dark fiction & other materials by

j. ashley smith

J. Ashley Smith is a British–Australian writer of dark fiction and other materials.

He was born in Cambridge, UK, and spent his childhood hiding in the foundations of a Victorian house, scribbling gruesome tales by torchlight and obsessing over ghosts, real and imagined. After studying film and creative writing in Sheffield, he spent fifteen years as a musician. He now lives in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, tormenting himself with nightmares while his wife and two sons sleep.

His story On The Line won the short story category in the Australian Horror Writers’ Association Short Story and Flash Fiction Competition 2015. Other tales have appeared in Heater and the anthology of Australian horror, In Sunshine Bright and Darkness Deep.

shortlist fever

Or “Five things reading a big ol’ pile of slush taught me about writing.” Last week, the winners of this year’s AHWA Flash Fiction & Short Story Competition were announced, followed by rapturous applause and a chorus of loud huzzahs. The announcement was the... read more

judge not… oh, wait…

Here’s a bit of exciting news… Zoe Downer, Lee Murray and I will be judging the 2016 AHWA Flash Fiction and Short Story Competition. Not sure what I’m letting myself in for, but looking forward to it... read more

no, I wasn’t dreaming…

Chuffed to receive this handsome fellow in the post this morning (the likeness is quite striking!). Nothing like a plaque to make it official. Thank you judges and AHWA! And, as if today wasn’t good enough already, this author interview went up on the release... read more

never trust an englishman with a book…

It’s been a long time since I’ve read an honest-to-goodness page-turner. Like the best thrillers, Alan Baxter’s Bound drops you in the thick of the action from the very first sentence and doesn’t let up until the book is closed. But, unlike a simple airport... read more

last year, when we were young

I should have written this review months ago. It was sometime in June that I finished Andrew J McKiernan’s Last Year, When We Were Young and it’s close on September now, and in all that time I’ve been mulling on what I could possibly write that might do justice to... read more

reductio ad what-what?

I’ve never given much of a hoot for the conventional plot types. It’s not that I’m wilfully contrary, or that I want every book I read or film I watch to be some great happening art-house trip-out. But, come on, isn’t anyone else sick to shit of the damned three-act... read more

WiHM7 review #3: The Road by Amanda J. Spedding

I thought I was getting off lightly this week. When The Road To Golgotha, Cohesion Comics’ first double A-side release, turned up on my doorstep I figured it would be a breeze. There’s less to read. There’s pictures. Easy. Nope. Amanda J. Spedding’s tale The Road is... read more

WiHM7 review #1: Fence Lines by Joanne Anderton

It was hard to choose which story to review from Joanne Anderton’s award-winning collection, The Bone Chime Song. So many, gnarled, unusual tales, so many weird, memorable worlds, each rendered in spare, vivid prose. Fence Lines drew short straw for being one of the... read more

writing words about music to write words to #1

It’s with a sense of baffled incredulity that I read writer’s lists of the music they listened to while tapping out their various works. How do they concentrate? I mean, there’s a time and a place for Metallica, but it sure as shizzle isn’t... read more

our last meal

In Sunshine Bright and Darkness Deep is unleashed today! To celebrate, I’ve knocked together a little audio teaser of my story, Our Last Meal. You can listen to it here, or download to keep forever. Enjoy! And if you want to read more, you can purchase your copy of... read more