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from the editor's desk

Merry Christmas from Westerly

Before we say hello to 2019, we’d like to celebrate our achievements in 2018. None of these would have been possible without our loyal readers and subscribers, and the support of the University of Western Australia and our funding bodies so, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you all!

In Westerly 63.1 (July), our first hard copy issue for the year, we published 54 authors, including Claire G. Coleman and Dan Disney, among many others. This issue also introduced the work of the participants in the 2017 Writers’ Development Program (WDP), and contained two features: the dual publication of six poems with The Indian Quarterly; and a selection of poetry from the Sun Yat-sen International Residency.

Westerly 63.2 (November) saw 48 contributors published, including two interviews—Elfie Shiosaki with Julie Dowling; and John Kinsella with Fay Zwicky—and featuring two poetry projects: the Northam Noongar Poetry Project, a series of works published with the support of the Community Arts Network (CAN); and a selection of works from five international prose poets, commissioned by our Editor for Poetry, Cassandra Atherton. National luminaries also contributed, with David Malouf offering his opening address to the 2018 Australian Short Story Festival.

In our online publishing, our fifth Online Special Issue (OSI5) paid tribute to Fay Zwicky, while OSI6 focused on South Australia, guest edited by Alexander Cothren and Amy Mead with support from Flinders University, forging a wonderful new interstate connection.

Over these two print and two online issues, we were proud to publish 127 authors/artists in 134 pieces of original work/translations. We exceeded our commitment to publishing Indigenous content, with 8% Indigenous authors contributing 7% of the published works in our two print issues. In addition, 68% of the published work in our most recent issue is women’s writing, which is almost exactly the percentage of women submitting.

That was the year that was, and now there is much to look forward to in 2019! Writers Week at the Perth Festival promises a tremendous range and diversity of authors, and we are thrilled to be offering several panels then. And look out for writing from our 2018 Writers’ Development Program in our first issue for 2019, Westerly 64.1. You can read a lovely taster of the participants’ writing from their workshop with Susan Midalia right now.

The Westerly office will be closed from 21 December (even editors need a break!). We will be back on 14 January, and will respond to emails as soon as possible then, so ask for your patience in the meantime. Our online portal for general submissions will re-open in February ahead of Westerly 64.1.

We look forward to another year of fabulous reading and writing with you in 2019until then, we wish you a safe, happy and literary Christmas, and a wonderful beginning to the new year!

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