Hi, my name is Alys Jackson and I'm an author and poet

based in Adelaide, South Australia.

My work has been published in books, magazines,

anthologies and online.

Thrill Me, April, 2020

An anthology of short stories published by Glimmer Press. A Dark Kind of Living and Survivors of the Night are published within this collection of stories edited by Lynette Washington.

‘It’s true. There are stories here to make your heart race…and soar and flutter and ache. Some will rip your heart right out.’ Rebekah Clarkson, author of Barking Dogs.

The Utter Absence of Everything: long listed for The Wigleaf Top 50 Very Short Fiction of 2019

First published in Jellyfish Review, 2018.

Missing, June 11th 2018

Missing received 2nd place in the Henry Lawson Festival of Arts Short Story competition and will be published in the 2018 Anthology.

A Single Breath, Quart Shorts, April 17th 2018

A single Breath read by Claire Glenn, Theatre Maker, Actor and Youth Arts Facilitator, as part of Autumn Shorts: Quart Short Literary Reading Nights. Held at the Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange, these literary events showcase a selection of short fiction performed by some of Adelaide’s finest professional actors. ‘Come for an evening of heart-warming and spine-tingling stories, poetry and narrative non-fiction; stay for a perfect classic cocktail or two!

picture taken by Quart Shorts

The Utter Absence of Everything, published in Jellyfish Review, March 21st 2018

Jellyfish review is an online journal committed to publishing new flash fiction.

Prior warning: this story explores post-natal depression and touches on some dark stuff, including toxic aggression and death, so if you have any concerns about that you should not read it. Bearing that in mind, it is a fascinating, affecting piece.

Click here to read The Utter Absence of Everything.

Hollow Bones, Storgy Magazine, March 2018

Hollow Bones by Alys Jackson

Click here to read Hollow Bones.

“Jen rests her weight into the wall. There are too many people crammed into the streets around her, boxes and crates exploding their contents across the hard-packed earth, life hanging in colourful swatches and a bare-foot transience.”

Was Hollow Bones easy to get published?

Unexploded, Flash Fiction Magazine, January 31st 2018


A field, shimmering in heat, dirt-packed and dusted with dying grass. Moshev is there, and Disco Levi; bent into their work, muscles, blood and bone, hearts bursting with effort, and barely a metre down. The ditch was needed for water to supply the Jewish commune, the Australian volunteers contracted to help do the digging. Even the two Swiss girls are there; eyeing the men.”

Click here to read Unexploded.

Chiyogami Fires, Highly Commended in the Henry Lawson Society Short Story Award, Aug 2017Chiyogami Fires

Chiyogami Fires, has received Highly Commended in the Henry Lawson Literary Society Awards, Aug 2017. This is a story that feels very close to home due to the constant threat of bushfire during the summer months.

“Bushfires are creeping along the valley below Rossdale, burning out the gullies, blackening the grass, one tussock at a time, gaining speed on the uphill slope in a greedy push for the ridge.”

The Light Beneath her Door, shortlisted for the Alan Marshall Short Story Award, 2017

The Light Beneath Her Door, shortlisted for the 2017 Alan Marshall Short Story Award. The Alan Marshall Short Story Award (AMSSA), was founded in 1985 and is presented by the Nillumbik Shire Council. Alan Marshall was born in 1902 and is one of Australia’s most well-known writers. His trilogy, I can Jump Puddles, This is the Grass and In Mine Own Heart is the story of his childhood and struggle with disease. The Alan Marshall Short Story competition is only one of many great competitions for writers.

“‘You are like the wild roses that grow in my garden,’ she’d said once. ‘I can see your beauty. I can even smell your allure, but get too close and …’

She’d mimed pricking her finger on a thorn and laughed at the expression on his face.

‘You have too many expressions,’ she’d said.

What she meant, or what he thought she meant, was that he had too few words.”

Hollow Bones, shortlisted for the 2017 Big Issue Fiction Edition, 2017

Hollow Bones, shortlisted for the Big Issue Fiction Edition, June 2017.

