Little Fictions

Little Fictions is a half-hour storytelling program presented by Kate Liston-Mills. The show features contemporary short stories by authors from across Australia and read by actors, recorded at live performances or in studio. 

Ep 59 The Three Sisters

The story featured in today’s episode draws inspiration from both the Chekov play by this name and the author, Maria Takolanders’ her own experience working in a roadhouse in regional Victoria with three sisters of with a Dutch lineage. Takolander’s story and a reflective essay on the influence of reading on fiction writers is published in Cracking The Spine Ten Short Australian Stories and How They Were Written by Spineless Wonders. The story is narrated by Sydney actor, Eleni Schumacher.

Presenter: Kate Liston-Mills -------- Producers: Bronwyn Mehan & Caddie Hansen ------ Audio Technician: Orin Clark ------ Theme song, ‘Attune’ written and performed by Annie Vidler with vocals by Cindy Ryan.

Original Broadcast Date 21.09.2020

Episode 58 The Uncoupling of Eduardo Martinez

In this episode, Kate Liston-Mills presents a short story written and narrated by Michael Giacometti. Set somewhere in a fictional village in South America and drawing on the magic realism tradition, this story is about family, death and the idea of the circle of life. The story is published by Spineless Wonders in Michael’s debut collection, My Life and Other Fictions.

  • Presenter: Kate Liston-Mills
  • Audio engineer: Orin Clark
  • Co-Producers: Bronwyn Mehan and Caddie Hanssen
  • Theme music: ‘Attune’ written and performed by Annie Vidler with vocals by Cindy Ryan

Original Broadcast Date 07.09.2020

Episode 57 Artichoke Hearts

In this episode, Kate Liston-Mills presents a short story by award-winning Sydney writer, Tanya Vavilova . ‘Artichoke Hearts’ tells of a young woman recently arrived in Sydney’s innercity and how her feelings of isolation and dislocation are overcome with the help of some pickled vegetables. It is both an edgy and romantic tale. The story is published by Spineless Wonders in Grub, the collection of short fiction which won Tanya the 2019 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award. The narrator is Sydney actor, Aileen Huynh.

  • Presenter: Kate Liston-Mills
  • Co-Producers: Bronwyn Mehan and Caddie Hanssen
  • Theme music: ‘Attune’ written and performed by Annie Vidler with vocals by Cindy Ryan

Original Broadcast Date 24.08.2020

Episode 56 Silver and the Red Box Waltz

In this episode, Kate Liston-Mills presents a short story by Adelaide writer and performance poet, Caroline Reid. ‘Silver and the Red Box Waltz’ tells the story of a troubled young man who finds temporary solace in a fiddle player and the Romany music she plays. The story is published by Spineless Wonders in Escape, an anthology of short fiction. The narrator is Emma Beech.

  • Presenter: Kate Liston-Mills
  • Co-Producers: Bronwyn Mehan and Caddie Hanssen
  • Theme music: ‘Attune’ written and performed by Annie Vidler with vocals by Cindy Ryan

Original Broadcast Date 10.08.2020

Episode 55 Architecture

In this episode, Kate Liston-Mills presents award-winning author Jennifer Mills’ short story ‘Architecture’. The story tells of a young Australian architect who is employed to work on a ‘ghost city’, an elaborate building development project in China which is destined to remain uninhabited. Mills wrote the story as part of her Asialink Residency in China and she reflects on her experiences there, and on the cultural responsibilities of storytelling, in the essay, ‘Surreal Privilege’ which is also included in this episode. Both the story and essay are published in Spineless Wonders’ Cracking The Spine: Ten Short Australian Stories and How They Were Written. The narrator is Gracie Naoum.

  • Presenter: Kate Liston-Mills
  • Co-Producers: Bronwyn Mehan and Caddie Hanssen
  • Theme music: ‘Attune’ written and performed by Annie Vidler with vocals by Cindy Ryan

Original Broadcast Date 27.07.2020

Episode 54 Good Rubbish

In this episode, we present a story about two friends, Ratha and Thavery, who live and work in Stung Meanchy, Cambodia - once known to be the world’s most famous rubbish dumps. The story is written by Sydney author Andy Kissane and is narrated by Australian actor Mark Dessaix who is currently based in Brooklyn, NYC. ‘Good Rubbish’ is published by Spineless Wonders in Cracking The Spine Ten Short Australian Stories and How They Were Written. The recording below is an extended version of the episode in which we include Andy’s reflective essay, ‘Writing What You Do Not Know’ which accompanies the published story.

  • Presenter: Kate Liston-Mills
  • Co-Producers: Bronwyn Mehan and Caddie Hansse
  • Theme music: ‘Attune’ written and performed by Annie Vidler with vocals by Cindy Ryan

Original Broadcast Date 13.07.2020

Episode 53 The Mango Tree

In this episode, Kate Liston-Mills presents a short story by P M Newton. Newton is a crime fiction novelist and short story writer. Her work has been widely published and has won several prizes including the Sisters in Crime Davitt Award and the Asher Literary Award. Her novels The Old School and Beams Falling feature Australian-Vietnamese female detective Nhu 'Ned' Kelly. ‘The Mango Tree’ is published in the Spineless Wonders’ anthology, Crime Scenes edited by Zane Lovitt. It is narrated by Sydney voice actor, Tom Burt.

  • Presenter: Kate Liston-Mills,
  • Co-producers: Bronwyn Mehan and Caddie Hanssen,
  • Theme song, ‘Attune’ written and performed by Annie Vidler with vocals by Cindy Ryan.

Original Broadcast Date 29.06.2020

Ep 52 Postcard From Cambodia

In this episode, Kate Liston-Mills presents a short crime story by Andrew Nette. Andrew is a Melbourne writer and researcher specialising in Australian pulp fiction. The short story, Postcard from Cambodia, tells the journey of a man searching for his family after spending years in prison.

