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The First Issue

Welcome to the first edition of SWAMP, a new E-Zine for creative writing postgrads. SWAMP was started through the collective frustration of student writers who were sick of being dismissed by the academy.

It took us a little while to figure it out; if we wanted to be taken seriously, we would have to get serious. So a couple of meetings later, followed by a call out for submissions – plus a few desperate letters begging for the money to cover the website and server space – and we were away.

Yes SWAMP is run by postgrads, for postgrads. But, as you’ll see when you discover the quality of the authors we’ve selected, that doesn’t mean we’ll publish anything: far from it. SWAMP is here to circulate the best and the brightest of post graduate creative writing; these are writers who have been at it for a few years, worked on their craft and are about to leave the tutorial room – to be judged only on the merit of their creative work. It’s our job to help them make this transition, from student writer to writer.

We don’t care about reputations, previous writing credits, or whether or not you have an agent. SWAMP is here to shine a light on writing that entertains, to assist in giving your profile a boost, and to show the knockers that creative writing courses are worthwhile.

The editors didn’t set out with a topic in mind for this first issue, but looking back over the different pieces, a couple of themes have emerged.

Food was something that a lot of our authors touched on; whether it was the South Asian flavours of Komi Sellathurai’s Kambing Soup and Bread, the juxtaposition of lamingtons and tacos in Madeleine James’ Scones with my Nanna or Katherine Keefe’s delightful RECIPE CARD 32 – our taste buds are shown to have a direct line to the emotions.

Memory and a sense of being the ‘other’ were also themes taken up by a lot of our contributors. We have honoured Douglas Pope, author of Estrogen, by featuring his tale of growing up in a household full of women – in an issue otherwise made up of female authors.

At this point, we would like to pass on our many thanks to Associate Professor John Germov, Head, School of Humanities and Social Science, The University of Newcastle, for the school’s assistance with funding for this venture.

Our next issue will come out in October, and will be launched – with readings from contributors – on the last day of Critical Animals, during Newcastle’s annual This Is Not Art (TINA) festival.

Keep sending in your submissions, and forward our address on to everyone.

SWAMP is here to stay.

Patrick Bryson


Published: 16 June, 2008.
Editorial Team: Patrick Bryson, Peter Bower, Ivy Ireland, Jenna Gill, Keri Glastonbury (Editorial Advisor).