“Jen rests her weight into the wall. There are too many people crammed into the streets around her, boxes and crates exploding their contents across the hard-packed earth, life hanging in colourful swatches and a bare-foot transience.”

The CWA’s Trip to Peru, shortlisted for the Alan Marshall Short Story Award, 2016

In 2016 my short story, The CWA’s Trip to Peru, was shortlisted in the Alan Marshall Short Story Award. This was a story written from personal experience after working as a volunteer guide inside the Amazon Rainforest, Peru – that melded with an article I read on the Country Women’s Association and the amazing work they do.

“A canoe load of determined, middle-aged women with assorted baggage – not all of it tangible – aren’t the easiest of companions nor the most patient, but add to that one hundred percent humidity, and a shortage of loos and well, let’s just say it’s touch and go.”

A Single Breath, Harold Goodwin Short Story Award, 2017

A Single Breath received the Harold Goodwin Short Story Award at the 2017 Henry Lawson Festival of Arts and was published in the Festival Anthology, 2017. The Anthology can be purchased from the Henry Lawson Festival of Arts website here.

The story of Eleanor in the ice and cold of Siberia is as controlled as her breathing. All her senses are engaged. A rider approaches: “a jangle of metal, the sigh of wood sliding over snow, a tinkling of bells, animals out of breath and a hoarse human cry”. The tension of the events is understated but very real, the metaphors confronting and layered.’ Dr Jane Downing, Charles Sturt University.

Drought, received the Grenfell Henry Lawson Award for Prose, 2017

In 2017, my poem, Drought, received the Henry Lawson Festival of Arts Poetry Award and has been published in the Anthology, 2017.

This poem has both the grandeur and delicacy of an almost neoclassical, Augustan elegance – the verse is regular, well-paced and its perspective is both judicious and minutely insightful. It escapes both Romantic affect and ballad simplification. It’s a poem that “thinks” more than “feels”. This is wise, meditative, compelling poetry.’ David Gilbey, President of Booranga Writer’s Centre and author of Pachinko sunset (Island Press, 2016).

To Drift in Sandstone Folds, Highly Commended in the Margaret Reid Poetry Contest, 2009

My poem, To Drift in Sandstone Folds, won highly commended in the Margaret Reid Poetry Contest. There are more of my poems on the Poetry pages of my website.

Children’s Fiction

Hugo’s Runaway Legs – Picture Book, Larrikin House, 2021.

The Land Belongs to Me – Picture book, Big Sky Publishing, 2019.

Code Five, Caterpillar Magazine, Autumn 2019 (Ireland).

Butternuts and Beehives – Touchdown, November 2019.

Ice Monsters and Aliens – Countdown, October 2019.

New Earth – Touchdown, October 2019.

Oyster Dreams – Orbit, September 2019.

I am Wolf – Orbit, July 2019.

A Trouble Shared (poem)Caterpillar Magazine, 2019.

Finding the Magic – Long listed in the Buzz Words Short Story Prize, 2019.

Finding George, short story published in Touchdown, March 2019 (Australia).

The New Kid, short story published in Orbit, October 2018 (Australia).

Jake’s New Family, short story published in Touchdown, September 2018 (Australia).

The Green Sash, narrative non-fiction – short story published in Orbit, July 2018 (Australia).

Annie and the Shipwreck, Narrative non-fiction – short story published in Blast Off Magazine, July 2018 (Australia).

Second Chances, short story published in Touchdown Magazine, July 2018 (Australia).

The Very Last Jar, short story published in Aquila Magazine (UK), March and April 2018.

The Notebook Thief, short story published in Touchdown Magazine, February 2018 (Australia).

Red Sky at Night and You Can Lead a Horse to Water: 2 poems published in Caterpillar Magazine, Jan 2018 (Ireland).

Isaac and the Australian, short story published in Orbit, November 2017 (Australia).

Water for Everyone, short story published in Orbit, August 2017 (Australia).

Momo and Hana, short story published in Orbit, February 2017: published by the School Magazine, the world’s oldest literary magazine for children (Australia).

© Alys Jackson 2018