from the editor's desk

Daring to Imagine My Journey

Adele Aria

With the support of the Copyright Agency‘s Cultural Fund, and in partnership with the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ CentreWesterly delivered our fifth Writers’ Development Program in 2020–21.

Three talented emerging writers were offered professional guidance and support in developing their work for publication in Westerly, both in print and online. We are delighted to showcase their reflections on the Program at the Editor’s Desk, and will celebrate the publication of their writing in the upcoming Westerly 66.2.


Knowing we might share reflections upon concluding the Westerly program, I decided to align my participation with Julia Cameron’s often recommended The Artist’s Way. I attempted almost every exercise as detailed in the prescribed timeline, trying to be the diligent and disciplined student. My internalisation of the survival myth drives this relapsing habit of model minority performance.

It took time to stretch into the apparently difficult practice of accepting my hesitations, not always demanding of myself to do the things that discomforted me, instead permitting myself to resist when something was not right.

Interrupting hegemonic definitions of success, capitalist imperatives and expectations of advocacy to take the forms of militaristic fights and marches, I found the insistence of my voice. Increasingly, my writing feels recognisably mine and I feel more visible in it. As LaVelle Ridley articulates, ‘No matter the outcome, the gesture of daring to imagine itself might be a productive move toward collective liberation and personal joy’ (488).

I uncovered and played with the fears, hesitations, and doubts I had previously dreamt were long banished. I found the excitement and hope of more forms of writing to dive into, without imposing an obligation to make them worthy beyond what they meant to me. It feels strange and wonderful to say I have recently read several pieces of my writing and felt pride and satisfaction in them.
So, I share some of my current favourites in a journal I had begun as an anchor for writing, but instead became my evolving map of my tao: my passions, values, learning and remaking.
Thank you Westerly, Jo, Daniel, Kate, Marcella, Lisa, Ben, Maddie, Annabel, my secret garden, my furry housemates (often referred to as pets) and all the other creatives in my life.

Work Cited:

Ridley, LaVelle. ‘Imagining Otherly’, TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 6.4 (2019): 481–490. Sourced at: https://doi.org/10.1215/23289252-7771653.

Adele is a queer disabled writer, advocate and artist whose writing, informed by lived experiences and studies, focuses on human rights and social justice. Their non-fiction, poetry and performance writing has featured in local, Australian and international publications and events. Adele has been awarded several emerging writer and development fellowships. A person of colour, Adele is grateful to be living on Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar.

Westerly Writers' Development Programme Partners: The Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, KSP Writers' Centre

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