Little Fictions

Little Fictions

Sharmaine Spencer, 14th June 2019
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Unique, personal, and touching stories over two seasons, each told in 13 parts.

Little Fictions, is a half-hour storytelling program presented by Sydney actor, Ella Watson-Russell, and produced and orginally broadcast on Sydney's 2RPH. The show features contemporary short stories by authors from across Australia and read by actors, recorded at live performances or in studio. Now in it's second season, join our next group of story tellers as we dive deep into the world of fiction. 

Little Fictions

Season One

Episode
Synopsis

Episode 1

Dire Straits

CRN airdate: Fri 07 June 2019

In this episode, called Dire Straits, Ella Watson-Russell presents three stories in which characters are faced with very contemporary moral dilemmas. 

These stories were all recorded live. The stories are 'Hardware' written by Susan McCreery and narrated by Emma Diaz, 'Open For Inspection' by Jon Steiner and read by Joel Horwood and 'Something From The Old School' by Helen Richardson and read by our host, Ella Watson-Russell. 

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

Episode 2

Conflict Zones

CRN airdate: Fri 14 June 2019

In this episode, Ella Watson-Russell presents four stories each with very different perspectives on the topic of war and violence. 

Actor Nicholas Starte performs Harry Kolotas' 'Wrath of Achilles', Tim McGarry's narration of Charles D'Anastasi's 'Broken House' includes sound design by composer Thomas Ross, Ella narrates Amanda Berry's 'We That Are Left' and Alex Williams performs 'When The Helicopters Come' by Patrick Lenton and with sound design by Kit McCutcheon. 

Included in this episode is an interview with Patrick Lenton on the origin of his story from his collection, A Man Made Entirely of Bats and excerpts from a Q&A with Amanda Berry. 'Broken House' is published in Out of Place, prose poem and micro-fiction anthology, Spineless Wonders (2015) . 

'We That Are Left' is published in Landmarks, prose poem and micro-fiction anthology, Spineless Wonders (2017). 'When The Helicopters Come' is published in A Man Made Entirely of Bats by Patrick Lenton, Spineless Wonders (2015). 

Episode 3

Comedy

CRN airdate: Fri 21 June 2019

This episode of Little Fictions On Air presented by Ella Watson-Russell features the voices of Lauren Hamilton Neill, Adam Norris and Joel Horwood. Short stories include 'Addicted' by Angie Holst, 'Kurt and the Interview' by Slade Quinn, 'Northwest Passage' by Jon Steiner and 'The Ibis and the Real Estate' by Helen Meany. As well as lots of laughs, you will also be treated to an extended interview which Ella Watson-Russell recorded with Jon Steiner and Helen Meany about not writing comedy, their writing journey and habits.

Episode 4

Life Lessons

CRN airdate: Fri 28 June 2019

In this episode, presenter Ella Watson-Russell presents three short stories about life’s ups and down. The first is ‘Loaded Dice’ by Blue Mts author, Mark O’Flynn and is performed by Joel Horwood. Felix Johnson reads Wollongong writer, Erica Woolgar’s ‘Directions’ and Eleni Schumacher performs ‘Chicken’ by Sydney author, Angela Argent.

Mark O’Flynn is a much published poet and fiction writer whose most recent novel was shortlisted in the 2017 Miles Franklin Award. The story ‘Loaded Dice’ and it was published in Mark’s collection, White Light and other stories by Spineless Wonders.

Angela Argent is currently writing a novel set in Prague about the spoils of freedom after 1989 revolution. In her story ‘Chicken’, a brother and sister return to the Australian country town they grew up in search of their father. The reunion takes a dramatic turn when father and son face off in their cars after a drinking session.

Erica Woolgar’s writing has been recognised overseas in The Fish International Short Story Competition, and here in Australia in the prestigious Marjorie Barnard and Josephine Ulrick Awards.

Episode 5

Sydney Stories

CRN airdate: Fri 5 July 2019

In this episode, our host Ella Watson-Russell presents tales from Sydney’s early years as well as from the not-too-distant past. Featuring the voices of Joel Horwood, Felix Johnson , Claire Oehme and Eleni Schumacher, this episode includes stories about the Shark Arm Case, Petersham Swimming Pool and Parramatta Rd circa 1988. 

