The lunar coast

Winner of the Queensland Young Writers Award
Published in Griffith Review 28: Still The Lucky Country

The lunar coast is an award-winning short story about what happens to a small fishing town on the west coast of Australia when the tide goes out and doesn’t come back in again.

This story won the Queensland Young Writers Award and was published in Griffith Review 28: Still the Lucky Country. You may read The lunar coast online here, or read the SLQ YWA judges report here.


Below are some notes on The lunar coast for students of the Faroe Islands (and elsewhere) studying this story for school. (Hello!) 

About the me:
I grew up on an island off the East coast of Queensland in Australia. The environment plays a huge role in my fiction. I’ve always been interested in the impact nature has on our behaviour. I love surfing, fishing, scuba diving… and reading!

Megan&Joel1 Megan_McGrath_Fish2 Megan_McGrath_Fish1 McGrath_Nelson

I won my first writing competition aged 9, and was publishing stories and newspaper articles aged 14. After high school, I studied Creative Writing Production at Queensland University of Technology. My first job with books was as a merchandiser in a bookstore. I have since worked for a book printer in Hong Kong and at Queensland Writers Centre. For two years I was the Program Coordinator at Brisbane Writers Festival bringing authors and storytellers to one of the biggest literary events in Australia. Now I work for the State Library of Queensland, and continue to write stories for publication and teach Creative Writing to children and adults.
Here are some pictures from my hometown, Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island:
IMG_3463  Adder_Rock Deadmans_Beach North_Gorge

Now I live in Brisbane – Queensland’s beautiful River City

About the The lunar coast:
The lunar coast is about what happens to two friends, and their seaside fishing town, when the tide goes out and doesn’t come back in again.

Where did you get the inspiration to write The lunar coast? How important is the setting?
In 2009 I spent 3 months travelling around the coast of Australia with my friend from Canada. I was inspired to write The lunar coast when I was in Broome in Western Australia. Broome has some of the biggest tides in the world and this inspired the idea of considering what might happen to the landscape and the characters who inhabit the coast if the tide-change was permanent.
Below is a picture I took while I was in Broome.  At high tide, all the rocks you can see in the picture disappear under the water.


You can read about the Broome tides here:

What are the major themes?
– Climate change
– Environmental impact on industry / Impact of industry on nature
– Survival
– Male friendships / masculinity

How important is the relationship between Lee and Alex?
Stories are about people. In The lunar coast the characters and their changing relationship is the core of the drama.  With the absence of the tide, they have each been forced to change in different ways. Their response to the situation is what drives this story. The final, violent act is a metaphor for the end of their friendship.

What makes a good story? Where do you get your ideas from?
I believe that all good stories come from true life experience. With some extra imagination, you can make a story out of anything.
I take a real experience (such as the tides), add an idea (the tide not coming back in) and add imagination (characters, settings, plot) and then I have a story!

Story = experience + idea + imagination


If you enjoyed The Lunar coast:

You might like to read my short story, The River City, or my novella Whale station. See the About page for links and more details. You can also contact me by email if you have any questions. Thanks for reading!



One thought on “The lunar coast

  1. katrina

    Oh my God! Thank you so much for this blog! I would’ve never been able to write my essay if it weren’t for your generosity of publishing your notes online!
    Greetings from the Faroe Islands, and by the way, I loved ‘the lunar coast’!

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