Slightly Peculiar Love Stories authors

Alex Epstein

Alex Epstein was born in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in 1971 and moved to Israel when he was eight years old. He is the author of four collections of short stories and three novels; his work has been translated into English, French, Spanish, Russian, Greek, Dutch, Croatian, and Italian. In 2003 he was awarded Israel’s Prime Minister’s Prize for Literature. In 2007 he participated in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. In 2010 he was writer in residence at the University of Denver. He lives in Tel Aviv.

Blue Has No South and Lunar Savings Time, his recent collections of short-short stories, are available in English, from Clockroot Books.

Angelo R. Lacuesta

Angelo R. Lacuesta has received numerous national awards for his fiction. He has also received two National Book Awards from the Manila Critics Circle and has been finalist for a third. He is among the most widely anthologized Filipino writers of his generation. Among numerous literary grants and fellowships he has received, his most recent has been a fellowship at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. He was literary editor at the Philippines Free Press for four years and has been a guest editor, editor-at-large and contributing writer for several magazines and online publications.

Brenda Sue Cowley

Brenda Sue Cowley has lived and worked in Salt Lake City, Utah, since 1991. Originally from Portland, Oregon, she has spent her Utah years working professionally as an actor, a freelance writer, and is currently operating a small business in the Upper Avenues of the Salt Lake Valley. Her musical, Shear Luck (book and lyrics by Brenda, score by Kevin Mathie) received its World Premier at the Grand Theatre in Salt Lake City in the spring of 2006. Brenda holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Northwest Nazarene University.

Bryan Walpert

Bryan Walpert is the author of the short story collection Ephraim’s Eyes (Pewter Rose Press), which was named a Best Book of 2010 and from which ‘Earth One, Earth Two’ is taken. He is also the author of the poetry collections Etymology (Cinnamon Press) and A History of Glass (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, forthcoming 2011) as well as the monograph ‘Resistance to Science in Contemporary American Poetry (Routledge, forthcoming 2011). A winner of the James Wright Poetry Award from the Mid-American Review, the NZ Poetry Society International Poetry Competition, and the Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Award for Creative Science Writing (Fiction), Bryan teaches creative writing in the School of English & Media Studies at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Coral Atkinson

Coral Atkinson was born in Dublin, Ireland. She has worked as a secondary school teacher, an educational journalist and in book publishing. She is a part-time tutor on the Whitireia Polytechnic Diploma in Publishing course and a mentor for the Hagley Writers’ Institute.

Coral has had fiction published in New Zealand, Ireland and England and won and been short-listed for a number of short story competitions. In 2005 her first historical novel, The Love Apple, appeared and was followed in 2006 by The Paua Tower (both Random House NZ). Her picture book, Magic Eyes: I Spy New Zealand History, was published by Reed in 2006, and her junior historical novel, Copper Top, by Dancing Tuatara in 2009.

Coral co-authored (with Paula Wagemaker) Recycled People: Forming New Relationships in Mid-Life (Shoal Bay Press, 2000) and has published various non-fiction articles, essays, and educational texts. Her anthology, Land Very Fertile: Banks Peninsula in Poetry and Prose, co-edited with David Gregory, appeared in 2008 with Canterbury University Press.

See also Coral’s NZ Book Council profile.

Christos Chrissopoulos

Christos Chrissopoulos (Athens, 1968) is a novelist, essayist and translator. He has authored five novels, most recently The London Day Of Laura Jackson (Athens Academy Prize 2008), two volumes of essays and one collection of short stories. Since 1999, he has collaborated with the visual artist Diane Neumaier on several art projects. Christos has been featured in many anthologies of contemporary Greek fiction and writes regularly on literary theory. His work appears in five languages. He has won a number of grants and has been invited to writers’ centres in Europe and America. He was an Iowa Fellow in 2007. He is the founder and director of the Dasein International Literary Festival in Athens.

Claire Beynon

Claire Beynon is a full time artist, writer and independent researcher based in Dunedin, New Zealand. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally and won awards for both her visual art and her poetry and short stories. She recently discovered filmmaking; her first short film ‘Hidden Depths – Poetry for Science’ was selected for screening at the PolarCINEMA event in Oslo last year. Since then she has made a handful of short experimental arts films.

Increasingly drawn to global networking and interdisciplinary exchange, Claire has established valued partnerships with scientists, peace activists, filmmakers, musicians and fellow artists and writers around the globe. Her home is a gathering place for creative collaboration and exchange.

Antarctica has had her under its spell since her first encounter with the continent in 2005. A second visit in 2008 reinforced an abiding connection to that place.

Simple pleasures include daily walks along the harbour front and feeding the native birds that come to her garden.

Claire also blogs at Icelines.

Craig Cliff

Craig Cliff’s first collection of short stories, A Man Melting, won Best First Book for the South East Asia and Pacific region in the 2011 Commonwealth Writers Prize. The NZ Herald has described Craig as ‘an electrifying new voice on the New Zealand writing scene’, and he was he was named the ‘hot writer’ for 2011 by the Sunday Star Times — something his friends still tease him about. He lives in Wellington and writes a column for The Dominion Post.

