News and gossip
12 December 2012News
2013 Mardi Gras Short Story competition.
We're sad to announce that there will be no Sydney Mardi Gras Short story competition next year apparently because MG were unable to secure prize funding for the event. The Mardi Gras' competition ran for many years, finally gaining decent prize money last year from CAL. The non-appearance of the 2013 competition signals the end to the run of gay and lesbian writing competitions in Australia - the Adelaide and Melbourne comps have not appeared for some time.
The winners and runner-ups from the last six years are available in our library.
25 November 2012New lesbian release
A new release from the flaunt team is available for immediate download. For (4) flaunting itself proudly the new issue displays work from many Australian lesbian writers including: Alexandra Smithers, Amy McDonald, Bronwyn Winter, Clement Wood, Diane Wood, Fiona Thurn, Jacqueline Buswell, Jacqueline Craigie, Jas Shenstone, Jenni Nixon, Mij Tanith, Ray Tyndale, Rebecca Langham and Uma Kali Shakti. Kate O'Brien is Editor of 4:flaunt
25 Sept 2012New releases and news
Hold On, I'm Coming! is now on release.
At last. The long awaited release of our latest collection of contemporary Aussie gay fiction, Hold On, I'm Coming. Each of our anthologies has its own overall character or feeling, and this one is best simply described as being about love. Whether impending marriage or anonymous quickie, mateship or crush, the local milkman or the team's fullback, these are all stories about relationships. The standard and diversity of writing styles mark this release as perhaps our best yet.
3 Sept 2012 Vale Brad Johnston.
With sadness we note the passing of Brad Johnston, a truly original voice in Australian gay journalism. Brad shot to youthful fame in the 90s with Studio publications, most notably Blue, where his mastery of the 300 word po-mo text box under some amazing images showed both a deep understanding of cultural context as well as a dazzling ability with words. In later years he moved on to the weekly community newspapers where his passion and (sometimes savage) wit stood out in sharp contrast to the increasingly mediocre, press release rewriting and unwillingness to ruffle feathers of too many others. /p>
Several years ago, Brad, and his partner Mick, moved to the red-necked depths of the Hunter Valley where he continued to write; blogging, with the same passion, humour and lack of sentimentality, the highs and lows of rural life and his declining health. His unique voice, whether pontificating in a bar at 3am, or on paper or screen, will be greatly missed.
Photo: Brad, trademark ciggie in hand. No community cow was ever too sacred.
13 June 2012News updates
First, an apology
Due to circumstances beyond our control both our websites were out of action during part of May 2012.
A serious hardware failure left us wandering about lost in the ether. We're back to normal now; thanks for your patience.
call for submissions to 'Hold On, I'm Coming!'
gay-ebooks is calling on gay writers to submit work for it's next collection, 'Hold On, I'm Coming!' Edited by Gary Dunne,
our tenth anthology is guaranteed to be another collection of delicious and exciting short stories, celebrating our lives and experiences.
Gary Dunne said, "Our selection criteria for including stories is that they must be a good read. Our collections are the
most popular downloads from our site - these days it's not unusual for individual gay-ebooks anthologies to reach 15 thousand copies
downloaded. In any language, that's an awful lot of readers waiting to read your new fiction."
Short stories up to 3,000 words (longer pieces considered).
Deadline 15th July 2012.
Visit our website to see earlier issues. www.gay-ebooks.com.au
Questions and submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
call for submissions to '4flaunt'
Editor of lesbian-ebooks, Kate O'Brien, is calling on lesbian poets and writers of short fiction to submit work for the
next edition, '4flaunt'. This is a chance to flaunt your talent and skills to a potentially world-wide readership;
to build on the strong response to earlier issues of flaunt.
"It's clear that there is a lesbian writing community out there, scintillating, diverse, and hungry for publication.
And at the same time, there is a reading community just as hungry for beautifully wrought, witty, and serious
reflections on the lesbian experience," said editor Kate O'Brien at the launch of the first 'flaunt' at Adelaide's Feast Festival in 2008.
Short stories should be up to 3,000 words, and poems can be any length.
Deadline, 15th July 2012.
Visit our website to see earlier issues. www.lesbian-ebooks.com.au
Questions and submissions to email@example.com
Perfect Gay Marriage
by Robert Tait
This month's release is Chapter 10 of Robert Tait's satirical-erotic-soapie-detective novel 'Perfect Gay Marriage'. Last episode he was (randomly?) assaulted near Taylor Square, this month he goes Brazilian in Kings Cross; all in the quest to uncover the truth about Cameron. But does he now have enough dirt to close the case? And what's his brother-in-law up to?
There's a new chapter available each month but don't worry if you've missed the early installments - there's a single omnibus version available, downloadable, you guessed it, for free from our site.
