Marlee Jane Ward

About Me

Display Name

Marlee Jane Ward

Twitter Handle



What I Write

Writing Sample

(From ‘Brainf@#kers, Inc (Working title), the sequel to my novella ‘Welcome to Orphancorp’)

“Oh, I love your work,” insect-chicky says from behind me. I’ve rolled my sleeve up and some of my tattoos are showing. I’m not sure if this is cool either, but no-one seems to have noticed. Until now.

“Prison?” she asks.

“Kinda,” I say. “I did most of them myself.”

“That’s wonderful. They’re lovely.”

“Hey, thanks.” I try to think of something nice to say back. “I like your, um, head.”

Shiz. My fugging mouth, man. Good wording, Mirii. Way to talk.

But she runs a hand over the nanostubble on her head and smiles wide, red-painted lips stretching around a set of blinding white teeth. “Oh, you’re so sweet, thank you. I’ve not seen you before.”

“It’s my first day.”

“Oh, wonderful. I’m Rowena Huntington-Singh. You can call me Rowe.”

I take her hand when she offers it, the long fingers and palm soft and cool in mine.

“Miriiyanan Mahoney. Mirii. It’s good to meet you, Rowe.”

She keeps a hold of my hand and turns it over, runs a finger over the tattoo on the soft part of my forearm.

“Carina,” she mutters. “The boat.”

I grin, wide. “Yeah, how did you know?”

“I studied astronomy for a semester at the institute. You?”

“I’ve just always loved the night sky, ya know? My name, it means ‘shooting star’.”

“Oh, that’s lovely. Self taught, how delightful!”

“Maroney!” Vikke Wrangle is suddenly all up in my face.

“Mahoney,” I tell her, but she’s not listening.

“What are you doing?”

I gesture to Rowe with the end of the suction tube. “We were just having a chat.”

“You can’t interact with the higher ups!” She looks to Rowe. “I’m sorry if this trainee was bothering you, Ms Singh.” Back to me. “I’m going to have to write this up, Maroney.”

“It’s no trouble, I started the conversation,” Rowe looks off at another trainee who sags heavily against the pod, her eyes rolling around in her head. “Oh! I must be off,” she says, taking up the tray from where she’s rested it on the pod. “This poor love’s about to keel over without her Hysirifol.”

She glides off, keening to the simulants that she’s on her way. I turn back to the pod and bend right inside, trailing my corded suckers and cans of air as Vikke glowers over my shoulder.”

What I Write

I’m an Australian writer living in Melbourne. I write all kinds of things: YA, sci-fi, horror-y stuff, post-apocalyptic riffs, I queer up everything as much as I can and just try to use words to describe the many futures I’ve got living in my head.

I attended Clarion West in 2014 and studied under James Patrick Kelly, Kij Johnson, Ian McDonald, Hiromi Goto, Charlie Jane Anders and John Crowley, as well as with some of the finest students and friends I’ve ever met.

Clarion changed my life, just like it changes the lives of everyone who does it, and that’s why I want to support it in any way I can. Clarion made me a better writer, student, friend, person. It gave me a glimpse of a life I could make for myself, and the career I could carve if I worked hard enough. I’ll do anything I can to give that to other people.


I’ve got a story called ‘The Walking Thing’ in the latest Interfictions, a piece called ‘Clara’s’ in the Hear Me Roar Anthology and stuff forthcoming in different places.
My debut novella ‘Welcome to Orphancorp’, based on my week two Clarion story, is shortlisted for Seizure Online’s Viva La Novella.

My Write-a-thon Goals

Writing Goals

More focus, more words. I aim to write 1000 words a day four days per week: Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday. The days that I work (as I work three days of double shifts per week) I will write at least 250.

These words will mostly be on my current WIP, ‘Brainf@#kers, Inc’.

Fundraising Goals

Just whatever dollars I can wrangle. Some is better than none, more is better than some.