This story is published by Spineless Wonders in Crime Scenes an anthology of Australian crime fiction. It is performed by Lauren Hamilton Neill and was recorded as part of the 2016 Sydney Fringe Festival.

  • Presenter: Kate Liston-Mills,
  • Co-producers: Bronwyn Mehan and Caddie Hanssen,
  • Theme song, ‘Attune’ written and performed by Annie Vidler with vocals by Cindy Ryan.

Original Broadcast Date 15.06.2020

Ep 51 Paper Anniversary

In this episode, Kate Liston-Mills presents a story about a woman who discovers a secret about her husband on their first wedding anniversary. ‘Paper Anniversary’ is written by SJ Finn and is published by Spineless Wonders in Escape an anthology of short fiction. The story is narrated by the author.

  • Presenter: Kate Liston-Mills
  • Co-producers: Bronwyn Mehan and Caddie Hanssen,
  • Theme song, ‘Attune’ written and performed by Annie Vidler with vocals by Cindy Ryan.
  • Original Broadcast Date 01.06.2020

Ep 50 My Beloved Is Mine and I Am His

In this episode, Kate Liston-Mills presents a story by award-winning writer Carmel Bird about child sexual abuse within religious institutions. "My Beloved Is Mine and I Am His" is set in rural Australia in the 1950s and tells the story of Patricia, a student boarding with a Father Cutler and his family. This is an abridged version of the short story. It is published in full, along with a reflective essay in Carmel Bird's short story collection, My Hearts Are Your Hearts: Twenty New Stories and Their Origins (Spineless Wonders, 2015). The narrator is Lauren Hamilton Neill.

  • Presenter: Kate Liston-Mills
  • Co-producers: Bronwyn Mehan and Caddie Hanssen,
  • Theme song, "Attune" written and performed by Annie Vidler with vocals by Cindy Ryan.

Warning: this episode contains material which some listeners may find distressing.

Original Broadcast Date 18.05.2020

Ep 49 What I Didn’t Put In My Speech

In this episode, Kate Liston-Mills presents ‘What I Didn’t Put In My Speech’ is written by prize-winning author Claire Aman. Claire lives and writes in North Coast NSW. Her stories have won the Hal Porter Prize and the Wet Ink/CAL prize and her debut collection, Bird Country is published by Text. The story in this episode as well as the essay ‘Daydreaming Is Never A Waste Of Time’ appear in the Spineless Wonders anthology Cracking the Spine. The narrator is Eleni Schumacher.

  • Presenter: Kate Liston-Mills
  • Co-producers: Bronwyn Mehan and Caddie Hanssen,
  • Theme song, ‘Attune’ written and performed by Annie Vidler with vocals by Cindy Ryan.

Original Broadcast Date 04.05.2020

Episode 48 Salt

In this episode, Kate Liston-Mills presents ‘Salt’, a short story by Melbourne author, Pierz Newton-John. Pierz’s stories have featured on previous Little Fictions episodes and his collection of short stories Fault Lines can be found on the Spineless Wonders website. ‘Salt’ explores the experience of caring for a loved one as they die. It is read by Little Fictions’ actor Ella Watson-Russell.

  • Presenter: Kate Liston-Mills,
  • Co-producers: Bronwyn Mehan and Caddie Hanssen,
  • Theme song, ‘Attune’ written and performed by Annie Vidler with vocals by Cindy Ryan.

Original Broadcast Date 20.04.2020

Ep 47 Soft Watch

In this episode, Kate Liston-Mills presents ‘Soft Watch’, a short story by Melbourne author, Jenny Sinclair. Jenny’s work has been published in the Griffith Review, Meanjin, Island, The Big Issue, Verandah and other publications. ‘Soft Watch’ is featured in the Spineless Wonder’s anthology Escape, edited by Spineless Wonders publisher Bronwyn Mehan. It is narrated by Meredyth Cilento.

  • Presenter: Kate Liston-Mills,
  • Co-producers: Bronwyn Mehan and Caddie Hanssen,
  • Theme song, ‘Attune’ written and performed by Annie Vidler with vocals by Cindy Ryan.

Original Broadcast Date 06.04.2020

Episode 46 Rent

In this episode, Little Fictions On Air host, Kate Liston-Mills presents the short story ‘Rent’ by Melbourne writer Anthony Lynch and published by Spineless Wonders. Anthony’s work has also been shortlisted for the Wesley Michel Wright prize in poetry, and the Queensland Steele Rudd Australian Short Story award. ‘Rent’ tells the story of Rae a post-grad uni student and the unexpected problems she encounters with her new housemate, Astrid. It is read by actor, Holly Myers. Holly is a voice artist with an award-winning career spanning over 20 years in acting and voice for TV, film, stage and radio both nationally and internationally. Holly has completed postgraduate training in Voice and Shakespeare in London, NY and LA.

Original Broadcast Date 23.03.2020

Episode 45 Women’s Lives

In this episode, we are delighted to bring a range of stories which explore women’s lives from the past, through art and in contemporary society as part of the International Women’s Day celebrations. Featured are two microfiction, ‘Manifesto of a Woman Walker’ and ‘Mona Lisa’ by Susan McCreery, as well as the microfiction ‘Sans Relache’ by Ali Jane Smith and ‘Arm’s Length’ by Chloe Wilson. The episode also includes ‘Bulldozer’, short story by Ariella Van Luynh and the prose poem, ‘The Air We Carry’ by Alana Kelsell. Our narrators are Lauren Hamilton Neill, Eleni Schumacher and Emma Diaz.