12 March 2012New
2012 Mardi Gras Short Story
Once again we're pleased to be bringing
readers a collection of the winning and highly commended stories from
the Sydney Mardi Gras Short Story Competition. The winners'
have become an an established event within "Queer Thinkers Day" at the
Seymour Centre each February. This year the theme, 'Heroes', sparked a
record number of entries and the judges had a hard time selecting the
very best of them. Big congrats to James May (who has appeared in a
number of our anthologies) for his winning story 'Aunt Ruby'. Second
and third prizes went to Christian Baines and Karla Hansford
respectively with Isabel Roper winning the Youth Prize. Highly
commended entries came from Matthew Huxtable, Debra Findlay,
Michael-Kembi Yates and Alex Dunkin. At 750 words max per piece, this
collection of nine short stories is a great mix of contemporary Oz
Photo right, Matthew
Huxtable reading from one of his two highly commended entries. Photo:
Ken Always Does As He's Told
Images of Australian gay life
by Gary Dunne
A number of interstate and overseas
readers contacted us asking if there would be an on-line version of
Gary's recent successful Mardi Gras exhibition, Ken Always Does As
Told. Like Action Man and his less macho plastic pals, we're happy
oblige. This is a picture & text pdf of Australian gay life in all
its diversity from hook-ups and suburban lust to bromance and marriage,
from leather clone and twink to emo and Gaga, starring a unique range
of 12" action figures and dolls as (unsurprisingly) compliant models.
Perfect Gay Marriage
by Robert Tait
But wait. There's more. For those who
haven't visited in a while - since September last year we've been
running a new chapter of Robert Tait's saucy, detective satire Perfect
Gay Marriage on the first of each month. For those over 50, it's
on-line version of the ongoing serials you saw at the movies every
Saturday. For those under 30, it's like a soapie, but with words
instead of bad acting on the screen - although, as one reader put it -
"within the opera genre, this is more lube than soap".
From small beginnings, Australia's very
first gay monthly on-line detective serial now has a rapidly growing
dedicated fan base. And to make life easier for new readers, each
month, along with the latest chapter, we're now releasing an omnibus
edition containing all the previous episodes. Getting onboard and
catching up couldn't be easier.
February is always our busiest month. Our
next boys' collection (as yet untitled) is due out by July or
thereabouts, and Kate is hard at work on 4Flaunt for
lesbian-ebooks.com.au. We have a couple of novellas and other projects
in the pipeline and, as always, are open to suggestions and
8 Feb 2012 Ken always
does as he's told [Sydney Promotion]
When we couldn't find male models without
attitude issues to pose for the cover of "When You're A Boy", a
friend's daughter said, "Borrow my Kens. They always do as they're
told." I did. They did. And people liked the result so I started doing
more doll pix. There was a Fetish Photo comp coming up in Melbourne so
I scoured the local Vinnies and eBay for more dolls and props. This was
fun. I was surprised by just how close our deepest cliches of desire
are to mainstream models. The amazing resemblance of Ken (especially
the newer Fashionista Ken) to an urban twink is equally matched by the
way in which Action Man embodies all the dour qualities of an old
fashioned leather clone.
Being considered well hung, even if only
in a Melbourne exhibition, was enough to keep me photographing my
growing flock of dolls. Having exhausted the possibilities of dead cow
product and its wearers' associated erotic activities, I moved on to
explore other lifestyles within the diversity of gay Sydney. Themes
included marriage, parenthood, Generation Gaga, American Mardi
tourists, cyberlife (blogs, social media, modelling and hookup profiles
etc) as well as old-fashioned suburban gay love and lust.
The result is this exhibition with its
sometimes ironic, kitsch or sentimental references to everyone from Ian
MacNeill, Madonna and Peter Tully, to the Heidelberg School of
Australian Art, Patti Smith and Juan Davilla. "Ken Always Does As He's
Told" is a unique vision of contemporary gay life in Australia. Getting
an image with emotional intensity from a plastic subject is a challenge
for many contemporary photographers. But Ken is the consummate model.
He can perfectly embody, for example, the romantic fantasy behind the
impetus for marriage reform. For Gen Y, I think it's as much about
equal access to the whole fantasy as it is about legal changes.
Ken always does as he's told
Images of Australian gay life by Gary
TAP Art Gallery, 45 Burton St,
Darlinghurst. Feb 21st – 26th 2012, 12pm – 6pm.
It's being launched by "Perfect Gay
Marriage" serial writer Robert Tait – at 6pm, Wed 22nd Feb. Everyone's
2011 Farewell Ian MacNeill
With deep personal sadness, we record Ian
MacNeill's passing. See
his author page
for more information.
2011 Perfect Gay Marriage and Competition News
Chapter Three of our first ever monthly
series Perfect Gay Marriage
by Robert Tait is now up on-line:
There's been a big response to the first
chapters and the download figures suggest readers do like a monthly
dose of Robert's unique mix of raunchy gay satire and who-dunnit
mystery. Matt continues his search for the real identity of Cameron
Walker: after a challenging night in and out of bed with show-twink
Kyle in Perth, he returns to Sydney to consult a bear who is less
health conscious, but much more helpful. Chapters One and Two are on
the site for those who want to catch up.
the comp details?
We don't get much feedback here at
gay-ebooks. Mostly it's occasional emails on themes such as "I just
found a typo in one of your pdfs" or "I just finishd writting my highly
intresting memoires about my lifelong search for a perfict man to love.
