234.5
Type
Editorial

From the editorial collective

One editor

There’s a lot to be said about fiction that broadens our view and gives us new insights. Stories that challenge our perceptions and expand our comprehension of the world. We need new voices and unconventional narratives to guard against rigidity. Plots that are distinct and lucid and sometimes boiling hot.

A second editor

Working on this collective fiction edition was a real treat: not only has the writing itself been stellar, but the chance for us Overland fiction readers to share and discuss and edit together has been a gift. The breadth of stories we’ve worked with have shown a diversity of voice and experience that is exciting to read. In Laura Elizabeth Woollett’s story ‘Hati-Hati’, for example, the use of haunting melancholy and gaps in memory make the lonesome protagonist’s vulnerability frightening and electric – the reader feels her toxic disconnection from the safe and familiar.

A different editor

Agreed – it was a thrill to showcase fresh voices in this collective fiction edition, with several new writers showing tremendous talent in their submissions. ‘Bridge’, by Georgia Angus, is a perfect example of how the short story can achieve so much in so few words – hitting the reader with a heart-sinking wave of emotion in that final line. I look forward to seeing what these writers come up with next.

Another editor

It was edifying and comforting to work together with other fiction readers to edit this collection. I read the stories and comments and felt that I was part of the group, in step with my fellow readers. I particularly enjoyed reading the breadth of topics and writing styles. What I liked about John Charalambous’ story ‘Oh Carol’ was how he delicately captured the tension and dilemmas of the housed versus the homeless – our possessiveness over our quarter-acre block, safety concerns for elderly residents, where the love of animals is redirected and the self-delusion of people who think they are charitable.

An additional editor

I loved Katerina Gibson’s ‘Constellation in the left eye’, where a young refugee presses eyes into heads – standard or custom eyes in humanoid heads with gaping mouths that will be attached to necks, bodies, genitals. The story is a lesson in Hemingway’s ‘iceberg’ theory: Gibson tells so much of Jenny’s life and the world around them with so little backstory. She crafts a dystopian world that is all too real, and reflects many of the issues we face today back at us. These are images that will not soon leave me, and for me, that is precisely the point of fiction.

Another editor, this one from Aotearoa New Zealand

Sitting down to think of an editorial, the 15th of March still looms large over Christchurch and my mind mostly lingers on how special forums like Overland are and how crucial the task of selection. For example, Anne Hotta’s ‘Child of Summer’ traces a father’s journey through grief in the aftermath of disaster, layering the before-and-after worlds of personal and collective loss.

For me, the diversity of opinion among this collective of Overland readers shows how robustly the reading process is working – I think we all know what Overland is for and what it’s about, but we’re ultimately uncalibrated and isn’t that wonderful?

 

234.5Read the rest of 234.5: an autumn fiction edition with 16 editors!

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Zoë Meager writes short stories and is fiction editor for takahē. Her work has appeared most recently in Turbine | Kapohau, Landfall, and Bonsai: Best small stories from Aotearoa New Zealand.

Hannah Macauley-Gierhart is a PhD candidate, writer, editor, mum, reader and teacher. Her work has appeared in places like Overland, Right Now, Writer’s Edit, and The Huffington Post.

Chloe Wilson is the author of two poetry collections, The Mermaid Problem and Not Fox Nor Axe, which was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry and the Judith Wright Calanthe Award. She was shortlisted for the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, received second prize in the 2018 Bristol Short Story Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2018 Manchester Fiction Prize.

Caitlin Lawless is a freelance editor and bookseller, based in East London.

Amanda Niehaus is a biologist and writer living in Brisbane. She weaves science into her essays, stories, and poems, which have appeared in Creative Nonfiction, AGNI, NOON Annual, Griffith Review, and Overland, among others. Her story ‘Breeding Season’ won the 2017 VU Short Story Prize. Her first novel, The Breeding Season, will be published by Allen & Unwin in September 2019.

Linda Godfrey: Poet. Writer. Editor. Program Manager of the Wollongong Writers Festival 2015 to 2018. Curator of ‘Rocket Readings’, readings of poetry and an open mic, part of the Sydney Writers Festival and Wollongong Writers Festival, 2007 to 2018. Reader, manuscript assessor, teacher. Fiction and poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies. Will fulfil her ambition to live on the beach at Agia Triada in Crete where the Minoans built a summer palace.

Katelin Farnsworthis a writer and editor from the Dandenong Ranges. Her work has appeared in The Age/SMH, Overland, Verity La, Award-Winning Australian Writers and others. She’s currently working on a manuscript about grief and the different ways it can manifest.

SJ Finn is an Australian writer whose fiction and poetry has been widely published in literary magazines and Australian newspapers. Her latest novel is Down to the River. She can be found at sjfinn.com.

Bronwyn Xavier is a freelance writer based in Australia, and a long-time Overland fiction reader.

Trish Bolton’s novel, Stuck, was the recipient of a 2018 Varuna PIP Fellowship and a 2015 Varuna Residential Fellowship. In 2017, Stuck was longlisted for the Mslexia Women’s Novel Competition (UK) and Flash 500 Novel Competition (UK), and in 2016, was the joint-winner of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW) Unpublished Manuscript Award.

Kerrie McCure is a writer, editor, photographer and a long-time Overland fiction reader.

Anna Spargo-Ryan is a writer and strategist based in Melbourne. She has contributed to the Guardian, the Age/SMH, the Wheeler Centre, Mindfood, and many others, and was a panellist at this year's Digital Writer's Festival. Her first novel will be published by Picador in 2015.

Jarryd Luke is a writer and editor with a PhD in creative writing from the Queensland University of Technology. He has been shortlisted in the Queensland Literary Awards, the State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award and the QUT Postgraduate Writing Prize. His short stories have been published in journals such as The Lifted Brow, TEXT, Spineless Wonders and the Sleepers Almanac.

Karen Whitelaw is a writer, teacher and editor. She has a Master of Creative Arts (writing) and specialises in short stories, travel writing and memoir. Her work has been published in anthologies, literary magazines and newspapers.

Eloise Oxer is an actor, editor, writer and rambler and a long-time Overland fiction reader.

Oliver Driscoll is a bookseller and writer. He co-runs the Slow Canoe Live Journal. For a number of years, he has been Overland’s fiction coordinator.

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