Today, there are congratulations all round.


I sold another short story today – yay! It’s my first international sale (details to follow soon), so… watch out world! (he he)

CONGRATULATIONS… Ditmar nominees!

A lot of my author mates got nominated today… for Ditmar Awards. Ditmar Awards have been awarded annually since 1969 to recognise achievement in Australian speculative fiction and speculative fiction fandom. I’m so proud to see so many of the friends I made at Conflux 7 last year on the list, which is set out below.

Writers can waste way too much of their writing lives in turmoil. As I said to one of my publisher-mates earlier this week, we often work ourselves up into what I can only describe as an ‘anxious mess’. Sometimes I swear it borders on paranoia! In only a matter of minutes we can go through what I will now dub as ‘The Fear Cycle’:

The fear that sneaks in.

There is so much to fear about writing, awards like the Ditmars are imperative in reassuring writers that they really are very good at what they do! Even so, I’m convinced that even well-established authors experience writing fear, in one form or another.

Throughout May, the writers on Write Anything will be asking themselves what is their greatest fear as a writer. It was a difficult question for me to face – you’ll find out why on Tuesday 29 May when my post goes live. But in the meantime, I thought I’d conduct a little survey among us writers. What is your greatest fear as a writer? Go to my Facebook page to vote in the poll and I’ll collate the results in my next blog.

After you’ve voted, or before, join me in celebration at the joy and relief that validation such as the Ditmars (and story sales!) brings to writers by looking over this great list of writers and perhaps adding some extra titles to your to-read list:

–2012 Ditmar Nominations–

Best Novel

  • The Shattered City (Creature Court 2), Tansy Rayner Roberts (HarperCollins)
  • Burn Bright, Marianne de Pierres (Random House Australia)
  • Mistification, Kaaron Warren (Angry Robot Books)
  • The Courier’s New Bicycle, Kim Westwood (HarperCollins)
  • Debris (The Veiled Worlds 1), Jo Anderton (Angry Robot Books)

Best Novella or Novelette

  • The Sleeping and the Dead, Cat Sparks, in Ishtar (Gilgamesh Press)
  • Above, Stephanie Campisi, in Above/Below (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt, Paul Haines, in The Last Days of Kali Yuga (Brimstone Press)
  • And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living, Deborah Biancotti, in Ishtar (Gilgamesh Press)
  • Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Love and Romanpunk (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Below, Ben Peek, in Above/Below (Twelfth Planet Press)

Best Short Story

  • Breaking the Ice, Thoraiya Dyer, in Cosmos 37
  • Alchemy, Lucy Sussex, in Thief of Lives (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • The Last Gig of Jimmy Rucker, Martin Livings and Talie Helene, in More Scary Kisses (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • All You Can Do Is Breathe, Kaaron Warren, in Blood and Other Cravings (Tor)
  • Bad Power, Deborah Biancotti, in Bad Power (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • The Patrician, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Love and Romanpunk (Twelfth Planet Press)

Best Collected Work

  • The Last Days of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines, edited by Angela Challis (Brimstone Press)
  • Nightsiders by Sue Isle, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Ishtar, edited by Amanda Pillar and K. V. Taylor (Gilgamesh Press)

Best Artwork

  • Finishing School, Kathleen Jennings, in Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories (Candlewick Press)
  • Cover art, Kathleen Jennings, for The Freedom Maze (Small Beer Press)

Best Fan Writer

  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, for body of work including reviews in Australian
    Speculative Fiction in Focus! and Not If You Were The Last Short Story
    On Earth
  • Alexandra Pierce, for body of work including reviews in Australian
    Speculative Fiction in Focus!, Not If You Were The Last Short Story On
    Earth, and Randomly Yours, Alex
  • Robin Pen, for The Ballad of the Unrequited Ditmar
  • Sean Wright, for body of work including Authors and Social Media
    series in Adventures of a Bookonaut
  • Bruce Gillespie, for body of work including The Golden Age of
    Fanzines is Now, and SF Commentary 81 & 82

Best Fan Artist

  • Rebecca Ing, for work in Scape
  • Lisa Rye, for Steampunk Portal series
  • Dick Jenssen, for body of work including work in IRS, Steam Engine
  • Time, SF Commentary and Scratchpad
  • Kathleen Jennings, for work in Errantry ( including The Dalek Game
  • Rhianna Williams, for work in Nullas Anxietas Convention Programme Book

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

  • SF Commentary, edited by Bruce Gillespie
  • The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
  • The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Galactic Chat, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Sean Wright
  • Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Alex Pierce

Best New Talent

  • Steve Cameron
  • Alan Baxter
  • Joanne Anderton

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene, for 2010: The Year in Review, in The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2010 (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Damien Broderick and Van Ikin, for editing Warriors of the Tao: The Best of Science Fiction: A Review of Speculative Literature (Borgo Press)
  • David McDonald, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely for Reviewing New Who series, in A Conversational Life
  • Alexandra Pierce and Tehani Wessely, for reviews of Vorkosigan Saga, in Randomly Yours, Alex
  • Russell Blackford, for Currently reading: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, in Metamagician and the Hellfire Club

Congratulations everyone!

Zena Shapter

I write from a castle in a flying city hidden by a thundercloud. #Ditmar Award-winning author. Movie buff. Traveller. Wine lover. Story nerd. Book Creator & Mentor. Founder & leader of the award-winning Northern Beaches Writers' Group / ZF Kingbolt.


  1. Thanks, Zena…and congrats on the sale. I look forward to hearing all about it! 🙂

  2. Hey congrats on the sale. My fear at the moment is that I just won’t finish. Once that’s done it will graduate to my work is crap no one will like it and then to… as you outline.

    At the moment I have my critical self editor gagged and locked in a cupboard. Hopefully he won’t escape until after I have the 1st draft of the manuscript done.

    • I wonder how much of your manuscript you review each time you go to start writing it again – are you perhaps reviewing too much? Don’t let the urge to be perfect prevent you from pushing forward!

      • I wrote 40K on my first manuscript. I have been following Fiona Macintosh’s advice of just sitting down and writing and not editing and not planing. It worked reasonably well but the story was a bit ambitious and I really needed to have the magic system planned out in advance.

        I started a new manuscript focusing on another idea with the first story and its much simpler in its execution and am nearing 10K. I do as little revision as possible unless its a bit of backfilling to shore up later ideas.

  3. Pingback: Writers! What do you fear most about being a writer? | Zena Shapter

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