Whtch Aussie print publishr pays the highist advances?" But of late
we've received a few asking why the entry forms for various Oz queer
short story comps aren't up on our sites. So here's the info.
Gras has yet to release the form for their 2012 Short Story
Comp but we do know some of the details. We've heard that the prizes
have all significantly gone up in value and that the deadline is
January 7th, 2012; the word limit is still 750 words, and the theme is
'Heroes'. You have to be in it to win it, so why not start typing? Full
details and a copy of the entry form will be available on gay- ebooks
and lesbian-ebooks sites as soon as
they become available.
Adelaide is not having a writing competition this year. We hear that
the comp will be back next year, bigger & brighter than ever.
October 2011 New releases: When You're a Boy + Perfect Gay
2011 Curse of the Dragon God
Aussie author, Geoffrey Knight's
latest book, Curse of the Dragon God, is on release. This is
number three in the Fathom's Five gay erotic adventure series. There is
a launch scheduled in Sydney at the Midnight Shift, Thurs 28 July at
6pm. Check your local papers.
Geoffrey's blog is at www.geoffreyknight.blogspot.com
2011 Book Banned
Barry Lowe's first
story for us, Soggy Biscuit, appeared in Cargo 5
back in 1988. He's continued telling erotic stories and now there's a
whole bookshelf of 'm-m erotic' fiction in multiple e-book formats
available from his website. He also writes for theatre and has a
regular column on sexual matters in SX, the leading
Sydney gay paper. So he's been working hard.
However this week his column details the withdrawal from sale of one of
his best selling titles Stocks and Shared. A leading on-line
bookseller has now judged the title as being 'in violation of our
content guidelines'! It's a jungle out there. Read the full story at: gaynewsnetwork.com.au [SX
issue 550, 25 July 2011]
Barry's website is at www.barrylowe.net
2011When You're a Boy, SUBMIT NOW!
Continuing our ongoing
scam of taking lines from songs as titles for anthologies, today we're
launching the search for contributors to our next collection, When
You're A Boy, subtitled Other boys check you out
(lines from Bowie's highly ironic paean to adolescent masculinity, Boys
Keep Swinging). We're after tales of connection from the
thoroughly modern utilising Grindr and Facebook
through to more evergreen methods of hooking up, such as dinner parties
and friends of friends and, oldest of all, loitering with intent in
bars and clubs or parks and gardens.
Potential contributors are advised to
read a few previous collections to get an idea of what we and (going by
the ever-growing download numbers) our readers like. Erotic is OK, but
only if it's interesting. One-handed reads with two dimensional
characters get rejected, mainly because they aren't a good read. There
are plenty of other sites (such as Nifty.org) better catering to those
purely after "happy endings" all round.
As with all our collections, we also
accept stories that don't relate directly to the title. Some writers
like a starting point, others don't. Our editorial decisions are based
purely on whether the piece engages the reader and has something to
say. Preferably under 3,000 words, but really good longer stories have
been accepted in the past. Contributors from beyond Australia are
welcome. The deadline is August 27th, 2011, and
submissions should be sent to Gary at: firstname.lastname@example.org
2011It's A Boy
"Hell hath no fury like a gay man
whose Jean Paul Gaultier cologne has been emptied to make a bong! The
true story of gay couple's attempt to raise a homeless thirteen year
old boy. The year 1997. The place, Melbourne, Australia."
I'm a sucker for a good blurb, and this
one describing Scott Norton's biographical tale of fostering his
partner's young cousin caught my eye. It's A Boy is a
rambling tale of best intentions and a clash of cultures - Joel's
background of drugs, crime and violence versus Brett and Scott's middle
class (gay) lifestyle and expectations. Their gayness is largely
irrelevant to the story except for it being yet another difference
between them. Reminiscent of a good episode of the ABC's "Australian
Story", it's the history of the three of them and how they all changed
and grew as a result of the decision to take Joel in as a foster son
It's a Boy is free to download
2011 100,000 pdfs - a celebration
Five years ago when we started
gay-ebooks, we promised each other we'd quit if the download figures
showed we were merely amusing ourselves. Last week the 100,000th pdf
was downloaded from our lesbian- and gay- ebooks web sites. As when
various individual publications hit 10,000 downloads, it was a
milestone worth noting, perhaps this time even celebrating. (Pic
opposite is not actually of us on Sunday in a local park with
proof-meister Brian, but does perfectly capture the mood of the moment.
And it was great to see how good our pdfs look on his spiffy iPad2.)
We'd particularly like to thank the
authors who have all generously donated their work. We'd also like to
sincerely thank our helpers, both urban and distinctly rural, for their
time and enthusiasm. And we'd especially like to thank the readers who
keep downloading files in ever increasing numbers and, by doing so,
convince us that what we're doing is worth it.
Thank you all.
Gary and Laurin.
April 2011 Red and Silver
Ian MacNeill's 1992
novel for mature teenagers, Red and Silver,
has been recently scanned and rebuilt as a pdf. Thanks to Ian for
allowing us to make it available through through our site.
Phillip joins Chrissie, Helen, Ben
and Mario at his new school. It is Year 11 and they are pleased to have
one another to face life as seniors together.