Authors featured include Karolina Ristevski, Paul Cliff, Arna Radovich, John Dale and Hilary Hewitt – all writers who submitted their work to a Little Fictions Call Out on the theme: Humans of Parramatta Road. Little Fictions On Air is brought to you by Sydney short story publisher, SPINELESS WONDERS. This episode was originally broadcast on Radio 2RPH at 3pm on Monday, 27 August, 2018. 

It is produced by Bronwyn Mehan and our sound engineer is Adrian Vecchio-Hoehne. Our theme song, ‘Attune’ is written and performed by Annie Vidler.

Episode 6

Literary Mashup

CRN airdate: Fri 12 July 2019

In this episode, Ella Watson-Russell presents audio stories which riff on the works of Shakespeare, Austen and Nabokov. You’ll hear stories by Mark O’Flynn, Michelle Cahill, Susan McCreery and Carol Ann Martin performed by Tim McGarry, Eleni Schumacher and Ella Watson-Russell.

Carol Ann Martin’s ‘Open Letter to Star-crossed lovers’ read by Ella Watson-Russell gives a new perspective on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The story was originally submitted via a Little Fictions’ call out. Susan McCreery’s microfiction ‘Well, Then’ is published in her collection, Loopholes published by Spineless Wonders. It is performed by Little Ficitons regular Eleni Schumacher. ‘Chasing Nabokov’ takes the famous Nabokov novel, Lolita and sets it in a modern-day Sydney beachside suburb. It is written by award-winning author Michelle Cahill and appears in the Spineless Wonders’ anthology, Escape. ‘Iago’ by Mark O’Flynn is an invented monologue for Shakespeare’s play ‘Othello’. It is performed by Tim McGarry.

Episode 7

It's A Jungle Out There

CRN airdate: Fri 19 July 2019

In this episode, ‘It’s A Jungle Out There’, four authors contemplate the lives of animals. What is it like living in a dog-eat-dog world? Has human habitation spelt the death of some species? And what happens when we encroach on their world? 

Join presenter, Ella Watson-Russell for 30 minutes of great listening including microfiction by Michelle Wright, Irene Wilkie and Katelin Farnsworth as well as a short story and interview with Pambula author, Kate Liston-Mills.

Episode 8

Weird World of Animals

CRN airdate: Fri 26 July 2019

In this episode, Weird World of Animals, Ella Watson-Russell presents two stories which give voice to the voiceless - specifically, a budgerigar and a cow.

‘Bluey and Myrtle’ is published in the Spineless Wonders anthology The Great Unknown, a book edited by Angela Meyer who is a huge fan of the TV series the Twilight Zone. You’ll find many of the somewhat surreal elements of the Twilight Zone TV show in Mark O'Flynn's story. It is performed by Nick Radinoff. ‘A Cow Like Alice’ by Julie Chevalier also includes a talking animal. It is performed by Little Fictions’ regular Eleni Schumacher. 

This episode includes an interview with Sydney author Julie Chevalier about her story, where the idea for it came from and about her writing process.

Episode 9

Behind The Scenes

CRN airdate: Fri 2 Aug 2019

In this episode, our host, Ella Watson-Russell presents two stories which take a look behind the curtain at fiction in film, on TV as well as on stage.

'Film Study 101'; by the late Mary Manning uses well-known films to reflect on the life of a young man who works at a movie theatre in a country town.

Published in Damaged In Transit by Spineless Wonders, the story is performed by Little Fictions’ regular, Joel Horwood. The second story featured in this episode takes us into the world of TV. It is based on the life of a character from the popular show, Friends. 'Ross Geller Man' is written by Patrick Lenton and is published in his collection, A Man Made Entirely of Bats. It is performed by Lauren Hamilton Neill. This podcast version of the episode includes an extended interview with both author, Patrick Lenton and actor, Lauren Hamilton Neill.

