On Monday, 11th June 2012 at around 11:00am, nine writers, ten editors, about a dozen support staff, one designer, a coffee machine, and a bucketload of Tim Tams came together with the purpose of creating a book. We were to begin working at midday. Like all books, ours had a publishing deadline. Unlike a lot of books, ours was precisely twenty-four hours after we began.
This was the 24-Hour Book.
Over the next twelve hours, their stories were written live, with work in progress posted online to allow readers to watch the story unfold and to submit ideas, suggestions and contributions across media. One by one, the stories were completed and the clock neared midnight. At this point, a team of bleary-eyed editors took the text from manuscript to book.
Each chapter has a single writer and editor. Though a few basic rules were established to ensure the book has a cohesive quality to it, each writer was free to tell whatever kind of story they liked. The result was not a 24-Hour novel, but more than a loose collection of short stories.
Nick Earls is the author of twelve novels and two collections of short stories. His books have won awards and appeared on bestseller lists in Australia and the UK. Two of his novels have been adapted into feature films and five into plays. He sometimes appears sideways in images.
Steven Amsterdam was born in New York and has worked as a map editor, producer's assistant, and a pastry chef. Since 2003, he has lived in Melbourne, where he works as a writer and palliative care nurse. His debut novel, Things We Didn't See Coming, won The Age Book of the Year and was longlisted for The Guardian First Book Award. His second book, What the Family Needed, was published last November and has been called "Wonderful" by the Sydney Morning Herald and "Exhilarating" by The Australian.
Krissy Kneen is a bookseller and writer. She has written and directed documentaries for SBS and ABC TV. Her short fiction has been published in The Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings, The Griffith Review and The Big Issue. She is the author of a short collection of erotica, Swallow the Sound, a memoir Affection (Text 2009) and a collection of interlinked erotic novellas, Triptych (2011).
P.M. Newton’s first novel, The Old School, was released in 2010 and described as “an arresting debut: astonishingly accomplished and as authentic as a .38 bullet wound” by Andrew Rule. The Old School won the Sisters in Crime Readers’ Choice Award and the Asher Literary Award. In 2011 published two short stories, one in the Sc-Fi edition of Seizure magazine, the other in the Review of Australian Fiction, and is working on the sequel to The Old School.
Christopher Currie is a 30 year-old writer from Brisbane. His first book, The Ottoman Motel was published in 2011 by Text Publishing. He also maintains the barely-tolerated literary blog Furious Horses.
Rjurik Davidson is the author of The Library of Forgotten Books. His first novel, Unwrapped Sky will be released by Tor books in 2013. His script The Uncertainty Principle (co-written with Ben Chessell) is currently under development by Lailaps films. He is the winner of a number of awards and is an Associate Editor of Overland magazine.
Angela Slatter is the author Sourdough & Other Stories (Tartarus Press, UK) and The Girl with No Hands & Other Tales (Ticonderoga Publications), which won the Aurealis Award for Best Collection in 2011.Her work has appeared Dreaming Again, Strange Tales II & III, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Steampunk Reloaded, A Book of Horrors, Mammoth Book of New Horror #22, and Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2011 & 2012.
Geoff Lemon is a journalist, editor, writer, and performer. His political satire and social commentary appear in outlets like The Drum (ABC) and The Punch (News Ltd). He’s also a sportswriter for The Roar, with weekly radio segments on ABC Sydney and RRR Melbourne. He is currently co-editor of Going Down Swinging. His creative work is published in the likes of Best Australian Stories, Heat, Griffith Review, and PAN Magazine. His book Sunblind was published by Picaro Press in 2008.
Simon Groth's fiction and non-fiction has appeared in Meanjin, Overland, and Island, among others and his novels have been shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and the Text Prize. He is co-editor of Off The Record: 25 Years of Music Street Press (UQP, 2010). Simon is the manager of if:book Australia and the lead writer for the 24-Hour Book, an honour that's didn't worry him in the slightest.
Keith Stevenson is a speculative fiction editor, reviewer, podcaster and author. Keith began his editing career as editor of Aurealis Magazine from 2001 to 2004. He set up coeur de lion publishing, with fellow author Andrew Macrae, in 2006 and also produced and presented the Terra Incognita Speculative Fiction Podcast for thirty shows from late 2008. Keith was the lead editor on the 24-Hour Book.
Our line editors each took a chapter and worked in the wee hours to produce a finished product: Jack Venning, Sarah Kanake, Laura Elvery, Chris Przewloka, Andrea Baldwin, Emma Doolan, Matt Shepard, Kelsey Bricknell, and Sasha Macka.