Well-Behaved Women

In moments disquieting or quietly inspiring, this collection considers the complexity of the connections we make—with our family, friends and neighbours, and with those met briefly or never at all. In her timely debut, Emily Paull voices a chorus of characters that reveal and re-evaluate the expectations of women in Australia today—after all, well-behaved women rarely make history.

What readers are saying:

Well-Behaved Women, is a sophisticated, thought-provoking, and challenging exploration of human relationships. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a book for women, about women; it’s a book for anyone and everyone. Each of the stories add value in the way they explore difference and individuality, and offer an engaging look at societal expectations.’—Westerly Magazine

'These stories are terrific. Tough and moving and gentle and wise. I loved them.' — Robert Drewe
‘This is a thought-provoking ensemble, asking the reader to consider the intricate web of connections between people, and the psychological, the sad and the funny, the poignant and the challenging. The author has a great eye for detail and an accessible voice, and is definitely an emerging writer to watch.’—Writing WA
‘Triumphant, enraging, and occasionally all too familiar, Well-Behaved Women is an assured and thoughtful collection. Packed with vivid and engaging writing, it’s an exciting debut from the author, filled with tales that can (and should) be savoured time and time again.’—The AU Review
‘This debut collection of short stories is remarkable in its deeply observed humanity towards the people (well-behaved or not) whose lives are examined, sometimes critically, sometimes tenderly. The clamour of different voices and lives resonate with energy, wisdom and complexity. Never cynical, always thoughtful, Emily Paull’s women are uncomfortably real and compelling. I loved this collection completely.’—Rashida Write Now
‘I found the book hard to put down and spent time in reflection after reading. I enjoyed the feelings of intimacy, vulnerability and uneasiness that came with each of the stories as if they were whispered confidences told in the quiet of night.’—Nadia L King
'In Well-Behaved Women Emily Paull expertly conveys the small but cumulative acts of emotional repression women endure in order to keep the peace. With great skill and poetry, Paull draws our attention to the psychological toll that such daily concessions take. These fabulous stories will make you smile and cry but most of all, will make you angry - on behalf of all these quietly suffering and "well-behaved" women we all know so well.' —Melanie Cheng, Victorian Premier's Literary Award Winner

We'll Stand in that Place and Other Stories - edited by Michelle Cahill

The 2019 Anthology of the Margaret River Press Short Story Competition.

Featuring my story 'A Moveable Farce'

Westerly 63.2 (2018)

Featuring my story 'From Under the Ground'

Joiner Bay and Other Stories- edited by Ellen van Neerven

The 2017 Anthology of the Margaret River Press Short Story Competition.

'These are beautiful, charming stories, top to bottom, stories I believe will enrich any reader.' 

 - Ellen van Neerven

Featuring my story 'Ms Lovegrove'

Shibboleth and Other Stories- edited by Laurie Steed

The 2016 Anthology of the Margaret River Press Short Story Competition.

'They are stories that connect with a deeper sense of humanity.  They are stories to be enjoyed at home, in bed, or on the train; wherever it's possible to savour the quiet, loud and unforgettable moments of life.'

Featuring my story 'The Sea Also Waits'

Westerly 62.1 (2017)

Featuring my story 'Sister Madly Deeply'


A Young Adult Short Fiction Anthology from For Books' Sake.

Featuring my story 'A Thousand Words'