2020 Snapshot: Marlee Jane Ward

Marlee Jane Ward is a writer living on Wurundjeri Land.

She grew up on the Central Coast of NSW, studied creative writing at the University of Wollongong and is a Clarion West alum.

Marlee is a writer of short fiction, non-fiction, novellas and novels. Her work can be found at Terraform, Apex, Aurealis, Overland, Meanjin, and more. She is the author of the award-winning Orphancorp Trilogy.

Her work has won the Victorian Premiers Literary Award for YA Fiction, the Viva La Novella Prize and been nominated for Aurealis Awards, the NSW Premiers Award and the Norma K Hemming Award.

Marlee likes dreaming of the future, cats, and making a spectacle of herself. She is currently living her dream of being an apocalypse witch and someone’s fabulous goth aunt.

1. Tell us about your recent publications/projects?

My most recent short story is Rats, from the anthology Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories edited by Michael Earp. I feel like it’s set in the Orphancorp world, but in Melbourne instead of Sydney. It’s a queer meet-cute and it’s action-pack and I was really happy with it once it was done. It’s nominated for Best YA Short Story in the Aurealis Awards, and I’m so excited.

I wrote a novella called The Forgetting Navigations that got to acquisitions at my dream market, but they passed last minute, which broke my heart. I worked really hard on it, so I would love to see it published somewhere.

I DO have a book coming out in July, but it’s my first non-SFF book. It’s a memoir written under the name Mia Walsch, called Money For Something.

2. What has been the best publishing experience of your career so far?

Working with Seizure and my editor Zoya Patel on Welcome To Orphancorp was the best experience to usher me into publishing. Alice Grundy and David Henley at Seizure/Brio Books are some of the best, most wonderful people in publishing. Then they worked with me to write the sequels in a way that really worked for me and my particular brain-workings, and having that acceptance right at the beginning was so helpful. I would work with them again in a heartbeat and would recommend them to anyone.

3. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge?

ITS IS CRUEL TO ASK ME FOR JUST ONE. So, I’m breaking the rules of this question and giving several. I would 100% recommend Jane Rawson’s entire collection of work, but From the Wreck is amazing. I’d suggest Claire G Coleman’s Terra Nullius and The Old Lie. Of course I’m going to recommend my partner Corey J White’s Voidwitch Saga and new novel Repo Virtual.

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