A short history of Australian horror » This Is Horror

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Australian horror

Wolf Creek silhouetteThese two words have different connotations for many people worldwide.

Australian horror has exploited fears of Australia’s ‘wide-open spaces’, and the isolation and vulnerability of people where the population drops to less than fifty individuals per square kilometre. Wolf Creek and Snowtown are based on real-life crimes such as Ivan Milat’s ‘backpacker murders’, or the murders in Snowtown last decade. The desolation of much of the Australian landscape, and the vulnerability of those within these areas, has been driven home both by crimes of opportunity and well-planned killing sprees. This is the horror of Australia in reality.

For many overseas residents, it seems Australia has a reputation as the home of many things that have no other aim in life but to kill humans in very nasty ways. Crocodiles, poisonous snakes and spiders, serial killers, giant insects, deadly jellyfish, shark attacks, drop-bears… the list goes on.

See the whole column HERE: A short history of Australian horror » This Is Horror.

‘The horror! The horror!’: An interview with Geoff Brown — Speakeasy

For those of you who have been seduced by the dark side of writing, it’s time to give form to your finest literary golems, and unleash them on an unsuspecting public: the Midnight Echo goblins will soon be hungry for submissions.

Midnight Echo is one of Australia’s premier horror magazines, and the official magazine of the Australian Horror Writers Association (AHWA). Submissions for the upcoming issue #9, ‘Mythic Horror’, will open up from October 1, 2012. Guest editor, Geoff Brown, will be looking for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and artwork to load the pages of ME#9 with all the mythic horror, terror, fear and trepidation he can cram in.

Speakeasy recently caught up with Geoff Brown (aka. G. N. Braun), realist and dark fiction writer, president of the AHWA, and guest editor of Midnight Echo’s forthcoming ‘Mythic Horror’ issue.

See the entire interview via ‘The horror! The horror!’: An interview with Geoff Brown — Speakeasy.

Submission Guidelines « Midnight Echo magazine

Midnight Echo Issue 9 – Mythical Horror
(edited by GN Braun)

Research and modernise a myth, legend, folk-tale etc. The tale must be written in such a way that the myth is recognisable, yet without ‘info dumps’. What we are looking for are re-workings of myths and legends, brought into the modern world and ready to scare the pants off us.

Remember, though: the tale must have horror as a central theme.

The Brothers Grimm defined legend as a historically-grounded folktale. For this purpose, that is not quite the definition we are looking for. We all know legends, yet not all of them are grounded in history. Loch Ness, Bigfoot, Johnny Appleseed… the list goes on. Use this concept to shock and amaze us.

Myth: a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being, hero, or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.

Myths have defined society for as long as there have been human beings. Whether those myths are religious or cultural or a mixture of both, we have always lived with them, one way or another.

Ancient Greece, Egypt, Sumeria; they all have their unique mythology. Sometimes, the myths cross over, due to immigration or expansion or colonialism.

NOTE: Any stories involving cultural borrowing from indigenous cultures should be respectful of the beliefs of the traditional owners.

via Submission Guidelines « Midnight Echo magazine.

Bendigo Writers Festival – Part One

Arrived just before ten, armed with a coffee. Managed twenty minutes of the ‘Truth in Writing’ panel before I got a text to meet a friend outside. I was holding their ticket for them. That gave me the opportunity for a ciggie before hitting the ‘hot seat’ room, where Ian Irvine interviewed grunge-poet Neil Boyack. Great talk.

Then it was outside to chat for a while with a fellow TAFE student over coffee before meeting up with Cameron Oliver, Brett McBean and Lucy Sussex to discuss the best way to run Sunday’s panel on the future and direction of horror and spec-fic.

After chatting with them for at least an hour and a half, it was time to meet up with my lovely family before hitting the ‘hot seat’ myself. I was interviewed by Dr Tom McWilliam, and it was a great session, with about thirty people and some great questions from the audience. Then it was time to chat outside for a while, and finally on to the launch of Scintillae, the festival anthology of writing.

Great launch.

After, went out for a meal with some friends. Now on to day 2!

Full report and photos to come tomorrow.

