2013: The Evening Lands
The Evening Lands is the 27th collection from the prestigious Creative Writing program at the University of Technology Sydney.
This year's Anthology The Evening Lands, literally burst at the seams. There were too many amazing submissions in our mountain of over 300 pieces to publish everything that deserved to be read. So for the first time we are publishing a digital supplement — The Anthology Online.
- Looking for Wormholes, by Sonia Kumar
- Miss Daisy’s Guide to Surviving the Apocolypse, by Sophie Burkett
- The Tale of Emily Pickering, by Tess Barber
- Unleash Your Inner Dragon: 10 Easy Steps to a More Confident You, by Cameron Smith
It is in writing that you uncover your particular slant on the world, and the verbal tone that suits your point of view. You discover, in short, the writing you. In The Evening Lands, the reader is privileged to witness to this exciting process: the finding by emerging writers of their voice.
I remember a queasy feeling when I started writing. If I were to look now at what I wrote then, I would feel queasy again.
The initial queasiness, the feeling I had when I started writing was different from the one I would get today, if I were brave enough, or masochistic enough, to re-read early material. (I keep a lot of closed notebooks in my attic, to be burned later, when I am more grown up or more decisive, whichever comes first.) The initial queasiness was the kind you get when you turn the ignition in a car on your first driving lesson. You know in your rational mind that many people, apparently easily, drive cars. But it all seems incredibly complicated: you have to remember so many instructions, clutch, shift, right pedal, left pedal, look in side mirror, look in rear view mirror, swivel your whole head backwards to look in the blindspot, for that moment, then driving blindly ahead. Even if you remember all that, there’s no guarantee that you’ll go smoothly, that you won’t go through a red light, or that you won’t smash into a small, sneaky bollard thing that wasn’t there before (I swear). There is no guarantee, in short, that you will get where you want to go in one piece, or, with writing, that your work will seem good to anyone apart from you.
The feeling of queasiness I would get now if I re-read that material comes from how bad the work was: how self-conscious, obscure, misjudged, inelegant and irrelevant (I think that just about covers it). It would not, for instance, have made it into this anthology.
But thinking of learning to write made me think of how I learnt. Instructions, like those for driving a car, are possibly helpful: notes on point of view, framing the story or moment, big picture and small picture detail and so on. But I don’t think about those things any more. I can drive a car without thinking (much), and though I wouldn’t go so far as to say I can write without thinking, I can write without thinking about instructions.
This is partly because, as with driving, the instructions have become things I do automatically. But it is mostly because of what is called ‘finding a voice’. This is something that happens to a writer in the process of writing. It is almost unwilled, it is exciting and it is absolutely necessary. It is in writing that you uncover your particular slant on the world, and the verbal tone that suits your point of view. You discover, in short, the writing you. In The Evening Lands, the reader is privileged to witness to this exciting process: the finding by emerging writers of their voice.
I can remember being surprised — joltingly so — by the voice I found to be mine. We say ‘finding’ a voice instead of ‘choosing’ one, because it is not entirely a choice. The field is not as open as you might think. You are you, after all. You are the resources you have to hand: personality, experience, verbal facility, heart and ear. As much as we might write about things outside of us, it is our writing selves, once we find them, that we bring to the material.
In The Evening Lands the reader is privileged to witness writers trying out different voices ¾internal and intimate, gumshoe or wry, the terribly vulnerable and powerful child’s eye. And what do these voices bring us? So much. Near future drain-dwellers in a world fully evoked. Gumnut hunting children with drug addled parents in the Cross. A drunken expat enacting observer guilt. A man who, with great love and quietly borne tragedy, must put down his dog. A child with a violent father and a gun on the wardrobe. A woman meeting her little sister for the first time, at her mother’s funeral. A letter to a withdrawn mother from a brilliant daughter who keeps her eyelashes in a box.
There are here writers of great talent, and terrific stories. And there are noble attempts that will, no doubt, lead to other work, and the surer finding of each writer’s own voice.
In his beautiful poem The Evening Land, D.H. Lawrence was writing about America, from where I write this.
Nobody knows you;
You don’t know yourself.
And I, who am half in love with you,
What am I in love with? —
My own imaginings?
Say it is not so.
Writers make up the world from the real, and from our own imaginings. We don’t know our own selves; we don’t know what we are capable of until we write those selves into being. This anthology is exciting in itself, and in the promise of what is to come.