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

Episode 10

Humans of Parramatta Road

CRN airdate: Fri 9 Aug 2019

In this episode we feature stories from the inner west Sydney suburbs connected by Parramatta Road. Harriet McInerney’s microfiction, ‘Average Morning’ takes us on a bus trip down Parramatta Road. It is performed by Little Fictions’ regular, Joel Horwood. ‘Parramatta Road’ by Tess Ridgway takes us along this same stretch of road but this time at night and on a bicycle. It is performed by actor Claire Oehme. Sydney author, Jill O’Maera takes us behind one of the shopfronts along Parramatta Road in ‘Trixie Depraved Does Leichhardt’. It is performed by Eleni Schumacher. ‘Wedding Dress’ by Canberra author, Sarah St Vincent Welch is written from the point of view of a very recognisable feature of shops which line the Leichhardt stretch of Parramatta Road. It is performed by Joel Horwood. ‘In Search of the Machine’ has Sydney author, Jen Craig searching for a coffee machine in contemporary Leichhardt. Performed by Eleni Schumacher, the story vividly evokes life in Leichhardt in the 70s. 

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

Episode 11

Crime Scenes

CRN airdate: Fri 16 Aug 2019

 

 

In this episode we bring you two short stories about the impact of crime on people’s lives. ‘Croc’ is by Melbourne author Pierz Newton-John and is published in his collection, Fault Lines. Pierz worked as a psychotherapist and this story is inspired by a true story. It is read by Ella Watson-Russell and was recorded at Knox Street Bar, Chippendale. The second short story comes from Blue Mountains’ author, Mark O’Flynn. It is called ‘A Lovely Outing’ and is published in Mark’s collection White Light. Mark has worked as a prison educator for many years. His story is performed by Felix Johnson.

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

Episode 12

Surreal Stories

CRN airdate: Fri 23 Aug 2019

 

 

In this episode called Surreal Stories, our host Ella Watson-Russell brings you two short stories with extraordinary, offbeat characters.

Our first story, ‘Ducks’ is a radio play based on a short story by Miles Franklin Award-winning author, A.S. Patric. The year is 1956. Melbourne is host to the Olympic Games and American literary figures Anais Nin and June Miller (both former lovers of Henry Miller) are living out their sometimes fractious old age in the quiet seaside suburb of Elwood. The play is performed by Ella, Joel Horwood and Eleni Schumacher. Our second short story is ‘Carrot on the Edge’ and it comes from comic West Australian author, Jude Bridge and is performed by Little Fictions’ regular Lauren Hamilton Neill.

This episode is produced by Bronwyn Mehan with sound design by Chester Chew.

Warning: some of this episode does contain strong language and confronting issues.

Episode 13

Lost in Paradise

CRN airdate: Fri 30 Aug 2019

In this episode we bring you short stories set on the north coast of New South Wales. Saturday Night on Johnson St’ by Paul Kew, immersing us in the hectic nightlife of Byron Bay. It is performed by Mark Dessaix. Byron Bay writer and academic, Moya Costello’s ‘Northern Rivers: A Gothic Tale’ evokes the lush tropical environment. It is performed by Ella Watson-Russell.  ‘The Blouse’ is by poet, playwright, fiction writer, Vivienne Plumb who is of both New Zealand and Australian heritage. The story, from her collection, The Glove Box & other stories, is set in the rainforests of the Byron hinterland, and tells of a young woman who hitches a ride into a bizarre community. It is performed by Eleni Schumacher.

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

 

Season Two

Episode
Synopsis

Episode 1

I Hate Crime Fiction

CRN airdate: Fri 06 Sept 2019

In this Episode we hear many of the actors you would have heard over the previous 13 episodes of LIttle Fictions. This is a quirky play called "I Hate Crime FCtion" by Melbourne writer Eddie Berger, and was recorded at Haymarket Library as part of the "Late Night Library Series" 2017.

Episode 2

Progeny

CRN airdate: Fri 13 Sept 2019

In this episode, your host Ella Watson-Russell brings you stories of births, deaths and marriages. The stories featured in this show are published by Spineless Wonders and are narrated by actors Felix Johnson, Joel Horwood and Eleni Schumacher. The stories include Matthew Bulman’s ‘The Incredible Exploding Baby’, Jon Steiner’s ‘Rights of Man’, Melissa Beit’s ‘A Hospital Birth’, Susan McCreery’s ‘Mexican Stand-off’ and Julie Chevalier’s ‘The Youngest Lecturer’s Wife’.