The pressures take their toll: goals shift, resolutions waver,
relationships intensify and dissolve.
Ian MacNeill's novel addresses issues which concern them. Life is not
all sex, drugs and study for high school students. They've got other
things to deal with as well.
March 2011 And then he kissed me.
Each time we put a collection together we advertise the title in
advance for those authors who like a theme as well as a deadline to get
themselves writing. With lyrics that go something like: "He kissed me
in a place where I've never been kissed before, he kissed me in a way
that I wanna be kissed for ever more", you'd think And then he
kissed me would attract upbeat stories. Lots of room there for
everything from tales of modern love and gay marriage to 60s fantasies
about go-go boys or drag divas on podiums, or even some tongue-in-cheek
While we did get love stories, "happy
endings", and even a genuine bee-hived, lip-synched performance of the
song itself (thanks Shaun), some of the submissions were quite dark,
particularly from several of the younger contributors. The world
they're exploring has its own unique challenges and risks. It's all too
easy to assume that around forty years after the birth of the gay
rights movement in this country, things would be a lot easier now for
gay kids coming of age. The result is a broad mix - covering a wide
diversity of characters and relationships. This time it's also very
much an Australia-wide collection with a couple of pieces set way out
in the bush, a number from up north, plus several exploring the depths
of outer suburbia, far from the inner-city glitz and glamour. I guess
this demonstrates yet again the diversity of gay lives in this country.
We also have a couple of wanderlust tales, stories of not-so-innocent
Aussies abroad: Ian MacNeill's adventures in Arabia and Barry Lowe's
unique take on cultural tourism and cures for altitude sickness which
qualifies as our (possibly anyone's) first piece of gay fiction set in
Just in case you missed it, last month
we put up the 2011 Mardi Gras Short Story Collection;
an even more diverse mix of tales, in its own way a collage of
snapshots of where we're at in 2011. And this year's reading at the
Seymour Centre was the biggest crowd the event has ever pulled. The
winning story Noah, by author-of-many-genres Brent Beadle,
is a brilliantly crafted exploration of a kid's growing awareness of
himself and his unique place in the world. The highlight of the event
for many was a "sorry the author can't be here" reading by Gail from
the Feminist Bookshop. Her performance of Northern Rivers writer Hayley
Katzen's story "Home at last" was genuinely moving. With a max of only
750 words for entries, the pdf of these two tales and more, is a small
box of brilliant delights.
online, check out Queer Readers website and
associated blog for some interesting lists and reviews etc. Brisbane
readers interested in joining the group, now numbering a couple of
dozen, for their monthly get togethers can find all the details on the
December 2010More news and new releases
Well they did it again in Adelaide! The
Feast Festival happened - with solid attendances and interesting forums
all around. Great work!
The winners of the 2010 Feast Festival Writing
competition were announced - they were:
1st Jonathon Elsom, 2nd Karen Lethlean,
3rd Jenni Nixon.
Highly commendeds: Alex Duncan, Jannali Jones, and Alistair
The collection is available from this site right now.
While there we also launched 3flaunt, a fantastic
collection of new lesbian writing. It too is available right now,
information pages at 3flaunt and 2010 Feast
and another reminder for contributions
for our next men's anthology -
(and, then,) he kissed me.
Prose to 3 000 words but our rules are not very strict except it must
be a good read! Email us at: email@example.com
November 2010News and releases
Our thanks to SX magazine
(in Sydney) for granting us a half page of free advertising in their
newspaper. The grant is part of their Community Grants Awards and we're
very thankful for the support and increased coverage we hope it will
bring to our sites. We hope you'll agree that the camel (sexuality not
stated) makes a fine spokesperson for us.
Busy November coming up:
The 2010 Feast festival in
Adelaide approaches... We're launching our latest lesbian collection, 3
flaunt, there as part of the literature activities on Saturday
27 November. The Feast Short Writing competition is
also being announced on that day - we're giving second prize. The
winners and highly commendeds will be available as a free downloadable
pdf from here in December.
We're still working on gay-ebooks
audio files, not long now...
and finally a call for contributions for
our next men's anthology, (and, then,) he kissed me.
Prose to 3 000 words but our rules are not very strict except it must
be a good read! Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
September 2010Local books 'n blogs
It's been a while
since we updated this blog. ... Someone borrowed the pencil again. But
others have been busy.
First cab off the rank is a book from Sydney gay culture journo and
hunky author Marc Andrews. He was in Tel Aviv last year when a masked
gunman opened fire at a gay youth centre, leaving two dead and eight
injured. Back home in Oz he kept following the story, particularly the
lack of progress in identifying the killer, trying to make sense of the
tragedy. Bigger questions emerged such as the sheer randomness of hate
crime and how anyone's belief system could evolve to the point where it
justified going into a building and shooting a bunch of gay kids.
Marc's new novel, Revelations: Two weeks in Tel Aviv,
the story of David, a young Australian holidaying in Israel, is based
around the real events Marc witnessed. Described as "both confronting
and unsettling, but ultimately life-affirming", the novel is available
at better bookshops and through Marc's blog
Speaking of blogs, another busy possum is Ian
MacNeill. Catching On, his recent editorial debut,
has has been an extremely popular download from gay-ebooks. His latest
adventure is a blog of ideas around Australian writing and writers.
