Backseat Highway

In Virileville, the most important event of any girl’s existence is her graduation. On this day her fate is decided. If she is perfectly suited for the career designated to her, she lives. If not, she is disposed of immediately. One imperfect, unnamed girl awaits her demise. However, hours before the ritual, she is kidnapped by a...

How to Avoid a Rip

'How to Avoid a Rip' is a YA novel that deals with issues of domestic violence between a sixteen-year-old girl Kat and her surfer boyfriend, Carter. The novel is set in a picturesque beachside suburb on the NSW Central Coast. Kat’s popular best friend is missing after a wild party at the local surf club and her body is later found in...

Rosie

Rosie is a fourteen-year-old who lives with her father Leo and seven-year-old brother Oliver on a farm in NSW. When she was seven her mother Kali disappeared from Rosie’s life. Rosie understands over the years that she has a deeper magical understanding of mother earth and that may be why her mum disappeared—they share the same magic....

Introduction

This is the introduction to Faber Writing Academy's Writing a Novel Anthology 2017. "Borges once said, ‘A writer should always be judged by his or her best pages.’ We commend to you the best pages of the 2017 Faber Academy students. We hope you will find as much enjoyment and delight in reading their stories as we have."

Love in the Poppy Field

Lena is an Australian artist living in London. A phone call from a familiar village voice sends her on an unexpected trip to the ‘old country’ in the Balkans. Len-ka, your father is dying, baba Stojka said. Relieved to get away from her London life after a relationship breakup, yet caught unawares by her father’s moribund condition,...

Song of the Islands

At the age of thirty-one, Esther ‘Tibby’ Downward had resigned herself to a life of spinsterhood. The year was 1933 and Australia was in the grips of the Great Depression, but family affluence allowed her one last adventure before accepting a mundane life as her brother’s housekeeper. She wasn’t to know how a 32-day boat trip to the...

Moonlight Head

Dr Robert Bryant escapes his disreputable family in Oxfordshire to create a respectable existence in Victoria in the 1860s, but chafes at its limitations. He wants to cement his respectability in the upper echelons of Melbourne society. Bryant seizes an opportunity when charged with a deathbed duty of honour by George, his shipwrecked...

Shifting Sands

Unaware that she possesses the gift to move souls between Life and Death, horse gypsy Myawynn desires nothing more than to train and trade her family’s horses. When an ancient sect attacks her family and friends Myawynn escapes and seeks help from a neighbouring kingdom. Crown Prince Wynter accepts his father’s mysterious decision to...

The DNA Test

When DNA tests reveal Sydney banker Cec Raymond’s Indigenous heritage, he uncovers a family secret. Eager to find more about his Wiradjuri ancestors, Cec’s search for the truth takes him on a road into an Australia he didn’t know. What Cec finds challenges everything he understood about himself but leads him on a powerful journey of...

Black Feathered Creatures

Alex Flett, twenty-four, encounters tech billionaire Finn Sigurdsson at a high-powered business meeting. He’s hiding a dangerous secret that people would kill for. The gift of immortality. Alex has a secret too. Disturbing unnatural powers, which she’s struggling to control and starting to wonder whether they are real or imagined....

Bright Echoes

It’s 1992. Advertising executive and screenwriter Cynthia Smart is in Los Angeles to pitch her film. Instead, she finds herself caught up in dusk-to-dawn curfews and riots. L.A. is burning. She’s already miserable enough and sets out to drown her sorrows. It’s only when her best friend Connie’s wilful sixteen-year-old daughter—her...

Fine Tuning

Kat Green’s juggling a design business, the loss of her husband’s job and her son Axel’s senior year. Kat sees her son’s future at university, Axel sees it at the School of Rock. As Axel’s bands gains airplay, his grades plummet. Kat’s failing business brings the family to the brink of financial ruin. In Kat’s own senior year, 1980,...

Passing

Six months before her son’s bar mitzvah, Chika Frank discovers she is not Jewish. Letters she unearths, from a stranger to her elderly mother, cast doubt on everything she thought she knew about herself. The fallout shatters Chika’s marriage, causing her sixteen-year-old daughter to flee. When the letter writer’s daughter appears on...