  • Little Fictions is produced by Spineless Wonders’ publisher, Bronwyn Mehan.
  • The show’s theme song is ‘Attune’ written and performed by Annie Vidler.
  •  Sound design is by Lachlan Perry

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

Episode 3

Stories From the Locker Room

CRN airdate: Fri 20 Sept 2019

In this episode we present two very different perspectives on the Australian sporting scene. ‘Balls and Broken Bones’ by South Australian author, Debra Mackay takes a humorous look at sport played at the community level. It is read by Sydney actor, Kate Fraser. ‘Hall of Fame’ by Melbourne film director, Matt Holcomb follows the failing fortunes of a former footie star. It is read by sport tragic and talented Little Fictions actor, Felix Johnson. Both were recorded at our live show at Knox Street Bar in Sydney and both were selected via a Little Fictions’ call out.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Audio technician: Lachlan Perry
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

Episode 4

More Stories from the Locker Room

CRN airdate: Fri 27 Sept 2019

In this episode, we bring you the second in our series of sport-themed stories. We present four stories – ‘Artemis’ by Melbourne author, Duncan Reid in which the game of hockey takes on a mythic quality; Brisbane writer, Trina Denner’s ‘Playing Outside’ for the joggers amongst you; a microfiction by Kim Waters called ‘Over Time’ about a retired cyclist and finally, a Cliff Hardy story about a foot race written by the late crime writer, Peter Corris. Actors featured in this episode are Mark Dessaix, Eleni Schumacher and Felix Johnson.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Audio technician: Lachlan Perry
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

Episode 5

We Heart LGBTQI

CRN airdate: Fri 4 Oct 2019

In this episode, we’ll be celebrating the 2019 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras with two stories from our Little Fictions’ show, ‘I HEART LGBTQI’ which was performed at the Knox Street Bar in Chippendale back in February, 2017. A hugely popular festival, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras aims to raise the visibility of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex communities. The two stories we are presenting for you today do just that.

In our first story, ‘Asexual Gelatinous Blobs’ by Sydney author, Harry Kolotas, the writer attempts to walk in the shoes of his gay son. It is narrated by actor, Mark Dessaix.

In ‘Danny Boy’, Melbourne author, Marian Matta tells the story of someone who feels they were born into the wrong body. It is narrated by actor, Kurt Pimblett.

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

Episode 6

This Is Feminism (International Women’s Day)

CRN airdate: Fri 11 Oct 2019

In this episode we are bringing you a special treat to celebrate women writers, performers and other creatives as part of the International Women’s Day 2019. The short story featured in this episode is by Canberra-based Felicity Volk. ‘Ite Misse Est’ or Send Them Forth, is a moving and sometimes surprising story of two Catholic nuns. It is performed by Sydney actor, Eleni Schumacher. Included in the episode is an interview by Ella Watson-Russell with the author.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Audio Technician: Ariella Broyda
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan

Episode 7

Melbourne Migrant Stories

CRN airdate: Fri 18 Oct 2019

In this episode we bring you two stories told from the perspectives of people from non-English speaking backgrounds who call Melbourne their home. The first is ‘Traffic Island’ by the late Melbourne author Mary Manning and is written in her trademark quirky and compassionate style. It is narrated by Little Fictions’ regular, Lauren Hamilton Neill. ‘Traffic Island’ from Mary Manning’s short story collection, Damaged In Transit published by Spineless Wonders. Our second short story, ‘Some Kind of Blues’ is by A.S Patric and is narrated by Nicholas Starte. This short story appears in Patrić’s debut collection, The Rattler and other stories published by Spineless Wonders. Patrić went on to develop ‘Some Kind of Blues’ into his Miles Franklin Award-winning novel, Black Rock, White City.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell.
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio editor: Ariella Broyda.

Episode 8

Growing Old (Dis)gracefully

CRN airdate: Fri 25 Oct 2019

In this episode we present stories in which older members of the community indulge in some quirky and disruptive behaviour.

Includes ‘Cake Mistake’ by West Australian author, Jude Bridge. Performed by Lauren Hamilton Neill, this story takes a tongue-in-cheek look at a renegade chapter of the Country Women’s Association determined to stop the influence of American culture on the Australian way of life.  Also includes microfiction by Sydney poet, John Carey and Wollongong author, Susan McCreery and the short story ‘Sixty Photos’ by Vivienne Plumb. The final piece is ‘Shady Oaks’, Jon Steiner’s imagining of a futuristic nursing home.

