This year has seemed a long one. With the horror of the bushfires early in the year, the advent of COVID-19, its lockdowns and the subsequent long tail of economic and organisational pressure, we’re conscious it has also been for many a traumatic one. As we have said in our editorials for this year’s issues, we hope you and your families have made it through safe and well.
Coming in now to the end of the year, it feels timely to celebrate surviving, and wish you all a happy and safe (as well as restful and restorative) holiday period.
Overview of 2020
There have been some big wins this year, and getting through it is one of them! But here are some of our particular highlights from 2020…
Over the year we released three issues, print issues 65.1 and 65.2, and our February Online Special Issue with the Perth Festival Literature and Ideas Weekend. In total, across these issues, we published 112 authors/artists in 107 pieces of original work. Within this, 9% of the material published came from First Nations authors/artists, exceeding our ongoing commitment for a minimum 5%.
With funding support from the Australia Council for the Arts, we were this year able to raise our rate of payment for online publication. Building on increases in rates of payment for poetry and prose in print in preceding years, this new rise established parity across our publication.
We also developed a secondary-level teaching resource with the English Teachers Association of Western Australia. When the COVID-19 lockdown hit, we opened this resource up to make it freely available to all, as a gesture of support to teachers making the transition online. It will remain available here on our website into next year!
We are grateful to the University of Western Australia for continuing to house the Magazine and for their funding support over the year, providing for staffing and production. We are also grateful to the Australia Council for the Arts, who offered funding supporting the payment of all authors published in Westerly over the year, and Culture and the Arts WA (DLGSC) for funding the issue production of 65.1 and OSI 9. Thanks finally to the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, is providing continued support for our Writers’ Development Program, and supporting our new Mid-Career Fellowships. Both these programmes have recently selected and announced participants, and we’re looking forward to working with that talented cohort!
We have thus some wonderful things coming in the new year. Issues 66.1 and 66.2 are in planning, and are already proving exciting. And alongside the Writers Development Program and Mid-Career Fellowships, we have coming a new initiative supporting First Nations writing, working with UWA’s School of Indigenous Studies, which will be announced in January/February.
To all our contributors, readers, subscribers, followers and friends, we are hugely grateful for your involvement with Westerly! We hope you have enjoyed our publication this year, and that you stay in touch in the year to come.
Finally, my thanks to the Westerly team! From core staff, to our interns, to our wonderful external editors, to our panel of editorial consultants, to the production cohort, a big group of people offer their time and expertise to the Magazine, and for this I am very grateful. I’m looking forward to working with you all in the new year!
Have a safe, restorative and happy holiday. Here’s to 2021!
Catherine, Westerly Editor