Bendigo Writers Festival 2012

Well, the inaugural Bendigo Writers Festival is nigh. Three days of speakers, panels, booklaunches, literature, poetry, music and art.
I’m speaking on Saturday, a half-hour ‘hot seat’ interview about Hammered, my memoir. On Sunday, I’m hosting a panel consisting of award-winning authors Brett McBean and Lucy Sussex, as well as Cam Oliver–scriptwriter, producer and filmmaker who has collaborated with Greg McLean on Wolf Creek (and its upcoming sequel).

Held, as I said, over three days, the festival has a great venue in The Capital Theatre in Bendigo.

The Capital Theatre

The Capital Theatre in View Street is the home of the Bendigo Writers Festival. Originally a Masonic Hall, it dates back to the 1870s and is a grand and ornate building, right in the heart of the cultural precinct, and next door to the much-admired Bendigo Art Gallery. The main theatre will host keynote events on each day of the festival, while panel sessions and spotlight interviews will take place in the Bendigo Bank theatre and next door in the Fire Station. The La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre’s theatrette will also host sessions and workshops, with a special event to be held in the Bendigo Art Gallery as well.

Some wonderful guests make for a potentially wonderful weekend.

Ita Buttrose

Ita is unrivalled in the world of publishing. Her career as a journalist and then ground-breaking editor was recently immortalised in a TV mini series Paper Giants and now she will put her own perspective on her influential and extraordinary life with her memoir, A Passionate Life.

Leigh Hobbs

Just say Horrible Harriet, or Mr Chicken and, of course, Old Tom, and generations of young readers will laugh and tell you their favourite episode in one of Leigh Hobbs’ fabulous picture books. One of Australia’s best-loved and most successful writer-illustrators, Leigh is also one of the most outlandish, inventive and entertaining.

Ian Jones

A long career in Australian TV and fondly remembered for his writing and directing work on the iconic Homicice, Matlock Police, The Sullivansand mini series Against the Wind, it is Ian’s authority and passion for all things Ned Kelly that brings him to the festival. His successful reference books include the best seller Ned Kelly: A Short Life and The Fatal Friendship: Ned Kelly, Aaron Sherritt and Joe Byrne.

Margo Lanagan

Described as bold, inventive and filled with mystery, Margo’s new bookSea Hearts is a strange, beautiful story based on the selkie myth, the sea people who haunt the imaginations of coastal peoples. Margo will talk about fantasy, and how to set the imagination free as well as how love and romance makes writing live and breathe.

Alex Miller

Alex Miller has been short listed for the Miles Franklin Award seven times and won twice. He creates books that sing about the nature of the landscape, and the dangerous and essential power of love. His new novel, Autumn Laing, was inspired by his interest in the Heide circle of painters and in particular Sunday Reed.

Katherine Thomson

Katherine Thomson has written plays, produced by Sydney Theatre Company, Magpie Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company and Griffin. Diving for Pearls, will be staged in Bendigo during the festival. She will be presenting on Australian theatre, sharing her memories and hopes for live theatre as a contemporary entertainment.

Don Watson

Don has written three books on Australian history and spent several years writting political satire for the actor Max Gillies and political speeches for Premier John Cain and PM Paul Keating. Don is also a screenwriter of several feature films, including The Man Who Sued God, starring Billy Connolly and Judy Davis. Don will give us the first glimpse of his new book, The Book of the Bush.

Alexis Wright

A Miles Franklin winner and a land rights activist from the Gulf of Carpentaria, Alexis first wrote Plains of Promise and followed with the internationally renowned Carpentaria. Alexis has also published a collection of writings about the land rights movement and the Grog Wars – alcohol restrictions in Tennant Creek.

Sydney Smith

Sydney Smith is a past winner of the Age Short Story Competition, and her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in the Age, Griffith REVIEW, Island, Imago and the England Review. Sydney founded and co-ordinates the Victorian Mentoring Service for Writers. She has just released her first book, a harrowing memoir about parental abuse and the path to escape.

Lucy Sussex

Lucy Sussex is a prolific writer, editor, reviewer and literature teacher. Her fiction ranges form sci-fi and horror to crime and detective fiction. She has also edited collections of crime and science fiction, and is an expert in early Australian women crime writers.