Trinketing

Melbourne. 1897. Chester Blake is an orphaned newsboy who has been sleeping rough since leaving the madhouse where he lived with his mute mother. He is offered a home by a psychiatrist who believes Chester could read his mother’s mind. He wants Chester to do the same with his mute wife, Eleanor. Yet, once inside the psychiatrist’s...

Outskirts of Infinity

One sunny Sunday morning, Thomas Nash receives tragic news. The therapist he has been seeing for five years has suddenly and unexpectedly died. Over the next few days, Tom realises that he knows nothing about the man who knew everything about him. Obsessed with understanding his grief and loss, he hides his true identity and insinuates...

Ball Tearer

Eden Spencer is a hardworking newspaper journalist battling the frustrations of a cut-throat newsroom. Unexpectedly thrust into the editor’s job, she attempts to transform the newspaper’s blokey culture, but a male colleague, furious at being overlooked for the top job, thwarts her every move. Chaos reigns as reporters mutiny, and the...

Community Service

After relocating to a rural backwater for her husband’s new job, Francine finds it difficult to make connections in the town. That is, until her husband is incapacitated in an accident. Suddenly the townsfolk are offering assistance but with one proviso. She must supervise their delinquent, dangerous children. Francine has no idea what...

The Lonely City

Australia has been emptied of people by a devastating fever. Slowly the cities are being eaten by the bush. Dario, a youth from a surviving community to Sydney’s north, tracks the fugitive Max into the empty city. Amidst these collapsing ruins he finds a desperate family whose daughter, Abigail, has disappeared, they believe kidnapped...

The House Sitter

Horsewoman Julie Larcombe returns to her family in Australia to recuperate after an accident. Her partner was to follow - he doesn’t - leaving Julie confused and bereft. When Julie is asked to housesit an exceptional house and horse property her family descend to enjoy the gym, spa, media room and wine cellar. Julie is asked to...

Dark Seeds

Crystal lives with her drug-dealer boyfriend, Rhys, in an isolated shack, south of Perth. After Crystal invests all her money in their large dope crop in the bush, she discovers Rhys’s dark past. Paranoia and violence escalate until she finds there’s a lot more at stake than just her savings. When local police officer Nick takes an...

Traveller

Counsellor Percy Young lives in Second City in the autocratic State of Union, where ruthless laws confine him to his apartment. Watchtowers and the Listeners survey and archive all citizens; even Percy must authorise this for his clients. Due to increasing paranoia and anxiety, Percy’s work performance and mental health decline. An...

Glorious

Up in the outstretched skies exits a virgin planet beyond depiction. A promise land that will belong to every citizen who will bear the name Vail. Before all humanity is separated into two distinct classes, a third zone must be given a chance to prove where they belong. At MacMillian, Gloria is to aid the World Order in understanding...

The Shadow Sword

Stella’s sport is fencing, and like maybe-boyfriend Daniel, she trains at St Augustine’s, the school on a finger of land between two rivers that flow into the harbour. Boundaries are blurred here, and ghosts slip the bonds of earth. Stella can see them. But when Rafe Manning and his enemy, Will Jacklin, from the colony’s early days,...

The Nancys

Two weeks to solve a murder in a small town style forgot. When Tippy Chan’s school teacher is murdered, she teams up with her babysitters, Uncle Pike, a Sydney-based party boy, and his younger designer boyfriend Devon, to form ‘The Nancys’, a secret amateur detective club. What starts as a bonding and sightseeing opportunity quickly...

Digging Up the Lawn

Miles is a compliant man. ‘Go along, to get along’ is his motto. With his wife, kids and work. He botches the perfect affair and his Byron Bay fantasy falls flat. His wife compulsively digs up the front lawn. His children are troubled by the meaning of his existence. His professional life has been reduced to designing high concept...

Song of Solace

Its 1921 and two boys are growing up in opposite parts of Australia. One ends up repairing steam trains in Eveleigh Railway workshops, a dangerous and soul-destroying place, where personal hatreds flourish in a culture of rough justice and paybacks. Reggie O’Rourke believes through a fluke of inspired logic he can escape the dirt and...

