Tara Calaby

writer, editor & phd candidate

Tag: mlitt

An Update: In More Ways Than One

Welcome to the new site. My old Blogspot site was beginning to look decidedly dated, so I’ve moved to a self-hosted WordPress site that hopefully looks a little better! Everything from the old site and my even older review site should now be available here, and I’ll be adding in some further (backdated) stuff over time.

I guess the biggest news is that I have officially graduated from my degree, so I’m now Tara Calaby M.Litt M.A. I was very pleased with my marks and am now investigating PhD programs, because I just really love study. In case it wasn’t blindingly obvious.

I’ve also had a story accepted into Solarwyrm Press’s upcoming anthology, Marked By Scorn, edited by Dominica Malcolm. Malcolm’s last anthology, the Aurealis Award finalist Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction was excellent, so I’m pleased to be a part of her next project.

I haven’t been writing, but I’ve been thinking a lot about writing. That counts, right? No?


Back from the wilderness to make an exciting announcement. My piece “Ashes” will be in the next issue of the wonderful Grimdark Magazine, due out at the start of July. It’s a dark (Grimdark, even!) fantasy piece that looks at what comes after the Happily Ever After for Cinderella.

More once I have a cover to show you and links to purchase.

In other news, I have submitted my M.Litt thesis and am awaiting confirmation of passing that and completing the course. I’m also doing a lot of writing for Emerge Australia, an ME/CFS not-for-profit, and enjoying my Assistant Editor tasks for Luna Station Quarterly.

Year in Review, 2014

A bit of a mixed bag in 2014. I had a few publication credits, but I didn’t finish nearly as many pieces as I would have liked to, due in part to needing to focus on my Masters.

Pieces Completed in 2014:

  • Footsteps (flash, horror)
  • Shadows (one act, historical/science fiction)
  • Um, I think that’s all. Awful, I know.

Published in 2014:

  • Born to It (YA fantasy)
  • Icarus (science fiction)
  • Breath (historical ghost story)

Produced in 2014:

  • Shadows (one act, historical/science fiction)

I also completed the first three drafts of my thesis piece, ‘The Starlight Circus’. The first half of 2015 will be focussed on completing that and the accompanying exegesis.

Year in Review – 2013

I’ve been awfully bad at updating my blog this year, due to all manner of health issues taking up all of my physical and mental energy. For the same reason, it hasn’t been a great year for writing.

Pieces Completed in 2013:

  • Scrap Metal (approx 5k, science fiction/gothic horror) 
  • Ashes (approx 4k, dark fairy tale) 
  • Liberty (one act play, science fiction) 
  • Women’s Work (approx 5k, dystopian fiction) 
  • Breath (approx 2k, historical ghost story) 

Published in 2013:

  • Wound (flash, magic realism) 
  • The Silver Witch (flash, fantasy) 

Additional Sales in 2013:

  • Icarus (approx 5k, science fiction) – to Aurealis  
  • Breath (as above) – to Undertow (a print anthology of stories about the Gold Coast, due out in May 2014)  

I’ve also completed the first of two years working on my Master of Letters (Creative Writing). I’ve been very pleased with my marks and have enjoyed the process of looking at my own writing through a different, more academic lens. Next year, I’ll be working on the thesis aspect of the course, which means writing a longer piece and an accompanying longer exegesis.

Writing Update – August

I’ve had some health stuff going on this past month, so there hasn’t been a lot of writing happening. I did, however, manage to finish a Australian ghost story, of around 2.5k words, so I was pleased about that, given everything that’s been happening.

My short story and play for my M.Litt are currently with my supervisor, so here’s hoping he’ll like them and I’ll be able to focus on the critical essays about them, instead of lots of re-drafting!

The biggest news this month is that my short story ‘Icarus’ was accepted for publication in Aurealis. I’ll update with an expected publication date once one is available.

Writing Update – July

It’s officially August, by just over eight hours, but I’m writing about July, so I think the headline still counts!

This past month, I’ve mostly been busy with writing first drafts for my two writing submissions for my second semester of my Master of Letters (Creative Writing). I wrote short stories for my first two units, which both received good marks (yay!) and are now out doing the submission rounds. This time around, it’s another short story – and a short play to mix things up a little. Because it’s all about word count, the play is going to be a most unhelpful length for production: probably about twenty minutes, which will rule it out for all the 10 minute play festivals, while it’ll still be way too short for a stand-alone play. The short story (Women’s Work) takes a first century AD Roman event and sends it into outer space, while the play (Liberty) is about a man who falls for an AI program. I think it’s safe to say that I’m all about the spec fic these days.

Both my partner and I have had a spate of stories get past slush and to the short-listed stage of things recently. It’s funny, but a rejection at that stage of things always seems to feel worse than getting the standard form reject after a couple of weeks. Logically, I know that it means I’m doing something right, and that the decision was about publication fit and editor tastes, instead of writing quality, but it still smarts a little. I have three submissions at that long-term stage at the moment, and I’m just hoping they don’t all decide to send rejections through on the one day 😉

I did, however, get a lovely and very helpful personal rejection from Shimmer last month. I think that Shimmer is one of the best publications out there at the moment, so it was particularly great to get some feedback from them.

August will be all about Women’s Work and Liberty for me. I have a lot of re-drafting to do on Women’s Work and Liberty is still quite a way from a finished first draft. Hopefully, next time I blog I’ll be able to say that both are in the polished draft stage, awaiting feedback from my lecturer.

An Update

bookcaseI’m afraid I’ve been neglecting this site rather dreadfully over the past half year or so. I’ve been in something of a transition period, but have come out the other side more focussed and inspired.

Quite a few things have been happening, but here are just a few snippets by way of an update.

  • ‘Speed Dating’ had a very successful season in Sydney, polling well with both the judges and the audiences. We just missed out on the Gala Final, but that didn’t do anything to dull my enjoyment of the process. Glen was a great director to work with, and I loved what he and the actors did with my words. I didn’t get up to see the production, but I was able to watch it on DVD, and it was a strange, but exciting, experience watching my play being performed.
  • My short piece ‘Wound’ was accepted for publication by Every Day Fiction. It’ll be up on the site on the 18th of April (almost in time for my birthday) and I’ll update when it’s available to be read.
  • I’m moving to Melbourne! I’m still a country person at heart, but my partner and so many of my people are in Melbourne, so I’m headed back there myself.
  • I’ve started studying towards a Master of Letters (Creative Writing) with CQUniversity. As of today, I’ve completed the first draft on two short stories, one for each of my first two units. I’ll probably talk more about those pieces in the coming months as I move through the editing process and eventually seek homes for them.
  • I’ve done a minor site update, taking the focus away from other people’s writing and placing it upon my own.

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