The Australian Spec Fic Snapshot 2016: Jodi Cleghorn

Jodi CleghornJodi Cleghorn (@jodicleghorn) is a writer, poet, editor, small press owner and workshop facilitator with a penchant for the dark vein of humanity. Her stories (published here and overseas) traverse a variety of genres, formats and lengths, and she’s a passionate advocate of collaborative writing. Elyora/River of Bones, her debut novella, was shortlisted for an Aurealis. No Need to Reply, a flash-fiction chapbook will be followed up this month by the companion publication, The Heart is an Echo Chamber, penned by eight friends.

Your post-it note and cut-and-paste poetry are a consistent delight across my social media. What’s their role in your overall writing process – are they warm-ups, or important in their own right?

In short: both. They have been frivolous and serious, stop-gap play and scheduled work, disposable creativity and important self-expression. The cut-and-paste poetry gave my depression a voice in 2014, when I was coming to the realisation I was chronically ill. It morphed into poem squares and gave me the ability to keep creating/writing when my intellectual capacity for my own original work didn’t exist.

I’m a jack-of-all-words, so I am happy to be an author of science fiction sometimes, poetry builder from the texts of Winterson and Calvino other times. As long as I don’t use one to procrastinate from the other, they have the capacity to be a refueling loop.

Poem squares are important in their own right now. I sold my first one recently and plan to put more up for sale as well as open for commissions.

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The Australian Spec Fic Snapshot 2016: Laura E. Goodin

A picture of author Laura E Goodin

American-born writer Laura E. Goodin has been writing professionally for over 30 years. Her stories have appeared in numerous publications, including Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Review of Australian Fiction, Adbusters, Wet Ink, The Lifted Brow and Daily Science Fiction, among others, and in several anthologies. Her plays and libretti have been performed on three continents, and her poetry has been performed internationally, both as spoken word and as texts for new musical compositions. She attended the 2007 Clarion South workshop, and has a Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Western Australia.

For those of us who weren’t able to catch The Cabinet of Oddities, can you tell us a bit about it (and whether we can expect a reprise anytime soon)?
My husband, composer Houston Dunleavy, and I collaborate frequently on pieces. A while back he wrote a piece for one of the low flutes (find out more about these fabulous instruments here!) as incidental music to one of my flash pieces (“The Monster Tarantella”). We realised that it would be intensely fun to get other writers and composers to work together to produce a collection of these sorts of pieces. And when we found out that the Australian Flute Festival was occurring at exactly the same time a few hundred metres away from Conflux last year – well. How much more reason did we need? In the end, all the writers, composers, and players had a fantastic time creating and performing the concert at Conflux, and the audience members were thrilled with hearing brand-new works – both text and music – and with seeing and hearing the wondrous suite of flutes. It really was a joyous experience – but over way too soon, with only one performance. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce there will be two more performances as part of the Melbourne Fringe on September 23 and 24 – keep an eye on their site, as the program launches August 9!

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The Australian Spec Fic Snapshot 2016

The Australian Speculative Fiction Snapshot is a recurring series of interviews with writers, editors and others involved in the speculative fiction scene across this country. This year, I joined the team of interviewers for the project. I had a great time with this project, mainly because it’s such a great vehicle for writers to squee about and to each other.

Over the next two weeks, I’ll be posting the interviews I conducted here on this blog; they and many others will also be posted on the Snapshot site.

There and back again

A quick update after a quiet couple of months (I’m almost finished a few stories, I promise!).

In May I travelled to Madison, Wisconsin for WisCon, a feminist science fiction convention. I met some interesting people, bought more books than I thought I could fit in my suitcase (I was wrong and my suitcase is an enabler), and was enriched by the panels and discussion I attended. Of course, I liveblogged what I could.

Back at home, I was interviewed by the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild, who are set to release the ebook version of The Never Never Land on the first of July. It’ll be available on Smashwords and elsewhere.

Making Contact

Author with award

Here I am with my first ever award, for Best New Talent in the Ditmar Awards. Photo by me.

Last night I returned home from Contact, the 55th annual Australian speculative fiction convention held in Brisbane.

As I usually do, I had a wonderful time catching up with friends from around the country (and outside of it), learning and live tweeting up a storm (the least terrible of these are immortalised on Storify), and adding to the ever-toppling Mt. TBR.

I was also chuffed to win a Ditmar Award for Best New Talent! Like I said on the night (hopefully coherently, right after I dropped my pin on stage) I very much appreciate the support of my family, the Australian speculative fiction community and specifically my mentor, Cat Sparks.