So there’s a  shortlist for the 2010 Australian Shadows horror awards available online, which includes Bleed in the Long Fiction category alongside such brilliant works as Angela Slatter’s The Girl With No Hands and Other Stories and Kirstyn McDermott’s Madigan Mine and a handful of books I haven’t yet come across but I’m sure are excellent ’cause, really, once you start with Madigan Mine and The Girl with No Hands I’m inclined to just trust the judges tastes – those books are freakin’ great.

So it’s a happy sort of day, even if it feels a bit odd to be on the short list because Bleed isn’t really a horror story.

The complete short-list looks something like this, and it’s full of names that I’m very happy to see on short-lists. Congratulations to all who made it.


  • Madigan Mine by Kirstyn McDermott (Picador Australia)
  • The Girl With No Hands by Angela Slatter (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healy (Allen & Unwin)
  • Under Stones by Bob Franklin (Affirm Press)
  • Bleed by Peter M. Ball (Twelfth Planet Press)


  • Macabre: A Journey through Australia’s Darkest Fears, edited by Angela Challis & Marty Young (Brimstone Press)
  • Scenes From The Second Storey, edited by Amanda Pillar & Pete Kempshall (Morrigan Books)
  • Dark Pages 1, edited by Brenton Tomlinson (Blade Red Press)
  • Scary Kisses, edited by Liz Gryzb (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Midnight Echo #4, edited by Lee Battersby (AHWA)


  • “Bread and Circuses” by Felicity Dowker (Scary Kisses)
  • “Brisneyland by Night” by Angela Slatter (Sprawl)
  • “She Said” by Kirstyn McDermott (Scenes from the Second Storey)
  • “All The Clowns In Clowntown” by Andrew J. McKiernan (Macabre: A Journey through Australia’s Darkest Fears)
  • “Dream Machine” by David Conyers (Scenes from the Second Storey)

The winners of the Australian Shadows Award will be announced on 15 April 2011.


Next week I start tutoring for one of the University of Queensland’s writing subjects. It’ll be the first time I’ll have stepped into a university for about two years, and the nerves have already set in. I can tell because I keep having nightmares and waking up in the middle of the night, unsure of what’s going on but unable to get back to sleep.

This isn’t unusual. I always have nightmares the week before I start teaching. Occasionally they involve teaching Hamlet being performed by Gnolls, and being unable to explain exactly why this is brilliantly post-modern to a group of students. Thankfully, they  goes away once the classes actually start.

  3 comments for “Shadows

  1. 25/02/2011 at 9:40 PM

    Congrats dude, that's great news 🙂

  2. 26/02/2011 at 3:15 AM

    "Thankfully, they goes away once the classes actually start."

    The nightmares or the students? 🙂

    Congratulations on the nomination. That is one scarily kick-ass heavyweight list of nominees in your category, and whoever wins it will deserve it, because to get past that lot requries eerious chops. You, of course, have serious chops, and belong in scuh a kick-ass list of heavyweights.

    Here's hoping.

  3. 26/02/2011 at 4:10 AM

    @Jason Thanks.

    @Lee Both, actually. The nightmares dissappear fast, but student attrition seems to happen as people decide they really don't want to write their essays or go to classes.

    And I gotta say the whole short-list is seriously kick-ass this year, regardless of category, and I take it as a victory that Bleed even made it into the list given that it's probably the bantamweight in terms of wordcounts sutiable to Long Form Fiction.

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