SLQ YWA—Every Idea I Had For My Australian Literature Collection


This weekend I won the State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award. This is the first fiction, amid the work I've been doing with House Conspiracy, that I've managed to put out in 2017, and I'm excited by the context of it all:

What follows is an excerpt from the speech I gave:

Hey, thanks so much.

So: around this time last year, I was in the middle of working on the highly-innovative and absolutely-never-seeing-the-light-of-day manuscript called The Seminal Australian Joke Book, which was called that mostly so I could tell people I was writing The Seminal Australian Joke Book. It was a different time, and I was younger, so irony felt like something more than just a mask for creative insecurity—though I have since learned that this is not the case.

Anyway, during the same time period that I worked away at the ill-fated Joke Book, I was also active on Twitter—another bad idea—which is where I discovered this crazy account called Magic Realism Bot.

What Magic Realism Bot does is use an algorithm to create tweet-length stories. These stories include:



I thought this was a pretty good idea, and so I started writing excerpts in a similar vein, except instead of in the Magic Realist tradition, I decided to write the synopses of stories Tim Winton wishes he wrote.

Now, here’s an excerpt from the story called:

Every Idea I Had For My Australian Literature Short Story Collection.

Jonathan O'Brien