Paul D Carter

Paul D Carter was born in Melbourne and spent much of his youth going to Collingwood Football matches with his Dad and brother, Marcus. In 2001, Paul completed a Bachelor of Arts with honours from Deakin University and, in 2008 completed a PhD while writing Eleven Seasons which won this year’s Vogel’s Award. Paul grew up in Melbourne in the 1980s and has a keen interest in modern Australian history.

Dennis O’Keeffe

Dennis O’Keeffe graduated from Monash University in 1999, with a diploma specialising in Australian Folklife Studies) However; his greatest education has been his twenty years involvement at the forefront of the Australian Folk Movement. His craft of story-telling has evolved through continuous performances of our wonderful Australian traditional songs and his uncanny ability to compose unique songs pertaining to the tradition. He recently publishing Waltzing Matilda, the secret history of Australia’s favourite song.

Judith Armstrong

Judith Armstrong is a Melbourne writer, who taught Russian literature and culture at the University of Melbourne. Her book about Clem Christesen, the creator of the literary magazine Meanjin, was shortlisted for the Age Book of the Year, and she went on to write many books, including The French Tutor, The Novel of Adultery and, her latest, War and Peace and Sonya, about Tolstoy’s life told from his wife’s perspective. She is also a passionate advocate of the art of reviewing, and will speak about the role of the critic at the Bendigo Writers Festival.

Gideon Haigh

Gideon Haigh is a world-renowned cricket writer and also an authority on business and culture. He won the John Curtin Prize for Journalism in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards in 2006 for an essay about the Google phenomenon. His books include Mystery Spinner (about Jack Iverson), Asbestos House (about the James Hardie company), The Racket: How Abortion became Legal in Australia, and his new one, The Office, a social history.

Hanifa Deen

Hanifa Deen is an award-winning Australian author who writes narrative nonfiction and lives in Melbourne. She now works full-time as a writer, which she sees as the perfect medium for a woman with an irreverent tongue, a maverick Muslim perspective on life, and a passion to subvert stereotypes. Her books include The Jihad Seminar, Broken Bangles and Ali Abdul vs the King, about Muslims and the White Australia Policy.

Professor Kevin Brophy

Professor Kevin Brophy is a poet and novelist. He has had eleven books published. From 1980 to 1994 he edited the small press literary journal Going Down Swinging. His poems and essays have been widely anthologised and his book, Creativity, was shortlisted for the NSW Premiers Nonfiction Literary Award in 1999. He was awarded the Martha Richardson Medal for poetry in 2005. He was co-winner of the Calibre Prize for an outstanding essay in 2009. His books include Patterns of Creativity and a new book of prose poems, Radar, published in August.

Lisa Lang

Lisa lang was co-winner of the Vogel Literary Award in 2009, for her novel, Utopia Man, based on the life of Edward Cole, who created Cole’s Book Arcade in late-19th century Melbourne. She first wrote a biography of Cole “Chasing the Rainbow” and was subsequently selected in the Australian Society of Authors mentorship program.

Emilie Zoey Baker

Emilie Zoey Baker is a published award winning poet and slam champion. She has performed her poetry all around the world and is a state coordinator for the Australian Poetry Slam. She is also the winner of the Berlin International Slam as part of the 2010 Berlin International Literature Festival. She is co-cordinater of the Liner Notesspoken word tributes to classic albums. She has featured at Women Of Letters, Ted, The Sydney Writers Festival, The Melbourne International Arts Festival, as well as the Bowery in NYC and The Green Mill in Chicago. She also coordinated The Super Poets, who travel into schools exciting and delighting kids about the joys of writing and performing poetry, and developed the first state teen team poetry slam called OutLoud.

Tony Birch

Tony Birch was born in inner-city Melbourne, into a large family of Aboriginal, West Indian and Irish descent. His upbringing was challenging and difficult, and much of this is captured in his remarkable debut, the semi-autobiographical Shadowboxing.

An alter boy and exceptional student at his local Catholic primary school, in adolescence, Birch went ‘off the rails’ as a teenager. He was expelled from two high schools for fighting and found trouble with the police for the same reason. Although somewhat adrift following his expulsions, he remained a voracious reader – once, when he was arrested by police, all they found when they patted him down was a copy of Camus’ The Outsider, which remains his favourite book.

