Archive for September, 2011

Click on the arrow above to listen to Gail’s reading.

“Hello, I’m Gail Bell and this is from a true story called Golden Eye first published in 2009 in The Monthly magazine:

I met Felix and Marjorie as a couple in the late 80s.

One evening, a year into our relationship, Felix uncharacteristically took the initiative of asking me for advice.

“You might say I was born to be depressed,” he said, and spoke candidly of his mother’s suicide and his father’s descent into a bitter and entrenched gloom.


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Click on the arrow above to listen to Stephen’s reading.

Hi, I’m Stephen Scheding. I’m about to read part of the preface of my book A Small Unsigned Painting published by Random House in 1998. It’s an art mystery, a who-dun-it – who done the small unsigned painting that I had bought at an auction and, then, who done the bullet in the head of the person I discovered was the first owner of  the painting. (more…)

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Click on the arrow above to listen to Deborah’s reading.

Hi, my name is Deborah Rice. My short story Foil was the winner of the University of Canberra short story competition a few years back.

This is how it starts.

“I am aluminium foil: I am bright and clean and shining. But not today.

This time, a bowl broke and I didn’t mean it to. Or I sort of didn’t meant it to. Part of me had always wanted to smash the bloody thing because it didn’t fit into the fridge, but it was Alex’s favourite – one of those revolting turned-clay home-glazed numbers. Anyway, it slipped, and that’s all.


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Click on the arrow above to listen to Helene’s reading.

“Hello, my name’s Helene Young. I’m reading from my story Wings of Fear.

Her footprints laid an even path across the smooth expanse of beach, swept clean by the night’s high tide. White sand, right up to the line of pig face and dune grass, was unblemished.

The moon, bright against the dark western sky was just disappearing behind Saddle Mountain. Its perfect roundness signalled the highest of the month’s tide, its presence in the sky at dawn a sign that summer was close. A scattering of stars glinted against a backdrop of deepest blue.


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Click on the arrow above to listen to Gillian’s reading.

“Hi my name is Gillian Polack and I’m reading you two short excerpts from my novel Life Through Cellophane which is about a Canberra public servant.

My problem is how best to count down the four more sleeps till I am officially a Free Failure. Do I do it by brutalising my calendar each day with red texta slashes or by eating Tim Tams, or by printing out the Bee Hive’s head from the last office Christmas photo and throwing darts at it? Ten darts a night sounds about right.


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Click on the arrow above to listen to Antonia’s reading.

“Hi I’m Antonia Strakosch, and I’m reading an excerpt from my fiction manuscript in progress, Remington Portable.

The cabin fell silent, then a gasp rose up as the plane lurched forcefully to the right. It seemed fitting that the book Sarah was proposing to write, the one she was travelling to New York to research, the one that in ten days she would have to explain in the creative writing workshop at her new university, would be the death of her one way or another. Its vast unwrittenness pulsed against the crash and tug of the plane. Suddenly, stillness, then a lunge so forceful Sarah’s head smacked against the window. She considered the possibility of death here in the eternal unholy night. It would make things a whole lot simpler.


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Click on the arrow above to listen to Claire’s reading.

“Hi, my name is Claire Corbett and I’ll be reading from my novel When We Have Wings.

Peri stepped up to the edge of the cliff. She must let go. She must be prepared to die.

A gust of air rushed over the cliff. She staggered a step, unfurled her wings and ran forward. As she leapt off the cliff, she knew she’d done it at the wrong moment. Dropping as if she’d been shot, she beat her wings hard, harder, harder than she ever had in Flight Gym.



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Click on the arrow above to listen to Sally’s reading.

“Hi, I’m Sally Rippin. I’m going to read a short extract from my children’s novel  Angel Creek.

“Hey, Jel, look at this.”

Jelly walked to where Gino was peering out over the black water. “I can”t see anything.”

“Over there.” Gino pointed.

And then Jelly saw it: a pearly smudge of white against the gloom.


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Click on the arrow above to listen to Emilie’s reading.

“Hi, my name is Emilie Collyer and this is my piece called Prestidigitation:

If you can hear me, I need your help.

One of the hardest things about prestidigitation is figuring out how to say the word. That is why most amateur magicians say: ‘Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!’ and ‘Can I have a volunteer from the audience. Please put your hand inside that box. Now please tell the audience: is it a real box? Thank you very much. Give NAME a round of applause!’


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Click on the arrow above to listen to Rebekah’s reading.

“Hi, I’m Rebekah Clarkson and this is the beginning of my short story, Raising Boys
‘Bins are up.’ It came out of Malcolm’s mouth half whisper, half question. His wife was sitting on the edge of their bed, picking at something on her heel and she nodded absentmindedly.
Malcolm had left taking them up later than usual, to the last task of the evening, until there was nothing left; Martin was in bed, his lunch box packed, computer shut down, dog locked in the laundry.

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