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

Episode 9

Stories of War

CRN airdate: Fri 1 Nov 2019

In this episode, we share stories about war and its aftermath – at the impact of war service on those who serve, on the community they leave behind and on the lasting impact that wars have on people both here and overseas. Stories included are ‘The Veteran’ by Paul Mitchell, ‘Iconastasis’ by Peter Lach Newinski, ‘Flat Daddy’ by Louise D’Arcy, ‘Stranger from Skierniewicza’ by Monica Goldberg, ‘Comrade Vasilli Goes To War’ by Pierz Newton-John. The stories are narrated by Alex Neal and Kate Fraser.

A warning: some of the stories in this episode do contain some strong language.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Audio Technician: Ariella Broyda
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

Episode 10

Humans of Parramatta Road

CRN airdate: Fri 8 Nov 2019

In this episode, we bring you three stories features long drives - commutes, road trips and a work assignment which takes an unexpected turn. The stories included are ‘Seacoast Bridge’ by Wollongong author, Josh Mei-Ling Dubrau, the microficiton ‘Breakdown’ by another South Coast author, Susan McCreery and ‘The Last Wilkie’s’ by Sydney author, Jon Steiner. Featuring performances by Kate Fraser and Benhur Helwend.

  • Presenter: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Audio Technician: Ariella Broyda

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

Episode 11

Crime Scenes

CRN airdate: Fri 15 Nov 2019

 

 

In this episode, called ‘Criminal Minds’, our stories explore ethical, moral and criminal transgressions. Short stories include ‘Wasp’ by Pierz Newton-Jon from his short story collection, Fault Lines and Mary Manning’s ‘The Painter’ from her collection, Damaged In Transit. Also included are the microfictions, ‘Call The Ambulance’ by Shady Cosgrove and ‘Hold Up’ by Susan McCreery. The actors reading in this episode are Lauren Hamilton Neill and Tim McGarry.

  •   Host: Ella Watson-Russell
  •   Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  •   Audio Technician: Ariella Broyda

Warning: this episode does contain strong language and adult themes.

Episode 12

Our Greatest Fears

CRN airdate: Fri 22 Nov 2019

 

 

In this episode, we present stories that explore frightening real, imagined and uncanny moments that change us forever. Short stories included are ‘The Swimmer’ and ‘Bush Burial’ by Melbourne author, Richard Holt and ‘The Local’ by Sydney crime writer, P.M. Newton. Microfiction pieces include ‘Taken’ by Michelle Wright, ‘Nearby’ by Jessica McLean and ‘The End of Days’ by Debra Le Nepveu. The stories are performed by Little Fictions actors, Lauren Hamilton Neill, Felix Johnson, Ella Watson-Russell and Eleni Schumacher.

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

Episode 13

Displaced

CRN airdate: Fri 29 Nov 2019

In this episode, called ‘Displaced’, we present stories exploring the lives of refugees - the challenges, tragedies and triumphs of people from around the globe seeking a safe place to call home. Stories included are ‘Cartography’ by Indigenous Melbourne author Tony Birch; ‘Less than a Minute’ by Victorian writer Mark Smith and ‘My English Homework’ by Newcastle award-winning author, Ryan O’Neill. Actors featured in this episode are Nick Gell, Felix Johnson and Eleni Schumacher.

  • Host: Ella Watson-Russell
  • Producer: Bronwyn Mehan
  • Studio Technician: Ariella Broyda

Warning: this episode contains strong language.

Image: Little Fictions Logo

For CRN subscribers:
  • Broadcasting on CRN on Fridays at 10:04 am AEST/ADT from 07 June 2019
  • Series two begins broadcasting on Friday 06 September 2019 at 10:04 AM AEST/ADT
  • One episode distributes each week, for 13 weeks, per season, at 27'50 duration each
  • DDN equipped stations can capture the series by ordering 'Little Fictions'
  • The two 13-part seasons are available weekly or in bulk download - email crn@cbaa.org.au
  • For more information contact CRN staff on 02 9310 2999 or email crn@cbaa.org.au
Not a CRN subscriber, but want to find out more about getting content like this for your station? Read more here.

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