While I was only there in spirit and a brief show of pixels, I was incredibly proud to be included in the launch of Queers as Fiction recently.
This anthology, published by the wonderfully indie Sydney-based publisher of short stories (and other eclectic storytelling), Spineless Wonders. If you want a copy, buy it. It's well worth it, not only because I have my (very) short story in it. It's introduced by Quinn Eades, a trans gay poet and researcher, author of Rallying, winner of the 2018 Mary Gilmore Award for best first book of poetry, and winner of the 2017 Arts Queensland XYZ Award for Innovation in Spoken Word among other works and accolades. It also includes a host of beautiful other queer stories by some talented emerging and established authors.
My inclusion into this collection was not quite planned, but it was welcome. Off the back of the COVID-19 shutdowns, the minds behind Spineless Wonders, in partnership with the City of Sydney and Echidna Audio, wanted to curate a collection of stories inspired by places and people in Sydney as part of an effort to entice people out of their homes post-lockdowns and back into the city streets. The collection is Sonic City. Stories could be accessed both using the website, but also an on-location QR code so you could access the story in the place that inspired it.
My piece, 'A Strange Affection', was inspired in part by Sydney's Botanical Gardens as the location of a first date.
I was (instead, I thought) invited to include the piece in the QAF anthology, which I was extremely chuffed by. Chuffed even more (and a little nervous) to also be invited to record a reading of the story for inclusion in the Sonic City project.
The story is therefore available in two modes at once, and I'm incredibly grateful to Bronwyn Mehan at Spinless Wonders for her generosity and support of the story.
The anthology, published last year (2022), had its launch this year. Sadly, I wasn't able to make it since I recently moved to Canberra to begin my PhD. But I can tell you it was a fun night because I watched it, on YouTube. Hosted by Ce Benedict (NB: My non-Binary life Podcast).