We’re winding down for the year! We hope it has been a good one for you. Westerly’s office will be closed from this Friday (20th) to the 6th of January. Please note that we will not be responding to emails or enquiries until we return, but that we’ll get back to you as soon as possible at that point.
Until then, here’s an end-of-year message from our Editor, Catherine Noske, summarising our year, and touching on some of the exciting things coming in 2020!
We wish everyone safe holidays, a good book to read, and all the very best for a relaxing Christmas and a happy New Year!
Firstly, I hope this finds you well.
This year has, in many ways, been a difficult one for literature and the arts. Devastating news about the loss of Sydney University’s Chair of Australian Literature, the axing of the Federal Arts Department and, closer to home, the proposal to overhaul UWA Publishing’s (UWAP) offerings, have all been serious blows. We stand in solidarity with our colleagues at UWAP, and we recognise the huge value of the work they publish every year. (See our formal response to the UWAP proposal here.)
As we finish up for the year, then, and as a response to all this, we want to take a moment to celebrate the value of Australian literature, and Westerly‘s achievements over the year. We are proud of the writing we have published in 2019, and we’re very grateful to all the authors who have offered us their work. We have released four exciting issues, alongside work in our blog, and we thank the readers who have subscribed, purchased and downloaded these. We hope everyone has enjoyed this year’s Westerly offerings as much as we have enjoyed bringing them together.
We hope that you go forward with us in championing literature in the new year, even if it is simply in making time to read and appreciate some great writing! We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday.
In Westerly 64.1, our first hard copy issue for the year, we published 51 authors. The issue included three features: New Shoots WA poetry, curated by Red Room Poetry; ‘Are You In or Are You Out’, a series of creative nonfiction essays; and writing from the participants in our 2018 Writers’ Development Program.
Westerly 64.2 saw 58 contributors published. The issue featured material from our new sister-magazine in the Northern Territory, Borderlands, and an essay from Kevin Brophy featuring a selection of artwork, in full colour, from expatriate artist Lorri Whiting.
Our two Online Special Issues included DisAbility (OSI7), edited by Josephine Taylor and bringing together diverse and distinctive voices, extending the conversation around ‘ability’, and Ancestors’ Words (OSI8), guest-edited by Elfie Shiosaki and Kim Scott. This issue saw a group of Noongar writers reclaim material from the Western Australian State Archive, writing in response to their own ancestors’ letters and documents collected there. Both these issues are still available, free to download and read!
As always, we are grateful to the University of Western Australia for housing us and supporting our publication! We also thank Culture and the Arts WA (DLGSC), the Australia Council for the Arts, and the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund for the funding support offered over the year. We are very grateful for this investment in Westerly’s activities.
The new year holds some exciting possibilities for us. Already we have confirmed partnerships in producing the year’s two Online Special Issues… Both will be announced in January, so watch this space! We’ll be opening general submissions for issue 65.1 at the start of February, keep an eye out for that, and have your writing ready! And finally, we’ll be offering some new resources for teachers and educators in the new year as well, with input from the English Teachers Association of Western Australia!
These are all exciting developments for us, in what promises to be a good year coming. We hope you’ll be with us for the ride!
Finally, my thanks to the Westerly team! From 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 am proud too of the contributions Westerly’s core staff and interns have made this year, in all areas. We have a magnificent team, and I have had a wonderful year working with you. My thanks to you all!
Westerly’s office will be closed from this Friday (20th) to the 6th of January. We wish you all the very best for a relaxing Christmas and a happy New Year! I hope all our readers continue to enjoy the Magazine over the year to come, and that you have a safe and happy holiday.