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Production Assistant: Caddie Hanssen
  • Audio Technician: Emily Hogan
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan

Original Broadcast Date 09.03.2020

Episode 44 Lurv

In this episode, we bring you fictions which explore the theme of love – the joyous and heartfelt as well as the unrequited and tragic. We explore everything from the banal landscapes of the everyday relationship to the surreal heights of rapture. Included is Queer fiction, ‘Dirt’ by Tanya Vavilova read by Jessica-Belle Keogh. ‘I Do’ by Ally Scale is performed by Mark Dessaix. Sylvia Petter’s short story, ‘Just Lunch’ is performed by Eleni Schumacher, Erin Gough reads her comic lesbian microlit, ‘William Shatner Vows To Save The Great Basin Mouse’, Danielle Baldock’s ‘The Turning’ is read by Kate Fraser, Tim Sinclair’s ‘Listen’ is read by Ella Watson-Russell and Patrick Lenton’s ‘Sheila Discovers Magnetism’ is performed by Lauren Hamilton Neill.

Warning: this episode contains adult themes and strong language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Oriana Yong

Original Broadcast Date 24.02.2020

Episode 43 Transgress

In this episode, we bring you stories which explore criminal activities in a range of settings, some quite close to home and some set in worlds we can consider ourselves lucky to never encounter. Included are ‘Exquisite Leaf’ by Richard Holt read by Pat Todd, ‘Headlights Like Satellites’ by Tyler Mahoney read by Nick Radinoff. We also have Susan McCreery’s ‘Disturbance’ and ‘Outlet’ read by Alex Neal and Ella Watson-Russell followed by an interview with the author. And we end with Jon Steiner reading his short story ‘Robber’.

    Warning: some of our stories today do contain some disturbing content.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Michael Jacenyik

Original Broadcast Date 10.02.2020

Episode 42 Sound Stories

In this episode we bring you stories which show how music can impact our lives in distinctive and unanticipated ways. It includes a range of microfiction from Spineless Wonders’ anthology, Shuffle which feature original sound design by Australian composers. You will hear Jen Craig’s ‘Jamming’ with sound by Stephen Adams, Paulette Smythe’s ‘When B Moved In’ with sound by James Hazel and Anna Spargo-Ryan’s ‘Menieres’ with sound design by Victoria Pham. Included as well is Richard Holt’s ‘Rodeo’ and an interview with Hunter Valley author William Lane about his short story ‘A New Sound Recording’ which was published in his collection, small forest. Narrators in this episode are Benhur Helwend, Alex Neal and Anni Finsterer.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Cassie Sell

  • Original Broadcast Date 27.01.2020

Episode 41 Precarious

Most people have found themselves in uncertain situations where their life might change at any moment. Reactions to these situations can vary from the sensible and philosophical to foolhardy or downright surreal. Stories in this episode explore some examples of precarious circumstances and various responses to them. Included are the short story, ‘Glove Box’ by Vivienne Plumb and four microfictions – ‘Kafka’s Room’ by Brenda Saunders, ‘Lovely’ by Patrick Allington and ‘I Wanna Be Murakami’ by A.S. Patrić. Narrators in this episode are Lauren Hamilton Neill, Felix Johnson and Alex Williams.

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Gio Sancho
  • Original Broadcast Date 13.01.2020

Episode 40 Coastal Stories

In this episode we explore Coastal Stories. Australia is an island nation and with over 85% of us living within 50 kms of our shorelines, it’s not surprising that the Australian coast figures largely in our lives, imaginations and national identity. Stories featured include the microfictions ‘Down South’ by Stu Hutton, ‘The Brown Country’ by Jeremy Page as well as Christine Howe’s ‘Sea Womb’ with soundscape by Sarah Monk. Ella interviews Megan McGrath about her short story, ‘Lunar Coast’ and we end with Deal Allison’s ‘Nightburst’ and Aden Rolfe’s ‘The End of Things’. Narrators include Ella Watson-Russell, Eleni Schumacher and Nick Gell.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Oriana Yong
  • Original Broadcast Date 30.12.2019

Episode 39 Home and Away

In this episode, we explore the push-pull of the exotic, as new experiences and adventures abroad, come up against the solid familiarity of home. Stories include Pierz Newton-John’s ‘Angela’s Parrots’, Lisa Smithies’ ‘Gert By Sea’ and Mark O’Flynn’s ‘Tales of Action and Adventure’. Narrators include Pierz Newton-John, Ella Watson-Russell and Felix Johnson.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Gio Sancho

Original Broadcast Date 16.12.2019

Episode 38 Stories of City Life

In this episode, we’re exploring different aspects of city life: the noise, the colour, the grit, the crowding and the isolation. Included are prose poems, ‘Diurnal Slurry Hills’ by Anna Kerdjiak-Nicholson and ‘this City’ by jenni nixon; a short story, ‘Outside’ by Joshua Lobb as well as microfiction, ‘The City Was Growing Inside Her’ by Harriet McInerney, ‘How To Install’ by Jon Steiner and ’10.42 from Sydenham’ by Mark Smith. The stories are narrated by Sydney actors Felix Johnson, Lauren Hamilton Neill, Eleni Schumacher and Ella Watson-Russell.

Warning. This episode contains strong language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Emily Hogan

Original Broadcast Date 02.12.2019

Episode 37 More Dog Stories

In this episode, we bring you more stories from our 2018 Little Fictions’ show which celebrated the Lunar Year of the Dog. The stories were recorded at the live show at Knox Street Bar, Chippendale in Sydney where our special guest MC was Kathryn Yuen, the comic actor from the SBS series, Maximum Choppage. Stories include ‘The Year of the Earth Dog’ by Elizabeth Challoner, ‘Dogstar’ by Hilary Hewitt, ‘The Hairlessness of Youth’ by Rowena Lennox, ‘Conversations with my dog’ by Johanna Ellersdorfer, ‘Woof’ by Scott Patrick-Mitchell, ‘Dante’ by Tanya Grassi and ‘The Cockweiller’ by Judith Bridge. Narrators include Sam Wang, Lauren Hamilton Neill and Felix Johnson.

