The Waterfowl Are Drunk!

The Waterfowl Are Drunk! Kate Liston-Mills’ first major creative work was published in 2016 by Spineless Wonders. It is a series of short stories set in the author’s hometown on the New South Wales Far South Coast.

A series of funny and heart-warming short stories set in the author’s hometown, Pambula, on the far south coast of New South Wales.

A fox stalks a nest of hatching swans, loving parents deal with their child’s Down syndrome diagnosis, a close-knit community mourns a death, and a teenager is forced to give up an afternoon of surfing to spend time with her Nan.

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You can read interviews with Kate about The Waterfowl Are Drunk! here:


The stories follow a small cast of characters over two generations, drilling down into the details of daily life. The two standouts are narrated by Georgia, who is a teenage surfer dutifully visiting her grandmother, her attitude summed up in the title, I Don’t Even Like Scotch Fingers…


Kate Liston-Mills’ debut collection of fiction is an astute, often moving study of three generations of a small-town family. Set in the author’s native Pambula in regional NSW, it captures the idiosyncrasies of rural life, using colloquialisms to render a complex portrait of outwardly simple stories…

Myles McGuire, Books and Publishing

Disarmingly Aussie, pairing difficult issues with humour, laconicism and domesticity.


Kate Liston-Mills’s lush but precise prose and fresh perspective gives this collection about the tough stuff of ordinary life immense energy, beauty and warmth. That she manages to get depth of character and intense sense of place in such a slim collection is a true wonder, as is her ability to show the inherent drama and tragedy of everyday life without every straying into sentimentality or bleakness.

EMILY MAGUIRE, Author of An Isolated Incident and Fishing for Tigers

Kate is a veritable Nigella Lawson of letters, unable to resist tiptoeing down to the fridge after midnight to indulge in one more simile, one more metaphor. And what delicacies she has crafted in this smorgasbord, what moments of descriptive brilliance, masterful details and turns of phrase slipped expertly into the narrative… Working in the best traditions of the tall tales and urban myths repeated and embellished in country pubs the nation over, The Waterfowl Are Drunk! is a richly rendered and skillful meditation on birth, death and disability in coastal, regional New South Wales

L PHILLIP LUCAS, The Innocuous Death of Irving Crabbe

A short story can be defined as a short piece of prose, with few characters and a single theme. Often there is no common thread within a collection. Kate Liston-Mills has achieved the effect of a novel in The Waterfowl Are Drunk. In episodic flashes, we follow the lives of Ed and Hazel, their children and grandchildren, and their friends and neighbours in the isolated town of Pambula. It’s like looking through a photo album, but with the benefit of Liston-Mills’ beautiful writing filling in some gaps, while sparking our imagination to fill in the rest

Robert Fairhead, The NSW Writers’ Centre

While The Waterfowl are Drunk! can be seen as an easy weekend read, a nice escape to small-town Australia, there’s plenty of poetry to give poise to the robust language and difficult themes. Liston-Mills balances literary technique with story and character in a way that is appealing to a wide audience, crafting a collection that stirs nostalgia with its authenticity and Australiana beauty

Writer’s Edit

The Waterfowl Are Drunk! is a poetic treasure. Kate Liston-Mills has captured the intimacy and isolation of rural Australian life. Unlike anything I’ve read before, heartbreakingly funny, vivid and moving.

Meghan Brewster, writer, blogger

If you love the English language, you’ll keep coming back to little phrases that just nail it – poetic, new and evocative. Dare you to try and read this without either a smile, a tear or some frustration & anger.

Peter B, online reader

First published as an e-book as part of Slinkies Under 30s Collections.


The Waterfowl Are Drunk! is a short story collection set in Pambula, NSW, and published by Spineless Wonders. Thematic concerns include: small town living, regional Australia, disability, childbirth, war, friendship and familial drama, with a haphazard injection of magical realism.

The Waterfowl Are Drunk! is Kate Liston-Mills’s first major publication. It is part of Slinkies under 30 by Spineless Wonders.

The book will be launched during the National Young Writer’s Month in Wollongong on June 10, 2015, at Jane’s Cafe in Wollongong from about 6.30pm. There will also be a Spineless Wonders Facebook Bookclub on June 18, 2015, 8pm, to discuss The Waterfowl Are Drunk.

NOTE: If you have purchased the e-book you’ll receive an email from Kobo or Tomely with links to download ePub e-readers version for iBook/Nook AND mobi version for Kindles.

Spineless Wonders You Tube channel provides many how-to videos. Here are some: iBook, Kobo and Kindle.

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