Posted by Scott Wilson

AHWA NEWS DIGEST [01.02.09-01.03.09]

The following digest of recent horror news is compiled from pieces published to HorrorScope and the Australian Horror Writers' Association website.

Australian Shadows Award finalists

On Black Friday the Australian Horror Writers' Association (AHWA) selected five of the best and scariest works of Australian horror fiction from 2008 as the finalists in the annual Australian Shadows Award. The Australian Shadows Award is an annual jury-judged literary award issued by the AHWA that honours the very best works of Australian dark fiction published in the preceding year. The winner of the 2008 Australian Shadows Award, to be determined by guest judge Sarah Endacott (acclaimed editor of Orb magazine) will be announced on March 13. The judges for this year's awards were Shane Jiraiya Cummings (AHWA Vice President and author of Shards), Brett McBean (author of The Mother), and Chuck McKenzie (author of Confessions of a Pod Person). The winners' history and further details are available at

Hope webzine - a fundraiser for victims of the Victorian bushfire disaster
Hope is a new multi-part fanzine raising money for bushfire relief in the Australian state of Victoria. Edited by Grant Watson, with contributions donated by writers, artists and fans in Australia and from overseas. It is supported by the Western Australian Science Fiction Foundation (WASFF), and has received assistance from the Film & Television Institute of WA, Supanova and Big Finish Productions. Hope #1 contains contributions from Mo Ali, Sophie Ambrose, R.J. Astruc, Lyn Battersby, K.K. Bishop, Matthew Chrulew, Stephen Dedman, Mark S. Deniz, d.n.l, Paul Haines, Simon Haynes, Kathleen Jennings, Ju Landeesse, Damian Magee, David A. McIntee, Simon Petrie, Andrew Phillips, Gillian Polack, Robert Shearman and Daniel Smith. The cover is by Rebecca Handcock.

Tasmaniac launches soft cover edition of The Nobody by Tom Piccirilli
The 4th novella release from Tasmaniac Publications is available to buy - The Nobody by Tom Piccirilli! Lettered hardcovers sold out pre-publication, but the soft cover edition is available at $22.95 with free shipping within Australia, limited to only 180 copies!

Richard Morgan to appear at Swancon
Richard Morgan, author of The Steel Remains and Black Man, is a Guest of Honour at this year’s Swancon, the 34th Annual West Australian Science Fiction Convention. The convention is held at the All Seasons Hotel in Northbridge, Perth, from April 9-13.

La Miranda Film Festival at ACMI
Screening as part of a special presentation is Vampir-Cuadecuc, a combination of documentary, narrative and experimental film styles. Shot on the set of Jesus Franco’s Italian horror film Count Dracula, and featuring the stars of that film, Christopher Lee and sex symbol Soledad Miranda, Vampir is a gentle homage to early films about the vampire legend, particularly Dreyer’s Vampyr and Murnau’s Nosferatu. Jesus Franco was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2009 Goya Awards.

Terra Incognita Podcast #4
Coeur de Lion's fourth podcast features a reading by Louise Katz of The Little Demon, and host Keith Stevenson reviewing Star Wars: Force Unleashed by Sean Williams.

Monsters Vs Aliens at Sydney Film School
Sydney Film School students, graduates, teachers and friends are invited to join the SFS at 11am on Friday March 6th for the Q&A session with the new Paramount/DreamWorks animation film director Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2). Find out all about the first InTru 3D Movie before it comes to the Cinemas. Not to be missed!

Supanova 2009

Gathered from the wonderful worlds of science-fiction, pulp TV/movies, toys, console gaming, trading cards, animation/cartoons, fantasy, comic books, entertainment technology, books, music, sport, internet sites and fan-clubs, Supanova Pop Culture Expo is where the adoring public comes face to face with the creative talent that inspire their imaginary worlds under one big roof.

Borderlands Press Writers' Boot Camp now accepting submissions for 2010

If you’re serious about improving your writing skills, Borderlands Press Writers' Boot Camp is the place to be. Borderlands Press celebrated it 8th Writers Boot Camp in January, 2009 with 40 attending “grunts”—20 each in short fiction and novel programs. An impressive number of Boot Camp graduates have gone on to sell their short fiction to many magazines and anthologies, and writers such as Michael McBride, Lisa Manetti, John Little, Cameron Pierce, David Bell, and Daniel Waters have since sold their novels to major publishers. Antipodean writers please note: the Borderlands Press Writers' Boot Camp is based in the USA.