Warning. This episode contains strong language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Cassie Sell

Original Broadcast Date 18.11.2019

Episode 36 Halloween Stories

In this episode, we bring you a collection of creepy, strange and sometimes funny stories to celebrate Halloween. Includes ‘To The Frighthouse’ by Patrick Lenton, ‘Sleepwalking’ by Krissy Kneen,  ‘Eldon Sent Me’ by Adam Fleet and ‘City Circle’ by Mark Roberts. Narrations by Alex  Neal, Jessica-Belle Keogh and Ella Watson-Russell

Warning. This episode contains strong language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Oriana Yong

Original Broadcast Date 04.11.2019

Episode 35 Mind

The stories in this episode look at different people’s experiences of mental health issues. Stories included are Jane Skelton’s ‘Looking After Cecily’, Susan McCreery’s ‘Booster’, Stuart McGuckin’s ‘Wrong Path’ and Tim Heffernan’s ‘It All Begins At Central’. Stories are narrated by Mark Dessaix, Ella Watson-Russell and Alex Neal. Included is an interview with mental health peer coordinator and author, Tim Heffernan about his piece in this episode, about creativity and mental health.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Micheal Jacenyik

Original Broadcast Date 21.10/2019

Episode 34 Addictive Texts

In this episode we bring you writing which is about different forms of addiction as well as stories about the addictive act of writing itself. First up is ‘Top Floor Dogma’, a story by Liam Copland about obsessive behaviour in an office environment.

You’ll hear from Australian author, Jen Craig, on the challenges of putting pen to paper while travelling overseas in ‘Invisible Writing’, about Sydney author Jon Steiner’s microfiction, ‘Screws’ and his short story about a man obsessed with an American writer in ‘Poioumenon’, as well as the story of odd habits of an Adelaide bookshop owners in Caroline Reid’s ‘Satisfied’. Narrators include Adam Norris, Felix Johnson and Lauren Hamilton Neill.

Warning: some of these stories contain strong language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Gio Sancha

Original Broadcast Date 07.10/2019

Episode 33 Stories from the Australian Landscape

In this episode we bring you stories set against the backdrop of the Australian landscape, in particular, the Bush. Stories included in the episodes are ‘Disconcert’ written by Jordi Albiston with sound design by Kezia Yap; ‘Stones’ by Jane Skelton and ‘Time of Death’ by Deborah Van Heerkeren. Narration by Eleni Schumacher and Mark Dessaix and we include an interview with author, Jane Skelton.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Cassie Sell

Original Broadcast Date 23.09.2019

Episode 32 Father Figures

In this episode, we bring you stories which reflect on the role of the father as seen through the eyes of children, partners and the men themselves. Stories include ‘Drip, Drip, Drip’ by Mark O’Flynn, ‘Between Darkness and Dawn’ by Susan McCreery, ‘The Ocean Is A Terrible Thing’ by Nick Couldwell and an extract from A.S. Patric’s ‘Some Kind of Blues’. Narrators include actors Alex Neal, Joel Horwood and Tim McGarry.

Warning: some of these stories contain challenging content.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Michael Jacenyik

Original Broadcast Date 09.09.2019

Episode 31 Ageing

In this episode we bring you stories centred around the process of ageing. They are about the older members of our contemporary society and are told from the point of view of the older generation themselves as well as those around them. Stories include ‘My Mother’s Song’ by Gavin Austin, ‘Forgetting’ by Beth Spencer, ‘Rats’ by Susan McCreery, ‘Rescued’ by Richard Holt, ‘The Old Man and the Pool’ by Paul Mitchell, ‘Brief Moments of Interruption’ by A.S. Patric and ‘Timeless Crones’ by Elizabeth Hodgson. Actors narrating stories in this episode are Jessica-Belle Keogh, Pam Nemeny, Deborah Faye Lee and Ella Watson-Russell. Also included is an interview with author, Beth Spencer.

Warning: some stories in this episode contain strong language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Oriana Yong

Original Broadcast Date 26.08.2019

Ep 30 The Teen Stories

In this episode we bring you stories about that sometimes exciting, sometimes painful period of contemporary life, the Teenage years. Stories include ‘I Don’t Even Like Scotch Fingers’ by Kate Liston-Mills, ‘After School’ by Shady Cosgrove and ‘Freak’ by Peirz Newton-John. Actors narrating the stories are Kate Fraser, Kurt Pimblett and Alex Neal.

Warning: some of these stories contain strong language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Ariella Broyda

Original Broadcast Date 12.08.2019

Episode 29 Up North.

In this episode we bring you stories from the northern regions of Australia. Authors whose works are featured include Julie U’Ren, Jon Steiner, Pawel Cholewa and Michael Giacometti. Actors performing the stories are Mark Dessaix, Jessica-Belle Keogh and Alex Neal.

Note some of the stories contain strong language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio technician: Ariella Broyda
  • Original Broadcast

Date 29.07.2019


Episode 28 Dog Stories

In this episode we bring you stories originally performed back in 2018 to celebrate the Lunar Year of the Dog. Touching on serious contemporary issues such as racism, grief and violence, these canine-related stories are also humorous and heart-warming. Stories included are ‘Flying The Dog’ by Sydney author Julie Chevalier, ‘One Blue Eye’ by Caroline Reid, ‘Our Mother Was A Cat Lady’ by Helen Meany, ‘Purebred’ by Katherine Arguile and ‘Tootie – my little pig’ by Warwick Newnham. Actors featured in this episode are Sam Wang, Lauren Hamilton Neill and Felix Johnson.

