From the introduction by David Vernon,
I enjoy a good ghost or horror story, which is somewhat ironic for someone who claims to have a rather sceptical mind. My enjoyment comes not so much from the supernatural element that pervades the ghost genre but from the wonderful way writers can spin a story that can elicit an emotional response. Sometimes it will be fear, while at other times it will be amusement at the cleverness of the writing.
For this anthology of award-winning stories the only guidance the authors were given was that they had to write a ghost or horror story that had a link, no matter how tenuous, to Australia. I think you will find that they have fulfilled this requirement admirably and we have here a great
collection of Australian ghost and horror stories. This is the twenty-fifth anthology from Stringybark Stories and this book adds a new genre to the many that Stringybark Stories has already explored—history, speculative fiction, humour, erotica, SF, travel and now horror and ghosts. We know you will enjoy your journey through these pages, even if turning the page elicits fear and terror!
About the judges
David Vernon is a full time writer and editor. While he is known for his non-fiction books about birth: Men at Birth, Having a Great Birth in Australia, Birth Stories and With Women, he has turned his hand to writing science articles for newspapers and magazines as well as scribbling the odd short story or two. He established the Stringybark Short Story Awards in 2010 to promote short story writing. He is currently trying to write an Australian history book but not finding much time. He is the Chair of the ACT Writers Centre. David’s website is: www.davidvernon.net.
Zena Shapter is a Ditmar Award-winning author whose work has been published in magazines such as Midnight Echo and anthologies like Award-Winning Australian Writing (2012 & 2014). She has been called a writer who ‘deserves your attention’ (Lillian Csernica, Tangent Online), a ‘specialist in the weird, wacky, wonderful world of speculative fiction’ (NSW Writer’s Centre). She has won ten national writing competitions, including the Australian Horror Writer’s Association Short Story Competition. She writes close-to-reality books of the unexplained, adventures that capture the imagination, and evocative stories that get you thinking. She’s the founder and leader of the award-winning Northern Beaches Writers’ Group, a creative writing tutor and mentor, a social media consultant, freelance editor and book layout designer. Read her on zenashapter.com.
Graham Miller’s childhood ambition of becoming a world famous author actually kind of came true—but not in the genre he’d expected! While family legend has it that he went under the surgeon’s knife still reading The Secret Seven and he saw himself supplanting both Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie, it was the mysteries of accounting and computer that brought him fame (even if not fortune). Two decades and more than two-dozen textbooks saw his reading and writing for fun take a back seat. Now retired, he continues to read whodunnits in preference but enjoys any good yarn – and he loves the freedom of the iPad to read in bed in the dark. He turned to fiction writing in 2014 to while away the day and now writes short stories as a break from working on being the house-husband.He was shortlisted in the 2014 Stringybark Short Story Awards (as Allan Sykes), is the convener of the Fernhill Writers’ Group and is currently establishing a group dedicated to preserving the art of the Aussie Bush Yarn.
Dr Rick Williams lost his innocence at seventeen when he joined the RAAF to become an Aeronautical engineer. He regained his composure when he resigned and started anew at Monash University majoring in classics and where he gained his PhD. He spent fourteen great years in the Parliamentary Education Office in Parliament House Canberra, mixing itwith a cross-section of our elected representatives—from the lost (Pauline Hanson before her maiden speech) to the bizzare (Bob Katter) — both from Queensland. Currently he manages Cooma Cottage Yass for the National Trust NSW, and occasionally has some successes. Rick has previously judged the Stringybark Malicious Mysteries Short Story Competition and the Stringybark Erotic Fiction Competition.