Anna Funder, award-winning author of Stasiland and All That I Am
The authors of The Evening Lands are at various stages of their studies at UTS. Between them they are novelists, journalists, parents, copywriters, travellers, teachers, comedians, filmmakers and surfers. For some, this is their first experience of publication, for others this is one more success on the road of their writing careers.
Kate Adams recently completed her Honours in Writing Studies at UTS and will be returning for a Graduate Certificate in Editing and Publishing. She works in a bookstore where she is frequently hit in the face by falling books. She loves them anyway.
Emily Brugman is in her final year of Writing & Cultural Studies at UTS. This is her first time being published. Hooray! In addition to writing, she likes to surf, crochet and tend to her succulents. You can find more of her musings at knobbleknees.tumblr.com.
Sue Carey is a copywriter, retired tap-dancer and giddy aunt. She is enjoying all this fancy book learnin’ immensely and may even graduate sometime, but is in no hurry.
Tom Chapman lives and surfs in Manly, Australia. He loves his wife, Rhiannon, and their beautiful daughter, Olive. Occasionally he writes.
Clare Cholerton writes, acts, works in a bookshop and is an enthusiast of the imagination. She has recently completed Honours in Writing Studies at UTS where she explored the intricacies of the prose poem.
Stella Collier writes short stories when she should be working on her novel. Her first story ‘I Saw My Stalker Last Night’ was published in the 2012 UTS Writers’ Anthology and was shortlisted for the UTS Writing Prize.
Caroline Connaire is in the final year of her Writing and Cultural Studies degree at UTS. She is a reverent collector of words and hopes that one day she will develop a taste for whisky like all good writers eventually do. carolineconnaire.wordpress.com.
S.J. Cottier lives and works in Sydney. Previously published stories include ‘Dancing’ and ‘The High Ground’, which were included in the 2011 and 2012 UTS Writers' Anthologies respectively.
Michael Douglass is currently studying a Masters of Arts Management at UTS and is chuffed to be included. More of his work can be found at eggberts.wordpress.com.
Chantal Gibbs is doing a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS. She's a working mum and spends most of her time with The Wiggles playing relentlessly in her head, which is not great for her creativity.
Nelson Groom is an over-travelled UTS undergrad in Writing and Cultural studies. When he graduates in 2013, he hopes to use his experiences abroad to make a living from above-average fiction.
Rebecca Lean completed her Master of Arts in Creative Writing in 2012. ‘Twelve Past Six’ is her second publication in the UTS Writers’ Anthology, and she would like to thank Ray and the Deshon family.
Danny Loch will complete a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS in 2013, and hopefully a novel shortly thereafter. He also had a story published in the 2012 UTS Writers' Anthology.
Madelaine Lucas writes short fiction and love songs. She is currently completing Honours in Writing Studies at UTS. Her work has previously been published in the UTS Writers' Anthologies of 2011 and 2012.
Christopher Marcatili is completing his Masters of Creative Writing at UTS, while polishing up an old manuscript called A Sun that Leaves No Shadows. Recently, he taught himself to make a website so that he could show the work-in-progress and a bunch of short stories off to his friends: chris-marcatili.com.
Rhys McGowan is a writer and musician. He writes prose, songs, screenplays, feature articles and text messages. He is working on his debut album, Dinner and a Shoah, as well as a non-fiction novel about love, illness and organ-donation.
Phoebe Morgan-Hunn is a writer, filmmaker and perpetual student. She recently returned from a year in Cambodia, where she worked on human rights-related film and television projects. She is currently completing a Masters in Creative Writing at UTS.
Marty Murphy has worked as a comedian and a stunt director, and once directed a horror film (Lost Things, 2004). He claims he is halfway through an MA in Creative Writing at UTS.
Erin O’Dwyer is a journalist and writer. Her work regularly appears in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, and she has twice been recognised in the UN Media Peace Awards. She is completing a doctorate in Creative Writing at UTS.
Felicity Pickering has been published in Vibewire, Vertigo and the Stonesthrow Review: State University of New Paltz, New York Creative Writing Anthology. She also writes plays, and blogs under the name of The Unreliable Narrator at fliction.wordpress.com.
