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Nondisclosure seems a highly appropriate theme for a publication for postgrads. At times the postgraduate journey can feel replete with uncertainties and insecurities; maybe you feel like everyone knows something you don’t. No one can really tell you what doing a postgraduate degree will be like, but maybe that’s for the best. Everyone’s experience is different, and it can be just as fun as it is daunting to discover that.
Like the theme itself, this issue has seemed surrounded by the unstated (I received more than one email worrying that a submission did not fit the definition of legal nondisclosure) and it has benefited wonderfully from it. We’ve received some truly fantastic pieces, and it’s a dream come true for a new Editor-in-Chief to be able to put together an issue that has the honour of showcasing so many great pieces of writing. For an enthralling and thought-provoking read, check out Allan Drew’s Intersection, Michael Botur’s The Bigshot, and Meg Vertigan’s Mum’s Secret Tomato Soup Recipe, to name just a few of our excellent prose pieces; our poetry submissions this issue are similarly powerful, like SWAMP regular Leni Shilton’s City Wind, or Jo McEniery’s the texter.
I should probably eschew our theme of nondisclosure and introduce myself. I’m Annika Herb—I joined the SWAMP Writing team as a prose editor on Issue 15, and loved the experience of working with talented like-minded editors and authors. I’m a second-year PhD student, and I’m using my degree to feed a lifelong obsession with Young Adult literature. SWAMP lets me dig through some amazing postgraduate writing and see the authors and poets of the future, while exercising the grammar pedant in me. It’s been an amazing experience, and I owe a huge thanks to Amy Lovat for introducing me to SWAMP and encouraging me to take on the mantle of Editor-in-Chief. She’s left me with very big shoes to fill—for more on what she’s up to, check out her blog Cool People Doing Cool Things, where she takes her passion and talent for writing that so benefited us here at SWAMP, and showcases other talented individuals chasing their dreams. Other SWAMP alumni you might want to keep up with include Ivy Ireland, who has recently released her new collection Porch Light, and founding editor Patrick Bryson, whose novel The Sad Demise of Manpreet Singh is out now. Well worth a read—congratulations to these three!
Thanks to the ready guidance from past Editor-in-Chief Amy and the ever-helpful Peter Bower—who was always kind in fielding my technology-challenged concerns—my move into the position of Editor-in-Chief was smooth and certainly never plagued by the very theme we debut this issue. Past editors kept me well-informed and guided me through the process—a big thanks is indebted to the efforts of Malcolm St Hill, who’s been with SWAMP since Issue 10. Malcolm has stepped down from the role of head of the poetry committee, and I and the team at SWAMP Writing warmly thank him for all the work he has done for us over the years as a key member of the SWAMP family. We wish him the very best for the future, and know he is on to bigger and better things!
Another big thanks goes out to our brilliant editors, many of whom are dipping their toes into the waters of SWAMP for the first time and worked hard to put together a wonderful issue. Ferne Merrylees has been nothing short of amazing in her step up to head of the poetry committee, and Nicole Shipley, our resident Harry Potter expert, was wonderful at jumping on board at late notice. Other new additions to the team include Paige Ayling and Tegan Logos, who joined us as prose and poetry editors respectively, lending their expert eyes to the issue. Each displayed a natural talent for editing—keep an eye out for these two! Marygrace Navarra, our international guest editor, was an absolute star despite the conflicting time zones; I owe her a well-deserved coffee when she’s next in Australia.
Writing for this issue hails from the local to across the way in New Zealand; to as far away as Ireland, America, and South Africa. Our prose and poetry is as rich and varied as their home countries; despite a strong focus on the unsaid, the unrealized, the unsure or the unknown, so much is said in these stories, whether it be overt or hidden between the lines. As is the nature of many of these pieces, many demand a second read-through—I recommend you sit back, read your way through the catalogue, and then dive straight back in again.
Submissions are now open for Issue 17, until 1 July 2015. The theme is “Dystopias and Utopias”—do with it as you see fit, and have fun.
Go forth, read, write, and, of course, enjoy.
- Writing session in the Mortlock Wing State Library South Adelaide, by Leni Shilton
- Mum’s Secret Tomato Soup Recipe, by Meg Vertigan
- the texter, by Jo McEniery
- The Bigshot, by Michael Botur
- City Wind, by Leni Shilton
- Intersection, by Allan Drew
- The Passing of a Social Conscience, by Perry McDaid
- Mothra, by Ryan Dzelzkalns
- Jacko’s Lid, by Jamie Derkenne
- Delilah, by Pnina Fenster
Published: 30 April, 2015.
Editorial Team: Annika Herb, Ferne Merrylees, Nicole Shipley, Paige Ayling, Tegan Logos, Marygrace Navarra (Guest Editor: Marist College, New York), Keri Glastonbury (Editorial Advisor).