Check it out and add your comments.
And finally - our next boys' collection And then he kissed me,
is open for submissions. Fiction, up to 3,000 words, closing date Dec
3, with a pre-xmas launch in time for the summer holidays planned.
Submissions don't have to relate to the title, but it would be nice if
a few did. Send to email@example.com
September 2010 2011 New Mardi Gras Short Story competition
[From their release] New Mardi Gras is
calling on creative writers to submit their story for the ever popular
Mardi Gras Short Story Competition, part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian
Mardi Gras Festival.
Writers are encouraged to draw inspiration from the competition theme,
'Home' for their chance to share in some fantastic prizes, generously
supplied by The Bookshop Darlinghurst, The Feminist Bookshop,
gay-ebooks, Gleebooks, NSW Writers' Centre and Sydney Writers' Centre.
This much loved competition also provides the amazing opportunity for
winning authors to have their work published online through gay-ebooks
and on the Mardi Gras website, making it a truly International
To submit your story, visit the Get Involved section of the Mardi
Competition closes: 5pm, 7th January, 2011.
Word limit: 750 words.
Entry fee: $15/$10 per story.
See entry form for details - Download Mardi
Gras entry form here
August 2010 New Releases Newsletter
Catching On -
Early encounters with gay identity
Edited by Ian MacNeill - pdf available
Several months back Ian MacNeill started
asking Australian gay writers for stories of their 'first awareness of
a gay man'. Not their coming out saga, but something more intimate,
what he described as 'accounts of burgeoning consciousness', then more
simply as 'how they came to know they were gay'. A simple request that
many found a fascinating challenge.
Ian was persistent and it paid off. Catching On contains
eleven unique biographical pieces, snapshots of when and how that
realisation happened. Contributors include Tim Herbert, Michael Hurley,
Gavin Harris, Kendall Lovett, Robert French, Keith Howes, Geoff
Ostling, Jeremy Fisher, Robert Tait, Jim Anderson and Campion Decent.
Head to www.gay-ebooks.com.au latest
releases and click on the free download button.
Meanwhile on a nearby site: Three
lesbian-ebooks is launching a new novel by Adelaide author Mij
Tanith. Set in the mid eighties, before the advent of mobile
phones and the internet, Three Seasons explores the
relationship between ESL teacher Gloria and real estate agent Jane, and
between these women and their children. (Downloads now available from
www.lesbian-ebooks.com.au or from the gay-ebooks library.)
In general, our web stats continue to grow. I Need Some....
continues to set new download records for us and, surprisingly perhaps
given the immediacy of the net, our big backlist of titles continue to
be regularly clicked on in large numbers. Plans for the rest of the
year include another novel, another boys' anthology (as yet unnamed -
but submissions welcome) and generally experimenting further with the
ever growing possibilities of the digital media. We're very open to
talking with artists, photographers and writers about projects they
have in mind. Just email us.
We hope you enjoy Catching On
February 2010 New Mardi Gras Short Story Competition
Last night the Winners and Highly
Commended stories in this year's Mardi Gras fiction comp were announced
and read at the rather salubrious Winery by Gazebo in Darlinghurst
where Elvis is finally chic.
A packed house of around 100 heard seven
different takes on this year's theme of "Making History". Those who
stayed for a drink or two afterwards concurred - it was a top night out
- great stories, well read. Big congrats to Siobhan Colman - a worthy
winner from a pack of very worthy stories. And, since midnight after
the event, the whole collection has been exclusively available for free
download both here and at lesbian-ebooks.com.au. You're only one click
away from a great read!
And keep an eye out in Saturday's parade
for the Zombies - who said political satire is dead in Mardi Gras. It's
back - it's undead - and it's walking.
January 2010 3flaunt
Followers of both our sites have been
asking what lesbian-ebooks is up to. Long story told
short; Kate O'Brien has been unwell and is taking a
break. The good news for lovers of Oz lesbian lit is that Sue
Webb has agreed to guest edit 3flaunt. Sue's well known in
Adelaide g&l circles since her days owning and running a gorgeous
bookshop in the hills, dabbling in feminist publishing and working on
the Feast literature committee for over a decade. She was the
coordinator of the Feast literature program in 2008 and 2009.
Which, for those of you who write
lesbian lit, brings me to her call for manuscripts for '3flaunt'; Sue
now has her laptop open for business and accepting submissions -
fiction to 3 000 words, poetry to any length. If you are unsure if your
piece is suitable, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org The
deadline is still to be finalised but will probably be around mid 2010.
The first two Flaunts (still available on free download here and on
lesbian-ebooks) were great successes, both in literary terms and in
terms of numbers of downloads, and we're all looking forward to seeing
what comes next. I wish Kate a speedy recovery and welcome Sue to the
wonderful world of queer editing.
January 2010 Welcome to 2010
Thanks to everyone for making I
Need Some... our fastest downloading new release ever. Last
year was our biggest year by far. Quoting web stats always looks dodgy
- but what's clear from the thousands of pdfs downloaded is that
readers like what we're doing. We have big plans for the upcoming year
- starting with the Mardi Gras 2010 collection in February.
