Category: Events

August & September appearances

I’m doing a few appearances in NSW and the NSW-enclave of Canberra, as well as in Melbourne, over the next month or so.

  • Canberra Writers Festival – Saturday 26 August You’ll never guess who I’m appearing with at Canberra Writers Festival… James Bradley and I will be talking with Dr Martha Sear, Head Curator at the National Museum, about writing in the age of humans. “Human beings are changing our environment on a global scale. How can writing help us imagine, and influence, our impact on the future?” Book tickets here.
  • Melbourne Writers Festival – Saturday 2 September Sally Abbott and I will be chatting about awful imaginary Australia, in this session on dystopian fiction. It’s free, and there’s more info here.


  • Tom Keneally Centre, Sydney – Tuesday 26 September I’ll be doing a lunchtime session about From the Wreck, “an engaging talk about writing family history, and why speculative fiction might be the best way to tell a factual story”. It’s free, but they would like you to book.
  • Newtown Library – Tuesday 26 September Newtown Library, the City of Sydney and Better Read than Dead bookshop are running a series of panels on current issues called ‘Speak your mind’. I’ll be chairing this panel on climate change, featuring shadow Minister for Climate Change Mark Butler, and novellists Harriet McKnight and Daniel Findlay. Tickets are free and you can get one here.

My other job

Yesterday I went to the office from 8-5 and wrote about electricity bills and women in energy and wind power policy and then I went to Embiggen Books and interviewed Jasper Fforde. Here’s me and Jasper talking about whether you can keep ten thousand ideas in your … Continue reading My other job

Some Formaldehyde bits and pieces

Formaldehyde is popping its little preserved head up all over the place. Like where? Like here:

  • On WritersBloc: Dear WritersBloc have chosen me for this month’s book club, which means you can read an excerpt from the book and join me and Geoff Orton online when we talk about it on September 29.
  • On Seizure: another, different excerpt (you should read this one first because it’s the first chapter…) and a lovely piece from Marisa Wikramanayake about editing Formaldehyde.
  • At Write Around the Murray: Marlee Jane Ward, who wrote the arse-kicking Welcome to Orphancorp, Seizure publisher David Henley and I will be talking novellas and reading some bits and pieces in Albury on the evening of Friday 11 September.
  • On Goodreads: get a copy for free (if you win, but not if you don’t).
  • In Collingwood, for Visible Ink: Visible Ink magazine wants to pay its writers, so they’re running a fundraiser to get the cash together. I’ll be doing a reading.
  • On YouTube. Formaldehyde was the first proper thing I wrote and I was terrified I’d run out of ideas so, instead of coming up with a plot like a normal person, I made a mix tape (yes, on cassette) and set myself the task of writing one chapter per song. Something from the song had to appear in the chapter. Not all the references have survived til the final version, and not all the songs can be found on YouTube but still, if you think you’d have fun listening to the kind of terrible music a homesick Australian in San Francisco might cue up, go for it!