Project Description

I hate social media posts that begins with ‘It was an honour to be included … (insert brag about the accolade, award, achievement that you want to tell people about under the guise of praising the talent of others).” It always seems to smack of insincerity, though that probably says more about what sort of person I am than the person writing these social media updates.

But I’ve been staring at this empty blog post I’m suppose to be writing about Hometown Haunts LoveOzYA Horror Tales and I don’t know how to begin except by saying,  that I really am HONOURED and HUMBLED to be included among such talented, professional writers and editors. I was soooo lucky to have my short story Hunger picked up for this anthology by Wakefield Press. Working with Poppy Nwosu and Jo Case, the editors who knocked my short story into shape, was a super experience.

Here is the description of Hometown Haunts by Wakefield Press (copied from Goodreads)

One bite of an apple from a family shrine unearths hungry ghosts. A poison garden unfurls a polite boy’s deepest, darkest desires. Interfering with an Indigenous burial site unleashes ancestral revenge, to a metal soundtrack. An underground dance party during Covid threatens to turn lethal. And on the edge of a coastal rainforest, a grieving sister waits to witness a mysterious ‘unravelling’.

This #LoveOzYA anthology – the first to focus entirely on horror – unites a stellar cast of Australia’s finest YA authors with talented new and emerging voices, including two graphic artists.

Contributors are Wai Chim, Sarah Epstein, Alison Evans, Lisa Fuller, Margot McGovern, Poppy Nwosu, Michelle O’Connell, Emma Osborne, Emma Preston, Marianna Shek, Holden Sheppard, Jared Thomas, Vikki Wakefield and Felix Wilkins.

The stories in this wide-ranging collection dig deep and go hard. While some are straight-up terrifying rollercoaster rides, others are psychologically rooted in our society’s deepest fears and concerns: acceptance and fitting in, love and loss, desire and temptation, and the terror of a world threatened by catastrophic change … and even collapse.

I’m super proud that my story from this anthology was shortlisted for an Aurealis award in the YA short story category. Furthermore, two of my fellow writers Lisa Fuller and Emma Osborne were also shortlisted in the same category, and editor Poppy Nwosu was also shortlisted for the ‘Best Anthology’.

I’m not an avid horror reader, but reading this anthology has opened up my mind to the idea that the horror genre doesn’t have to be all gore and jump-scares, it can probe into the human psyche in unsettling ways that other genres can’t touch.

Hometown Haunts is available to order through most brick and mortar book stores (and good libraries)!