Meanwhile congrats to Peter
Mitchell - a frequent high flier in the literary competition
circuit and a familiar name to readers of our pdfs. His new collection
- The Scarlet Moment - has been released by Picaro
Press. The poems are short, sharp observations, moments of
insight captured with an economy of language. I was particularly
impressed by those about daily life in 17 South at St Vinnies Hospital.
There's a raw honesty and lack of melodrama here that's rare in writing
about living with HIV. Worth getting your hands on.
The Scarlet Moment is
a chapbook - an old-fashioned term for a very short volume - and Picaro
Press have been quietly publishing chapbooks of Australian
poetry since 2001. Their backlist includes many family favourites from Dorothy
Porter to Jenni Nixon. Being small, they're
not expensive, so checkout the site - www.picaropress.com - and buy
yourself a collection of recent Oz poets' work for less than the cost
of a single imported paperback.
December 2009 New releases: I Need Some... and Feast
November 2009 Feast Festival
We're just back from a couple of days in
sun-baked South Australia with a load of new books to read. Those
Adelaide possums certainly know how to stage literary events. You start
with a decent heritage-listed venue - in this case Saldechin, a
converted Victorian-era bank, with comfy lounges and acoustics to die
One of the unexpected highlights of our
weekend was the Language of Song session which
featured local songwriters both talking about and performing their own
works. Coming from a city with a strong alternative cabaret tradition,
the overall standard was high. Although seasoned performers, nothing
could hide a look of adolescent glee as each realised the potential of
the marble walls and high ceiling in terms of acoustics. They all went
for broke & delivered really powerful performances.
There were a number of launches,
starting with Martin Burke's Tumid River, a
witty verse novel with its roots in the style and sensibility of both
Dorothy Porter and Dylan Thomas. The live two-handed performance of a
couple of the chapters by the exceptionally well-rehearsed author and
his mate was quite enchanting. Copies are available for free on-line
Teri Louise Kelly and Kimberley
Mann both launched poetry collections.
launched the long-awaited Out of the Box, an anthology of
work by contemporary Australian lesbian and gay poets. There will be a
review on this site in the coming months. (top picture, left to right: Susan
with editors Michael Farrell and Jill Jones)
For us, the highlight was the
announcement of the winners and highly commendeds in Feast's
National Short Writing Competition. First prize, with a real
gem of a story, went to Mij Tanith [bottom picture,
left, with Anna Solding (2nd) and Megan
Hammond (HC)]. The pdf will be shortly be available for free
from this site (and www.lesbian-ebooks.com.au).
Do check it out. Going by the stories read during the session, it
should be a great read.
We stepped around Adelaide and Sydney's
40+ heat, checked out some fascinating art exhibitions, sampled the
local beer & seafood, and still made it back to Sydney in time for
November 2009 Stinga!
There's a review and interview with
author David della Sabbia by Alistair Sutton
in this months Queensland Pridehttp://qlp.e-p.net.au/feature/a-sting-in-the-tale-2906.html
November 2009 Feast Festival
This year's Feast Festival
in Adelaide offers a fortnight of home grown diversity. The Literature
Program is neatly packed into one weekend, 21-22 November, perfect for
There are several book launches including Out of the Box, an
anthology of poetry by contemporary Oz gay and lesbian poets, featuring
everyone from Jill Jones to David Malouf.
There are also some readings and a poetry slam, plus A Rose is a
Rose..., a fantastic literary salon of lesbian lit (dedicated to Dot
Porter) and Erotic Feast, a high tea featuring
cucumber and salmon sandwiches, scones with jam & cream, and local
Prominent Community Members reading their favourite pieces of erotica.
We are sponsors of the second prize in the Feast National
Short Writing Competition which will be announced on the
Sunday afternoon. Our pdf of the winners and highly commendeds will
appear for free exclusively on this site as soon as we get back to
Sydney and Laurin puts it all together.
For festival info...Feast
October 2009 Music from another country
Last Saturday, to celebrate Laurin's
birthday, we strolled over to the aspiring Woollahra of the inner-west,
Summer Hill. A big plate small lunch was followed by a leisurely squizz
through fabby Monica Trapega's equally fabby retro boutique before
moving on to a nearby art gallery for the launch of Jeremy
Fisher's short novel Music from another country. The
large crowd on hand was a fascinating mix of noted gay, literary and
political faces, predictable perhaps given Jeremy's long involvement in
all these areas of community endeavour.
Music from another country is
a really good read. It's the story of young Alex uncovering various
family secrets, with flashbacks to both his brother Kieran in
Darlinghurst in the early 1990s, and their grandfather Neil, a
Lancaster pilot in World War II. Jeremy deals with Kieran's HIV death
in the same way he deals with the events that scored Neil his Victoria
Cross. Vividly descriptive, his style leads you to an emotional
response, rather than tells you what you should be feeling. The result
is a surprisingly gentle tale, but with an emotional sting, about the
universality of courage and love.