Warning – some of these stories contain strong language.

Credits:

  • Presenter – Ella Watson-Russell
  • Audio Technician – Ariella Broyda
  • Producer – Bronwyn Mehan

Original Broadcast Date 15.07.2019


Ep1sode 27 Stateside

In this episode, we’re exploring stories set in the United States of America. From serious social concerns to the wildly absurd, these stories from Australian and American authors present a diverse picture of USA past and present. Stories include ‘The Library Is A Social Institution’ by Julie Chevalier, Patrick Lenton’s ‘A Man Made Entirely of Bats’, ‘Unpacking’ and ‘Liebestod’ by Jon Steiner and ‘The Mosaic’ by Emma Jones.

Actors narrating the stories are Ella Watson-Russell, Lauren Hamilton-Neill and Joel Horwood.

Warning: some stories do contain strong language.

Credits

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Audio Technician: Ariella Broyda
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan

Original Broadcast Date 01.07.2019


Episode 26 ‘Displaced’

In this episode, called ‘Displaced’, we present stories exploring the lives of refugees - the challenges, tragedies and triumphs of people from around the globe seeking a safe place to call home. Stories included are ‘Cartography’ by Indigenous Melbourne author Tony Birch; ‘Less than a Minute’ by Victorian writer Mark Smith and ‘My English Homework’ by Newcastle award-winning author, Ryan O’Neill. Actors featured in this episode are Nick Gell, Felix Johnson and Eleni Schumacher.

Just a warning before we begin that the stories you’ll hear today do contain some strong language.

  • Host: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Studio Technician: Ariella Broyda

Original Broadcast Date 17.06.2019


Episode 25 Our Greatest Fears

In this episode, we present stories that explore frightening real, imagined and uncanny moments that change us forever. Short stories included are ‘The Swimmer’ and ‘Bush Burial’ by Melbourne author, Richard Holt and ‘The Local’ by Sydney crime writer, P.M. Newton. Microfiction pieces include ‘Taken’ by Michelle Wright, ‘Nearby’ by Jessica McLean and ‘The End of Days’ by Debra Le Nepveu. The stories are performed by Little Fictions actors, Lauren Hamilton Neill, Felix Johnson, Ella Watson-Russell and Eleni Schumacher.

Warning: the stories in this episode do contain some strong language.

Original Broadcast Date 03.06.2019


Episode 24 Criminal Minds

In this episode, called ‘Criminal Minds’, our stories explore ethical, moral and criminal transgressions. Short stories include ‘Wasp’ by Pierz Newton-Jon from his short story collection, Fault Lines and Mary Manning’s ‘The Painter’ from her collection, Damaged In Transit. Also included are the microfictions, ‘Call The Ambulance’ by Shady Cosgrove and ‘Hold Up’ by Susan McCreery. The actors reading in this episode are Lauren Hamilton Neill and Tim McGarry.

Warning: the stories you will hear do contain some strong language and adult themes.

  •   Host: Ella Watson-Russell
  •   Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  •   Audio Technician: Ariella Broyda

Original Broadcast Date 20.05.2019


Episode 23 On The Road

In this episode, we bring you three stories features long drives - commutes, road trips and a work assignment which takes an unexpected turn. The stories included are ‘Seacoast Bridge’ by Wollongong author, Josh Mei-Ling Dubrau, the microficiton ‘Breakdown’ by another South Coast author, Susan McCreery and ‘The Last Wilkie’s’ by Sydney author, Jon Steiner. Featuring performances by Kate Fraser and Benhur Helwend.

Warning: some of these stories contain strong language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Ariella Broyda

Original Broadcast Date 06.05.2019


Episode 22 ‘Stories of War’

In this episode, we share stories about war and its aftermath – at the impact of war service on those who serve, on the community they leave behind and on the lasting impact that wars have on people both here and overseas. Stories included are ‘The Veteran’ by Paul Mitchell, ‘Iconastasis’ by Peter Lach Newinski, ‘Flat Daddy’ by Louise D’Arcy, ‘Stranger from Skierniewicza’ by Monica Goldberg, ‘Comrade Vasilli Goes To War’ by Pierz Newton-John. The stories are narrated by Alex Neal and Kate Fraser.

A warning: some of the stories in this episode do contain some strong language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Audio Technician: Ariella Broyda
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan

Original Broadcast Date 23.04.2019

Episode 21 ‘Growing Old (Dis)gracefully’

In this episode we present stories in which older members of the community indulge in some quirky and disruptive behaviour.

Includes ‘Cake Mistake’ by West Australian author, Jude Bridge. Performed by Lauren Hamilton Neill, this story takes a tongue-in-cheek look at a renegade chapter of the Country Women’s Association determined to stop the influence of American culture on the Australian way of life.  Also includes microfiction by Sydney poet, John Carey and Wollongong author, Susan McCreery and the short story ‘Sixty Photos’ by Vivienne Plumb. The final piece is ‘Shady Oaks’, Jon Steiner’s imagining of a futuristic nursing home.

Please note that some stories contain confronting language.

Original Broadcast Date 08.04.2019

Episode 20 Melbourne Migrant Stories

In this episode we bring you two stories told from the perspectives of people from non-English speaking backgrounds who call Melbourne their home. The first is ‘Traffic Island’ by the late Melbourne author Mary Manning and is written in her trademark quirky and compassionate style. It is narrated by Little Fictions’ regular, Lauren Hamilton Neill. ‘Traffic Island’ from Mary Manning’s short story collection, Damaged In Transit published by Spineless Wonders. Our second short story, ‘Some Kind of Blues’ is by A.S Patric and is narrated by Nicholas Starte. This short story appears in Patrić’s debut collection, The Rattler and other stories published by Spineless Wonders. Patrić went on to develop ‘Some Kind of Blues’ into his Miles Franklin Award-winning novel, Black Rock, White City.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell.
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio editor: Ariella Broyda.

