My work has been published in journals, anthologies, and zines such as Kill Your Darlings, Overland, Verity La, Scum, and Concrescence. I have had manuscripts shortlisted for awards such as the David Unaipon Award, the Harlequin First Nations Fellowship, Boundless Indigenous Mentorship, and the Penguin Write-It Fellowship (see awards page for details).
Here’s a selection of those publications and links to where you can read full versions:
‘Galah’ (Short story – Flock – First Nations Stories Then and Now) May 2021
Curated and introduced by award-winning author Ellen van Neerven, Flock features luminous storytelling from leading Aboriginal writers, such as Tony Birch, Melissa Lucashenko and Tara June Winch, as well as some of the brightest new stars.
‘Being Aro’ (Personal Essay, Overland Journal)
I’m sitting on the edge of my bed, phone in hand, stomach churning. I’ve typed the text message at least ten times and then deleted it; the clicking
of the backspace doing nothing to ease the fear. I toss my phone on the bed and leave the room. I run a bath and tell myself I’m being silly. They’re my two best friends. They’re both queer. They will understand. Read more…
‘Bug Spray’ (Short story – New Australian Fiction 2019 – Kill Your Darlings)
New Australian Fiction 2019 is the first print collection of short fiction from Kill Your Darlings and features some of Australia’s best-loved writers alongside exciting new voices.
‘Decolonising the Sperm Bank’ (Essay – Kill Your Darlings)
The fertility clinic is like any medical office: bright, clean, and quiet.
Women scroll through their phones, glancing around every so often to size each other up. Single women eye the partnered ones; flat stomached ladies look longingly at those sporting perfect, round baby bumps. Read more…
‘Why I Fear Scott Morrison’s Pentecostalism’ (Essay – Overland Journal)
When I went to bed on the night of the election — early, to escape the growing fear and despair on my social media — I had a knot in my stomach about what I’d wake up to. Read more…
‘The Magpie Man’ (Short Story – Verity La)
The three of us balance on our bikes at the edge of the park. We watch as the man ― old and hunched ― emerges from the little green house, ice-cream bucket in hand. From the trees and the power poles high above, the magpies watch too.
When he dips his hand into the bucket, some of the birds stir. But it isn’t until he’s tossed the seed into the air that they all fly from their perches to feed. It’s a flurry of wings and beaks and black and white. Read more…
‘Alone’ (Memoir – Scum Mag)
I squeeze my left hand into a fist and look away as the phlebotomist tightens the tourniquet and comes towards me with the needle. She pokes around and I wish she’d get on with it. I can’t stop visualising the needle sliding beneath my skin, and I’m sure I can feel her wriggling it around in search of the vein. I blink back the darkness that’s starting to fold across my vision; the threat of fainting is imminent. I’ve been fasting since the night before and my head is roaring from lack of caffeine. Out in the surgery, someone is burning toast, the unmistakable smell somehow makes me hungry and nauseous at the same time. Read more…
‘Clean Sheet Day’ (Poem – Concrescence winter 2019)
are too far away
on your worst day …
‘Bang the Pots and Pans’ (Memoir – Swamp Journal, Issue #22)
My mom died today. The last time I saw her, she was eating ice-cream from the Broadway Dairy Maid and wiping a tissue across the stoma in the base of her throat. We laughed because I offered to share my pistachio-flavoured soft serve. Her reaction was so quick that I knew she hated pistachios without her even needing to speak. Read more…
‘Single Minded’ (Blog post – The University of Queensland Short Hand) for International Women’s Day 2018
Graduate and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences sessional academic Melanie Saward is a successful writer, singer and academic, but in some circles, she won’t earn society’s respect until she has a husband. Read more…
‘M@tchmaker’ (Fiction – URL Love, online love story anthology)
Rose Smith @aringarosey
Had pub lunch with the girls. Slopped gravy from my chicken schnitzel down white dress. Have v-important meeting this afternoon. Help!
‘Hector the Undead Prince of Troy’ (Fiction –Corrupted Classics, horror anthology)
In the world above, the Trojan royal family sit in their places on the wall and watch in horror as Achilles drags Hector’s body across the gravelly sand to his chariot by just one arm. He pulls so hard that even up on the wall, Hector’s family can hear the sound of his shoulder popping from its joint. Andromache turns her baby son around on her lap, trying to shield him from the sight.
‘#132 – Melanie and the Baby-Sitters’ Club’ (Memoir – Ricochet Magazine – Flashback edition)
She lies on her stomach on the thick white shag pile carpet in my musk-stick pink room. The soles of her feet point up at the popcorn-rough ceiling and her legs are crossed at the ankles. She props herself up on her elbows, her fingers following the lines of text on a book. I’m sitting on my floral bedspread, with a nest of soft toys pushed up into the pillows so I can cross my legs and stare at her. Download the full version here…
‘When the Rock Hit the Window’ (Fiction –Ricochet Magazine – First edition)
When the rock hit the window, The Girl had just spoken to Sam for the first time. In his head, they’d already had hundreds of conversations, but in real life they’d never spoken. All the way from the city, Sam had been trying to think of something they could talk about. But with her sitting beside him, talking about the weather or discussing the egg attacks didn’t seem quite right. By the time they reached Bracken Ridge he’d given up. Download the full version here…