Spec Fic and Fantasy Writers Fest

May 7, 2016 – May 8, 2016

Level 2

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spec fic fantasyWe’re bringing you one of the most exciting genre festivals this year! Put Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May in your diary for the Spec Fiction and Fantasy Writers Fest.

FEATURING: Gillian Rubinstein, Sean Williams, Lisa L Hannett, Ben Chandler, Jason Fischer, DM Cornish,  Tony Shillitoe, Jo Spurrier and Tehani Wessely.

This two day premium event will include exclusive writing classes, plus networking events, industry panels, and a very special reading performance by award winning local and interstate writers Saturday evening.There is will also be a workshop run by a publisher on tips for pitching your work!

Suitable for all writers interested in speculative fiction, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, and other worlds.

 Full Spec Fic and Fantasy Fest Program available to download here.


More about our presenters…

Gillian Rubinstein’s books have been delighting and entertaining children and young adults from all over the globe for 30 years. Her first book, Space Demons, was published in 1986 and since then she has created over 40 works, including plays and puppet shows. Her awards include two CBC Book of the Year Awards, four CBC Honour Book Awards, a New South Wales Premier’s Award and a YABBA Children’s Choice Award. In 2002, under the pseudonym, Lian Hearn, Rubinstein published Across the Nightingale Floor, the first of the best-selling five book historical fantasy: Tales of the Otori. The series is set in a fictional island nation resembling medieval Japan and is published in forty countries, in both adult and young adult editions. Two historical novels followed, and a new fantasy series, set in the same world as the Otori, The Tale of Shikanoko, will appear in 2016 in Australia in two parts: Emperor of the Eight Islands and Lord of the Darkwood, and in the US in four parts.

Sean Williams is the bestselling author of over forty novels and one hundred stories, including some set in the Star Wars and Doctor Who universes. His latest include Twinmaker: Fall and Troubletwisters: Missing, Presumed Evil, the latter co-written with Garth Nix. He lives just up the road from the best chocolate factory in Australia with his family and a pet plastic fish.

Tehani Wessely operates FableCroft Publishing, a boutique press dedicated to the future of speculative fiction in Australia. She has edited several anthologies and original novels, and has a charter to promote emerging and established authors and artists in the speculative fiction field. Tehani has judged for several national literary awards, including the WA Premier’s Book Awards and the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards, has coordinated the Aurealis Awards, and in her spare time, works full time as a teacher librarian and enjoys time with her four children.

Ben Chandler started writing at 16. Now, he holds a PhD in Creative Writing (his thesis was on heroes in fantasy) and gets to read comic books, watch cartoons, play video games, and call it work. He has published two YA fantasy novels, Quillblade and Beast Child, about an airship full of heroes protecting their world from Demons. In 2010 he was awarded the Colin Thiele Creative Writing Scholarship from Carclew Youth Arts and in 2011 was awarded a grant from Arts SA to work on a YA urban fantasy set in Adelaide.

DM Cornish is a fantasy author and illustrator. His first book is Foundling, the first part of the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy. Cornish studied illustration at the University of South Australia, where in 1993 he began to compile a series of notebooks: over the next ten years he filled 23 journals with his pictures, definitions, ideas and histories of his world, the “Half-Continent”. It was not until 2003 that a chance encounter with a children’s publisher gave him an opportunity to develop these ideas further, which led to his first publication.

Lisa L. Hannett has had over 60 short stories appear in venues including ClarkesworldFantasyWeird TalesApex, the Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror (2010, 2011 & 2012), and Imaginarium: Best Canadian Speculative Writing (2012 & 2013). She has won four Aurealis Awards, including Best Collection for her first book, Bluegrass Symphony, which was also nominated for a World Fantasy Award. Her first novel, Lament for the Afterlife, is being published by CZP in 2015.

Jason Fischer is the author of dozens of short stories, and his first collection Everything is a Graveyard is now available from Ticonderoga Publications. He has won an Aurealis Award and the Writers of the Future Contest, and he has been shortlisted for the Ditmars and the Australian Shadows Awards. His YA zombie apocalypse novel Quiver is now available from Black House Comics. Jason has a passion for god-awful puns, and is known to sing karaoke until the small hours.

Tony Shillitoe is an Australian-based author of fantasy, speculative, teenage and crime detective fiction. His first fantasy series, the Andrakis trilogy, was published by Pan Macmillan in 1992-3 and HarperCollins subsequently published two more fantasy series – the Ashuak Chronicles and Amber Legacy. The Last Wizard (1995) was shortlisted for the inaugural Aurealis Awards, as was Blood in 2002. Caught in the Headlights was listed as a notable read for older readers by the Childrens Book Council in 2003. Most recently, In My Father’s Shadow, a young adult novel, was published through Amazon Kindle (2015).

Jo Spurrier was born in 1980 and has a Bachelor of Science, but turned to writing because people tend to get upset when scientists make things up. Her hobbies include knitting, spinning, cooking and research and she is the author of Winter Be My Shield and the Children of the Black Sun series. She lives in Adelaide with her husband and spends a lot of time daydreaming about snow.


Are you from regional SA and desperately want to attend our two day Spec Fic Fest? Country Arts SA offer Quick Step Grants for regional artists to access professional development opportunities.



Prompt bookings are essential. Bookings close 5pm, 28 April or when sold out.


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