Monthly Archives: October 2014

October 31

 by Nick Marland


(Image credit: Steven Depolo. Reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License)

That annual time of mysteries and horror. How do we find ourselves here time and again? The railings of the houses are veiled with synthetic gossamers and plastic ghouls glower from the windows. Strings of plastic pumpkins bob on the breeze. The night of dread, clocks lurching toward midnight, doom impending and punishments stark. Shit, the clock. It’s an office clock. Is that deductible? Do I even still have the receipt?

Arrayed around me on the dining table, the chairs, the floor are forms and receipts scattered like bodies exhumed from assorted drawers and folders and hiding spaces where they were buried by a psychopath, forgotten when the time came for confessions. So first comes the gathering-together and the deductive reasoning: Why is a 2008 receipt in here? Why did I put a power bill in here? I can’t claim that. Piles of the chosen and the passed-over take shape, and even these categories are uncertain. The guilt accretes around each decision: can I deduct this? Should this be in a low-value pool? What exactly is a low-value pool? I wonder what I can get away with. I know of friends who have claimed deductions on fruit. Damn it all. It is all the stuff of nightmares, except that you wake up from nightmares without significant financial penalty.

. . .

To read the rest of He was close, you can buy a copy of The Grapple Annual No. 1.

Over the 2014 Halloween weekend, we shared Nick Marland’s October 31 and D A Shorr’s He was close in their entiretyKeep an eye out for more free pieces online as their date approaches.

Nick Marland is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in Going Down Swinging, Seizure, The Lifted Brow, The Sydney Morning Herald, the UTS Writers’ Anthology, and The Drum. He has been an illegal alien in Belarus and once tripped up Woody Allen while trying to shake his hand.


The Grapple Annual No. 1: launching at The National Young Writers Festival

It’s here!

That’s right, after a good year of learning how to make an Annual for the first time, including a final few frantic weeks of finalising, proofreading and printing, we’re ready to launch The Grapple Annual No. 1! And we’re doing just that at the National Young Writers Festival, part of the annual This Is Not Art mega-festival in Newcastle.

We’ll be launching at the Launch Orgy (tonight! it’s gonna be wild),  spruiking during the the Zine Fair (along with a few Canberran zine and publisher buddies) and we’ll have copies for sale throughout the whole long weekend at the festival bookstore at Staple Manor!

That’s not all! Our editor Duncan Felton is part of a few events. Our designer Finbah Neill is part of a few more. One of our contributors, Alexandra Neill, is one of the festival coordinators and another, Sian Campbell is heading up the Press Room, which you should keep an eye on, whether or not you can be at the festival. It’s a big festival, there’s a lot to see and do, so let them share the load.

We’d also recommend checking out the free workshops and signing up immediately for what interests you. Grapple Publishing may not be here if it hadn’t been for an NYWF 2012 Small Press Workshop. Get involved!

Plus there’s another Grapple contributor, Eleanor Malbon,  in an excellently-named show Eucapocalypts Now at Crack Theatre Festival. And don’t forget all the other good stuff at Critical Animals. These two other festivals are the other two thirds of what make TINA excellent.

If you can’t make it along to Newcastle, don’t fret. We’ll be organising a Canberra launch for mid to late October, with the potential for another or two in other capital cities. Then there are ebooks and the opening of submissions for No. 2. It’s all happening!

We’re excited and we hope you are too.

More details after the TINA weekend. Hope to see you there.