Tag Archives: JM Donellan

Eighty Nine now available for pre-order

The Eighty Nine anthology is now available for pre-order within Australia. This compilation features my contribution The Story Bridge, guaranteed to be the most hilarious sci fi story you'll read about attempted suicide all year. It is highly recommended that you purchase between 5 and 500 copies at your earliest convenience.



1989: a cusp between decades.

The year the Berlin Wall came down and Voyager went up. Ted Bundy and Emperor Hirohito died. The birth of the first Bush administration and computer virus.

In San Francisco and Newcastle the ground shook, in Chernobyl it melted. Tiananmen Square rocked the world and Tank Man imprinted on the international consciousness. Communism and Thatcherism began their decline, Islamic fundamentalism its rise.

It was the year Batman burst onto the big screen, we went back to the future (again) Indiana Jones made it a trifecta at the box office and Michael Damian told us to rock on.

Based on a play list of 26 songs released in 1989, Eighty Nine re-imagines the social, political, cultural and personal experiences at the end of the decade which gave the world mullets, crimped hair, neon-coloured clothing, acid-wash denim, keytars, the walkman, Live Aid, the first compact disc and MTV.


Eighty-Nine teaser trailer


Did you know books have trailers now? Yep, it's the 21st century. Although…um…this one is all about 1989. But set in the future, if that makes sense. Hey it's speculative fiction, we can do whatever the hell we want! This is a teaser trailer, full one coming soon.

 Eighty-nine features my contribution The Story Bridge guaranteed to be the most hilarious story you'll read about attempted suicide all year.


Letter to the Editors (the UK band)


Dear the Editors,


How are you? I am very well, thanks for asking and for also realising I was not just a spambot. Sometimes people think that and it's quite awkward, especially when it's at a cocktail party rather than an internet forum.

Anyway, let's cut straight to the not boring bit shall we? I recently completed the draft of my new novel Adonis Comma Coma. Yes, I know it is a weird title. I have a thing for weird titles okay? And no it's not going to feature the words 'a novel' written in slightly smaller print underneath the actual title. Why do novels always do that these days? If you've picked up a book in the fiction section of the bookshop entitled 'the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay' and you think it's some kind of factual guide to thermonuclear dynamics then you really obviously aren't smart enough to read a book in any case. Some day I'm going to write my life story and call it: 'A Novel' with the words (an autobiography) written in smaller letters underneath. Take THAT society!


The point is that now the draft is completed I need someone to edit it for me, so I punched 'editors' into google and your website was the first that came up, which I assume means that you are the best Editors on the internet.


  Picture 1
This is a picture to prove I am not lying. I don't often use these, because I am usually lying.

So what's the book about you ask? It's about 100 000 words. Some of these words include: 'and', 'of', 'Marilyn Monroe, 'synesthesia' 'the' 'murder' 'kandinsky' 'kaleidoscopic', 'grandiloquent' and 'cheese'. I'm not sure what your fee structure is but my present budget allows for either $15.79 in cash OR three hundred and eighty six pairs of size 9 converse all star plaid coloured shoes that I definitely did NOT obtain illegally. Alternatively you can invoice me.


This is where I file my invoices. (And bad story ideas).

Now I understand that editing a book takes quite some time, and you probably have touring and recording and being photographed in black and white looking dour duties to attend to. So just to make the process a little smoother, I'm willing to fill in for whichever one of you decides to take on the task of editing this book. Just for the record, I can play bass very well, guitar oh well, drums well, well, well… and sing Timmy fell down the well.


Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Since Clearly,

JM Donellan




You may have heard of vampires. These lovable sun-loathing scamps have populated the pages of novels ever since the early something-forties. I used to be quite found of vampire stories, the intrigue of immortality and all that gaff, but I am now, unequivocally, irrevocably, MOTHERFUCKING SICK of vampire stories and every jerk who is jumping on that already overloaded bandwagon.

My reaction to this phenomenon is so intense I've actually developed a medical condition so rare that my doctor insists it doesn't even actually exist. It forces me to violently convulse every time someone mentions Twilight or the Vampire Diaries. Strangely, this convulsion always localises in the area of my fist and seems to inevitably collide with the speaker's face.

I've decided to do something about this by encouraging people to write stories about anything at all besides vampires with the INAUGURAL JM DONELLAN AWARD FOR A SHORT STORY ABOUT ANYTHING EXCEPT VAMPIRES.


Those of you have submitted to short story comps/publishers in the past will now that their guidelines are typically more rigid and inflexible than the 'must be straight and anglo-saxon' component of the Klu Klux Klan membership requirements.


This competition is different. I WANT your cover letter to be ridiculous. Include pictures, photos, nick nacks, whatever the goddam hell you feel like. Just be original and don't write about vampires.

Word limit is 5 000 words. Preferably these words should be arranged into sentences with appropriate punctuation and paragraphing. Eg:

Green elephant

is unacceptable.


is perfect, if a little strange.

Competition opens June 28th at 10.39am and closes September 22 at 12.59pm.
Send your entries to jmdonellan[at]gmail.com

1st Prize



$20.15, the current contents of my wallet. You also get a signed copy of my novel, A Beginner's Guide to Dying in India. Hot diggity damn!
2nd Prize

You get a signed copy of my novel, A Beginner's Guide to Dying in India. Sweet captain cupcakes on toasted rye!

Everyone else your prize is the fact that you have managed to write a story that is not about vampires. Be proud.


1 Q: My story is about vampires, is it eligible?
A: Please send me your full name and address so that I can promptly dispatch a team of ninjas to have you killed.

2 Q: Geez Louise man, what's yer freaking beef with the nosferatu?

A: see above

3 Q: Is this just an elaborate ploy to harvest other people's ideas for the purpose of possible future plagarism?

A: Not according to my very expensive lawyer, no.

4 Q: My story is about a gay penguin on the quest to discover his true calling as an internationally acclaimed hula hooper with the guidance of a breakdancing shaman with a dark and troubled past. Am I going to win?

A: Ask again here.

5 Q:Is this a joke?

A: No, the Twilight series, that was a joke. This is a legitimate competition with way awesome and furthermore radical prizes, bro.

6 Q: Have you ever written a story about someone with a pathological fear of Phil Collins?

A: Why yes, now that you mention it. You can read it here:

Download Fearing Phil Collins by JM Donellan


Dear Arts council of QLD, I regret to inform you that your rejection of my grant application has not been successful and you will need to provide the requested $5 000 post haste. I hope that your future rejection attempts are more successful. If you would like further advice on how to reject grant applications and ruin people's dreams, call the number below.


JM Donellan.