For further info, including on-line orders: http://sites.google.com/site/fatfrogbookssite/
October 2009 All Mortal Flesh
Regular readers of our anthologies will
know John Bartlett from his contributions to several GEB collections
including My Boyfriend's Back and Queer Hearts.
He's now released a collection of short stories through Heartsong
Publishing - All Mortal Flesh. Copies are on sale in
selected superior bookshops or directly from www.heartsongcreative.com
And a gentle reminder to authors. The
absolute deadline for I Need Some.... is October 20th. The
submissions so far have explored a wider diversity of needs than we
anticipated, but I've yet to receive the perfect sneaker fetish short
story (or something similar) that could be the icing on our
multi-layered pdf cake of contemporary gay desires.
October 2009 I need some...
This is the title of our next gay male
short story collection. Months ago we said mid-September was the
deadline. In response to requests, we're extending it to October 20th.
The title is from a Paul Mac song of a few years back, Heatseeking
"I need some...one
I need some...thing
I need some... "
What we're hoping for is fiction that deals with contemporary desire in
all its forms - the title is merely a loose starting point. Our main
criteria for selection remains that stories should be well written and
a great read. It's our usual cash-free deal. In exchange for no
royalties we agree to publish and promote the work in a pdf that is
freely available from our site. Rather than languishing unloved on an
author's hard-drive, new gay fiction gets downloaded and read by
Submissions, preferably under 3,000 words, to email@example.com by 20
September 2009 Sex Write-off Competition (Midsumma Melbourne)
Back in January '09, as part of
Melbourne's Midsumma Festival, came an announcement of the Inaugural
Sex Write-Off Competition seeking short stories about "male-to-male sex
as it really happens". Sponsored by the Victorian AIDS Council, run by
Hares & Hyenas Bookshop, and to be judged by Christos Tsiolkas,
Colin Batrouney and Neil Armfield, the first prize was $2,000, with two
commendation awards of $500 also on offer. The deadline was in February
and winners were to be announced in March.
By September, with no news at all from Melbourne, most entrants had
written off the competition. Then, out of the blue, the organisers got
it all together, sorted out the judging, and here are the results.
First Place: John Gascoigne ($2000 prize)
Two Equal Commendations: David Stephens and Gary
Dunne ($500 each)
Possibly amused by the irony, a number of people have asked to read my
successful sex fiction so here is the Equal Commendation winner Trout
Fishing in Melbourne as a free downloadable pdf.
September 2009 Ian MacNeill goes multimedia
One of the pleasures of living in Sydney
is getting to hear local poets read. There are some: Ian MacNeill, Pam
Brown, Robert Tait, Jenni Nixon and the late Dot Porter (bless her),
who add a whole new dimension to their work by reading it aloud.
Whenever you return to the work in the future, you can't help but
remember, then echo their intonation and style in your silent reading.
I have to hand it to Ian MacNeill, he's always been the first to
experiment with the possibilities of new media. Several years ago, when
we started gay-ebooks, he generously gave us permission to give away a
pdf reprint of an Oz gay classic, his 1989 poetry collection, TV
Tricks. Since then several thousand cyber copies have gone off into the
void, taking his sharply observed perceptions to a fresh generation of
readers around the globe.
Ian has recently put together a reading of the title poem TV Tricks
with a series of haunting late night images to create a multimedia work
for the ABC collaborative space, Pool. It's free to
check out and well worth it, for many, many reasons, not the least
being the chance to hear Ian pronounce the immortal opening lines :
"I don't wait, I ululate ..."
TV Tricks in ABC Pool: http://pool.org.au/video/orchid/t_v_tricks_0
Ian's Author page to download a pdf of TV Tricks
September 2009 Mardi Gras Short Story competition
Entry forms for Mardi Gras' Short Story
competition are now available.
Gras entry form
September 2009 Stinga
We're launching a first for us, a
detective novel, Stinga by David della Sabbia.
A body is discovered in a remote North Queensland
farmhouse and Detective Steven 'Stinga' Miles is ordered bush to
investigate - what appears to be suicide could be murder. As Stinga
uncovers a sinister web of crime and corruption, he isn't expecting to
be diverted by the possibility of romance.
That's what the blurb says... In plain English - it's a classic,
fast-paced who-dunnit with a decent dose of gay male content, though
closer in style perhaps to Claire McNab than Phil Scott. On first read Stinga
also reminded me of those great gay mystery novels of the 80s and 90s
by Joseph Hansen et al - a realistic detective novel, crisply written
with enough twists and turns to keep you engaged throughout. I wanted
to write 'Claire McNab with balls and other boy bits' but Laurin said
that would be a crass.
Stinga is a long novel, over 400 pages,
which makes a big file, around 6MB. If you'd like to sample it we have
the first chapter available as a smaller pdf. Check out Stinga
in our new releases: www.gay-ebooks.com.au
September 2009 Feast, Mardi Gras and other lit-bits
Now up on the site is a downloadable
entry form and details of prizes etc for this year's Feast
Writing Competition in Adelaide. The deadline is October 12
and they are after "prose, poetry, essay, fiction, non-fiction, or
anything in between, as long as it has significant queer content". Download
Feast entry form
Mardi Gras has yet to finalise their 2010
short story comp details, but as soon as entries are open, we'll have
details on the site.