See also Cliff’s blog, This Fluid Thrill, his Facebook or his Twitter page.

Elena Bossi

Elena Bossi of  Buenos Aires is a playwright, fiction writer, essayist, editor and lecturer who has authored several volumes of literary criticism, including Leer Poesía, Leer la Muerte (Reading Poetry, Reading Death), and a collection of essays, Los Otros (The Others) published by Universidad Nacional del Litoral in 2010. Her book, Seres Mágicos que habitan en la Argentina (Magical Beings of Argentina) was published in 2007, and a collection of poetry, Jirones (Rags) in 1990. A PhD, she researches and teaches the theory of literary criticism and a course in contemporary Argentinean narrative. She was chosen to attend the Iowa International Writing Programme in 2007.

Her novella Otro Lugar (Somewhere Else) was published in 2008, and her play En los brazos de Alfredo Alcón (In the Arms of Robert Redford) was selected to represent her province in the National Theatre Festival in Buenos Aires in 2009.

Janis Freegard

Janis Freegard was born in South Shields in the UK and grew up in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.  She won the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award in 2001, with her short story, ‘Mill’, which was published in the Listener and first broadcast on Radio NZ National that year. She is the author of the poetry collection, Kingdom Animalia: the Escapades of Linnaeus (Auckland University Press, 2011) and a chapbook, The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider (Anomalous Press, 2013). A further poetry collection, The Glass Rooster, will be published by Auckland University Press in May 2015 and her first novel, The Year of Falling, will be published by Mākaro Press in May 2015. Janis lives in Wellington.

Lawrence Pun

Lawrence Pun is a fiction writer and cultural critic based in Hong Kong. He has authored four fiction works, namely, Fort, Da (2010), The Lost Land (2005), The Book of Sickness and Forgetting (2001), The Wounded City (1998), and a number of non-fiction works on urban cultures and films, such as New YorkOn the Road (2009), Citiology2 (2007), Citiology (2005), The Panorama of Wong Kar-wai (2004) and others.

Among his awards are the Hong Kong Youth Literary Award, a Chinese Literature Creative Award, and the 7th Hong Kong Chinese Literary Biennial Award. In 2007, he was awarded ‘Distinguished Youth Artist Award (Literary Arts)’ by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. He attended the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 2007, and spent a year in New York during 2007-8, supported by the Asian Cultural Council.

In recent years, his works have gained a wider audience in Mainland China, and some have been translated into English, such as The Lost Land (US: Heroes & Criminals Press, 2009).

For those who know Chinese, you may also visit Lawrence’s website.

‘What Exactly Did I Lose?’ was first published in Hong Kong Literary Monthly in 1997 March No. 143 and later collected in Teaching Kit for Hong Kong Literature CD Rom (Hong Kong: Hong Kong Institute of Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2005), Tale of Three Cities Series — Hong Kong Volume(Shanghai: Shanghai Wenyi, 2001) and Anthology of Hong Kong Fictions 1996–1997 (Hong Kong: Joint Publishing, 2000).

Latika Vasil

Latika Vasil writes short fiction and non-fiction.  Her short stories have been published in anthologies and journals including Hue and CryLandfallThe International Literary Quarterly and Takahe, and broadcast on Radio New Zealand National. Her first collection of short stories, Rising to the Surface, was published in 2013 by Steele Roberts Publishers.  Her stories have won prizes in the NZSA Asian Short Story Competition and the Takahe International Short Story Competition.  She is also the co-author of Asperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and Identity: Looking Beyond the Label, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in 2004.  Latika lives in Wellington where she works as a research writer. You can read more about Latika here.

Linda Niccol

Short stories from Linda’s collections The Geometry of Desire(2005) and The Temperature of Water (2008) have been well reviewed and anthologized. She won the 2006 Kaos Films British Short Screenplay Competition with ‘The Handkerchief’. She co-wrote New Zealand’s 2007 box office smash ‘Second-Hand Wedding’. She has directed three short films:‘ The Poets’ (2008), ‘The Making of Dead Girl’ (2009; MovieFest category winner), and ‘Collision’ (2010). Her script ‘Looking for Lila Ray’ reached the top 25 of the 2010 Kaos Films British Feature Film Screenplay Competition. Linda lives in Raumati with her husband, daughter, and dog. She is currently employed as Marketing and Communications Manager for City Gallery Wellington.

Lyndal Adleigh

Lyndal Adleigh is the bogus name of another writer represented in this collection. The editor could not choose between that writer’s stories so decided to publish both, summoning Lyndal to take authorship, so that the finger of favouritism could not readily be pointed. Lyndal does not yet blog, FB or Twitter.

