Category Archives: News

The Grapple Annual No. 2: coming soon

It seems The Grapple Annual No. 1 has had a pretty sweet time out in the world. People have said good things about it, reviews have been positive and copies are almost sold out (almost – not too late to get a copy). Plus, hey, it won the Small Press Network’s Most Underrated Book Award in 2015. So far, so good, so we’d better not stop there. And we have not at all; we’ve been heartily working on another.

Coming soon in 2016 will be The Grapple Annual No. 2. After several hefty rounds of submission selections and editorial collaborations, we have locked in 42(!) works for this Annual. Again, each work relates in a unique way to its own special date on the calendar. And, again, this will be a book full of  diverse but uniformly excellent prose, poetry, art and comics for you to both grapple with and enjoy. This time, they’ve come from 42 writers and artists from many places on the planet: Canberra, the ACT region and many other Australian locations, but also the UK, the USA, Canada and Egypt. We’re immensely proud to be publishing each and every one of them. This Annual has been long-awaited, but it’s gonna be totally worth it.

So while we’re making the final editorial touches and designing the book that will somehow contain it all, we’d like today for you to share in our anticipation. There will be more news soon, including further call outs, release dates and launch details. But for now …

*ahem/deep breath/drum roll*

The Grapple Annual No. 2


Braille by Louis Klee (4 January)
Hydra by Emma Marie Jones (11 January)
– 28 January by Soraya Morayef (28 January)
– Loss by Alice Bishop (7 February)
– Racey Friends – looking by Paden Hunter (12 February)
– Nightdriving by Alexander Bennetts (28 February)
– Fairy Goddaughter by Sarah Pritchard (6 March)
– Beware the Ides of March! by Sam Brien (15 March)
 The Connected World by David C Mahler (21 March)
– Visiting Richard Yates by Elizabeth Caplice (25 March)
– March Camping, 1990s by Christopher Evans (26 March)
– Dreamcast Monolith with Undergrowth by Alice Carroll (31 March)
– Meander, Triste and Awe by Brett Canét-Gibson (14th April)
– Divine Vinyl by Owen Heitmann (16 April)
 From JG Ballard, July 1966 (behind Foot Locker, August 2013) by Andrew Galan (19 April)
– Today I Feel Like Remembering by Anna Jacobson (22 April)
 Thoughts on art and the ways it reaches you by Sandra Hajda (29 April)
– May, The Opening by Ben Walter (1 May)
– Mahala by Fikret Pajalic (5 May)
– The Drunk and the Flower Man by Nathan Fioritti (11 May)
– What If? by Miranda Cashin (15 May)
– The River Fisher’s Daughter by Kirk Marshall (25 May)
– Baby Emma by Emma Makepeace (1 June)
– All these places have their moments by Madeline Karurtz (12 June)
– After Life by Lauren Briggs (23 June)
The Golden Age of Science Fiction by David Stevens (7 July)
– The 8th July in History by Safdar Ahmed (8 July)
– Positive Space by Lynley Eavis (21 July)
– The End of Days by Jack Martinez (1 August)
– When They Were Young by Shuang West (13 August)
– Audley by Humyara Mahbub (14 August)
– The Gurindji People by Mandy Ord (16 August)
– Go Troppo by Isabelle Li (17 September)
– Campo de’ Fiori by Ashley Capes (22 September)
 Rule Ten by Gregory Wolos (28 September)
– Four Confessions That I’ve Been Meaning to Confess Since That Evening When We Made Guacamole and I Compared All Three Avocados to my Womb, Which Might’ve Made You Uncomfortable but I Couldn’t Tell for Sure by Kayla Pongrac (29 September)
– Pilot Episode, October 2nd by Lauren Paredes (2 October)
– I Desire; I Have Our Home by Emma Rose Smith (2 November)
– Great Emu War by Eleri Mai Harris (8 November)
– Lucia by Lucy Hunter (13 December)
– An ordinary domestic pattern was disclosed by Monica Carroll (17 December)
– Time Zones by Jake Lawrence (30 December)

Editor: Duncan Felton

Designer & Art Director: Finbah Neill

Editorial Assistant: Rachael Nielsen

Readers: Lucy Nelson, Frazer Brown and  Kara Griffin-Warwicke


… and we look forward to getting all of this, The Grapple Annual No. 2, to you all soon. Stay tuned and excited.