Our download figures continue to grow - I Am A Camera set
records for us with numbers quickly into the thousands within weeks of
its launch back in March. Plans for the future include experimenting
further with the possibilities of digital art and we're very open to
talking with artists, photographers and writers about projects they
have in mind. Just email
August 2009 Welcome
Back in January I ploughed my way
through a heap of Aussie (gay) blogs looking for writing that engaged
me, finding little, but along the way seeing curious links between the
"I" character of a blog and the "I" character of much contemporary gay
All of this is discussed in greater depth in I am a camera
where we ran excerpts from Shannon Boh's fascinating blog and talked
with him about the process of creating it.
I concluded the interview by sampling F Scott Fitzgerald:
"As the top of its front page is constantly updated with newer entries,
a blog flows back ceaselessly into the past. Reversed into
chronological order, as we've done here with a small selection of
Shannon's posts since March 2008, it feels more like a conventional
narrative. But unlike fiction, it doesn't end neatly with all the loose
ends tied up and resolved. Tomorrow there will be another post."
Around this time, Laurin, Kate and I were discussing whether or not
gay-ebooks/lesbian-ebooks needed a blog or two. Being baby-boomers, we
were less certain about the value of a personality based running
commentary on what we were doing on the site, let alone in our lives.
And unlike Shannon, none of us look edible in Speedos, so that option
to boost the hit counter was also out.
On the other hand, the feedback from my infrequent emails to
subscribers was good and the notion of writing something in the
never-ending present that ends up being read in reverse was an
interesting challenge, so we're settling on this compromise - a cross
between a blog and an ongoing newsletter.
Feedback is always welcome firstname.lastname@example.org
Below: Links - Archives - About our
downloadable files - Who we are
| Australian organisations
Just like us, only different
Sydney - Australia's first souce of all things gay and lesbian
The Feminist Bookshop
Sydney - Australia's leading feminist bookshop
NSW Writers Centre
Sydney - Advice for NSW writers
Mardi Gras Sydney's icon annual gay event
Adelaide's annual lesbian and gay festival
Pride History Group
Sydney - history group becomes web based
Australian Gay and
Lesbian Archives National gay archives
Loads of on-line novels listed
News Sydney, leading street newspaper
Mainstream Australian literature reference
Brisbane website and blog. also http://queerreaders.wordpress.com/
| Australian writers and
Pinkboard's Blog List
an excellent list of Australian bloggers
Sydney blogger, see I
am a camera
interesting blogger - New address
A literary blog from one of Australia's most popular gay authors
Lowe widely published, short stories, plays, reviews
Collection All Mortal Flesh and novel Towards a distant sea
Author of gay erotic adventure series Fathom's Five
gay lit sites, and more
Most of these sites have extensive link
UK author's collection of erotic tales
Bang*Bang Japanese html magazine, wide range plus art
Ambit magazine UK
quarterly magazine, by subscription, sample pdf available
Quarterly US magazine, 'new stort stories by emerging and established
gay, bi and transgenered authors'
Chroma UK, queer
literary and arts journal
and Lesbian Review US, bi monthly magazine by subscription
US, magazine now ceased, back issues on line
Mafia US, 'Dangerous queer fiction'
Authors, US, publishing and resources
Pleasurable, US, links and reviews, gay and lesbian
Please email us with any web links you
gay- and lesbian-ebooks
This is a list of all the authors
published so far by gay-ebooks and lesbian-ebooks.
At this stage the BlackWattle archives
consist of two lists: all BlackWattle
publications (name, date, ISBN, item titles etc) and detailed lists
of all authors. Separately are the covers of all cargo magazines,
along with authors and item titles. Some chapbooks have been scanned
[or rebuilt] and are presented elsewhere on this site as downloadable
pdfs. Our thanks to the authors concerned for allowing this to happen.
our downloadable files:
All download files on this site are in
the portable document file (pdf) format, so you will need a pdf program
to read them. There are free readers available on most computer
platforms and most computers will come with one installed; but if you
need to install a reader we suggest you start with the originator Adobe's Acrobat. All our files
will carry encryption and may have restrictions for use; for example
some files may be for screen viewing only. Normally editing the file or
extraction of text, pictures is not possible.
Yes, we're back. Last century we
were BlackWattle Press. In 2006 we began saving trees by constructing
digital books, bits in the ether, zeros and ones on a wire, spinning
silver discs and all that.
This is how gay-ebooks works. We'll
get you cheaper and faster access to oz gay lit by producing pdf files
that you can easily view on-screen. We save costs such as printing,
distribution and retailer markups, and you pay - nothing, it's FREE!
You still could, if you wanted, still print them out to store them in
the real world, but why bother with all that ink, paper and Ikea
shelving. The real plus with this project is that the ideas, the
stories, and the magic (all the best bits) can be in your hands almost
Gary Dunne and Laurin McKinnon
Above: Actual photos! Gary's on the left
- Brian's photo of us hamming it up, Sydney Oct 2007; and two snaps
taken at a 2007 Brisbane reading.