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Ordinary journeys or extraordinary journeys, journeys of self-discovery or journeys in which you lose yourself completely, this issue we invited authors to contemplate the journey in all its forms, to submit works which transport us through words. In many respects, the theme felt like a natural successor to that of our previous issue, “home.” From an issue which celebrates one’s centre, and concomitant notions of belonging and consistency, we move to one which emphasises travel and change.
Over the past few months, as the SWAMP Writing editorial team prepared this issue for publication, our communities have been experiencing the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With our ability to travel, to undertake journeys of a physical nature, restricted for the foreseeable future, what was intended as an issue showcasing a very normal aspect of life, now feels like a homage to a different world entirely. Given our online format, we are fortunate in that we are still able to proceed with publication. Regardless, it has never felt so great a privilege to be able to introduce an edition of SWAMP and I hope it proves to be a welcome distraction for our readers during these uncertain times.
Within the virtual pages of this issue, many different types of journeys are represented. There are works which explore the physical journey, such as Melanie Dixon’s “07:52 to Shimla” and Jayne Marshall’s “Teruel,” and there are those in which a journey is articulated through memory and reflection, as in Melissa Watt’s “Bishkek, August 2010” and Shelley Arlidge’s “Hunters and Gatherers.” Journeys set in a not-so-distant future, when our planet’s ability to sustain life is in question, is the premise of works such as Orph Both’s “We Are Here” and Evi Ruhle’s “Grounded.” And finally, journeys into the realm of crime was an unexpected but prevalent trend throughout the issue, with examples including Jennifer Molloy’s “Big Kev’s Journey to Cricketing Fame and Fortune,” Rhys William Tyers’ “The Infinite City of Darkness and Light” and Giulia Mastrantoni’s “When I Own a Yoga Studio.” These pieces, and indeed all of the pieces in issue 25, engage with the theme in novel and exciting ways; I have no doubt they will delight and entertain as they convey readers beyond the here and now.
The “journey” to publication for this issue was very much reliant on a number of dedicated and talented individuals. Thanks are due to Liz Chandler (Head of Prose) and Naomi Borwein (Head of Poetry), returning editors Caylee Tierney and Emily Yaremchuk (Prose) and Kerry Plunkett (Poetry), and new editors Madeline Bignill (Prose) and Danielle Nohra (Poetry). It has been such a pleasure working with you all and I am especially grateful for your dedication and commitment given the current circumstances. As always, a special note of thanks must go to Peter Bower for his advice and assistance, and for getting everything up and running on our website. [Webmaster note: Apologies for delay in publication! Entirely on me and my commitments.] And lastly, to all those who subscribe, share and submit to our magazine, thank you for your ongoing support.
Submissions for issue 26 are now open and the theme is “Silence.” An absence. A void. A space in between. We invite you to fill the silence as you see fit. Submissions close Friday 17th July 2020.
Finally, from our SWAMP “family” to yours, we hope that you remain healthy and safe over the coming months. Take care and, of course, happy reading!
- Big Kev’s Journey to Cricketing Fame and Fortune – Jennifer Molloy
- Bishkek, August 2010 – Melissa Watts
- Hunters and Gatherers – Shelley Arlidge
- 07:52 to Shimla – Melanie Dixon
- We Are Here – Orph Both
- Mangawhai – Bronwyn Calder
- Grounded – Evi Ruhle
- When I Own a Yoga Studio – Giulia Mastrantoni
- The Infinite City of Darkness and Light – Rhys William Tyers
- An Awareness – Michael Sutton
- Teruel – Jayne Marshall
- Kitchen Sink – Karnarajsinh Vaghela
- Caged – Jordan Phair
- Forgive me, daughter, where is your heart? – Suzanne Bowditch
Published: 10 June 2020.
Editorial Team: Shannon Todd (Editor-In-Chief), Liz Chandler (Head of Prose), Naomi Borwein (Head of Poetry), Kerry Plunkett, Danielle Nohra, Madeline Bignill, Emily Yaremchuk, Caylee Tierney, Keri Glastonbury (Editorial Advisor).