Melina Marchetta

When Rosie met Jim


The Review of Australian Fiction ( has a great concept where a well-established writer asks a talented writer, who may be lesser known, to also submit a short story.

Last time I wrote a story for the RAF, it was in the same edition as the very talented Kirsty Eagar.  This time it’s Kathryn Barker, whose debut novel In the Skin of a Monster won the Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel in 2016 and was shortlisted for Best Fantasy.  Her second novel, Waking Romeo will be published by Allen & Unwin in Australia and Flatiron Books in the US in 2019.

Kathryn’s short story for the RAF is called Shoeboxes and it is an amazing psychological thriller. To tell you anything more would ruin the reader’s experience.

My short story is called When Rosie met Jim. It’s about a young woman who finds herself stranded in a Queensland town during a flood, where she meets a guy named Jim. (the title is quite literal, and yes, it’s him for those who know my previous work).

Both stories will be available online on the 20th of June. I will publish the link when it’s available (it costs about $2.99).

Mine will be the first chapter of the novel I’m writing, which unlike the short story, is set in the same part of Sydney I tend to write about in my contemporary novels. Here’s the first line.

It’s rained for forty days and forty nights, so when a guy who looks like Jesus in orange SES overalls comes to stand next to her, Rosie thinks it’s all a bit biblical.