by Various Authors


New Authors – New Writing

A skyful of stars, an architect’s dream house, vengeance and betrayal, immaculate love.

Just a few of the motifs that our SSOA writers use in weaving their spirited stories.

Anthology is a collection of short stories across a wide range of themes and styles.

REVIEWS by Maria Orlandi

THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE (Anthology story by David Benn)

After a bold start you are quickly engaged in a divorce settlement in this short story by David Benn.

Written in first person, you cannot help but empathise with the husband in this drama whose calm voice is in stark contrast to the hysterics of his ex-wife in the other room.

The story opens and closes at the end of a needlessly long day, where a clearly exhausted man and his lawyer are reviewing, with the succour of alcohol, the events that qualified this day as the worst day in the narrator’s life.

As a woman, you may take a moment’s pause to ask yourself what did this husband do to warrant such vehement animosity, but this attempt at female camaraderie is short lived.

The pure commitment of a father’s love for his son, which overrules all else, including, ultimately, all interest in any material possessions, returns you firmly into the husband’s camp.  So much so that you are left feeling as lost and betrayed as the main character by the cruel twist at the end.

Will you find anything to laugh about?

This short story successfully conveys all the angst and frustrations that are unfortunately commonplace in these situations.  And, in the tradition of all good short stories, leaves you feeling bereft of any sense of closure and asking, ‘What will he do now?’

ACROSS THE DARK (Anthology story by Matt Jackson)

From the very first lines of this short story by Matt Jackson you are drawn into the narrative through his limpid description of the opening scene and the intriguing figure of a man.  Your curiosity is immediately piqued, questions form in your mind, and you tentatively proceed, pulled along by your need to learn more.

This is a story of the meeting of two strangers – the man and a teenage boy.  Both are nervous, shy, looking for a connection but also wary of each other.  Jackson masterfully conveys all the awkwardness of a first meeting – furtive sideways glances, staccato conversations, and desperate attempts at finding a common ground.

As you follow this strange duo, like an invisible eyewitness, the author drip-feeds you little insights to help you piece together a possible motivation behind this meeting.  You learn the boy is adopted, that his mother was murdered, and his father absent.  You also learn that the man loved the boy’s mother, that he is still moved to tears by her loss, and has as little regard for the boy’s father as the boy himself.

But something triggers in your mind – is there a hint of self-reproach in the man’s voice?

There is a hopeful beauty in this short story, a sense of future redemption, and the promise of a happy ending, which is beyond the final written words, but that the reader senses nonetheless.

About the Anthology     Buy 

It is with great pride and pleasure that Sydney School of Arts & Humanities presents to the reading public this our first short story anthology, as part of our expanding publications list.

SSOA’s primary aim is to nurture emerging writers through attendance at our writing meet-ups, specialist classes and mentoring sessions – and we are committed to the publication of high quality works by our members.

Yet this anthology goes even further, matching the storytelling skills of our emerging writers in the two meet-ups – Sydney Writers Circle & Sydney Storytellers – with those of new writers in other parts of Australia and Asia. Our goal to search for the best of emerging writers’ works may account for the stimulating range of fictional voices showcased in this collection. About half of the contributors to the anthology have attended writing groups at the School, and the other half responded to a call for submissions through our website.     Buy

It’s vital to a writer’s sustained skill development to be published, and a pathway leading to such an achievement is becoming increasingly difficult in Australia with the contraction in the number of print journals, newspapers and literary presses. We are therefore delighted to provide this publishing opportunity for those writers who have been selected from among the many submissions received. Their tenor and writing styles range from the literary to the colloquial, their themes from a sharp and witty study of modern manners – or lack of them – to the fantasies of dating viewed through the lens of gritty inner-city life. From the worst days of a life recalled to the way money can change hands while driving a taxi in Sydney. From card flicking to marigolds blooming in India.

Members of Sydney School of Arts & Humanities invite you to take the time here and now to savour the delicious fruits of our authors’ writing prowess.    Buy

Maria Issaris & Dr Christine Williams – Editors

Ferdinando Manzo – Publication Text and Cover Designer


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