Animania Festival 2009
Animania Festival 2009 will bring Sydney-siders - and people from all over - a range of events and entertainment including staple favourites Karaoke, Doodling competitions, all-day Screenings and video games in the Gamer Room. Cosplayers can also expect the first of three World Cosplay Summit Preliminaries to grace the Main Stage as well as the mixed bag game show, Olympia.

BrokenSea Audio Productions in Conan copyright controversy
BrokenSea Audio Productions, a not-for-profit fan broadcaster of audio drama, have received international attention due to an ongoing copyright fracas with intellectual property company Conan Properties International LLC. The contested content are adaptations of Conan stories by author Robert E Howard (1909-1936), and the conflict hinges on the question of whether the stories are now in the public domain, or not?

Popcorn Taxi presents Acolytes screening and live Q&A with Jon Hewitt
Directed by Jon Hewitt and starring Joel Edgerton, this award winning film has taken audiences by storm with the heavy nature of its unrelenting story. It also happens to be the first film in the southern hemisphere to be shot using the revolutionary new Viper Filmstream HD camera – making the eerie cinematography applicable to the frightening nature of this brilliant thriller. Winner of Best Film, Best Actor and Best Cinematography at the 2008 Melbourne Underground Film Festival, and with a soundtrack comprising the likes of Wolf & Cub, Midnight Juggernauts, Died Pretty, Battles and I Heart Hiroshima... this film will kill you! Followed by an audience Q&A with Australia’s most prolific and successful maverick filmmaker Jon Hewitt.

AntipodeanSF #129
AntipodeanSF Issue 129 is published for your enjoyment on the web. As usual there are ten fantastic pieces of speculative flash fiction to enjoy! At AntipodeanSF you'll also find the usual reviews, Going Critical and Vide, along with a new display area featuring information about freshly minted books here down-under. If you register with the site using the automated system, this allows you to vote and make comments about the stories online.

The Year Of Crime with Robin Bowles
Victorian Writers' Centre presents The Year of Crime. Robin shares her skills as a researcher, marketer and bestselling writer in a comprehensive course ranging from honing the idea, to writing something worth publishing. The course covers fiction and non-fiction writing, and is suitable for beginners searching for the right concept, through to those who have done a lot of work and are now looking for advice and direction to improve their work in preparation for offering it to publishers. Australia’s foremost true-crime writer, Robin has written bestselling books including Justice Denied (about the Jaidyn Leskie murder) and Dead Centre. Her first novel The Curse of the Golden Yo Yo was followed by the sequel The Mystery of the Missing Masterpiece in 2008.

The Stephen Cleary Adaptation Workshop

Presented by Film Victoria, this workshop is a mixture of lectures, project work, modules and intimate group discussions. The workshop has three main strands, which are 1.) Adaptation: Theory, including the three kinds of adaptation - reconstruction, re-imagining, deconstruction. 2.) Adaptation: Development Practice, including adaptation's analytic documents. 3.) Project work: individual teams work on the adaptation project they have brought to the workshop, in partnership with a workshop tutor. Stephen Cleary was Head of Development at the UK's national film Agency, British Screen, for three and a half years. He developed over 60 produced feature films including Land of Freedom (Ken Loach), Before the Rain (Milcho Manchevski, Acadamy Award nominee for best foreign film, winner Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival), Rob Roy (Michael Caton-Jones), and Butterfly Kiss (Michael Winterbottom).

The Year Of Speculative Fiction – The SF Novel Challenge with Lucy Sussex
Victorian Writers' Centre presents The Year of Speculative Fiction. Speculative fiction is all around us: in film, TV and the prognostications of Earth’s future. It can vary from alternate worlds (Nazis win WW2), to near-future thrillers, supernatural romances, space opera (Star Trek novels) and dispatches from the frontiers of the human imagination. The challenge in this series of workshops is to write a speculative fiction novel in 2009, workshop it and learn how to market it – even sell it! Award-winning writer Lucy Sussex hosts the challenge, which includes guest spots from editors, publishers and publicists. To be eligible, sample chapters and story outlines are required to be submitted by Friday 6 March (max 1000 words).

Genre and Genre Hybrids Seminar: Jonathan Rawlinson & Simon van der Borgh
Prsented by Film Victoria, this seminar will examine how to work with genre and genre hybrids, and how to incorporate genre elements into your work. Simon van der Borgh and Jonathan Rawlinson will lead a practical, interactive workshop exploring film genre for writers, directors, producers and developers. Why Genre and Genre Hybrids? Bad genre may be easy, but great genre is incredibly tough; and Genre Hybrids (such as SHAUN OF THE DEAD) and dramas that incorporate genre elements (such as LANTANA) are a great way for independent films to appeal to a wider audience.

