Storymart

In 2018, we launched Storymart. Currently, we’re inviting submissions from short story writers, filling our treasure chest in preparation for opening the site to subscribers. So, if you’re a writer, please submit. If you’re a reader, we’ll be in touch soon!

What is Storymart?
Storymart is a new online home for the world’s best short fiction.

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Coming Back to the Songlines

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Backpacking in Greece, pre-internet, my boyfriend and I heard of a small island off the Peloponnese reachable only by a walking bridge. The island had no cars, no electricity, and no phones. On the south-east coast of this island, was a walled village of ancient stone houses and narrow laneways. The locals often moved to the mainland during the quiet months but those who remained would, we were told, rent rooms to travellers and, if both tavernas had closed for the winter, feed us. The island was the stuff of legend. A place of dramatic cliffs, with an eerie domed church, and a mysterious past. We circled it on our map, drew a line of our journey with a fingertip, and set off. How could we not?

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The Artifice of Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens

We went to see Sufjan Stevens. On the way there, we argued about what time the show would start. Ridiculous. So maybe it was me, not him. I’d carried my life stresses into the concert hall with me, heaved them onto my lap and let them direct the tone of my night. My son’s illness, my sore foot, the moronic argument, all making it impossible to see beauty in the home movies screening behind the performers, to celebrate the poetry in Stevens’ love songs, to be moved by the profundity of his darker lyrics. While others nodded at the words ‘we’re all going to die’, I sighed. Come on, I thought. I tugged at my dress. My dress annoyed me. Continue reading

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Morrison, Diaz and Oates

If you live/work/study near the New York Public Library and can attend their literary events you’re very lucky. The rest of us can enjoy them as podcasts or videos. Here are two of the best (yep, three names, two talks).

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Good Reading & Listening List #2

Claire Messud Portrait SessionHere are the best books and articles I’ve come across lately. They’re not all new; they are all interesting. If you’d read something you’d recommend, let me know. It’s good to spread the word with likeminded folk.

Fiction

The Woman Upstairs (2013), Claire Messud

I lack the words to explain how much I admire this woman. I was fortunate to meet her once for a drink in Sydney. I spent our first minutes together in need of Dutch courage yet frightened my shaky hands would fail me if I picked up the glass in front of me. I spoke quickly, she responded in a measured way, as one would if dealing with a skittish horse. She’s smart, well read, elegant and compassionate and that shines through in her writing and in person.

The Woman Upstairs is a terrific novel – the characters are interesting, complicated and convincing. I wanted to know how things were going to work out for them. Even knowing that (I read the book the week it came out and recently reread it), it’s enthralling. How’s this for an opening: ‘How angry am I? You don’t want to know. Nobody wants to know about that.’ But, of course, we do. Continue reading

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Good Reading & Listening List #1

Here are the best books, articles and podcasts I’ve come across lately. They’re not all new; they are all interesting. If you’d read or heard something you’d recommend, let me know. It’s good to spread the word with likeminded folk.

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Exercise as Cure

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This is not about me. I want to recommend a book called The Exercise Cure to you. But I’ll tell you this about myself so you know the perspective from which my recommendation is coming: I don’t play sport, never have. I have no interest in watching sport or following a team. Competition in general is unappealing to me. If I’m with a group of people I’d prefer to be eating, drinking or watching a movie with them.

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Whose Home is it Anyway?

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A tree fell on our house while we were away, camping. We three, in a tent, near a glassy lake, at the top of a diminutive mountain, five hours from the city. Our dreadlocked dog sitter – who, by choice, has no fixed address, lives to dance – and two yippy dogs, in a car on our street setting off for the park watching as the enormous tree creaked, groaned, leaned towards our house, rested on the roof. The tree’s roots – some thicker than a human torso – lifted the concrete footpath so high the slabs’ ends pointed to the sky, lifted our fence – palings like crooked English teeth, yanked up the leggy shrubs that grew under it. The stump alone weighed 2.6 ton the crane driver told me when he and his six men, two chainsaws, a truck, came to sever its cling to the earth, pulled it from the ground. They cut it as close to the soil as they could. Our car (a four-door Golf) weighs, I think, a little over 2 ton. Twenty dining tables in that tree, he said, which was a curious measure but one I understood and could picture. Continue reading

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Australia, Go to Your Room

Gillard3I’ve started writing on Medium. It’s a wonderfully clean and easy place to post. It does mean, however, one more website in my life…

So, in the name of corralling, organising, and faking control, I’m putting a link here to my most recent article on Medium.

It’s called Australia, Go to Your Room.

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Miranda July: We Think Alone

Miranda JulyMiranda July is endlessly interesting. She writes, and makes films and multimedia art. Sometimes she acts. But for that pedestrian description to have any bearing you need to look at her work. If you’ve dismissed July on the grounds of quirky, hip, and cute, I hear you. I don’t like anything that wears those labels. I think her work rises above those things. Continue reading

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