Original Broadcast Date 25.03.2019

Episode 19 This Is Feminism

In this episode we are bringing you a special treat to celebrate women writers, performers and other creatives as part of the International Women’s Day 2019. The short story featured in this episode is by Canberra-based Felicity Volk. ‘Ite Misse Est’ or Send Them Forth, is a moving and sometimes surprising story of two Catholic nuns. It is performed by Sydney actor, Eleni Schumacher. Included in the episode is an interview by Ella Watson-Russell with the author.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Audio Technician: Ariella Broyda
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan

Original Broadcast Date 11.03.2019

Episode 18 We Heart LGBTQI

In this episode, we’ll be celebrating the 2019 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras with two stories from our Little Fictions’ show, ‘I HEART LGBTQI’ which was performed at the Knox Street Bar in Chippendale back in February, 2017. A hugely popular festival, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras aims to raise the visibility of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex communities. The two stories we are presenting for you today do just that.

In our first story, ‘Asexual Gelatinous Blobs’ by Sydney author, Harry Kolotas, the writer attempts to walk in the shoes of his gay son. It is narrated by actor, Mark Dessaix.

In ‘Danny Boy’, Melbourne author, Marian Matta tells the story of someone who feels they were born into the wrong body. It is narrated by actor, Kurt Pimblett.

A warning, some of this episode contains strong language.

Original Broadcast Date 25.02.2019

Episode 17 More Stories From The Locker Room

In this episode, we bring you the second in our series of sport-themed stories. We present four stories – ‘Artemis’ by Melbourne author, Duncan Reid in which the game of hockey takes on a mythic quality; Brisbane writer, Trina Denner’s ‘Playing Outside’ for the joggers amongst you; a microfiction by Kim Waters called ‘Over Time’ about a retired cyclist and finally, a Cliff Hardy story about a foot race written by the late crime writer, Peter Corris. Actors featured in this episode are Mark Dessaix, Eleni Schumacher and Felix Johnson.

Just a warning, this episode does contain strong language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Audio technician: Lachlan Perry
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan

Original Broadcast Date 10.02.2019


Episode 16 Stories From The Locker Room

In this episode we present two very different perspectives on the Australian sporting scene. ‘Balls and Broken Bones’ by South Australian author, Debra Mackay takes a humorous look at sport played at the community level. It is read by Sydney actor, Kate Fraser. ‘Hall of Fame’ by Melbourne film director, Matt Holcomb follows the failing fortunes of a former footie star. It is read by sport tragic and talented Little Fictions actor, Felix Johnson. Both were recorded at our live show at Knox Street Bar in Sydney and both were selected via a Little Fictions’ call out.

Just a warning, this episode does contain strong language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Audio technician: Lachlan Perry
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan

Original Broadcast Date 28.01.2019

Episode 15 - Progeny

In this episode, your host Ella Watson-Russell brings you stories of births, deaths and marriages. The stories featured in this show are published by Spineless Wonders and are narrated by actors Felix Johnson, Joel Horwood and Eleni Schumacher. The stories include Matthew Bulman’s ‘The Incredible Exploding Baby’, Jon Steiner’s ‘Rights of Man’, Melissa Beit’s ‘A Hospital Birth’, Susan McCreery’s ‘Mexican Stand-off’ and Julie Chevalier’s ‘The Youngest Lecturer’s Wife’.

  • Little Fictions is produced by Spineless Wonders’ publisher, Bronwyn Mehan.
  • The show’s theme song is ‘Attune’ written and performed by Annie Vidler.
  •  Sound design is by Lachlan Perry

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

Original Broadcast Date 14.01.2019

Episode 14 - I Hate Crime Fiction

In this Episode we hear many of the actors you would have heard over the previous 13 episodes of LIttle Fictions. This is a quirky play called "I Hate Crime FCtion" by Melbourne writer Eddie Berger, and was recorded at Haymarket Library as part of the "Late Night Library Series" 2017.

Original Broadcast Date 31.12.2018

Episode 13 Lost in Paradise

In this episode we bring you short stories set on the north coast of New South Wales. Saturday Night on Johnson St’ by Paul Kew, immersing us in the hectic nightlife of Byron Bay. It is performed by Mark Dessaix. Byron Bay writer and academic, Moya Costello’s ‘Northern Rivers: A Gothic Tale’ evokes the lush tropical environment. It is performed by Ella Watson-Russell.  ‘The Blouse’ is by poet, playwright, fiction writer, Vivienne Plumb who is of both New Zealand and Australian heritage. The story, from her collection, The Glove Box & other stories, is set in the rainforests of the Byron hinterland, and tells of a young woman who hitches a ride into a bizarre community. It is performed by Eleni Schumacher.

Warning: this episode does contain some colourful language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Audio technician: Chester Chew
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan

Original Broadcast Date 17.12.2018

Episode 12 Surreal Stories

In this episode called Surreal Stories, our host Ella Watson-Russell brings you two short stories with extraordinary, offbeat characters.

Our first story, ‘Ducks’ is a radio play based on a short story by Miles Franklin Award-winning author, A.S. Patric. The year is 1956. Melbourne is host to the Olympic Games and American literary figures Anais Nin and June Miller (both former lovers of Henry Miller) are living out their sometimes fractious old age in the quiet seaside suburb of Elwood. The play is performed by Ella, Joel Horwood and Eleni Schumacher. Our second short story is ‘Carrot on the Edge’ and it comes from comic West Australian author, Jude Bridge and is performed by Little Fictions’ regular Lauren Hamilton Neill.

