“Outside the chicken shop, a policeman shows me his gun. He shows me because I ask. I am thirteen and learning that men say yes when I ask them for things, and so I am learning to ask. I think I am learning that I have a fearless mouth.”
From my latest short story, Gun, which appears in Crimes and Punishments: Griffith Review Volume 65 and is available to read online.
It’s an incendiary issue - forceful, provocative and humane - with work from Behrouz Boochani & Omid Tofighian, Kristina Olsson and Gideon Haigh. I feel very lucky to share the pages with such glorious writers. You can order a hardcopy here, or from all half-decent Aussie bookstores!
Many thanks to editor, Ashley Hay, and the team at Griffith Review for their support and encouragement.
“I am a girl who knows how to hold a gun. On weekends, Dad drives me out to the pistol club, while Mum pulls white-sapped weeds from the garden. She plants natives that can handle the salt in the air; angular, bristling plants with angular, bristling names: banksia, grevillea, bottlebrush. A line of Geraldton Wax along the verge to replace some mean and blighted rose bushes. She knows we won’t stay long enough to see them tall. We never stay. She plants them anyway.”
From Metal Language, a new short story available online (free for a limited time) as Australian Book Review’s inaugural Story of the Month!
“…this brilliant collection continues Black Inc.’s long tradition of discovering and celebrating the country’s finest writers.”
Such a thrill to have been selected for the first incarnation of Black Inc’s Best Summer Stories series. I share these vibrant pages with the most excellent company: Miranda Riwoe, Tony Birch, Jennifer Mills and Elizabeth Tan, to name but a few. A special thanks to editor Aviva Tuffield for all her support.
Australian Book Review: “Beejay Silcox’s ‘World Service’ stands out as explicitly metafictional. Opening with, ‘If this were a story, it would start with an argument’, this self-referential schema weaves through the story to serve a brutally honest, unsentimental, and persuasive narration up there with the best in this new, and welcome, ‘Best’ compilation,” writes reviewer Anthony Lynch.
"The Fire Department helicopters fly in like the river pelicans, low and belly heavy. They fly in so low the girl on the roof can see the pilots’ faces, so low the air churns with gutter-muck – bug husks and rotted leaves, mouse bones and critter shit."
Some fiery flash fiction - Bushfire Moon - which appears in the gorgeous July 2018 issue of Westerly.
"If this were a story, it would start with an argument. It would start with Ben and me arguing about something vaguely prescient, something to give the thing that happened a kind of existential echo—a child we wanted to have, or couldn’t have, or used to have. That would work. But the truth is we never wanted children. "
Proud to share my story World Service, which appears in the magnificent Winter 2018 issue of Meanjin - no longer paywalled!
"In this collection, sampling from more than three decades of Meanjin short fiction...We see names and voices that would swell in power, tone and range over the years, beside some that are just beginning to be heard. Here is a complex sketching of Australian life, thought and feeling." - Jonathan Green, editor.
As a voice that is 'just beginning to be heard', it's an indescribable thrill and honour to have my story 'Cry Wolf' included in the pages of Meanjin A-Z: Fine fiction 1980 to now - available through Melbourne University Press. By luck of the alphabet, you can find me sandwiched between AS Patric and Tim Winton - two of my Aussie literary heroes.
Read reviews of the Meanjin A-Z collection at:
‘The best short fiction writers place their pens down and leave you with a haunting: a deep shifting of self, precipitated by impossibly few words.’ - Maxine Beneba Clarke
It's a thrill and honour to be included in Best Australian Stories 2017. My thanks to its editor, the phenomenal Maxine Beneba Clarke, and the team at Black Inc for selecting my story - 'Slut Trouble' - and also to the team at Australian Book Review where this story first appeared.
Read reviews of the Best Australian Stories 2017 collection at:
" In the Grand-Marché, I bought six yards of fabric the color of a new bruise. I had no idea what I would was going to do with it. I bought it because I was there and it was beautiful, and at the time, that seemed enough."
From 'Six Yards', which was a 2017 finalist in Nowhere Magazine's Spring Travel Writing Competition and is now available online!
"There are lions in the house. Two, maybe three—it’s hard to tell. Filling the dark with their breathy territorial huffing, their stretched yawns and big-cat rumble."
From 'Lions in the House', which was placed second in The Masters Review's inaugural Flash Fiction Competition, and is now online!
" It begins in a darkened lecture theater - a steep, curved room the shape of cupped palms. On the screen is the face of a dead woman. Black-and-white. A strangely intimate angle, like a surreptitious photograph of a sleeping lover. But there is no mistaking sleep. This is no bed."
From 'Seven Failed Stories About Marilyn Monroe,' which was a finalist for Glimmer Train's 2017 Short Story Award for New Writers.
" If this were a story, it would start with an argument. "
From 'World Service', which was a finalist for the 2017 Victoria University Short Story Prize for New and Emerging Writers, administered by Overland Magazine.
"I would wait until he boarded the train and then slink past him like a new lover. Brush imaginary lint from his shoulders. Smile too wide. I turned his disapproval into disgust, and his disgust into hatred. And it was just so fucking delicious."
From 'Cry Wolf', which appears in the Summer Issue of Meanjin.
Available online and in print.
"Consider the word ‘struck.’ A snapped branch of a word. Past participle of strike - a word ripe with intention, a word that denies accident. To be
struck is to be chosen."
From 'Keraunopathy', which was a finalist for the 2016 World's Best Short-Short Story Competition, judged by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler.
Look for the story in the Southeast Review's 2017 Spring Issue.
"You will write love letters you never send. You will flirt with prayer. You will
flirt with strangers. Some of them will flirt back. One of them won’t take no for an answer. He is the only person who will see how angry you are."
From 'How to Send Your Husband to a War', included in Letting Go: An Anthology of Attempts edited by M.E. Hughes and published by Bacon Press.
"She lays flat on the jetty and lowers each new hook down. The fish-stink of the wood grabs at her nose and throat, churns in her belly as she watches the sinker pull the bread under and down into the kelp. When she can’t see it anymore, she closes her eyes and feels for the quivering of eager fish mouths."
Available in paperback and e-book.