A shortlist and a call-out

The tiny team at Grapple Publishing was enormously excited last week when it was announced that The Grapple Annual No. 1 is one of three books shortlisted for the Small Press Network’s Most Underrated Book Award 2015!




We’re still enormously excited, but at least the quivering in our digits has stopped enough for us to type out little updates like this. A huge proportion of the praise must go to all of our contributors, the writers and artists who submitted amazing work to make up our first fledgling anthology. A bunch of kudos must also go to the Small Press Network, and all the judges, for putting effort behind a unique award that so brilliantly captures some of the best of independent publishing: highlighting, spotlighting and limelighting previously underrated and underrepresented work.

So now we wait and see what eventuates, with the award night on Friday the 20th of November at The Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. We’ll be there, so see you there? And it’s on the second day of the Small Press Network’s Independent Publishing Conference, so we’ll be there with bells figuratively affixed. For now (and we’re sure the other shortlisted authors and publishers would agree), just to be shortlisted kinda feels like we’re all winners already.

This excitement simply cannot be allowed to stop, so we have another announcement. We’ve just commenced a month-long visual art call-out for The Grapple Annual No. 2! Yup, we were blown away by all the written submissions, we’ve chosen them and we’re well underway editing them for publication. But increasing the proportion of visual art in the Annual is one of our aims, thus: this new call-out.

To submit (and pre-peruse all the details) head to the Submittable page. But the gist is ‘Australian artists, send us a magnificent date-based visual art submission!’ We want it all: comics, photos, illustrations, collage, digital works, anything and everything that’s visual art. We’d love to hear from the emerging and the underrepresented, we’d love to be surprised. And we are, of course, more than happy to discuss stuff and be pitched at also. We’ve got an editor (Duncan), a visual art editor (Fin) and an Assistant Editor (Rachael), ready and waiting.

All going well (though we do things slowly around here), we’ll have a full list of contributors (including our new artists!) announced in late October, with The Grapple Annual No. 2 launched in November, or at least before the year’s out. So much and many excitements!


Hey, been a while. New hairdo? Looks good on you.

Us? We’ve been busy these past few months, busy reading and selecting submissions for The Grapple Annual No. 2. Sorry it has taken us a while! But in fact, we’re just starting to send out responses to all you submitters out there, including a select few acceptance emails. You should be hearing from us within a week or two. Pretty exciting times. We hope to have some public announcements and details (names, titles, dates, etc!) by August. But let us tell you: No. 2’s already shaping us to be a smashing Annual.

Also: Grapple Publishing is now on Instagram. Click us, loveheart us, put filters our hashtags or something. Join us on the journey as we work out what the hell we’re doing signing up for distraction when we should be editing.

And speaking of distraction, there’s no better way to distract yourself from social media than by reading a book. So, for the rest of July, we’re having a little sale: free postage anywhere in Australia for any and all remaining copies of Annual No. 1! So order yours now (maybe even get your favourite date/number if you ask even a little bit nicely).

S-A-L-E !


Because we felt like celebrating, we felt like giving an opportunity to those who haven’t read No. 1 yet, and we felt we had to make room for the impending boxes of Annual No. 2.

We do indeed live in pretty exciting times.

More soon, Grapplers.


As the year nears its end, we here at Grapple have a few final wordgifts for you.

First, we’d like to announce the names of those joining our editorial crew for The Grapple Annual No. 2. These new Grapplers are Rachael Nielsen, Frazer Brown and Kara Griffin-Warwicke. Lucy Nelson and Finbah Neill will fortunately also be sticking around to share their respective (and highly respectable) editorial and design wizardry. It’s great to have them all aboard.