  • This episode is produced by Bronwyn Mehan with sound design by Chester Chew.

Just a warning, some of this episode does contain strong language and confronting issues.

Original broadcast: 3.12.2018


Episode 11 Crime Scenes

In this episode we bring you two short stories about the impact of crime on people’s lives. ‘Croc’ is by Melbourne author Pierz Newton-John and is published in his collection, Fault Lines. Pierz worked as a psychotherapist and this story is inspired by a true story. It is read by Ella Watson-Russell and was recorded at Knox Street Bar, Chippendale. The second short story comes from Blue Mountains’ author, Mark O’Flynn. It is called ‘A Lovely Outing’ and is published in Mark’s collection White Light. Mark has worked as a prison educator for many years. His story is performed by Felix Johnson.

Warning: this episode does contain some colourful language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Audio technician: Oliver Agbisit
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan

Original Broadcast Date 19.11.2018

Episode 10 Humans of Parramatta Road


In this episode we feature stories from the inner west Sydney suburbs connected by Parramatta Road. Harriet McInerney’s microfiction, ‘Average Morning’ takes us on a bus trip down Parramatta Road. It is performed by Little Fictions’ regular, Joel Horwood. ‘Parramatta Road’ by Tess Ridgway takes us along this same stretch of road but this time at night and on a bicycle. It is performed by actor Claire Oehme. Sydney author, Jill O’Maera takes us behind one of the shopfronts along Parramatta Road in ‘Trixie Depraved Does Leichhardt’. It is performed by Eleni Schumacher. ‘Wedding Dress’ by Canberra author, Sarah St Vincent Welch is written from the point of view of a very recognisable feature of shops which line the Leichhardt stretch of Parramatta Road. It is performed by Joel Horwood. ‘In Search of the Machine’ has Sydney author, Jen Craig searching for a coffee machine in contemporary Leichhardt. Performed by Eleni Schumacher, the story vividly evokes life in Leichhardt in the 70s.

Warning: this episode does contain some colourful language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Audio technician: Oliver Agbisit
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan

Original Broadcast Date 5.11.2018


Episode 9 - Behind The Scenes

In this episode, our host, Ella Watson-Russell presents two stories which take a look behind the curtain at fiction in film, on TV as well as on stage.

'Film Study 101'; by the late Mary Manning uses well-known films to reflect on the life of a young man who works at a movie theatre in a country town.

Published in Damaged In Transit by Spineless Wonders, the story is performed by Little Fictions’ regular, Joel Horwood. The second story featured in this episode takes us into the world of TV. It is based on the life of a character from the popular show, Friends. 'Ross Geller Man' is written by Patrick Lenton and is published in his collection, A Man Made Entirely of Bats. It is performed by Lauren Hamilton Neill. This podcast version of the episode includes an extended interview with both author, Patrick Lenton and actor, Lauren Hamilton Neill.

Warning: this episode contains some colourful language.

Original Broadcast Date 22.10.2018


Episode 8 - Weird World of Animals

In this episode, Weird World of Animals, Ella Watson-Russell presents two stories which give voice to the voiceless - specifically, a budgerigar and a cow.

‘Bluey and Myrtle’ is published in the Spineless Wonders anthology The Great Unknown, a book edited by Angela Meyer who is a huge fan of the TV series the Twilight Zone. You’ll find many of the somewhat surreal elements of the Twilight Zone TV show in Mark O'Flynn's story. It is performed by Nick Radinoff. ‘A Cow Like Alice’ by Julie Chevalier also includes a talking animal. It is performed by Little Fictions’ regular Eleni Schumacher. 

This episode includes an interview with Sydney author Julie Chevalier about her story, where the idea for it came from and about her writing process.

Original Broadcast Date 8.10.2018


Episode 7 - It's A Jungle Out There

In this episode, ‘It’s A Jungle Out There’, four authors contemplate the lives of animals. What is it like living in a dog-eat-dog world? Has human habitation spelt the death of some species? And what happens when we encroach on their world? 

Join presenter, Ella Watson-Russell for 30 minutes of great listening including microfiction by Michelle Wright, Irene Wilkie and Katelin Farnsworth as well as a short story and interview with Pambula author, Kate Liston-Mills.

Original Broadcast Date 24.9.2018


Episode 6 - Literary Mashup

In this episode, Ella Watson-Russell presents audio stories which riff on the works of Shakespeare, Austen and Nabokov. You’ll hear stories by Mark O’Flynn, Michelle Cahill, Susan McCreery and Carol Ann Martin performed by Tim McGarry, Eleni Schumacher and Ella Watson-Russell.

Carol Ann Martin’s ‘Open Letter to Star-crossed lovers’ read by Ella Watson-Russell gives a new perspective on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The story was originally submitted via a Little Fictions’ call out. Susan McCreery’s microfiction ‘Well, Then’ is published in her collection, Loopholes published by Spineless Wonders. It is performed by Little Ficitons regular Eleni Schumacher. ‘Chasing Nabokov’ takes the famous Nabokov novel, Lolita and sets it in a modern-day Sydney beachside suburb. It is written by award-winning author Michelle Cahill and appears in the Spineless Wonders’ anthology, Escape. ‘Iago’ by Mark O’Flynn is an invented monologue for Shakespeare’s play ‘Othello’. It is performed by Tim McGarry.

Original Broadcast Date 10.09.2018


Episode 5 - Sydney Stories

In this episode, our host Ella Watson-Russell presents tales from Sydney’s early years as well as from the not-too-distant past. Featuring the voices of Joel Horwood, Felix Johnson , Claire Oehme and Eleni Schumacher, this episode includes stories about the Shark Arm Case, Petersham Swimming Pool and Parramatta Rd circa 1988. 

