Several years back I visited the former premises of Overland, a ramshackle house posing as an office on a residential street in Footscray (or so I remember). Within, ducking from room to room, was ‘Team Overland’, including former editor Jeff Sparrow and current editor Jacinda Woodhead.
That quiet afternoon, in which I was interviewed for an intern position, changed my life. Although I never became an intern at Overland, I instead began to read its fiction submissions. I was woken to the dreams the industry holds – the incredible catalogue of talent and spirit swelling the submissions bottlenecks of time-poor publishing houses. It is a (slightly gruesome, occasionally heart-breaking) spectacular.
This past December I started reading submissions as guest editor for this fiction edition. There were more than 280 submissions, including an abundance of stories of love and fear and trauma, of families, of fever and in fantasy. The four stories I have selected, among a shortlisted group of six or seven, have been chosen for their intimacy and expression of human thought and behaviour.
My thanks go to the courage of everybody who submitted, and particularly to the authors of these four stories – Rebecca Slater, Stevi-Lee Alver, Stuart Wilkinson and David Turnbull – for their talent and grace. I’m a stranger you’ve let step into your stories and I’ll be ever grateful for the opportunity.
This role has been such a romance. I’ve had such a summer of love.
Read the rest of our Autumn Fiction edition:
‘The fish’, by Rebecca Slater
‘a madman’s lullaby’, by Stevi-Lee Alver
‘A long breath’, by Stuart Wilkinson
‘Dance of the mobiles’, by David Turnbull