Speaking of The Grapple Annual No. 2: submissions and pitches are still open until February 17. Get onto that.

We’ve also had a few accolades roll in: not only did we receive a stellar review from Katelin Farnsworth at Writers Bloc, we were chuffed to receive this award from Express Media:


What can we say but shucks to the max.

Finally, we’ve put a couple more pieces from Annual No. 1 online, just in time for Christmas. What better time to have a browse and a read? They join a decent sampling of pieces on our website from throughout the Annual’s literary calendar year. More work will be going up now and then throughout the new year. But if you like what you read, do please consider buying a copy of The Grapple Annual No. 1.

Thanks to everyone who has supported us throughout out first year with our first Annual. It’s been a real goodie and you helped make that happen. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable time marking the year’s end, however you go about it. We’ll be looking forward to grappling with 2015 with you.

– Duncan Felton, Editor


First and at the fore: submissions for The Grapple Annual No. 2 are open from now until February 17th 2015. That’s 3 months to prepare your finest date-based fiction/poetry/non-fiction/comic/art/other submission! Also we’re using Submittable now. So: SUBMIT.

Second and also essential: Grapple Publishing is a publisher on the grow, so we’re expanding our editorial team! Perhaps you’d like to join us? Being only a tiny team, we’re looking for more excellent people to read and select submissions, assist with editing and proofreading and/or to generally assist throughout the whole process of preparing The Grapple Annual No. 2 for launch.

Keen to get involved? Send us a short email (let’s say 500 words max) telling us why you’re interested, why you think it’d be good to have you on the team and what you’d like to get out of it all.

We’re open to people with specific interests (poetry, comics, art, creative non-fiction, etc?) as well as all-rounders. Canberra/ACT-region applicants are preferred, but we’re ready to be convinced that having the right person all the way over your way will be good for Grapple too.

Please note that this is an unpaid opportunity. We’re self-funded and we survive on sales. We pay our contributors and our designer, but none of those on the editorial team gets paid (yet). However, those on the team will be given complimentary copies, snacks and beverages, and as much support, freebies and unwavering gratitude as we can spare.

For all questions and applications send an email to Duncan, our editor: editor at grapplepublishing dot com.

Deadline for these applications is only a fortnight away: November 30th 2014. Once it’s December, no dice.

That’s all for now. We’re super-duper-excited for everyone’s submissions and applications. So get ready, get set, get sending.

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.


Annual a-comin’

Yes, it’s been a while, but we’re still here and The Grapple Annual No. 1 is indeed a-comin’. Though we haven’t been very visually present online, we’ve not at all been shirking.  Behind the scenes, we’ve read through all the submissions, we’ve made our selection and we’ve emailed out the verdicts. Commiserations, exhortations and celebrations a-plenty! Most recently though, we’ve been grappling away with a variety of edits: agonising over poem commas, sharing the heavy-shifting of paragraphs within longform behemoths, and everything in between. On that note, an assurance to those last few contributors who haven’t heard from us in a while: we’re getting to you super soon. You’re definitely not forgotten. Thank you for being wonderful and patient. We really do have the best contributors an inaugural Annual could hope for.

So yes, our initial endeavour has taken longer than anticipated (by us at least), but now’s the time, speaking of contributors, to get down to the buzz and the business. Specifics! Allow us to reverse striptease, if you will, by putting things on. On this page. Yes, over the coming days, we’ll gradually update the list below (along with our Twitter and Facebook pages) with our impressive roster of contributors to The Grapple Annual No. 1.

Flabbergastingly exciting? Correctamundo.

We’ll also gradually start sharing things like excerpts, interviews, an entire piece or two, and a surprise or three, all in advance of (and beyond) the launch of the Annual in both bound and ebook form. Pretty much every work in the Annual relates to a date, so each contributor gets their very own featured online anniversary shindig, and you’re invited.

But first, here’s that growing list of contributors. Watch this space over the coming days and by the time the list is fully announced, we’ll have launch details, release details and details on how you can get all of this into your mitts, eyes and minds. Yes!




