This week’s award asked authors to use Marius De Zayas’ portrait of photographer Alfred Stieglitz as the inspiration for a story in the genre of Magical Realism.

Seven’s a lucky number, a magical number even. That’s how many stories we have on this week’s short list, so head over and check out the full short list here

Also, a big NITH welcome to first timer Sandra Mendes!

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Robert Walters wakes before dawn. He lays there, the lights out, listening to the night noises of the hospital. They come in hushed hurry. Soft footfalls, scattered chatter, the squeak of a stretcher as it rolls past on its way …

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While it might not be immediately obvious, writing forms the backbone of most art / entertainment projects and games are no different. I sat down with NITH regular and twitter baron Dakoda Barker to talk all things digital. I started by asking him about games in general, and why he’s decided to make that a writing focus?

Dakoda: Growing up, I was always interested in video games. I read a lot as well, but I used to love playing those old games like Double Dragon and Sonic. When I started to get older and branch out into different genres, I started to appreciate the narratives more. I’m fascinated with what you can do with narrative in video games. I’m fascinated with video games in general, and I don’t think games get enough respect as an aspect of popular culture. I’m hoping to apply some of the critical approaches used in literature to video games so I can show the value of games and the creativity that developers infuse into their work. Gaming is a lot deeper than a lot of people think! Continue Reading →

Recently I caught up with Dan Bloom on Climate Fiction and books he thought paved the way for the genre. Dan is a fan of On The Beach by Nevil Shute. I started by asking him why he was drawn to Shute in particular?

Dan: Well, he wrote that powerful 1957 novel ON THE BEACH which became a movie two years later. That novel and movie did much to change human thinking about nuclear war and nuclear winter. So I think we need a contemporary  ON THE BEACH about climate change. Continue Reading →

If you haven’t already, check out our write up on Climate Fiction

The CLIMATE FICTION award asked authors to focus on climate change and how it might affect characters, their relationships, and their way of life. The stories this week do not disappoint. Congratulations to everyone who made the short list and a big welcome to first timers J Perry Kelly, Joshua Keeling, Lachlan Bullivant, Rhiannon Cowan and George Garnett.

You can find the complete short list here

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Hi everyone, hope you love the new site design as much as we do. Here’s a quick breakdown of the features


Awards, past and present, can be found under the Awards and Collaborations Page. There’s a neat filter that lets you sort them all out. Because we’re growing in popularity we think having more awards up with spread the load out a bit so we’re not culling too many stories from each short list.

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What are Collaborations?

Collaborations are short story digests written to a particular set of themes, genres or ideas. You can sign up to a collaboration through the awards and collaborations page by submitting a brief before the deadline.

We run a writing workshop for each collaboration. Authors submit drafts and provide feedback over three rounds of drafting. Spots in these workshops are limited, and while participation is not a requirement, if you participate in the workshop, you’re guaranteed a spot in the finished product.

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Alayna is a fourth year university student, writer, and currently manages the Needle In The Hay tumblr. She’s been gracious enough to answer a few questions, so here we go.

Martin: Tell us a little about the novel you’re working on. What’s it about? Who are the main characters?

Alayna: My novel is titled ‘Elymas’ and it’s about a girl named Lily who is in her early twenties and is generally disillusioned by where her life is going. When the circus comes to town, a mysterious man, who introduces himself only as ‘The Magician’, asks her to run away with him and become his beautiful assistant. Lily embarks on an adventure and, as events unfold, is left to decide whether this new life is better than the one she left behind. I’m currently editing my novel for the sixth time – I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it, really. Continue Reading →