from the editor's desk

Westerly’s Annual Report 2022

The year just gone was another busy and productive one for Westerly! We recently took the time to reflect on our work, and in consequence we’re pleased to share with you the highlights from our 2022 Annual Report!

Our most exciting achievement of the year was in publication: over the three issues released in 2022, we published 111 authors and artists, in 121 pieces of original work! Within this, 6.3% of the material published came from First Nations authors. We were thrilled by these figures, but moreso by the engagement they represent with the wonderful community we have around the Magazine.

We’d like to thank all those who contributed to Westerly in 2022! Your support means everything to us, and your incredible work is what keeps us ticking!

National Cultural Policy

We are excited to hear the news of increased funding to the Arts as a result of the new National Cultural Policy, Revive. Cultural policy is essential to a nation, and we were especially pleased to see Revive acknowledging the literature sector’s importance to the strong cultural infrastructure of Australia. We were also pleased to see the ways in which the policy’s five strategic pillars align with our own values and endeavours.

Westerly is proud to be holding space for First Nations voices, as demonstrated by our ongoing commitment to publishing a minimum of 5% work by First Nations writers in each issue, in keeping with the ‘First Nations First’ strategic pillar. We are also excited to continue our engagement with writers in a variety of ways, including our Writers’ Development Program and Mid-Career Fellowship for Western Australian writers—both funded by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. (We look forward to introducing you to our 2023 participants very soon!) These programs aid in developing bridges between established and emerging writers, enabling the sharing of skill and story across disciplines and generations. They also allow us to support training and capacity building within the literature sector, as does our internship program, in alignment with the Policy’s pillars ‘A Place for Every Story’ and ‘Centrality of the Artist’.

Westerly continues to provide meaningful access to Western Australian literature; and beyond that, we aim to ensure that the diverse voices in the Magazine may be accessed from anywhere, by anyone. Our efforts to continue building our national and international subscriber base sit in line with the Policy’s aim to ‘Engage the Audience’, seeking to ensure the excellence of Australian and Western Australian writing can be appreciated on a global scale.

2022 Publications

We have every reason to be optimistic about the coming year’s publications—not least because we’ve been thrilled by the quality of the writing released across 2022’s production.

In Westerly 67.1, we published fifty-five authors, including Brenda Saunders, Stuart Barnes, Donna Mazza, Martin Kovan and many others. The issue featured a suite of poems from our first Mid-Career Fellow for the year, Scott-Patrick Mitchell: ‘November 15th, 2017 (a fragment)’, ‘drag this poem’ and ‘Rubber Room’. We were also proud to include the work of Emma Crook, Priya Kahlon and Clare Testoni, produced in our Writers’ Development Program. Issue 67.1 more broadly supported the work of a range of emerging WA writers and artists through general submissions, with wonderful work from writers such as Nakita Humes, Prema Arasu, Jaes Bidwell and Melissa Kruger, Ellie Fisher and Meesha Williams.

Westerly 67.2 saw fifty-one contributors published, including Shastra Deo, Marion Kickett and John Kinsella, Rozanna Lilley, Anne Elvey, Donna Ward, Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes and many others. This issue featured the essay ‘The Poem in the Parrot, the Boy in the Bird’ from our second Mid-Career Fellow for 2022, Caitlin Maling, as well as cover art from emerging WA artist Jacob Koetzee and a strong visual component thanks to photo essays by Samuel Cox and Emma Crook, and collage from Michael Farrell.

In our twelfth OSI, Westerly: Caretaking, we published fourteen new works from eleven authors, including Omar Sakr, John Kinsella, Tracy Ryan, Tim Kinsella, Sean West, Natalie Damjanovich-Napoleon, Danno Hansen, Hannah Gregory, Jessica White, Emily Potter and Elizabeth Tan. The OSI was guest-edited by Mid-Career Fellow Caitlin Maling, and, in Caitlin’s words, aims to ‘locate thinking about caretaking, both from a parental perspective and on a wider ecological level’ (5).

All of our publications in 2022 were a joy to work on, and we’re immensely excited for what is now to come.

2023 Events and Publications

This year, we look forward to bringing you our two print issues of Westerly: 68.1 in June/July and 68.2 in November/December. Submissions are currently open for Issue 68.1, and we can’t wait to read all of your incredible work!

In addition to our usual issues, we’re also excited to be bringing you two Online Special Issues, one of which has been developed in collaboration with Denver Quarterly in the USA! The second will build from our upcoming event at the Perth Festival Writers’ Weekend—Poetic Constellations—so make sure you come join us on Sunday 26th!

Special Thanks

We would like to recognise The University of Western Australia as offering crucial support to the Magazine. We thank the School of Humanities as well as Community Partnerships for their support over the year, providing for staffing. We’re also proud to be supported by the Arthur Finn Bequest, and are grateful for that funding sustaining our production. We are also grateful to the Australia Council for the Arts, who offered funding to support the payment of all authors published in Westerly over the year, and Culture and the Arts WA (DLGSC) for funding issue production.

Most importantly, though, I’d like to thank the whole Westerly team: the core is small, but we couldn’t do what we do without a wide network of people, all of whom are a pleasure and joy to work with. Thank you to Daniel Juckes, Francesca Stewart, Melissa Kruger and Chris Arnold; to our external editors over the year—Paul Munden, Lucy Dougan, Cassandra Atherton, Susan Midalia, Timmah Ball and Casey Mulder; to all our editorial consultants; to the team who go above and beyond in production—Becky Chilcott, Keith Feltham and Camha Pham; to all those who interned with Westerly and all who have offered their time or expertise in service to the Magazine.

Finally, thanks once again to our writers and readers! Westerly exists for you. Here’s to 2023, and wonderful new writing to come!

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