Returning to night school to complete his studies, Birch met his mentor, Anne Misson, whose credo was very simple: ‘You’ll be great, but only if you work your arse off.’ Birch still lives by this and applies it to everything including his passion for running, which is where his writing is created and shaped.

Birch’s work is widely read and loved including by those who might normally avoid books, particularly teenage boys. Through his outreach work, he visits many schools to speak to students, and takes particular pleasure in returning to the two schools that expelled him, as both of his previous books are on the syllabus.

Janine Burke

Janine Burke is the award-winning author of books of art history, biography and fiction. Between 1977 and 1982, she lectured in art history at the Victorian College of the Arts before resigning to write full time. She has degrees in art history from the University of Melbourne, La Trobe University and Deakin University. She has written extensively on the Heide Circle, including Joy Hester, Dear Sun: The Letters of Joy Hester and Sunday Reed andThe Eye of the Beholder: Albert Tucker’s Photographs. Australian Gothic, her acclaimed biography of Tucker and the final book in the Heide quartet, The Heart Garden.
She has lectured extensively on art, curated exhibitions, written for newspapers and journals and acted as a consultant to films and documentaries.

Arnold Zable

Arnold Zable is one of Australia’s best-loved storytellers. He was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and grew up in the inner Melbourne suburb of Carlton. He has travelled and lived in the USA, India, Papua New Guinea, Europe, Southeast Asia and China, and now lives in Melbourne with his wife and son.

Arnold is the award-winning and highly acclaimed author of the memoir Jewels and Ashes (1991) and the bestselling Café Scheherazade (2001), which was recently adapted for the stage. His other books includeThe Fig Tree (2002), Scraps of Heaven (2004) and Sea of Many Returns (2008) and the recent collection of true stories Violin Lessons (2011), which takes the reader on an intimate journey into the lives of people Arnold has met on travels over the last forty years.

Arnold is president of the International PEN, Melbourne, and is a human rights advocate. Formerly a lecturer at the University of Melbourne, he speaks and writes with passion about memory and history, displacement and community. His writing has appeared in the Age,Sydney Morning Herald, Monthly and a range of journals.

From the Goblin Office « Midnight Echo magazine

The print copies of Midnight Echo Issue 7, the taboo issue edited by Daniel I Russell, have sold out!

Digital copies are still available for only $1.99–although we are taking orders for a second print run. If you want a print copy, place your order here before the 16th of August.

Midnight Echo Issue 8 is coming together well, too. Edited by AJ Spedding, Mark Farrugia, and Marty Young, this issue features all new stories by Joe R Lansdale, Jack Ketchum & Lucky McKee, interviews with Jack Ketchum and Glenn Chadbourne (as well as new artwork by Glenn!), and a whole lot more!!

We will announce the full Table of Contents as soon as possible, so stay tuned. And as soon as that comes out, we’ll open for pre-orders. You don’t want to miss out on this issue!

In the meantime, why not check out the Guidelines page? We’ve put up the new guidelines for Issue 9, to be edited by GN Braun. The theme is mythical horror–but remember, we’re not taking submissions until October 1.

via From the Goblin Office « Midnight Echo magazine.

Midnight Echo Issue 7 « Midnight Echo magazine

UPDATE (26 July, 2012): The print copies of ME7 have sold out, but we are taking orders for a second print run up until August 16. To place your order, click here.

Cover Art

Edited by Daniel I Russell, Midnight Echo Issue 7, the taboo issue, features all new fiction by Graham Masterton, Lee Battersby, Andrew J McKiernan, G. N. Braun, and more, disturbing art by Joshua Hoffine, Jason Paulos, and Greg Hughes, interviews with Joe R Lansdale, Graham Masterton, and Joshua Hoffine, the comic series Allure of the Ancients by Mark Farrugia and Greg Chapman, and a special tribute to Paul Haines.

130 pages of fiction, art, interviews, book releases, and more!

So if you like your addictions, your fetishes and all the other things you’ve been told not to like, slip on your latex gloves and take a peek inside. We’d love to indulge in your secret pleasures…and terrors.

Available formats: Digital (epub, mobi, and PDF – all included for the one price) and Print.

via Midnight Echo Issue 7 « Midnight Echo magazine.