Emma Pitman, aspiring mermaid and burrito enthusiast, is soon to graduate from UTS’s Writing and Cultural Studies program. She enjoys writing poetry, prose and press releases about ruthlessly mediocre experiences. Read more at emmapitman.tumblr.com.
Grant Poulton is a postgraduate writing student at UTS. He spends his time writing and reading mainly fiction, making really bad pottery and keeping house for his family. Grant blogs at Sydney Hebdo.
Sinead Roarty, when not writing about herself in third person, writes ads for a living and fiction to save her life. She has an MA in Creative Writing from UTS, where she’s currently working on a short story collection for a higher research degree. Published stories can be found at sineadroarty.com.
Vincent Silk is a young guy. His writing has been published in Slit magazine and 2011’s UTS Writers’ Anthology. He will be eligible to graduate from Writing and Cultural Studies when he returns his library books.
Emma Rose Smith writes poetry, prose, fictocriticism and performative pieces. She is currently in Mexico for her fourth year of Writing and Cultural Studies / International Studies. Last week she ate tacos with fried grasshoppers. They were good.
Rebecca Slater is finishing up a Writing and Cultural Studies degree at UTS. She has recently started working at Allen & Unwin and feels safe being surrounded by books as she heads out into the big, wide world.
Hannah Story is a gin-swilling aspiring novelist, editor and cultural commentator. When she grows up, she wants to be Helen Garner. ‘Slacks’ is her first published piece of fiction.
Ashleigh Synott is studying non-fiction at UTS, and has recently completed writing her first novel. A certain small creature with four legs and few teeth provided little assistance. Thanks for nothing, Duncan.
Alicia Thompson is a consultant, writer and teacher with two novels underway. Forests of the Night will form part of her Master’s output, and Six Degrees is being released in serial form on efolio.com.au.
Justin Wolfers writes fiction, poetry, and essays, and is working on a play and a chapbook. He recently completed his Honours in Writing Studies, from which ‘Middling Drift’ is an extract. He’s currently the friendly mail guy at Allen & Unwin. You can contact him at email@example.com.
Behind the scenes of The Evening Lands are a student editorial team. They began work in late 2012 with a pile of submissions and together have decided on every stage of production to bring the Anthology to completion. They are very proud of this collection of some of Sydney’s best new writing.
Zoë Adler Bishop hates writing bios, but loves writing everything else. She has just devoured a Masters in Creative Writing and is now determined to finish writing her first novel. She’s had short stories published in places such as the Sleepers Almanac and The Big Issue Fiction Edition. You can read her short stories and other writings at her personal website.
“Being part of the Anthology editorial team gave me the opportunity to experience bringing a book from a pile of raw submissions to a glittering publication. As a team we had a hand in every tiny decision from where a hyphen went, to the title, cover, order and foreword for the book. Reading all those submissions gave me a unique insight into what makes some writing shine and how to polish it up until it gleams. Being part of the Anthology is an incomparable experience for anyone wanting to enter the publishing field or become a better writer.”
Lucy Faerber is looking forward to finally finishing her BA Communications this year. She has previously been published in the 2012 UTS Writers’ Anthology and Seizure Online, and can occasionally be found at twitter.com/LucyAmalia.
Rhys McGowan is a writer and editor whose blog can be found at his blog Death of the Orthodontist. He urges writers to avoid clichés like the plague, to use adverbs sparingly, and to proofread their work thoroughly.
Lonie Pizarro, dedicated Law and Communications student, is a prolific reader, committed editor and a passionate advocate of unique fiction. Her favourite authors are Lewis Carroll and Neil Gaiman. She believes cupcakes should be classified as legal tender.
Callum Rhodes is a graduate of the UTS Writing and Cultural Studies and International Studies programs. He plans to take the world by storm.
Jacqui Williams is currently studying Writing and Cultural Studies at UTS, and actually finds academic writing interesting. She hopes to one day be brave enough to write about what really inspires her.
“Working on the 2013 UTS Writer’s Anthology editorial committee has been a great chance to learn about the inner workings of the writing industry. From the selection process, through editing, working with writers and with the publisher, I’ve been able to see number of facets of the writing process I would never have had the chance to see before. It was also extremely rewarding to watch the works evolve, and help the writers see their own potential.”
Justin Wolfers recently completed his Honours in Writing Studies, where he wrote on ambivalence in reading and writing. He co-edited Vertigo magazine in 2011, and plans to freelance edit in the future. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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