Untitled stories

Small press publishing is an important part of Australia’s literary landscape and is well deserving of some attention. So every now and then, I like to devote a blog post to a particular small press publisher or publication. As well as having released two books, Melbourne-based Busybird Publishing also holds the reins on two magazines — Page Seventeen and [untitled]. And it is the second of these that I’m going to look at today.

I have some history with [untitled]. This magazine (or pocketbook, as they refer to it) has published two of my stories — “Photographic Memory” in issue 1 and “Tall, Dark and Handsome” in issue 4. I also had the great honour of launching issue 2 in 2010. So when issue 5 was released earlier this year (after some delay due to the editor having been hit by a car), I eagerly went along to the launch and purchased my copy.

The latest issue of [untitled] strikes you with its bold and colourful cover, which illustrates one of the stories — Nicolas Hoover’s “The Humerus is Not a Funny Bone”. Kev Howlett has been the cover artist for all five issues, and his bold, graphic style makes any issue of [untitled] instantly recognisable.

Within the pages are a selection of great stories covering topics as diverse as clowns, real estate and isolation; and genres from comedy to speculative fiction. This issue also contains the winning stories from 2012 [untitled] Short Story Competition.

As with any short story magazine or anthology, I liked some stories better than others… but there is no substandard material in this lot. The editors of this little mag have done a great job of selecting a range of quality writing.

My personal favourite from this issue is “The Worry Man” by Adrienne Tam. This story got second place in the competition. While I certainly recognise why the judges chose “Skin on Skin” by Eliza-Jane Henry-Jones as the winner (it is a great piece of writing), it is “The Worry Man” that stuck in my mind with its wonderfully evocative dark urban fantasy. But there were a number of other standouts — from the chilling “Bringing Them Home”, to the eerie sci-fi of “Convenience Store”, to epic destiny of “The Greatest Day”.

To find out more about [untitled], check out their website. If you like reading short fiction, then I’d highly recommend picking up an issue or two (or five) of this pocketbook / mag. And if you write short fiction, check out their submission guidelines.

Catch ya later,  George

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George Ivanoff

LITERARY CLUTTER: Bookish bloggings from the cluttered mind and bookshelf of Melbourne author, George Ivanoff. George is the author of the YOU CHOOSE books, the OTHER WORLDS series, the RFDS Adventures and the GAMERS trilogy.

2 thoughts on “Untitled stories”

  1. Hi George! I just wanted to say Thank You for your kind words re: my story, The Worry Man. It’s always a nice thing when someone says something good about your work, but it’s something truly special to have someone say that the story stayed with them…so, thank you. It means a lot.

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