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Mirrors. The past. Moments of quiet introspection. The theme, “reflection,” can be interpreted so many different ways. Once again, our call for submissions prompted an impressive response from postgraduate students both in Australia and internationally; the quality of those submissions was impressive to say the least and the process of making our final selection was incredibly challenging.

Issue 27 is undoubtedly one that will make you think; it is brimming with writing that – rather appropriately – encourages you to press pause and reflect on the world around you. Creative nonfiction and memoir are particularly well represented this issue. There are stories which consider the everyday in conjunction with a challenging period in one’s life: Laura Fulton’s “Only Now” documents the process of completing a PhD during the COVID-19 pandemic, while Katie Huggins’ “The Welcome Swallow,” uses a small act of kindness to reflect on struggles with alcoholism. Other nonfiction works centre on interpersonal relationships, be they relationships with family members, such as Franchesca Liauw’s “My City and Me” and Sharmila Jayasinghe’s “A Symphony of Familiarity,” or on romantic relationships, as in Oscar Godsell’s “Ava.”

Interpersonal relationships are also the focus of many of the works of fiction in this issue: in Angela Italiano’s “Bottle Baby,” the protagonist contemplates his relationship with his mother as he faces her impending death, and in Ingrid Banwell’s “Red Onion Blues,” the protagonist draws comparisons between her affair with a work colleague fifteen years prior and her current marriage. A romantic relationship is also the focus of Mai Serhan’s poem, “No Eulogy for the Undead,” although here we have a relationship undone, a relationship in reverse. Other works of poetry present the theme in a variety of different forms: it is an image in a mirror, it is memories of the past, it is even a meditation on the secret language of coke cans.

Alongside the fantastic work of our contributors, this issue would not have been possible without the efforts of our incredibly talented editorial team. Caylee Tierney and Madeline Bignill from prose and Kerry Plunkett from poetry were once again on board with their wonderful editing skills, while our guest editor for this issue, Giulia Mastrantoni, proved to be an invaluable addition to our poetry team. As always, our heads of poetry and prose, Naomi Borwein and Liz Chandler, guided their respective teams through the editing process with passion and commitment. A special mention to Liz who has headed up our prose team since issue 22 and is departing us this issue. All the best for the future, Liz. You will be very much missed! Finally, a shout-out to Peter Bower for all his work behind the scenes. [Webmaster note: Any delays are entirely my fault! Sorry! COVID life is tough right now! – Peter] I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: none of this would be possible without him.

Submissions for issue 28 are now open and the theme is “Secrets and Lies.” Be they hidden truths, omissions, white lies or big lies, it’s time to spill the beans, so to speak. Submissions close Friday 27th August 2021. We can’t wait to read your work!

Happy reading and happy writing!

Shannon Todd





Published: 23 August 2021.
Editorial Team: Shannon Todd (Editor-In-Chief), Liz Chandler (Head of Prose), Naomi Borwein (Head of Poetry), Kerry Plunkett, Giulia Mastrantoni, Madeline Bignill, Caylee Tierney, Keri Glastonbury (Editorial Advisor).