209 Summer 2012
Overland is fundamentally committed to emerging writers. This edition features the winning entries from the Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize, the richest and most prestigious competition of its kind in Australia. They are introduced by Jennifer Mills, Overland’s incoming fiction editor, in a judge’s report offering a snapshot of the huge quantity of writing that was assessed.
We are very pleased to publish the three successful stories in an issue in which many of the essays ask hard questions about the theory and practice of writing itself.
We rarely theme Overland these days, for the literary journal is a form that thrives on diversity, even eclecticism.
But this edition emerged naturally, since so many contributors seemed to grappling with the same problems. What does it mean to be an author in Australia? Can I make a living from my work? Is writing merely a private hobby, a practice akin to stamp collecting? If not, what role does it play in Australian society? Should writing involve a politics – and, if so, how?
Writing is always difficult, particular so in turbulent economic times, in a small country like Australia. But that very difficulty makes confronting broader questions all the more important. Overland 209 invites both new and established writers (and, for that matter, readers) to join an ongoing conversation about writing and its role.