scribe, Nicole Hayes, author of YA novel The Whole of My World, among many other great YA and Children’s books, has asked me to participate in a Blog Hop, called “The Writing Process”. I thought it might be a good opportunity for some introspective examination — a […]

Where do you write?

TC where do you write

I do it on the patio with TC Where do you write? I once tried to do it in the bath. I visualised a leisurely, relaxed activity. I sat my iPad on a chair so I could reach over and type thoughts as they came to me. Dumb idea. Uncomfortable, wet-fingered, yoga-twisting awkwardness is what […]

A Lost Father

Black and white photo of very old senior man, looking sad.

Originally published in On The Ledge of  the World – Visible Ink, Issue 25, 2013. Listen to recording by Kim Dodsworth for Radio Queensland. Red and black. The faded colour of the old man’s footy jacket. Head down, one hand in his frayed pocket, he limps along Fitzroy Street. His elbow is occasionally jostled by […]