The Bullsheet #84
The Australian Science Fiction Bullsheet #84, March 2009 edition is now available. This issue details various publishing news, and an overview of upcoming writing, speculative fiction and fan events.

Chauvel 'Summertime Bloodbath' program
Chauvel Cinema presents 'a season of horror and spaghetti western films. Blood, revenge, murder and mayhem. Perfect films for the long hot nights this summer!' The program includes Il Mercenario (Sergio Corbucci,1968), Motel Hell (Kevin Conno, 1980), Nigh Of The Comet (Thomas Eberhardt, 1984), The Good The Bad And The Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1969), and Robocop (Paul Verhoeven, 1987).

Screen Sect program for March 2009
This month Screen Sect present a variety of cult and classic cinema including The Big Heat (Fritz Lang, 1953), Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1995), Daughters Of Darkness (Harry Kumel, 1970), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (David Lynch, 1992), and the Sweet Smell Of Success (Alexander MacKendrick, 1958). Screen Sect is a film-night in Melbourne - devoted to rarely seen, obsessively loved and criminally neglected cult classics of cinema. Revisit old favourites, uncover hidden celluloid gems, indulge guilty pleasures, or just get yourself an education.

The Dark Fiction Guild
The Dark Fiction Guild is a new association for authors, editors and publishers of high quality dark fiction, poetry and drama, including such sub-genres as horror, suspense, occult, supernatural, gothic and neo-gothic literature. Membership applications are screened by the Guild - levels based on professional experience. The Guild's mission is 'to create an inexpensive and inclusive writers' association that encourages and supports high artistic standards'.

Dymocks Southland bestselling horror titles for February ‘09
Dymocks Southland is a general bookshop in Cheltenham, Victoria, boasting an extensive range of genre stock. Click through to view the top 10 bestselling horror titles for February 2009. Dymocks Southland also publishes a monthly SF, fantasy and horror newsletter, Dymensions.

Brett McBean author signing at Dymocks Southland
This month Dymocks Southland will be hosting an exciting author event with Brett McBean - rising star of Australian horror! On Saturday 7th March, 12-1pm, Brett will be signing copies of his Aurealis Award-nominated novel, The Mother. There will also be extremely limited quantities of some of Brett's overseas publications, including the recently-released New Dark Voices II - so get in early if you want to grab a copy! Dymocks Southland is located on the third floor of Westfield Shopping Centre in Cheltenham, Victoria. Tel: 03-95841245. The event is free, and registration is not required.

Trudi Canavan's The Magician’s Apprentice
Orbit are proud to announce the brand new novel of high fantasy adventure from Trudi Canavan. A standalone prequel to the best-selling Black Magician Trilogy set hundreds of years before the events of The Magicians’ Guild, The Magician’s Apprentice is the perfect introduction to the world of Trudi Canavan’s internationally bestselling Black Magician Trilogy.

Short Sited is set to scream in 2009 - new special horror category!
Festival Director, Tom Subjak can confirm that the 2009 installment of the Short Sited Film Festival, the illawarra’s largest and longest running film festival since 1996, is gearing up with full cooperation and funding support from the NSW Film and Television Office. Start howling at the moon, Short Sited the 13th is creeping out from the shadows. The festival will scream Friday March 13, 2009 at University Hall UOW.

AHWA Critiquing Groups
The Australian Horror Writers' Association is accepting expressions of interest from AHWA members wishing to take part in facilitating critiquing groups. Enquiries should be directed toward the AHWA Critique Group Coordinator, Mark Farrugia, from the 25th of February. (See full story for contact details.) For information on how to join the Australian Horror Writers' Association, and on the many benefits of membership, visit

Submitting News

If you have news about Australian and New Zealand Horror publishing and film, or news of professional development opportunities in the field, feel free to submit news to Talie Helene, AHWA News Editor. Just visit HorrorScope, and click on the convenient email link. (International news is not unwelcome, although relevance to Antipodean literary arts practitioners is strongly preferred.)

For information on the Australian Horror Writers' Association, visit

This AHWA NEWS DIGEST has been compiled, written, and republished in select Australian horror haunts by Talie Helene. Currently archived at the
AHWA MySpace page, Southern Horror, and Darklands, and hosted by AHWA members Felicity Dowker, Jeff Ritchie, Brenton Tomlinson, and Scott Wilson.

If you would like to support the AHWA News effort by hosting a copy of the AHWA News Digest on your blog or website,
contact Talie to receive a fully formatted HTML edition of the digest by email.

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 4:28 AM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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