Why the Kookaburra Laughs

Samantha ‘Sam’ Hawkins, as a 12 year old girl, did not want to grow up. Reflecting on the Summer of ’79, in fictional mid NSW town Worribin, Sam was forced to deal with the inevitable changes in herself; in her friendship with her best friend Jono and in her relationships at home with an increasingly violent PTS Vietnam Vet father. ...

Calamity

Icarus Jones never left home. Still living in his parents’ rundown flat in London, Icarus is 44, a paper hoarder, hypochondriac and incompetent museum caretaker. Then big sister Maggie, now a famous author, shows up unannounced a year after their father’s death and Icarus's life will never be the same.

Hurry Back Thelma

In the self-indulgent world of Sydney 1984, Cully is swept up in her advertising career and the arms of an appropriately exciting man. But when she loses everything, she finds herself accepting a surprise bequest, despite the strings attached. She must move to the bush and research her family history. And she has just one year to write...

Fallen Women

Caro, a disillusioned corporate lawyer, and her daughter, are relocating from Brisbane to Sydney. They arrive at a pleasant seaside town in northern NSW, and Caro realises that being happy is more important than her career. She finds herself a job as a cook, working for Rose, the publican. Rose’s connections within the town include the...

Sweetheart

Gail is boring and prudish her husband says, and well . . . she just doesn’t turn him on. What else is there to do but prove him wrong? Anna loses a baby at nineteen weeks’ gestation, the sixth in a line of pregnancy failures. Surely the Universe is punishing her, and it must be her mother’s fault. Carole agrees to share the stories...

The Portrait of Molly Dean

Inspired by the true story of a sensational murder. In 1930s Melbourne, an artist’s muse is brutally slain. Nearly 70 years later, art dealer Alex Clayton stumbles across a lost portrait of the murdered girl, Molly Dean. She buys the painting and sets out to uncover the details of the unsolved crime with the help of art conservator...

Akademy Ten Breathless

Every day for breakfast, 15-year-old Lena Kelly loves to overshare her most humiliating experiences on YouTube. And now, at Akademy Ten, success is judged by her numbers of likes, shares and follows. Lena worries she will sink without trace as she struggles to navigate the seductive wilds of fame, creativity and the power of the online...

Crescent Bay

Crescent Bay is about a group of women living in a south coast town. Anne first came to Crescent Bay to protest a nuclear reactor but since the tragic and mysterious end to that campaign she has lived a half life on the edge of town, until a chance encounter forces her back into the world. Efficient Joyce is grieving the death of her...

Vuvale

Joe left his village as a teenager for Sydney, supporting his extended Fijian family at home as soon as he was able. His Australian wife, Anna, is about to have their first baby. They have a tiny house, which they share with two of his young nephews. When, Anna, goes into pre-term labour and one of the nephews is accused of a violent...

The Antidote

When eighteen-year-old Mia survives a mass shooting at her high school she is left traumatised and confused. The shooter is her best friend. She attends college where she is the only witness to the murder of a man, who unknown to her, is working for a secret organisation to produce a genetically modified virus. As he dies he transfers...

Unresolved Targets

Detective John Marchant is initially left cold by the slaying of an addiction counsellor. The killer has been found dead at the scene, having careened himself out of the seventh-storey window of the clinic, and the NSW police are prepared to chalk their deaths up to another ghastly reminder of the lethal repercussions of meth...

The House on the Painting

Clara Winters isn’t coping well with her life but presents as if she is; just like one of the exquisite hats she makes in her Fitzroy studio. She discovers her mother left a clue in a valuable painting at the Winters’ homestead on the outskirts of Ballarat. The clue leads to secrets in her mother’s past. Secrets that have held her...

The Very Important Person

Nina thought she had her life sorted—husband, kids, nice house. But now it’s all falling apart. When she agrees to be consoled at her friend Virginia’s super-fancy wellness retreat, Nina expects a week of sleep, noisy tears and gal pal bonding. She doesn’t expect that one of her favourite guests will disappear and that she’ll be drawn...

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No Way! Okay, Fine.

A memoir about pop culture, pop music, feminism and feelings. ‘Brodie is whip smart; merging pop-culture references with vulnerable, personal experiences to create a collection that reads like a hilarious catch-up call with an old friend.’ - Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson Published by Hachette Australia.