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Secrets and Lies

Hidden truths and omissions. White lies and big lies. This issue, we asked our contributors to spill the beans, so to speak, as we ventured into the salacious realm of “Secrets and Lies.” Once again, our editorial team found the process of selecting works for inclusion in the issue both an enjoyable and challenging experience; our call for submissions was met with great enthusiasm and, by closing date, our inbox was teeming with outstanding creative offerings from postgraduate students from around the world.

I have previously commented on the remarkable correlations we often find between submissions on a given theme and this was certainly the case for issue 28. Many of the works within the virtual pages of this issue are not only linked by their engagement with the concept of “Secrets and Lies,” but also by their specific approach to the theme. Ghosts and the afterlife make an appearance in several of our short stories, including sydney khoo’s “what it’s like to fall in love when you don’t have a heart” (check out the wonderful accompanying illustrations by Marichelle Crick!), Kim Woolley’s “The Library” and Hudson Tesoriero’s “The Singer.” Meanwhile, the concept of loss, particularly familial loss, also plays a prominent role within many of the works, from the absence of a father in Catherine Gillard’s “Father Hunger,” to the death of a wife and mother in both Lucy Marinelli’s “View from the Stairs” and Ingrid Banwell’s “Frankenfungus.” These works, and indeed all the creative pieces in this issue, will make you think; they will challenge you to consider the cost of a secret, the repercussions of a lie.

As always, the process of preparing the issue for publication was very much reliant on our talented team of editors. Thanks are due to Naomi Borwein, who was once again excelled in her role as Head of Poetry; Caylee Tierney, who stepped into the position of Head of Prose for this issue and has done a truly fantastic job; returning editors Madeline Bignill (prose), Kerry Plunkett (poetry) and Giulia Mastrantoni (poetry), who brought their enthusiasm and dedication to yet another issue of SWAMP; and talented new recruit, Shea Evans, who lent his skills to the prose team. A special mention to long-term poetry editors, Naomi and Kerry, both of whom will be departing this issue. We wish you all the best for the future. SWAMP certainly won’t be the same without you!

As I have just submitted my PhD, this issue is also my last as Editor-in-Chief. I would like to take the opportunity to express my personal thanks to everyone I’ve had the privilege of working with over my years here at SWAMP, from the authors who’ve trusted me with their creative pieces, to my fellow editors from whom I’ve learned so much. A special note of thanks to Peter Bower, for being a constant source of support, an unfailing sounding board, and for being so instrumental in making each issue a reality. Thank you also to Associate Professor Keri Glastonbury, SWAMP’s Editorial Advisor, for always being on hand to help out when needed, and to the University of Newcastle for their ongoing support of this publication. I am confident that we will see great things from SWAMP in the future.

Submissions for issue 29 are now open and the theme is “Shadow.” An elongated silhouette on a hot summer’s day. A hint of sadness, a trace of pain, in an expression. Tailing someone through congested city streets at night. For issue 29, we invite you to cast a shadow across the murky waters of SWAMP Writing. Submissions close Friday 25th March 2022. Our editorial team looks forward to reading your work!

With sincerest thanks and best wishes for all your future writing endeavours.

Shannon Todd





Published: 20 January 2022.
Editorial Team: Shannon Todd (Editor-In-Chief), Naomi Borwein (Head of Poetry), Caylee Tierney (Head of Prose), Kerry Plunkett, Giulia Mastrantoni, Madeline Bignill, Shea Evans, Keri Glastonbury (Editorial Advisor).