Little Fictions

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

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

Original Broadcast Date 19.11.2018

Episode 10 Parramatta Road

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, actor Ella Watson-Russell 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: Ella Watson-Russell

A profile shot of Little Fictions presenter Ella Watson Russell

Ella Watson-Russell is an actor, theatre maker and drama tutor who has worked across Australia. She trained at the Victorian College of the Arts, graduating in 2005 with a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts in Acting. Her performance credits include work for Queensland Theatre Company, Teatre Satu, Darwin Theatre Company, JUTE, Melbourne Fringe Festival, La Mama, Darwin Festival, ArtBackNT, Optic Nerve Performance Group, as well as work in film, TV, voice overs and the corporate sector. She brings her experience and performance skills to the presentation of Little Fictions On Air.

The Little Fictions Team

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

Little Fictions host Ella Watson-Russell and producer Bronwyn Mehan

A profile image of Little Fictions host Ella Watson-Russell performing at a 2RPH event.

Little Fictions host Ella Watson-Russell performing at a 2RPH event