Maxine Alterio

Maxine Alterio is a short story writer and novelist. She lives in Dunedin. Her first fiction collection, Live News and Other Stories, was published in 2005 by Steele Roberts (NZ). A number of her stories have won, or been placed in, national and international competitions. Several have been broadcast on radio. Others have appeared in anthologies such as Penguin 25 New Fiction (Penguin Books, NZ, 1998); Home: New Short Stories by New Zealand Writers (Random House, NZ, 2005); Best New Zealand Fiction Volume 3 (Random House, NZ, 2006); and Myth of the 21st Century (Reed, NZ, 2006). Maxine’s best-selling first novel, Ribbons of Grace, was published by Penguin Books (NZ) in 2007. She is also co-author of Learning through Storytelling in Higher Education (RoutledgeFalmer, UK and USA). Maxine is currently enrolled in a PhD in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington, where she is working on her second novel, Lives We Leave Behind, and a thesis based on the memoirs of First World War nurses. See also: RoutledgeFalmer (UK & USA) and New Zealand Book Council.

Salman Masalha

Salman Masalha was born in 1953 in al-Maghar, an Arab town in the Galilee, and has lived in Jerusalem since 1972. He studied at the Hebrew University and holds a Ph.D. degree in classical Arabic literature, for which he wrote a thesis on mythological aspects of classical Arabic poetry. He taught Arabic language and literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and served as co-editor of the Concordance of Early Arabic Poetry.

He writes in both Arabic and Hebrew and publishes translations into both languages. He has published seven volumes of poetry; his articles, columns, poems and translations have appeared in newspapers, journals and anthologies in both Arabic and Hebrew as well as in various other languages. Some of his Arabic and Hebrew poems have been performed to music and recorded by leading Israeli and Palestinian musicians. For his book Ehad Mikan (IN Place), he was awarded the President’s Prize for Hebrew poetry. ‘All Clear’ was published in Hebrew in Maariv, May 7, 2008.

Sue Wootton

Sue Wootton’s fiction and poetry has been widely published. As well as The Happiest Music on Earth, she has also written three collections of poetry (Hourglass, Magnetic South and By Birdlight), and a children’s book called Cloudcatcher. Her most recent publication is Out of Shape, a letterpress portfolio of poems which was hand set and printed by Canberra letterpress artist Caren Florance. Her screenplay Bleat was produced as a short film by Short Film Otago in 2014. She was placed second in the 2013 International Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine, and has won several other awards for her writing, including the 2015 Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize, the 2013 Victorian Cancer Council Poetry Award, the 2011 NZ Poetry Society, the 2010 Takahe and 2007 Inverawe (Tasmania) international poetry competitions, and both the fiction and the poetry prizes in the 2006 Aoraki Literary Festival competition. Her story Virtuoso was a winner in the 2008 NZ Book Month “Six Pack” competition. Sue has been shortlisted for the Sunday Star Times story competition and has twice been a runner up in the BNZ Katherine Mansfield fiction competition. She held the 2008 Robert Burns Fellowship. Sue is the editor of the Monday Poem column in the Otago Daily Times.  Her website is

Susannah Poole

In her early twenties Susannah Poole went to a number of mock weddings to protest the student loan system. She was never a bride, matron of honour or a bridesmaid. Fifteen years later her loan is still large although dwindling. She was a runner up in the Novice section of the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Awards in 2010 and has had stories published in TakaheTurbine and Sport.

Tania Hershman

Tania Hershman is the author of two story collections: My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions (Tangent Books, 2012), and The White Road and Other Stories (Salt, 2008; commended, 2009 Orange Award for New Writers). Tania’s award-winning short stories and poetry have been widely published in print and online and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4. Tania’s  poems have been published in Magma, Obsessed with Pipework, Butcher’s Dog, Poems in Which, Poem magazine, Amaryllis, and Ink, Sweat & Tears. She is curator of ShortStops, celebrating short story activity across  the UK & Ireland, a Royal Literary Fund fellow at Bristol University and studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Tania is co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion (Bloomsbury, Dec 2014).

Tim Jones

Tim Jones is a poet and author of both science fiction and literary fiction who was awarded the NZSA Janet Frame Memorial Award for Literature in 2010. He lives in Wellington. Among his recent books are short story collection Transported (Vintage, 2008), poetry collection Men Briefly Explained (IP, 2011), and poetry anthology The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry (IP, 2014), co-edited with P. S. Cottier. Tim’s novelette ‘Landfall’ will appear in Paper Road Press’s Shortcuts series in 2015. For more, see Tim’s Amazon author page.
‘Said Sheree’ was published in Tim’s short story collection Transported, Vintage, 2008.

Tina Makereti

Tina Makereti writes fiction and creative non-fiction. Her first collection of short stories, Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa, was published in 2010 by Huia Publishers. ‘skin and bones’ has appeared in that collection and in Huia Short Stories 8.  In 2009 she was the winner of the non-fiction category of the Royal Society Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing and the Best Short Story in English at the Pikihuia Awards for Maori Writers. She is currently writing a novel inspired by her mixed heritage and Moriori culture as part of a PhD Creative Writing at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters. She also teaches Life Writing at Massey University.