The Grapple Annual No. 1 (2014)


Mount Olympos, a short story by Jane Downing (January 1)

Notes from Shanghai, a short story by Ella Jeffery (January 17)

Event, Tour, Shutter, a short story triptych by Kate Hall (February 1)

The First of April, memoir by Alexandra Neill (April 1)

Red Eyes, a short story by Raphael Kabo (April 8)

– The Emergent Story of the Australian Frontier, an essay by Paul W Newbury (April 25)

– Travelling left, a short story by Irma Gold (May 4)

Petrel Migration, art by Paul Heppell (May 10)

– We Are All Flesha poem by Andy Jackson (June 2)

Four Days, poetry by Yolande Norris (June 7)

– The Day She Wed, a short story by Tadhg Muller (June 24)

individual tax return instructions, a poem by Monica Carroll (June 30)


– The Penultimate Report of Sergeant Burns, a short story by David Stevens (July 16)

The Sun Eater, Catalonia, 17 July 1936 to 17 July 2013, Miró and Picasso, a poem by Andrew Galan (July 17)

– Moonlandinga short story by David Spitzkowsky (July 20)

Strange Creatures, two short fictions by Alyson Miller (July 26)

Unconditional, a poem by Charlotte Clutterbuck (August 9)

Paper Sky, memoir by Annette Ong (August 23)

Hunting Season, 4350, a poem by Vanessa Page (September 21)

The Death of Narcissus, a short story by Georgia Kartas (October 18)

– Glut, a comic by Ben Rosenthal and Mike Perry (October 21)

Sequence #1, Sequence #3 and Sequence #8, poetry by Greg Gould (October 27)

October 31, a short story by Nick Marland (October 31)

He was close, a short story by D A Shorr (November 1)

– Grim X-pectations, non-fiction by Sonya Deanna Terry (November 20)

Ants, a comic by Finbah Neill (November 21)

Reef Knot, a poem by Les Wicks (November 30)

– The Misunderstood Prophet, non-fiction by Steven Gepp (Dec 14)

– We Three, a short story by Sian Campbell (December 24)

– This one is true., a poem by Eleanor Malbon (December 25)

with additional artworks throughout by Issi Bailetti, Grace Blake, Sarah McCauley, Kayla Piris and Shu Shu Zheng.


…and more a-comin’!

What’s all this then?

Hi! This is the first of many missives from Grapple Publishing. We’re here, we’re a new independent publisher and we’re keen to publish all sorts of utterly excellent things. My name’s Duncan Felton and I’m the founding editor/publisher. I’ll tell you what we’re planning and then it’s over to you.

Most importantly: submissions are now open for the pilot issue of The Grapple Annual.

We want The Grapple Annual to be a wide-ranging collection, year after year. We’re open to pretty much anything: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics, art, and combinations thereof and otherwise. If it can go in a book, we’re interested. And while it will be in bound book form first, we’re eager for work that can also reside in or interact with the digital and/or ‘meatspace’ realms (more on this later).

We accept submissions from people from all over the world, Australia and Canberra (not necessarily in that order), because that’s where we’re from. We’re especially keen to publish the underrepresented and the emerging, but not exclusively. We don’t mind whether the work fits into, traverses or dodges genres or forms. We welcome the experimental and the just plain original. We want quality work, really. That’s the thing.

So in terms of guidelines then, we’re ridiculously open. All we ask is that you only make one submission, and it must relate in some way to one date on the calendar. This could be a significant historical date, this could be your birthday, this could be two Tuesdays away. What’s with that date? You tell us!

The book will be released in early 2014. Digital iterations of, around and relating to each individual piece will then be published here online near each of their chosen dates. Some expansions into the outernet/meatspace are also highly likely. General submissions close November 24th, and you’d be wise to pitch anything you want to pitch well before then.

That’s just about it. For more (and more verbose) details, check out our Submissions page, and our evolving list of #grappleideas. Anything else, get in touch or comment down thataways.

We’re excited.

Okay, for now, it’s over to you.