Authors featured include Karolina Ristevski, Paul Cliff, Arna Radovich, John Dale and Hilary Hewitt – all writers who submitted their work to a Little Fictions Call Out on the theme: Humans of Parramatta Road. Little Fictions On Air is brought to you by Sydney short story publisher, SPINELESS WONDERS. This episode was originally broadcast on Radio 2RPH at 3pm on Monday, 27 August, 2018. 

It is produced by Bronwyn Mehan and our sound engineer is Adrian Vecchio-Hoehne. Our theme song, ‘Attune’ is written and performed by Annie Vidler.

Original Broadcast Date 27.08.2018


Episode 4 - Life Lessons

In this episode, presenter Ella Watson-Russell presents three short stories about life’s ups and down. The first is ‘Loaded Dice’ by Blue Mts author, Mark O’Flynn and is performed by Joel Horwood. Felix Johnson reads Wollongong writer, Erica Woolgar’s ‘Directions’ and Eleni Schumacher performs ‘Chicken’ by Sydney author, Angela Argent.

Mark O’Flynn is a much published poet and fiction writer whose most recent novel was shortlisted in the 2017 Miles Franklin Award. The story ‘Loaded Dice’ and it was published in Mark’s collection, White Light and other stories by Spineless Wonders.

Angela Argent is currently writing a novel set in Prague about the spoils of freedom after 1989 revolution. In her story ‘Chicken’, a brother and sister return to the Australian country town they grew up in search of their father. The reunion takes a dramatic turn when father and son face off in their cars after a drinking session.

Erica Woolgar’s writing has been recognised overseas in The Fish International Short Story Competition, and here in Australia in the prestigious Marjorie Barnard and Josephine Ulrick Awards.

  • Sound design for this episode is by Scott Harrison.

Original Broadcast Date 13.08.2018


Episode 3 (Comedy) - Full Interview

This episode of Little Fictions On Air presented by Ella Watson-Russell features the voices of Lauren Hamilton Neill, Adam Norris and Joel Horwood. Short stories include 'Addicted' by Angie Holst, 'Kurt and the Interview' by Slade Quinn, 'Northwest Passage' by Jon Steiner and 'The Ibis and the Real Estate' by Helen Meany. As well as lots of laughs, you will also be treated to an extended interview which Ella Watson-Russell recorded with Jon Steiner and Helen Meany about not writing comedy, their writing journey and habits.

Original Broadcast Date 23.07.2018


Episode 2 - Conflict Zones

In this episode, Ella Watson-Russell presents four stories each with very different perspectives on the topic of war and violence. 

Actor Nicholas Starte performs Harry Kolotas' 'Wrath of Achilles', Tim McGarry's narration of Charles D'Anastasi's 'Broken House' includes sound design by composer Thomas Ross, Ella narrates Amanda Berry's 'We That Are Left' and Alex Williams performs 'When The Helicopters Come' by Patrick Lenton and with sound design by Kit McCutcheon. 

Included in this episode is an interview with Patrick Lenton on the origin of his story from his collection, A Man Made Entirely of Bats and excerpts from a Q&A with Amanda Berry. 'Broken House' is published in Out of Place, prose poem and micro-fiction anthology, Spineless Wonders (2015) . 

'We That Are Left' is published in Landmarks, prose poem and micro-fiction anthology, Spineless Wonders (2017). 'When The Helicopters Come' is published in A Man Made Entirely of Bats by Patrick Lenton, Spineless Wonders (2015). 

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Sound Engineer: Kit McCutcheon
  • Theme music: Annie Vidler

Original Broadcast Date 16.07.2018

Episode 1 - Dire Straits

In this episode, called Dire Straits, Ella Watson-Russell presents three stories in which characters are faced with very contemporary moral dilemmas. 

These stories were all recorded live. The stories are 'Hardware' written by Susan McCreery and narrated by Emma Diaz, 'Open For Inspection' by Jon Steiner and read by Joel Horwood and 'Something From The Old School' by Helen Richardson and read by our host, Ella Watson-Russell. 

And just a warning – some of these works do contain some strong language.

Original Broadcast Date 2.07.2018

Presenting... Little Fictions On Air

The logo of Little Fictions

Little Fictions On Air is a 30-minute program broadcast on 2RPH every Monday fortnight at 3pm. 

The show’s host, Kate Liston-Mills presents the best-ofs from the live show, Little Fictions, recorded at Knox Street Bar and other live performances such as the City of Sydney’s Late Night Library series. Many of the stories featured on the show are given new life off-the-page with evocative sound design.

The show is packed with interviews with actors, authors and behind-the-scenes chats with Little Fictions’ curators and producers.

Little Fictions Presenter: Kate Liston-Mills

A profile shot of Little Fictions presenter Kate Liston-Mills

Kate Liston-Mills is an author who lives and writes in the far south coast of New South Wales town of Pambula. She is a former journalist, librarian and she is currently working as a creative writing tutor. Her debut short fiction collection, The Waterfowl Are Drunk! is a story cycle set in her hometown and is published by Spineless Wonders. Stories from Kate’s collection have been performed at Little Fictions events and featured in previous episodes of Little Fictions On Air. program. You can find an interview with Kate in the Little Fictions’ episode, ‘It’s A Jungle Out There’ which was recorded in 2019 by Ella Watson-Russell. http://katelistonmills.com/

The Little Fictions Team

A profile photo of Little Fictions producer Bronwyn Mehan and former host Ella Watson-Russell.

Little Fictions producer Bronwyn Mehan and former presenter and host Ella Watson-Russell.