by Nicole Murphy 

There’s something really cool happening on the CSFG mailing list at the moment – writing. And talking about writing. And critiquing and revising and more writing.

And it’s all Conflux’s fault, so I’m pretty proud of that.

Not that there isn’t any talk about writing on the CSFG mailing list, but the focus has tended to be on the face-to-face meetings – the monthly meeting, the two critique groups, the novel writing group – and we’ve not always done a lot of talking about writing on the mailing list. Which is sad, cause there’s a LOT of people who love the CSFG who aren’t paid members, don’t come to the meetings and their involvement in the CSFG is through the list.

We’ve tried in the past to get some writing prompts up, and from time to time they’ve worked, but what’s happened this week has been an absolute EXPLOSION of stories.

I’m not sure if it’s because this time there’s the promise of probable publication and readership at the end, or whether it was the GREAT food that Conflux provided at the last CSFG meeting that inspired everyone…

So what’s going on? Well at Worldcon in 2010, the CSFG got a few people to knock up micro-stories. The aim was to print them on postcards, but we didn’t get that organised. Instead, we printed them on A5 pieces of paper and gave them out to people.

They were a hit, enticing a lot of people over to the CSFG table. So last year at Conflux 7 we gave them out again, this time with advertising for Winds of Change on them. Again, a hit.

Jane Virgo, chair of Conflux 8, decided she wanted stories in this year’s conbag as well. We put it to the membership and they decided they wanted to create new stories, rather than use the old ones again.

So I put up a prompt on Monday – The End – and told everyone they had 100-150 words to write a story.

At last count, we had approximately twenty stories being read and enjoyed on the loop. Some have been given critiques and revised. And here was me worried that I’d be hard presed to get a dozen for Conflux 8. Now I’ll be hard pressed to decide which ones, especially because we decided on three prompts and this was just the first.

There’s also been discussions on the difficulties of a micro-story; what is speculative fiction; what is horror; and we’ve had important information dessiminated about how to clean goblin blood off your haulberk…

Want to read the stories? Well, there’s two ways. One is to join the CSFG Yahoo! group at The other is to come to Conflux 8.

If you are coming to Conflux 8, here’s an opportunity for you – collect all twelve stories in the Conflux 8 CSFG micro-story collection, bring them to the CSFG table in the dealers room and you’ll score a prize. The stories will be numbered, so you’ll know where you’re up to. They’ll be in the con bag, at locations around the convention. Beg and borrow from others if you need to fulfil your collection.


Conflux 8 will be held September 29-30 at Novotel Canberra. Full membership is $140, day membership $90 Saturday (includes three course lunch), $55 Sunday. There’s also writing workshops on the Friday and a space tour on the Monday (need to pre-book for those). For more information go to

Hope to see you there!