Tag Archives: abc open

My latest ABC Open 500 Word stories – June to October 2015

My blog has been quiet lately, but my writing has managed to continue in the background.

Here are the last 5 months of my ABC Open 500 Word stories for you to enjoy.

June 2015 – Lost and found

My story, Avoiding distractions, talks about my utter despair when I realised I’d lost my engagement ring… on my wedding day.

July 2015 – Car stories

The longest word I know is about our first family car – the Brougham – and how it didn’t always get us from A to B.

August 2015 – For better for worse

The story Avoiding the inevitable explores how being from broken homes changed the way I view the relationship with my husband.

September 2015 – A test of courage

This month I wrote Zero to 172 km per hour in 1.8 seconds, which is about my ride on the fastest roller coaster in the world.

October 2015 – My big secret

What lurks beneath talks about a trip to the beach with my toilet-training toddler that didn’t happen to go so well…


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The last 4 months of ABC Open 500 words (February – May 2015)

Each month for the last 4 months, I’ve written an ABC Open 500 words story.

Here are the links to the stories and short blurbs about how I connected my own life with the theme for the month.

February 2015 – Lost in Music

My story, Looking for ‘the one’ on the dancefloor, talks about how I thought I met the man of my dreams on the dancefloor. At 3am. After way too many $1 vodkas.

March 2015 – Testing the friendship

This story called Our budding friendship goes back to when I was about 7 years old and teamed up with a girl who was quite a bit naughtier than I was. She showed me how to have fun without getting caught.

April 2015 – Grandparents

An emotional topic this month, and my most heartfelt piece so far for ABC Open. This is forever talks about my relationship with my grandparents – my grandfather who died last year and my grandmother who is now in a nursing home. Memories of their relationship with my own son warms my heart.

May 2015 – I quit

Mountain-top quitting talks about a snowboarding trip my husband and I took to New Zealand 10 years ago… and how sore I was after falling over 567 times on the hard, icy snow.

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YouTube version of our DWF15 session this morning

“ABC Open: From Page to National Stage – writing for the national broadcaster”

Watch how my ABC Open 500 words projects took me from being a solitary writer to having national (and international) publication of my works.

(My section starts at 20 mins 30 secs)


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It’s almost here! #DWF15

At 11am AEDT tomorrow (Saturday) I will be presenting at the Digital Writers Festival, talking about how just 500 words a month took my writing to places I never imagined (one of those places being the DWF itself!)

Anyone can watch the session online by going here and interact via Twitter using #DWF15. Go on! I dare you to ask me a thought-provoking question and watch me squirm!



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AUDIO: The Monet (ABC Open 500 words – I broke it)

I wrote about how a framed picture of Monet’s water-lillies played an integral (if not, embarrassing) part of a roadtrip up the coast. ABC liked it and produced it for Radio National’s Life Matters program.

It’s a short, fun piece about young love. You can listen to the audio here (where you’ll agree that singing is not my strength) or read the online published piece here.


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The Monet (ABC Open 500 words)

Update: this piece was produced into an audio version for Radio National’s Life Matters program. Go to this post to have a listen.

The ABC Open 500 words theme for September 2014 is ‘I broke it’. There are surprisingly very few things I’ve broken in my lifetime (bones included… running tally ZERO touch wood) so I had to think back to when my husband and I first went away together on a trip up the coast.

Here’s the link:


bed jump

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Odd One Out and Endings (ABC Open 500 words)

The last two topics of ABC Open 500 words were ‘Odd one out’ and ‘Endings’. My first piece describes my student exchange to Japan and what it’s like to be a 6-foot blonde in a country like Japan, and the second talks about a recent visit to the hairdressers where I thought I was being cool in front of the young apprentice.

Here are the links:

1. A blonde in a sea of black (Odd One Out)


Jessie and Kaya Japan 1997

2. The end of the old (young) me (Endings)



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A girl just like me (ABC Open 500 words)

This month’s ABC Open 500 words theme was ‘U-turn’. In this piece I talk about how my opinion of someone completely changed in just one night.

Here’s the link:


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Digging with my dad (ABC Open 500 words)


Me and my dad in our backyard at Kurri Kurri

This is my April 2014 contribution to ABC Open 500 words (topic: FIRST MEMORY). Read about what digging for ants taught me about life.

Here’s the link:



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FREE EVENT: Live reading of 500-word stories – ABC Open, 11:15am Sun 6th April (Newcastle Writers Festival)

Event details

Date: Sunday 6th April 2014

Time: 11:15am to 12:45pm

Where: Mulubinba Room – Newcastle City Hall, 290 King Street Newcastle

Cost: FREE

This Sunday I’ll be doing a live reading of one of my ABC Open 500 word short stories from 2013-14, along with a whole bunch of local talented authors. Me? Performing at the Newcastle Writers Festival? Now, this is exciting!

It sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun. ABC Open has been running the 500 word projects for a while now, and I’ve been contributing stories for the last year. ABC Open chooses inspirational topics each month and writers from all over Australia send their stories in. The range of contributors is fantastic: from young budding writers talking about their complicated lives to 90-somethings reminiscing about the old days. They are all true stories and all written in first person.

I’ve found you can learn a lot about someone in just 500 words.

Here’s some of last year’s topics that stood out for me:

An act of rebellion – I wrote about how every Friday night my parents would play loud music, drink beer and consider getting tattoos when I wanted to do was study for my HSC

Failure – I wrote about how I thought my partner would love a bright blue ukulele for Christmas

The things we do for love – I wrote about the pain of having to drink a litre of water before an ultrasound but how it was all worth it when I saw what was on the black and white screen

If you’re in the Newcastle area on Sunday make sure you come along. The short stories you’ll hear are quirky, funny, heart-warming, heart-wrenching and absolutely unique.


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