A couple of big news items from the AHWA this month:

The 2019 Australian Shadows Awards were announced on June 6 via the AHWA’s Facebook page. The winners and finalists are listed here – https://australasianhorror.com/australian-shadows-awards/2019-awards/ Congratulations to all the winners!!

Mentees for the 2020 Mentor Program have also been announced. They are as follows:

  • Georgina Ballantine, who will be working on her novelette with Kaaron Warren.
  • Cem Bilici, who will be furthering his webseries with Heidi Lee Douglas.
  • John Paul Fitch, who will be developing short stories with Alan Baxter.
  • Rose Michael, who will be fine-tuning her novel with Alan Baxter.
  • Ian J. Middleton, who will be working on two books with Paul Mannering.
  • Bronwyn Todd, who will be honing her novel with Deborah Sheldon.
  • Louise Zedda-Sampson, who will be refining her short stories with Kaaron Warren.

The 2020 Flash and Short Story Competition opens to submissions on July 30. See https://australasianhorror.com/competition/ for full submission details. The comp has also been renamed after late Committee member Robert N Stephenson who passed away unexpectedly in 2019. It’s now called the Robert N Stephenson Short and Flash Fiction Competition. That’s a touching move.

Also coming out of the AHWA dungeons is news that current President Greg Chapman will be stepping down at the November AGM. Word is that VP Alan Baxter is putting up his hand if no other interested parties come forward, and I reckon Alan would be great for the AHWA. We’ll see what happens, but regardless of who takes over, Greg has done a stellar job. He’s seen the organisation through some pretty shit times, when it looked like the AHWA may even fold after some dubious dealings by previous people involved, but he’s righted the ship, and then some.

Greg can be immensely proud of all the hard work he’s put in over the years, and I’m sure the whole Oz and NZ writing world will give him a standing ovation when he steps down. Here’s to whatever is in your sights next, mate!

Being President of an organization like this is a lot of hard work, but I also found it immensely satisyfing. I was the Founding President from 2005-2010, and was involved with setting up a lot of the programs that still run today. And as I’ve said time and again, seeing events like the mentor program, or the flash and short story competition, still going more than a decade later is just… it’s freaking cool.

The key, I found, was to suround yourself with a committee of equally passionate people, folks willing to share the load, to roll up their sleeves and get busy. That’s when you can really make a difference. I was lucky to work with some great people along the way, and I hope whoever does step into Greg’s shoes has the same experience.

Some cool new releases worth your time and money include:

Escape from Viperob Island by Alister Hodge (Severed Press).

The oceans have been overrun by prehistoric beasts armed with huge pincers and a scorpion tail, they emerge from the water at night to hunt, slaughtering anything in their path. War is imminent. On an island facility, an employee of the corrupt Viperob Corporation discovers a plan to hand control of military drones to a foreign enemy. To prevent invasion, Ethan must escape the island fortress. It will not be easy.

Available from: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BF7JSWC/

Escape from Viperob Island by Alister Hodge

Crusade by Peter M. Ball (Brain Jar Press).

A sorcerer is dead, a hitman stands alone, and Ragnarök hits the Gold Coast in the third Keith Murphy Urban Fantasy Thriller.

Available from: https://www.amazon.com/Crusade-Keith-Murphy-Fantasy-Thrillers-ebook/dp/B085B5VT53

Crusade by Peter M. Ball

Keep an eye out for Grotesque: Monster Stories by Lee Murray (released July 24).

11 short stories from the imagination of New Zealand’s multiple award-winning author and editor Lee Murray! Featuring eleven uncanny tales of automatons, zombies, golems, and dragons, and including the Taine McKenna adventure Into the Clouded SkyGrotesque: Monster Stories breathes new life into the monster genre. Available from: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089V6RBLN

“With Grotesque: Monster Stories, Lee Murray proves she is a first-rate talent! These stories are fascinating, unexpected, and scary as hell!” — Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rage and V-Wars

Lee Murray’s Grotesque: Monster Stories

And while you’re looking out for Lee’s collection, also look out for Tales of the Lost 2: Tales to get Lost In (July release).

This is Book 2 in the ‘Tales of the Lost’ series edited by Eugene Johnson and Steve Dillon, with stories by Lisa Morton, Joe Hill, Neil Gaiman, John Palisano, Vince Liaguno, Kaaron Warren, Tim Waggoner, Kevin J. Anderson and many more! Plus interior art by Luke Spooner and cover by Francois Vaillancourt.

The Facebook page has regular updates, sneak peeks, links, interviews, and more: https://www.facebook.com/Tales-Of-The-Lost-104163927614756/

Tales of the Lost 2: Tales to get Lost In

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