Melanie Harding-Shaw

Unrequited Sonata, fiction, issue 48, September 2019




Melanie Harding-Shaw is a speculative fiction writer, policy geek and mother-of-three from Wellington, New Zealand. Her work has recently appeared in publications like Daily Science Fiction and The Arcanist, and now NewMyths. She was a finalist for Best Short Story in the 2019 Sir Julius Vogel Awards. She is a member of, and volunteer for, the New Zealand Society of Authors and CoNZealand—the 78th World Science Fiction Convention to be held in Wellington in 2020. You can find her at https://www.melaniehardingshaw.com/ and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MelanieHardingShawWriter and Twitter https://twitter.com/MelHardingShaw.



Get to know Melanie...


When did you start writing?


I was a late starter. I decided to write a novel in 2016, around the time my youngest started pre-school. It took me 18 months to write the first draft. I’m now querying that Middle-Grade Fantasy novel with agents, revising a second novel drafted during NaNoWriMo 2018, and I have written a range of other pieces from micro-fiction through to novellas. 


When and what and where did you first get published?


My first publication was a 99-word dystopian motherhood story ‘Big Brother’ that was a finalist in New Zealand’s National Flash Fiction Day Micro-Madness competition in June 2018. You can read it here: https://nationalflash.org/micro-madness/


My first paid publication was my short story ‘Common Denominator’ in Wild Musette Journal in October 2018. I’m very excited that story is being reprinted in the inaugural Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy anthology forthcoming from Paper Road Press in November 2019.


And my first ‘pro-rate’ publication was ‘A New Cold War’ published by Daily Science Fiction in April 2019 available here: https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/science-fiction/melanie-harding-shaw/a-new-cold-war


Why do you write Science Fiction and/or Fantasy?


Because that’s what I love to read! The stories I write almost always start in my head with a ‘what if’ that explores the effect of a change to technology or reality on people’s motivations and actions. It’s a fantastic way to get a different perspective on real-world challenges today like climate change and equity.


Who is your favorite author? Your favorite story?


Does anyone have just one? My current favourite is Rebecca Roanhorse. The author I will always devour anything by is Neil Gaiman (his Masterclass is fantastic if you have a membership). My comfort author who I’ve probably re-read the most is Tamora Pierce.


Do you blog?


I’ve just launched my website in July 2019. There’s a few little pieces on there. You can check it out at: https://www.melaniehardingshaw.com/








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